This week we reviewed ATTICUS FINCH, a new biography of Harper Lee’s father (and how he informed the character of Atticus Finch) by Alabama historian Joseph Crespino. It reminds me that listeners adore Lee’s classic TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD as an audiobook. If you have not listened to Sissy Spacek’s narration, summer may be the perfect time to add this audiobook to your playlist. Listening to the story can renew appreciation of the brilliant novel while also immersing you in the storytelling experience.
Lee’s earlier novel (finally published in 2015), GO SET A WATCHMAN, is also a fascinating listening experience. Reese Witherspoon sets the Deep South stage with perfection with her voice and cadences. In recent news about her book club, Reese’s Book Club x hellosunshine will partner with Audible to inspire more listening highlighting the voices of female storytellers. I was delighted to find on YouTube the audio recording below of a rare interview Harper Lee gave in 1964.
Several audiobooks about Harper Lee and her family let listeners go further with their Mockingbird obsession. THE MOCKINGBIRD NEXT DOOR is a biographical memoir by journalist Marja Mills, who conducted many interviews with Lee and her older sister Alice. The work sheds light on Lee’s reclusiveness, and Amy Lynn Stewart’s narration is an Earphones winner. Wayne Flynt, a lifelong friend of the author, published MOCKINGBIRD SONGS: My Friendship with Harper Lee last year. The audiobook offers a beautifully balanced dual narration by Rosemary Benson and Mike Ortego.
These audiobooks simply add to the value and impact of Harper Lee and her work. A good time to listen is now; as Atticus says, “The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”