To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Another take on To Kill a Mockingbird…

Simply, this beautifully written classic tells a tale of childhood and morality. The fundamental plot tactfully and truthfully addresses the struggles and prejudices faced by African-American people living in the 1930’s.

At its heart, the book is primarily about the trial of Tom Robinson, though there is much more going on. We are told the story through the unfolding thoughts of Scout who is unwillingly hilarious and often teaches the adults life lessons through her innocence.

“I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.”

Whilst the novel covers such profound and serious themes, Scout lifts the story with her unjaded comments and amusing descriptions.

“She looked and smelled like a peppermint drop.”

For much of the story, I was wrapped up in Scout’s imagination and concept of the illustrious Boo Radley. I loved reading about the adventures of Scout, Jem and Dill to expose Boo and draw him out of the house. I spent my time reading To Kill a Mockingbird filled with curiosity and a need to read on.

About a Boy – Nick Hornby

A story of a begrudging friendship. Nick Hornby’s About a Boy is undoubtedly entertaining and full of British humour. This book describes the unlikely and dysfunctional relationship of Marcus, who needs to learn how to act his age (12-years-old)  and Will or ‘Ned’, who also needs to learn how to act his age (36-years-old).

When reading the book it is impossible not to picture Marcus, the instantly recognisable character unversed in pop culture. Marcus’ accidental wit and clumsy attempts to fix his mother’s depression are both lovable and laughable.

Chapter after chapter I found myself rooting for Will and Marcus’ friendship, despite Will’s questionable dating tactics and egotistical persona, I wanted/needed him to warm to Marcus, as I had, and to take him under his wing. Though, arguably, Will also needed a lesson or two from Marcus.

All in all, this charming book ties together the peculiar behaviour of adults, overbearing mothers, unlikely friendship, duck murder, countdown and Joni Mitchell. I loved the bright lines, clever observations and endearing characters.