I have a confession to make: I am 25 years old, I have a Bachelors degree in Literature, I work in a bookstore, and I am just now reading To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time.
It’s a little strange to fall in love with a book that the whole world has already so embraced. Usually when I read something that moves me this much, I go a little crazy getting it into other people’s hands. I buy three copies: one to keep, two to lend. I write reviews and post them around Bookshop. I call my best friend in Canada, who will basically buy any book I tell her to, despite the high price of literature in that country. But with this book, I feel such endeavors would be largely met by the sound of crickets. Because I know that just about everyone, including the people who hated English classes, has already read this book.
But I just have to get this out, OK? I love it. I love, love, love it. I love Scout, I want to muss up Jem’s hair, and I think I have a crush on Atticus. I’m only about 100 pages in, and if you tell me what happens, I swear by my generally nonviolent soul I will find you and make it hurt. I am amazed, page after page, by the pitch-perfect authenticity of the narrator’s voice, and Harper Lee’s ability to make me hear the wind Scout hears as she lies in bed, waiting for Jem to come home. Had I the opportunity, I would go back in time, find my 14 year old self, who so arrogantly eschewed required reading lists, and put this book into her hands. “No, really,” I would say to her.
Now I can’t help but wonder what else I missed in high school. Anyone want to start a book group?
The Bookshop Santa Cruz Community Book Group is meeting to discuss To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee tonight (Tuesday, July 20th) at 7:30 pm. The discussion will be led by Julie Minnis and the event will include guest speakers Judge Ariadne Symons and Public Defender Larry Biggam.