Bookish List

A Bunch of Bookish Coincidences

Hey!  It’s Sabrina!  This is a bit of a strange post, but today I’m talking about bookish coincidences that happened through the end of May, June and a little bit of July.  When I say coincidences, I am mostly referring to specific similarities that I noticed within a close timeframe.  This list started off as just being between two books that I read around the same time, but it grew as the similarities hit my life.  Hopefully, that makes some kind of sense, but I’m sure it will make more if you continue reading!

Book + Book

Magic For Liars
by Sarah Gailey
Read: May 13th – May 30th
Adult murder mystery set at a magic school with a non-magical private investigator.

The Weight of the Stars
by K. Ancrum
Read: May 30th – June 1st
YA contemporary + light sci-fi about a teenage girl who dreams of going to space.

If there had simply been a character in both these books named Alexandria, they would not have made it to this part of the list. But, both these Alexandrias were not to be called “Alex”, and this was mentioned with enthusiasm in the books – mostly by other people.

The Chain
by Adrian McKinty
Read: May 20th – May 24th
Adult thriller about a chain of kidnappings.

Big Magic
by Elizabeth Gilbert
Read: June 5th – June 6th
A self-help book about living creatively.

At first glance, you may think these books have nothing in common, but I can tell you from experience that there is at least one thing they share: the inclusion of the George S. Patton quote: “a good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”  It is used in entirely different contexts, as you could imagine, so it was a huge surprise for me to come across it in both books.

The Abyss Surrounds Us
by Emily Skrutskie
Read: May 12th – June 11th
YA sci-fi with pirates and sea monsters.

Gideon the Ninth
by Tamsyn Muir
Read: June 7th – June 12th
Adult sci-fi/fantasy with necromancers and sword fights.

There are a few similarities between these books – you just have to look at the covers! The weapons may be different, but still. There are some similarities between the main characters and their social situations, plus they are both interested in women and participate in a mock fight. The most striking similarity between these books though, is the inclusion of an intense hug that occurs underwater. It’s such a specific thing!

The Burning Shadow
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Read: June 7th – June 25th
Young adult paranormal romance about several kinds of aliens plus humans.

Slave to Sensation
by Nalini Singh
Read: June 21st – July 1st
Adult paranormal romance about several kinds of shapeshifters plus Psy.

There are a lot of similarities between these two, which is perhaps not surprising considering they are both paranormal romances, but the thing is: if I had read The Darkest Star – the book before The Burning Shadow – there wouldn’t have been any coincidences.  The biggest ones, without spoiling anything (which is hard to do when talking about a sequel), are character names, character dynamics and certain types of eyes.


Bonus round! These are all the names that have appeared in books I read (or DNFed…or am still reading) in and around June!

  • The Burning Shadow and Would Like to Meet both have main characters named Evie
  • The Guest List and Unearthed both have main characters named Jules
  • Of Curses and Kisses, The Burning Shadow and A Curse So Dark and Lonely all have characters known at some point as Grey or Gray (also, Of Curses and Kisses and A Curse So Dark and Lonely are both Beauty and the Beast retellings)
  • The author of Gideon the Ninth and a supporting character in Slave to Sensation are both named Tamsyn

Book + Life

This first coincidence is unrelated to time – it’s just really specific to me and my life and is also probably the most impressive in this post (I may be slightly biased). It concerns the book Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters (read: June 8th – June 16th) and its opening. Each chapter starts off like a script, with a brief description of what is happening plus the date and time of day. The first chapter in the book starts on the 2nd of December at “some ungodly hour.” This absolutely stunned me because I was born on the 2nd of December and that night, a doctor complained to my mum, word for word: “This baby is going is going to be born at some ungodly hour.” To be fair, I was born at about 1:15am, but I still think that was rude of the doctor, lol. I have heard that story so many times that the mention in the book couldn’t escape my notice.

Another small coincidence involving Would Like to Meet is that one night I saw an ad on TV for the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral and that same night I was reading and the book mentioned that movie.

One of my favourite Youtube channels belongs to Jessica Kellgren-Fozard. She has a lot of incredible videos on a variety of topics, but on one day in June (stick with me, I will get to the point eventually) I was watching her video named The History of Queer Coding which discussed how in 1930, “big Hollywood studios created their own conservative set of rules for what was allowed to be shown on the big screen”. These rules were informally known as “The Hays Code”. On that very same day, I was reading Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson (read: June 22nd – June 24th) and the main character in the book talked about The Hays Code! This was in reference to the number of murders allowed to be included in a movie. I had heard about this code once or twice before, only in reference to queer coding though, but I thought it was strange that it came up twice in one day.

A similar incident occurred when I was reading The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James (read: June 27th – June 28th). On one of the days I was reading it, I took a break to watch some TV. The show I picked to watch is a game show on Netflix called Floor is Lava. I watched maybe half the episode before getting bored and going back to reading, lol. Side note: this has not been a good television year for me! Anyway, I picked up the book again and what happens? The main character talks about how when she was young she would play a game with her dad in which they pretended that the floor was made of lava.

That brings us to the final coincidence for this post, which happened mere days ago on July 1st. I was watching The Clapper (a really strange movie that I nonetheless enjoyed) with my family. One of the characters said something along the lines of “Well you know what they say about tragedy plus time…” and I thought no, I don’t, but I let it go. That night, I was reading If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane when the main character tells me that comedy is tragedy plus time. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of this quote before, but it was nice to get some answers without having to look for them!

What do you think?

Do you come across these sorts of coincidences often? If you can name one off the top of your head I’ll be really impressed – I would have forgotten all of these immediately if I hadn’t been recording them for this post. Have you read any of these books? Let me know!

25 thoughts on “A Bunch of Bookish Coincidences

  1. omg these coincidences are so freaky 😂😂 at first i wasn’t sure what this post was about, but i ended up enjoying reading it so much!! i actually don’t think any bookish coincidences have ever happened to me? but an interesting bookish thing that happened to me recently is that i read a ya contemporary book with a main character named saoirse. a random tidbit about me is that i’m obsessed with names, so i know from research that saoirse is pronounced seer-sha. so i was very confused about the fact that the actress saoirse ronan pronounced her name like sur-sha. and the mc of the book i was reading actually said that her name is pronounced seer-sha, not sur-sha like the actress 😂😂 so that made me feel very vindicated

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this post! I adored the similiraities between books that you mentioned at the beginning but the real life coincidences were so fun!! I’ll have to see if I’ve had something similar happen to me!
    Amazing post 💜💜


  3. That’s so cool, and terrifying at the same time 😂😂 I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such coincidences but I think my favorite of yours is the one about the 2nd of December. That was so hilarious, but yeah, so rude of the doctor, but it’s still so funny 😂


  4. What an interesting post, Sabrina! I can’t say that I have had many bookish coincidences happen to me in real life. I mean, I can relate to some characters in a lot of ways, but I don’t think there are enough specifics to call it a coincidence. These are really cool!


  5. You are super observant, and I am throughly impressed by this post. I sometimes notice coincidences, but not to this extent. A few weeks ago I was reading Little & Lion and listening to Breath Like Water, and both had male characters who were bipolar and went off their meds. That stuck out to me, but I feel like it’s because I was reading both at the same time. Further apart, would I have noticed? Hats off to you!


  6. I really enjoyed this post! I definitely have periods of time where I see a lot of weird/subtle similarities between books I’m reading and it’s always super freaky, lol


  7. This post is so interesting! I’m mostly awed by your memory that you’d notice all these coincidences because honestly, I am so absent-minded and oblivious that I probably wouldn’t notice them at all 😅 But I do sometimes have the thing where either the first time I read or hear about a word or a thing I then see it in a book or in regular life. I don’t know if it’s just a creepy coincidence, or because since I just learned this new word or occurrence I notice its mention more than I would have otherwise.


  8. I love this! The coincidence about your birthday is so wild! There have been many times where I randomly pick a few books to read and they end up taking place in the same city or discussing similar (and very specific) themes and stories. I need to start keeping track of them, I really like when coincidences like that happen.


  9. This must have been such a fun post to write! I know I have had coincidences when reading a book and things in real life but I never paid much attention to them 😮 After reading this post, I’m off a mind to note down these coincidences! It would be something to smile about 🙂


  10. Whoaa!! Really?? The exact same quote in all four of them?! Man, that’s freaky, not gonna lie! 🤣🤣

    THE NAMES TOO?!? 😱😱😱

    That second of December thing has me shaking, Sabrinaaa!!

    THIS IS…*mind blown*


  11. Ok I love this concept!! I feel like I could totally draw parallels between soooo many contemporary romances because they all have those bright, solid, colorblock covers. There’ve also been so many “House of _____ and ____” books coming out lately and they genuinely all have such beautiful covers.


  12. Oh, this is such a fun post! I sometimes have these coincidences as well and it always has mee shook 😱 E.g. often books will reference another thing that I’m currently loving and it always warms my heart ❤ I’ve also had a character named Ellie in the two books I’m currently reading 👀


  13. Bookish coincidences are weird but then isn’t it that our brain instinctively searches out patterns so maybe part of it is your brain is looking for those patterns in what you read. To an extent, I mean the quote one with If I Never Met You was quite a weird coincidence. Maybe these things happen all the time and the rest of us don’t notice, I certainly don’t.


  14. Oooh, creepy. If course, some things like names or games are common and would be seen in several places.
    The only coincidence I can think of is more of a tragic one: I named my kitten Valerie after the song sung by Santana and not long after she went missing and found dead. 💔


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