Nicholas Sparks, author of romances The Notebook and A Walk to Remember, sponsors his town's high-school track team: In North Carolina, an Author Underwrites a Successful Track Program - NYTimes.com
I've never been able to make it past about chapter two of any of Nicholas Sparks's books—and I've really wanted to; I love the premise of gentle romance set in the idealized small-town America of generations past, but just can't get into Sparks's style—but I think it's fantastic that he's doing this. I just don't understand why the Times considers him "an unlikely benefactor." Here's a guy who is not just giving money, but also time and energy, to build a school-based athletic program; why is that so unlikely? Are successful authors supposed to be miserly recluses who live alone in the woods, only coming out of their ramshackle hovels to pick up the weekly mail and growl at the locals? Or maybe a guy who writes romances can't possibly be interested in athletics. WTF, NYT?