I'm looking for book recommendations that will get me as close to an experience as reading Tolkein as possible. I haven't read much fantasy for at least 15 years, but I have a pretty good sense of what I like. I want: a huge world with an ancient mythology, as big a sense of history, language, culture, as possible. I don't want: much violence or thrilling action, I don't care much about characterization or story beats, or accessible writing. Really, as close as I can get to a dense anthropological examination of fantasy world's geography, myth, and legend as I can get. [more inside]
I was at Busboys and Poets a few months ago and I found an amazing book that "prescribed" other books for various physical and mental ailments - e.g Jane Austen for the brokenhearted, Heart of Darkness for malaria. I think the author had a blog/service all about book recommendations and was called the "book doctor." Help me find this book!
I recently reread René Daumal's Mount Analogue and am looking for other books about things - buildings, people, phenomena, organizations, parts of the natural world - that are hidden in plain sight. [more inside]
Dad's got cancer and the whole family (readers all) are looking for some book recommendations that are light, humorous without being wacky, and immersive. We've got a lot of time to sit around and worry. Thanks!
Can anyone recommend a really excellent book, preferably one with lots of illustrations, wacky anecdotes, and/or other intensely engaging content about 1970s rock music? Specifically music of the "prog-ish" type, e.g., early Genesis. I poked around on Amazon a bit but nothing really stood out... [more inside]
What are some books, stories, or poems like Upton Sinclair's The Jungle? [more inside]
I have a friend who wants to read something. He is a 40 year old black male who grew up on the streets of south central. He has a high school education, but has never read a book in his life (his words). He is very open minded and interested in a lot of different things and he sees me and his girlfriend reading all the time and wants to join in on the fun. He says he is mainly interested in nonfiction but open to reading fiction also. [more inside]
I have been struggling to understand and form opinions on racial issues in the US for most of my adult life. The whole conversation is so loaded with value-judgments that my thinking gets all tangled up. I feel like I'm missing a strong philosophical and moral framework from which to form opinions about individual issues. I'm ready to do some reading and heavy thinking so I can think more clearly about this. President Obama's speeches on race have really resonated with me. Any suggestions for books or writings with a similar attitude? [more inside]
A while back, I read Noli Me Tángere by José Rizal, which is sort of the national novel of the Philippines. I've just borrowed The Knight in the Panther's Skin from the library, which is seen as "Georgia's national epic". What are some other national novels? (I've seen the Wikipedia national epics list, but I'd prefer novels to epics, I think, unless they are really outstanding.) If you have particular translations/editions to recommend that'd be great as well.
I would like to read some truly disturbing novels. Give me some recommendations, AskMetafilter. [more inside]
I recently read The Last Policeman by Ben Winters and really enjoyed it. I also really liked Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I liked the settings (basically the real world but at its end,) and the easy nature of the writing (I read both quickly.) I don't think of myself as a mystery fan, but both of these are mysteries of sorts. I'm looking for fun rather than serious books. What else should I read?
My taste in novels has generally tended towards the classics but lately I feel like reading some good contemporary fiction. Please recommend some recent-ish books that are well-written and well-crafted, have emotional depth and deal with human relationships in insightful and moving ways. Kazuo Ishiguro is an example of the kind of writer I'm looking for. [more inside]
How to get an 11-year old into reading? [more inside]
I need a great escapist doorstop novel, and I love some magic and weird creatures, but most big fantasy novels seem to be about BAND of WARRIORS leading to EPIC BATTLE and grimness and people dying. Battles bore me and I'm just not that interested in violence (including magical violence). I'm also interested in people without so much power-- so no royalty, super-wizards, or Chosen Ones. Can you recommend fantasy books that AREN'T about warriors, magical or otherwise? That feature intrepid traders? Cunning craftspeople? What are the bourgeoisie and the working stiffs up to in magic epic land? [more inside]
Beach book suggestions please: have recently finished the latest installment in Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series which I found engrossing and entertaining without being too deep or involved. Would welcome suggestions in a similar vein for lying on a beach, reading on a plane.
I'm looking for "manor house" mystery novels, that take place in a single location (including a manor house, but variety would be appreciated), and involve tracking down a killer. [more inside]
Help me discover engaging, popular-level sociology books. [more inside]
Recommendations for books about meditation? [more inside]
Have you read good books (fiction or non-fiction) which accurately depict/explain life at universities in countries other than the US? [more inside]
I need a longish, interesting, well-written book (fiction) to read on an upcoming trip. Any suggestions? [more inside]
Could you recommend books similar to The Name of the Rose and Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell? There's something about the tone, the mashing of genres together, and the over-immersion in details that is unbelievably appealing to me. (But don't recommend Tolkien!) [more inside]
Reading for the snatched minutes before the baby wakes up, the toddler wants to play hiding again or my sister falls asleep.
Looking for recommendations of comfort reading. [more inside]