Tag Archives: Ursula Le Guin

Kingsblood Royal vs To Kill A Mockingbird

A Book to Change How You Think?

To Kill A Mockingbird coverGo Set A Watchman cover

 

Many readers would say that Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird was a book that changed the way they thought about the racial divide in the USA. Many more were brought to the issues via the film of the same name, starring Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch.

 

The recent publication of Harper Lee’s earlier book Go Set A Watchman received very mixed reviews: some questioned whether the book should have been published at all, given its history; others were shocked by the racism and bigotry of Watchman’s Atticus. Interestingly, Ursula K Le Guin wrote that Watchman, “for all its faults and omissions, asks some of the hard questions To Kill A Mockingbird evades”. Which brings us neatly to…

Kingsblood Royal — tackling the Mockingbird theme, but better?

Our latest Love Letter to a Favourite Novel is about Kingsblood Royal, a book many of us will never have heard of, by Sinclair Lewis — an American author some readers will not have heard of, either, even though he was awarded the Nobel prize for literature (and wrote Elmer Gantry).

kingsblood royal love letter

Peter, our passionate reader advocate, believes that Kingsblood Royal is “a much more powerful analysis of American racism than To Kill A Mockingbird“. Reading Lewis’s novel, Peter adds, made him feel “uncomfortable in a way that Harper Lee never quite managed”.

Peter doesn’t argue that Kingsblood Royal should replace To Kill A Mockingbird in our schools but he does make a forceful argument that Lewis’s book should be better known.

Hive members are convinced. Do read Peter’s Love Letter and see if you are, too.

The Importance of Readers (reposted from RNA Blog)

This post on The Importance of Readers was originally a guest piece on the Romantic Novelists’ Association blog. Many thanks to the RNA for letting us repost it here, complete with thoughts on our progress, nearly a year on…

Sophie Weston AuthorBack in December 2015, Sophie Weston wrote . . .

Every author understands the importance of readers.They nurture our visions, buy our books, keep us creating. You might say, they’re our raison d’être.

But how much do we know about how or why or even what they do, when they read? Especially when they read fiction.

When I say they, of course I mean we.

All authors were readers before we started to write. Most of us stay readers — some, voracious — throughout our lives. Sometimes though, we don’t read the way we used to, need to, if we’re to fulfil the purist job description. Continue reading