Facts are more entertaining than fiction

Factual books, especially memoirs, are my reading preference. Fiction holds little interest for me, even less so as I age. I find it impossible to care about imaginary characters. Whether they are happy or miserable, win or lose, live or die – I don’t care. I refuse to spend my time and eyesight on them.

As Michelle Obama’s memoir, “Becoming”, goes on sale she will begin a multiple city book tour. Her first venue — hosted by no other than Oprah — will seat 23,000. Won’t that set Trump off on a twitter rant! A crowd that size rivals his biggest rallies on the campaign trail to become president. The most expensive tickets are $1,000 each.

The publisher assures readers Obama has authored every word of this memoir herself; I sure hope so. Nothing disappoints like a book that turns out to have been written largely by a professional writer, such as Donald Trump’s, “The Art of the Deal”. He might have written one sentence; the rest was the work of a hired writer who followed him around for months before relating his story.

I’m part way through reading Stormy Daniels’ memoir about her encounters with Trump, activities as a porn actress, screen writer and mother of one daughter. She, too, had the help of a hired writer. But far from her times spent with Trump, the most interesting fact to me was her weight gain of 93 pounds while she was pregnant. That’s roughly three times the recommended healthy weight gain for a pregnant woman. Yet she makes no mention of her obstetrician having fits trying to control her weight. Instead she would send her husband out at all hours to fetch a container of her favourite ice cream. One night he was gone for two hours, finally came home with the last container he could find, in a distant store, and that he had swiped from the cart of an elderly woman when her back was turned.

Movies, too, have more appeal if the story is true. Recently I watched the Netflix documentary, Tricky Dick and The Man in Black, an account of how President Richard Nixon invited Johnny Cash to perform at the White House to encourage southerners to vote for him. The war in Vietnam was going badly, American troops were dying, and Nixon wanted to rev up support for his planned offensive.

Nixon asked Cash to sing two particular songs, one being Merle Haggard’s “Glad to Be an Okie from Muskogee”.Without indicating whether or not he would, the night of the concert Cash skipped both requested songs, substituting a new one he had written, called “What Is Truth?” The song, quietly pointing out how politicians were sacrificing troops’ lives in their drive to beat the Viet Cong, had Nixon visibly squirming in his seat.

Mere weeks after that concert Nixon began bombing Cambodia, something he had already been doing without the knowledge or permission of Congress. That bit of information disturbed me; that’s so much like Trump ordering this or that – for instance moving 15,000 troops to the Mexican border — without seeking the approval of Congress beforehand or Republicans objecting afterward.

In almost every memoir, the author strives for validation from a parent or society. Cash tried all his life to earn a word of praise from his father. Despite Johnny’s chart topping songs, TV shows, and activism Dad never said a kind word to him.

I can feel for someone like Johnny. Or Michelle. Even Stormy. I’m in their corner from start to finish.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Flags lowered in honour of the late Bill McRae

Community leader, businessman passed away July 9

LETTER: Terrace mayor cites Bill McRae’s accomplishments

“Hard work and incredible character became a gift to the City of Terrace.”

Royal LePage Aspire Realty buys office in Terrace

Owner Rod Mcleod said the move will increase connectivity in northern B.C.

Ferry Island Campground in Terrace now open to out of province visitors

Decision based on recommendations from the provincial government

Infinite Ice’s holistic hockey program returning to Terrace in August

COVID-19 precautions in place for on-ice training, meditation, yoga and nutrition classes

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Most Read