Man, I am so behind on this blog!
Insert litany of excuses here: freelance projects, blah blah blah, visit from family, blah blah blah, preschooler out of school, blah blah blah, more freelance work, blah blah blah, not feeling well, blah blah blah BLAH.
Anyway, my apologies. I don’t even have anything particularly profound to offer you today, except that I just read two amazing books, and I’d like to recommend both of them.
One was The Help by Kathryn Stockett, a fictional account of the uneasy relationships between white well-to-do Southerners in the early 1960s and their African-American domestic servants. My mother-in-law bought this book in hardcover because she started reading it and enjoyed it so much, then she brought it to me. I devoured it and then wished I hadn’t read it so fast. One of the things I appreciated most about the book was that it didn’t attempt to whitewash the situation that existed just a few decades ago. Many white families in Mississippi did have African-American maids who occupied an unusual role in the family dynamic: they were both members of the family and yet not members of the family at the same time. Stockett didn’t try to apologize for the negatives, nor did she excise the positives either.
The second was Outcasts United by Warren St. John, a fellow Birminghamiam. It’s a non-fiction account of an Atlanta suburb that became the destination for numerous African and Middle Eastern refugees and eventually became the home to a very unique youth soccer program. I was impressed by how well-reported this book was. That might not be the sort of thing that the average person would notice, but as a journalist, I could tell how much time and effort went into this book. It was worth it.
So if you’re looking for something new to read, and either of those books appeals to you, I urge you to check them out. And if you have any recommendations for me, let’s hear ’em!