Every once in a great while, a book comes along that makes you slow down and savor each page, forcing you to devour it as quickly as you don’t want it to end. The great literary conundrum – when you enjoy something so much you rush through it because you can’t stop, but at the same time you do everything in your power to prolong the pleasure, earmarking pages and underlining passages and revisiting favorite parts before it’s even over. Such was the power of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee – a classic that had somehow escaped my vision in the course of four decades. I just finished it, and what a wonderful read it was. In many ways, I’m glad I waited. This sort of jewel might have been wasted in my youth. Instead, I am still moved by its last few chapters, and it’s been haunting me since I finished it. The best books do that. They stay with you long after you’ve read them, inhabiting a place inside the soul that enriches and emboldens – a place that you don’t let everyone see, because it means too much, and too many people might sully it. Instead, you hold it close and secret and safe, and you hope the world doesn’t rock you too much to dislodge it.
“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
“People in their right minds never take pride in their talents.”
“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”
“A steaming summer night was no different from a winter morning.”
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