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The Sunday Salon: Football and Fiction Lectures

The Sunday Salon.com It’s the first Sunday of football season and I am, sadly, not watching any games today. Our cable isn’t hooked up at our new house yet (don’t even get me started on that…), so I’m spending my afternoon getting text updates from friends and obsessively checking my fantasy football scores online. It’s less than ideal.

Unfortunately, even with all my time without the Internet and cable this week, I haven’t gotten much reading done. There’s been a lot of cleaning and organizing and furniture-building, but not much reading. I’m hoping that will change this week, however, because there are a couple of books I want to finish before the weekend in order to participate in few events being held locally in conjunction with an author visit on September 19.

Each year, the English department at the college in the town where I live hosts a lecture in the fall for a visit author. This year, the lecturer is Jay Parini, perhaps most well-known for his 1990 book The Last Station, which was made into a movie in 2009. The Last Station is a “biographical novel” about the last year of Leo Tolstoy’s life. His most recent novel came out in 2010 — The Passages of H.M., another biographical novel, this time about Herman Mellville. In anticipation of Parini’s visit, the English department has organized a series of reading groups for Parini’s books and some movie showings of The Last Station to get the community talking about Parini and the issues his books raise.

As a nonfiction reader, I think the topic of Parini’s lecture — “The Imagination of Truth: How Fiction Shines a Light into the Dark Corners of History” — is going to be especially fascinating. Can fiction offer insight into people and their lives in a way that nonfiction cannot? Does fictionalizing some of the facts we don’t know about a historical figure diminish their story or give us more to think about?

My plan, if I get motivated and find some time to read this week, is to try and finish both The Last Station and The Passages of H.M.  They’re not long, so I think it’s achievable if I put my mind too it (and, if Hannah gets off my lap so I can go grab the book from my bedroom).

What are you reading this fine Sunday?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Athira September 9, 2012, 4:04 pm

    That is an interesting topic and one I’ve thought about a few times. I do read more fiction, but I tend to like the subjects of more nonfiction books. I just don’t seem to finish those books. It will be nice to listen to that lecture or read about the gist of it.

    • Kim September 12, 2012, 7:08 pm

      I’m excited for the lecture. I always get distracted in historical fiction because I wonder what is true and what is fiction. I’m curious what he says about that idea, if anything.

  • Elizabeth September 9, 2012, 4:48 pm

    Cute blog…I like your blog name. Nice setup too.

    Found you on BBAW….enjoy the week’s events.

    Silver’s Reviews

  • Jenny September 9, 2012, 4:57 pm

    Aw, I hope your cable gets hooked up soon! The cable channels up here don’t play any of the Saints games because all the people want the Jets, Bills, and Giants games, curse them. It makes my life tricky.

    • Kim September 12, 2012, 7:09 pm

      I cannot wait for the cable to be set up. It’s driving me nuts that we’re paying for it, but we can have it moved over here without paying a huge fee… unless we wait until tomorrow, and then they’ll do it for free.

  • bermudaonion(Kathy) September 9, 2012, 4:59 pm

    Moving is exhausting so I can understand the lack of reading. I have to admit that I don’t understand fantasy football, though.

    • Kim September 12, 2012, 7:09 pm

      Part of what I like about it is that it helps me have some investment into games that normally I wouldn’t care much about. It’s just a fun way to think about the game more, I guess 🙂

  • Stephanie September 9, 2012, 5:02 pm

    I saw the movie adaptation of The Last Station and really liked it. It’s kind of hard to go wrong with Helen Mirren. 🙂 I hope you enjoy the book. I hope the rest of the move goes smoothly — I know how exhausting that can be. And I hope your cable’s hooked up soon. 🙂

    • Kim September 12, 2012, 7:10 pm

      I can’t wait to see the movie, I do love Helen Mirren.

  • jennygirl September 10, 2012, 8:33 am

    Hope you did well in your league yesterday.

    I think fiction can shine a light, because when I read an HF book, it makes me want to read the “true” story in non-fiction books. Through HF I’ve discovered a whole new interest of history 🙂
    Have a fantastic week and hope you can settle in a bit more into your new place.

    • Kim September 12, 2012, 7:10 pm

      I feel the same way about historical fiction, and movies based on real people and events. They always make me want to learn more.