Go Set a Watchman - Who is reading it?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by ku_alum, Jul 14, 2015.

  1. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Jul 14, 2015

    NO SPOILERS, PLEASE! We can save that discussion for later.

    I received a copy by surprise from my husband.

    I'm one of those folks who have pets named after To Kill a Mockingbird.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    My cat is Boo Radley. I want to reread TKAM before reading this new novel.:)
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I plan to read it. I reread TKAM last year. I know the first chapter of the new one has been released already and I just looked at a few spoilers. It ought to be good, though a bit controversial, in a way.
     
  5. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I have read reviews. I'm curious to see how it plays out.
     
  6. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I'm about 30% through it as of a few minutes ago. I wrote on my FB page about why I decided to read it (only spoilers were those we all got from the deluge of early reviews):

    The more I read and hear about Go Set a Watchman, the "found" novel by Harper Lee, the more I have to fight to cancel my pre-order. It sounds like much of this book will destroy or diminish the lessons taught in To Kill a Mockingbird, the novel I have the honor of teaching to my 9th graders. However, this is exactly why I need to read it for myself. My future students, probably my past ones, will read Watchman and have a lot of questions. If I ignore Watchman while continuing to teach Mockingbird, I am doing myself and my kids a disservice. It would be like a scientist ignoring new research because it might interfere with his or her own theories.

    Atticus might change from Mockingbird to Watchman. It might be a terrible disillusionment to read. However, people in real life often change as they age, and their perspectives might change with circumstances. Those circumstances may take idealism and turn it into cynicism or even hatred. It happens in reality, even to people we love. In this case, it might happen to a fictional character loved by the world. Perhaps it is what happened to the person on whom Atticus was based, and reading the fictional version further might explain the reasons behind the reality.

    That being said, To Set a Watchman is being delivered to my Kindle tomorrow. I might not enjoy every moment of reading it, but I anticipate learning from it.​
     
  7. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Jul 14, 2015

    I will not be reading it. I find the details about how it came to be published shady, at best. I feel like there is a very good chance Harper Lee was taken advantage of.
     
  8. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    :) I commented on this FB thread. :) TeeHee. I like having forum friends on FB.
     
  9. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Jul 15, 2015

    I have no plans to read it (I have not read TKAM either). But am I right in thinking that this 'new' book was actually the original book that was rejected by the publisher and Harper Lee was told to go away and re-write it from the point of view of the child and TKAM was the resultant book.
    I always feel that books/movies etc that are so overhyped by the people hoping to make money will nearly always turn out to be a disappointment.
     
  10. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    I will read it this week-end, but I am so apprehensive.

    Oh, blazer, you HAVE to read TKAM!
     
  11. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Jul 15, 2015

    I might read it if I can get it at the library. Not a book I'd rush out to buy right away but I am curious.
     
  12. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I read TKAM out loud and just sobbed at the end. I looked like an idiot, but the loss of innocence of the kids just got to me. It is an amazing book. I never watched the old movie though I know it is a classic.
     
  13. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    The movie is incredibly faithful to the book, so I would recommend it. I waited until this year and watched it with my students. They handled it well.
     
  14. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I just started reading it about an hour ago... so far so good!
     
  15. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I am dying to read GSAW, but I'm having a hard time dealing with the potential mishandling of Ms. Lee's affairs by this new lawyer. I'm trying to compromise with myself, and checking it out from a library, so I'm not contributing to some lawyer's bottom line (I know, I know...but this is how I can justify it to myself).
     
  16. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I can tell you that, a little more than halfway through the novel, I'm very glad I am reading it.
     
  17. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Jul 15, 2015

    I preordered it for my Kindle. I'm only on chapter 4.
     
  18. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I'm in Part III and enjoying it.
     
  19. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    For those who don't follow me on FB, I posted this link earlier. It's a great discussion on how to approach the content of this new novel while teaching TKAM.
     
  20. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Jul 16, 2015

    I am fighting the urge to read it.
    My step-mom and grandma read "To Kill a Mockingbird" with us when I was in grade school (family reading time) they both grew up in a 'near south' area (southern Illinois and Kentucky ) and identified with the town and people. They instilled in me that Atticus Finch was an extraordinary man for his time. I looked on him as a great father image (since he had lost his wife and my own dad had lost my bio mother).
    I guess I don't want to see a childhood hero tarnished

     
  21. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    I understand your feelings I tear up every time I read it
     
  22. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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  23. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I already have the book in Kindle format and finished it last night. It is, indeed, worth reading. There are things about it that are upsetting and / or provocative, but I enjoyed it. The ending is slightly dense and a little preachy (you WILL get the title of the book), but still worth it.
     
  24. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Here's the thing I'm thinking about. I can't buy the premise that over time, atticus goes from enlightened to less enlightened as he ages. What if Watchman was written first, rejected, and then Harper Lee changed her mind about his characterization? If that's the case, I'd feel strange reading something that she didn't intend.
     

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