So you can read my books

Monday, May 30, 2016


Harper Lee, when questioned on the reason why she never wrote another book, told a friend:

"I wouldn't go through the pressure and publicity I went through with  

To Kill a Mockingbird for any amount of money.

I have said what I wanted to say and I will not say it again." 

Harper Lee was 89, a frail, hearing- and sight-impaired stroke victim 

living in a nursing home when this "sequel" was discovered

It was actually the first draft of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD written in 1957.  

Lee's editor, Tay Hohoff, thought it only lived in the flashbacks 

and asked Lee to write a whole novel of that era.

Perhaps just as important, her sister Alice, Lee’s longtime protector, passed away the prior November. 

Her new protector, Tonja Carter, who had worked in Alice Lee’s law office, held power of attorney.

So a classic and its hero was tarnished for a money-grab.  

How American.

And speaking of America ... let's talk CAPTAIN AMERICA:

The new CAPTAIN AMERICA#1 has revealed Cap has been a Hydra agent all along.  

It negated decades of his fighting for the ideals of America and had him being a supporter of the Nazi death camps.

{Shakes his head}

The event even made CNN. 

 Oh, and it just happened to coincide with DC's trying to recover 

from its highly criticized 52 reboot of its universe with the title sweeping REBIRTH.

Just another corporate diversion.

Many speak of how Atticus Finch became a symbol of compassion and courage for them, inspiring them to become attorneys.

Chris Evans has created a character believable in his compassion, his honor, and his willingness to sacrifice for others.

But Atticus and Steve Rogers are just fictional characters, right?  

These fictional worlds and people inspired hundreds of thousands of people 

to live in the ways they want, to go out and do the things they love. 

Better yet, fiction continues to do this 

as it keeps providing strong and unique role models for every kind of person out there. 

 The world is generally a troubled place rife with warfare, poverty, famine, and unrest.

Heroes are beacons of light amidst this vast darkness. 

Heroes prove to us that no matter how much suffering there is in the world, 

there are supremely good people around whom we can count on to do the right thing, 

even when most other people are not.

Heroes bring light to a dark world.  I just hate it when greed douses their candles.

What do you think? 


  1. Hi Roland - greed is appalling ... I agree with that - I feel for Harper Lee: so often though things are overturned for selfish reasons and she had expressed her wish.

    Captain America - I can't comment on ... Stings words are so true though ... with thoughts at this time - Hilary

    1. Greed is universal sadly. :-( Sting's words I thought were fitting to how fragile the best of life is.

  2. I've kind of refused to read the new Mockingbird. If she'd released it, then fine, I would have read it. But clearly that was not her intent.

    1. Like you, I refuse to buy it and endorse the crass ignoring of Lee's wishes when she was no longer able to fight for herself.

  3. Go Set a Watchman has been sitting on one of my bookshelves for months: it was a gift. I will read it eventually, but now doesn't feel like the right time. I don't think there's anything wrong with having a fictional hero or heroine to aspire to - and it's horrible when greed tarnishes everything.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    1. It is a first draft that gave birth to classic. I prefer not to stain my memory of the classic. But it may be interesting to see what the editor thought was unworthy to be in print.

      When a child, Ulysses and Sherlock Holmes were heroes: their minds and quick wits overcame their obstacles not their muscles. :-)

  4. I haven't read 'Go Set a Watchman' and don't intend to. 'Greed' has been in the world for .... 'ever'... and it will continue. I consider myself very fortunate not to be a greedy person and know that there are a lot of good people out there. The good far outweigh the bad - it's just a pity that the 'bad' get the limelight.

    1. The thing for me is not to support Greed whenever I can -- not to reinforce negative behavior patterns!

      The Bad get the headlines; the Good keep the world running despite the shouting. :-)

    2. The Bad may shout the loudest, but the Good calmly keep the world running. :-)

  5. Comic-book loving David ~~ the Silver Fox's real first name ~~ doesn't read modern comics, so whatever insanity they've foisted on Steve Rogers ~~ my favorite Marvel hero ~~ doesn't really affect me.

    Atticus Finch's newly-revealed (or should I put "newly" in quotes) bigotry cuts a little deeper. Haven't steeled myself enough to read Go Set a Watchmen yet ~~ just reviews ~~ but I've been trying to explain to myself how he could be the same man in either book without invalidating the other. Should make an interesting blog post for me if and when I finally read the newer release.

    1. Watchman is not telling the story of the same man - just a first draft of a character with the same name.

      Like you, David, I stopped reading comics years ago, for they seemed to have lost the ability to tell a story I wanted to read -- just multiple covers to the same story to grab dollars.

      I used to teach grammar, using Chris Claremont's X-Men comics, for he loved the English language and it showed.

      Thanks for visiting and letting me know your first name! :-)

  6. Hope you're right about Watchman, but I'd be almost compelled to read the two books as part of the same story.

    I stopped reading comics for much the same reason. I worked as a comic book retailer when the multiple cover (and other gimmicks) frenzy got out of control.

    I met Chris Claremont once, and always enjoyed his writing... even if the man did create so many sub-plots he himself couldn't keep track of them all! :)

    I do have to wonder if the latest Captain America storyline is just greed or a desperate attempt to do something new with a 75-year-old property! :) It is a shame to trash the character, though.

    1. David, I was a comic retailer too -- for about 12 years right about the same time

      Reading the 2 books as the same story would only be natural. Yet MOCKINGBIRD's Atticus only bears the same name as the one in WATCHMAN.

      The latest Cap story was meant to take the headlines away from DC's REBIRTH emergence. And it did sadly since I read the first book which was actually, surprisingly quite good -- it (SPOILER ALERT)

      introduced the Watchmen into DC major continuity. But in keeping with the money-grabbing trend, DC wants you to buy every title in a massive cross-over event. Sigh.

  7. Thanks for writing the above about Harper Lee and the money grabbers surrounding her at the end. That's so terrible.

    You are so right about heroes and inspirational people. I don't know anything about Captain America, but in this past year, I have let my huge admiration for firefighters (you know we have some scary wildfires here) develop into crushes. Seriously, they are my heroes. And just for fun they are something an old lady can only dream about, and blush and giggle with her girlfriends. This has helped my sadness hugely.

    1. Yes, firefighters are true heroes. Who else would run into a roaring inferno to save lives or risk a terrible death to stop a forest fire from spreading, destroying lives, homes and all the precious irreplacable items within them?

      I am sure those firefighters would be flattered that you think them heroes ... and attractive. :-)

  8. I haven't read "Watchman" and don't know if I will. I was appalled when I heard about the discovery and that it would be published. Harper Lee was profoundly deaf and nearly blind. It wasn't that long after the publication that she died. That first draft was not published for a reason. The reason should have stood. Alice Lee protected Nelle Harper Lee for many years. When she was gone, the vultures descended.


    1. Yes, Janie, it is so sad that the vultures could not wait until the poor woman died.

      I will never read WATCHMAN either. I cannot do much, but I can deny my money like you. :-(

  9. I had heard the Harper Lee story, which is why I refuse to read the "new" book. There is something to deepening a character by adding a dimension not previously known, and then there's taking away everything that character stood for. Deep sigh.

    1. We do ill by cheapening the memories of generations of readers. I wish those driven by greed realized that. :-(