This is my tenth post about 2014’s books for The Classics Club (just a bit late). I’ll be reading one classic book a month through 2018. Track what I’m reading for the Classics Club here. I’ll try not to include too many spoilers in my review but I may need to discuss some in order to fully review the book. I’ll warn you if I’m going to mention one.
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
as taken by Ellie (Poor Mark was still jet-lagged from our flight home from Alaska, because although I read it in October, I didn’t manage to take a picture until December.)
- Year Published: 1960
- Reread? Or new to me?: new to me (How did I make it through high school without reading it?)
- Number of Pages: forgot to write that down; it’s fairly short.
- Date Finished: end of October
- Number of Days it took me to read it: about a week
- Page/Day ratio: ???
- Will I reread this?: probably not until my kids have to read it when they’re older
Not long after reading this, I ran across a reference in The Atlantic to someone being a neighbor “like Boo Radley” (or something like that), and I was pleased to be able to place that literary reference. I felt like I was a real grownup. 🙂
I’ve read conflicting reviews of this book (on Goodreads). One camp seems to think it’s an amazing literary accomplishment; the other, that it’s actually really poorly written with one-dimensional, stereotypical characters. I think I probably fall in between those two camps. Yes, the characters did feel a bit stereotyped (the weird neighbor, the tomboyish little sister, the white redneck racist wife-beater, etc., etc). However, I think I can understand now why To Kill A Mockingbird persists as a novel that everyone is told to read. It’s a powerful story, powerfully written, and one that has stayed with me. I found myself wondering how I would have reacted in such a situation, if I was a member of the jury or if I was the defending lawyer. Would I have had the courage to see rightly? Would I have had the ability to see beyond how I was raised and the larger culture I was raised within? And, now, will my children learn to be so courageous and thoughtful through my example?
How about you? Have you read this? If so, which To Kill A Mockingbird camp do you fall into? Why?
Would you like to join me in reading O Pioneers by Willa Cather in January? I’m planning to read that trilogy (also Song of the Lark and My Antonia in February/March) and then tackle Les Miserables after that.