Tag: harper lee

See What Everyone Is Talking About With Our Top 5 Nonfiction Picks!

Each week, Bookstr scans bestseller lists across the internet to learn what people are reading, buying, gifting, and talking about most — just so we can ensure consistent, high-quality recommendations. This week’s nonfiction picks center around the theme of current best-sellers, showcasing what nonfiction books are the biggest hits with audiences! Pick these up to see what everyone is talking about!

 

5. The Good Immigrant edited by Nikesh Shukla and Chimene Suleyman

 

An immigrant woman stands in a neon backdrop in an Art Deco style

Image Via Amazon

The Good Immigrant is an anthology of stories reflecting on the current state of immigrants and their relationship to America. The United States is consumed by hostile rhetoric over who is welcome across its borders and it seems that everyone’s rights are under attack. In this anthology, numerous writers offer stories about their cultural heritage and their complicated stories in the midst of this crisis. From analyzing cultural appropriation, to a detailing one author’s journey from Nigeria to America, and another author reconnecting with their Korean roots, these stories are emotional, tear jerking, but mandatory for anyone to read in this age.

 

4. The Lady from the Black Lagoon by Mallory O’meara

 

A woman sits over a desk drawing as a scaly reptilian arm looms over her

Image via Amazon

The Lady From the Black Lagoon by Mallory O’Meara examines the forgotten history of one of Hollywood’s best talents, a woman who was discriminated against and lost to history despite creating one of the most iconic monsters of all time. This is the story of Milicent Patrick, who was one of Disney’s first female animators and created The Creature From the Black Lagoon, a monster that became a staple of Universal’s library of nasties next to Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolfman. O’Meara sheds light on the history of Milicent Patrick, uncovering her early beginnings to her career in Hollywood, giving the woman the legacy she’s deserved for years.

 

3. The Sakura obsession by Naoko Abe

 

A Japanese man stands with an older gentleman next to a Japanese cherry blossom

Image via Amazon

The Sakura Obsession by Naoko Abe tells the true story of how an English eccentric saved Japan’s cherry blossoms from extinction. Collingwood Ingram visited Japan numerous times in the early 1900s, but by 1926 he was horrified to find the flowers were in sharp decline. Determined not to lose them, Ingram’s story chronicles how he used specimens he had taken to England and ferried them back to Japan, reintroducing them to the land and allowing them to flourish. A history of both cherry blossoms and a crazy English man with one hell of an obsession, this work is for any flower or history lover out there.

 

2. Surviving the Forest by Adiva Geffen

 

An old photograph of a woman looms over a dark forest

Image Via Amazon

Surviving the Forest  tells the true tale of a Jewish holocaust survivor from WWII, known as Shurka, who lived a quiet, lovely existence in Poland. But then, World War II broke out and the Germans invaded Shurka’s hometown. She was taken to a Jewish ghetto, where the Nazis were taking Jews to concentration camps, never to be seen again. Managing to escape the camp with her family, Shurka ends up in the dark forest wilderness of Poland. This is her story of survival, avoiding not only German patrols but the world around her, from wild animals, to natural hazards, to starvation. This is a remarkable work that isn’t easy to read but showcases one woman’s tenacity for survival in the darkest of circumstances.

 

1. Furious Hours by Casey Cep

 

A forest is lit by light

Image via Amazon

Furious Hours by Casey Cep uncovers the mystery surrounding beloved writer Harper Lee and the events that led to her beginning to write a true crime book in the vein of her childhood friend Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. A reverend named Willie Maxwell was acquitted for the murder of a family of five before being shot dead himself. Harper Lee in later years was trying to write another book and chose the reverend as the central character of a nonfiction book about the murders. The case is told in three sections, the first part about Maxwell, the second about his lawyer that helped him avoid justice, and the third about Harper Lee herself trying to write about his case. This book not only offers research into a murder mystery but paints an evocative portrait of Lee herself, chronicling her life, her success, and her slow decline as she struggled with fame. This is a wonderfully researched work, full of brilliant detail that doesn’t leave a stone unturned.

 

 

Featured Image Via Amazon 

Evidence of Harper Lee’s Unpublished True Crime Book Uncovered

Harper Lee is famous for her classic novel To Kill a Mocking Bird and her unshakeable commitment to justice continues to inspire us. Author and journalist Casey Cep has written for The Guardian about a discovery made while researching her book Furious Hours.

Though most people know much about Harper Lee’s work and her enlightening words, Lee was notoriously private. According to Cep, writing for The Guardian, “part of what she so despised about the press coverage of her own life was its many inaccuracies and distortions of the truth.” However, one thing that has come to light following Lee’s death in 2016, is a true crime book which was never released.

 

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Image via Vulture

 

 

The Guardian notes that Harper Lee had always been “intrigued with crime”. As a child, she would go to the local courthouse and observe trials from the balcony, and went on to study law at the University of Alabama, and even had a hand in the research and assembling of the first true crime book, Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Not to mention Lee’s own novel To Kill a Mockingbird, one of the finest tales of justice ever written.

Back in the late 70s, sixteen-year-old Alabaman teen, Shirley Ann Ellington, was one of several people murdered by her stepfather, Reverend Willie Maxwell. According to The Irish Times, Casey Cep “is one of just a few individuals who have read the only known chapter of Lee’s unpublished book, The Reverend, about the case of Reverend William Maxwell.”

Harper Lee heard about the Maxwell case in 1977,  when he was shot in the head at Shirley Ann’s funeral by a relative who suspected him of committing the murdder. The following year, Lee began interviewing anyone connected to the case, intending to write about it, however whether she intended to write a true crime book a la Capote, or a fictionalized version of events, as further evidence would suggest, remains unclear.

In 2015, after Lee’s controversial second novel, Go Set a Watchman, who announced, Casey Cep revealed that the family of Maxwell’s lawyer, Tom Radney, who had worked with Lee on her research were in possession of a chapter by Lee entitled ‘The Reverend,’ in which Radney was referred to as ‘Jonathan Larkin,’ implying that perhaps she was intending to fictionalize the case.

 

 

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Image via IMDb

 

Whether Harper Lee finished the book to the end is sadly a mystery in itself. According to Cep, many rumors circulated regarding what Harper Lee did with her manuscripts, with the Radney family insisting that every time he spoke with her, which was twice a year she would tell him she was still working on it. The family hoped that the rest of the manuscript would be released after the publication of Go Set a Watchman, but sadly this did not come to pass and her estate has been sealed. According to the Irish Times, “Cep believes whatever exists of The Reverend will remain unpublished until it is unsealed.”

Whether through for fiction or nonfiction, Harper Lee still reflects the importance of dedication to the truth, and nothing but the truth.

 

 

Featured Image via UPI

Colorized image of Atticus Finch watching Scout, as she lies on a bed, reading a book

You Need to Hear The “To Kill a Mockingbird” Spotify Playlist

It’s hard to believe that nearly sixty years ago in 1960, Harper Lee’s literary classic To Kill A Mockingbird hit the shelves.

From Atticus Finch’s wise words, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view,” to the roller coaster of emotions that is the Tom Robinson Trial to Scout Finch’s loss of innocence to her transition into adulthood, the story has stayed in our hearts ever since.

The story has been written through words, visualized by the film adaptation, but we’ve hardly had a definitive sound to the story.

Cover of "To Kill a Mocking Bird" showing title in white letters against a black background in a banner above a painting of a portion of a tree against a red background

Image Via Amazon

If you would please, turn on our playlist, close your eyes, and remember the story’s humble beginnings and perhaps, you will hear birds flying, the children laughing, the excitement at the start of the Tom Robinson trial that justice will be served, the helplessness as it reaches its forgone conclusion, and maybe a tear will fall when you hear the news of his sudden and senseless death.

Maybe your heart will pound as nighttime comes and someone (Bob Ewell perhaps?) drunkenly stalks the forests and, if we did our job right, you too will be as breathless as Scout was when you first meet Boo Radley and think, for a fraction of a second, that maybe it was worth it.

 

 

 

The Chainsmokers – Young

Queen – Good Company

Phoenix – Lisztomania

Bob Dylan – The Times They are a Changing

Billy Joel – Innocent Man

Michael McCuiston – Justice League Theme Song

The Clash – I Fought The Law

Billy Joel – Only the good die young

Beatles – Yesterday

Tom Petty – I won’t back down

The Boo Radleys – Wake up Boo!

Louis Armstrong – What a wonderful world

 

 

Featured Image Via Pinterest

cover of Dr Seuss's Horse Museum

3 Books We Can’t Wait for This Year

It’s impossible to read all the books ever written, but lucky we don’t need to. We just have to read these books coming our way!

And the books we already own but haven’t read…but book problems, am I right?

 

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Image Via Pencil Pocket

 

3: Horse Museum by Dr. Seuss

 

Image Via Publishersweekly

A new Dr. Seuss book is going to hit shelves on September 3, 2019, marking the second time a Dr. Seuss book has been published posthumously since 2015’s What Pet Should I Get? 

The manuscript and sketches for book appear to have been discovered in the late author’s La Jolla home around the same time What Pet Should I Get? was discovered, but now illustrator Andrew Joyner is set to complete the author’s unfinished sketches.

statement by Random House reveals that the story will take younger riders on a journey with a friendly horse touring an art museum with illustrations “combined throughout with full-color photographic reproductions of famous horse artwork by Pablo Picasso, George Stubbs, Rosa Bonheur, Alexander Calder, Jacob Lawrence, Deborah Butterfield, Franz Marc, Jackson Pollock…” and will features “[c]ameo appearances by classic Dr. Seuss characters (among them the Cat in the Hat, the Grinch, and Horton the Elephant)…”

With a first printing of 250,000 copies, this fall many readers, both young and old, will return to a Dr. Seuss’s world as it grows just a little bit larger.

 

2. Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep

 

Image result for Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep

Image Via Penguin Random House

In the vein of In Cold Blood, Casey Cep’s Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee is about what Goodreads describes as “[t]he stunning story of an Alabama serial killer and the true-crime book that Harper Lee worked on obsessively in the years after To Kill a Mockingbird“.

It is known that Harper Lee never wrote another book after To Kill A Mocking Bird. Go Set a Watchmen was confirmed to be the first draft of her literary classic, so this book has the potential to both dispel myths and paint a clear view on Harper Lee’s life post-publishing this May 7th, 2019.

Ironically, the novel is going to shed light on Harper Lee’s trying to write her next great American novel – a Gothic crime drama – but never succeeding.

 

  1. Cari Mora by Thomas Harris

 

Image result for cari mora thomas harris
Image Via Goodreads

With his last book published in December of 2006, Thomas Harris has been quiet on us. Now he returns on May 16th with Cari Mora. His second novel not featuring his infamous Dr. Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter (his first novel, Black Sunday, didn’t feature the character when it debuted in 1975), Cari Mora is described by Tampa Bay as being about “Cari Mora, caretaker of the house, has escaped from the violence in her native country. She stays in Miami on a wobbly Temporary Protected Status, subject to the iron whim of ICE. She works at many jobs to survive. Beautiful, marked by war, Cari catches the eye of Hans-Peter as he closes in on the treasure. But Cari Mora has surprising skills, and her will to survive has been tested before.”

With its titular female character and themes of immigration, we can’t wait to read the sixth novel from the man whose kept us up late at night since the mid-seventies.

 

 

Featured Image Via Pencil Pocket

‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Actress Receives Standing Ovation

The word ‘timeless’ is thrown around a lot when speaking about 1962’s To Kill a Mocking Bird, but the film truly hasn’t seemed to age. Logically, of course, in a way it doesn’t. When the film is on, Atticus Finch always looks like a forty-six-year-old Gregory Peck, Scout Finch always looks like a ten-year- old Mary Badham, and those bright summer days always seem to fly by.

 

Image Via The Telegraph

 

“I have a vivid memory of watching it in my living room with my parents,” People reported  Celia Keenan-Bolger, the award-winning actress, telling a large audience. Near tears, Keenan-Bolger’s nostalgic tale drives home at what all stories strive for: emotional core.

However, by their nature emotions aren’t rational. They drive right past logic and stay with us in the back of our minds. Celia Keenan-Bolger told the awaiting audience how there was a “profound impact that Mary Badham’s performance as Scout Finch had on my life”. That’s not hyperbole, that’s emotional impact.

 

Image Via WWNO

 

There is a reason why we remember this story. After reaching fame as a child actress, Mary Badham told the Telegraph how, “I always called him Atticus and [Gregory Peck] still called me Scout right up to the end”. Since Mr. Peck’s death, Mary Badham has kept busy. According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, she visited the Episcopal School  in Knoxville, Tennessee and spread the message of Harper Lee’s novel and its film adaptation, telling them how “[e]ducation is the key to freedom.”

When Aaron Sorkin underwent the challenge and now his adaptation of To Kill A Mocking Bird has hit Broadway. In what seems to be out of a fairy-tale,  Celia Keenan-Bolger, teary eyed, faced the audience and told them how Mary Badham’s performance as Scout became “an enduring icon to me and to young girls for many generations, so you can imagine what it felt like to find out that she is here today.”

 

Image Via Hollywood Reporter

 

Afterwards Mary Badham was welcomed to the show with a sea of applause and, for one moment, people came closer together. Perhaps this is why we see stage adaptations of old favorites. The new mediums gives the story a new light, the actors a new inflection, and, despite the differences, we still find the same thing we found before.

 

Featured Image Via NY T imes