Niagara Gazette

Opinion

July 16, 2014

BRADBERRY: Really good summer reading, still great after all these years

Niagara Gazette — I am always impressed by the power of the pen, or, in today’s parlance; the keyboard. Words can bring joy; they can also bring sorrow; they can bring life, they can be deadly, and they can bring justice which can often deliver neither joy nor sorrow.

Certainly, today’s great writers are at least as good as, if not better than many of the best of the classics. No disrespect intended here to the modern Bards of the world, but it shouldn’t hurt to look back, just a little, at some of the stories that helped bring about change, especially for the better.

The writers’ ability to arrange the 26 letters of the English alphabet (and others, of course) into millions of words and sentences, short stories and novels, poems and other depictions which can transport us away from our circumstances into an imaginary, or real world as described by someone else who may have lived a thousand years ago in a place many thousands of miles away, has always amazed me.

All art does it to me; transports, even transforms me ...

And if it is something truly special, something inspirational, or a fantasy that tickles my imagination, or otherwise makes me say, “hmmm ...” I try to share it whenever I can. So here, again are a few of our old favorite reads:

I did not read Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “To Kill a Mockingbird” until at least 10 years after it was originally published in 1960. Like many, I was living it in real time, in real life, and for too many, 50 years later the story and the reality of it still stings true.

When she completed it in 1959, before it hit the bookstore shelves, the entire country, and much of the world was, like today, in the midst of a massive awakening as nations were grappling with the intensely divisive issues of raw racism on the bloodied heels the Supreme Court’s landmark, Brown v Board of Education case and its implications around the world.

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