Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Novels With Nell - Mockingbird Songs

Nell is back again sharing another book recommendation with y’all. I shared what I was reading in yesterday’s post but am pretty sure I am going to need a larger nightstand and more free time to get through my own personal reading list as well as hers! To see some of her other recommendations click on the “book recommendation” label in the sidebar!  

I personally loved this weeks recommendation and hope that y'all will as well!

I love To Kill a Mockingbird (TKAM). I first read it in the 8th grade, after which, my classmates and I went to Monroeville, AL, where Harper Lee grew up, to see the play that is put on annually by local residents. The set is outside on the lawn of the Monroe County Courthouse, until the trial scenes, which are performed in the courthouse itself. TKAM fans (and a lot of literature teachers) travel from all over the country and around the world to see this particular production. Definitely a neat experience!

I just finished this book, which is a collection of letters Harper (and occasionally her sister, Alice) exchanged with her friend, Wayne Flint (and occasionally his wife, Dartie). Their relationship is described more in the quote below and the book itself. I thought it was a unique look into Harper Lee’s more private life. (Actually, pretty much all her life was private. I personally do not love having a lot of attention on me, and I respect and understand her wanting boundaries). It’s not that the book reveals any secrets or scandals or things like that, but reveals her personality. Based on my takeaway, I would say she seemed to be kind, witty, and a loyal friend- someone who would be a pleasure to know, Pulitzer-Prize-winning-author or not.

If you like TKAM or are just intrigued to learn more about Harper Lee, Mockingbird Songs is worth the read.

**If the names Boo Radley, Atticus Finch, and Tom Robinson mean nothing to you, not ringin’ a bell, then ignore every other book I’ve mentioned on this site and go read TKAM. **

And no, the movie, although wonderful (and on Netflix right now!), doesn’t count. It’s gotta be the real deal book.

“An indelible portrait of one of the most famous and beloved authors in the canon of American literature—a collection of letters between Harper Lee and one of her closest friends that reveals the famously private writer as never before, in her own words….Flynt and Nelle Harper Lee began writing to one other while she was living in New York—heartfelt, insightful, and humorous letters in which they swapped stories, information, and opinions on topics both personal and professional: their families, books, Alabama history and social values, health concerns, and even their fears and accomplishments. Though their earliest missives began formally—"Dear Dr. Flynt"—as the years passed and their mutual admiration grew, their exchanges became more intimate and emotional, opening with "Dear Friend" and closing with "I love you, Nelle." Through their enduring correspondence, the Lees and the Flynts became completely immersed in each other’s lives.
Beautifully written, intelligent, and telling, this remarkable compendium of their letters—a correspondence that lasted for a quarter century, from 1992 until Harper Lee’s death in February 2016—offers an incisive and compelling look into the mind, heart, and work of one of the most beloved authors in modern literary history.”

A love of To Kill A Mockingbird and connection to Monroeville are only two of many things that Nell and I have in common so this book seems to be one I would particularly enjoy. I'm also a sucker for handwritten letters and love books that imitate that type of correspondence so this will be definitely be added to my "to read" list!


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