There are a lot of books about the New Yorker (Gone: The Last Days of the New Yorker; Remembering Mr. Shawn's New Yorker; Here but Not Here; About Town: The New Yorker and the World It Made). What behind-the-scenes, inside baseball books are there about New York , the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, the NY Review of Books, Texas Monthly, The Atlantic, and other prominent feature-oriented magazines?
I'm looking for examples of dramatic irony (where the audience knows something that the character doesn't know) to illustrate the concept to a 9th grade literature class. I'd prefer examples from TV shows or movies that they are likely to have seen recently, although popular books might be OK, too.
I have always been fond of writing poetry, but lately I seem to want to expand my writing craft towards short stories. I think the most notable clincher for writers to improve their overall craft is simply by reading voraciously; with an eclectic wide range of authors and literary works. What are some wonderful literary works, authors, playwrights, short stories, non-fiction, fantasy work, et cetera. Can you recommend for me? To further my own voice and writing craft. [more inside]
How can I read more about life in countries other than the USA? [more inside]
I'm working on a project that involves Mark Twain and I have only a few weeks to get to know his body of work, literary style, philosophy, etc. What are they key works I should be looking at to get a sense of Twain? [more inside]
In Somerset Maugham's memoir, The Summing Up, he writes: "Only idolatry can refuse to see the great shortcomings in the conduct and sometimes in the characterization of Shakespeare's plays; and this is very comprehensible since, as we know, he sacrificed everything to effective situation." What do "conduct" and "effective situation" mean in this context in this book published in 1938 by this sometime-playwright?
I have a ‘young adult’ in my life who loves the Amulet graphic novel series. We are getting to the final book and I’m looking for some other young adult graphic novels that will keep her reading! There are a couple guidelines though... [more inside]
Is anyone aware of a good single-volume collection of Canadian literature (short stories, poetry, or essays) in which the contents are arranged by province? Bonus points if the book reads west to east, starting with British Columbia. I'd also be open to recommendations for entertaining non-fiction books that are likewise divided up by province.
These days it seems every second novel has a title that is suffixed with the phrase "A Novel". What was the first novel to start this, why has it become so widespread, and does anybody have stats on how prevalent it is?
This may be a longshot question, but I am looking for books (and ideally audiobooks) with extensive and well-done use of English creole (eg Jamaican Patois, Sierra Leonian Krio, Gullah, etc) or Spanglish, as well as Haitian Creole, though I don't really speak it, and I'm open to other linguistic options. [more inside]
Please help me find some new reading material! [more inside]
I'm trying to hunt down two grim short stories. Gory details (and spoilers) below the fold! [more inside]
I recently enjoyed The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer and am searching for similar novels. By which I mean novels that are about people living their lives, and the growth and change that naturally happens as they do. Engaging, but not particularly dramatic. Difficulty level: reading that helps me fall asleep. A couple of snowflakes inside... [more inside]
I am a well-published poet in journals but have no books out yet. The manuscript I’ve been circulating since 2011 has come very close, though, and has been a finalist in a number of prize contests held by some of the bigger small presses. Almost all of the poems in it have been published individually, and a handful have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. I had been committed to the idea of one of those small presses but am now thinking of self-publishing. More inside. [more inside]
Baby #3 is coming soon and I'm looking for books to read during maternity leave. I know from experience that I need quick, light material that can be read in very short bursts - nothing that relies on subtle atmospherics or requires sustained attention to 'get in to'. But I'd also like something well-written and smart enough that I don't feel like I'm letting my brain turn into nothing but mush and breast milk. Only other stipulations - not too bro-centric (eg. not revolving entirely around the sexual frustrations of an egocentric middle-aged dude); nothing prominently featuring ill/dying/suffering children and/or parents (hormones, yo). Fiction or non-fiction OK, all genres welcome!
A Facebook discussion about good books by well-known authors passing into undeserved obscurity had me looking up reviews of Arthur C. Clarke's Imperial Earth. In the comments on Jo Walton's review there's a discussion about the ending, specifically whether he wrote two distinct endings, replacing the an earlier one in later editions. Did Clarke rewrite the ending? Spoilers below the cut. [more inside]
I won't be able to afford much travel in the next year or two. In the meantime, I'd love to be swept away with rich and vivid descriptions of faraway places. The more introspective, the better. Can be either non-fiction or fiction; essays/short stories or longer format writing; graphic novels are fine; am open to any locations. Bonus points if it also focuses on local food, and/or has an ethnographic approach, and/or is written from a woman's perspective. [more inside]
I enjoy reading erudite yet caustic criticism of literature. [more inside]
Recommendations, please, on current Italian popular music, literature in English translation, and subtitled media. [more inside]
Does anyone have any recommendations on some excellent media about microbes in general, and human microbiota specifically? [more inside]
When you consume multiple books on one topic, what does your notebook look like afterwards? Does making a wiki, or a concept map, or a relational diagram help? [more inside]
One of the characters in East of Eden dies under circumstances that have always baffled me. I turn to the Steinbeck scholars and armchair physicians of Metafilter to help me figure out what happened. (Steinbeck spoilers below). [more inside]
I've started reading the the entirety of Richard Stark's Parker series, and I can't help noticing that the ages of cars are always mentioned. It's never just a Pontiac, it's a "two year old Pontiac." Or, "The Cadillac was four years old." Did cars in the '60s have ridiculously short life spans? What's the deal?
Someone recently told me that Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses and Tony Hillerman's Navajo Tribal Police mystery novels evoked a significantly New Mexico/Southwestern feeling to the point that these books helped them stave off homesickness when they were living elsewhere. What other novels and authors capture and portray a sense of place that makes you feel like you're back in a place that you remember? I know some authors are known for writing about certain settings, but which works really capture the place as felt by someone who lives or lived there?
Mr. Sixswitch is an award-winning Canadian author. He's worked with a professional audiobook producer to create an audiobook version of his first book. But neither of us ever listen to audiobooks, so we're looking for test listeners. Can you suggest places to find interested people online? Or if you'd be interested, let me know in the thread or by MeMail?
I'm going to start by admitting that my interest in reading went from avid bookworm to "I don't even want to read this considerably lengthy text message." That being said, I'm about ready to jump back into literature. So where do I start? [more inside]
What's the best description of that-which-can-not-be-described in horror literature you've encountered? [more inside]
Yep, sorry, another "I quit my humanities PhD and I have no idea how the real world works" thread. Except I haven't actually quit yet; this is more like advance research. It's seeming increasingly likely that I may have to leave ABD for the sake of my mental health, so I'm looking for input on how to manage the early stages of a transition to a career (ideally arts-related) where I'll have little relevant background. This post is also an early step in my effort to encourage more constructive coping behaviors after fairly serious depression. [more inside]
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]
Where can I find the previously shortlisted nominees for the Nobel Prize for Literature? [more inside]
What European language should I learn for the purpose of higher studies, work, and extensive travelling in Europe? I am a bibliophile, cinephile, and love songs with good and meaningful lyrics. Till now I've been enjoying all these, I mean the ones from Europe, in the form of translations and with the help of subtitles. (I write too; not to publish but it's very important to me). [more inside]
So I started reading the "Legacy of the Aldenata" books of John Ringo, and halfway through book three ("When the devil dances") I lost interest in it. Nonetheless, I would like to know how it all got resolved in the end, but couldn't get good spoilers on the Net. Now, how did the humans defeat those 12 billion Possleens on Earth, did they clash with the Darhel about their sinister plans, are they taking the fight to the Possleens, what happened to Michael O'Neil, any high points, please enlighten me!
What are good layman-level books and articles on how the brain interprets narratives (books, television, or any other form of story)? [more inside]
I signed up for a senior-year seminar class for prose fiction. My GPA cannot suffer. I'm willing to learn anything and everything on the subject. Book recommendations are also appreciated. (English TAs and Profs are preferred! You are the next best thing to Literary Gods)
I'm trying to remember a short story I read years ago, in school probably, about alien archaeologists examining the only remains of earth after glaciers killed the last humans. [more inside]
What elements of Arab culture (history, fashion, calligraphy, ...), including literature, would you choose to build a fantasy or sci-fi world (or any other type of word) that you'd like to visit time and again? [more inside]
I'm watching a documentary on Netflix called "New York in the 50's" about poets, journalists, and free thinkers in the Village during the Eisenhower administration. The interviewees keep referencing a self-conscious attempt to emulate life in Paris in the 1920s. So two questions come to mind: 1) Where is this occurring today? Does it only appear in hindsight? Accordingly, 2) Where else have such flowerings occurred? Paris in 1848? Prague in 1968? Has the internet made this kind of location-based creativity irrelevant?
Which writers and artists self-consciously regard their work as a deliberate, mystical diving into and charting of the depths of the unconscious mind? Cites/links to evidence of these views, either within their work or outside it in interviews, etc., would be much appreciated.
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]
This quote is all over the internet with conflicting attributions. Can you help me identify the original source? "You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving..." [more inside]
Is there a story in the Bible or elsewhere in literature or myth about a person who wants to do many things, but is thwarted, by all sorts of forces, and ends up doing only one? [more inside]
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]
How critical was being continually physically present for readings, signings, interviews and other events to the success of a book? Was most of your successful promotional efforts in the first year online or over the phone? [more inside]
Hi There! I'm trying to contact Tom Robbins about possibly doing a musical adaptation of one of his books. Anyone know who his agent is or how to get in touch with his peoples? THANKS!!!
My lovely wife and I are traveling to Peru in early September. We're looking for novels and stories (maybe poetry too?) that will give us a feel for what things are like there. [more inside]
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]
I'm looking for examples of short stories that have two oscillating storylines that ultimately intersect. I mean two different characters on two different trajectories whose paths ultimately cross. This is a frequent structure in novels, but I'm looking for short stories where this is done. I'm sure Alice Munro has done it, but I can't think of examples off the top of my head. Anyone know of any?
What is this short story I read sometime in the late 1990s? Plot involved two teenage girls in the 1960s, Beatlemania, and the terrifying truths of growing up. [more inside]
Looking for quality, regularly-updated web content as an alternative to the potpourri discussion-based sites that usually make up my day online. [more inside]
I'm teaching high school-level English next year for students who need a high level of academic support and I want the class to be both highly engaging and content-rich. If you were a kid who LOATHED writing for school, struggled with boring English classes, or can remember what elements you truly enjoyed in your high school English class, what advice would you pass my way? [more inside]