To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I never got around to this book because I swore that I'd read it as a kid. I was sure that in my wealth of reading during adolescence when one is allowed to wile away full days in bed or under a tree with a book this one would hav been on the list. Or at least I'd seen the movie. Either way, after hearing an interview with the author of Mockingbird, the current Harper Lee bio and starting my own project of what I'll call "rural" fiction, it was time to get around to this one. Besides, I was on vacation.
The book proved to be worthy of its status as a classic. It is outstanding work (nevermind the first-person perspective and the retrospective problem it poses). Wonderfully, the area's history and the history of its residents inform the present story. We follow along as Scout and Jeb learn life's morals and complexities, but never once do we feel we are beeing lectured to. It does (and should) prove inspirational.
A pity it is that we didn't get more work like this from Harper Lee. A pity too that it took me this long to get around to reading it.