16 Following


Currently reading

Rainbow Rowell
Fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World
Christina Lauren, Lev Grossman, Tiffany Reisz, Rachel Caine, Jen Zern, Heidi Tandy, Rukmini Pande, Samira Nadkarni, Wendy C. Fries, Jolie Fontenot, Randi Flanagan, Tish Beaty, Cyndy Aleo, V. Arrow, Brad Bell, Andrew Shaffer, Darren Wershler, Anne Jamison, Jules Wilkinson, R
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee I first read this post-college as part of my effort to catch up on classics that I'd missed during my formal education. I kept my copy, but I don't know when I'd have read it again if someone hadn't selected it for Book Club in November 2006 - and then that meeting ended up not happening, so we never did have the discussion (or watch the movie).

This was a more meaningful reading experience for me the second time around. I think that having returned to the South for ten years after my original reading of the novel - and then leaving it again - made me appreciate its Southern literary flavor even more, and connect better with the history that informs it. Having said that, I had some trouble buying the enlightened attitudes of the Finch family in that time and place; writing of the 1930's in the late 1950's, Harper Lee seems to be foreshadowing the coming civil-rights upheavals of the 1960's. It also struck me as out of place, in that context, for two mid-century middle-class Southern children to address their father by this first name.

However, those are quibbles. The novel certainly takes on Big Questions, but it became and remains a classic because the story is compelling and the characters - Scout, Atticus, Boo Radley - are unforgettable creations. I appreciated Lee's writing, particularly Scout's distinctive narrative voice, more on my second reading than I did originally, and caught more of the humor and small details.

To Kill a Mockingbird isn't usually one of the books that first comes to mind when I'm questioned about my all-time favorites, but it's one I'll always be glad I've read...and read again.