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Re-reading “To Kill a Mockingbird”

“Somehow it was hotter then: a black dog suffered on a summer’s day; bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square. Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon, after their three-o’clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum.”
Is that not one of the most perfect description of anything that you’ve ever read?

 

It’s nearly summertime, and I’m re-reading “To Kill a Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee.
A woman I greatly respect once told me that she reads To Kill a Mockingbird every summer, and while for some people that is just the type of affectation that drives me batty, with her it was different. She was being sincere, rather than passive-agressively trying to convince me that we’re kindred spirits because we both enjoy the same types of books, and her sincerity is a quality that I love. And because I’m impressionable, and have many self-important affectations myself, I decided I’d do the same. (Re-read To Kill a Mockingbird, that is.)

 

I haven’t read it in several years (maybe a decade?), and I’m humbled by how well it still reads. How much better it reads, actually. Or maybe I’m just better suited for reading it now? Anyway, that line about ladies becoming like “soft teacakes with frosting of sweat and sweet talcum” struck me way back when, and still hits the spot for me now. Harper Lee is a genius, and her Scout is a gem.

 

Have you read To Kill a Mockingbird? Do you have a favorite line from a book? I intend on posting regarding a summer-project I’ll be involved in, but for now, I want to hear how much you love To Kill a Mockingbird. šŸ™‚
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5 Comments

  1. I have it on my nightstand now. It’s been years since I read it, yet I always call it “one of my favorites”. People keep alluding to names of characters I feel like I’ve never heard of, so I figure it’s time to refresh my memory. Since it’s one of my faves and all.

    Love your blog!

    Reply
  2. I have it on my nightstand now. It’s been years since I read it, yet I always call it “one of my favorites”. People keep alluding to names of characters I feel like I’ve never heard of, so I figure it’s time to refresh my memory. Since it’s one of my faves and all.

    Love your blog!

    Reply
    • Hey So7 sister! šŸ™‚ I remember really liking it when I read it the first time, but I can’t believe how much more I enjoy it now. I’ve tried playing around at imitating her style, but I just can’t do it justice. Her sentences are just beautiful, but that’s not something I would have realized or appreciated a decade ago. And I’m flattered that you like my blog! ā¤

      Reply
  3. Brandon Barkley

     /  May 29, 2012

    I read it in school, but I don’t remember too much except being kind of sad about things that happened. I would probably like it better now.

    I have tried to convince myself I would like a lot of literature that I blew off in High School now using “The Scarlet Letter” as a canonical example of something I figure I might feel that way about. My wife as an English teacher said she liked it better when teaching it… though the kids still hated it. šŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Oh boy, I’ve tried re-reading “The Scarlet Letter,” and for some reason, I just CANNOT get into it. Sounds like something I’d like, and it’s definitely a work worth knowing well, but I still can get past the first few pages. Maybe I’ll try again when I finish To Kill a Mockingbird. Oh, and my husband’s an English teacher, too! I might have told you that like sixteen times already though. I’m getting senile already, so I’m never quite sure. šŸ™‚

      Reply

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