Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Help

ISBN of edition I read 9780399155345 (hardcover)

Food mentioned in The Help
Chicken salad, 3
Deviled eggs, 5
Caramel cake, 7, 13, 38, 98, 125, 140, 216, 448
Iced tea, 7, 74, 78, 108, 148, 156, 185, 263, 297, 427
Coffee, 91, 110, 134, 263
Chocolate custard pie, 125, 328-332, 339
Peach Pie, 125
Pecan pie, 125
Cinnamon cookies, 144
Egg salad, 184
Waldorf salads, 266
Strawberry cake, 284
Chocolate cake, 284, 286
Pralines, 328
Divinity fudge, 328

(And for those book groups that like something a little stronger at their meetings...)
Alabama Slammers, 328
Chablis, 171
Mint Juleps, 115
Rum and Cokes, 58

Celebrities mentioned in The Help
Marilyn Monroe, 30
Rosa Parks, 68, 431
Martin Luther King, Jr., 107, 159, 294, 296
John F. Kennedy, 197, 342
Audrey Hepburn, 239
Elvis Presley, 449
B.B. King, 449
Oprah Winfrey, 449

Discussable quotes in The Help
"...ain't that white people for you, wondering if they are happy enough.", 49

"'Ever morning, until you dead in the ground, you gone have to make this decision." Constantine was so close, I could see the blackness of her gums.  "You gone have to ask yourself, Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today?"", 63

"You cannot leave a Negro and a Nigra together unchaperoned," Mother'd whispered to me, a long time ago. "it's not their fault, they just can't help it.", 70

"When you're not making mimeographs of fixing your boss's coffee, look around, investigate, and write. Don't waste your time on the obvious things. Write about what disturbs you, particularly if it bothers no one else.", 71

"I sit at my typewriter, stunned that my mother could cast off someone who'd done her the biggest favor of her life, raise her children, teach me kindness and self respect.", 81

"I want to yell so loud that Baby Girl can hear me that dirty ain't a color, disease ain't the Negro side a town. I want to stop that moment from coming--and it come in ever white child's life--when they start to think that colored folks ain't as good as whites.", 96

"I feel guilty for not being nicer to her, for not needing her until my own life turns bad. I feel bad for wishing Constantine was here instead.", 121

"'These is white rules. I don't know which one you following and which ones you ain't.' We look at each other a second. 'I'm tired of the rules,' I say. Aibeleen chuckles and looks out the window. I realize how thin this revelation must sound to her.", 155

"Our places of comfort are expectedly different, my friends and I..." What is your place of comfort?, 174

"My relief is bitter, that it took Yule May's internment to bring us to this.", 253

"'But wait, if I tell her Miss Hilly's out a her league...then ain't I saying they is a line?' Abileen laughs. She pats my hand. 'All I'm saying is, kindness don't have no boundaries.'", 312

" was like something cracked open inside of me, not unlike a watermelon, cool and soothing and sweet. I always thought insanity would be a dark, bitter feeling, but it is drenching and delicious if you really roll around in in.", 345

"Everyone is asleep in this town in every way possible.", 351

"Wasn't that the point of the book? For women to realize, We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I'd thought."

Television programs mentioned in The Help
The Guiding Light, 50
Gone with the Wind, 50
Lawrence Welk, 83
Li'l Rascals, 96
Lawrence of Arabia, 142
It's a Mad, mad, mad world, 176, 181
As the World Turns, 229
My Favorite Martian , 296
Dick Clark, 374

Books/Authors mentioned in The Help
Gone With the Wind / Margaret Mitchell, 50, 106, 148, 159
The Catcher in the Rye  / J.D. Salinger, 70
Invisible Man / Ralph Ellison, 85
Let Us Now Praise Famous Men  James Agee and Walker Evans, 89
Farmer's Almanac, 88, 142
John Keats, 107
Eudora Welty, 107, 154, 449
To Kill a Mockingbird / Harper Lee, 110, 154, 351
William Faulkner, 154, 449
The Souls of Black Folk / W.E.B. Du Bois, 154
Emily Dickinson, 154
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn / Mark Twain, 154, 186
Sigmund Freud, 154
Walden / Henry David Thoreau, 160
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave
     Frederick Douglas, 172
New American Dictionary, 179
Peyton Place Grace Metalious, 395
Tennessee Williams, 449

Music mentioned in The Help
Patsy Cline , 54,
   "Walking after Midnight", 146
   "Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray", 146
Bessie Smith, 66
The Beatles
   "Love me do", 177
Glenn Miller - , 328
Frankie Valli, 328
"It's my party", 352
Bob Dylan
  "Times They Are-a-Changin'", 353
Rolling Stones, 380
Stevie Wonder -
   "Fingertips", 21-22

Libraries in The Help
pages 59, 154, 156, 171, 176, 342

Discussion Questions for The Help
Is Eugenia (Skeeter) exploiting the maids?

What are the parallels, if any, between Skeeter and Aibeleen?

Compare Celia Foote to Skeeter.

How do you feel about the alternating chapters and points of view? Did you notice there is one chapter that is written in the third person point of view and all the others are narrated in the first person?

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Girls in Pants:the Third Summer of the Sisterhood

Book menu for Girls in Pants by Ann Brashares

ISBN of the copy I read 0385729359 (hardcover)

Food mentioned in Girls in Pants
Gummi worms, 13
Ritz crackers, 19
Box of chocolates, 23
Juice boxes, 38
Cheerios, 39, 55
Oreos, 50
Oatmeal cookies, 51
Tea, 68
Smoothies, 70
Ice cream, 97, 201
Pistachio, 97
Butter pecan, 97
Peppermint, 97
Rootbeer jelly beans, 118
Orange Soda, 155
Pizza, 200
Pasta, 201
Salad, 201
Orange Creamsicle, 202
Iced Cappuccino, 202
Stuffed grape leaves, 214
Baklava, 214
Lemonade, 214
Spanakopita, 214
Greek salad, 214
Ice cream buffet, 217
Scrambled eggs, 236, 33
Cokes, 255
Corn nuts, 255
Grilled cheese, 329
Brownies, 329
Milkshakes, 330
Peanut butter fudge, 330
Eggo waffles, 33
Pancakes, 36
Apples 39-40
Diet Coke, 56
Ben and Jerry's, 202

Music mentioned in Girls in Pants
Song: Walk on the Wild Side,95
Paul Simon,250
Old 97s
Nick Drake,294

Books/Authors mentioned in Girls in Pants
William Carlos Williams,1
Douglas Adams ,6
Willa Cather ,22
Oscar Wilde ,80
John Keats ,156
Elizabeth Bishop,166
Jane Austen,189
Abraham Maslow,197
Norman Mailer ,222
Ralph Waldo Emerson ,264
Victor Hugo ,276
Dr. Seuss,284
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina ,291
William Shakespeare,306
Leonard Cohen,368

Miscellaneous references in Girls in Pants
Brown University
Rhode Island School of Design
Williams College
New York University
Johnny Carson ,54
Marilyn Monroe ,26
Winston Churchill,103
SpongeBob Square Pants,114
Albert Einstein,123
Starsky & Hutch ,245
Christopher Columbus,376

Great vocabulary in Girls in Pants
bleated, 7
egregiously, 11
implicitly, 23
stupefaction, 24
demonstrative, 24
detritus, 37
trundle, 32
careened, 39
surliness, 76
harangue, 97
jaunty, 98
palliative, 100
calamitous, 108
insouciance, 117
surreptitiously, 121
paroxysms, 153
incongruent, 163
concavity, 165
churlishly, 171
circumspect, 173
insidiously, 200
petulance, 205
marauding, 223
balefully 244
mollified, 251
trepidation, 278, 300
perilously, 299
collusion, 371

Discussable Quotes from Girls in Pants
"Carmen hated the 'life is too short' rationalization. she thought it was one of the lamer excuses in the history of excuse-making. Whenever you did something because 'life is too short not to,', you could be sure life would be just long enough to punish you for it.",47

[Lena] "just wanted to draw. She just wanted to stay in that place where she understood things without thinking about them.",62

"What made you feel that stomach-churning agony for one person and not another?", 131

"Tibby was good at hiding. It was the one thing she knew how to do. She was good at sealing herself in a little box and waiting it out. But waiting for what? What was she waiting for?",224

"As a child, you were taught to see the world in geometric shapes and primary colors. It was as if the adults needed to equip you with more accomplishments. (Lena already know her color!) Then you had to spend the rest of your life unlearning them. That was life, as near as Lena could tell. Making everything simple for the first ten years, which in turn made everything way more complicated for the subsequent seventy.",252

Similes in Girls in Pants
"her peace had been sliced up like roast beef",62

"Listening to her friends' voices felt like hearing a familiar symphony, with one instrument coming in and layering atop another. The way the cadences linked and harmonized made her feel safe.",135

Movies mentioned in Girls in Pants
This is Spinal Tap
The Godfather ,140
The Naked Gun ,176