I recall first reading the novel when I was in high school and liking it. And then I remember the second time I read the book. I was in my early twenties and living in West Hollywood. I lived right down the street from the uber trendy Rainbow and the Whiskey and the Troudador. . .
Yet, when I picked up TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, I was rooted firmly in Maycomb, Alabama.
I read the book over the weekend while sitting on the couch I bought at a designer's showcase clearance sale. And when I finished, I cried. Because I didn't want to book to end. Some books are like that.
The movie version of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is one of the few films that I feel did justice to a book.
One time I was going to a premiere of a play at the Music Center, and as I came up the escalator, dozens of photographers started taking my picture! I was soooo flattered, until I realized that I was standing next to Gregory Peck, the movie icon who played Atticus, and it was him they were after! Well, duh.
(Here I am with another actor, or not, at another play premiere, or not really.)
On Sunday, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD celebrated its 50th Anniversary. Yes, it's half a century old and still sells a million copies per year.
There were events all over the country, including one at my local indie, Vroman's in Pasadena. My friend Kerry Madden, who wrote a WONDERFUL biography of Harper Lee, was speaking at the event.
(This is Kerry and Moi when her book, UP CLOSE: HARPER LEE first debuted.)
We met early for coffee and I brought one of my copies of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD to show her . . .
(I have several copies of the book.)
When it was time for Kerry to speak, the house was packed . . .
Kerry told great stories about her meticulous research for the book . . .
Her stories were enthralling and funny and insightful. Later, Kerry signed books, plus refreshments were served. Coca-cola and hoop cheese, both Southern staples . . .
As Peepy and I ate our cheese and wandered around, we were thrilled to see a section of the bookstore devoted to books about California. And look! Our books were among them . . .
(That's ABSOLUTELY MAYBE on the far right of the first shelf, and BOBBY VS. GIRLS (ACCIDENTALLY) on the far left of the second shelf. Wheeeee!!!)
Finally, I'll leave you with this. It's a passage from TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD that I keep on my bulletin board to remind myself of what a perfect paragraph looks like. Every time I read it, I am in awe of Harper Lee . . .
Disclaimer: No proofreaders were harmed (or even used) in the creation of this blog.
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