Harper Lee’s memorizing stories have contributed to the honest and open discussions of societal issues including identity, racism, maturity since they were first published. Her words have taught growing minds, educating and advising readers on resilience and growth. Even when enduring horrific and complicated matters, you can get through it.
This lesson is incredibly valuable and is something we should all remember as we fight our own fights in our daily lives. Life isn’t rainbows and butterflies all the time, it’s struggle, hardships, loss, and difficulties. Life is tough, but here are ten reminders that you can be resilient through it all.
“As you grow up, always tell the truth, do no harm to others, and don’t think you are the most important being on earth. Rich or poor, you then can look anyone in the eye and say, ‘I’m probably no better than you, but I’m certainly your equal.'”
“You just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don’t you let ’em get your goat. Try fightin’ with your head for a change.
“Before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”
“It’s never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn’t hurt you.”
“Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”
You love ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’. We love ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’. THE WHOLE WORLD loves ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’! We hope you’ll enjoy checking out TKAM cover art from around the world as much as we did.
Book titles are important: along with the cover, they’re one of the first things we notice when we pick up a novel. We’ve grown so used to some famous book titles that we barely think about them anymore. Of course The Great Gatsby is called The Great Gatsby; why wouldn’t it be?
But the truth is, it almost wasn’t. And F. Scott Fitzgerald isn’t the only literary figure who switched up a famous title at the last minute. Here are 10 incredible examples of famous book titles that were almost completely different.
Which number followed the “Catch-” in Catch-22 was debated by Heller and his publisher for a while. Heller considered 11 and 18 first, but they were discarded to avoid confusion with the film Ocean’s Eleven (the original 1960 version) and Leon Uris’Mila 18, respectively. 22 was eventually picked simply because it was 11 (Heller’s original choice) doubled.
We gave this one away in the introduction, but how crazy is it that Fitzgerald’s greatest work was almost called something else? In fact, Fitzgerald was considering several different titles, including Among Ash-Heaps and Millionaires; Gold-Hatted Gatsby; On the Road to West Egg; Trimalchio in West Egg; Under the Red, White, and Blue; and our personal favorite, The High-Bouncing Lover.
Rowling’s debut already had a title in the United Kingdom, of course, where it was known as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. But her publisher, convinced that an American audience wouldn’t know what the Philosopher’s Stone was, wanted to change the title to something more accessible. According to Philip W. Errington’sbook on Rowling’s work, the publisher wanted Harry Potter and the School of Magic. That was lame, and Rowling knew it: she insisted on something more specific, and the “Sorcerer’s Stone” was born.
Harper Lee made a lot of changes as she worked on her famous novel (the recently published Go Set a Watchman is essentially a very early permutation of the work.) At some point, her working title was Atticus. It changed to To Kill a Mockingbird as Lee expanded the novel and made it less about Atticus Finch.
John Steinbeck wasn’t originally going to call his brief classic Of Mice and Men. Instead, he was going to go with Something That Happened. Maybe he thought the original title gave away too much of the plot?
Orwell’s original title was The Last Man in Europe, but his publisher thought 1984 was catchier. Orwell was a serial title changer: he also dropped the subtitle from his classic Animal Farm, which was originally going to be Animal Farm: A Fairy Story. He also considered A Satire and A Contemporary Satire as titles for Animal Farm, both of which seem rather obvious.
Jane Austen’s original title for Pride and Prejudice was First Impressions. Not bad, but it doesn’t quite have the melodic ring that the famous chosen title has. Plus, it doesn’t pair nearly as neatly with Sense and Sensibility.
Hemingway’s original title for The Sun Also Rises was Fiesta. That would certainly have given the cover a bit of a different tone! We can see why Fiesta would have been appropriate, but we think everyone’s glad that Hemingway stepped it up a bit in the title department.
Tolstoy’s magnum opus is a powerful volume, but we don’t think it would have been quite as powerful if Tolstoy had gone with the original idea for the title. Tolstoy’s original title translated to “All’s Well That Ends Well,” which doesn’t quite do justice to his epic novel. The chosen title, War and Peace, was a real upgrade.
When we learn about an author, we understand more about his or her work. That’s why readers can’t get enough of literary interviews! Through these seven iconic interviews, some of history’s greatest authors and poorest liars stay with us forever. These captured moments are each required reading (or listening/viewing) for any true fan of literature.
This is a two-for-one deal, because legendary crime writer Raymond Chandler is being interviewed by spy novelist extraordinaire Ian Fleming. The conversation between the two men is fascinating. This is also the only known recording of Raymond Chandler’s voice.
By 1936, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s glamorous lifestyle had caught up with him. Injured and miserable at 40, he gave an interview to a reporter from the New York Post. The result is iconic and haunting. At times, it’s hard to believe that this is the same man who wrote The Great Gatsby.
In 2005, James Frey was riding high. His memoir, A Million Little Pieces, was chosen by Oprah’s Book Club and became a monster bestseller. It topped the New York Times bestseller list for months.
Then, in 2006, everything changed. The Smoking Gun, a gossip and news website, published an investigation of Frey’s claims in his “memoir.” It turned out that he had made a lot of it up.
For the second time, Frey found himself on Oprah’s set. The 2006 interview, however, was very different from his first visit. The entire segment is uncomfortable, and the memory of Frey’s fall from grace has already outlived his literary fame.
When Ken Kesey, the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, was arrested for possession of marijuana in 1965, he fled the country. He returned months later, and was promptly sent to jail. Kesey answers a few questions about his perspective on the incident in this short, impromptu 1966 interview. His attitude and beliefs are emblematic of the 1960s counterculture that he was such an essential part of. The girl in the video is Carolyn “Mountain Girl” Garcia, who later married (and divorced) Grateful Dead singer Jerry Garcia.
Harper Lee is famously reclusive. She hasn’t spoken to a journalist in more than 50 years, declining every request for an interview. But Harper Lee has been interviewed – once.
In 1964, not long after To Kill a Mockingbirdwas published and the same year that the film version was released, Harper Lee sat down with Roy Newquist. The interview can be found in Newquist’s book Counterpoint, but it’s also hiding in a few places online – including in the link above.
“Will there be many more Harry Potter books?” the interviewer earnestly asks in this low-fi 1998 Scottish television piece. At the time of this interview, the second book in the series had not yet been released and the idea of Harry Pottermovies was pure speculation. This is a fascinating interview from a pivotal moment in Rowling’s career.
In this interview, Steinbeck discusses his most famous novel, The Grapes of Wrath, a little more than a dozen years after its publication. Steinbeck seems to join in the optimism of the American 1950s, remarking on how far the country has come since the depression. Steinbeck himself went further in the years that followed, winning the Nobel Prize for Literature a decade later.
The book’s publisher, HarperCollins, announced that sales of the book in the United States and Canada have totaled more than 1.1 million. The novel needed less than one week to reach the huge milestone.
The 1.1 million total includes pre-orders, as well as the first weeks’ worth of post-release purchases in stores and online.
HarperCollins says that these remarkable sales figures make Go Set a Watchman the publisher’s fastest selling book ever, though the Boston Globe points out that plenty of books from other publishers have done better (Scholastic’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, for instance, sold an unbelievable 8.3 million copies in less than 24 hours).
Go Set a Watchman isn’t the first book to race to a million sales this year; Grey, E.L. James’ alternate version of Fifty Shades of Grey, hit the million mark in just four days. Still, Go Set a Watchman‘s sales numbers are incredible for literary fiction.