To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee. Firstly, I need to apologize to all the Book Gods (and to Tharani, of course!) for abandoning this book earlier. I am sure this is going to be one of my top favorite books ever.
So, what’s this book about? In one word, courage.
This book is set in the early 1930s in a small town called Maycombe in Alabama. It’s about an eight year old girl, Scout and her older brother, Jem. It’s about their incredible father, Atticus Finch. It’s about white vs. black. It’s also about greys. It’s about racism. It’s also about overcoming racism. It’s about bad men. It’s about good men. It’s also about both bad and good men.
For want of any other words about the book, here are some lines from the book. Proof, pudding and all that!
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”
“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 see it through no matter what.”
“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”
“They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions… but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”
“Atticus, he was real nice.”
“Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them.”
“It’s never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn’t hurt you.”
“There are just some kind of men who-who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.”
“When a child asks you something, answer him, for goodness sake. But don’t make a production of it. Children are children, but they can spot an evasion faster than adults, and evasion simply muddles ’em.”
Okay.. Okay.. I’ll stop. And, I’ll say just one thing.. mmm.. two things, actually.
1. Atticus Finch is my hero.
2. If you read ONE book this year, read this one. Please!
The Lorax by Dr.Suess. Yes, it’s a kid’s book but it is such an pertinent book for our time. And, it was written long before environmental issues became this important.
I bought this book when my kids were three. But unlike other Dr. Suess, this required a little more understanding and I kept it away from them and conveniently forgot about it; until last week. But when we read it last week, we were all bowled over!
Written in trademark Dr.Suess rhyming rhythm, it’s about a creature called Lorax who warns Mr.Onceler about cutting down Truffulla trees. Mr. Oncler starts it as a one time thing and slowly his greed takes over. Slowly, every tree is destroyed, every living thing is dead, nature has been completely ruined and the place is left in shambles.
If you have kids (over six, may be!) read this book to them. If you don’t have kids, read this book yourself. Just read!