Thursday, May 24, 2012

To Kill A Mockingbird

We had a group of sixteen participants discussing this month's book, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  Thirteen members liked or loved the book, a few saying it was their all time favorite, and many thanking Cora for choosing this book to read.  One person said "It wasn't as good as I remember," and another said it was an "engaging story, but didn't get the whole fuss."  Even with a classic novel it is good to have diverse views and thoughts.  Someone said it would be good to have a sequel or more to the book, but this is Harper Lee's only published novel.  She received a Pulitzer-Prize for it in 1960.

Cora, our leader, shared with us, that the story reflects some aspects of Harper Lee's life as a child.  Harper Lee's father was an attorney and a state legislator paralleling to what Atticus was in the novel.  The well spoken, articulate young Scout declared her love for Dill, who visited in the summer, and was beholding to her and would marry her someday.  Cora shared that the character Dill was similar to Harper's real next door neighbor Truman Capote.  After listening to Cora, I did read online that Truman Capote also said that Boo Radley really did put items in the tree, and lived just down the street from them.

This is such a great discussion book.  We felt the storyline was very detailed and descriptive. We read that life was routine, and at times, life was unbearable.

We agreed Atticus Finch was way ahead of his time.  Their maid, Calpurnia was a strong part of their family.  Scout and Jem even went to where Cal lived, although it was in a separate part of town.  We also observed that she was different in their home than she was at church or with folks while away from her work. We discussed how we adapt to our environment and take on characteristics, like our speech and language, of those we are with.

We saw that Atticus taught his children that all people are created equal.  He also could see from others' perspective, even someone who disagreed with him.  We were glad when Atticus sister came to help with the family, and that Calpurnia stayed.  Cal, Atticus and his sister, "Aunt Alexandra" as Jem and Scout called her, worked together to help their family during the busy trial time.

"There's four kinds of folks in the world. There's the ordinary kind, like us and the neighbors, there's the kind like the Cunninghams out in the woods, the kind like the Ewells down at the dump, and the Negroes."  This is a comment someone mentioned even the youngsters knew there was a pecking order.  After Jem's comment, Scout said she believed that there was just one kind of people.

We did talk about prejudices through out this book and also who were the "Mockingbirds."  Jem and Scout received their air guns and Atticus said they can shoot the blue jays, but it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.  Besides the injustice to Tom Robinson, we felt that Mayella Ewell also was trapped in her life.  She couldn't leave her house, just like Boo Radley couldn't leave his. 

I want to add, that although this is just a small part of what we discussed, the book brought many more thoughts and comments than we could put down in writing.  One of the best reasons for being a part of a group, like a book club, is that we are thinking out loud, with one another, sharing comments and thoughts freely, and learning while we discuss.  We share what we have seen in our lifetime, and how it may have affected others or ourselves.  The discussion enriches our interpretation of a book.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May Book Club Discussion: To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird is our book that we will discuss on Tuesday, May 12.  What a great classic book to begin our new year.  The book is an easy read, one you will hate to put down.  Jump in, read it, and join us for a lively discussion!

A New Year Begins for Park Grove Library Book Club

A new year begins for the Park Grove Library Book Club.  We met in April to decide what we would like to read for the coming year and half, as we have books scheduled through June, 2013.  Feel free to contact the Washington County Librarians to connect with our Book Club leader, or just show up.  We schedule our meetings at the Park Grove Library for 6:30 p.m.  We may have some meetings off site, like our Holiday Party!  Would love to have you join in our group at any time you can.  This is the schedule for the upcoming year.
  5/22/12 -- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  6/26/12 -- Behind the Beautiful Forever by Katherine Boo
  7/24/12 -- The Healing by Jonathan Odell
  8/28/12 -- The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
  9/25/12 -- St. Maybe by Anne Tyler
10/23/12 -- Mrs. Robert E. Lee, The Lady of  Arlington by John Perry
11/27/12 -- Hotel on The Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
12/18/12 -- Share a Book You've Read/Book Swap
  1/22/13 -- Rez Life: An Indian's Journey through Reservation Life by David Treuer
  2/26/13 -- Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
  3/26/13 -- Night Circus by Eric Morgenstern
  4/23/13 -- The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
  5/21/13 -- The Red Tent by Anita Diamont
  6/25/13 -- Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind by Ann Ross