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?