four things

Some of you will remember my September 28th post entitled three things. Well, there’s more.

Sometimes I choose a book knowing it will have to do with a certain subject. Usually the choice of my next book has more to do with mood or what I just finished reading. My favorite thing to read is a novel.

Recently, for four different reasons, I chose four books in four consecutive months in four different genres–essays, stories, memoir, and a novel–that all brought me back to the 60’s (I know, it would be a better story if it had been the 40’s)…


conjectures of a guilty bystanderBecause of a quote a reader left in a blog post,

in September I read

Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, by Thomas Merton,

where I came across this passage: “January 22, 1961: President Kennedy’s inauguration speech has just been read in the refectory.”


battlebornthen on Pam Houston’s recommendation,

in October I read

Battleborn, by Claire Vaye Watkins,

whose father was a member of Charles Manson’s family and who in the first story of her collection writes about it but does not write about it and then goes beyond it.


neil youngthen because I love Neil Young’s music

in November I read

Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream, by Neil Young, 

who not only was the sixties but also played guitar with Charles Manson: “After a while, a guy showed up, picked up my guitar, and started playing a lot of songs on it. His name was Charlie…He was quite good.”


may we be forgiventhen because I had the ARC and because I wanted a big, thick novel to sink into

in December I read

May We Be Forgiven, by A. M. Homes, 

where a character says, “Look at the film, you see that after the first shot Kennedy goes down but then he bounces back up; that’s because he was wearing a corset for his back…”


Have you ever noticed coincidences like this in your reading choices?

8 thoughts on “four things

  1. I do that more with music than with books. I’ll think of a song I haven’t heard in ages, then my hubz will come in from work singing it. One might suggest we’d both heard it on the radio. One would be mistaken, as we do not have a radio at the house or in our car or at my hubz’ place of employment. We also don’t have cable (we only watch shows / movies via Netflix or library loans) so it’s not like we pick up songs via commercials, either.

    Last time this happened was a couple days ago — “Bad Medicine” by Bon Jovi had been rattling around my brain, + my hubz started singing it out of the blue. The really funny thing was he had the lyrics all garbled — he “knew” the song, but not well enough to really sing it like he was trying to do. I like to think I’m super magic + send my thoughts into his brain. That’s way more fun to think than the boring alternative, which is that we merely suffer musical coincidence on a regular basis. Besides, there’s always the potential I can send out a super awesome thought like, “Bring me some Doritos”… it’ll be proof I’m right if he ever comes home from work carrying in a bag of chips I hadn’t even requested! 🙂


  2. After menopause, I became unbound by any kind of structure. I try to be organized, but I’ve lost the thread that holds me to a schedule. The effects of that are reflected in every aspect of my life. And so I read what grabs me as I float around the ether.


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