Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Books I'm Reading in August

Amy at HopeistheWordblog.com has issued a challenge for all of us to read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee this month. I had planned to reread it this year, since this is the 50th anniversary of its publication. Now is the time!

It has been said that To Kill a Mockingbird is probably the most read book of the twentieth century that deals with racial relations. It does that, and does it well. During the turbulent years of racial unrest in the South, some people tried unsuccessfully to get it banned from public schools.

It is much more than a book about racial relations: it reveals the fears and intricacies of childhood and growing up in a small Southern town.

Harper Lee, the author, grew up in Monroeville, Alabama. I visited the small town a few years ago. The courthouse/museum continuously shows the movie based on the book. A play based on To Kill a Mockingbird is preformed annually there.

Harper Lee still lives there, choosing to continue her quiet life in southern Alabama rather than be in the limelight. Locals say she is a sweet old woman that you might see shopping at the Piggly-Wiggly.

If you have never read it, or haven’t read it for a while, this would be an excellent time to do so! Be sure to contact Amy at her website to let her know you are joining us.
The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he
any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments
right into a jury box. As you grow older, you'll see white men cheat black men
every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don't you forget it -
whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he
is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash. ~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 23, spoken by the character Atticus

The Pulpwood Queens’ selection for August is Zeitoun by Dave Eggers. It is a nonfiction work about New Orleans during and immediately after Katrina. It has been five years since Katrina, and we needed to be reminded about a monster storm that not only destroys material things, but has the ability to change people. I'm about halfway through it, and the first part has been chilling. Especially now that we approaching the height of hurricane season.

People are strange, but more than that, they're good. They're good first, then strange. Dave Eggers

Others in my “to be read ASAP” stack by my bed.......

The Will of Wisteria (2007) by Denise Hildreth. I have just finished her latest book, Hurricanes in Paradise, and enjoyed it so much, I plan to go back and read all her books. Ms. Hildreth-Jones is also an inspirational women’s speaker. She lives outside of Nashville, and I plan to meet her in person real soon.

Every Hidden Thing by Athol Dickson. I read his wonderful book River Rising a while back and LOVED it, so when I found Every Hidden Thing at the book store, I had to have it. This is like waiting for dessert after a good meal.

Beauty exists because God exists. To reveal beauty is to reveal God. Therefore, if our art is beautiful, if we struggle to write good words instead of merely readable ones, then sometimes, just for an instant, God appears and God’s appearing is enough. In a world of grief, loneliness, addiction, pain and fear, no act of man could be more practical than that. Athol Dickson

Are there other books that you think should be added to this list? After all, I'm out of school until August 24.