The Help

After seriously slacking on my vegetable consumption this weekend, I wanted lots of veggies for lunch today.

I figured a salad was a great way to cram a bunch of vegetables into my meal and created a big ol’ veggie-packed salad to enjoy.

All the Veggies!

In the mix:

  • Butter lettuce
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Peppers
  • Goat cheese
  • Mushrooms
  • Italian dressing

Monday Lunch

It was just what the doctor ordered.

The Help

It’s time for another PBF Book Review!

Past book reviews on PBF:

About halfway into my trip to Europe, I began reading The Help, a novel by Kathryn Stockett.

The Help

When I’ve previously asked for book recommendations from you guys, The Help popped up in the comments section of this blog again and again. I figured it had to be a winner.

Within 10 pages of the book, I was hooked. The book focuses on the hardships and adversity felt by black women who work in the homes of white people, helping to raise their children in the 1960s. The author does this in a way that is intelligent, thought-provoking, hilarious, gut-wrenching and inspiring.

The Help is told from the point of view of three main characters.  Skeeter, a white woman who longs to be a writer,  is deeply unsettled by the racial prejudices in her hometown of Jackson, Mississippi. At the urging of a New York magazine editor, she decides to write an anonymous book about what “the help” experience while working for white families. Aibileen and Minny are two of the black maids she interviews and whose lives are also followed in the book. Their sections are filled with love, struggle, passion and hope.

I cannot say how sorry I was to finish this book. I wanted it to keep going! The author clearly did a lot of research to adequately capture such unrest and tension during such a challenging time in America and managed to do so in a lighthearted way that made The Help fun to read.

The Help was one of the best books I’ve ever read. No lie.

And great news! It’s going to be a movie! I can’t wait to see it in August. The previews look fantastic.

Question of the Afternoon

  • What was the last great book you read?
  • What’s up next on your reading list?

I am currently reading The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom and I’m not sure what’s up next for me once I finish it!

P.S. The Fashion page was updated!


  1. Sabina Kelly says

    The help is next on my list ( after blink, tipping point, water for elephants,etc)

    Book that i really really enjoyed, although i didn’t think i would, was “the Girls from Ames”. It tells the story of 14( i think) grade school girls that have maintained their friendship over the years. Really really makes you think about things. Great read, often overlooked.


  2. says

    The Help is great, I couldn’t put it down! I just finished Confessions of a Shopaholic–I needed a fun, breezy book after exams. :) Next on my list is The Poisonwood Bible.


  3. says

    I have read Water for Elephants and loved it!!!!! Other really good books are the poisonwood bible, the devil in pew number 7 (really, really sad and intense!), hunger games, and tons of others!!! 😀


  4. Rachelle says

    Have you read Pride and Prejudice? It’s a wonderful book!
    I also really loved Snow falling on Cedars, The Red Tent, and Memoirs of a Geisha.


  5. says

    I just read Are you there vodka? It’s me, Chelsea. It’s not a new book, but it’s pretty funny. I just started reading Heart of the Matter and am nervous it’s going to be a tear-jerker. I will have to get The Help the next time I visit the library! Thanks for the tip!


  6. Sigga Svana says

    Hi Julie! I love your blog and come here every day for some fitness and healthy food inspiration :) One thing I was wondering is how many hours a sleep you get at night since you’re always up bright and early and workout super early in the morning :)


  7. Amanda @ The Beauty Notebooks says

    I love love LOVE The Help! I can’t agree with you more that I didn’t want to finish it! Did you have a favorite character perspective?


  8. says

    ooo glad you read The Help! I’ve heard it’s great, I think I’ll read it next! You should read Redeeming Love…I just started it and it’s amazing!


  9. Michelle says

    First time I have commented but I have been following PBFingers for a while! I think that you would like The Glass Castle. It is such an amazing (true) story. Definitely one of my favorites! Highly recommended!


  10. Chelsea M says

    I read this book in Aruba in December and it was the perfect vacation read, glad you enjoyed it as much as I did!


  11. Chelsea says

    Just finished the Stieg Larsson series- good stories but I thought the writing was a little too…detailed for my tastes. Next up is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which is an older book that is apparently a hippie classic, recommended by my still a hippie at heart father =) looking forward to delving into the meaning of life a bit before my brain atrophies in the summer sun and all I can manage to read are the Harry Potter books for the 683rd time.


  12. says

    This book is on my To Read list. I just finished Water for Elephants, which was wonderful, and I’m reading a free download from the Kindle store right now. :) The next book I’m really excited about, though, is The Love Verb by Jane Green–love my chick lit. 😀


  13. says

    Just finished reading Anthony Bourdain’s second book, Medium Raw … that guy has had quite a life – and writes about it in a very engaging way. On my plane ride today, I nearly polished off “The Stormchasers” – VERY good! Every summer, I read “She’s Come Undone,” my favorite book in the whole world (Wally Lamb). Have you read that one? I’m willing to bet you’d like it.


  14. says

    Hi Julie!
    I’m currently reading “Inside of a Dog” by Alexandra Horowitz. I’m sure you’d love it, it’s a really interesting explanation of how dogs experience the world, and really helps me as an owner to understand my dog and why he does certain things.
    One book I would HIGHLY recommend is “The Boy from Baby House 10″ by Alan Philps and John Lahutsky. The book is about John’s childhood in a Russian orphanage and it is heart breaking but has a happy ending. John actually lives in my hometown (a few blocks from my grandmother!) and I was lucky enough to meet him and get my book signed. You absolutely have to read it! It’s not very well-known, so hopefully you can find it if you decide to read it. If you do, please let me know how you like it!


  15. Kristen says

    I read The Help a few months ago & loved it:) Last night I just started reading Graceling by Kristin Cashore, as suggested by Lisa (Read.Breathe.Relax) in her guest post. I absolutely ADORED The Hunger Games, so I have high hopes for Graceling.

    Julie, I have a confession: I am not the brightest crayon in the old Crayola box=) I wrote a comment the other day about how I was amazed how much weight you use in BodyPump, since (I thought) my class only has 1lb, 2.5lb, & 5lb plates. Alas, the other day I discovered the plates are in kg not lbs, therefore I have been lifting twice as much as I thought!! Yeah, I’m a genius I know, please don’t be intimidated by my intelligence;)


  16. Cynthia says

    I just finished that book last week and I LOVED it!! I finished it in two days because I just couldn’t put it down. There is another book that I am anxious to read called “The Kitchen House.” It has gotten really good reviews and I can’t wait to read it!


  17. says

    “5 People” makes me cry and cry every time – but in a good way!

    I absolutely recommend “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak – it is seriously one of the best books I’ve ever, ever read!! Technically a “young adult novel’ (aren’t those the best?) it takes place during 1939 – 1945 Germany and is told from the perspective of and narrated by Death – which I think is really cool, not only because it’s different but because his voice is so sarcastic. It’s a fast read, totally engaging and immersing, and isn’t that heavy considering the time it takes place. It was a choice for the Book Club I have with my sorority sisters and it was everyone’s favorite pick!


  18. says

    OMG I LOVED The Help! I read it about a month or so ago and absolutely fell in love with the characters, too. So well-written. I’m actually reading Pride and Prejudice right now, because I somehow never got around to finishing it! Last truly great book I read was The Help. I liked Water for Elephants, but the style of writing didn’t capture me like Kathryn Stockton did in The Help. :) I also love Paolo Coelho books.


  19. says

    I just finished “Heaven is For Real,” about a little boy who dies and goes to heaven and then comes back to life, true story. I am now reading a Nicholas Sparks book about him and his brother, I am having a hard time getting into the book though so I may have to switch it up!


  20. says

    I also loved The Help and was instantly hooked. It really touched me and made me realize how far things have come. It’s crazy how parts of our country could be so different from others.


  21. says

    I’ve been reading a LOT lately. I currently read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, and I’m currently reading The Girls From Ames – a great nonfiction story about 11 women who have been friends for over 40 years. It’s amazing.


  22. says

    So glad you liked The Help! I read it on our honeymoon and I think the husband was a little jealous 😉 It’s definitely one of those books that I was sad to see end, you just get so attached to the characters!

    I’m currently reading Bossypants by Tina Fey. It’s a pretty quick read, but it is HILARIOUS. I don’t remember the last book that made me laugh out loud so much.


  23. says

    I just finished the Hunger Games series after you recommended it. I really liked it, but I agree with you about the ending. I’ll have to add The Help to my reading list as well. Thanks for all the great book recommendations.


  24. says

    I loved The Help so much! I really had to slow down reading it because I didn’t want it to end.

    I’m about to start In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson for my “virtual” bookclub! Come join in :)


  25. says

    I LOVED “The Help”–I suggest it to anyone that asks! Right now, I am in summer classes for grad school so I don’t have much time for leisurely reading. I am looking forward to August so I can read books for fun again!


  26. says

    I loved the Help! and i didnt know it was going to be a movie! thats awesome. I wonder who is in it?
    Also, 5 people you meet in heaven is one of my top 5 favorite books!


  27. says

    I read non-fiction and thrillers. I just read Betty White’s latest book and Chelsea Handler’s Lies Chelsea Told Me. I’m about ot start Malled by Caitlin Kelly about working retail.


  28. says

    I’ve been wanting to read The Help. My boyfriend read it last year and enjoyed it a lot as well. Time for me to steal his copy and start reading!


  29. Amelia says

    I’m so late to the game…I’m probably the last to comment! That’s what happens when I get behind on my blog reading. 😉

    Regardless, I still wanted to make sure my 2 cents were counted! I loved The Help, did not want it to end and have tried to start other books but none of them have quite captured me yet. I’m onto a non-fiction, self-help-ish book called The Friendship Fix by Dr. Andrea Bonior. She’s a great writer and local to DC. This is her first book and while it’s not The Help, I’m really diggin’ it.


  30. Anne says

    I recently read “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” for my book club and thought it was amazing. Highly, highly recommend.


  31. Danielle says

    I have several books in the works, meaning I have started them but have not yet finished. One of them is Something Borrowed. The one the new movie with Kate Hudson is based on. So far so good. But I just started. On next is the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. Only cause all the ladies on my yahoo book group are raving about the series. I just have to check it out.


  32. Amy says

    I saw the preview for The Help when I went to see Something Borrowed the other weekend and had no idea it was a book. I think I’ll have to request it as my next book to read after I finish my current read.


  33. Rylie says

    WOW! That was an amazing book <3 I was slightly disappointed with the ending seeing as to there wasn't enough Mrs. Celia, but I just bawled like a child threw this whole book!!

    Definitely Recommendations to all!


  34. says

    I just finished The Help and all I can say is WOW. It was such an amazingly well-written book; I could not put it down. SUCH a great read! Have you seen the movie yet? I really want to see it but am afraid it won’t live up to the awesome book.


  35. says

    Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly return.



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