My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

To Read, or Not To Read Go Set a Watchman

For over six months, I have been waiting with baited breath to begin reading, Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee.  I fell for a shining marketing campaign touting this as a long-awaited companion to one of my favorite books of all time:  To Kill A Mockingbird. Little did I realize the controversy that is surrounding the publication of this book.  According to Lauren DeStefano’s (author of The Chemical Garden trilogy) twitter feed, “Go Set A Watchman is abuse/exploitation of the elderly. Everyone involved with its acquisition is disgusting.”  
I was truly shocked by this revelation.  And I also felt incredibly stupid for not  already knowing the history of how this book was being published.  I had heard that this was indeed an old draft of Ms. Lee’s first novel.  But I was under the impression that she had an opportunity to edit this and refine it before publication.  
I now have very mixed feelings about reading this book.  On the one hand, I am still curious to read it as I am quite invested in these characters.  On the other hand, I feel terrible for lining the pocketbooks of whoever must be making a profit from this spectacle.  
As I pre-ordered it and it is too late to cancel, I will be reading this book, but now with a knowledge of the context in which it was written.  I listened to a report about the book on NPR and learned that the book was written in the early 1950’s, and so it should not be a shock that the Atticus character is portrayed as a racist.  The report also pointed out that To Kill a Mockingbird was written later as the Civil-Rights movement was underway, which obviously influenced the whole tone of that book.   

The USPS truck has now pulled up to my mailbox and the book awaits me.  I don’t know if reading it will delight me or enrage me.  Either way, I will still be moved, which is the true power of reading.
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  1. I agree with you, sis. I'm somewhat disappointed by the reviews I have read. However, I'm still going to read this book & make up my own mind.

    1. If I had known about the questionable way in which the book was acquired, I would not have bought it. But I did pre-order it, so I will read it.

  2. I had no idea that this was published like that! I was waiting to see what the masses thought to see if I was going to by it or not I'm glad I didn't preorder this. I am interested to see your thought though.

  3. I will be reading it soon. I am finishing a wonderful ARC called Forsworn, by Emily Wibberely. Then I will review it. I'm really excited as this is only my second ARC!


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