For most of my life, works of fiction were something to be tolerated and not something that can be enjoyed and learned from. In college, I did take classes on Hemingway and Faulkner and I even suffered through a class on poetry.
I wanted real life and not made up life by some author. That's the way I thought for a good chunk of my almost 69 years. I read about politics, politicians, biographies and stuff like that.
And then my thinking changed. The doors to fiction started to open and I could see there was a point to it. There was something to be learned.
Right now, I'm reading The Cellist Sarajevo by Steven Galloway. It's about the lives of three fictional characters who lived during 21 days of the siege of Sarajevo where snipers from nearby hills and buildings daily killed residents who were trying to survive their everyday life.
During this whole time a cellist plays amidst the killing to commemorate the deaths of 21 of his friends. It's a compelling story. I'll read it again.
Next book might be one from my high school days, The Old Man and The Sea by Hemingway. It's time to give it another chance.