Sunday, August 9, 2015

Book Report: Go Set a Watchman



I hate spoilers. But unless you've avoided television and the Internet, you know there’s controversy surrounding Go Set a Watchman. There's debate over whether Harper Lee ever intended anyone besides a select few readers to see the manuscript, and whether it was truly a first draft of what later became To Kill a Mockingbird. And then there’s the uproar over the racism displayed by America’s beloved character, Atticus Finch.


Perhaps what bothers us the most is not that Atticus Finch’s image is tarnished, but that Harper Lee portrayed racism in America from an uncannily accurate angle, and with a helpless frustration.


Without giving away more than the media already has, I gave the book 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it to readers who are interested in an intellectual discussion. If you’re looking for a beach read or something with rainbows and puppies, this isn’t the book for you (but you already knew that).


Keep two things in mind: One, the book was published without any editorial input from Harper Lee and appears to be more of a draft of a manuscript than a final edition of a book (more on this later). Two, let go of any expectations that the book will be anything like To Kill a Mockingbird. While the major players are still there, only their names seem to remain the same (although Scout has mostly morphed into “Jean Louise”). So much for nostalgia.


For me, the main theme wasn’t racism. Yes, that was a big part of the book, and a big shock to the system of a lot of readers -- myself included. However, I disagree with those who thought it was only about racism. I thought it was also about how we see our parents and hometowns one way when we’re children, and how that vision changes when we grow up, leave home, and go home again. But can you really go home again?


As John Steinbeck said in Travels with Charley: “You can’t go home again because home has ceased to exist except in the mothballs of memory.”


I wish Harper Lee was able to tell her side of the story, that she could have worked with editors to shape Go Set a Watchman into the book it should have been -- if that was her wish. As an editor, there were many places where I wanted to pick up the red pen and make notes in the margins. But for all its faults, there are parts where Harper Lee’s voice shines through. I’m glad I read it. I wish I had a book club to discuss it with because there are so many threads of conversations I could pick up from the book.


I suggest you read the book (and read the entire book, don’t stop when you get to the pivotal scene -- you’ll know it when you read it). If you’re the type who doesn’t want the publisher to benefit from book sales any more than it already has, get the book from the library.


Have you already read the book? What did you think?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

8x8 Gallery // 365 Project: Week 26

I've committed to a photo-a-day project for 2015. I may not always post them to Facebook or Instagram, but they'll be collected and archived here on the blog and I plan to print them all out. It's fun to see how the year unfolds. Here's week 26 (halfway through the challenge!): 

176: Sunshine

177: Open Roads

179: Sunday Brunch

180: Sometimes you have to kiss a lot of...toads

181: Just keep swimming

182: Where will July take you?

Friday, July 10, 2015

8x8 Gallery // 365 Project: Week 25

I've committed to a photo-a-day project for 2015. I may not always post them to Facebook or Instagram, but they'll be collected and archived here on the blog and I plan to print them all out. It's fun to see how the year unfolds. Here's week 25: 

169: Butterfly buffet at the Morton Arboretum

170: Field of Dreams at the Morton Arboretum
171: Calm before the storm
172: Summer days (photo for World Hashtag Project: #WHPLowAltitude)
173: Stormy weather
174: Evening hangs

175: Patriotic




Tuesday, July 7, 2015

8x8 Gallery // 365 Project: Week 24

I've committed to a photo-a-day project for 2015. I may not always post them to Facebook or Instagram, but they'll be collected and archived here on the blog and I plan to print them all out. It's fun to see how the year unfolds. Here's week 24: 
162: Happy hour at Redstone

163: Roaring into the weekend

164: Glide


165: Ghost fern 

166: Breathe

167: Summer evening preview

168: Evening reflections




Monday, July 6, 2015

8x8 Gallery // 365 Project: Week 23:

I've committed to a photo-a-day project for 2015. I may not always post them to Facebook or Instagram, but they'll be collected and archived here on the blog and I plan to print them all out. It's fun to see how the year unfolds. Here's week 23:


155: Baby bunnies! 

156: Garden gnome is pleased: My garden FINALLY got planted. Tomatoes, eggplant & cucumbers are in! 

157: What's better than a trip to the library? A trip to the library that includes ice cream! The Lisle Library kicked off its Summer Reading Program with a party. 

158: Fly 

159: Incoming

160: Throw the ball! 


Outburst





Monday, June 22, 2015

8x8 Gallery // 365 Project: Week 22

I've committed to a photo-a-day project for 2015. I may not always post them to Facebook or Instagram, but they'll be collected and archived here on the blog and I plan to print them all out. It's fun to see how the year unfolds. Here's week 22:

148: Get your ducks in a row. (Decoys from my grandpa's collection.) 

149: Storm chasing all the way home from southwest Missouri. There were so many times I wanted to stop and take photos! This was taken when I stopped for gas and to wake up. 
MISSING: Days 150 & 151

152: New Month, New Goals: Fresh off a trip to the Ozarks and the Shawnee National Forest, I'm inspired to explore some new ideas with my writing, editing and photography. 

153: A little #TongueOutTuesday on our walk. 

154: New set of 4x4 prints from @ILovePrintShop arrived! One (not shown) went to a new home already. The others are for sale, and are also available in other sizes! 






Wednesday, June 10, 2015

8x8 Gallery// 365 Project: Week 21

I've committed to a photo-a-day project for 2015. I may not always post them to Facebook or Instagram, but they'll be collected and archived here on the blog and I plan to print them all out. It's fun to see how the year unfolds. Here's week 21: 
141: Night Lights @ High Knob in the Shawnee National Forest

142: Happy @ Buzzard's Roost in the Shawnee National Forest

143: Sometimes you have to take a crooked path in order to reach the light. 

144: The Road Home

145: Cattle Drive in Thomas Hollow

146: Half & Half

147: Ozark Water Park