I have a secret that has recently been forced out into the light, so I may as well share it. It’s not the deepest, darkest secret in existence, but it’s embarrassing. There is something most people have done well before they are in their thirties, and sadly I never had.
I never read To Kill a Mockingbird.
I’m not sure how this happened. I could blame the various schools I attended, because I’m fairly certain most kids are forced to read this book whether they like it or not. It was certainly nothing that was presented as part of the curriculum and I skipped out on it, because I love to read even if it’s assigned.
I discovered the discrepancy when a discussion arose about To Kill a Mockingbird during a class I’m taking, and I was certain I was the only person who hadn’t explored this typical tome of teenage tutelage. So I checked it out from the library (hoping not to have to make an excuse and say it was for my kids, who are far too young to read it).
I finished the book last night, and here’s what I have to say: Wow. Just plain, flat out, wow. Where had this book been all my life? There was so much voice, the characters were amazing, and I found the plot gripping. To Kill a Mockingbird addresses every kind of prejudice available: white vs. black, class vs. class, and even disabled vs. not. It’s a story of growing up and realizing how the world around you really works. I can see why this is part of (most people’s) education.
As I finished the last page and shut the book, I made my spouse pause the movie he was watching so I could tell him how amazed I was. The poor thing probably didn’t really care, but he humored me and told me he was glad I liked it so much. This book has started a trend for me of catching up on the classics. Sure, I’ve read Treasure Island three times, and absolutely adored Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, but my booklog is sadly devoid of many of the classics. That’s kind of pitiful for a bookworm like me.
Next up? Don Quixote, followed by Kafka’s Metamorphosis. If you have other recommendations, feel free to hurl them my way!
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