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Pairing fiction with eras in common

So two books I really love are Heaven to Betsy and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I love how they go into the details of the period they take place, particularly the fashion and food. It was also only recently I realised that they take place roughly around the same era. It really surprised me because they are so completely different to one another. Francie has an alcoholic father and the family can barely get food on the table; Betsy's biggest ordeal is falling in love with a boy that doesn't like her back and not studying for an essay contest. So my question is two-fold and is aimed at requesting book suggestions. [more inside]
posted by like_neon on Jul 25, 2014 - 1 answer

Recommend me some books about old sailing ships

I'm in a mood to read non-fiction history books dealing with sailing ships. Any suggestions? [more inside]
posted by Bulgaroktonos on Jul 22, 2014 - 23 answers

What is wrong with the world?

With the recent events in Ukraine and Gaza lately, I've been feeling upset as to what our world has become, and where we as a race are headed. I'd like to understand how we got here. Can you share your favorite books, and explainers that illuminate the history of the Middle East conflicts, as well as that of Russia and Ukraine. [more inside]
posted by rippersid on Jul 21, 2014 - 22 answers

"Where did you get the idea for your book?"

Please suggest some interesting answers for this question (for a fictional book). [more inside]
posted by cmcmcm on Jul 21, 2014 - 26 answers

Inspiration to maintain an exercise habit

I am going through yet another slump in my regular pattern of exercising, not exercising, exercising, rinse and repeat. I'm looking for some inspiration in the form of books, podcasts, twitter accounts to follow, facebook groups, etc. [more inside]
posted by fever-trees on Jul 20, 2014 - 12 answers

inspirational books/biographies about the non-fiction writing life?

I'm neck deep in writing an academic book at the moment, and on the worst days I lose the will to live. To dislodge myself from the daily temptation to nuke the whole manuscript, slit my wrists and be done with it all, I've been trying to keep motivated by reading good accounts of the life of writers. I would love recommendations! Details inside. [more inside]
posted by starcrust on Jul 18, 2014 - 4 answers

How do I amass a book collection in this day and age?

I've always wanted to wind up with a large collection of books like my parents have. However, when I can find constantly updated information on the internet and I check out fiction from the library, I can rarely convince myself there's a good reason to actually BUY a book. What books should I be buying? Some snowflakes inside. [more inside]
posted by majesty_snowbird on Jul 17, 2014 - 30 answers

Need examples of overlapping conversations from fiction

I'm looking for examples from fiction of multiple conversations happening at once, between at least three different people. The more complex the conversation, the better. Better still if it's from a known author.
posted by asher on Jul 16, 2014 - 21 answers

What is this book that a mad monk recommended?

Reading The Count of Monte Cristo. Spoilers: [more inside]
posted by johngoren on Jul 15, 2014 - 4 answers

Appraising old Jewish/Hebrew/Yiddish books/s'forim in the New York area

I'm seeking someone in the New York area (a collector? a store? an auction house?) who can appraise old books in Hebrew and/or Yiddish. Where might I find someone honest who can do this? [more inside]
posted by taltalim on Jul 15, 2014 - 8 answers

Please recommend me a book on the basics of how computers work

So... I've been in book shops and the like and all the books they have are just on Windows 8 or perhaps a book in Linux if they're feeling adventurous, but I'm looking for a book that will tell me how computers actually work. I'm not very advanced with my computer knowledge, but I'd like to know about the foundation of how a computer works rather than the operating system or latest piece of software. Hopefully that gives enough information to get a grasp of what I mean. Can I get some recommendations for books like this please.
posted by sockpim on Jul 15, 2014 - 16 answers

Book recommendation: a good historical overview of the US in the 1980s?

I am seeking recommendations for (reputable/peer-reviewed) essays or books that could help me develop a nuanced but well-rounded understanding of the social, political, and economic climate in 1980s America (economic deregulation is a particular point of interest). [more inside]
posted by coastisclear on Jul 14, 2014 - 8 answers

Thoughtful sci-fi recommendations

Looking for recommendations of sci-fi authors who are adept at some technology topics without compromising storytelling. More inside! [more inside]
posted by azazello on Jul 13, 2014 - 24 answers

Indie Girls, Indie Boys, Indie Everyone

Are there versions of this book teaching kids to run a play/gallery/poetry slam/etc that are (a) non-gendered (b) geared towards adults? [more inside]
posted by divabat on Jul 13, 2014 - 0 answers

Lady-friendly sci-fi recommendations?

After getting really into Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series, I'm looking for similar reading material. Can y'all recommend other sci-fi novels featuring a predominantly female cast?
posted by schooley on Jul 10, 2014 - 22 answers

Kid's book: little girl on vacation in Vermont who rides flying monsters

When I was a kid, I read a book about a little girl who was on vacation in the mountains of Vermont with her family. She became friends with flying monsters/dragons/dinosaurs. That's all that I remember!
posted by goethean on Jul 9, 2014 - 2 answers

Good Russian and Eastern European SF/F/Horror

I really love the sort of bleak/dark horror/fantasy/science fiction from Russia and Eastern Europe. I loved the Nightwatch series, loved Solaris, loved the Metro series. What else would I love from that part of the world?
posted by Ghostride The Whip on Jul 8, 2014 - 15 answers

Western Romances

I've been wanting to read some good romances lately in the western genre. Any suggestions? [more inside]
posted by warble on Jul 8, 2014 - 12 answers

Whats your favorite memoir?

Hoping to get some suggestions for really great memoirs. Bonus points if after you've read them you can't stop thinking about them! [more inside]
posted by kmr on Jul 8, 2014 - 78 answers

Detective/Mystery Novels in Current Day New York?

A little while back I stumbled upon a detective novel (Losers Live Longer) that takes place in 2009 NYC and utilizes actual city streets, restaurants, bars, etc. The writing was pretty average, but the book kept me constantly aware of the protagonist's location (oftentimes cross-streets). The real-world geography of areas I knew well really sucked me into the world and engaged me on another level than the narrative alone. Are there any other good detective or mystery novels that use post-2000s (or, better yet, post-2010) New York accurately? [more inside]
posted by gregoryg on Jul 8, 2014 - 13 answers

I'd love some book recommendations.

I'm in the mood to read a great book. Help me find some that are right up my alley. [more inside]
posted by morning_television on Jul 7, 2014 - 16 answers

Recommend me some good cookbooks!

I'm going to Powell's this weekend (yay!) and having recently come to face the fact that I'll never make any recipes out of at least half the cookbooks I own and that I'm really simply a cookbook collector more than anything else, I may as well go all in and buy a bunch more. Please give me your favorite cookbook recommendations! Specifics inside. [more inside]
posted by skycrashesdown on Jul 3, 2014 - 32 answers

Books for a great children's book collection?

I want to buy some great, high-quality books to read with little kids. Suggestions? [more inside]
posted by JoannaC on Jul 2, 2014 - 36 answers

How do I search Amazon's database for keywords in editorial reviews

I want to aggregate certain reviewers and their reading tastes that are posted on Amazon.com. I only care about the professional "Editorial Reviews" and not the customer comments. So for example, if I want to read all the reviews attributed to say "Library Journal" or search out blurbs written by a certain author that blurbed a book, I can readily find it. [more inside]
posted by RapcityinBlue on Jul 1, 2014 - 2 answers

How many books has the average person read?

I'd be interested to know how many books the average person has read by the following ages: 21, 30, 40, 60? [more inside]
posted by Musashi Daryl on Jul 1, 2014 - 9 answers

Help me find something as good as Zita the Spacegirl for my kids?

I have been reading Zita the Spacegirl to my kids (7 & 5, boy and girl) very night. For those who haven't read it, it is a terrific graphic novel for kids full of adventure and strange creatures, with a great message. What else would you reccomend, as we approach the end of this great series? Specifically thinking of a modern, adventure-filled (but not overly mature) graphic novel or series. Science fiction or fantasy would be ideal.
posted by blahblahblah on Jul 1, 2014 - 23 answers

Please suggest great but lesser-known non-fiction to give my dad.

Like many dads he reads mostly non-fiction books with a historical, military, political and/or transportation focus. But he seems to have read them all. [more inside]
posted by neat graffitist on Jun 30, 2014 - 27 answers

Child reading books in the summer

Hi, My 10 year old girl loves to read. When she gets started, she loves it, but it's the "getting her started" that I have a problem with. [more inside]
posted by lynnie-the-pooh on Jun 27, 2014 - 33 answers

Half-remembered fairytale

The library of my childhood had a book of fairy tales which I remember fondly but not in very much detail. I remember only one of the stories - perhaps it will ring a bell with someone? [more inside]
posted by Wolfdog on Jun 27, 2014 - 5 answers

Math book recommendations?

Years ago I read John Derbyshire's Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics and loved it. Now I'm studying formal theory/real analysis and I'm finding it really it interesting, but would like to be able to spend my downtime reading about the background of math and also explains some of the concepts. Thanks!
posted by MisantropicPainforest on Jun 24, 2014 - 13 answers

How to Win Friends and Influence Peopleware

What books can I read about the people side of managing software developers, as opposed to the process side? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 21, 2014 - 4 answers

Engrossing Science Fiction Recommendations Please!

Help me fill my Kindle with vacation reading! I like well-written doorstop SF, urban fantasy, spaceship books, epic fantasy, deep complicated books but also joyful romps, complicated prophecies that manifest in unusual ways, great worldbuilding, etc. Romantic elements are fine but I'm not as into stuff where the plot is a thin scrim to hang over endless sexy sex. And as a lifelong SF reader, I have now officially read enough books without women in them, so only books that include solid female characters (as opposed to braid-tugging smurfettes). Things I have loved under the cut. [more inside]
posted by KathrynT on Jun 19, 2014 - 66 answers

What's the name of this kids' scifi anthology I remember?

I read this book of short stories years ago, and for some reason I remember most of the stories in it but have had no luck with Googling for it. Must be that the stories' premises were creative enough or caught my imagination in a particular way. The most memorable story was about trying to survive on Earth after a supernova. I'm pretty sure these are all from the same book: [more inside]
posted by lostburner on Jun 18, 2014 - 7 answers

Fantasy Disguised as General Fiction

Looking for fantasy books hiding out in the non-genre section of the bookstore. [more inside]
posted by xenization on Jun 18, 2014 - 27 answers

Library books (and e-books) vs. physical copies of books for children

What are the pros and cons of buying physical books vs. relying primarily on library books from the point of view of exposing one's future children to a wide variety of books? [more inside]
posted by peacheater on Jun 17, 2014 - 18 answers

Victorian England/Europe book recommendations

Looking for recommendations of books exploring the culture and society of Victorian England/Europe. A few snowflakes inside... [more inside]
posted by kuanes on Jun 15, 2014 - 17 answers

How do I get google to distinguish me from another author?

I'm an author with a google problem. I have the same name as another author (completely different genre, though) and if you google that name, my books show up alongside hers in search results. This has been a recurring problem for years, to the point where I'm planning on tweaking my name for my next book, but for now I'd just like our books not to be conflated. (Google also combines images of me and this other woman, although I'm not as concerned about that). I've tried reporting this issue to google, but so far haven't had much luck penetrating the bubble. Any tech-savvy people have ideas on how I can distinguish my work? Thanks in advance...
posted by Victorian Gal on Jun 11, 2014 - 14 answers

How to catalogue a collection and plan a rare book sale

I'm looking for general advice about how to bring a garage collection of many hundreds of valuable books to market. Part of this process will likely involve software choices. [more inside]
posted by peacay on Jun 9, 2014 - 7 answers

Identify 90s (?) short story collection with a title maybe about falling

Cover was white, cover art was a face or mask or both, female author (I think), and my best recollection is that the title story was about falling or hitting bottom or some combination. [more inside]
posted by Xalf on Jun 9, 2014 - 7 answers

Need a little, silly book

I have a young friend graduating from high school - I would like a cute little book to include with a gift certificate as a gift and could use some suggestions.... [more inside]
posted by hilaryjade on Jun 7, 2014 - 18 answers

Awesome women doing awesome stuff

I'm looking for books in any genre with only three limiting factors. They have a female protagonist, NO sex and NO romance.
posted by 1066 on Jun 4, 2014 - 62 answers

Non-Western History Please!

I want to read some non-Western history, from pre-colonial periods. All I ask is that it be a good read, but non-Western authors would be a cool bonus. [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Jun 3, 2014 - 18 answers

Could you recommend some audiobooks?

I'm seeking audiobook recommendations for books that are escapist, engrossing, generally feel-good, and fast-paced (without being frightening). [more inside]
posted by slidell on May 29, 2014 - 16 answers

Books that changed your world view

I'm going to spend the next year reading a diverse set of books to change how I see the world. What books have changed your world view? [more inside]
posted by markbao on May 29, 2014 - 100 answers

Who illustrated the British covers for the Temeraire series?

Here's an example, the cover of the first book. I've had no luck searching—I even bought a book from amazon.co.uk to see if the illustrator was mentioned inside, but no luck. Does anyone know?
posted by timoni on May 29, 2014 - 2 answers

What are good books on Korean culture for a recent k-drama addict?

My mom has recently become addicted to Korean dramas, and not having much pre-existing knowledge of Korean culture, she always has a lot of questions about cultural details. Her birthday is coming up and I'd like to get her a good book about modern Korean culture. [more inside]
posted by shirobara on May 28, 2014 - 2 answers

Book/movie recommendations with similar feel as A Prayer for Owen Meany?

Looking for books or movies (fiction) that have a character who is "different" in that they have been prepared (perhaps "predestined"?) to fulfill a purpose that is often misunderstood or ignored by others. They may intuitively know about this purpose from the start, or it might be slowly revealed to them, or it only comes together at the sentinel event; as a result, they may have some quality of "otherness" (as best I can describe it). Some examples below the fold. [more inside]
posted by sealee on May 28, 2014 - 25 answers

What should a children's book author's website contain?

I'm building a website for my wife, who's written a half dozen children's books and is currently working to get them published. I've searched the web and looked at sites like Judy Bloom, Beverly Cleary, and currently reviewing this list of websites on pinterest. I'm hoping to get a list of things the hive mind thinks a children's author website should contain, outside of the obvious list like a page for the books, blog/news, and about the author.
posted by herda05 on May 27, 2014 - 11 answers

It's on the tip of someone's tongue

Please help my husband and me find words or phrases (any language!) that describe the sensation of knowing how far you are from home. Not really alienation or nostalgia or being homesick-- just the understanding/realization of the distance. [more inside]
posted by jetlagaddict on May 25, 2014 - 14 answers

Books for tweens set in New York City

Some friends are coming to visit NYC and I'd like to get their kids some fiction set in the city. [more inside]
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis on May 24, 2014 - 19 answers

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