All the best events in history began as a bet. Robin Hood fought the tax collectors of Prince John on a bet. Columbus sailed the Atlantic on a bet (which he lost, incidentally). Winston Churchill won a bet, along with World War 2. John McCain, in a very "She's All That" bet, chose Sarah Palin as running-mate. Bets make history.
So let it be with The Great Exchange, which is what I'm calling the two-person book-trade-off-club-event my wife and I have decided to do. Here's how it's going to work:
At Katie's suggestion, we agreed that we should both dip into eachother's literary pool, so to speak, and read something well out of our typical comfort zone and expand our horizons a bit. To that end, she has recommended a book to me, and I have done likewise for her.
I will be reading The Sun Also Rises by Earnest Hemingway (on Kindle)
She will read The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (in Paperback)
The Name of the Wind is over 700 pages long, so in fairness I'm only asking her to commit to the first 251 - the same length as The Sun also Rises (in print form). Honestly, fifty pages is probably enough to set the hook properly, but if it hasn't caught her by 250, when the real meat of the story is being served, then it simply isn't going to happen, and I will understand if she doesn't wish to continue.
Meanwhile, I know exactly nothing about The Sun Also Rises, which I expect is a good thing. Clean slate and all that. I imagine that elements of the story have been archetypical plot structures in "a very special episode" editions of sitcoms or other shows; you don't become such a well known title (which has, if nothing else, been adapted into the Family Guy episode "The Son Also Draws") without having other influence; knowing nothing about the story, I wouldn't know it if I'd seen the story played out a hundred times before; perhaps, while reading the book, I will recognize in it the origin of a hundred loose threads scattered through our culture. Something similar happened to me when I read Gift of the Magi; before, the stories that were directly lifted from its plot seemed simply ironic, but once I read it I understood that they had a common origin.
We will post comments and opinions about the books as we read them. The Great Exchange is scheduled to begin this very weekend; we both have our books, and with any luck we'll both have time to read some.