I let myself, somehow, sleep on the first book of Pullman’s new Dark Materials series, “The Book of Dust.” Watching the HBO show reminded me about it, and I’ve just read the two shorts he did that are available as ebooks. I particularly liked “The Collectors” which very strongly reminds me of Le Fanu’s “Green Tea,” what with monkeys provoking death. I only read that story in the last year-plus, and immediately found a place for it in Wallachia.

It’s funny, I guess, how I’d never have seen the similarity if I’d read “The Collectors” when it came out a few years ago. It seems right that I read them in this order. Meant to be seems strong to say, but when you get that little tickle in your brain when you’re reading a story and feel that kind of connection, it does sort of feel that way, right?