Friday, August 14, 2015

Award-Winning Reads | To Kill a Mockingbird

Hello there readers!

I'll be honest. It's been some time since I posted a blog here on Award-Winning Reads. It's been so long that I almost forgot how to log into Blogger! But I hope you all will stick around with me as I now post twice a month about beloved award-winning books.

This week I'm sharing one of my all-time favorite modern American classics: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This literary gem won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1961. The Pulitzer Prize is awarded by Columbia University for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature, and musical composition in the U.S. The similarly-titled 1962 film based on the book is also a critically-acclaimed prize-winner, having earned three Academy Awards.
Pulitzer Prize. Claiming fair use, this photo is being used for informational purposes only, to illustrate what the award looks like.
Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird. 
To Kill a Mockingbird is a coming-of-age story, or bildungsroman, told from the viewpoint of young Jean Louise Finch, better known as Scout. Scout is a headstrong, curious girl who witnesses the fictional Alabama community's uproar as her father, Atticus Finch, legally defends an innocent black man accused of raping a white woman. Scout's experiences move her to question the deeply-held racial prejudices of her neighbors.

I remember being required to read the book and watch the movie in Mr. Thompson's eighth-grade class at Hamilton Middle School. As a young girl, I appreciated that Scout was a strong female character. She wasn't afraid to voice her thoughts and opinions while she was yet still trying to understand the scope of what was going on around her.

Until recently, this was Lee's only published novel. However, a month ago, on July 14th, Go Set a Watchman, a follow-up story, was released. It features many of the same characters from its predecessor twenty years later. I'll be listening to the audiobook. Reese Witherspoon is performing it!
Not by coincidence, the title of one of my most cherished cocktails recipe books is a play on words of Lee's first story. Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist serves up literary libations such as "The Joy Luck Club Soda" and "Gin Eyre" as well as a few tasty treats like "Alice's Adventures in Wonder Bread" and "Prawn Quixote." It even offers non-alcoholic beverages that are puns of juvenile book titles such as "Pear the Wild Things Are" and "The Blizzard of Oz."

Now that I think about it, I just might celebrate Lee's sophomore novel by making myself a "Tequila Mockingbird" (with more tequila and less hot sauce than the recipe requires), before listening to Reese's sweet southern drawl.

Next time I'll discuss the work of another female author - the first female to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. There's always more Fan Favorite Fiction from Females to love! 

Until then, have a good reading! (And if you need a "Rum of One's Own," to get you started off right, I promise, I won't tell! *wink, wink*)

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