5 disco balls
First published: July 11, 1960 by J. B. Lippincott Co.
Category: Classics, Historical Fiction, Coming of age
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (1961), Audie Award for Classic (2007), National Book Award Finalist for Fiction (1961), Alabama Author Award for Fiction (1961)
To Kill a Mockingbird was Book 4 on my September Reading Challenge High School Reading Redo list; I’ve reached the 50% mark!
How does one even review a book of this notoriety? In my honest opinion, you can’t: or I certainly can’t. All I can say is that I waited way too long to read this book. I think I took the easy way out in high school and watched the movie or read the Cliff Notes, but never dove right into this gem. Well, I can finally mark this Great American Read off my list! Phew.
Instead of reviewing, I thought I would share some TKAM fun facts and the like.
Book 4 Fun Facts:
- To Kill a Mockingbird was slowly and painstakingly written
Lee said she spent six to 12 hours a day at her desk, and she’d produce one manuscript page of text per day. “Contrary to what most people think, there is no glamour to writing. in fact, it’s heartbreak most of the time,” she told a class at Sweet Briar College in the late 1960s, according to Charles Shields’ unauthorized biography Mockingbird. source: Readers Digest
- Real life inspiration
Dill, the neighbor, was based on author Truman Capote, her own neighbor in Monroeville, Alabama. They were even said to have shared a typewriter. source: bookstr
- Lee Thought The Novel Would Fail
In 1964, Lee said she “[N]ever expected any sort of success with Mockingbird. I didn’t expect the book to sell in the first place.” But the novel was an immediate success. Not only was it a best-seller, it was followed up with an Oscar-winning movie starring Gregory Peck. It also won a Pulitzer Prize in 1961. Today, the book sells almost a million copies a year, more than fellow 20th century classics The Great Gatsby or The Catcher in the Rye. source: mental floss
- To Kill A Mockingbird was voted ‘the number one book to read before you die’
In 2006, To Kill A Mockingbird topped the World Book Day poll, in which librarians across Britain were asked “Which book should every adult read before they die?” The book was followed by the Bible, JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, 1984 by George Orwell and Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. One of the voters said that the book has “all the factors of a great read. It is touching and funny but has a serious message about prejudice, fighting for justice and coming of age”. source: WHSmith
Let’s talk covers. Upon author Lee’s passing in 2016, Glamour posted an article highlighting 11 of their favorite To Kill a Mockingbird book covers that have been in circulation since its publication in 1960. Here are my 4 favorite: noticing a theme here 😉
4 Favorite Quotes:
- “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.” – Atticus Finch
- “I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.” – Scout Finch
- “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” – Miss Maudie Atkinson
- “Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” – Atticus Finch
plus 1 more for good measure (it was too good not to share): “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” – Scout Finch
Do you have any fond memories, quotes, fun facts, etc. from To Kill a Mockingbird? Do tell!
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