Blanche’s Book Club: ‘All the Colors Came Out.”

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I think I’ve already mentioned it, but my local library is finally back open and running nearly the same as it was pre-pandemic! This means many more weekends are spent searching through the stacks looking for books and bringing home a pile of TBRs.

I was so excited when I saw the library had a copy of “All the Colors Came Out” by Kate Fagan, as it’s been on my list for quite a while.

This is a nonfiction work following Kate’s relationship with her dad before and after he was diagnosed with ALS.

The pair shared a bond of basketball — being fans of the game but also playing it together — but in deeper areas, their relationship was less intense.

But when her dad, Chris, was diagnosed, Kate made an effort to change their relationship. So, she left her job at ESPN to be physically closer to Chris and to help her mom with his care.

Kate shares some very raw reflections of her dad’s last year of life, and it’s deeply moving.

I related to so many things in this book. While my dad and I never played sports together, he was a sports journalist when I was growing up. I went with him to cover it all: gymnastics meets, tennis matches, high school basketball games, you name it.

Since his passing in 2018, watching a football game makes me feel close to him in a comforting way. I could completely relate to Kate’s fun bond with her dad, but often still searching to relate on other, deeper levels.

I, too, tried to make things right when my dad was sick. I cannot say my efforts worked, but I know am grateful for the time we had in his last months.

It’s likely a feeling many of us have likely experienced, and it’s haunted me over the years. As a result, I found comfort in Kate’s stories.

Here are some of the quotes from the book I took note of:

“My dad’s life was built around simple pleasures, and over the years he found increasing joy and meaning in each one: a decent coffee, a long walk, talking each day to his kids, a drive while listening to the ball game, a good sweat, the Sunday crossword puzzle with my mom.”

“I learned, right then, that you’ll never know what stays with you, what you’ll still be thinking about in the final hours of your life. We can hope that it’s all weddings and births and vacations, but what shape will those have without the fights outside CVS?”

Even reading these quotes reminds me of how much this book served as a warm blanket to my grief. I thank Kate so much for sharing such a heartfelt story.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that feels they could relate. I’d also note that it does touch on Kate’s relationship with her dad via the lens that she is in the LGBTQ community, and her dad was not.

So, this book could be added to your PRIDE stack 🙂

I also want to note that Kate Fagan was on my radar because I read another book of hers years ago, “What Made Maddy Run.” The book is a deep look into the mental health of athletes (particularly college athletes), and social media (TW: Suicide).

Here’s the interview Kate did that interested me in reading the book, and I wrote a review of the book after finishing it.

It is an incredibly heartbreaking read, but it changed the way I think about sports and mental health, and how I understand self-harm.

What have you been reading lately?

For more book recommendations, be sure to subscribe to the blog (look to the right) and follow me on Goodreads @thebitterlemon – where I share more of my book picks. Also, check out my printable bookmarks and Book Club Journal Pages in my Etsy Shop

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