Thursday, January 8, 2009

Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee

I started this blog in December just about the time things got crazy around here.

I have gotten several e-mails asking if I planned to blog again? I answered yes,
when things go back to normal.We had a wonderful Holiday Season, lots of parties, food and visits with friends then went to Tennessee to celebrate with the children and grandchildren! Came back and the NFL Playoffs began! This year my Tennessee Titans have the best record in the NFL and hopefully will make it tthe SuperBowl! favorite thing in the world! I have managed to read two books in the past seven days.
The first was.........' My Old True Love' by Sheila Kay Adams.(Hardcover 289 p)
Shiela is a North Carolina writer. As you know, I am very parcial to NC writers or I should say Appalachian writers in general. I LOVED THIS BOOK !
What a wonderful storyteller Sheila is. She takes you back in time through the gentle voice of Arty Norton. Arty is a mountain woman born in a era and place
where heartbreak and joy change places as fast as people in an old fashioned cake walk.
If you love an Appalachian setting, down to earth mountain people, the Civil War and a good love story told by a master storyteller...........this is the read for you!

Second.........Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee (Hardcover 285 pages)
By Charles J. Sheilds.

Nelle Harper Lee the Author of 'To Kill A Mockingbird', is perhaps one of the most fascinating people of the 20th century. Why? Because after writing her Pulitzer Prize winning debut novel she practically disappeared from the scene. Most people think she died years ago when in fact she is still alive and well in Monroeville,Alabama.She was born April 28, 1926, making her 82 at present.
She lives a quiet,reclusive life and refuses to discuss anything to do with the "book" or writing.
I have always been fascinated by both Harper Lee and Margaret Mitchell because these two women wrote what is considered to be the greatest novels
of the20th century and never wrote another published book.Years ago I read
'Tara Road' the biography of Margaret Mitchell and learned that she had expressed often that she wished she had never let 'Gone With The Wind' be
be published, 'It ruined my life' she said.

After reading 'Mockingbird', I learned that though she never expressed the same exact sentiment, Harper Lee may have felt the same about her book. When questioned as to 'Why' she never wrote another book,she would say;
"I said what I had to say in the first one".She also expressed to a close friend,
"when you start at the top,there is nowhere to go". Since this applies to both of these women's first and only books, I believe it answers the question of 'Why' in both cases.
"Mockingbird" is a well written and wonderful glance into the world of Harper Lee. Charles Shields has done an excellent job considering that his research
was hindered greatly by those close to Miss Lee in an attempt to keep her private life just that!


Carol Murdock said...

I still can't figure out why this things spaces the way it does!

Renie Burghardt said...

Hi Carol,

Just came inside to take a break and found your comment. Thanks so much for visiting. And I love your blog! I will have to buy Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee! So thank you for the review.

Got to go back out and finish the job I started. I will be back as well. Will follow your blog so I can find it easily.

About the spacing, when you're writing a new post, edit it in html, where you can make sure the spacing is correct.

Got to run. Thanks again for visiting. Have a great day!


Reader Wil said...

That's strange indeed, that Harper Lee didn't write anymore after "To kill a Mockingbird", which is a book I really enjoyed reading, more than some other books of the 20th century. It has a very important message and those who saw the movie with Gregory Peck as the lawyer, and also the father of the two children, will understand the huge problems he had to face.

Thanks for visiting!

Kat Mortensen said...

Wow! I'm amazed that Harper Lee is still alive.
We all had to read "To Kill a Mockingbird" in high school, but I truly loved it!
I also love the film with Gregory Peck. I was surprised to learn that Robert Duvall played "Boo Radley" (it was his first role).

Be back soon!


NCmountainwoman said...

Since we have moved back to North Carolina, I have read a book by an NC writer every month. (One of the best things about retirement is being able to read more.) I haven't read any by Sheila Adams, but that will be next on my list.

I recently read Ron Rash's new novel, "Serena." Not the best, but a good read with twists and turns.

I am also a great fan of "To Kill a Mockingbird" and re-read it every so often. It still holds my interest after many readings.

I'll look forward to following your blog.

jessicajames said...

Hi Carol,
I just watched To Kill a Mockingbird again this past summer. I had no idea the story behind Harper Lee. Thanks for sharing.

Carol Murdock said...

Thanks Renie for the help..
Get the book,if you love Harper Lee you won't be sorry!How's the weather?

Wil.......that's the great thing about the book is you find out that her Mother was alive and most know that 'Dill' was Truman Capote.

Poetikat.......I thought she was but wasn't sure.

NC Mountain Woman....
North Carolina is jammed packed with great writers. I will do a post on some of the best.

Hey Jessica............
How you doin girl? I watch it at least once a it!

Sweetie said...

You really provided a lot of interesting information. I had no idea that Nelle Harper Lee is still alive. I enjoyed "To Kill a Mocking Bird." Great post.

Shrinky said...

Ha, so it's not just me who has this problem with blogger from time to time then?

I enjoyed reading your reviews Carol, and may well be tempted to pick up on one of these books for myself now, thanks for sharing.

Cynthia Pittmann said...

Hi Carol, Thanks again for visiting Oasis Writers Link. We seem to both be interested in literature. Great inside info here. I added myself as a follower. I look forward to a continued writer´s chat!

RiverPoet said...

You've just given me a great gift idea for my best friend who lives in (and was born/raised in) Swannanoa, NC (a 'burb of Asheville). I think she'd love the Harper Lee book (and so would I!)

Incidentally, I lived in Kitty Hawk for 3 years and then in Jacksonville (Camp Lejeune) for 13 years before moving to Maryland. I love NC, just love it!

Peace - D

Anonymous said...

Thanks for directing me to this post, Carol. I really enjoyed it and will look for that book about Harper Lee.
I could be wrong, but I googled to find out about her when I finished Mockingbird last week and an article said she lives mostly in NYC and only goes to Monroeville to visit her sister.
I think perhaps both authors were correct...they had that one, great, blockbuster novel in them and then the well was dry. Thank goodness they both gave us those novels!