Hand Over Your Favorite Character–Or Else!

the kiddo sleeps in his fort made of books
the kiddo sleeps in his fort made of books

My friend Sophie in the Moonlight had an idea–The Writing in the Water Book Exchange.

If you wish to participate, you send me your favourite book – you pick the WHY component (is it your favorite because of the plot, the characters, the environment, the personal autobiographical space we were in at the time…) – and I’ll shuffle them around and send one back to each participant and keep one for myself. (Of course, I might already have the book, so let me know the title before you get out the postage.) When we’re all done, we can have a roundtable-like discussion on what makes a character memorable, etc. Maybe we can all learn a bit about one another through the exchange & find out why a character connects to a reader.

There is the issue of getting your book back. We could either send out books without expecting them back (hard for any book lover), promise on our favorite writer’s soul to send the book we get back, or send along postage to add incentive and guilt.

And hey, if you participate, I’ll send you a copy of one of the three novels I’ve finished–which may or may not be encouraging, but there you go.

I’d love to know what you’d want me to read.

14 thoughts on “Hand Over Your Favorite Character–Or Else!

  1. Regrettably, I can’t participate, but this is a lot of fun. My new favorite character going right now is Roland Deschain of Gilead from Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. I’ve become smitten with the story and the series, but the character himself is a nice blend of The Man with No Name from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and a few other influences King had.

    Hope this goes great for all the participants!

  2. I’m going to send Richard Powers’s “The Echo Maker” because of the overall scope of the plot, the questions it poses about what constitutes the human ego and, thus, what constitutes individual identity, and the exquisite choice Powers makes of each word, each character, each scene. This is an unnerving novel, a challenge and at the same time a provocative aftertaste that lives long after the final page is turned.

  3. Boy, this is tempting… I mean, it’s kind of like a one-off Netflix for books: send a book, get a book (plus an advance look at one of yours!). My only reservation is time commitment — I’ve already got two must-read books (for reviews) in the pipeline, and because of the day job + writing I’m more or less just inching my way through them. I’d hate to say to other participants, y’know, “Can we hold off on the roundtable until, say, autumn?” 🙂

    Any thoughts on the timeframe? This topic is right in front of everyone’s eyes right now, which may not be true in a couple-three months.

    DarcKnyt: Do stay with the Dark Tower series! (I don’t know how far into it you are, but the 4th book — something like Wizard and Glass? — has what I think is one of the single best extended action sequences I’ve ever read in any genre.)

    I also have The Echo Maker in my to-be-read pile; Powers’s earlier book, Galatea 2.2 (think that’s the right number), was really intellectually provocative, and because of that I picked up TEM when it won the National Book Award.

    1. There is time to change your mind! But if you can’t play, you could at least let me know the one book you would pick for me to read. For all you know, I’ve read it.

  4. Totally flattered you liked my suggestion. 🙂

    I suggest a roundtable in mid-July. That ought to give everyone time to read the books already in their pipeline b4 getting into this character book “club”. For me, I don’t want my book back. I’m cool with Marta knowing my address, but anonymity is very precious to me. So if you get my book, consider it yours. A gift from a reader to a reader. Of course, I would be happy to return anyone else’s book.

    Now I have to go back to racking my brain for the best book to send. I’m waffling between 2 or 3. Might take me a couple of days to decide.

    1. I’m happy to flatter.

      Mid-July is fine by me. Although it looks like there will just be three of us…if you and Shelly are the ones to send me books, I shall be too tempted to read both–and then send Shelly’s pick to you.

      Can’t wait to know what you’re sending!

  5. You pick. I can’t.

    *Woman on the Edge of Time* by Marge Piercy
    *The Fresco* by Sheri S Tepper
    *The Female Man* by Joanna Russ

    I’m tempted to send them all in the hopes that if there are extra books laying about others will join later. {{{{{{{{{ROWENA, please join the club!}}}}}}}}}}}

    (I’m just being greedy and selfish, but I love her taste in books.)

    A warning: these are much-loved copies; don’t expect pristine condition.

  6. Oo, that sounds fun. I’d make people read Peter Pan by JM Barrie, for the characters and the darkness that the Disney versions don’t have. I have a bazillion copies if you don’t have one.

  7. Pingback: Dance with the one who brought you. « writing in the water

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