Sunday, 16 August 2015

First Read Along: To Kill a Mockingbird

As I stated in a previous post I will be doing a reread of To Kill a Mockingbird (written by Lee Harper) this month...and have asked you to join me in reading along.  I will be starting the book tomorrow (Sunday, August 16, 2015) with the first few chapters.  This time around, my third or fourth reread, I will be listening to the audiobook read by actress, Sissy Spacek.  I will discuss my progress every other day starting on Monday.  Please note, all comments are my own opinion, and my aim is to to give my thoughts and to entertain.

I first saw the movie in the fifth grade for an unit on Law and Justice.  At that time black and white movies made me fall asleep during the credits (jokes on 10 year old me because just 5 years later I would become an avid classic films fan and know trivia that would bring a tear to Robert Osbourne's eye), but this movie had me mesmerized from the opening shot.  In the dark classroom I started gaining a sense of future myself...what I believed in and that there was a world outside of my life.

That summer I would check out the book from the library and try and read a novel that was over my ten year old mind. I read the book literally and I was shocked that everyone wasn't treated equally, and that the truth and what was right was not clear to everyone.  I think it was then I shed my Leave to Beaver image of life and grasped a little bit of the "real" world.  Also, that year I read Iggy's House (by Judy Blume) and again this sense of other and segregating the other just tripped my mind.  It definitely made me look at things differently.  I started to learn at that age is that you have to pick your battles; and when you do pick them, fight like hell and stand your ground because it may just be you on your side.  It's a lesson that has served me well.  (My classmates never treated me any different than others and I was never bullied for any reasons so my battles have been very few.) 

The second time I would read this book (that I remember) is when I was attending University.  I was working at a bookstore and saw that the paperback was on sale (plus my 30% discount) and knew I was meant to read it again.  This time I read the book as Atticus would have advised - looking from each character's point of view.  Taking in the time, the norms, how people grew up and that it was the South I still could not shake the views of the ten year old me.  Looking at it historically I get the setting of time and place...and Lee's great words had me rah-rah over justice and fighting for what it is right even though it's the hardest decision.

My parents and my maternal grandmother instilled in me a lot of Atticus' views.  I was to look at a person for who they are inside and the decisions they make, instead of looking at a person's outside and judging things about them they cannot change. While I have not wanted to be a lawyer I've always felt this lean towards finding something that helps people...and I have done that, to some extent, in some of my jobs.  I treat people as I would want to be treated and try (though it can be difficult) to walk in another person's shoes.

 Now, in my thirties I wonder if that ten year old and 20-something will still appear when I read TKAM again.  I kind of hope so. I also hope you will join me in this journey and share your own thoughts and experiences.

k (My Novelesque Life)


  1. I never read the book because I saw the movie. Wish I'd read it first.

  2. I do wonder how it feels to read the book first and then see the movie for this one. I have never imagined Atticus as anyone other than Gregory Peck.