Tuesday, June 30, 2009

To Kill A Mockingbird

By Harper Lee

Like everyone else, I read this book in high school ( a long time ago ). Over the past year, it has come up over and over again in our book club discussions. On a whim this week I picked it up at Barnes and Noble, thinking it was a good time to read it again. Oh, it is soooo good the second time around!

Having lived in the South now for 17 years, I have a much better appreciation of the feelings at the time the novel is set. I have seen the remnants of this mindset over and over again since moving to Georgia. It is not so blatant as with the trial of Tom Robinson or the outright social stigma placed on Atticus, but the phrases used and the perceptions are still the same, some 74 years later.

Lee is a master story teller, pulling the reader in with believable characters. Scout, Jim and Dill are typical children, going on great adventures in the summer, attending school because they have to, paying the price for their mischief, and creating far-fetched scenarios about the strange man that lives on the corner. The story told through the eyes of Scout is pure and childlike, but with a wisdom a bit beyond her years. I credit this to the unorthodox upbringing she receives at the hand of her widower father, Atticus. Atticus, a lawyer, has always told his children the adult truth about the world, never providing child like answers to adult questions. When he is selected to defend a black man accused of raping a white woman, he is upfront with the children that this case will effect their lives, but even he can’t see just how much. The most beautiful character for me is Arthur “Boo” Radley, the recluse that lives in the house on the corner. In his seclusion, he seeks out the attention of the Finch children by leaving them small gifts, even as the children try to find ways to lure him out of his house, so they can see the strange man. Boo “appears” throughout the novel when the children need him and is instrumental in saving their lives at one point.

If you haven’t read this book or if you read it in school, I suggest you pick it up again and savor the story as an adult. I am sure we all have our own mockingbirds in our life.

Rating - A

Sunday, June 28, 2009

What's On Your Nightstand - June 2009

My nightstand is an ever evolving stack of books! In June I read mostly books for by book club and for my own enjoyment. For July, I really need to start working on the ever growing list of books I need to read before school starts in August. Probably not as much fun, but necessary none the less.
This month I read -

The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

I am currently reading -

Salt:A World History by

Snow Falling on Cedars by

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Why Geography Matters by Harm de Blij

To be read this month -mostly school reading

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

In the Wake of the Plague by Norman Cantor

Vive La Revolution by Mark Steel

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Spring Reading Thing Wrap Up

When I signed up for Katrina's Spirng Reading Thing Challenge at Callapidder Days I felt I was being overly ambitious by selected 11 books to read. I was in the middle of a reading slump and was sure I would never finish all 11 books. Was I ever wroing! The accountability of the challenge pushed me to read, read and read some more. The reviews introduced me to books I had never heard of, but just had to get my hands on. Utilizing Katrina's questions, here is my Spring Reading Challenge wrap up...

I did not finish all 11 books I selected. I did finish 9 of them and have started the other two. I did however read 7 other books that were not on my list for a total of 16 books.

I added to my original list as I read great reveiws of books posted by other participants.

My favorite book I read as part of the challenge was The Reader by Bernhard Schlink. It wasn't even on my original list.

I discovered that I read more non-fiction that I give myself credit for. During the challenge, I read 6 non-fiction books and I enjoyed them immensely. One book, The Healthiest Kid on the Block I picked up because of some health issues my son has been going through. It opened my eyes to a whole new way of feeding my family. We have followed some of his suggestions and we have see very positive results in our house.

My favorite thing about the challenge was the challenge itself. I liked the low stress, all the reviews, the opportunity to visit new blogs and discover new books. I can't wait until the Fall Challenge!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Booking Through Thursday

From Booking Through Thursday
“This can be a quick one. Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.”

In no particular order....
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian
Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Swallows of Kabul by Yasmina Khadra
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Little House on the Prairie Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Hot Zone by Richard Preston
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah
Alas Babylon by Pat Frank
The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillippa Gregory
Twilight (Book 1 only) by Stephanie Meyer
Oh, Kentucky by Betty Layman Receveur
The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
The Romanov Prophesy by Steve Berry