I’m not sure why I never read this in high school. I was even in AP English. I would have rather been reading this than say, Beowolf (Lord help me!) or The Invisible Man (I know that he was an Oklahoma author but it took me forever to finish, and come to think of it, I’m not sure that I actually ever did.)

Oh the literary guilt of it all! I’m embarrassed that I have never read the one book that’s is, like, the American novel. And a Pulitzer no less! So last fall I bought a beautiful copy.

And it has been sitting on my bookshelf ever since.

I had a good reason not to immediately start reading it. My “to read” list is pretty long. And I feel badly for the books that have been sitting there for a while. Last year I tried to make a promise not to buy any more new books until I was done reading all of the ones that I already owned.

Yeah, that didn’t work so well.

Great authors keep writing great books and I can’t seem to keep from buying them. The Golfer is fully aware of my book hoarding habit and chooses to love me anyway. Two more just came out today that I want to read: Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner and Red Hook Road by Ayelet Waldman. I thought I did a pretty good job today at the store only buying one of them.

Of course I’ll go back next week and buy the other.

I’m up to reading about 2 books a week. I go in spurts, always reading a lot more during the summer months, but I am always reading something: magazines, newspapers, blogs, websites. Always reading. Always.

And always at least one book. But usually more than one: a novel, a parenting book, a book on faith, a memoir. Yes, I like to think of myself as a well-rounded reader.

But a reader of the classics? Yeah, not so much. I’ve never read Austen, Twain, or Steinbeck. Never in high school, never in college. Never. Reading a classic isn’t my first choice when I pick up a book to read. There are so many good novels that I’d rather be reading. But I don’t know if I can ever call myself a true reader until I tackle some of the greats.

I decided that Mockingbird was a good place to start. I’m not sure which classic will be next. Maybe I’ll read Huckleberry Finn aloud to my boys which is probably a pretty good idea. I have seen so many Jane Austen books as movies it’ll be hard to actually read the books and not compare. And eventually I have to read East of Eden; the Cain and Able story will probably speak to me since I have two boys. Either that or scare me half to death.

For now I’m really enjoying To Kill a Mockingbird. I just wish I didn’t start singing the James Taylor/Carly Simon song every time I went to pick it up.

Mock…ing…bird…yeah. Mockingbird tell me have you heard…

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