I want to read journals and letters by people in their fifties and sixties. It could be anyone, anywhere, any century. I prefer good writing, and some levity. Most of all I'm looking for a sense of personality, text that brings the writer to life. The writer in his/her late middle age has lived several decades. They are settled in themselves, yet they still struggle. They look forward to years ahead, and they ponder mortality. What do they have to say? [more inside]
I'm looking for horror recommendations (defined as broadly as you wish). I'd like books with a deeper resonance, the kind you keep thinking about after you finish, but books that make you feel as well. My favorite writers are Shirley Jackson, Peter Straub, Caitlin R. Kiernan; I don't care as much for Lovecraft and the more cosmic stuff. Ideally this would be a book you would describe as being emotionally moving or compassionate as well as creepy. The further off the beaten path, the better.
I'm interested in catching up with the latest developments in the evolution of the mystery novel. What should I read? [more inside]
I'm looking for examples of archaeology of the present day, and/or of the ruins of the modern world, from the perspective of the future, as expressed in fiction or film. These could be major plot points, recurrent themes, or merely passing references. [more inside]
Looking for comic title for non-reading young girl with strong visual narrative. [more inside]
What are some excellent annotated versions of already excellent books? [more inside]
Looking for short novels composed of fragments, vignettes, etc. Examples: Michael Ondaatje's The Collected Works of Billy the Kid, Elizabeth Hardwick's Sleepless Nights, Danielle Dutton's Margaret the First. [more inside]
In search of novels, memoirs, and other literary works where physical ugliness (NOT beauty, primarily) is a major subject/theme. Thanks!
What are the most interestingly designed children's books? I am wanting to find ones with holes in the pages, unusual bindings, strange covers, textures inside, or simply unusual illustrations. Any advice?
[Book recommendation filter] Must be literary. Must be wildly absorbing. Ensemble casts of characters preferred but not required. The longer, the better. Did it sweep YOU off your feet? Tell me about it! [more inside]
Hi My nephew is 5, starting school in 2016 January (southern hemisphere semester.) He reads above the average for his age, and his interests vary greatly week to week. Neither of his parents, or Grandparents or extended family have any interest in Mythology or literature at all. He does have some though. He grasps the narrative structures of cartoons and TV shows he likes. He also really enjoys books of classic Fairy Tales like Grimm and Aesop, told for children. He seems like he is ready for Roald Dahhl... [more inside]
I have always held a deep love and excitement for the Southern Gothic literary tradition and its sundry themes. But I've long ago exhausted the likes of Flannery O'Connor, William Faulkner, Cormac McCarthy and most of the well known folks in between. I'm looking for more obscure or unexpected works, like Fred Chappell's "Dagon". Books as well as films. Does not have to be "traditional" Southern Gothic (see below fold). The more psychologically unsettling, the better. [more inside]
I’m looking for recommendations for conventional short stories that are reasonably easy to read and have some literary merit. When I say “conventional”, I mean stories that have a distinct plot, with recognizable characters, and some kind of clear resolution at the end. [more inside]
Please can you recommend books similar to Bruno Schulz's, Isaac Babel's and Bulgakov's Master & Margarita? [more inside]
My Search-Fu is utterly failing me. Where did I read the line (paraphrased): "He was like a tennis player who mistakes his best game for his everyday game [or natural level or basic capability]". I want to say it was in a novel by a female author,: Lessing, Christie or Woolf maybe? I might be completely wrong. Fairly sure the narrator's voice was female. Can anyone help?
I'm looking for books that capture the feel, culturally, politically, and/or otherwise, of the 1990's in America. Can y'all help me out?
Can anyone recommend a good historical examination of literary and performed works throughout all of human history that stood out from their contemporaries for containing exceptionally violent/disturbing imagery, even for their own time? (more 'recent' examples being Titus Andronicus, the various Penny Dreadfuls, de Sade, Milton, etc) [more inside]
I'm looking for examples of authors and musicians who lived artistically unremarkable lives for their first four decades, only beginning to express themselves creatively in their 40s, and who subsequently received critical or popular acclaim for the work they produced during that fifth decade. [more inside]
I'd like to stock up my Kindle relatively inexpensively (and am also a little overwhelmed by the phenomenal quantity of cheap public domain books available). What are the best works of literary fiction under $2 available for the Kindle? Preferences/requirements inside. [more inside]
I’m ordering 300ish books for a children’s library. After reading this thread asking for books featuring feminist-anti-racist-queer-ally characters I realised that our collection is full of books focusing on straight, white (usually male) youth in nuclear families and it’s seriously lacking. Can you folks recommend any books to help me improve our collection? [more inside]
I currently work such long hours that I don't have much time to read. I can't read the types of books that I normally would want to - literary fiction - because I am too exhausted to really concentrate at night and I just don't have the time. I also don't want to be stuck in a 400 page novel for 3 months. details inside [more inside]
What are some works of SFF that showcase beautiful language on a par with All The King's Men, Gilead, and Raymond Chandler's detective novels? I've read plenty of SFF that has transported me, but little that's struck me as gorgeously written. Thanks!
Help me experience the reading I missed out on as a child. [more inside]
I'm trying to find some valuable works of advice to improve my craftsmanship on writing poetry and short stories. If you can recommend any advice books, poetry, novels, and short stories that can help contribute to better writing in the genre of: science fiction, southern Gothic literature, classic literature, modernism, and modern ligature works, that would be most appreciated. [more inside]
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?
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]
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!
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]
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 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]
What are good layman-level books and articles on how the brain interprets narratives (books, television, or any other form of story)? [more inside]
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]
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]
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 from fiction of multiple conversations happening at once, between at least three different people. The more complex the conversation, the better. Better still if it's from a known author.
After getting really into Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series, I'm looking for similar reading material. Can y'all recommend other sci-fi novels featuring a predominantly female cast?
The library of my childhood had a book of fairy tales which I remember fondly but not in very much detail. I remember only one of the stories - perhaps it will ring a bell with someone? [more inside]
I love conversing with people who know history and are sparkling, highly opinionated storytellers. Often these are foreigners or emigrants speaking about their country. They're unafraid to draw sharp, outspoken conclusions that frame major situations (e.g. that some leader was an incompetent fool or that an accident of geography is what will ensure conflict between two groups continues). What are some book equivalents of that conversational experience? They can be on any period or region. I do not want a magisterial treatise. I want a keen-eyed, slicing talk with someone really well-informed and cynical over several drinks who's gonna say what's what.
I am looking for recommendations of great dystopian novels, novellas, and short stories. Any length will do! [more inside]
After finishing Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's "Americanah," and thinking about how I loved Zadie Smith's "White Teeth," and Hanif Kureishi's "Buddha of Suburbia," I'm finding I want to read more immigration/diaspora/post-colonial literature. Please help me build a lifetime reading list. All geographies welcome. I am very deliberately trying to read more women authors in 2014 and beyond, too.
Seeking literary fiction with a transient, often solitary, female hero, please! [more inside]
RecoFilter: I'm looking for recommendations of books, preferably in the sci-fi/fantasy genres, that have a 'big reveal' somewhere in there that changes the whole perspective of the book or protagonist. Examples would be The Inverted World, The Prestige, or Ender's Game, for example, or the first Star Trek film, or some Lovecraft stories — the whole thing, and all events narrated, appear in a different light after, you know? [more inside]
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]
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]
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?
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]
Another ReadMe Question. Lately I've been really enjoying literary-leaning thrillers and mystery type books authored by women. Can you recommend some more? [more inside]
Seeking suggestions for interesting, wide-ranging books on seemingly mundane or trivial topics. Help, hive mind! [more inside]