This month’s book that I really should have read by now was To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The book takes place in 1930s America and follows the court case of Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman. Everything the reader sees comes from the perspective of Scout Finch, the young daughter of the lawyer defending Tom Robinson.
Although the topics in the book are hard going and ultimately there’s not a very happy ending there’s a great deal of warmth in the book. A lot of what happens in the book is Atticus’ children learning about the world around them from events happening at school, playing in the town and of course while watching the court case.
They’re also guided as to what’s right and wrong by Atticus who is a strong and silent hero. I also happened to see the film late one evening and Atticus is played perfectly by Gregory Peck. This makes the moment when Atticus makes his speech in the court house defending Tom Robinson so powerful and emotional. It’s also fascinating to see the impact this work of fiction has had on real life and the legal profession.
Other enjoyable reads in February were Hatchet Job by Mark Kermode and The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie. I love the ramblings of film critic Mark Kermode and have learnt many things about the movie industry from his earlier books. The Hatchet Job was about the impact of anyone blogging about films in comparison to proper qualified film critics. It was a bit of a ramble in places but it just made it more like a conversation with Kermode and he has great stories and ways of entertaining the reader.
The Mousetrap is an enjoyable play from Christie, instead of being driven by characters such as Poirot or Miss Marple a lot is left to interpretation. The Mousetrap is a great detective story filled with suspense and plenty of twists. Last month I confessed to just letting detective novels explain what’s happening to me, rather than I try to figure it out. However, The Mousetrap kept making me guess and try to figure out the murderer.
My Madder Fatter Diary by Rae Earl is a book I think everyone should read, especially if you have ever lived in Lincolnshire. It’s Rae Earl’s teenage diaries which accurately document what it is like to be young and dealing with mental health problems. Although it does deal with teen topics it is something all of us can relate to and that helps you to gain a better understanding of mental health. Plus Rae is interesting and funny and came up with this fantastic summary of Lincolnshire: “Shit! Am I a secret racist?! No I live in Lincolnshire which is like living in Britain in 1952.”
I’m in the process of moving so all my books are in boxes, so I’ll be reading on the Kindle for the next few weeks. I have started reading Catch 22 by Joseph Keller and for some light relief, in comparison, the second Sherlock Holmes book The Sign of Four. I’ve also bought 12 Years a Slave and it is on my to read list for this month.