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Remembering Harper Lee and "To Kill a Mockingbird" with 12 of Her Best Quotes

Harper Lee's seminal work may have a complex legacy, but some of her quotes are truly transcendent.

Harper Lee

Photo by Chun/La Lib Foun/Shutterstock

Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird may have seemed timeless when it came out, but times have a way of changing.

Nowadays, Lee's legendary book feels less like a treatise on tolerance and more of a relic of old ideals with racist stereotypes and archaic language mixed in. Perhaps it was appropriate that Atticus Finch revealed his latent racism in the book's much-maligned sequel, To Set a Watchman. Yet To Kill A Mockingbird retains its mythic and omnipresent status, in part because of the looming legacy of Atticus Finch, but also in part because of its wise and famously cantankerous author, the small woman named Harper Lee who wrote her classic (indeed a revolutionary work during its time) and then wrote nothing else for decades.

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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005) Trailer # 1 - Martin Freeman HD

In the opening pages of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Earth is destroyed. Now if that doesn't scream 2020 so far, what does?

In Douglas Adams's 1979 novel, which premiered as a radio series on BBC Radio4 in 1978 (42 years ago—but more about the significance of that number later), Earth is suddenly blown up in order to make room for an intergalactic superhighway. Now, in a year that has—after only 3 months, people—given us a contentious, confusing democratic primary, the death of Kobe Bryant, new and worsening facts about our climate and habitat at large, appalling leadership, and of course the rapid spread of and global shutdowns by the coronavirus (COVID-19), it seems impossible to turn to any source for comfort.

Enter The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: a novel that starts with the global annihilation that we might be heading for and then follows the characters as they cope with new realities, with isolation and loss, an endless information source that brings with it endless anxiety, and an egomaniacal, arrogant, selfish, attention-craving president of the galaxy.

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Donald Trump's Reading List

Trump may not read, but he does love to recommend books.

Photo by History in HD on Unsplash

It's well-known that Donald Trump doesn't read.

Admittedly, reading can be hard in the social media age of distraction and SparkNotes. Maybe if you're the president of the entire United States, you should perhaps read–but who are we to judge?

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