Friday, September 28, 2007

And the award goes to..

Every time I read this book, it tastes different - and every single time, it provides enough & more food for thought!

This's a book published in 1960, that has never been out of print in hardcover or paperback. It has sold over 30 million copies and been translated into over 40 languages since first being published.

It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961, and is taught in approximately 74% of schools in the United States. A 1991 survey by the Book-of-the-Month Club and the Library of Congress' Center for the Book found that it came in second after the Bible in books "most often cited as making a difference."

It first appeared on a list developed by librarians in 2006 who answered the question, "Which book should every adult read before they die?" followed by the Bible and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Over the years, it has become part of the standard canon of literature taught in schools. It was voted the "Best Novel of the 20th century" by readers of the Library Journal in 1999. It is listed as #5 on the Modern Library's Reader's List of the 100 Best Novels in the English language since 1900, and #4 on the rival Radcliffe Publishing Course's 100 Best Board Picks for Novels and Nonfiction. It was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1961 and adapted into a critically-acclaimed film in 1962.

You know it now, don't you?

Have a few more cues then - Time Magazine included it on its 100 Best English Novels from 1923 to the Present list. Their 1960 review of the book states that it, "teaches the reader an astonishing number of useful truths about little girls and about Southern life" and calls the narattor, "the most appealing child".

Guessed it now - Yes, "To Kill a Mockingbird" it is..

The novel revolves around a young girl named Jean Louise Finch who goes by the nickname “Scout”. Scout experiences different events in her life that dramatically change her life.

To Kill a Mockingbird begins with an epigraph by Charles Lamb: “Lawyers, I suppose, were children once.” That the author chose this epigraph is interesting on several levels. A good part of this story’s brilliance lies in the fact that it’s told from a child’s point of view. Through Scout’s eyes, the author is able to present the story objectively. By having an innocent little girl make racial remarks and regard people of color in a way consistent with the community, Lee provides an objective view of the situation. As a child, Scout can make observations that an adult would avoid or sugarcoat. Readers, too, are likely to be forgiving of a child’s perception, whereas they would find an adult who makes these remarks offensive.

The book's use of racial slurs, profanity, and frank discussion of rape has led to it being challenged in libraries and classrooms as well.

The book highlights that the people with differences are not always doing things the wrong way. It is the majority that may be going at it all wrong.

A must read, without fail..

Monday, September 17, 2007

Am I old enough..

Just the other day, I was thinking of how things are with my bro, and I got the perfect fodder to plug in here. Do we realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging that you think in fractions.

"How old are you?" "I'm four and a half!" You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five!

That's the key.

You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead.

"How old are you?" "I'm gonna be 16!" You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life . . . you become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony . YOU BECOME 21.... YESSSS !!! (I know that - my bro just turned 21)

But then you turn 25 (I am 25)....then 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk. He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There's no fun now, you're Just a sour-dumpling. What's wrong? What's changed?

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40.

Whoa! Put on the brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 . . and your dreams are gone.

But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn't think you would!

So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60.

You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it's a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!

You get into your 80s and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime.

And it doesn't end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; "I Was JUST 92."

Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. "I'm 100 and a half!"

May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!


1.Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay "them"

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. " An idle mind is the devil's workshop."

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love, Whether it's family, pets, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to hills outside the city; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.