Help me find books that convey a jolly feeling of appreciation for the wonders of modern life. Ideally these would be books that have a sci-fi or fantasy feel, but in which nothing overtly magical or fantastic happens. The best recent examples I can think of are Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
, which has all the elements of a fantasy novel but is set squarely in our world, and William Gibson's most recent novels, all of which feel fantastic to me but are grounded in real life. [more inside]
posted by spacewaitress
on Apr 10, 2014 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
I again have time to consume books like a cookie-monster. I've avoided lists of classics-by-genera because I tend to like only 5% of what's on them. It's not that I specifically like reading dystopias or sci-fi - I liked the Poisonwood Bible for instance, as much if not more than Lord of the Rings.
In addition to book recommendations, it would also be useful if, given the books listed below, you have any ideas for other trends that could help me search out books myself. Your advice is much appreciated! :) [more inside]
posted by ch3cooh
on Jan 25, 2014 -
I want to learn how to watch movies with more of a critical eye. I want to know what to pay attention to - technically, narratively, and so on -- and how to judge these things, so I can better appreciate what's going on. I'm looking for books or maybe documentaries that will help me do this. [more inside]
posted by Tin Man
on Jan 18, 2014 -
My partner and I were remembering our differing childhood experiences of homemade spaghetti. At one point, she brought up using the leftovers in a spaghetti sandwich. I've never had one, but this triggered a vivid memory of a favorite picture book which had at least one illustration of a spaghetti sandwich. Among other odd sandwiches, possibly. I'd love to remember the title of the book and, ideally, see that illustration. [more inside]
posted by gilrain
on Jan 14, 2014 -
Please recommend fiction about obscure subcultures. Basically, I'm looking for the fiction version of this question
. More contemporary books (written recently and about contemporary subjects) are preferred but not required.
posted by Xalf
on Jan 6, 2014 -
Trying to find the perfect book to scratch a partner's literary itch for macrohistories related in some way to music. Details within. [more inside]
posted by Stacey
on Dec 28, 2013 -
If I'm going to succeed in a field I am considering (bioinformatics), I'm going to need to learn a good deal of statistics. I have limited experience in the subject and have never found the details of it especially compelling. Can you recommend some books on statiistics (not necessarily light on the details) that are well written and interesting? Something designed to get the layman interested in the details could be good, but textbook recommendations would also be good.
posted by garuda
on Dec 20, 2013 -
Looking for books/long articles about Lyndon Johnson and the Great Society- the history, the political effort, the hits and the flops. [more inside]
posted by ThePinkSuperhero
on Dec 17, 2013 -
What newly released books would my nerdy, geeky, incredibly smart, completely rad uncle enjoy? [more inside]
posted by missmary6
on Dec 10, 2013 -
I like to learn about different places and cultures by reading fiction set in those places and with characters from those cultures. Can you recommend to me a contemporary novel about American Indians? I'm particularly interested in books about Native American communities in the continental US. [more inside]
posted by bluefly
on Dec 7, 2013 -
Sometimes, one of the first pages of a library book will bear an identifying stamp made of perforations punched through by a special tool. This practice seems to have disappeared, and Googling for it has only frustrated me. What is the tool called and where can I find one? [more inside]
posted by viewofdelft
on Dec 2, 2013 -
Can you recommend fiction books that feature a main character who is entering middle age and is evaluating his or her life so far, and what direction their life should take? [more inside]
posted by mark7570
on Nov 17, 2013 -
My soon-to-be-17-year-old niece is interested in pursuing forensic science as a career. What are the best books on the subject that would both entertain and inform her? Fiction and non-fiction suggestions are welcome.
posted by Paris Elk
on Nov 16, 2013 -
I'm helping to design a course for college juniors and seniors in the health sciences. What books (textbooks, popular non-fiction, or even novels), articles, essays, and websites would be most helpful for the students as they finish up their degrees? [more inside]
posted by terrierhead
on Nov 12, 2013 -
I have a PDF that I'd like to convert to ebook format. It's straightforward - body text with just a handful of images - but the ebook needs to have the same font and style of the PDF. (I also have it in InDesign, if that helps.) I'm looking for a designer, or design agency, who has worked on ebooks before, who can take this on. Any recommendations? [more inside]
posted by mark7570
on Oct 8, 2013 -
I'm looking for board books that do not just portray white children. Books appropriate for ages 1-4 would be fine, but I'm buying for a 2-year-old so a bit on the simpler side is better. Thank you!
posted by the young rope-rider
on Sep 23, 2013 -
Please recommend your favorite stores for books for kids in Chicago. I am interested in finding used books, quirky books, and progressive books. Not necessarily all three and not necessarily in that order. Toddler Xalf is almost 1.5 years old, but I'm happy to buy books that will be over his head for the next few of years.
Any part of Chicago is fine. Suburbs too, especially those to the north.
posted by Xalf
on Sep 20, 2013 -
What's a good introduction to running book? I'd prefer a quick read, not too technical, humorous but not insulting. Something that starts with the basics (shoes, feet, clothing) and goes on to talk about things like all weather running and maybe even the basics of marathon training. [more inside]
posted by bondcliff
on Sep 19, 2013 -
Do you know the name of the fiction book which was likely published in the last decade, takes place around the mid-1800s to early 1900s about an immigrant Jewish woman, who is either sent away as part of an arranged marriage or she runs away? [more inside]
posted by lea724
on Sep 15, 2013 -
Pretend I came from another planet yesterday. Pretend that today I listened to everything by The Rolling Stones. Pretend that tomorrow I want to read a book about the band/their history/their music. What would that book be? [more inside]
posted by greta simone
on Sep 7, 2013 -
Please recommend fiction and nonfiction novels which depict folklore and mythology created by children who are free of adult supervision and authority. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Sep 3, 2013 -
My partner read a novel a few years ago at a book exchange in a hostel. Here's what she remembers:
posted by HeroZero
on Sep 2, 2013 -
- About a family (a father, son, and daughter-in-law) who are taken by the secret police of a fictional South American dictatorship (a stand in for an unnamed Argentina or Chile). The characters are tortured, and the novel focuses on their psychological recovery afterwards. The woman might be pregnant.
- She read it in English, but it may have been a translation.
- The title was some word that she thinks translated as "fish" or "sea god" or something similar. She thinks it maybe began with "P," but she's not sure.
This summer I have a lot of reading to do: some books about physics and math applied to sports, others about evidence-based sport conditioning, objectivism, ... stuff that built up because I didn't had to read it.
When I read books I like to have a top down view of the subject but most books' introduction fail to do so, either because it is too short and not enough to give a good overview of each chapter or because they not even try to summarise the contents of the books and on how to use the book. [more inside]
posted by tsuwal
on Aug 2, 2013 -
I need to ship a bunch of books internationally; is there a better option than USPS M-bags? [more inside]
posted by beerbajay
on Jul 16, 2013 -
Summer vacations are coming up and I am going to use some of my free time to learn physics and math, subjects that I love. In order to do that i asked collegeconfidential.com if anyone had "exclusive study materials" from their university which they could share. I mentioned that I would like to have acess to tests and exams from other universities and I could give some good materials collected by my colleagues of the physics and math course in exchange. [more inside]
posted by tsuwal
on Jul 12, 2013 -
i really like the slow/subtle treatment of ennui/cultureshock/different manifestations of love/and the engaging "nonplot"
posted by sawyerrrr
on Jun 25, 2013 -
My wife and I are starting a "book club" for the two of us. The plan is to read an award winning book each month. The first month we'll read a book that won an award in 2012, the second month an award-winner from 2011 and so on.
There are many, many book awards to pick from so here's the question: What book awards do we use to determine the "nominees" for each month? [more inside]
posted by John Frum
on Jun 4, 2013 -
I commute to and from work, which involves busses and trains transfers and other general distractions, and while I really enjoy reading on this commute, I can't sink my teeth into heavier books that require a ton of concentration to comprehend and follow (I save those for the weekends). I have found that lighter books with shorter chapters and engaging storylines are easiest to read in this atmosphere. What are your recommendations? [more inside]
posted by wordsmith
on May 3, 2013 -
A while ago I read an essay/article/rant online re a fantasy author / series and I'd like to read it again but google is failing me because I can't remember any specifics. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry
on Apr 23, 2013 -
I tend to like humor, but other genres are acceptable. If this is too broad a category, we can limit recommendations to those where being in one's mid-20s is somehow central to the novel.
posted by jtothes
on Apr 9, 2013 -
Somewhere between '80 and '82, I read this book that featured spiders... [arachnophobes: do not click!] [more inside]
posted by batmonkey
on Mar 28, 2013 -
I was linked a book some time ago via twitter, but that account is now gone and with it went the link.
Things I remember:
Pretty sure it was called "Daylight" (maybe not that, but definitely a time word. daytime? morning?)
Content: the text was just the entirety of a single day's New York Times transcribed
The link went to the publisher, I recall seeing it on Amazon also.
I believe published in the early 90s. 93ish? But still purchasable
Currently going crazy trying to find it with such not-so-limiting search terms. My browser history doesn't go back far enough to find it there. Hoping someone familiar with it happens upon this, I guess.
posted by arsey
on Mar 8, 2013 -
I'm just finishing up the third book
in Ben Aaronovitch's "Rivers of London" series, and I've really enjoyed these books. What fantasy book(s) should I read next to suit my current mood? [more inside]
posted by taz
on Dec 18, 2012 -
I work at a university library and one of our professors has requested we purchase 2 books that were only published in Finland. I have tried all of my usual book vendors and none of them have these books. Does anyone have any idea who I could contact in Finland to see if these books are still available there? Any ideas would be welcomed. I am all searched out...
posted by libraryleah
on Dec 10, 2012 -
I would like access to a supplemental resource for a textbook that I purchased, for non-school-related use, but only instructors for a course can have access. [more inside]
posted by zeek321
on Dec 6, 2012 -
Looking for specific book recommendations that are superb
and by female authors/female authors of color. [more inside]
posted by jsturgill
on Nov 8, 2012 -
I'm almost done with my divorce and in the process of starting a new life. Are there any books out there that might help me steer clear of making the more common corny-recent-divorcee' mistakes? Stuff related to love, the kids, housecleaning, finance, alcohol, furnishings, loneliness, stress, etc.
41 yo male living in the US, three preteen daughters on 50/50 time, comfortable financially, stressful job, amicable split from STBX, big D because I ended up being an employee and not a husband/man.
posted by TheManChild2000
on Oct 29, 2012 -