I've been a bit disappointed by the past few books I've read, but that all ended when on impulse I picked up Kathryn Stockett's 500+ page book, The Help.
This book had me regularly reading late into the night. For those unfamiliar with the book which I understand has been made into a movie that will star, Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, it takes place in Jackson, MS during the early 1960s.
For those not familiar with modern US history, it may be shocking to realize the evil that was called segregation. The story centers around a college educated, single woman in her early 20s who's returned home after getting her degree and is struggling to start her career as a journalist / writer as well as two maids who work for different white families in Jackson.
Comparisons with Lee's To Kill a Mocking Bird are easy to make. Both authors are southern woman, both address the racism that was rampant and the social injustices that seem inconceivable to us today. Unlike Lee's novel though, Stockett's story balances tension with humor and I found myself regularly laughing out loud. This may go down as my favorite book of 2011.
Looking for some summer reading? Don't be put off by the deep nature of the subject matter; this book is an absolute page turner. For those who are not of the reading variety, I've included the official movie trailer.