Have you heard about “Ticket to Ride”? I think it’s an old game, but it’s gained renewed popularity. It’s none too complex. You simply build a railroad between two cities you’ve been assigned while others are building theirs. There are conflicts of course, and longer rail lines are worth more points, but that’s pretty much the game.
My exposure to “Ticket to Ride” happened 3 times in a week’s time, between Christmas and New Years. A colleague first told me about it after he’d played it over Christmas. Then, a college friend mentioned playing it on his Facebook status. Finally, a third friend, told me about having played it recently herself. None of these friends know each other. By New Years’ Eve, I was playing it myself. It seemed inevitable.
I had a similar experience, one I’m sure you can relate to, this time with a book—well, actually, an author.
Since my trip to Congo in September, I’ve been more attuned to events in and around DR Congo. The Economist writes plenty about it. That’s where I first read the name, “Chinua Achebe.” It was a passing note about a novelist I’d never heard of, but the name stuck in my brain, I suppose because I like books in general. Then, before the election, I was reading Obama’s Dreams from My Father. In it, he mentions Achebe. Hailing him as perhaps the most famous African writer of the 20th century who sufficiently captured the African experience and condition. “Have you heard of him?” I finally asked a well-read colleague of mine. It was a foregone conclusion. Achebe is a must-read in world literature. Mentally, I added the title to my list of books to read. (Isn’t that how we often choose books to read?)
I think this is most often how things get my attention, emerging this way. I hear about the same thing repeatedly, and once some threshold of curiosity is reached, I go looking for more about them. Do you notice these patterns in your own experience?