Saturday, July 19, 2008

Reading outside the box

Recently I took part in a "New to me" exchange, in which participants to send their partner a book from a genre that they don't normally read. Of course, the real point is to turn each other on to new genres so the trick is to try to pick a book that your partner will actually enjoy reading.

I sent my partner, who doesn't read literary fiction, Disobedience by Naomi Alderman (you can read my comments on the book here). My partner sent me How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read by Pierre Bayard. The description sounds great, but it's definitely not something I would have picked out myself (I don't usually read nonfiction and I probably would have been turned off by the title and not even bothered to read the description).

Similarly Russell and I occasionally swap reading challenges. We have very different tastes so we rarely read the same books. We hadn't done one of these swaps for quite some time so we decided to do one this summer. I'm making him read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I'm reading it now and am reminded how much I like the series (I got the fifth book, The Fiery Cross as an audio for a car trip years ago) and I legitimately think he'll enjoy it. He's making me read Exodus by Leon Uris, which he could have probably gotten me to read outside of the challenge.

Of course both of these books will show up on the blog (later this summer or in the fall) so you'll be able to see what I think of them.

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