Discussable Duets: Pairing fiction and nonfiction

It may be the height of summer, but the F season is right around the corner. I’m not talking about FALL, I’m talking about FOOTBALL.

If you’re group plans their reading only a few months in advance, why not try to grab that elusive demographic–the male reader–and answer a pertinent question posed by many American women–“football. What’s the appeal?”

There are two books coming in September that use football as a theme. Both books use the gridiron game in different ways and definitely unlike the majority of the flifeinterceptedootball fiction and nonfiction on the shelves. Yet, these two books look at the sport and share a less than positive view of America’s most popular past-time.

Charles Martin’s novel, A Life Intercepted, will please fiction readers who enjoy domestic dramas with thought-provoking subjects. Against Football: One Fan’s Reluctant Manifesto by Steve Almond, is a memoir of a man falling out of love with the sport he adored for forty years.

In A Life Intercepted, a promising first-round draft pick, Matthew, sees his life disintegrate when he is convicted of a crime and sent to jail for a dozen years. His young wife, Audrey, disappears to avoid the incessant media coverage. After serving his sentence, Matthew starts looking for Audrey and discovers there’s a new young man in her life, Dee, anotagainstfootballher promising young football player. Matthew violates his parole to spend time with his wife and coach the student athlete to greater athletic heights that will demand great sacrifices from all involved.

At the outset of Against Football, Steve Almond has already made the sacrifice. He’s turning his back on football, but not without examining the physical, emotional, economic toil his beloved sport takes on players, their families, and the fans.

Pair these two books and ask the readers to look at the benefits and drawbacks of devoting a life to a sport that can tear out your heart and kick it cleanly through the goal posts. Both books have lively pacing, engaging tones, and likeable characters and make salient points about America’s most watched sport and the people who play and watch.

 

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About the Author:

Kaite Mediatore Stover refuses to give up her day job as director of readers' services for The Kansas City Public Library to read tarot cards professionally or be the merch girl/roadie for her husband's numerous bands. Follow her on Twitter at @MarianLiberryan.

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