I often start introducing this book by saying, “Harper Lee is a She, not a He.” For some reason, the people I meet (who have not read the book) seemed to need to know that (they would often reply, “Really?”)

And then those who read the book will rave about it. : )

To Kill A MockingbirdIf it weren’t for READ! Singapore 2005, I wouldn’t have read this timeless classic. I think the book expresses two main themes: Courage, and Prejudice. Whether you’ve read it a few years ago, or today, or maybe five years from now, I’m pretty sure the book will strike at something in your heart. I don’t know of anyone who didn’t read this book and walk away being touched by something.

I won’t offer a review here. You might want to read Rana’s (who calls the book “a novel of discovery”) and also this from Glenn (posted over at High Browse Online). See also Kitabkhana’s post (with reference to a 1964 interview of Harper Lee).

I’ll share some excerpts from the book that I’ve found most memorable (ISBN of the edition I’m referring to is 0099419785):

Chpt 2, p. 20: “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”

That chapter describes how Scout (a little girl, one of the main characters in the story) was discovered by her teacher (Miss Caroline) that Scout’s reading abilities surpassed her peers. The teacher then told Scout to convey to Scout’s father not to teach her reading anymore, and that she (Miss Caroline) would “take over from here and try to undo the damage” (teacher felt threatened, I suppose). That passage was especially memorable for me because it reminded me of a song that goes “You don’t know what you’ve got, until it’s gone.”

chpt10 – first mention of mocking bird. (p90 & see 276)V touching – how Jem & Scout discovers Atticus’ talent w a gun, & how Jem understood it’s more than just stating a person’s ability. To me, it’s about how actions speak louder than words.

p. 112 – on courage
151 – 155: courage, defiance, luck, good teaching, reciprocity
p213 – para2 quote
218 – atticus’ reason for not retaliating – my new role model