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Nonfiction recommendation: Reading to a 92-year old blind lady

Please recommend interesting, well-written and easy-reading nonfiction books [more inside]
posted by eisenl on Apr 5, 2014 - 38 answers

Kids-book-filter

Help me find this book series I loved as a kid. It documented the anthropomorphized life of assorted woodland creatures. Not fantasy, exactly, just woodland creatures doing woodland things. Nothing like Redwall. They were "chapter books," and I remember their covers being green. There were a lot of them- I want to say a dozen? One story-line revolved around a family of beavers. Any ideas, hive mind?
posted by BungaDunga on Apr 5, 2014 - 6 answers

The occult, the delusions, and the swamp rats.

Carl Hiaasen meets H.P. Lovecraft. What book am I looking for? [more inside]
posted by Willie0248 on Apr 4, 2014 - 15 answers

Help me find a pair of novels set in the future with magic.

Trying to find a pair of novels set in the near future North America that I read sometime between 1990 and 2004 approximately. The "big idea" is that neopagan magic "returns" (or at least everyone believes it does, and acts accordingly) with the millennium. The protagonist of one novel is pregnant with the next world spiritual leader. In one scene, a prophet yells at her, "you're full of fish!" Another novel with the same setting (perhaps the same novel) involved a conspiracy and had a genderqueer magical cyberpunk/hacker as a minor character. I remember them as similar to Galveston by Sean Stewart but I'm pretty certain they're not by Stewart. It's not Bone Dance or DeLint, and they had nothing to do with Shadowrun. Help appreciated. They're probably not all that great, but the pair were striking enough that a few things stick out.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos on Apr 3, 2014 - 2 answers

Like Gleick is to Information Theory, X is to Social Choice Theory

What are some great, accessible books that would allow me to learn more about social choice theory without having to become an economist? I am thinking something along the likes of James Gleick's "popular science" Information Theory book, but for social choice theory. [more inside]
posted by TheyCallItPeace on Apr 3, 2014 - 2 answers

Load me up with awesome short stories!

I have this book and I love it. I pick it up, open to a random page, and read whatever story I land on (generally with great success) and often discover a new author to read. Can you recommend other similarly gigantic, wonderfully edited, genre-specific collections of short stories/novellas? [more inside]
posted by torisaur on Apr 1, 2014 - 16 answers

Good Examples of Collected Journalism

Can people recommend good examples of the collected works of an individual journalist, collected and published as a book? I want to see how great journalists arrange and contextualize distinct pieces that also contain larger narrative arcs. Thanks.
posted by history is a weapon on Mar 30, 2014 - 13 answers

books with realistic female characters?

I am tired of novels that have an enigmatic woman at the center of the novel. Can you recommend some books to me where all of the female characters actually act like real people? [more inside]
posted by colfax on Mar 30, 2014 - 57 answers

Physical security measure to prevent book theft

I'm going to be stocking a small bookcase with 5 to 10 books, and placing it in a room inside a college. I need a way to prevent the books from being stolen. Options seem surprisingly limited. Any help? [more inside]
posted by ajp on Mar 28, 2014 - 27 answers

recommend me some (kind of specific) books?

Spring break is coming up, and the best part of spring break is reading all day - so I need to come up with a bunch of books to bring! I'm specifically looking for ghost stories, YA fantasy, historical romance, and travelogues, though if you know of something else fun and easy, feel free to chime in. [more inside]
posted by goodbyewaffles on Mar 27, 2014 - 30 answers

Introduction to Heuristics.

Searching for book recommendations. [more inside]
posted by emmatrotsky on Mar 23, 2014 - 4 answers

The American SF "Canon"

For an upcoming project I'm putting together what's meant to be a comprehensive timeline of important (even "necessary") works of American science fiction since the late 19th century. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog on Mar 23, 2014 - 68 answers

I need some interesting, relatively non-partisan books on politics

I'd like to brush up on my understanding of American politics today. Could anyone point me in the direction of an accessible, well-regarded book that approaches an interesting political phenomenon, or American politics in general, in a relatively non-partisan way? I'd prefer to stay away from highly ideological works about how either conservatives or liberals are leading America to its doom.
posted by Chuck Barris on Mar 20, 2014 - 10 answers

Number of self-published vs. officially published books?

I need some rough data about books published by recognized publishers vs. books that are self-published. Can you help me find where to look for these numbers? [more inside]
posted by meerkatty on Mar 20, 2014 - 2 answers

Books that fill the same niche as Project Rho/Atomic Rockets?

I really like reading Atomic Rockets at Project Rho. But I want to take it around with me in an easily digestible form. Can anybody recommend books that have the same sort of content and a similar feel? Not science fiction, but books about the science of science fiction. [more inside]
posted by penduluum on Mar 19, 2014 - 2 answers

I need the dirty bits from popular books

I'm starting a book club among my friends where we just read the dirty bits from popular books to each other. They don't even have to be popular books - just books that I can actually find easily. And it's not exactly a book club. More like a reading-to-each-other club. Anyway, can you remember and recommend any notably hot sex scenes from books you might have read? [more inside]
posted by Sully on Mar 19, 2014 - 61 answers

Help me impress my friend by figuring out what book we're remembering

I was at lunch with a friend of mine and the conversation turned to escargot. She said, "I remember reading a book when I was a kid where the girl went out to a fancy restaurant, and she accidentally ordered escargot because she didn't know what they were." [more inside]
posted by pretentious illiterate on Mar 17, 2014 - 27 answers

Historical Religious Books

I just finished reading Zealot, by Reza Aslan, and I found it to be a fascinating book. I'm looking for similar books! [more inside]
posted by graventy on Mar 17, 2014 - 12 answers

Day-to-day of a tanker in WWII?

I'm looking for non-fiction books that describe the day-to-day life of an allied tanker (guy in a tank or other AFV) in World War II. [more inside]
posted by bondcliff on Mar 14, 2014 - 8 answers

Books like The Game, except completely different in every way

A male friend of mine has recently learned that he's not as good at dating women as he thought he was, and wants to get better. Where can I point him for sex and relationship advice, addressed to men, but written from a feminist perspective? [more inside]
posted by psycheslamp on Mar 11, 2014 - 7 answers

What are your favorite book blogs?

I'm looking for some good book blogs in the style of Forever Young Adult, which I adore, but which are focused on adult literature. What I like about Forever Young Adult is the informal style and frequent reviews of new books I might not otherwise hear about - the book blogs I know of are more focused on author interviews or commentary, and tend to take themselves more seriously than I would like. [more inside]
posted by something something on Mar 11, 2014 - 6 answers

Reliable information about pregnancy

I am looking for sources of reliable, science-based information about food / exercise / medication / etc during pregnancy. [more inside]
posted by insectosaurus on Mar 10, 2014 - 13 answers

Book Hunt

Hey, could anyone show me where to find the book called "How to make money in your spare time" by 673126? The case is yours Detective Hive Mind!
posted by CyborgHag on Mar 9, 2014 - 5 answers

Suggestions for a subtitle for my workbook?

I have a title for a self-help workbook I'm writing, but I'm having a lot of trouble thinking of a good subtitle... [more inside]
posted by DMelanogaster on Mar 9, 2014 - 12 answers

Repository for literary interpretations?

Where can I go to find publicly accessible (preferably online) and well-thought-out basic interpretations and commentary on books? I don't mean reviews, and I don't mean ultra-scholarly theoretical or historical work. I mean commentary and explanation. For example, if I just read The Trial and I wanted to know what some of the standard opinions about its meaning were, where could I reliably go?
posted by shivohum on Mar 7, 2014 - 4 answers

SciFi Books from a While Ago

I'm yet again looking for some books I read over a decade ago. Details below. Somewhere in there I swear is a link to Frank Herbert, but I don't know for sure (every time I search for his bibliography it comes up all Dune). [more inside]
posted by BenevolentActor on Mar 6, 2014 - 7 answers

More smart thrillers like Brilliance and Lexicon

I've recently finished Marcus Sakey's Brilliance and Max Barry's Lexicon and I'd like more thrillers like them. By "like them", I mean: fast paced, lots of twists and action, an intelligent, speculative, science-fictiony central idea, but the book is not marketed as genre science fiction, but rather as a thriller. Some literary aspiration is a plus, as is a good Bechdel test score (both of the above books kind of failed on that latter criterion). Already read: Atwood, Gibson, Stephenson. I read a lot of "literary mysteries" like Tana French and the like, but here I'm more interested in action/thrillers and not so much mysteries or procedurals.
posted by matildaben on Mar 6, 2014 - 10 answers

Help me i.d. these kid's books

A definite long shot, but I'm looking for the names of two of my favourite children's books from the '80's, these are picture books that were read to me about 25 years ago, and I'd love to find them for nostalgia's sake but also to read to my own children. The first was about a little boy who follows a clown into his television, I think maybe at the boy's bedtime. The second was about a boy and a monkey who go on adventures together, maybe to space, and I think there were trap doors or other neat ways of traveling. The illustrator of the book included these great doodles and tiny squiggles on every page (within the pictures not all over the text), and that's what I remember most, the great illustrations that were really intricate.
posted by lafemma on Mar 4, 2014 - 1 answer

Business, Murakami, DFW, and Music

Book suggestions for a gift exchange recipient that combine business, Haruki Murakami, David Foster Wallace, and/or music? (here's hoping my recipient isn't also a Mefite!) [more inside]
posted by divabat on Mar 4, 2014 - 10 answers

What novels have news clippings and press releases in them?

I'm writing the Great American Novel (isn't everyone?). I want to intersperse press releases and newspaper clippings throughout the book, but I'm not sure about formatting (and e-book format raises yet another question). [more inside]
posted by adverb on Mar 3, 2014 - 13 answers

Engaging books on stories from labor history

Could anyone recommend engaging, story-driven books on moments from American labor history? [more inside]
posted by Slothrop on Mar 2, 2014 - 13 answers

Essential Medical Books

I've been tasked with putting together a medical library for my small disability law firm. Doctors, what are five essential medical books that we should look at obtaining regarding general medical practice? [more inside]
posted by Dignan on Feb 28, 2014 - 7 answers

Books to read along with "Lean In"

Our book club is doing a "Lean In free swim" -- everyone will read Lean In* plus one other book of their choice on the topic of gender and work. What would be some good choices for the second book? [more inside]
posted by jhc on Feb 28, 2014 - 19 answers

Where can I find free NYC street maps for a for-profit travel book?

I'm trying to create a travel book and website for tourists to NYC. Are there any resources I can use for free or very low cost in regards to the street maps in the printed version, especially those including subway and/or bus stops (nice, but not required).
posted by NYC-BB on Feb 27, 2014 - 2 answers

YANAmazon, but…

I stumbled across an older book, and I'd love to find others like it. Help? [more inside]
posted by xenization on Feb 27, 2014 - 8 answers

How do you keep up with your favorite authors?

Is there some kind of app or website that will send me notices when authors I designate as my favorites publish a new book? [more inside]
posted by something something on Feb 26, 2014 - 5 answers

Help me find some new books to love.

I am looking for something in the area of science biography. Particularly, I enjoy reading about the inner lives of great minds. I'm not really interested in gossipy type info, but more about the personal growth and development of the scientist him/herself that paralleled their work. [more inside]
posted by JanewayJunior on Feb 22, 2014 - 18 answers

Essential novels of the 20th-21st century

I know next to nothing about 20th and 21st century literature. What are some recommendations for "essential" novels that I can start with? [more inside]
posted by vanitas on Feb 21, 2014 - 52 answers

Look at this old bookplate!

What language is this? What does it say? [more inside]
posted by steef on Feb 21, 2014 - 8 answers

Books on US foreign policy

Please recommend your favorite readable books on United States foreign policy. I'm open to a broad range - biography/autobiography of key figures, analysis around a specific event, focus on specific forms of diplomacy, focus on specific issues - but I want something that is engaging and not too dense. Imagine you could pull it out of your bag during your subway commute. [more inside]
posted by AnnaRat on Feb 19, 2014 - 17 answers

I need more good non-fiction

I need more good non-fiction. I'm particularly interested in food and history (and, obviously, food history) but I'm getting a bit desperate so I'm open to anything except politics and sports. I prefer more in-depth and non-fluffy books if I can get them, with extra points if they're available on Kindle. [more inside]
posted by ninazer0 on Feb 16, 2014 - 65 answers

Good 'Techno-Thrillers'?

I recently bought Zero Day by Mark Russinovish because it was cheap, and also I was vaguely interested in seeing how the whole 'techno-thriller' genre has evolved since I made the mistake of trying to read the Net Force books. It's not very good. Help me find an alternative! [more inside]
posted by anaximander on Feb 16, 2014 - 9 answers

Culture and economy of late medieval Central Europe

I'm working on an architectural research project on late gothic Germanic churches (from about 1500-1650), and feel hamstrung by my ignorance of the cultures and economies in which the architecture was produced. [more inside]
posted by sakahane on Feb 14, 2014 - 6 answers

I can't even get myself to stick to a schedule...

Looking for books on baby care/baby development which don't focus on getting the baby into a routine. [more inside]
posted by Catseye on Feb 14, 2014 - 12 answers

Psychohistory

Can you point me toward any negative reviews of Asimov's Foundation Trilogy? [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Feb 14, 2014 - 6 answers

Young Adult Detective Bookfilter

Need help identifying a book from childhood. [more inside]
posted by Ham Snadwich on Feb 13, 2014 - 11 answers

Chapter Trails

Is there a formal term for the hyphen separated list of keywords and phrases that you sometimes see at the beginning of chapters in a book? These usually form a sequential summary of the chapter ahead. I've most often seen this in older books, but recently in Robert MacFarlane's, "The Old Ways".
posted by spudsilo on Feb 11, 2014 - 2 answers

ISO good fiction about catching babies

Recommend me fiction or very readable memoirs about midwifery, obstetrics, and the politics of birth--any genre is fine, but SF/F and historical suggestions are especially welcome. [more inside]
posted by PhoBWanKenobi on Feb 10, 2014 - 24 answers

No More Culture Books left - what other SF is like Iain Banks?

This question was helpful, but I need something from a slightly different direction for my husband who is out of Culture books: the humanist angle is great, but really looking for thoughtful left-anarchist SF in particular, "upbeat but not saccharine." [more inside]
posted by corb on Feb 10, 2014 - 18 answers

Sci-fi, horror, fantasy, and weird fiction from Central/Eastern Europe?

What are the best sci-fi, horror, and fantasy books, movies, and comics from Central and Eastern Europe? "Best" includes both the finest and also the most popularly influential, as well as both pro- and anti-communist material, as well as both past and contemporary work. Bonus points for such fiction from the former Yugoslavia! [more inside]
posted by Sticherbeast on Feb 10, 2014 - 16 answers

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