technically i “read” harper lee’s classic to kill a mockingbird when i was in school, but let’s be real, i was not old enough or mature enough to grasp some of the underlying tones of the book. i have watched the movie many times in the intervening years, but there’s nothing like reading the words on the page and interpreting them for yourself.
i have been toying with re-reading the book for about a year now, and since it was recently announced that harper lee’s other manuscript go set a watchman will be published this july, i figured it was time to finally get around to it. and i’m so glad i did.
lee’s tale about depression-era maycomb, alabama, and its citizens is hands-down one of the best pieces of literature i’ve ever read. told from the point of view of scout, we learn about the issues facing maycomb through the eyes of a six-year-old girl. as scout grows and understands more about her surroundings, so too does the reader grow and understand. we learn about how to treat people, we learn about those whose lives are different from ours, and we learn that atticus finch is the greatest fictional father in the history of the world. his patience, his wisdom, and his compassion are a lesson to us all in how to be better people.
there are way too many passages that i highlighted as i was reading, and trying to choose just a few to share on here was extremely difficult. there are the ones that are regularly quoted, the one about not really knowing anyone until you’ve climbed inside their skin and walked around; the one about how it is a sin to kill a mockingbird because they don’t do anything but sing their hearts out for us; the one about all the things boo radley gave scout and jem, including their lives. there are just so many quotable parts of lee’s book that i had a really tough time narrowing it down, but ultimately i decided to share the following:
scout: an’ they chased him ‘n’ never could catch him ’cause they didn’t know what he looked like, an’ atticus, when they finally saw him, why he hadn’t done any of those things…atticus, he was real nice…
atticus: most people are, scout, when you finally see them.
i am so glad i finally got around to re-reading this book at an age where i could truly appreciate the lessons that it imparts, and i have a feeling i might have to bring it back into the rotation every few years to remind myself once again how great it is.
my goodreads rating: 5 / 5. obviously // average rating is 4.23
crossing off the popsugar reading list: a book that became a movie. [and a great movie at that. i may or may not have watched it last night]
next up: i started zeitoun by dave eggers and am already obsessed. i am also almost finished with amanda ripley’s the smartest kids in the world, and how they got that way. fingers crossed i finally finish it this week!
which classic book should i add to my list next?