50 books to read before you die discussion

To Kill a Mockingbird
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Book Discussions - 50 Books > To Kill a Mockingbird

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Lisa (lisadannatt) | 743 comments From the 50


Buck (spectru) I read To Kill a Mockingbird a few months ago. It deserves the acclaim it has received. I can find no fault with it. The movie -while necessarily compressed as movies are- does a good job of getting across the story and feel of the book.


Lisa (lisadannatt) | 743 comments Would you like to lead the discussion? Just post some thoughts and see where you go? Read it 10 years ago a unsure if I will get a ham e for a re read.


Lisa (lisadannatt) | 743 comments Scou, Jemaine's and Dill are fascinated by Boo Radley. I've often wondered if we are told the truth about Boo, or merely the watered down version of gossip.

I think that if the truth was known, he would be far less fascinating.


Buck (spectru) Lisa wrote: "Would you like to lead the discussion? Just post some thoughts and see where you go? Read it 10 years ago a unsure if I will get a ham e for a re read."

OK. I can do that, but the details aren't fresh in my mind.

Harper Lee was childhood friends with famous author Truman Capote. The character Dill was based on him. I felt that Dill didn't really contribute a lot to the story, but he acted perhaps as a catalyst. To Kill A Mockingbird is, I think, strongly rooted in Lee's recollection of her own childhood. Capote was very much in her childhood and I think that's the main reason Dill is in the story.

Do you think Dill was necessary for the plot?


Lisa (lisadannatt) | 743 comments I think Dill voices many things that neither Scout nor Jem have given much thought to. They live within the status quo, whereas as an outsider he questions it.

Harper Lee refuses to have her book in e- format, some stories need the shelter of paper covers and not cold steel


message 7: by Mayra (last edited Feb 04, 2014 02:31PM) (new) - added it

Mayra (kaligurl_7) | 371 comments Lisa wrote: "Would you like to lead the discussion? Just post some thoughts and see where you go? Read it 10 years ago a unsure if I will get a ham e for a re read."

i read this about 10 years ago, but i want to see if i can get a copy and maybe re read it. I didnt really enjoy it then, but it has been mentioned in so many books that i have read lately that i want to give it another try.


Lisa (lisadannatt) | 743 comments Boo Radley is iconic.
I love the way he forms a distant relationship with the kids.
There's something about a child's perspective here. Clear naïveté but things expressed in a way only a child could


Buck (spectru) I guessed that Boo Radley was probably autistic.


message 10: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa (lisadannatt) | 743 comments I don't think that. He led a normal life til his teens. He seeks social relationships. I'm not actually convinced of a diagnosis.


message 11: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa (lisadannatt) | 743 comments Is scuppernong a commonly used word? Never heard it before

Any idea why the kids call their father Atticus not dad?


message 12: by Buck (last edited Feb 05, 2014 02:22PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Buck (spectru) Lisa wrote: "Is scuppernong a commonly used word? Never heard it before

Any idea why the kids call their father Atticus not dad?"


Scuppernong is a word for wild grapes. We called them muscodines when I was a kid. They have thick skins and big seeds, and the eating part is pulpy, but they are sweet. We used to pick them off the vines that grew up the trees, waiting for the school bus.

Our oldest called us by our first names until after our second was born. It's not usual, though.


message 13: by Mary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mary (mjbookaddict) | 38 comments Really liked the book as a teen and am re-reading to be better able to discuss.


message 14: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa (lisadannatt) | 743 comments Mary wrote: "Really liked the book as a teen and am re-reading to be better able to discuss."

Did the same, there's something about the style that is transcendent of the usual demographic divisions.


message 15: by Lisa (last edited Feb 08, 2014 10:15PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa (lisadannatt) | 743 comments Buck wrote: "Scuppernong is a word for wild grapes. We called them muscodine...Our oldest called us by our first names until after our second was born. It's not usual, though..."

In my country adults are given an honorific always. It's an instilled form of etiquette. I had read into this Atticus first name thing differently because of this. Everyone calls him Atticus, which in itself is an unusual name and seems to carry the gravitas and formality of an honorific. I thought it was distancing, making him an authority figure with dad- like qualities to all.


message 16: by Buck (new) - rated it 5 stars

Buck (spectru) Mary wrote: "Really liked the book as a teen and am re-reading to be better able to discuss."

You can post anything here along the way, or when you've finished. It's a good book.


Steven (stevop) | 3 comments A great novel. I'd forgot how great a read it is until this weekend. :)


Caitlin Absolutely loved the book! Read it for school and had to write an essay about the mockingbirds of the story who battled innocence over evil, which was primarily society.


message 19: by Buck (new) - rated it 5 stars

Buck (spectru) So, apart from Tom, the accused rapist, who are the mocking birds?


Caitlin Many people disagree having more mockingbirds represented in the book. Because Tom is the main mockingbird. Others are Boo, Mayella, Dill, Mrs. Dubose, and Mr. Raymond.


message 21: by Buck (new) - rated it 5 stars

Buck (spectru) I kind of thought Scout would be on that list. Precocious, and maybe even pugnacious sometimes, but on the mockingbird side of the ledger.


Melanie | 6 comments I read this for the first time in my early 30s and was disappointed - not so much by the story or writing, but mainly because of other people. I hear so many people say I love To Kill a Mockingbird, and it one of my favorite books. With as many people saying that I would think each would take the story to heart yet we still have discrimation against other races and the mentially challenged.


Karlyne Landrum Melanie wrote: "I read this for the first time in my early 30s and was disappointed - not so much by the story or writing, but mainly because of other people. I hear so many people say I love To Kill a Mockingbir..."

Well, we just have to continue to encourage people to read books like this, books that make us think.


message 24: by Dorothy (last edited May 18, 2014 11:09AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dorothy Purdy | 5 comments There is a spoiler in my reply. I'm sorry you were disappointed, as this is one of my favorite books also. As far a discrimation, there are always going to be people who discrimanate against race, religion, or even curly hair. All we can do is live our lives without it. But, back to the book. Think about when it takes place and the courage it took for Atticus to defend a black man. Think how much Scout and her brother learned from their father and what it took for Arthur to save Scout. Perhaps thinking about it in a different light could change your mind.


Melanie | 6 comments I read The Learning Tree by Gordon Parks a year or two later and loved it. It was what I had wanted from To Kill a Mockimgbird.


Dorothy Purdy | 5 comments I have never read The Learning Tree. I will try it soon.


Subramanian (vagrant71) It's a marvellous book. I read it too long ago to remember exactly the course of the tale. I only remember that I loved it and that I gave it a big thumbs up.


Rachel I read this book only recently and adored it. Telling the story from a child's perspective exemplifies the moral underpinning of the book. Characters are described with the simplistic innocence of youth which is easily relatable and therefore emphasises the injustices that are played out. Simply written and wonderfully poignant.


Karlyne Landrum I haven't read this in years, but I picked up a copy at the library book sale this week, so I'll be re-reading it soon. (I have no idea where my original copy went!)


Brittney Ballard | 1 comments We read this book in school and it's still one of my favorites. Even though it is so sad :(


message 31: by Mary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mary (mjbookaddict) | 38 comments When we read these classics I wonder how many of us try and get into the author's time period/location or if we judge the books from just our current knowledge and viewpoints? I read this when I was a kid and really loved it and after reading it again still enjoy it. Do we still have many of these issues - sure but books don't make us act differently, if it's a really well-written book hopefully it will make us think differently. It takes personal fortitude to make us act on that thinking - not everyone has the courage that Atticus displayed. We're flawed human beings and sometimes it's easier/safer to go with the majority.


Karlyne Landrum I think the age-old conflict of right versus wrong becomes real to us when we think about it, and books like To Kill a Mockingbird make us think. They make us see that there really are choices to make.


Cindy (cindymelina) I just finished reading to kill a mockingbird and I completely understand why it is one of the finest and most popular American books. It has a great parental figure such as Atticus and even if it is from a child's POV you never feel like you are only in a 8 years old mind. The mockingbird symbol was present along the book in so many subtle ways that I ended up jus absolutely surprised and admiring the intellect of the author. It is one of the best written books I've read.


Karlyne Landrum I'm getting ready to re-read it, so I'll be curious to see if I also, Cindy, still think that it's one of the best books ever written!


Fadwa Marghany  (fadwaezzat) | 10 comments what a great book


Caity C | 1 comments I read this in school and I'm definitely buying my own copy. I was too young at the time to appreciate it but I think I'll love it the second time round.


Karlyne Landrum I'm just finishing this up, and I've been thinking of how much this book impacted me, without being particularly aware of it at the time (I'm not sure how old I was when I first read it, somewhere between 10 and 14). I read voraciously as a child, without much rhyme or reason: the criteria was pretty much that a book had to be in the library in order for me to read it. We moved constantly, and the first thing I did in a new place was get a library card. I was not particularly attracted to "Southern" authors, but I ran through Faulkner, for one, simply because he was there on the shelves. And I'm sure that's how I found Mockingbird.

And, yes, I still think it's one of the best books of all time.


message 38: by Mira (new)

Mira "Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em. But remember, it is a sin to kill a mockingbird."

Atticus was a beautiful character.


David Merrill | 22 comments I've been meaning to reared this book for a couple of decades. The release of Go Set a Watchman turned out to be the thing that finally got me to pick it up again. I'm about 1/3 of the way through. This was one of my favorite books we read in school, so I was wondering if I would still like it. So far it's great. The prose is smooth and really pulled me in. It's fun seeing everything from Scout's perspective. I'm finding I don't remember any of it, so it's great to be reading it again, probably 40ish years later.


message 40: by Buck (new) - rated it 5 stars

Buck (spectru) David wrote: "I've been meaning to reared this book for a couple of decades. The release of Go Set a Watchman turned out to be the thing that finally got me to pick it up again. I'm about 1/3 of the way through...."

I'm about 1/3 of the way through Go Set a Watchman.


message 41: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa (lisadannatt) | 743 comments How is Go Set a Watchman Buck.


David Merrill | 22 comments Buck wrote: "David wrote: "I've been meaning to reared this book for a couple of decades. The release of Go Set a Watchman turned out to be the thing that finally got me to pick it up again. I'm about 1/3 of th..."

I will definitely be reading Go Set A Watchman next because one of my Meetup book clubs is reading it this month. I'll have to check around for one on Goodreads too.


message 43: by Buck (new) - rated it 5 stars

Buck (spectru) Lisa wrote: "How is Go Set a Watchman Buck."

Too soon to tell. With To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee set a high bar.


message 44: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa (lisadannatt) | 743 comments David, we could set up a thread for August. I've also got a copy.
Buck, it is a very high bar but even if this comes close it will be great.


David Merrill | 22 comments Lisa wrote: "David, we could set up a thread for August. I've also got a copy.
Buck, it is a very high bar but even if this comes close it will be great."


That would be great. I found only two groups created around this book. Both have common members. One is private, the other hasn't had activity since the book came out.


message 46: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa (lisadannatt) | 743 comments Great
I'll set the threads up & send out invites tomorrow my time.


message 47: by David (last edited Aug 06, 2015 05:55AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Merrill | 22 comments I just finished To Kill A Mockingbird and started Go Set A Watchman. Thanks for setting up the discussion for it!

I reread these posts and the one about how we still have so much prejudice even though so many of us read this book in school. I wonder how a prejudiced person would interpret the book? Would they see the verdict as just because the white man one? Would they come away thinking Scout is just very young and would learn the ways of the world from her aunt and the women of her club eventually? I think it's possible depending on one's initial biases one might read very different things into the text.


message 48: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa (lisadannatt) | 743 comments Would a prejudiced person even read this David?
Please join our other discussion.


David Merrill | 22 comments I will when I've read more of it. I just finished chapter 3.


message 50: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa (lisadannatt) | 743 comments Cool
See you there, I'm about as far.


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