11.13.2009

Themes

I've noticed a strange phenomenon regarding my reading. It is this: on a very frequent basis I will read 2-3 books that all have at least one theme in common. For example, last year I read three books in a row that all had mental illness as a fairly primary theme. All three books were set in different time periods with very different stories--and with all three books I had no idea going into them that mental illness would play any part in the stories being told. Most recently, I've just finished 2 books wherein the main character was a 15 year old overweight girl (book 1: How to Buy a Love of Reading--a fantastically written book that was way too adult for me but that I still really enjoyed--book 2: Princess Ben--a fun retelling of a well-known fairytale appropriate for all). If we look a the book I read before book 1 (The Elegance of the Hedgehog--which I will finish reading when I can get it back out of the library) I can connect imagery between it and book 2: Hedgehogs. How many books can there be out there that use the image of the hedgehog?

As I select the books I read to give me variety (in story, era, genre, etc.) I really don't know how I manage this. Does this happen to anyone else?

2 comments:

Stacia said...

For hedgehogs, try The Hedgehog, the Fox, and the Magister's Pox: Mending the Gap Between Science and the Humanities by Stephen J. Gould. Not fiction, but I've enjoyed other things by Gould and this book is on my list.

The first time I noticed this phenom was when I read The Folk Keeper by Fanny Billingsley and then watched the movie The Secret of Roan Inish. Both treat the same mythological tale that I had never heard of before. And the fact I chose them blindly and back to back was most astounding. Check them out! But then, given your Irish learning, you've probably encountered them both already!

Yankee Girl said...

I love The Secret of Roan Inish but I'm not familiar with The Folk Keeper so I'll have to check that one out.