Go Set A Watchman – Harper Lee

I want to tell you I loved it; but I can’t. I am not ready to tell you I hated it, either. I tried my best to ignore all of the spoilers and media-hype as I was reading this story, and I think I was fairly successful.

photo courtesy of http://pastemagazine.com
photo courtesy of http://pastemagazine.com

But; life goes on as it always goes on, and I was well beyond distracted with work, daughters, school-things, editing, and oh, yeah: I have not been feeling well for 6+ days now.

So, I will absolutely cut Ms. Harper Lee some slack here. But I do feel that even in my most focused state of mind, I would have found this a bit difficult to read.

When I first started it, it was like a breath of fresh air: someone who wrote because they had to, and it all came natural and nothing sounded forced. But then the point-of-view was changing faster than my teenage daughters change their clothes, or minds, or attitudes; truth-be-told.

At this point I am looking forward to hearing what you thought of it. One passage that I absolutely have to share:

‘Why doesn’t their flesh creep? How can they devoutly believe everything they hear in church and then say the things they do and listen to the things they hear without throwing up? I thought I was a Christian but I’m not. I’m something else and I don’t know what. Everything I have ever taken for right or wrong these people have taught me – these same, these very people. So it’s me, it’s not them. Something has happened to me.’ (Ms. Jean Louise Finch, pg 167, Go Set a Watchman).

Did you love it, or did you hate it?

Go Set a Watchman: Chapter One – Harper Lee

Am I the only one anxiously waiting for this new book to come out on Tuesday? It has been a long time since I waited for a book release. Like Harry-Potter-midnight-lines long time.

The Guardian has published the first chapter to this new story, and you can read it here: Go Set a Watchman Chapter One.  (If my link will not work for you, like it is not working for me, copy and paste this: http://www.theguardian.com/books/ng-interactive/2015/jul/10/go-set-a-watchman-read-the-first-chapter )

photo courtesy of http://pastemagazine.com
photo courtesy of http://pastemagazine.com

There is a major spoiler, or update from To Kill a Mockingbird, right from the start of this story. So if you do not want to know what that is until you have the book-in-hand, avoid anything online related to this story.

Hoping your Saturday is full of good weather, good memories, and great stories!

My Book Facts

I have read more books than I could ever count (and would not even want to guess) but amongst all of those books, there were some that stood out.

The hardest book To read:

The Bible. Yes, it is hard to understand, at least the Old Testament is for me. I read it from front to back last year, and I try to read it every day. In my own personal opinion, everyone needs to read this book! 🙂

I had to share this picture: it cracks me up every time I see it!
I had to share this picture: it cracks me up every time I see it!

A book I haven’t read yet but should have:

The Importance of Being Earnest – Oscar Wilde (This will be read before summer is done).

The Importance of Being Earnest Cover

Books I hated having to read in school, but I loved once I grew up:

1984 – George Orwell, Lord of the Flies – William Golding, The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne, Macbeth – William Shakespeare (Okay, I have to be honest here, I still do not like Macbeth, or anything else by Shakespeare; it’s just not my thing!)

A book I should have read sooner:

Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck. The first time I read this book was about 4 years ago. I loved it!

Books I read at least once a year:

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee, The Shack – William P. Young, At least one of the 7 Chronicles of Narnia books – CS Lewis

Books I should never have read:

50 Shades of Grey, 50 Shades Darker, 50 Shades Freed – EL James. Okay, they weren’t horrible, but I honestly skipped over all of the so-called steamy sex scenes, they were too ridiculous to even get through.

My favorite books as a child:

Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators – Robert Arthur, Jr. I read these books over and again, and will still grab a few from the library on occasion to read them again!

From The Screaming Clock cover, courtesy of http://www.threeinvestigatorsbooks.com/
From The Screaming Clock cover, courtesy of http://www.threeinvestigatorsbooks.com/

Series that should have went further:

Inkheart, Inkspell, and Inkdeath – Cornelia Funke. I loved these stories. My daughter will kill me for not saying Harry Potter, but honestly, it was a perfect series of 7 books that I do not think anyone else will ever be able to do again.

Inkheart Cover

Books that should not have been made into movies:

The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins. I liked the stories a lot. But by the time I saw the first part of Mockingjay in the theater, I found it to be beyond cheesy. Yes; I said it was cheesy!

Books that sucked me in:

The Twilight Series – Stephenie Meyer. These books sucked me in and I could not put them down. I read them over and over while I waited for the next one, and I read the whole series twice in a row after I had all 4 books. Should I be embarrassed to admit this? Probably. Am I? Not in the least. I loved these books 🙂

Twilight Cover

How about you? Did you have a book that was hard to read, or one you read over-and-over again? I would love to hear what your book facts are. Let me know!

Be Still My Heart – A Sequel to “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Yes, it is true. I was amazed to learn that the sequel that Harper Lee wrote was actually the first book she had written. Her agent recommended she write a backstory to Scout, and that is how we got the wonderful “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

Harper said she had long believed her first story had been destroyed long ago, and never really gave it another thought. She was recently made aware by her lawyer that she found her first book. Ms. Harper has had a select few friends and family members read it, and they told her that she does indeed need to publish this book.

This new story is called “To Set a Watchman”, and revolves around Scout returning to Maycomb, Alabama to see her father, lawyer Atticus Finch.

I don’t know about you, but I will certainly stand in a line to get this book when it is released in July, if it is necessary.

What do you think about this long missing book?

You can read the news release on CNN here: http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/03/living/feat-harper-lee-new-book/

Friday Fun Facts!

Happy Friday Everyone! It’s a balmy 1 degree here in West Michigan. I plan on doing a lot of reading under some seriously heavy blankets this weekend!


Today’s Fun Fact:

Harper Lee

Born: April 28, 1926

Wrote: To Kill A Mockingbird

Fun Facts: The only novel she ever wrote, she won awards for it, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Quill Award for Audio book. As a child, Lee was a tomboy and a precocious reader, and she enjoyed the friendship of her schoolmate and neighbor, the young Truman Capote, who provided the basis of the character of Dill in her novel To Kill a Mockingbird. This novel is  the only novel that she ever completed.

A Classic!
A Classic!

Can you imagine writing one novel in your life, and having it be this fantastic? What a talent!

Harper Lee is still alive and aside from some legal troubles with the town where her story was based taking liberties on her story for profit purposes, she lives a quiet life out of the spotlight.