This month’s blogger book club book was:  The Help by Kathryn Stockett.


The Help is a story of a book-within-a-book.  Skeeter, a 24-year old living in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s, has big dreams of becoming a writer or editor.  She is struggling to find her identity in a world in which young white women are expected to marry well and keep house – not work.  Skeeter begins to question other aspects of her world, including the strange reality of black maids lovingly raising white children, who grow up to be their new racist bosses.   The Help includes two additional perspectives:  “Aibileen Clark, a middle-aged African-American maid who has spent her life raising white children, and who has recently lost her only son; and Minny Jackson, an African-American maid whose back-talk towards her employers results in her having to frequently change jobs, exacerbating her desperate need for work as well as her family’s struggle with money.”  (Source)


I really, really loved The Help.  I thought it was a great look at racism in the South, as well as feminist issues in the 1960s. 


For book club, we decided to go see The Help movie, which just came out.  Our book club took up an entire row!


I always think books are better than movies, but it was fun to compare our visions for the characters.  The portrayal of Hilly was spot on.  But – I thought The Help actually whitewashed many of the Civil Rights issues.   I guess they were going for a PG-13 rating.   I could tell the pre-teen girl sitting next to me was a little bit confused about WHY the maids were so reluctant to talk – in the book it’s clear they will get robbed, beaten, jailed, or murdered for talking about their white employers, but they kind of glossed over it in the movie.  Good teaching movie for parents, though!


After book club, we hit up Pinkberry for froyo.  I’ve never been to a Pinkberry before so I let the teenage boy behind the counter put together this creation:  salted caramel frozen yogurt with salt, caramel syrup, and health bar.  Holy yum!


I love book club because it’s like a built-in date night with friends!  Sometimes, the work week passes by so quickly that I don’t get an opportunity to hang out with my Charlotte friends as often as I would like… Book club ensures we’ll hang out at least once a month. 


A very pregnant Brittany let me touch her tummy – I’ve never touched a bare pregnant belly before.  Pretty amazing to think there’s a person inside of her.  It kind of blows my mind, actually.


Our book club book for September is One Day by David Nicholls, if you’d like to read along, too!


I got home VERY late, crashed in bed, and woke up late, too.  Ugh!  Yogurt and raw oats, to the rescue.


In the mix:  Greek yogurt, raw oatmeal, banana, strawberries.  And loads and loads of coffee.  Breakfast of champions.



  • Beth @ Beth's Journey August 12, 2011, 10:21 am

    The Help is one of my favorite books of all time. It is SO good and one of those can’t put down books! I’ve only touched the bellies of both my pregnant sisters – – its SO weird that there’s a living baby in there!

  • Claire @ Live and Love to Eat August 12, 2011, 10:23 am

    This is definitely on my list for when I finish the Hunger Games.

  • Leslie August 12, 2011, 10:23 am

    Can I be part of your blogger book club from afar??? Haha, no but seriously I’m reading The Help right now and I can’t wait to finish so I can go see the movie.

    • Caitlin August 12, 2011, 10:29 am

      Yes you can!!

    • Baking N Books August 12, 2011, 10:48 am

      I’m almost halfway through the book myself. I love it. I was thinking the same with the movie though – I know the book is humorous – and I believe the movie is too? – which is great. But really it feels kind of “weird” because it’s obviously serious issues with regards to civil rights, racism, etc.

      Kathryn Stockett has an amazing mind though.

  • Yin August 12, 2011, 10:24 am

    Ah, I love book clubs! I’ve never been in one but it seems exciting! I read One Day a couple months ago — a fast read 🙂 To be honest though, it wasn’t that memorable. I hope you enjoy it!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat August 12, 2011, 10:27 am

    I loved The Help too! I haven’t seen the movie yet but I plan to soon. I think it’s so great that you are part of a book club. I’d love to find one as well but I really need to find more time to read (books, not just blogs!) Have a wonderful weekend, Caitlin!

  • Angela @ pinching and packing August 12, 2011, 10:30 am

    The Help is my favorite book ever!

  • Natalie August 12, 2011, 10:30 am

    One Day is such a great book! I hope you enjoy it! It is just such a beautiful story.

  • Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me August 12, 2011, 10:32 am

    I’m on a waiting list for The Help at the library. I want to get it for an audio book. I’ve never heard of the other book but it’s worth a look. Right now I’m listening to Eragon and reading Little Bee. Both are amazing. I’ve already the entire Eragon series but am now listening to it. So enjoyable.

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday August 12, 2011, 10:34 am

    I read some pretty terrible reviews of the movie and how it basically missed out on everything that was good about the book (ie. the complex relationships between slaves and masters in the South). I’m probably going to pass on going to see it.

    • Kristina August 12, 2011, 1:46 pm

      A lot of the reviews I’ve read touch on the fact that it’s very much a white perspective of the civil rights movement – typical Hollywood and standard white-person-writing-about-the-black-experience-fare.
      I’ll admit that I haven’t read the book and I don’t plan to see the movie. Why should I read a book/see a movie that will make me feel comfortable with my life?

    • Anne August 13, 2011, 5:08 am

      I agree. This post pretty much sums up what why the book and film are problematic:

      p.s. @ kristina- i think it’s important to read/watch/hear things that make one uncomfortable with one’s life. complacency is a potentially dangerous attitude towards life. by dangerous i mean it can make people unaware or veiled to their own privilege and create an apathetic person. you can’t always change current and older generations towards things, but you can always work to create good for the next.

      • Caitlin August 13, 2011, 11:50 am

        What a wise comment!!!

  • Brittany August 12, 2011, 10:35 am

    Just started reading One Day last week! Excited to read along!

  • Liz August 12, 2011, 10:36 am

    Apparently I read those books backwards. I read One Day last month and now I’m working on The Help. I did very much enjoy One Day, but it was definitely a slow read for me. I had just finished the Hunger Games series so I was used to a quicker pace. The slower nature of One Day was a good change, but it took me awhile to get into that rhythm. I did like it though! There’s a movie coming out for it too.

  • Zora's mom August 12, 2011, 10:38 am

    Loved One Day! Not happy about the casting of Anne Hathaway in the movie but I will probably see it anyway!

  • Carrie August 12, 2011, 10:38 am

    The Help was an amazing book. I listened to it on CD on a road trip, and seriously spoke in a southern accent for days 😉

  • Emily August 12, 2011, 10:38 am

    I just read One Day and I loved it! Totally my style – that’s going to be a great movie too.

  • Mindy August 12, 2011, 10:40 am

    I read The Help well over a year ago – LOVED it. Hands down, one of my favorite all time books. I’m taking my mom to see the movie on Sunday. Yay for a mommy-daughter date! 🙂

  • Sarah @ w30 August 12, 2011, 10:40 am

    I loved The Help! I know there was a lot of criticism surrounding it, and some of it was probably justified, but I think it was a good read with a great message (and some hilarious characters).
    You’ve inspired me to start a book club, too! It’s so true that it’s hard to find the time to get a bunch of friends together, so I like the idea of built in monthly girls’ nights!

  • Lindsey @ Chick Flick Chic August 12, 2011, 10:41 am

    Omg I LOVED One Day! I actually just wrote about it. Hope you enjoy the book!

    • Baking N Books August 12, 2011, 10:50 am

      Isn’t that the new movie coming out with Anne Hathaway now as well??

  • Sarah (everydaysapicnic) August 12, 2011, 10:41 am

    I started reading One Day on 15 July last year … that’s the day it’s set and it really freaked me out!
    I really enjoyed it though and Starter for 10 by David Nicholls is also very good (hilarious!)
    I haven’t read The Help, but it’s on my very long list of books that I want to read soon (the list is getting out of control – I also want to read The Hunger Games after your recommendation)

  • Cindy August 12, 2011, 10:42 am

    Hey Caitlin! I love your blog!

    The other night I made overnight oats in a jar with yogurt, but I really didn’t like it. However, I love oats, and I love yogurt, and I notice that you combine them in the morning fresh. Should I try it this way? I’m a little hesistant after my OAIJ experience…

    Thanks fory your advice!

    • Caitlin August 12, 2011, 10:53 am

      I also do not like OAIJ but love raw oats mixed in right away. Try it!

  • Ursula August 12, 2011, 10:43 am

    I want to read The Help , but I’m #47 on my library waitlist. Too bad.

    I would like to ask your recommendations though. I never buy books (poor student) but graduation is in 2 weeks and I’m thinking about taking 20 dollars for a book. What is a book worth buying? It has to be worthwhile to buy.Thanks!

    • Caitlin August 12, 2011, 10:56 am

      So much pressure! You can search my book club tag for lots of book reviews

    • Orla August 17, 2011, 5:13 am

      Sorry for jumping in but I am almost finished my copy of the help and would happily send it to you in the post Ursula. Once you are done with it, simply gift it onto someone else. you can contact me through my blog with your details if you are interested.

  • Mel August 12, 2011, 10:44 am

    I’ll be curious to see what you think about One Day. I know a lot of people who liked it, and I liked the concept, but I couldn’t bring myself to root for either of the main characters. I think it will make a better movie.

    Do you use

  • Amanda August 12, 2011, 10:45 am

    I read One Day back a couple of months ago, and it really gripped me by the end, I loved it!. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I love good books, The Help is next on my list!

  • Brenda August 12, 2011, 10:53 am

    I’m starting The Help today. I love your book club posts. One Day will be next on my list thanks to you!

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen August 12, 2011, 10:54 am

    I feel like I’m in the minority by not wanting to see the movie b/c I loved the book so much. In my mind, nothing will compare and I’d get frustrated that the full story wasn’t being portrayed on screen. Such a great book!

    • Rebecca August 12, 2011, 12:58 pm

      That’s kind of how my dad feels about the LOTR movies. Tolkein created characters & creatures nobody’d ever heard of before (orcs, etc), and my dad doesn’t want to ruin the images he has in his head. He’s not sure the movie does them justice, maybe?

      That’s kind of how I feel about the Narnia movies after Dawn Treader came out. They didn’t do the story quite the way it was in the book, and that bothered me a lot. I love the book, and Fox disappointed me with the movie. =\

  • Crystal V August 12, 2011, 11:01 am

    We were in Charlotte last week for 4 days and tried Pinkberry for the first time. I’m pretty sure I managed to swing by there 3x in those 4 days =) Try the fruit and granola yogurt parfait (and top it with that melty chocolate crunch topping). Pro-tip: Choose one yogurt flavor for the bottom and a different for the top 😉

    • Kelly August 12, 2011, 11:05 am

      Ha, this comment is great! You should write a list of “Pinkberry Pro-Tips”!

      • Sarah @ w30 August 12, 2011, 12:32 pm

        Ha – I agree! This is a critical topic! Mmmmmmmmmmm…

  • Emma (Namaste Everyday) August 12, 2011, 11:13 am

    i read both books last summer and loved them! I can’t wait to see the movie(s)!

  • CJ @ August 12, 2011, 11:13 am

    I loved that book and am going to see the film this weekend. Your book club sounds so fun! I wish we had one around where I live! I heard one day is pretty good but haven’t picked it up myself! Maybe I’ll read along 🙂 have a fantastic Friday!

  • thePoeLog August 12, 2011, 11:17 am

    Hmmmm, I’m wondering if I inspired this selection (I mentioned it in the comments section of one of Wednesday’s posts!) I’m about 1/2 way through and still liking it.

    • Caitlin August 12, 2011, 11:21 am

      You did!

  • Kristin August 12, 2011, 11:23 am

    Just finished One Day…really enjoyed it! 🙂 Can’t wait to see the movie either!

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) August 12, 2011, 11:26 am

    I still haven’t finished The Help, but I really like it so far! I’m curious to see what the movie is like.

  • Kim@ Wonderings of a Twenty Something August 12, 2011, 11:39 am

    I love The Help. My grandma actually gave me the book. She said it was one of the best reads she has had.

  • linz August 12, 2011, 11:41 am

    One Day is such a great read! I hope you all enjoy it

  • Shari August 12, 2011, 11:42 am

    The Help is one of my all-time favorite books. Kathryn does such an incredible job of weaving together so many emotions: pride, fear, hope, tension, faith, and more. I love how it alternates between viewpoints — shows that each character has their own tale to tell, but in the end, it’s a story and a journey they’re going on together.

    My favorite line is when Aibileen says, “Go find your life” to Skeeter. It’s so simple, but so profound and inspiring 🙂

  • Donna @ Life of a Happy Blonde August 12, 2011, 11:46 am

    I can’t wait to read the help and One Day is a really lovely book, i gobbled it up in a couple of days 🙂

  • Nathalie August 12, 2011, 11:47 am

    I have One Day sitting on my book shelf so I’ll read along with you all 🙂 The Help sounds like a book I should add to my reading list!

  • Kayla @ August 12, 2011, 11:49 am

    Funny! I just downloaded it to the kindle yesterday and have not been able to put it down. I heard about it because of the movie, but now that I am reading the book I am not sure Ill see the movie… I can sometimes be that way.

  • Allison August 12, 2011, 11:50 am

    Here’s some interesting background reading on The Help, from the Association of Black Women Historians:

    I’m still excited to read this book (for some reason I love books that take place in the South), but I think this is some interesting and important criticism to keep in mind.

    • Caitlin August 12, 2011, 11:54 am

      I am so glad you passed that along!

      • Sarah @ w30 August 12, 2011, 12:35 pm

        Great article! Thank you!

  • Shannon @ Mon Amour August 12, 2011, 11:53 am

    I really want to read The Help and then go see the movie. It looks so good!

  • Erin @ Big Girl Feats August 12, 2011, 11:58 am

    I’m reading The Help while on vacation next week, can’t wait! I also read an article with Kathryn Stockett where she talked about her book proposal being rejected 61 times. 61! I think that kind of perseverance is totally awesome.

    I also really want to read One Day, now that I know there’s a movie with Anne Hathaway and that cute British guy in it. Sign me up!

  • Chelsea August 12, 2011, 11:59 am

    I loved The Help :)! I have yet to see the movie but I don’t see how they could have failed to leave certain parts out with it being 2.5hrs long (from what I’ve heard).

    adding the next book to my to-read list!

  • Karla August 12, 2011, 12:25 pm

    I haven’t seen the Help (or read it) but it’s on my list of books to read. I read this article that provided an interesting perspective on the movie. Just thought I’d share…

    • Caitlin August 12, 2011, 12:53 pm

      Very interesting. Thanks!

  • Lindsey August 12, 2011, 12:26 pm

    I am almost half way done The Help and love it – though it isn’t my typical read. I cannot wait to finish it and see the movie!

  • Alaina August 12, 2011, 12:27 pm

    The book club sounds like a great idea! I think there should be one in Boston. 🙂

    Are you going to watch the movie “One Day” after you all read the book?

  • Gwen August 12, 2011, 12:33 pm

    I LOVED The Help! That plus the Hunger Games books were the best I’ve read all year. And I JUST started reading One Day! I want a book club in DC! xo

  • Hillary August 12, 2011, 12:41 pm

    LOVED The Help, and really enjoyed One Day, too!

  • Annika August 12, 2011, 12:48 pm

    I loved One Day! But I hated it, too. You will know why after you’ve finished!

  • Mel August 12, 2011, 12:50 pm

    I saw The Help last night too! Overall, I thought it was pretty faithful to the book! I’m always a little apprehensive (Ella Enchanted anyone? I didn’t know it was possible to butcher a book so bad!)

  • Amber K August 12, 2011, 12:54 pm

    I wasn’t sure if it would be something I would like or not. I’m actually tempted to see the movie first that way I can save the best version for last. And then the book can fill in any of the blanks from the movie.

  • Rosa - Fitness, Food, Fulfilled August 12, 2011, 12:55 pm

    I’m reading The Help next and can’t wait since everyone I know has loved it.
    You totally got the best flavor at Pinkberry. Salted caramel is amazing, especially when paired with the Heath bar bits.

  • Rebecca August 12, 2011, 1:03 pm

    I’ve seen commercials for The Help and One Day the movies, but I hadn’t realized until reading this that they were both books first. I hadn’t really planned on seeing either of them, but maybe I’ll read the books…
    I didn’t realize until quite a while after seeing it that How to Train Your Dragon was based on a book…
    Wow, I need to research before I watch movies, maybe. Haha. 🙂

  • Taylor @ Crumbs Don't Count August 12, 2011, 1:27 pm

    I am about halfway through the book and LOVE IT!! Cant wait to see the movie.

  • Angela @ MyPinkyToes August 12, 2011, 1:32 pm

    It’s official…I must read The Help!

  • Kelly ( August 12, 2011, 1:39 pm

    Our book club is also reading The Help!! I read it in 3 days – I couldn’t put it down!! LOVED IT!

  • Michelle August 12, 2011, 1:41 pm

    ZOMG!!! First up, I just finished The Help and loved it. Second – Is that Jennifer M on the far right of the photo?!?!!?! If it is, I shall start singing “its a small world” because I went to high school with her!!!!

  • Yolie @ Practising Wellness August 12, 2011, 1:42 pm

    Book club sounds so much fun! I’d love to set one up or join one near me, it seems like an amazing way to meet friends and indulge in a fun hobby like reading 🙂 xyx

  • Johanna B August 12, 2011, 1:43 pm

    I’ve got “The Help” on hold at the library. There are still 17 readers in front of me (they have 4 copies). I can’t wait to read it. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. I never see the movie first.

  • Chrissy August 12, 2011, 1:54 pm

    I read both The Help and One Day this summer and enjoyed both of them. The Help made me cry (spoiler alert) when Abilene had to leave Mae Mobley, but at other times I laughed out loud. Looking forward to seeing the movie Tuesday night. My book club is discussing One Day at the end of the month. The book reminded me a lot of post-university when you’re trying to find your way even though you thought you were already there. Not sure about Anne Hathaway’s accent for the lead role though…

  • stacy August 12, 2011, 1:56 pm

    This is one of the books on my list to read. I love going to movies made from books, even though I usually like the books better!

  • Khushboo August 12, 2011, 2:29 pm

    The Help is defo an all-time fave of mine- absolutely brilliant!

  • Tiff @ Love, Sweat, and Beers August 12, 2011, 2:34 pm

    Ahhh! I’m kicking myself for skipping out on the froyo!

  • leeann August 12, 2011, 2:35 pm

    Halfway through the Help-Love it! And Pinkberry is the BEST FroYo!!

  • Liz August 12, 2011, 3:17 pm

    I really loved the book of The Help, but I also enjoyed the movie. I knew that it would not be as detailed, because the book was so lengthy, but I still think they did a great job keeping the general integrity of the book. I also felt like readers and non-readers of the book would both understand & enjoy the movie.

  • Courtney August 12, 2011, 5:16 pm

    I actually just finished the book this week. AMAZING! I couldn’t put it down and read it in like 5 days.

  • Lauren @ HeyLo August 12, 2011, 5:49 pm

    I’m on page 100! I love it so far and just want to sit at home and read! Why do life/social activities get in the way of my reading time? 🙂

  • Lindsey August 12, 2011, 5:59 pm

    I know I am probably in the minority viewpoint here, but books like The Help anger and sadden me. The following article voices many of the concerns I have. I feel like the only thing this book did to “help” was further distance the bridge between African American and white women.

    • Caitlin August 12, 2011, 6:05 pm

      That was a really interesting article, and I agree with many of the sentiments of the movie (the book was better at handling these issues).

      • Lindsey August 12, 2011, 6:11 pm

        Hmmm, does “better” make it okay though? I haven’t read the book, but I think I will just to see if the points brought up in the article can be fairly attributed to both the book and the movie.

        • Caitlin August 12, 2011, 7:24 pm

          Well, I guess when I say ‘better,’ I mean I think the book at least presented the situation as more complex than it appeared in the movie. I think you should read the book and see the movie and tell me what you think!!! 🙂 I’m curious now to know your thoughts.

  • Jen August 12, 2011, 6:14 pm

    I loved the Help, too, but I probably won’t see the movie because I find they never live up to the book! Thanks for the reco on One Day – is this the one that’s being made into a movie with Anne Hathaway? It sounds really similar to a preview I saw the last time I went to the show. Anyway, I’m totally getting this for my Kindle for our upcoming cruise – sounds like a fun vacation read!

    • Caitlin August 12, 2011, 7:23 pm

      Yes! We saw the preview and thats why we chose it.

      • Jen August 12, 2011, 10:35 pm

        Cool! I just bought One Day for my Kindle…now I just have to try not to read it before our cruise in September, lol. Thanks again!

  • Carolyn @ Eat.Live.Be Well August 12, 2011, 6:28 pm

    I loved The Help! I’m hoping to catch the movie this weekend. It will be interesting to see how you like One Day. My bookclub read it a few months ago, and I thought it was so bad, I didn’t even finish it.

  • Katie August 12, 2011, 7:22 pm

    I hope you love One Day! I loved it! I can’t wait until the movie comes out! I wish I was in a book club like yours. 🙂

    ps: I know you like talking about personal topics on the blog, esp. pertaining to girl stuff. Have you ever thought about talking about shaving (and I don’t just mean legs!)? I think it’s interesting to hear what other women have to say about personal topics like this. Plus, it’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things..just like your “naked” post the other day. I really enjoyed that post because it’s taken me a while to get totally used to changing in front of people in the locker rooms. Sometimes I suck it up and just do it. Other times, I towel wrap. I wish I would just suck it up all of the time!

    Another topic: (especially because you run, and most runners do this a lot, or have issues with this) pooing, especially in the bathroom when others are in there.

    Sorry if these topics are just TOO much! I just thought they would be neat to address.

  • Kellie August 12, 2011, 7:27 pm

    Identical! My book club and I also went to “The Help” last night, and it cracked us all up that we took up an entire row. Turning around to view the rest of the people in the theatre, we were pretty sure every book club in our city was at this showing. It was terrific! Afterwards, my friend leaned over and said, “If only a frozen yogurt place was nearby!” So, I guess you got the “after” treat, but at least I still experienced that awesome movie and book! Whoa!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin August 12, 2011, 7:50 pm

    I can’t wait to read The Help! I’m going to start it as soon as I’m done Sarah’s Key!

  • megan August 12, 2011, 9:40 pm

    i LOVED the help! one of my favorite books of all time! i just finished it a couple of days ago and seriously loved it. i have so many books on my list to read i just need to find the time!

    btw, you totally got me hooked on raw oats in my yogurt. except i dont mix them around and wait for them to get mushy i just dig in 🙂

  • megan August 12, 2011, 9:43 pm

    my last comment either didnt post or its going to post a bunch of times…! i just finished the help, i loved it so much! it was one of my favorite books of all time. cant wait to see the movie, although im sure it wont be as good as the book.

    btw, you totally got me hooked on raw oats in my yogurt. except, i dont wait for them to get mushy i just dig right in 🙂

    • megan August 12, 2011, 9:43 pm

      shooot.. i knew it!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) August 13, 2011, 11:59 am

    I read this book for my A-Z challenge and loved it. I hope the movie coming out can pull the idea together. The book allowed you to glimpse into life and I think a movie won’t let you do that.

    I was afraid that The Help movie was going to strip away some of the rawness of the book and make it too easy. I might wait until DVD now.

  • Katie @ Peace Love and Oats August 13, 2011, 10:29 pm

    I absolutely LOVED the Help! I can’t wait to see the movie! And I keep hearing about pinkberry, I should see if it’s coming to Chicago!

  • diana@mymarblerye August 15, 2011, 10:07 am

    i just finished one day. BALLS crying

  • Jolene ( August 16, 2011, 1:22 pm

    I really want to read that book (“The Help”) and see the movie. The preview is awesome!

  • Jules August 23, 2011, 10:16 pm

    If you go to a specialty fro-yo shop– especially one like Pinkberry– you gotta stick with the real deal original with berry toppings

  • Jules August 23, 2011, 10:18 pm

    p.s. even after all this time, it’s just like Hollywood to pussy out on tough, but real, issues in movies like “The Help” just to make a buck

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