Have you ever had events converge in a weird but complementary way? Perhaps someone mentions something or someone you've never heard of, and then you constantly see the same name or idea mentioned over and over again in your daily encounters.
Something like that happened with a book I started reading recently. Several years ago my good friend Vicki had sent me a copy of a book she'd read. It was the first in Jan Karon's Mitford series. In fact, I believe she and a group of neighbors may have read it together as a book club selection. It seemed that everyone was reading the Mitford books at that time, and back in 2000 one of Karon's books A New Song won a Christy Award. I always meant to read the series but just never did. I especially meant to read the books after Vicki sent me a small gift book with a Christmas theme based on a Mitford character. It was called Esther's Gift and I loved it! But somehow I never got started on the series even after that.
Then recently I saw that the series was being rereleased. I decided to dig At Home in Mitford out and read it. Shortly after I began reading, I saw this article in the Charlotte Observer, an interview with Karon that told the fascinating story of Karon's life and how she came to write the series after she turned 50. Very interesting article.
And then I started reading another book I've been meaning to read for a while, Girl Meets God by Lauren Winner. In the first few pages, Winner says this as she begins to tell the story of her conversion from Judaism to Christianity: "I can tell them about reading At Home in Mitford, a charming if somewhat saccharine novel about an Episcopal priest in North Carolina, a novel that left me wanting something Christians seemed to have."
So how weird is all that? Maybe not all that weird but it's sort of interesting how certain strands of life can start converging. Or maybe we just start noticing such things when we pay attention. At any rate, I recommend both books so far---I'm still reading both in snatches between getting ready for classes that begin on Wednesday. Eeeek.