I’ve fallen into a weird sort of alter world when it comes to reading. Every book I pick up now seems to be a reflection of other recently read books, or a continuation of a series, no matter who the authors are and how far apart the books were published.
For example, two books I read one right after the other were of the “doctor in peril” genre, with both doctors being plastic surgeons who used the money they made from fixing the faces of rich women to fix various problems of poor kids, such as repairing a cleft lip. In both cases, the doctors were framed for murder by someone who misunderstood them and misidentified them and wanted revenge. Oddly, the doctors in both books had a similar name — in fact there were only a couple of letters difference between the names. A third book I read about that same time was of the same genre, but the doctor wasn’t a plastic and had a completely different name.
I’m not sure how that happened — I certainly didn’t go searching for doctors-in-peril thrillers; mostly when I am at the library, I pick books at random, either because I like the title or it’s by an author I can bear to read. (Though there aren’t any authors I truly like, there are way too many I can’t tolerate.)
The next time I got a batch of books, two of them were about women who “adopted” a fertilized egg from someone who wasn’t going to use them, and so they gave birth but the child wasn’t their genetic offspring.
In that same batch of books, was the story of an athlete who had his career cut short through bad luck. Years later, he found out he had a child. He had donated sperm, and the clerk in the sperm bank wanted his baby, so she got inseminated.
A few weeks later, I read a book in a series about an athlete who got his pro career cut short because of bad luck. Throughout the story, he kept referring to the son he had recently met, a son who’d been conceived by the clerk in a sperm bank. I kept nodding my head remembering that I had read the previous book in the series where he discovered his son, when suddenly I realized the book where the athlete had discovered his son was a completely different series, written by another author in completely different genre. (One was a paranormal/horror version of a fairy tale; one was a thriller. And yes, my reading does range that widely since I read whatever comes my way.)
Every book I read now seems a continuation of all previous books. Normally, I’d consider this to be a case of having misspent my life reading. I’ve read tens of thousands of books — all genres of fiction and all subject matters of non-fiction — so almost all books are familiar in some sense. There aren’t many books that tell completely new stories. (I tried to do that with my books, and not surprisingly, people who read sporadically find them hard to read, while people who read a lot seem to enjoy them.) And yet, these books that seem a continuation of all others are ones I’ve picked up in recent weeks.
It’s not a big deal — it’s certainly not creepy enough to get me to stop reading — but I do find the experience blogworthy.
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator