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Belle's Bookshelf

"With a dreamy far-off look, and her nose stuck in a book..."

Currently reading

What Maisie Knew
Henry James
My Friend the Enemy
Dan Smith
Worlds of Arthur: Facts and Fictions of the Dark Ages
Guy Halsall
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee Don't ask me how I got to my age without having read or watched To Kill a Mockingbird. I guess it's coz I didn't study it at school like so many seem to do, and I never felt particularly compelled to pick it up in my free time. I finally read it last week, as it was suggested reading for my writing course, and I'm so glad I was forced to make the time for it - because it was awesome, natch.I have to admit, it was kinda slow going at first, as Tom Robinson, the black man Atticus Finch is assigned to defend in court, is completely absent from the first quarter of the book, and I was impatient for what I perceived to be the main plot to begin. Little did I know everything that was happening would become important down the track - and the way it all came together was masterful.I adored Lee's whimsical way of storytelling. While the book deals with some pretty heavy issues, the use of the young Scout as narrator gives it such a sense of warmth, humour and hope. I think Scout is one of my favourite characters ever. The way she saw the world, together with her innocence, her stubbornness and her strength, made her a remarkable – and, importantly, believable – kid. I also adored her family - especially her relationships with her father, Atticus, and her big brother, Jem. The supporting cast of neighbours and friends were also wonderful, and even the antagonists were superbly and realistically drawn. Bob Ewell gave me goosebumps, he was so icky. The one character I wanted to know more about was Boo Radley, though of course this would have completely undermined his place in the plot as a mysterious, almost mythical creature. He was just such a fascinating character - as they all are, really.I wasn't expecting to love To Kill a Mockingbird, but I did. I can see now why it's so popular. It's pretty amazeballs.This review and more appear on my blog http://bellesbookshelf.blogspot.com