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Readalongs > To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Jean, Shirley and Alannah)

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message 1: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 4177 comments Jean, Alannah and I will be reading this together in May - please feel free to join us!


message 2: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Yikes you've put me first! I hope the library doesn't let me down!! It's been on order for about a week now ;)


message 3: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 4177 comments Jean wrote: "Yikes you've put me first! I hope the library doesn't let me down!! It's been on order for about a week now ;)"

Well, we can start later on in May, don't worry!!


message 4: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) They are usually very good :) I remember once my brother recommended a book to me, which I ordered online, picked up when I was notified, and had read by the next time we spoke 10 days later. He was flabbergasted! It hadn't been on the shelves or anything :)


message 5: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 11715 comments Mod
I have to confess, I already read it and loved it! To be honest, I started a while ago because I thought I would struggle with it but I found it really easy to read and the storyline was very thought provoking. I can't wait for you guys to read it because there is so much to discuss in this.


message 6: by Charbel (new)

Charbel (queez) | 2663 comments I'll definitely be following the discussion. And if my reading goes well I might join in, since the last time I read it I was pressured by exams.


message 7: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 11715 comments Mod
Apparently it is claimed that because To Kill a Mockingbird was Lee's only book that Truman Capote wrote it instead.


message 8: by Charbel (new)

Charbel (queez) | 2663 comments Alannah wrote: "Apparently it is claimed that because To Kill a Mockingbird was Lee's only book that Truman Capote wrote it instead."

I don't know how much I believe that.


message 9: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 11715 comments Mod
Charbel wrote: "Alannah wrote: "Apparently it is claimed that because To Kill a Mockingbird was Lee's only book that Truman Capote wrote it instead."

I don't know how much I believe that."


After reading Breakfast at Tiffany's and To Kill a Mockingbird quite close to each other, I highly doubt it. There is so much difference between them, it would be near impossible for Capote to have written TKAM.


message 10: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Do you remember where you heard that, Alannah?

I know they were best friends, and she assisted him with his research for In Cold Blood. That is also very different stylistically from Breakfast at Tiffany's. I don't think the authorial voice would really prove it one way or the other. But it does seem an extraordinary claim to make! There are lots of "one-novel" authors, aren't there?

There was a post on Facebook today that said she had been given a present by a friend of enough money to live on for a year. She spent that year writing To Kill a Mockingbird. Is that a rumour too, I wonder?


message 11: by Pink (new)

Pink I've heard this claim in the past year or two, that Capote wrote To Kill a Mockingbird for Harper Lee. I hardly see any merit in that, other than the fact they were friends and people have surmised she couldn't have possibly written it herself, as she's never written anything since. I doubt he would have given such a great story to anyone, though perhaps he read through it and offered advice, or perhaps not. I have also heard the same said for Mary Shelley writing Frankenstein, that her husband Percy Shelley wrote most of it. Do you think it's a coincidence that in both these cases people have argued a man must have written the book, over a woman being capable of producing such a successful novel?


message 12: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 11715 comments Mod
Pink wrote: "I've heard this claim in the past year or two, that Capote wrote To Kill a Mockingbird for Harper Lee. I hardly see any merit in that, other than the fact they were friends and people have surmised..."

There was doubt over William Shakespeare's, over eighty people have been considered.


message 13: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) It's mighty suspicious, isn't it, Pink.

I've always had a feeling that Fanny Mendelssohn wrote some of her brother Felix's piano and orchestral works. Already we know that some of her songs were originally published under Felix's name (in his opus 8 and 9 collections) and that she wrote over 460 pieces of music.

I play some piano pieces published under her own name. But I also play some attributed to Felix, and some of those "Songs Without Words" feel much more similar to Fanny's style than his. Yet many people have never even heard of her! It makes me wonder how many more pieces might be wrongly attributed.

And what about Clara Schumann? Don't get me started...


message 14: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Including a woman, yes yes. (Shakespeare's writing I'm referring to - sorry - cross-posted)

So chapter and verse on the Harper Lee, please? Or is it just a rumour, Alannah?


message 15: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 11715 comments Mod
Jean wrote: "Including a woman, yes yes. (Shakespeare's writing I'm referring to - sorry - cross-posted)

So chapter and verse on the Harper Lee, please? Or is it just a rumour, Alannah?"


Just a rumour I think, I was watching the Crash Course Literature video by John Green on youtube when he mentioned it.


message 16: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Thanks, Alannah. I wonder who starts these rumours, and why.

No sign of To Kill a Mockingbird at the library yet, but then it has been a Bank holiday.


message 17: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 4177 comments Jean wrote: "Thanks, Alannah. I wonder who starts these rumours, and why.

No sign of To Kill a Mockingbird at the library yet, but then it has been a Bank holiday."


Don't worry, I'm not quite ready yet, I'm still reading my Cormac McCarthy book at the moment.


message 18: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) OK now I am getting slightly concerned :( I'll give it another week and then ask about it. Has anyone started yet?


message 19: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 4177 comments Jean wrote: "OK now I am getting slightly concerned :( I'll give it another week and then ask about it. Has anyone started yet?"

Are you ready to start, Jean? I will be starting in the next couple of days...


message 20: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (traceypb) | 1192 comments Love TKAM enjoy everyone x


message 21: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) No :( That's what I meant - my library still hasn't got it yet. Don't wait for me though. I suppose if the copy has gone missing, then I'll have to read the ebook when she releases it. I think someone said that's soon now.


message 22: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 4177 comments Jean wrote: "No :( That's what I meant - my library still hasn't got it yet. Don't wait for me though. I suppose if the copy has gone missing, then I'll have to read the ebook when she releases it. I think some..."

Oh, and I thought you were itching to start it, and I was holding you up!! Ha ha, now I get where you were coming from!


message 23: by Gigi (new)

Gigi (gigidy) Jean, the Kindle version of To Kill a Mockingbird is due July 8th.


message 24: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Thanks Gigi! That does seem far too long to wait though really...

Shirley - sorry for the confusion. Now I read it again my post was a bit ambiguous, wasn't it? :D

*chunters* (Rotten library :( )


message 25: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) I have just placed a second reservation for this with a different library authority. (Because of living on the border, I'm allowed to use both Essex and London's libraries.) Keep your fingers crossed that this one hasn't gone missing...!

Are you still intending to read this too, Alannah?


message 26: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 11715 comments Mod
Jean wrote: "I have just placed a second reservation for this with a different library authority. (Because of living on the border, I'm allowed to use both Essex and London's libraries.) Keep your fingers cross..."

I already have, just waiting for you guys now to start discussing. :)


message 27: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) OK - I'm glad you're not waiting for me on this one!


message 28: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 11715 comments Mod
I don't mind.


message 29: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 4177 comments Jean wrote: "I have just placed a second reservation for this with a different library authority. (Because of living on the border, I'm allowed to use both Essex and London's libraries.) Keep your fingers cross..."

I'm going to wait till you have it Jean, it's more fun that way!


message 30: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Well the odds have improved now that I've ordered it from elsewhere... 50% more likely perhaps now it's one out of two? I look forward to it when we finally get there anyway, thanks, both :)


message 31: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 11715 comments Mod
Fingers crossed Jean.


message 32: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) It's arrived! Only two months late...! The library say I can't renew it (because others have reserved it) so I'll be starting it today, alongside my other books. Talk about having a gun to your head! Sorry folks, for the long wait.


message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

I think you will love it, Jean. I hope so anyway! Enjoy


message 34: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 4177 comments Jean wrote: "It's arrived! Only two months late...! The library say I can't renew it (because others have reserved it) so I'll be starting it today, alongside my other books. Talk about having a gun to your hea..."

Excellent, Jean!

I will try and start it tonight with you, I was about to send you a message about this.


message 35: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Started it this afternoon in the hospital's waiting room (well that's one good thing about them - there's absolutely no point in thinking guilty thoughts about doing something other than reading...!) I found it a bit confusing at first - 8 or 9 characters introduced on the first page! I'm hooked now though, with the child's eye view of her small world within a small town. Harper Lee is great at conveying the period and community feel I think. Funny thing is, the writing is reminding me of Truman Capote! Did anyone else find this, or am I just imagining it because I know of their friendship? I've just read the first three chapters so far.

Thanks Heather - it's wonderful to actually be reading this at long last! Sorry if you thought I was rude about hospitals; I actually do enjoy the extra slot for reading. A few years ago Chris (husband) read the whole of Malory waiting for me to come out of my daily treatment! Everyone said how great and supportive he was, (which is true) but we also both knew that he sneakily appreciated the enforced reading time! LOL!

What I didn't enjoy today was the 2 and a half hour journey home afterwards... I have to go to a hospital in Cambridge sometimes, but that's an hour longer than it usually takes. Oh I've just learnt that an overturned lorry spilled chemicals on the motorway, so I shouldn't complain really :( Don't know if any were hurt. People seem to drive more carelessly when the weather is hot, don't they?


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

Of course I'm not offended, Jean! Hospitals are places designed for long long waits! I always carry a book as well


message 37: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) :)


message 38: by Angela M (new)

Angela M I read this many years ago and I decided to buy the kindle version for a future reread . It will be released on July 8 and it costs less than $5


message 39: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) £3.28 in the UK... Hope you join in the discussions Angela even though I'll have taken my copy back a couple of weeks before then.


message 40: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 4177 comments I've started reading this now - and already I am enjoying it - I have read it before but it was a long time ago, when I was about thirteen, so it was definitely time for a re-read! Can't wait to read some more.


message 41: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 11715 comments Mod
That's great to hear Shirley.


message 42: by Katy (new)

Katy | 422 comments This is one of my all time favorite books. As a Southern lawyer, Atticus is my fictional hero.


message 43: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Ah! A USA expert! Maybe I can pick your brains, Katy, as to some of the vocabulary which is alien to me?

I'm about a quarter the way along now, and am surprised that we are still very much in the children's world. Not that that is a criticism. I appreciate how Atticus is coming across as such a fair-minded individual, with very independent thoughts from the rest of the community, for instance, even though he is seen through a very young girl (Scout)'s eyes. He's especially unusual as he treats his children's views with respect - giving them equal consideration as if they are adult. I love this quote,

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it."

And this one,

"Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I'd have the facts."

Scout is developing into a very wise little girl!

How far along are you now Shirley? Is anyone else actually reading this at the moment? I'd like to hear others' views even if it's in retrospect, personally!
Spoilers are always an option, though we all seem to know the story...


message 44: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 4177 comments Jean, I've just finished chapter 6. There are lots of little details I'd forgotten, so I am really enjoying this re-read. Atticus is certainly coming across as a good father to them, very wise and different to the rest of the community.


message 45: by Katy (new)

Katy | 422 comments Absolutely, Jean...happy to answer any questions. I'm thinking about doing a re read of this one.


message 46: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Oh good, I'll backtrack and see if I can find them again! :)

I'm still wondering about the similarities in writing style I mentioned. I think Alannah's read both authors too, haven't you?


message 47: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 11715 comments Mod
I have Jean. I did think both books were similar but not enough to make me think that Capote had written both books.


message 48: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Right, thanks. I'm not imagining it then! I expect if two authors are so close, living in the same small area and have similar experiences of daily life, then they are bound to feel similar to someone (like me) who comes from a different culture and time. They probably discussed their work too.

It seems a bit far-fetched, doesn't it? And I have just realised you commented on this at the beginning of the thread before all the hiatus. Sorry, Alannah! I'd forgotten that rumour until I actually read some of the book!


message 49: by Alannah (last edited Jul 06, 2014 08:23AM) (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 11715 comments Mod
Jean wrote: "Right, thanks. I'm not imagining it then! I expect if two authors are so close, living in the same small area and have similar experiences of daily life, then they are bound to feel similar to some..."

Maybe it's because you are aware of this rumour, you'r unconsciously trying to look for it. I didn't know about this rumour until I had finished To Kill a Mockingbird and I had already read Breakfast At Tiffany's last Christmas.


message 50: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Yes, there's probably an element of that too. It's sad really that Harper Lee hasn't been interviwed very much or written an autobiography. This is from Wiki,

"In a 2011 interview with an Australian newspaper, Lee's close friend, Rev. Dr. Thomas Lane Butts, said Lee now lives in an assisted-living facility, wheelchair bound, partially blind and deaf, and suffering from memory loss. Butts also shared that Lee told him why she never wrote again,

"Two reasons: one, I wouldn't go through the pressure and publicity I went through with To Kill a Mockingbird for any amount of money. Second, I have said what I wanted to say and I will not say it again." "


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