Tag: to kill a mockingbird

Hermione Granger as a child, teenager, and adult

10 Literary Role Models to Help You Kick Ass in 2019

Sometimes, we look to our friends to be better people. Since you probably just rang in the New Year watching all of your friends sing badly and injure themselves while intoxicated, maybe you’re looking for a role model who’s a little more respectable. Here’s a list of ten literary characters who can inspire us to be better people in the year 2019—as long as we emulate only their positive qualities. (Katniss Everdeen did kill dozens of people.)

1. Atticus Finch

 

Atticus Finch

Gif Via Tumblr.com

 

A more inspirational lawyer than most actual lawyers, Harper Lee‘s beloved character Atticus Finch is a role model in the poor Southern town of Maycomb during the Great Depression. He’s empathetic, forgiving, respectful, an excellent parent… and he puts everything on the line to defend a black man in court in the 1930s, even when the racists in town don’t understand why. His rigid commitment to what’s right has served as an inspiration for many practicing lawyers, and his commitment to his beliefs is particularly relevant in times of division, violence, and injustice. (Yes, we’re ignoring the fact that he becomes a crotchety old racist in Go Set a Watchman—as are all of the parents who named their kids after him.)

 

2. Hermione Granger

 

Dumbledore's Army sign-up sheet

Gif Via Huffingtonpost.com

 

Listen-Harry might be brave and bold, but he’s no Ravenclaw. We all know Hermione is smart and loyal, constantly staying all night in the library to get the goods for her friends. And we would never forget how socially aware she can be, standing up for the rights of house elves and shutting down slurs left and right. But you might’ve forgotten how she deals with snitches and bitches: when Cho Chang’s friend leaks the details of Dumbledore’s Army, Hermoine finds out it was her via the sign-up sheet’s enchanted paper. Anyone who betrays the trust of the group will have the word SNEAK appear across their face in boils—which honestly would leave a pretty gross scar. This 2019, let’s all learn from Hermione not to mess around.

 

3. Nancy Drew

 

Nancy Drew & friends

Image Via Variety.com

 

Some people never land their dream jobs. Some people do it when they’re sixteen years old. Nancy Drew is big time goals for a number of reasons, not the least of which the fact that she’s a female detective originally from the 1930s—not a time big on respecting girls or children. She also graduated high school at the age of sixteen, meaning she must have remained pretty focused despite catching criminals. She also had more hobbies than books written about her, which is pretty impressive given her multi-decade run. Nancy is hardly the only genius detective out there, but she’s never been accused of blazing it 24/7 (Shaggy from Scooby Doo) or injecting cocaine (Sherlock Holmes).

 

4. Eloise

 

Eloise

Image Via Tabletmag.com

 

So maybe Eloise is just a wildly overprivileged six-year-old who roller-skates down the hallways of the Plaza Hotel. Eloise is at once extremely wealthy and a child, meaning she doesn’t have to pay for anything and has no responsibilities. While it’s unlikely we’ll shirk off all debt in the year 2019 and eat solely hotel room service, there’s nothing wrong with childlike enthusiasm in adult circumstances. (But there is something wrong with pouring champagne down mail chutes.)

 

5. Lady Macbeth

 

Lady Macbeth quote

Image Via Pinterest.com

 

2019 should definitely not be the year you kill someone. (2018 also should not have been the year you killed someone, though we’d understand if you considered it.) But this is a year for going after your dreams will all the wrath of this Shakespearean heroine. Want a better job? Get one! Want a healthier relationship? You go! Want the King of Scotland dead? You know what to do.

 

6. Jay Gatsby

 

Gatsby quote from film

Gif Via Gfycat.com

 

Maybe he does end up dead in a swimming pool. But listen—have you ever wanted something so badly you moved across the country, changed your name, broke the law, and became a mysterious billionaire celebrity to almost get it? This year, go after your goals with all the obsession and straight-up panache of Jay Gatsby. Just do your best not to be an accomplice to a hit-and-run.

 

7. Samwise Gamgee

 

Samwise Gamgee gif film

Gif Via Giphy.com

 

Following a year of political unpleasantness (and likely entering another year of political unpleasantness), let’s all take inspiration from a loyal friend who has never done anything wrong. If Lord of the Rings‘ Samwise Gamgee can become the only person to ever willingly give up the Ring, you can probably, like, eat a salad every now and then.

 

8. Janie Crawford

 

'Their Eyes Were Watching God' by Zora Neale Hurston

Image Via Essence.com

 

Zora Neale Hurston‘s Their Eyes Were Watching God details the life story of Janie Crawford, who escapes abusive and unsatisfying relationships to find love, respect, freedom, and financial independence. (Goals!) Janie Crawford rejects her role as the trophy wife of a violent husband to run far away with a kindhearted drifter. (Oh, and when her abusive husband dies, she gets all his money.) Enduring onslaughts of both nature and man, Janie survives a hurricane to become a stronger person and returns to her hometown in possession of a fascinating, well-lived life. While it would be best not to almost drown, be put on trial for murder, and have multiple of your loved ones die this 2019, we can (probably) become better versions of ourselves without the terrible bits.

 

9. Sofia

 

'The Color Purple' by Alice Walker

Image Via Blogspot.com

 

In Alice Walker‘s The Color Purple, Sofia defies gender roles and existing power struggles with her physical and mental strength. Is your goal for 2019 to work out? Maybe you’ll get so jacked you can punch abusers. Sofia’s physical strength allows her to take over as the head of the household, performing labor traditionally reserved for men, and negate her husband’s attempts at physical control. Not only can Sofia defy those in her life who want to hurt her, but she can also leave them. It’s never too early in the year to cut toxic people from your life—just don’t get arrested while doing it.

 

10. Katniss Everdeen

 

Katniss Everdeen gif

Image Via Giphy.com

 

If you’ve ever wanted to change the world, then guess what? Real life is a dystopia, and what you do in your day-to-day existence is probably exactly what you’d do as a fictional character. If you’d rather be a hero, try considering the ways in which you can better the world without killing dozens of children.

Atticus Finch and Tim Robinson

Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Wins The Great American Read

Harper Lee’s classic To Kill a Mockingbird has rightfully claimed the top spot in the PBS Great American Read. The 1960 novel features one of the greatest characters in literary history, Jim Crow-era lawyer Atticus Finch and is told from the point of view of Atticus’s young daughter Scout. A true testament to justice, morality, and basic human dignity, the book was adapted into an Oscar winning 1962 film and has sold over forty million copies worldwide. 

 

Image Via novemberschild.com

Image Via novemberschild.com

 

All in all, four million votes were cast for the hundred books on the list. Mockingbird held an early lead in the voting and never lost its top spot. It’s the sort of book that resonates just as much today as it did nearly sixty years ago. A well deserved win that was never in doubt.

 

Other top winners are fairly unsurprising with the Harry Potter series as a whole nabbing third place, Lord of the Rings coming in at number seven, and Chronicles of Narnia in ninth. The Outlander series about a time travelling nurse came in second place.

 

Feature Image Via Variety

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13 Incredible ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Quotes to Celebrate its Anniversary

It’s the 58th anniversary of Harper Lee’s beloved novel To Kill a Mockingbird, which would win the Pulitzer Prize. The story is set in Depression-era Alabama, but its messages resonate even today. Here are a few great (and relevant) quotes to celebrate the birthday of this enduring tale.

 


 

“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” 

 


 

“I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.” 

 


 

“They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions… but 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.”

 


 

“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.” 

 


 

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”

 


 

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” 

 


 

“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.” 

 


 

 

“Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win.” 

 


 

“Are you proud of yourself tonight that you have insulted a total stranger whose circumstances you know nothing about?” 

 


 

“‘How could they do it, how could they?’

 

“I don’t know, but they did it. They’ve done it before & they did it tonight & they’ll do it again & when they do it – seems that only children weep.'”

 


 

“A mob’s always made up of people, no matter what. Mr. Cunningham was part of a mob last night, but he was still a man. Every mob in every little Southern town is always made up of people you know–doesn’t say much for them, does it?” 

 


 

“Just remember that sometimes, the way you think about a person isn’t the way they actually are.” 

 


 

“But things are always better in the morning.” 

 


Via Giphy

Via Giphy

 

Feature Image Via Nerdist

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5 Literary Relics People Spent WAY Too Much Money On

As we’ve covered before, some literary memorabilia sell for thousands and thousands of dollars. In one insane instance, a Hogwarts Acceptance letter from the first Harry Potter film sold for $40,000. The Harry Potter franchise isn’t the first to sell items from the films for insane amounts of cash. Everything from wallets to toilets to ashes of beloved stars have sold for immense amounts of money. Here are a list of some of the most obscure literary relics sold at auction. 

 

 

1. Charles Dickens’s Toothpick

 

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Image Via The Telegraph 

 

Engraved with his initials and used on his last visit to America, Charles Dickens’s toothpick sold at action in 2009 for $9,150. The tiny object was put up for auction by heirs of the Barnes and Noble family.

 

2. Harper Lee Taj Mahal Letter

 

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Image Via Nate D. Sanders

 

Harper Lee wrote a letter to her friend Doris Leapard in August of 1990 with content spanning all sorts of topics from social revolution to novels she was enjoying. At the end of the letter, Lee even apologized for the quality of her typewriter. Her lyrical style seen in To Kill A Mockingbird was used to trash Donald Trump and his Taj Mahal-inspired casino in New Jersey. The letter sold for $3,926 at an auction in New York in 2016. 

 

3. Sylvia Plath’s Wallet

 

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Image Via Bonhams

 

A wallet put up for auction included Sylvia Plath’s ID cards including her Boston Public Library, her Poetry Society of America membership card, driver’s license, social security card, and a small photo of Plath with her mother. The wallet sold for $11,669 March 21, 2018. Along with the wallet, some of Plath’s other belongings were also sold including her fishing rod, articles of clothing, and her drawings. 

 

4. J.D. Salinger’s Toilet

 

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Image Via Writers Write 

 

The beloved Catcher in the Rye author’s toilet was sold on Ebay with a letter from the present homeowner, confirming that the toilet was formerly owned by the reclusive author. The item came “uncleaned and in its original condition”, as stated in the ad. The toilet sold for $1,000,000, not including cleaning fees. 

 

5. X-Ray of Ernest Hemingway’s Foot

 

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via Bonhams

 

The injuries shown in the x-rays Ernest Hemingway would later be detailed in his novel, A Farewell to ArmsThe x-ray remains in its original hospital file folder with labels identifying it as his. The lot included the x-ray of his foot, ankle, and knee where a bullet can clearly be seen. The auction ended on December 7, 2016 with the x-rays selling for $15,000

 

Featured Image Via William Pitt.

books

American Library Association Announces Most Challenged Books of 2017

This week commemorates the 60th anniversary of National Library Week, allowing bookworms everywhere to proudly celebrate their love of books and the libraries that offer them.

 

In the midst of celebration, The American Library Association, or ALA, has announced the most challenged books of 2017 in order to remind readers that a major threat that gets in the way of celebrating books is the act of book banning, or censorship. 

 

Here are the top ten most challenged books of 2017:

 

 

 

1. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Reason(s): Discussion of suicide

 

2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Reason(s): Profanity, sexually explicit imagery 

 

3. Drama by Raina Telfemeier

Reason(s): Includes LGBT characters, considered “confusing”

 

4. The Kite Runner written by Khaled Hosseini

Reason(s): Depicts sexual violence, allegedly promotes Islam, allegedly “[can] lead to terrorism”

 

5. George by Alex Gino

Reason(s): Depicts a trangender youth

 

6. Sex is a Funny Word: A Book about Bodies, Feelings, and YOU by Cory Silverberg and illustrated by Fiona Smyth

Reason(s): Teaches sex-ed, will allegedly persuade children to “want to have sex or ask questions about sex”

 

7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Reason(s): Depicts violence, use of N-word

 

8. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Reason(s): Depicts drug use, profanity, offensive language, considered “pervasively vulgar”

 

9. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell, Justin Richardson and illustrated by Henry Cole

Reason(s): Depicts a same-sex relationship

 

10. I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel, Jazz Jennings and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas

Reason(s): Addresses gender identity

 

Were you surprised by this list? Let us know!

 

 

Featured Image Via ‘The Atlantic’