March 18, 2007 archive

To Kill A Mockingbird – Book Review

“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” – From To Kill A Mockingbird, page 103 –

What can I say about To Kill A Mockingbird that hasn’t already been said a million times? Harper Lee’s beautiful novel set in the sleepy county of Macomb, Alabama in the 1930s defines the adage ‘still waters run deep.’  Scout Finch, a vibrant, curious tomboy narrates the story  which spans a period of nearly three years beginning when she is six years old. The cast of characters is vast and enjoyable. From Atticus Finch (Scout’s father who is a man of decency and honesty), to Jem Fitch (Scout’s brother, striving to follow his father’s example), to Dill (Jem and Scout’s summertime companion who embodies a sense of adventure and mischief), to Tom Robinson (the black man falsely accused of rape), to Miss Maudie (Scout’s next door neighbor with a heart of gold and the best cake in the country), and finally to Boo Radley (the mysterious next door neighbor who hasn’t been seen in twenty-five years), Lee weaves a tale that latches onto the reader and never lets go.

Lee doesn’t restrict herself to merely telling a story. She includes astounding insight into the roots of racism and the idea that one man’s courage to stand up against inequality may be all that’s needed to begin to shatter the beliefs that sustain hatred.

Perhaps what is so inviting about this novel is that its narrator is only a child. Scout Finch brings to the book an innocence and perception which only children share. Her reflections, void of the internal restraints that inhibit adults, bring a truthfulness to the novel that resonates with the reader.

This is a book I will read again…and again. It is a timeless classic, beautifully written and one I highly recommend.

Favorite Passages

About Courage:  I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do. – From To Kill A Mockingbird, page 128 –

About The Love of Reading: Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing. -From To Kill A Mockingbird, page 20-

About Racism: If there’s just one kind of folks, why can’t they get along with each other? If they’re all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other? -From To Kill A Mockingbird, page 259-

Spring Reading Thing 2007 Challenge

March 21st through June 21st, 2007

**MAY 29, 2007 – I’ve COMPLETED this challenge – and with almost a month to spare! I love that this challenge got me to read some books I’ve been wanting to read for some time. Thank you to Katrina for hosting it!

Uh oh, another challenge I just can’t say no to! Katrina over at Callapidder Days has come up with The Spring Reading Thing 2007 Challenge. Here’s what she says:

Have you fallen behind on your To-Be-Read list? Do you have five books that you’ve started but haven’t finished? Have you been meaning to get around to that great book your friend recommended but just haven’t done it yet? Do you love to read and to find out what everyone else is reading? Then this challenge is for you!

It’s all about setting goals and sharing them; little to no pressure; gives me a chance to knock some of my books off the TBR pile. Katrina’s sweetened the pot by offering a $10 gift certificate to for one lucky winner, and some random book giveaways too (now what legitimate bookaholic can walk away from that??!?!). Besides all of those incentives, the button is adorable and I wanted to display it on my blog!

I’ve chosen five (2 of which overlap another challenge):

1. Travels With Charley in Search of America, by John Steinbeck (FINISHED 3/29/2007. Read my review here.)
2. The Art of Mending, by Elizabeth Berg (FINISHED 5/14/2007. Read my review here.)
3. The Year of Pleasures, by Elizabeth Berg (FINISHED 4/9/2007. Read my review here.)
4. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy -overlaps with NYT Most Notable Challenge  (FINISHED 5/17/2007. Read my review here.)
5. Old Filth, by Jane Gardam – overlaps with NYT Most Notable Challenge and Reading Across Borders Challenge (FINISHED 5/29/2007. Read my review here.)

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