Saturday, 6 March 2010


This week in the United Kingdom is National Book Reading Week and on Thursday 4th March, this week, it was World Book Day!

I wish I could read more, but due to other commitments it is becoming more difficult. Reading is one of my favourite and most therapeutic activities to do. So I thought for this post I would talk about my favourite book in participation with 'World Book Day' (I am a bit late whoops!) - which encourages you to talk about your favourite book and why it captured your imagination.

I have read some amazing books and my top three are:
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
  • Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Aherne.
It is really hard to choose my favourite because they all made me fall in love with the characters, laugh, cry, be shocked and most importantly stopped me from putting them down. However, the reason why this book rates higher than the others is because it reflects not just amazing writing, plots and characters but it also depicts my favourite era in history.

I cannot praise this book enough and I am sure many of you have either heard about it or hopefully read it :). I remember I used this book as a revision tool in my history exams at school. It tells the story of the 'Finch' family, who are white, and live in deep south America. It was during this time discrimination, persecution and the mocking of Black Americans was rife. Atticus Finch is a Lawyer who is one of very few people to not be racist and as a result defends a black man, Tom Robinson, in court. Tom is standing trial for the rape of Mayella Ewell - a young white girl - who is shamed to admit she is lying simply because Tom is a different colour of skin to her. I will not tell you what happens as I want you to read the book - the twists and the other characters in the book make this a captivating read!

Atticus Finch also has two young children, Jem and Scout, who are completely naive to the culture of discrimination they live in. Atticus tries his best to raise his children to accept everyone for who they are. However, one summer they start to become suspicious of their neighbour Arthur Radley who they nickname 'Boo.' Boo leaves them little toys to play with and watches Jem and Scout from afar. Due to the way 'Boo' behaves it causes the children to characterise him as this ugly and superstitious person. Their view of 'Boo' changes towards the  end of the book which was lovely to read. It just proves that at any age we are impressionable.

The reason why I love this book is because Harper Lee wrote it so beautifully. The way she magically incorporated the characters into the plots and reflected the opinions from the time is commendable. The topic of the segregation and discrimination people witnessed and participated in is a sensitive area to write about. Yet, as the reader I came away from this feeling very empowered. In the United Kingdom 'segregation' was never as 'high profile' as the way people behaved at the time this story was set in. I remember when I spoke to my grandparents who were alive during segregation and the civil rights movement in the USA. They were completely unaware it was even happening and shocked that it was conceivable for people to 'act' that way. Therefore, when I learnt about it at school and read about it in this book it was incredibly new and heartbreaking. 

This book, my favourite book, has set in stone something very fundamental that I am sure everyone has learnt. We are all Mockingbirds. We have all been persecuted, ridiculed against or laughed at at some point in our lives, whether it was over something big or small. It just reiterated to me that we can never judge anyone until we have walked in their shoes. In order for us to not be prejudice we simply have to learn to be equal individuals and not to judge others. It is simple to say but not always as easy to carry out.

"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."

So, in honour of Book Week - what is your favourite book and why does it make you want to talk about it? I encourage you to do a blog post on it and share it with others. 


Kristen said...

Can I say wow? You wrote that so beautifully. I can see why this book has left a lasting impression on you. I have heard about this book a lot and if I were a bookworm I would read it in a heartbeat.

Hope you are well, Rebecca.

kathryn-louisa said...

This is one of my favourite books too - I studied it at school but only read bits of it and then re-read it when I was on holiday on year and loved it!

Also, I completely sympathise with not reading as much as I would like to - I spend my life reading for uni so when I get time to myself I usually want to do something other than spend MORE time reading! Maybe now I have to get the train to uni every day I should start reading again?


Alex(andra) said...

Beautiful post, Becca. I hear ya on not getting to read as much as I'd like. I LOVE to read though, so I'm trying to start more. This post is a great idea, and I'll have some down time later after work and shopping (woot!) so I'll be sure to update then!

Callie Nicole said...

Thanks for the review - I actually haven't read this book, and I haven't heard too much about it, so I was happy to read this because now I know! I might have to read it myself sometime. :-)
Oh yes, and thanks for the comment on the grocery list post. I agree, I would love to put "Plane Ticket to London" on the list to meet you too! :-) Maybe someday!

Tarver said...

I love Pride and Prejudice so much!

And I'm actually writing an article about what teens in my towns favorite books are, and To kill a Mockingbird has always been a favorite. Especially since we've all grown up in a small southern town, just like in the book!

CrysHouse said...

Did you know there is speculation that Harper Lee actually didn't writ the novel? She was good friends with Truman Capote (after whom the character Dill was fashioned), and the writing style is very similar to his. Since Lee never wrote anything else, some people believe Capote may have actually written it and allowed her to take the credit for one reason or another.

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