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. says

    5 people is a great book. quick read.

    I am currently reading Open (Andre Agassi). I have been on a memoirs kick. Next up is: Summer and the City (the latest prequel to SATC and Carrie Bradshaw). I think its a perfect summer chick book!


    • says

      i am in awe of it. i have loved andre (from afar of course) as when he was really starting out in vegas i lived there too…so i knew about him before the rest of the world 🙂

      anyway i think its fascinating…

      another good one was Unbearable LIghtness by Portia deRossi.

      such tragic lives these two led…and we think its all grand.


    • Judi says

      I am too lazy to “read”, I am an Audio book girl. I just bought “The Help” and I have listened to the “5 People” and it was great. Have you read “The Shack” ? and let’s see “Never a Bride?by-Rene Gutteridge and Cheryl McKay. These are pretty good. My “reading” is all over the place, but I think you may like these.


  2. Claire says

    Julie! That lunch is just what my doctor ordered as well…and I think he ordered it for my dinner too after a weekend of bacon and eggs, post-wedding party pizza, and a few cocktails to boot! Question, have you ever tried insanity or P-90 x? I am considering giving it a go, I hear the sweat it produces is unbelievable! Happy Monday Veggie Day!


  3. says

    i thnk my mom is reading that book right now!! i should ask her how she likes it!! the book im reading now is for english class.. its called persepolis.. its pretty awesome! its like a comic book form!.. really like it!


  4. says

    I felt the same way about The Help; I was SO bummed when it was over! I need a new book to read. I’m reading The Mermaid Chair (by the same author as The Secret Life of Bees). It’s ok, but I’m not loving it. Looking forward to finding something new soon. Maybe Bethenny Frankel’s Place of Yes.


  5. says

    Love Mitch Albom’s books! I really want to read The Help – I’ve heard such great things. I am currently reading The Alchemist and am really loving it! And also on my list I have The Life of Pi, the Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.


  6. says

    Im reading The Help right now! So good!
    The last book that I absolutely could not put down that I read was Water for Elephants. Phenomenally written.
    I could spend hours in a book store!


  7. says

    I have had The Help on my reading list for awhile, but I’m stuck on the Outlander series at the moment. I may need to break the cycle and read Water for Elephants too.


  8. says

    I’m glad you liked The Help! I loved that book.

    The last books I read was Life of Pi, which was slow but ended up being a great book, and The Pre-nup which was a good quick chick-lit book.

    Now I am reading The Historian. My podiatrist recommended it to me (bc I spend waayyy too much time in his office) and said it was his favorite book of all time.

    I’m also re-reading The Hunger Games with my book club. I had to get them in on my obsession!!


  9. Michelle @ Lifewithacrazypup says

    Have you read Mitch Albom’s “Tuesdays with Morrie”?? That book is a life-changer!! Seriously — Life. Changer.


  10. says

    Glad you liked the book–I’m so excited for the movie!

    I’m currently reading “Anna Karenina”. I read so many popular and girly books on the regular, so I figured I should read a classic . It’s a good book, but it’s so hard to get through…


  11. Jenny says

    ugh I started reading The Help a few weeks ago but it got put on the back burner once I started the new job. I think I need to devote this weekend to working my way through it!


  12. says

    I loved the Help as well. Such a great read 🙂

    Have you read the books such as ‘Something Borrowed’ etc…. ?? I know it is a movie, but the writer does fun, light books that are quick to read if you’re looking for fun novels.

    I also liked the Girl with The Dragon Tattoo….still need to read the other 2 in the series. Ahhhh I love books!

    I love Wayne Dwyer’s ‘Excuses Begone’ book…so motivating and helping me get rid of excuses or other things keeping me from reaching my goals, dreams, etc. Awesomely motivating!!


  13. says

    LOVED The Help! I just finished Tina Fey’s Bossypants (HILARIOUS! I reviewed it here — I think it should be required reading for all working women:

    I just started reading “In the Garden of Beasts,” a non-fiction book about the last American ambassador to Berlin just before WW2 and if you’re looking for something RACY my book club is reading “Candy Girl,” Diablo Cody’s memoir about the year she spent working as a stripper. It’s fascinating but v naughty!

    I’m on the hunt for my next vacation book for our trip to the Keys next month so I’ll be checking back on your comments for more suggestions! I may have to pick up the Carrie Diaries.


  14. Kelly says

    I just finished up reading two very good books. I got the book “Oryx and Crake” as a free download when I got my eReader and didn’t ‘crack it open’ until a couple of weeks ago, but it was so good!

    It did leave me feeling a little bit down as it ends in a very dark place and at the end of the book I didn’t want it to be over. Luckily, there is a sequel that I quickly bought and tore through as well called “The Year of The Flood” which is from the perspective of different characters than “Oryx and Crake” and ends with more hope. Both books are by Margaret Atwood.

    p.s. I just started reading “The Help” and I’m loving it!


  15. says

    I just finished “The Help,” as well, and I share the feeling of sadness of it being over. Words can’t describe how much I loved it!

    I’m currently reading (actually listening on audiobook) to “The Friday Night Knitting Club” but the last book I loved, loved, loved was “Unbroken.” It’s non-fiction but an amazing and heart-wrenching story about an Olympic runner who was a POW in WWII.


  16. Holly @ The Runny Egg says

    I have heard The Help is a great book but I haven’t picked it up yet. The last book I read was The Uglies — it is also a series that you might enjoy, it reminded me somewhat of The Hunger Games.


  17. Alex Rawlin says

    If you liked The Help and Water for elephants then I think you’d probably like The Secret Life of Bees too. Similar(ish) to The Help and just as un-put-down-able!

    Also have you read Room? About a boy and his mum held captive and their life / escape plans etc. Brilliant, harrowing and life-affirming at the same time!


  18. says

    Save for the mushrooms (ick!), this looks just like my salads! I am WAY too lazy to peel cukes (plus I think they taste better w skin), and I’m obsessed with goat cheese + butter lettuce combo. Mmm!


  19. says

    I have to admit, that I haven’t done much reading outside of school for MONTHS. I keep hearing great things about this book, though, so I feel like it might be just the thing to break my book-less streak!


  20. says

    I read the five people you meet in heaven back in high school 🙂 I loved it! I had to read it for summer reading but I didn’t mind at all.

    I’m currently reading Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin
    as well as The Time Travelers Wife 🙂

    do you have a goodreads account?! If not you should get one soon! It’s a life saver for my “to-read” book list and keeping them all organized.


  21. dana says

    I haven’t read The Help yet, but it’s on my list. I loved The 5 People you Meet in Heaven and I finished it in one night. Loved it!

    The last book that I read was The Hunger Games…and, I have the next two in the trilogy to finish.


    • Katie says

      I hope I’m responding to Katie’s post about Shanghai Girls. One of the best books I’ve ever read!!! 🙂 it sucks you right in!


  22. says

    The last great book I read is Shanghai Girls by Lisa See. I read about 3-4 books a week (yay maternity leave!) and this is one of the best I have read in a while.


  23. says

    I loved The Help!!! AND The Five People You Meet in Heaven 🙂

    The last (great) book I read was SKINNY by Diana Spechler — AMAZING, read it twice! And up next is The Art of Racing in the Rain 🙂


  24. Chloe (South Beach Girl) says

    We just read The Help for my bookclub, and while I thought it was a good book I wished the author went more into how the maids felt and their thought process throughout the story. I just felt she could have gone deeper into that, but I do know the author based this on her life so it makes sense she focused on Skeeter more.

    I’m currently reading Cutting for Stone and love it, you should definitely check it out!


  25. Mendie says

    I just got done reading Something Borrowed – fabulous! Havent seen the movie yet but the book is great! I’m also reading the 3rd of Lauren Conrads series – Sugar & Spice – its fun, entertaining, light summer reading!


  26. says

    A lot of people have suggested that I read this too.. I am thinking it will be my next one. Right nowI am reading Bitter is the New Black.. .. like.. just started it.. 10 pages. in. I was too tired when I began it. ha


  27. says

    I am reading Water for Elephants right now, and yesterday I just purchased The Help to read next so I am happy you loved it, as soon as I read the back of the book I was sure it would be a gooder!


  28. says

    The last great book I read was Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood. It’s SUCH a good book, and there isn’t a single dull moment.
    It really interesting too because you have to figure out who you can believe when the story is being told, and it’s based (kinda) on a real story.
    Hands down, it’s one of my favorites.


  29. Dawn @ Blonde on a Mission says

    The last book I read was a chick lit book called The Dating Detox by Gemma Burgess. It was a hilarious & really good read! The next book I really want to read is The Paris Wife.


  30. says

    I’m sooo glad you liked it!! It is also one of my favorite books of all time and it’s going to very hard to top it. Today I’m expecting the Hunger Games to arrive from Amazon. It has a similar obsession factor with those that read it, so i can’t wait!!


  31. Danielle (Shrinking and Studying) says

    All year I have to read super dense neuroscience papers/textbooks/articles so when summer rolls around I like the easiest entertainment reads I can find. Plus, I usually listen to audiobooks while I’m at work in the lab.

    I’m currently on the fourth book of the “Sookie Stackhouse Series” by Charalaine Harris and I LOVE them. They’re the perfect mindless read with a little bit of romance, mystery and fantasy all rolled into one.

    I also just finished the Hunger Games Trilogy audio books and they were the best books I’ve read/heard in a really really long time. I’ve been recommending them to everyone! 🙂 My next audiobook endeavor is going to be the girl with the dragon tattoo since it was on my summer reading list anyway (I’m way behind on the times on this one 😉 )


  32. says

    I’ve had The Help sitting on my bookshelf for a year now. I’ve heard many good things about it though so maybe I should pull it out. I just got a hold of The Happiness Project which has been quite inspirational so far.


  33. Katie says

    The Help was one of my favorite books ever! I just finished The Art of Racing in the Rain (bawled my eyes out might I add) and just started The Book Thief. 🙂


  34. says

    This book is definitely on my Summer list! I’ve heard such great things about it.

    I am currently reading Bossypants by Tina Fey. HILARIOUS! I love it so far. I just finishes Funny in Farsi which is a quick read with a sweet story line, and my next book will be Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.


  35. says

    I can’t wait to read The Help–it’s next on my reading list! I just finished Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (it took me quite a while to get through it–it’s 500+ pages!). It was an incredible, beautifully-written book that held my attention the whole time I was reading. I highly recommend it!


  36. says

    Great! I’m really into colorful salads with warm temperatures. I’m currently reading “The private lives of Pippa Lee”, and it’s good to read.


  37. says

    I loved loved loved the Help!

    Along the same lines (a book that gets you absolutely hooked) if you haven’t read Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay then put it on your list! Another amazing page- turning, can’t put it down, yet don’t want to finish it books 🙂


  38. Laura J. says

    I just finished American Wife and loved it! So good! I read a couple pages of The Help in Barnes and Noble the other day and it was amazing– definitely will be going back for that one. 🙂


  39. 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.


  40. 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.


  41. 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!!! 😀


  42. 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.


  43. 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!


  44. 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 🙂


  45. 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?


  46. 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!


  47. 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!


  48. 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!


  49. 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.


  50. 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. 😀


  51. 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.


  52. 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!


  53. 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;)


  54. 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!


  55. 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!


  56. 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.


  57. 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!


  58. 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.


  59. 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.


  60. 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.


  61. 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.


  62. 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 🙂


  63. 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!


  64. 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!


  65. 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.


  66. 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!


  67. 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.


  68. Anne says

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


  69. 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.


  70. 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.


  71. 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!


  72. 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.


  73. 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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