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Acadiana Lifestyle

Books: The Pope And The Watchman

09/11/2015 08:00AM ● Published by Aimee Cormier

By Ray Saadi—Book Editor

GO SET A WATCHMAN By Harper Lee, Harper Publishing $27.99

This is the book Harper Lee originally brought to her publisher who advised her to rewrite it from the viewpoint of six-year-old “Scout.” Thanks to that advice we got “To Kill A Mockingbird”. In this newly discovered manuscript, Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, now a 26-year-old single New Yorker, returns home to Maycomb, Ala. to visit her ailing father, Atticus, aka Gregory Peck. Readers who remember him as the gentle widowed father of two, who risks everything to defend a black man accused falsely of raping a white girl, will be as dismayed as was Scout to find him now an avowed racist determined to resist a Supreme Court school integration decision. The considerable amount of racial slurs and comments might also have influenced Lee’s editor to suggest a rewrite. “Go Set A Watchman,” while probably accurately portraying this small Southern town’s racial attitudes, falls far short of the entertaining “To Kill A Mockingbird,” especially for its’ virtual lack of action, relieved only somewhat by the humorous Coffee Klatch organized by Aunt Gussie to welcome Jean Louise home.

POPE FRANCIS: A Photographic Portrait of the People’s Pope By Father Michael Collins, DK Books $25 

Ah! How the camera loves Pope Francis, especially the camera of Rodolfo Felici whose exclusive photographs colorfully capture Francis’ first year. But this book begins much earlier than that. There’s the photo of a very young Jorge Mario Bergoglio in his elementary school class, a smiling youth about 11, as a Jesuit student and with his family and grandparents. The text by Father Michael Collins captures the surprising and unexpected elevation of Cardinal Bergoglio to the Papacy.  Francis I is pictured in and out of the Vatican and on his many travels including praying for peace at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. The book’s fabulous color photos of Francis I show his appreciation of the camera as well. 

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