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Spy fiction

I want your book recommendations. I have just finished watching the first season of The Americans, a TV series about two Russian spies who live as an American couple with two children during the Cold War, and was surprised that I loved it a lot. I want more of that, but I don't usually love this kind of tv series. So I thought, instead of looking for other tv shows like this, I could try to find some books that I like. [more inside]
posted by blub on Oct 23, 2014 - 14 answers

Emotive books for a toddler

I'm looking for book recommendations for books filled with emotions, but not about emotions, for our toddler. [more inside]
posted by lab.beetle on Oct 20, 2014 - 18 answers

Recommend a novel or series of novels for fans of The Good Wife!

I am searching for novels that provide some of the same pleasures of CBS's acclaimed legal drama "The Good Wife," but in textual form! See inside for specifics about what makes this particular plate of procedural beans so special. [more inside]
posted by zeusianfog on Oct 19, 2014 - 4 answers

Recommendations for books on the history of science?

My question is two-fold, really. First, please recommend to me all of your favorite titles on the history of science, math, technology, and medicine. Secondly, how do you go about searching for good books in these topics? My favorite booksellers don't have a "history of science" search tag, unfortunately. Some of my past favorites and extended explanation below the fold. [more inside]
posted by backwards compatible on Oct 19, 2014 - 30 answers

Lynch and Herzog—in book form

Looking for Lynchian and Herzogian books and authors. [more inside]
posted by GlassHeart on Oct 17, 2014 - 17 answers

Books That Reuse Text From Other Books

What books reuse all or part of the text of another book? I'm looking for works like Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, or A Humument, or F***ing Frankenstein, where large chunks of text are transformed but are still recognizable from the original. I am not looking for books like Wicked or The Wind Done Gone, where the story or characters are used but text is entirely original. [more inside]
posted by yankeefog on Oct 17, 2014 - 18 answers

Seattle in 48 hours!

I'll be in Seattle for 48 hours (Sunday afternoon through Tuesday afternoon) for a brief leg of a solo trip. Help me structure my time there for maximum wandery enjoyable urban exploration, with perhaps a little bit of hiking thrown in? [more inside]
posted by elephantsvanish on Oct 16, 2014 - 10 answers

Children's book about the geese at magazine beach, Cambridge MA

This is a looooooong shot. But apparently there was a children's book in the 70s about children feeding the white geese at Magazine Beach in Cambridge, MA. Don't know the author or title. Ring any bells?
posted by Calicatt on Oct 16, 2014 - 5 answers

Novels set in the South

I’m about to head to Clarksdale, MS on holiday for a few days and am looking for recommendations for novels to read that are set in, and evocative of, a similar geographical area. [more inside]
posted by fatfrank on Oct 14, 2014 - 25 answers

Introducing Terry Pratchett to a Japanese reader

I'm exchanging emails with a Japanese woman from Tokyo. We talked about books, and I mentioned Terry Pratchett as one of my favorite authors. She said: "His work looks interesting! Do you have a recommendation?" [more inside]
posted by mortimore on Oct 13, 2014 - 3 answers

Is there a good, accessible book on advanced football strategy?

I'm looking for a book that will explain all the offensive and defensive positions, as well as the relative merit of the various formations, routes, etc. Not necessarily looking for something directed at coaches. [more inside]
posted by Precision on Oct 11, 2014 - 17 answers

More Books With the Mystical Properties of 50 Shades of Grey

A few months back my wife read all the books in the 50 Shades of Grey series and, while she did, let's just say the getting was good. What other books could I buy her to stimulate a similar response? [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 on Oct 9, 2014 - 35 answers

Fantasy novels with strong female characters

I finally have enough time to read books again. My favorite books to read are fantasy with magic. I don't dislike sex in books, but I'm specifically not looking for erotica disguised as fantasy. My favorites have been The Witches of Eileanan and the Rhapsody series. I prefer to read female authors- can't stand GRRM, and am not super into Sci Fi. Can you help me find interesting and fun things to read?
posted by Nimmie Amee on Oct 5, 2014 - 43 answers

What books can make you super excited about topics?

What books can take someone from "Say, that's an interesting topic" and turn that into absolute enthusiasm? I'm thinking of analogies in other topics to Martin Gardner's fantastic Mathematical Games publications (or even more examples from math!)
posted by LSK on Oct 5, 2014 - 21 answers

Examples of amazing but still accessible writing?

I'm not a smart man. But I do enjoy well written things. But well written books, poems, articles or whatever sometimes seem to be to hard to get into. Anyhow I would love to have examples of what people find to be amazing, creative and perhaps unique in the form of the written word. I don't care if it is famous or not. The best of the best of accessible yet amazingly written works. Thanks!
posted by tarvuz on Oct 3, 2014 - 45 answers

Good books about computer science fundamentals for newcomers?

My friend and I are interested in recommendations for books that explain fundamentals of computer science for readers without any prior knowledge - preferably not just about how to write code, but about computer science in a larger sense, and illustrated is especially helpful. For example, around 2003 I read a slim library book with explanations of fundamental computer science topics (including binary, machine code, and how compilers work) with cheesy 90s graphics, but I don't remember the title. What was that book, and what are others like it? [more inside]
posted by dreamyshade on Sep 30, 2014 - 10 answers

Divorce recovery: where to go, what to read

tl;dr: My life fell apart, I'm exhausted and not really sure where to go from here. Thinking seriously about a vacation/retreat; looking for suggestions on where I might go, and books/workbooks to take with me. [more inside]
posted by hishtafel on Sep 26, 2014 - 14 answers

Far future, alien-feeling SF recommendations

I'm getting fairly tired of science fiction set in the near or medium future where society and motivations are an extension of modern life. I'd like something set so far in the future that there is nothing that really calls back to earth politics or history or culture, or something which may well be in an alternate universe because earth-like things never even come up. [more inside]
posted by Bugbread on Sep 26, 2014 - 30 answers

How can I segregate my Google Play Books for different family members?

My kids have just started buying books from Google Play. All of our books are in one big library. How do I go about organising them so that we each only see our own books? [more inside]
posted by pipeski on Sep 26, 2014 - 2 answers

How-the-world-works kind of book for a 5-year-old?

I am looking for a good, simple, kindergarten-level science/general knowledge/encyclopedia for my 5-year-old son. [more inside]
posted by zardoz on Sep 25, 2014 - 3 answers

Narratives - Neuroscience and psychology

What are good layman-level books and articles on how the brain interprets narratives (books, television, or any other form of story)? [more inside]
posted by rebooter on Sep 19, 2014 - 5 answers

Books that a 2nd-grade boy would enjoy reading.

My wonderful partner has a 7-year-old, 2nd-grade son who is having a little trouble keeping up with his peers in the reading department. We're trying to give him some extra attention in that area so that he can catch up, and we'd like to try and foster in him a genuine interest in reading. What books (or comics, or anything) could we give him that he might like, and which would be appropriate for his reading level? [more inside]
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The on Sep 17, 2014 - 40 answers

Essential books for a school library

Recently on my booklog I got asked the following: "Suppose you could recommend 100 books for a high school library (ages 14-18). What books would you want the librarian to buy, and why? (Fiction, non-fiction… whatever you think it important for teenagers to read.)" What would y'all recommend? Note that this is not a hypothetical exercise, but would be a list of recommendations for an actual school library.
posted by MartinWisse on Sep 17, 2014 - 31 answers

Book recommendations for new primary teachers?

I've just started teaching ESL, and while I am relatively comfortable with my adult classes, I have a few hours a week of primary aged kids. I would like some recommendations for books that would be a good introduction to primary teaching, class management, and planning lessons and activities. What books are generally considered the best?
posted by jpziller on Sep 15, 2014 - 3 answers

avoiding 'stuff old people say'

Looking for a friendly, non-textbook intro to modern thought on gender, sexuality, and feminism for boomers who want to stay up to date but don't know where to start. [more inside]
posted by alycoop on Sep 13, 2014 - 9 answers

How to convert a PDF ebook into an actual print book?

Earlier this year, I published a 116-page PDF ebook about personal finance. Next week, I'm attending a conference with fellow financial bloggers. Is there a way to convert my PDF book to a physical print version (even if it's just one or ten copies) in just a few days so that I can show it to people? Cost isn't really an object. I know I've come up with this idea at the last minute...
posted by jdroth on Sep 12, 2014 - 10 answers

Fiction or other narratives that describe using primitive skills?

When I read the Earth's Children series (Clan of the Cave Bear and its sequels), the aspect I enjoyed the most was the detailed descriptions of how the people did things back then (hunting, foraging, skinning, toolmaking, shelter building, etc.). While how-to books abound, I enjoy the fiction or narrative nonfiction format more. Any recommendations? Thanks!
posted by Jacqueline on Sep 10, 2014 - 25 answers

Title of an old kid's book about two boys in a haunted house?

When I was a kid I read a scary book that kind of stuck with me for some reason. I'm curious to read it again, but I can't recall the title. It was about two boys who worked as gravediggers, or at least one of them did and the other hung around with him in the cemetery. They liked to make up macabre rhymes about the names on the tombstones. Stuff like, "Here lies the body of Eliza McBain, somebody pushed her in front of a train." [more inside]
posted by Ursula Hitler on Sep 7, 2014 - 7 answers

What do snowmen and museums have in common?

Please recommend books & movies where things come to life at night, in secret, and/or for one person or a select group. [more inside]
posted by AllieTessKipp on Sep 7, 2014 - 35 answers

Recommended reading for life as a small-town cop?

For a creative project I'm working on, I'm looking for good things to read about life and work as a small town US police officer. So far, I've only found romance novels and self-published Amazon memoirs. Any well-written non-fiction books I could be perusing? [more inside]
posted by HeroZero on Sep 7, 2014 - 13 answers

Historical Fiction from a modern perspective?

I've realized that I really like historical fiction that isn't just straightforward historical fiction, and I'm looking for some more books of this type. [more inside]
posted by brittanyq on Sep 6, 2014 - 18 answers

Words in books.

I want to give a great kid a couple of books. Not sure what to write in them. [more inside]
posted by phunniemee on Sep 4, 2014 - 11 answers

Book recommendations

Looking for recent books that are 1) atmospherically creepy without going into horror, 2) based on a "what-if" situation, and/or 3) have interesting female characters. [more inside]
posted by rebooter on Sep 4, 2014 - 28 answers

Finding a great translation of a foreign book

When there are a lot of editions of a foreign book available, how do you go about finding and choosing a good translation? [more inside]
posted by spbmp on Aug 24, 2014 - 5 answers

Are there left-wing equivalents of these books?

Having some fun with facebook friends with these ridiculous (to us), right wing books. Are there any ridiculous left wing books we should be laughing at too? Help, My Neighbor Flies a Flag?
posted by colin_l on Aug 23, 2014 - 6 answers

In search of Black Comedy

Recently, I've been interested in multimedia featuring aspects of black comedy or cynical characters in otherwise mundane settings. Searching on my own is more or less inefficient and I'm looking for any recommendations which fall into this category. [more inside]
posted by chrono_rabbit on Aug 22, 2014 - 27 answers

Recommendations for books about Red Clydeside

I recently found out that I'm not the only red sheep in my otherwise right-wing family. Apparently my great-grandmother was good pals with James Maxton and some of the other Scottish socialists of the day. I'm looking for book recommendations about Maxton and Red Clydeside in general.
posted by atropos on Aug 22, 2014 - 2 answers

33 1/3 series: What works, what doesn't?

The 33 1/3 series is a formidable list of little books about influential records, written by music writers, musicians, writers and fans. It seems to vary significantly in tone and in the writer's approach. For those of you who have read some of these books, which ones (or particular sections) stuck with you? Which didn't work so well? I would love to write one of these, and I'm trying to calibrate my angle as I hone my pitch.
posted by umbú on Aug 22, 2014 - 18 answers

Book Recommendation for my Mom

My mom dropped out of high school when she was 15 and never reads for pleasure. She (inexplicably) started reading the Hunger Games and devoured the trilogy in two weeks. As far as I know, that's the only book she's ever completed. I'm looking for something that she'll enjoy on the same level of the Hunger Games trilogy. I've tried to figure out what it is that she likes about the trilogy but she can't really say why she enjoyed them so much. She just says she just couldn't stop reading them.
posted by R.F.Simpson on Aug 22, 2014 - 43 answers

How to set up a home library when I can't buy all new shelves

I'm moving my approximately 900 books to a new apartment and will be combining them with my fiancee's books. I need tips for organization. [more inside]
posted by Jahaza on Aug 21, 2014 - 14 answers

Where does a reader go after Edith Pargeter's Heaven Tree Trilogy?

I'm looking to buy a book/books as a gift for my grandmother, who was recently in an accident and faces a long recovery. She is a voracious reader, but has specific tastes. Last Christmas I sent her Edith Pargeter's Heaven Tree Trilogy; she's told me multiple times since, in no uncertain terms, that these books were among the best she'd ever read and that she immediately re-read the trilogy upon finishing it. The trouble is, the rest of Pargeter's corpus - including her pseudonymous works, as far as I can tell - don't fit my grandmother's preferences nearly as well as the Heaven Tree books, so I am not sure what to send her. [more inside]
posted by AthenaPolias on Aug 17, 2014 - 21 answers

Help me find more books like The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon!

I recently read The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon and I really liked a lot of the elements she used. I'm looking for stories in the same vein. I tried a couple book rec websites, but didn't really find what I was looking for. [more inside]
posted by msbadcrumble on Aug 15, 2014 - 2 answers

The Hugo Awards: what are the odds?

I thought bookmakers would take bets on just about anything, bookish competitions included—Ladbrokes has Haruki Murakami at 6:1 for this year's Nobel Prize for Literature—but I'm not finding anyone offering odds on this weekend's Hugo Awards. Are there any "official" odds on the Hugos? And if not, why not? [more inside]
posted by mumkin on Aug 15, 2014 - 3 answers

Aging in literature and film

As I approach my fifties and confront the reality that parts of my body are wearing out and will never be young and resilient again, I turn to the arts for deeper philosophical understanding of this aspect of the human condition that I am facing. I'd like recommendations of fictional treatments of physical aging which are realistic but compassionate. Guidelines and caveats behind the fold. [more inside]
posted by matildaben on Aug 13, 2014 - 25 answers

Shipping a significant quantity of books from US to UK. How? How much?

I'm moving soon (UK Home Office and God willing) from the US to England. I will be there for roughly 3 years, give or take, and am hoping that I can have a portion of my substantial amount of books there with me. Previous suggestions on shipping indicate USPS M-bags as the go-to choice, but USPS no longer offers anything but air service on media bags, pushing the cost to around $175 for 44 lbs. This is more than I want to spend. Ideas? [more inside]
posted by still bill on Aug 11, 2014 - 7 answers

What are the Classics of Genre Fiction

Genre fiction is typically underrepresented in lists of classic novels. We all know the classics of literary fiction (War & Peace, Ulysses, Pride & Prejudice, etc.). But who's the Tolstoy of Fantasy? Who's the Austen of spy fiction? [more inside]
posted by therumsgone on Aug 10, 2014 - 26 answers

Road scholar

Let's say you have a kid - 10-15 years old, so maybe grades 5-10 - and you decide to pull them out of school for a year. During that time, you are going to drive around the United States with the goal of learning, in an authentic way, as much as possible about American history, culture, and geography. Where do you go, and what do you read? [more inside]
posted by goodbyewaffles on Aug 9, 2014 - 15 answers

How do I audiobooks?

I want to start listening to audiobooks on long hikes and drives. Specifically I'd like to start with an unabridged "Lord of the Rings," but eventually others. How do I obtain them as plain mp3s? [more inside]
posted by drjimmy11 on Aug 8, 2014 - 17 answers

Best cosy mystery series or just plain cosy series?

I am looking for a book series to get into that's easy and light, now that I have a kiddo. [more inside]
posted by reshet on Aug 6, 2014 - 30 answers

Bibliotherapy for misandry?

Can you recommend novels, short stories or even biographies that might help me overcome my fear, distrust and occasional feelings of downright hatred towards men? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 6, 2014 - 25 answers

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