Monday, February 20, 2012

Bookish Serendipity

Sometimes, a book sends me a sign that it is exactly what I am supposed to be reading. These are tiny things really. Perhaps some people wouldn't even notice, but I always do, and it always makes me smile and feel like some part of the universe is aligned correctly just for me.

Here is an example: I just finished reading Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. It was a lovely book. The Major had a little volume of Kipling that he gave to a lady he was falling for. They often discussed Kipling. The woman was Indian and the Major had lived in India with the English military, so they had differing opinions about The Jungle Book. When I finished reading Major Pettigrew, I had a notice from the library that a book I put on hold was ready for download. A friend suggested I read The Tiger's Wife, and the poetic title alone lured me in (I've had a thing for animal symbolism -especially wild animals - for a time now). Within a few pages, the author mentioned The Jungle Book.

So, see, it is just a little thing. Within this same book, there is a scene with an elephant being lead through town at night, and I only recently read The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo (my favorite children's author).

This happens to me quite often. A character in one book will have a pet ferret and the very next book I pick up will feature ferrets in some part of the story. One novel will be set in Norway and the next will include a vacation in Norway. The only time this became a bit creepy was when the connection was leprosy. But that time worked a little differently. That time, I had picked up In The Sanctuary of Outcasts by Neil White but I felt like something lighter, so I set it aside and pulled a book from Mount To Be Read at random. It was a book I had bought used and I chose it based solely on it's pretty cover. The book was Molokai. Molokai was a leper colony in Hawaii. The book was gorgeous, and it worked out well. I saw two different cultures handling leprosy in two different time periods.

How about you? Does this ever happen to you?

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