Monday, November 1, 2010

November's books

In keeping with the spirit of my music videos series, in November I am going with books. Again, the choices will me all about me (who else?), quirky or sensible, but books that are, were, and have been important to me.

#1, Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird (1960)

I first read this when I was 12, and again every year until I was, maybe, 30. Since then, not as often, but one of my favorite teaching moments was showing my playwriting students the film version. We were going to have a Q&A with Horton Foote, the great playwright who also wrote the screenplay for this film. Watching my students discover the film--and thus the book--and remembering myself how great both version are was beyond exciting. Some years earlier Gregory Peck had come to My U for a lecture, and kindly done a A&Q with the arts students. He told the story of being on the set the very first day--when Harper Lee was there--and filming the scene where Jem and Scout meet Atticus coming home from work. After, Lee was crying, and Peck rushed to find out what was wrong. His lines? His acting choices? "My daddy had a little pot belly just like yours!" Lee confided. Apparently, Peck's "pot belly" triggered some happy memories!

I think this has one of the best closing scenes in a book ever.

Happy 50th, Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird!

1 comment:

  1. I saw some of that college tour in a documentary. Gregory Peck was great. The book is also a touchstone for me. My mother read it when she was preggers with me. And I must have read it 6 or 7 times myself. The film captures the spirit very well.


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