Wednesday, December 17, 2008

To Kill a Mockingbird

Libby was asking what the best gift was that you gave yourself this year. I couldn't really think of anything...sad. Not that I'm without gifts (quite the opposite), but I don't know if I purposely gave myself one specific thing. After lots of consideration - probably unhealthy how much "think time" I dedicate to some things - I decided it was probably the gift of learning. I learned a LOT this year. I learned about the electoral process, I continued to learn about real estate markets, I learned a little about myself and I learned about people in general. I read a lot of books. I talked to a lot of people. I know they say you shouldn't talk about religion and politics, but I kind of think they're both too important, so I ignore that rule :). And I don't think any one of us is worse off for having the discussion, are we? I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm not. I'm much better for it, so thanks for having the conversation. You taught me a lot.

But that's not why I started this post, and I apologize for the swing in subject. I started it because I just re-read To Kill a Mockingbird. I had not read it since high school. (Help me out, Andy...Joanna...Anna...?, was it Intermediate Comp or Novels??) Anyway, that book and that class changed my life. It's probably another entry for another day, but it was the first time in my life I started thinking. Where I realized that the world was big and there was a great and real need for love and charity. When I look back, it was an absolute changing point. I just found a picture that we took in Mrs. Teal's classroom with Mrs. Jensen and pictured were: Heath, Andy, Tony, Melissa, Nicolle, Anna, Joanna, Ben, Justin, and Kris. I'm sure that's not everyone in that class, but I'm sure I never said an appropriate thank you. I'm actually sure that there is no appropriate thank you. You all gave me a special gift back then.

Anyway, if you haven't read it, read it. It's beautiful. It's smart and funny and sad and true. I'm sure I read it differently as an adult than I did as a teenager, and the lessons were as strong as I remember them. Interestingly, I didn't remember the story very well. It was familiar, but it felt like I was reading it for the first time. Harper Lee wrote it as a simple love story, but it's become a great literary work.

If you don't have it, pick it up. If you can't pick it up, let me know...I'll send you my copy. It's worth it.

PS I've decided that I want to be Atticus Finch. And I want my kids to be Jem and Scout.


Joanna said...

Oh, that's one of my favorite books. And I think it was Novels. What was it about that class? That class was important in my life too. I've reread To Kill a Mockingbird two or three times since then...and it still makes me cry.

Leanne said...

I don't know. I think Mrs. J set us up. Remember that first day when she was talking to us about that group and how much we had to offer and how excited she was? I don't know if we just took it from there or what, but I'm forever grateful. Thanks for sharing your comments, Jo!

Laura Jean said...

I never took Novels. I'll borrow your copy... :)

Elizabeth said...

that is a great gift. that would've been my other one. :)

I liked that book, though I should probably re-read it again. It's been a long time since I read it. I never really remember the story either; I just remember that it's good.

Anne H said...

I recently listened to it on tape. I very much enjoyed it. Kaitlin has a list of "classics" that she has to choose one to read for her American Lit. class. I told her I want that list when she is done. I've read of few such as this one and Grapes of Wrath but I would love to read or hear them all!

Auntie Anne
(that signature always makes me field funny. do you remember the "real" Auntie Ann?)

Leanne said...

Hi, Anne! I do remember the "real" Auntie least by name. She must have passed away when I was really young.

That would be a fun list to see; I'd love to read some more of the classics. For example, I've never read Gone with the Wind, which is an atrocity according to several people I've spoken with. :) Feel free to send the list or any recommendations!

MindiJo said...

How funny, Zane actually just bought that book the other day. He asked me if I have read it and I said no. But now that you are naming all of the characters, I know I have read it. But I don't remember it. I'll have to read it again.

Elizabeth said...

Gone With the Wind is a good read, at least once, though I tend to get annoyed with Scarlett. :) I actually enjoyed the sequel (totally different author, not a classic, written w/in the last 20 years or so) a bit more - possibly because it took place in Ireland (somewhere in the U.K. anyway I am pretty sure) and I liked Scarlett better in that one.

shannon said...

I have to agree with Elizabeth.. scarlett tends to be annoying but the sequel was horrible..thats the beauty of Gone with the Wind.. how she becomes a person at the end thru life's hard lessons.. its an absolute must read for anyone who hasnt yet!