Sunday, July 18, 2010
The Sunday Salon: Vacation Reading Recap
Everyone should have a reading week like the one I just had. We're back from vacation and of the 13 books I lugged to the shore for a five-day stay I read ... two. No matter. Just having the time to read on the beach and the porch was a gift.
For the first part of the week, my beach read was Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee by Charles J. Shields. I haven't finished writing my review yet, but suffice it to say that this is required reading for everyone who loves To Kill a Mockingbird. So much of Harper Lee's life is written into the pages of To Kill a Mockingbird, which I never realized until reading this. (I also hadn't realized what a pompous ass and notorious prick Truman Capote was.) Shields' well-written biography is based on at least 600 interviews with people connected to Harper Lee (who is referred to as Nelle, her given name, throughout the book).
Maybe I came to this one with too high of expectations or maybe Moore is, as I believe, much better suited to the short story form. (Her 1998 best-selling short story collection Birds of America is one of my favorite books ever.) This one has glimmers of promise throughout, but like the cover art, eventually goes nowhere.