For more than ten years, One Book One Siouxland has brought the community together to enjoy great books and quality programming that expands the reading experience. Today, I’m excited to recommend the 2017 One Book One Siouxland selection Shoeless Joe by the late W.P. Kinsella. Written while Kinsella attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa, and originally published in 1982, this much beloved and magical baseball novel continues to resonate with readers of all ages.
Ray Kinsella lives and farms in Iowa’s heartland where he grows corn with his wife Annie and their daughter Karin. Ray is obsessed with the beauty and history of baseball, specifically the plight of his hero, Shoeless Joe Jackson, and the Black Sox scandal of the 1919 World Series that destroyed Jackson’s career.
When he hears a mysterious voice telling him to build a baseball field in the midst of his corn crop to give Shoeless Joe a chance at redemption, Ray blindly follows instructions, setting off a chain of events that will change his life forever.
Skillfully blending fact with fiction, W.P. Kinsella has created a heartwarmingly sentimental story about fathers and sons, love and family, and the inimitable joy of finding your way home.
Popular in its own right, Shoeless Joe found even more success when the film adaptation “Field of Dreams” starring stars like Kevin Costner, Ray Liotta, and James Earl Jones hit theaters in 1989, grossing more than $84 million at the box office.
Join us Thursday, March 23 at the Sioux City Public Museum from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. for drinks, ballpark bites, and a field full of fun as we kick off the 2017 One Book One Siouxland Season. We encourage attendees to bring baseball cards, yearbooks, and programs for independent appraisals (no sales). KSCJ Radio News Director and longtime sports collector Woody Gottburg presents on the history of baseball cards and memorabilia at 7:00 p.m.
Visit www.onebookonesiouxland.org for a complete list of this year’s events, read-alikes, discussion starters, community partners, and additional information about the One Book One Siouxland initiative.
Support for Check It Out comes from Avery Brothers.