It's vacation time and my first book club read of the summer is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. As I'm sitting in the hot summer sun with my book in hand I pause for a moment and think back to my first TKAM experience when I was a 12 year old girl. This is not my first rodeo with this book and like the grown up Scout Finch going back to the time that changed her life forever I want to go back and remember why I loved this novel so much.
I was in the 7th grade and one of the assigned novels given to us in my English class was To Kill a Mockingbird. I was already quite familiar with the book since I've seen the classic black and white movie starring Gregory Peck and was so completely fascinated with the story and characters that I ran down to my local library and checked out Harper Lee's first and only published novel. I can still remember the smell of old books as I searched the shelf for a copy and lucky me there was one left and without it's dust jacket a light blue cover with just a simple title on the side. As I read the novel I was beyond excited that both the book and movie were almost one and the same. A beautiful pairing! Let's just say I did very well in that particular 7th grade reading assignment.
What was it about the film that had me running to the library to grab a copy of the book? It was at the very start of the movie when Scout's lines drew me in, “It began the summer Dill came to us, when Dill first gave us the idea of making Boo Radley come out.” At that time, as a young 12 year old girl, I didn't give much thought about Atticus Finch, the trial or the racism that was so destructive in their lives. All I cared about was this mysterious Boo Radley who never left his house and the kids that were determined to get him to come out. To my joy and happiness the book and movie were almost identical and after reading Harper Lee's novel for the first time it only gave me more detail and insight to absorb.
Years later, as an adult, I not only hold dear the story of Boo Radley, Jem, Scout and Dill but also the eye opening and heart wrenching parts of Atticus, Tom Robinson and what happened to the little town of Maycomb, Alabama that forever changed it.
Enter Go Set a Watchman
When we started our book club ten years ago TKAM was one of the first novels we read that year. Ten years later we decided to read it again. We've had book friends come and go and sometimes you will get new members that have never read To Kill a Mockingbird not even in school. With Harper Lee's controversial new release 'Go Set a Watchman' being introduced to the literary world I couldn't help but b-e-g my group to read both novels this summer. Back to back and what a reading ride that will be!
It will be exciting to hear what my book friends thought of both novels and I truly hope they love TKAM as much as I do. I also think this means an extra special summer book club.
Here are some bookish ideas I am planning on: Classic Southern Recipes for dinner (put these links on your Evite so your book friends can get ideas for dishes) as well as yummy recipe examples straight from the book on Leafs and Leaves... virtual book club and tea party. Southern flower arrangements for the table and little touches of TKAM throughout.
To Kill a Mockingbird Book Covers
I love the dust jacket of a book (I try not to judge a book by it's cover but I will admit I do). Book covers to me are a work of art. Here are some smart looking covers of TKAM on The Book Depository
This post was updated 4/2020
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