Harper Lee & Me (Or, Why Her New Book Will Not Ruin My Life)

Harper Lee’s new book, Go Set a Watchman will NOT ruin my life. Yes, you read that right.

Here’s the story …

About a month ago, I attended my local book club meeting and was deep in discussion about the novels we might select for the upcoming six months. A friend of mine, an English professor, tossed out a few ideas, including To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman. Nods all around.

Another friend asked when it was being released, and after a quick Google search, one of the teachers in the group announced July 14th.

Our Book Club in December


“Really?” I asked, my throat tightening a bit. The room suddenly looked darker. Felt colder. And I repeated the date for confirmation. “July 14th?”

The room went silent. I’m sure I offered a too-big smile or a shoulder shrug, betraying my slight worry. “That’s my release date for Center of Gravity,” I explained.

After a few consoling words, laughter, and some ribbing from one of my closest friends, (“Sorry about that” and “Better luck next time on the bestseller.”) I decided that Nell and her new book would complement, not compete, on launch day. After all, we have lots in common. We can share. People can pick up two new glorious titles that Tuesday, right?

Here are 8 reasons you should pick up Watchman & Center of Gravity July 14:


2. Harper Lee and I once had lunch together (okay, about 65 writers had lunch with her at the Alabama Writers Symposium 3 years ago when she made a surprise appearance)

3. We both studied law (Harper Lee at Alabama; I studied at Syracuse). Both ventures were short-lived, thankfully.

4.  We’ve both spent time in Eufaula, Ala. (Harper Lee in 1983 for the Heritage Festival. I’ve visited several times to tour the city and research the annual Pilgrimage)

5. We have the same publisher, HarperCollins (Watchman is the Harper imprint. Center of Gravity’s imprint is Thomas Nelson)


7. We both have a connection to Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala. (Harper Lee received her honorary degree from SHC in 1997. I currently work at the college as a web content and social media manager)

8. Our covers are a similar, striking shades of blue and will complement any bookshelf!

I could go on, but you get the idea….

Like almost everyone else on the planet who cares about books, I’m thrilled and fascinated with the discovery of Lee’s novel. And like many other avid readers, I’ll be picking up my copy at a local bookstore and diving in to Watchman in July.

If you’re doing the same, be sure to check out the “other” release that day, available everywhere fine books are sold!    ~  Laura

Pre-Order Center of Gravity and Go Set a Watchman

*photo credit of Harper Lee: Spring Hill College

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