Blurred lines

There should be a word for the thing that happens when you’re reading two books, and something about them happens to line up in a way that clicks and makes them blur together.

I’m currently reading While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams and The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware. Both books (for at least a section in the middle) involve one character, a young woman in each case, speaking repeatedly with a lawyer, trying to waive a legal privilege that has been bestowed upon them.

Last fall, I read You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson, on top of Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé. Both books were giving me main characters of color working against the odds to triumph in their schools by the end of the year—although one of them is much darker than the other.

A few years ago I was reading Naomi Alderman’s The Power for a book club, and Stephen King’s Sleeping Beauties because I always used to read the new Stephen King, and all I could think of the whole time was how both books divided people very specifically along a gender binary, into one or the other—you’re either a woman and you experience this, or you’re a man and you experience this—and it felt so outdated.

Has this ever happened to you?

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