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Looking for tightly plotted cozy mysteries

I'm interested in reading some recently published (last ten years) cozy mysteries. I'm looking for books that are very well paced and plotted as opposed to books with lyrical prose. If you have an author to suggest, please also recommend an individual book, not just a series or an entire body of work. Thanks!
posted by bq to Media & Arts at 1:16 PM on May 20, 2017 - 15 answers [54 favorites]

Standard Practices For New PC, May 2017 Edition

My mom just got a new laptop, and has asked me to "set it up" for her. (For example, removing bloatware and dealing with virus protection.) I was once a Windows power user, but I've been using Macs exclusively for about eight years now. What does setting up a new PC entail in 2017? [more inside]
posted by Ian A.T. to Computers & Internet at 9:44 AM on May 23, 2017 - 10 answers [49 favorites]

Books Like Island of the Blue Dolphins

Mini McGee, who is 8, asks: "I loved Island of the Blue Dolphins, so I want more books similar to it. I like the adventure, the awesome surviving stuff, like wolf attacks and being alone, and it's one of the best books to me. Go ask MetaFilter, what are more books like it? Especially if they have modern things like vehicles." [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee to Writing & Language at 5:13 PM on May 23, 2017 - 81 answers [49 favorites]

Host sweet host

I hosted an old friend at my place for a few days. Before she left, she told me she loved staying with me because I had a comfortable home. While this made me feel pretty good about myself, I also thought I could ask the hivemind 1) what makes a home a comfortable one? and 2) practical ways to make short-term guests feel as comfortable as possible. Bonus points for things you appreciated as a guest in someone else's home.
posted by orangutan to Human Relations at 8:20 PM on May 20, 2017 - 28 answers [48 favorites]

Legit personality/career testing resources

Where on the internet can I find high-quality, non-scammy personality / career testing to help me identify what type of work I enjoy, what jobs may be a good match, and what my strengths and weaknesses are? I'm a HUGE fan of the Myers-Briggs, but it seems that should be taken with a grain of salt. And, I am looking for something a little bit more career-oriented. Ideally such a resource would range from free to low cost (<$50).
posted by houseofleaves to Work & Money at 11:53 AM on May 22, 2017 - 10 answers [42 favorites]

Help me feel less lonely during solitary tasks

Turning away from the Internet and doing a solitary task (like reading, journaling, or cleaning) makes me feel lonely. Help me feel more cozy and stimulated/supported during these times. [more inside]
posted by delight to Human Relations at 9:49 PM on May 21, 2017 - 24 answers [31 favorites]

Care of the Tender Creases

Mefites of size, please share with me your best practices for the care of skin folds. [more inside]
posted by anonymous to Health at 7:18 PM on May 20, 2017 - 20 answers [19 favorites]

How can I stop the endless negative chatter that stops me focusing?

I know lots of people have an inner monologue of negative thoughts, I believe the Buddhists call it the "monkey mind" but I'm not sure. But I seem to have it to a ridiculous extent, to where it's impeding my ability to focus and do back to work activities, and I think my bipolar brain chemistry is a big reason it's so bad. What can be done about and what sort of specialist help could I seek (it's something I'd be willing to pay privately for help/ classes with if there was a good chance of success). [more inside]
posted by AuroraSky to Work & Money at 11:40 PM on May 21, 2017 - 14 answers [19 favorites]

Getting in Shape with Chronic Illness

Recently I've realised that I have not been taking care of myself. I am woefully out of shape, I have packed on the pounds & I am hitting my 40s with family members falling ill with lifestyle-related illnesses. Time to start taking care of myself - but how do I do that when a chronic illness stops me from hitting the gym hard? Details below fold. [more inside]
posted by kariebookish to Health at 7:01 AM on May 22, 2017 - 24 answers [19 favorites]

How would learning R or python benefit me?

How would learning R or python benefit me? I'm interested in a career perspective, hobby perspective, etc. [more inside]
posted by wonder twin powers activate form of a sock puppet to Technology at 4:39 AM on May 23, 2017 - 12 answers [19 favorites]

I just wanna be a humble tavernkeep

Is there a MMO or similar game out there where I can join in not for combat but to set up shop, like as a trader or innkeeper or something? Particularly one that allows me to talk to other players and get to know them? [more inside]
posted by divabat to Media & Arts at 3:39 AM on May 21, 2017 - 13 answers [18 favorites]

How to Respond to Nosy People?

I never want to answer a nosy question posed by a stranger again. I also don't want to feel badly for deflecting nosy questions, and I don't want to seem cold. I need help in accomplishing this [more inside]
posted by Avosunspin to Human Relations at 12:47 AM on May 24, 2017 - 51 answers [18 favorites]

Academic/Historian Filter: How did we stop seeing each other as people?

I'm looking for a non-partisan book on the history of U.S. politics. This is a huge topic, but I'm trying to better understand how politics in the U.S. has become so divided, especially why liberals and conservatives can't seem to understand (or want to understand) each other's perspectives. The news is not helpful for this; either there's too much spin or not enough historical context. More below the fold. [more inside]
posted by onecircleaday to Law & Government at 8:54 AM on May 24, 2017 - 12 answers [18 favorites]

Friendship valuation in Western culture?

Is there any kind of hard evidence that Americans (and possibly Europeans, though I'm less sure) value friendship less than in decades past? Family has always been cited as the most important value for Americans, but it seems increasingly common for people in committed relationships, and moreso those with children, to talk about friendships as a small "extra" rather than relationships that remain dynamic and a source of support. [more inside]
posted by Tess to Human Relations at 9:52 AM on May 25, 2017 - 14 answers [18 favorites]

Arts and science books to enrich my business thinking?

Lately, I’m getting fed up of reading “business books” which all seem to look at the business world through a very shallow lens. [more inside]
posted by jacobean to Work & Money at 10:35 AM on May 25, 2017 - 7 answers [17 favorites]

Seeking: a functional way to navigate the storm that is unrequited love

Met a boy. FWB ensued, chatting every day, spending time together often. Fell for the boy. Asked if we could date. Boy says I'm 'good enough' but 'not right' for him to date. Still wants to talk to me every day. I want to believe I can move past the awkwardness and pain and foster an honest friendship. A small part wants to believe maybe I'll be 'right' someday, especially if I stick around. This sucks, this hurts. Where do I go from here? [more inside]
posted by anonymous to Human Relations at 8:57 PM on May 22, 2017 - 57 answers [16 favorites]

About to become Canadian! What should we know?

Spouse and I are scheduled to swear the Canadian citizenship oath next week. What should we know about life as Canadians that we might not have picked up in a decade living and working in urban Canada? [more inside]
posted by heatherlogan to Society & Culture at 6:25 AM on May 26, 2017 - 34 answers [15 favorites]

How to suffer the slings and arrows of not-so-outrageous fortune?

Everybody's life has lucky breaks and unlucky ones, minor-league bummers interspersed with the good fortune (and vice versa). It feels like a secret to happiness is fully appreciating the good things that happen and letting go of the bad ones. What do you do if your mental tendencies push you in the opposite direction? [more inside]
posted by anonymous to Grab Bag at 11:46 PM on May 23, 2017 - 11 answers [14 favorites]

Permission to be average, granted

A colleague (who is senior, better qualified, better suited in every possible way) just scored a major promotion. In no way was I ever in the running (I'm so junior that I hadn't even known the position was open) but it brought back all my carefully hidden anxiety about being adequate without being extraordinary at my job. Career snowflakes inside. [more inside]
posted by Nieshka to Work & Money at 4:21 AM on May 25, 2017 - 8 answers [13 favorites]

Screening tenants for a home rental

We'll be moving to a nearby town (about two hours away) for 1-2 years and will be renting out our home. Where we're stuck is the best way to screen tenants. If you're a small time landlord (like we're about to be), what's your process? [more inside]
posted by batbat to Home & Garden at 7:53 AM on May 20, 2017 - 14 answers [12 favorites]

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