Last month I tried a book dropping experiment to test my ability to match people with books I think they'd enjoy. This required the test subjects to tell me what sort of story they most liked to read, and then me sending them a book without telling them in advance the title or author. The first to report back was DeeCee, and you can read about the results here. My second matchmaking attempt was for SF and Fantasy author Margaret McGaffey Fisk, and she reported in yesterday on her experience.
First, Margaret's original comment from the book drop post:
Margaret M. Fisk 2:28 PM
Ooh, interesting concept :). I'm in it for the story, so it's hard to limit. I generally prefer non-modern except where urban fantasy and all shades of romance are concerned. I prefer stories with strong characters, though whether complex narratives or candy reads depends on my mood. It's easier to say what I don't like than what I do, because it's the smaller category. I'm pissed off by self-righteous or arrogant main characters who use the people around them without either noticing or caring. And I love being transported to different places or times, to see a bit of our world, or one that only exists in fiction, that I might not have experienced in real life. That's why in non-fiction I tend to prefer anthropology or historical biography over straight information.
I sent Margaret Michelle Moran's historical novel Cleopatra's Daughter because I felt it was a good match for her, basing the choice entirely on the eloquent description she gave of her reading preferences. Dropping historical fiction on someone can be tricky, in that it's generally not something I consider casual/light reading, and too often even the best historical fiction strays over to the dry/scholarly side.
Not so with Cleopatra's Daughter. Michelle Moran pairs superb research and artfully re-imagined history with a smooth storyteller's voice, and I thought Margaret would appreciate the excellent story and the chance to visit an important historic era and culture which (unfortunately) doesn't often appear on the fiction shelves.
Judging by Margaret's wonderful review of the novel, which you can read on her blog here, I'd say I made the right choice.
That's two down and one to go, and once I have the final results in from our third book drop winner I'll post them and wrap up this experiment.