Tuesday, June 1, 2010

All Things In Common

In the past year or so, I've noticed the books I'm reading having a surprising amount of things in common. Sometimes a name will reappear from one book to the next. Sometimes, a particular event will occur in one book and two books later, the same event shows up. Themes seem to recur without any effort on my part to read books revolving around a particular theme. I thought it would be fun to document these similarities so "All Things In Common" will be a semi-regular feature as these things come to my attention.













In the past six months, I've read The Lotus Eaters, Letter To My Daughter and Let The Great World Spin, all of which had the Vietnam War a setting for a least a part of the book. In The Lotus Eaters, nearly the entire book is set in Vietnam, In Let The Great World Spin, it pays a pivotal role in one of the story of one of the characters. In Letter To My Daughter, the boyfriend that the mother is telling her daughter about enlists and is sent to Vietnam. Any theories why Vietnam is showing up in so many recently published books?

10 comments:

  1. My guess is that it's a way to do a war study on what is widely acknowledged to be a "mistake" of a war for the US. Also, it's a fairly recent war, which makes it perfect for middle-aged people or parents in books (if the plot is set in somewhat present day). And I think that authors are still too timid to set many novels in our current war, maybe thinking it's too soon.

    Just my ideas :o)

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  2. These commonalities often happen in my reading as well. I think it's cool that you are posting about them! I think that war is a big topic in fiction, and since WWII has been done almost to death, the new focus might be on Vietnam. I do appreciate that, being that the Vietnam war is the most interesting to me. Very nice post!

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  3. Nice feature! It is interesting that the NAM war is featuring more often in a lot of mainstream fiction nowadays. I like that too, since most people (at least most of those I know) shrink from reading war books. Having them play an important yet a side-kick role helps in slowly acclimatizing to the readers' tastes, so that they will later not hesitate as much in reading a book set in a war-period.

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  4. I've noticed the same thing about the books I've been reading this summer. They all involve a journey, either literal (crossing the US or going to different countries) or figurative (realizing that other people aren't so different after all). It's funny how that works out. I guess it's just what I need to be reading about; I'll figure out exactly why sometime in the future.

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  5. I think that's a great idea. I tend to get on a kick with my reading, like i did with the Holocaust.

    Hope you are doing well!
    Michelle

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  6. I think that enough years have passed since the war that more and more people feel comfortable exploring that part of history! IMHO of course!

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  7. My guess?? To spread the word about another senseless war like the one we are in now?

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  8. This is a great idea! I have been drawn to books around both the civil war and the Salem with trials recently. I'm not looking for them, while reading books these two historical time periods sneak in.

    I can't wait to read The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane (which I have owned since 2009), you know I loved The Heretic's Daughter and I say another book about Salem recently that I wanted to read but don't remember the title.

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  9. Dude I do this all the time! Suddenly I'll look up from my fifth Holocaust book and be like, Universe, what are you trying to tell me? I call it 'Unintentional Reading Themes' but 'All Things in Common' is waaay better.

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  10. This happens to me also and I am always surprised. Especially when its something completely off the wall.

    During the 24 hour read a thon, I read two books completely unrelated that both had female characters with brain cancer.

    I read these one right after the other and kept thinking.... brain cancer.... again.... really?

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