Sunday, July 13

Confession time


I've been a bit quiet on this blog for the past week because I've been in one of my reading kicks. Tuesday and Wednesday night I read Little House in the Big Woods for the first time in over 30 years. I completely understand why I loved it so much as a kid. All of those fascinating details about life at that time was a marvel to me as a 8 year old as well as a 41 year old. I love those stories and plan to re-read the rest of the series this year.

I read Garden Spells on Thursday and Saturday. It was ok but not great. That being said, I wouldn't discourage anyone from reading it. If you've read Practical Magic than you've pretty much read Garden Spells. I did, however, fall in love with a quirky character named Evanelle. Evanelle is delightful senior citizen with a compulsion to give strange things to folks that they will need in the future. She can't tell them why they'll need her odd gifts but says if she doesn't it's like trying to not scratch an itch. She hands out Bic lighters, shirts, mango slicers among other things and the people in town accept them knowing sooner of later it's exactly what they'll need sooner or later. I really liked Evanelle. Well, I liked Evanelle and the apple tree. You'll have to read the book to understand what the heck I'm talking about.

Now here is my big confession: today I read a book for the first time that I should have read back in the 7th grade. Today, for the very first time in my life, I read To Kill a Mockingbird and I LOVED it. I loved the style of writing, I loved the story and I loved the characters. I can't remember the last time I so thoroughly enjoyed a book. I enjoyed it so much I didn't leave the house today to avoid any long term interruption (Yes Shandon, a whole day of reading!). I did some laundry, and hosed off my car after yesterday's bizarre storm dirtied it and I read my new favorite book. I realize I'm not exactly going out on a limb here when I say I loved the book but it's true. Why on earth I waited so long to read it is a mystery to me. I've carried the shame, of not having read it, with me for years. I've probably mentioned this before but when I graduated from college I was annoyed that I'd gotten through a decent education without having read some pretty essential books. I set about crossing a bunch off my to-do list. I read Catcher in the Rye, The Bell Jar, The Sun Also Rises and The Diary of Anne Frank back to back. God knows there are plenty more that I need to read but somehow To Kill A Mockingbird escaped my little to-do list. I've owned a copy of it since high school but never picked it up. What a fool I've been! My only solace is that I know I read it when I could truly appreciate it. Who knows how I would have received it back in the 7th grade. I remember my first day of school after we moved back to my current home town the entire class has just read To Kill a Mockingbird and were watching the film in two parts in the auditorium. I believe they were watching the second half when I started school. Seeing the second half of To Kill a Mockingbird is no way to be introduced to it. I've, of course, seen and loved the film many times since and knew I should read it but it never seemed to happen. I know lots of us have at least one huge book that all well rounded readers "should have" read by now and haven't and this was mine. I'd say I'm happy to finally have it off my to-do list but I'm sorry I'll never be able to read it for the first time again. I'm sure all of you read it in Junior High but if you haven't read it since then I strongly encourage you to do so. What a wonder. Harper Lee I love you!

1 comment:

kb said...

Oh, absolutely one of my favorites as well. I remember reading it in junior high and I totally remember sitting in the multi-purpose room watching the movie. Loved it! Hmm, your list makes me feel I should pick up a few books that I read in high school via Cliff's Notes and actually read them this time.