A sad, sad truth exists in my life… This truth being that there is just not enough time in

the day to read all the books I would love to read! I have books upon books that I buy

with the best intentions of reading and then I just never get around to it, this makes me

sad. Considering there are so many people in the world who don’t have access to books

at all it makes me feel a little guilty when I see so many stories sitting on the shelf just

waiting to be enjoyed. I think it’s safe to say that I own at least 100 books, and I hate to

admit that I’ve probably only read 10% of them… I think my new years resolution should

be to read all of those books and then some. I’ll do my best, but I won’t make a promise

I can’t keep, so I’ll just leave it at I’ll try to read more next year:) I did manage to get a

few good reads in this year, my favorite being “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett. This book

is set in the height of the civil rights movement (one of my favorite periods of history)

and chronicles the experiences of African American maids working in the deep south

during this time. I have often wondered about myself, if I had grown up in the south

during this time period, what my reaction to the social climate would have been. I have

always found that my thoughts and opinions on social issues lean a little more to the left

than most of the people I know and love. Everyone has the right to their own opinions

and views and I respect theirs as they hopefully respect mine, but having grown up in

the rural south like the books main character “Skeeter”, my open mindedness has often

left me feeling oddly out of place in the very place I call home. The book made me

wonder again, like I have so many times in the past, if I would have been brave enough

to stand up for what was right or if I would have held my peace to avoid conflict. I hope I

would have had the courage to speak out and influence change like Skeeter, Abilene,

Minny and all the other maids that shared their stories despite all they stood to lose. And

I hope we can all grasp hold to the innocence of little Mae Mobley who never sees class

or color when she looks at her beloved Abilene, she only sees love and goodness and

we could all use more of that purity in our lives! Despite the serious subject matter of the

book it also provides plenty of light hearted humor and snarky sarcasm which makes for

lots of great laughs. This is by far one of the best books I have read in a very long time

(I finished it quite quickly and that says a lot) and it definitely tops my list of

recommended reading this year!

Another book I read this year is “The Final Testament of the Holy Bible” by James Frey,

a great read for those who are open minded and take fiction as literature not literal.

It is definitely a different view point and if you’re not open to that then I’d say this book isn’t for you.

The thing I enjoyed most about the book was the message it portrayed

concerning the acceptance of all people, despite their religion or background, class or

appearance. The book has a message of unconditional love, hopefully that message

shines through despite the story surrounding it. Unfortunately I fear many people won’t

recognize that message due to the risqué content used within the story. I offer this quote

to anyone who reads this book or any other that challenges your beliefs, and that is this

“The sign of an intelligent man is the ability to entertain the thoughts of others without

accepting them as your own”… It may not be your cup of tea but if you’re up for a

challenge this book could be the book for you.

Classic favorites that I also recommend include “Number the Stars” by Lois Lowery, I

first read this book probably when I was in 3rd grade, it’s short and simple but it covers

a lot of ground featuring a young heroin living in nazi Germany in WWII. It’s a great read for kids and adults.

Also, I highly recommend “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” by

Mitch Albom. This book puts life as a whole into perspective as it chronicles the story of

a man who dies and goes to heaven and there meets five people who were pivotal in

the story of his life, even in the smallest capacity. I love, love, love this book because it

shows how every twist and turn in life leads us to become the people we are meant to be.

And now for today’s lucky winner of the “12 days” give-a-way, receiving a fresh new

copy of “The Help”… Drum roll please…. Congratulations Janis Worsham!

Check back tomorrow for more “favorite things”, you could be our next winner!

Good luck!!!