Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bookshelf: Harper Lee


I don't know why, but I never was assigned "To Kill a Mockingbird" in school. I had to read "Great Expectations" three times, but never Harper Lee's masterpiece. Go figure. I decided to read it because (and I hesitate to write this because it's so embarassing) Victoria Beckham named her baby girl Harper and gossip columns wrote it was because she loved "To Kill A Mockingbird". Stop scoffing, that's just how it happened. And whatever the reason I read the book. And loved it. If it's Posh Spice's doing, so be it.

"To Kill A Mockingbird" for those, like me, who never had to read it in school, is about a small southern town (Maycomb) and the events leading up to Jem Finch's arm being broken. It sounds simple but it's not at all. Scout and Jem Finch are a sister and brother duo with a knack for getting in trouble. When they hook up with their summer sidekick Dill things always seem to go a little too far, one egging the other on until someone's getting reprimaded.

What I loved most about "To Kill A Mockingbird" was the language. I think that's why I enjoy historical fiction so much, the language is so different from what I hear everyday. It's one of the reasons I loved "The Help". In "To Kill A Mockingbird" Scout's inner monologue and dialogue are so real that I feel myself getting sticky hot in Maycomb in the summers of the 1930s. From the word choice to the contractions, it ends up feeling organic. Though I was a child of the 80's and Scout was a child of the 30's I emphathized with her in regards to getting bored easily and coming up with silly. simple things to entertain her and her sibling over the summer. Perhaps that's because tv wasn't a part of my life growing up, you had to entertain yourself outside and be creative.

In short though, I loved it. Now I'm moving on to "Dog Years" by Mark Doty, which I picked up on an expedition to B&N last Friday. I went in to get Diana Gabaldon's latest for my mother and walked out with 5 books for myself. But they were all on the sale table, so it's ok. In personal news I am still querying my latest YA novel and am entering the Writer's Digest self-published contest. So keep your fingers crossed for me.

Happy Reading!

1 comment

  1. I didn't know you had never read this! It's also one of my favorites. Atticus Finch is the quintessential good man. I also did not know you are entering a self-published contest!!! GOOD LUCK!


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