OK, how does it happen that back to back a person (namely me) can read two completely unique, unrelated, over-sized novels, one by a woman who changed her name to a man's name and the other by a man who was just getting started and wrote non-fiction and called it fiction, and find that they share in common topics such as the toy of choice, Etch-a-Sketch, and trips to Russia that they didn't take? Huh? You tell me. One was written before 9/11/01, the other since then. One takes place primarily in California, after starting in Illinois. The other is set in London, with visits to New York.
But, it's not just books, is it? How often do we find ourselves included in a conversation or going someplace or doing something that connects to something we just said, did, saw, or someplace we were? It's downright eerie. You know - it's Twilight Zone stuff. Maybe you've just come from a new restaurant and had some exotic meal and the next call you get is from someone who wants to go there and have that and you have to wonder...or perhaps you were thinking about someone and the phone rings and it's that person or there's an email from them...
The book thing is a bit unusual though. One thing mentioned in two books I can see, even when those two books are read back-to-back. But these two oddities? Hmmmm.
Well, both are good books: THE POST BIRTHDAY WORLD by (Ms) Lionel Shriver and THE HEARTBREAKING WORK OF STAGGERING GENIUS by Dave Eggers. He's got a new one out about the lost boys who walked across Africa to get out. I haven't read it. Suspect it tugs at the heart. Their plight is too filled with struggle to wonder whether they got Etch-a-Sketches or have been to Russia.