As a mom, I don't have a lot of free time, but I try to make space each day for rest, reflection, and some mental stimulation. Curling up with a good book, even for a half-hour, can cover all three down-time ambitions for me. For ideas on great escapes, I looked into what moms who are active in Circle of Moms' many book clubs are reading right now in fiction; here are the four most talked about books and series.
There are several active discussions among Circle of Moms members about books that are current favorites. The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, is a narrative that many of us saw first on the big screen. Set in Mississippi in 1962, it's about a relationship between a young white woman and the middle-aged black woman who raised her as a maid in her family's home. The book is also controversial; many readers argue that it glosses over the complexities of race during the Civil Rights era in the American South. Others recommend it for its strong narrative thread and accurate portrayals of women's power.
Many Circle of Moms readers loved the Harry Potter books and are trying to find something as good in series form — a format that's compelling because you can read in short bursts without losing the plot. Laura P. loves the Sookie Stackhouse novels, by Charlaine Harris. Most readers were introduced to these books by way of the HBO show "True Blood," which is loosely based on the series. The heroine is a telepathic waitress, and the setting is rural Louisiana, where vampires and locals mix it up in thrilling — and often lifechanging — ways.
Keely G. loves Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon, a series about a former combat nurse, set in 1945 in Scotland. The protagonist has been reunited with her husband after the war, and when she touches an ancient boulder she is unwittingly catapulted into 18th-century war-torn Scotland. The series was written in 1992, but a 2009 film, now popular on DVD, has brought attention back to the books.
Another series that is highly recommended by Circle of Moms members is The Hunger Games, a young-adult novel by Suzanne Collins that has capitivated adults as well as kids, especially in anticipation of the release of the film adaptation on March 23, 2012. The series is a futuristic thriller with compelling female protagonists.
What these books all have in common? Strong female leads and successful conversion to the big screen.
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