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 -
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 -
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]
posted by Lutoslawski
on Feb 5, 2014 -
Seeking suggestions for interesting, wide-ranging books on seemingly mundane or trivial topics. Help, hive mind! [more inside]
posted by Stacey
on Jan 31, 2014 -
For an abnormal psych class I have to read a novel with a main character that has a DSM-5 diagnosable disorder and then diagnose them based on the book. One problem: all the good ones are probably already claimed. [more inside]
posted by MonsieurBon
on Jan 8, 2014 -
My nine year old just read "Number the Stars" by Lois Lowry. It is her first introduction to really high quality historical fiction. She is excited to read more books that teach her about history, but are also fun to read because they are fiction.
Do you have any ideas about historical fiction books that are excellent quality like "Number the Stars" but that are age appropriate for my nine year old?
posted by lynnie-the-pooh
on Dec 15, 2013 -
What are some flattering address from classic literature? My two examples (and the extent of my list) are Walt Whitman's "O Captain! My captain!" and "...light of my life, fire of my loins!" from Lolita. Both are very fun things to call Mr. Grandysaur. BUT I WANT MORE. I'm looking for grandiose, recognizable, turns of phrase that I can use to address those that are worthy. The more ridiculous the better.
posted by Grandysaur
on Nov 14, 2013 -
I'm looking for Hindi books that progressively increase in difficulty. I'm a Hindi speaker that learned from my parents conversationally, but I have no grasp of the Devanagari script. I thought I could teach myself the script by rote, then work my way up through books of increasing difficulty similar to how I have read books in grade school in the USA. [more inside]
posted by brocrastinator
on Nov 11, 2013 -
[Book filter] Please recommend stories about people who find out (through trail and error) what they really want, and eventually get there (after a bunch of detours). [more inside]
posted by fix
on Oct 13, 2013 -
I'm trying to remember the name of a novel I read when I was in school. I believe it was Canadian, and the main character was a goodhearted but simpleminded, somewhat overweight female prostitute living in a small town. I also believe the title was her nickname; I thought it was "Sweetie," but that has proven to be incorrect.
posted by The Card Cheat
on Oct 12, 2013 -
My niece celebrates her eleventh birthday soon. She loves to read. She lives in Canada; I live in the UK: for convenience’s sake I’d like to buy her books from Amazon.ca
as a gift. Besides reading, her previous interests have included princesses, ballet and cupcakes—the latter leading me to order to some volumes from The Cupcake Diaries
as last year’s gift. What’s new and cool in the world of books if you’re Canadian and eleven?
posted by misteraitch
on Oct 2, 2013 -
Can you guys recommend any short story anthologies whose theme is twist endings
? The one requirement is that all
of the stories must feature a twist ending -- so books like Guy de Maupassant or O. Henry collections, or even Twilight Zone
anthologies, in which only many/most of the stories feature twist endings, are disqualified. I'm not sure whether such an anthology even exists, but I'd love to find out. Thanks for any recommendations!
posted by Mo' Money Moe Bandy
on Sep 26, 2013 -
I've been in South America for six months and running out of books to lose myself in. I read a lot of big long books-do you know of some more? [more inside]
posted by lightgray
on Sep 17, 2013 -
I'm looking for book recommendations for thorough, engaging, and rigorous histories of Savile Row tailoring and/or books that talk about the history and philosophy of fine men's tailoring and dress. I'm not averse to books with technical information, as well as historical and cultural information. Thank you!
posted by moxie_milquetoast
on Sep 15, 2013 -
What novels and short stories do a good job of depicting television? Mostly I'm interested in characters watching TV, but I'll also accept answers like 1984
—where (a slightly different version of) TV plays a major role in the plot.
posted by Hoenikker
on Sep 8, 2013 -
Hi everyone. I am an international student considering the option of going to the US to do my graduate studies. I am currently studying for the GRE. As I am not a native English speaker (Portuguese), the verbal section is really difficult for me because of the vocabulary. As I got bored of studying vocab flashcards, I am know thinking of reading a book with a great diversity of words. What recent books do you recommend reading? (remember that I am completely unaware of the what the best english literature may be)
posted by tsuwal
on Aug 31, 2013 -
That's really the only string I can grab at it
"Three then four, then many more" or maybe
posted by Atticus Swanson
on Aug 16, 2013 -
I'm setting up an e-reader for my sister. I'll be giving her a gift card to buy books, but am also filling the reader with some selections from Project Gutenberg
. Of course, she can use Gutenberg herself if inclined, so I want my choices to be a little fun and quirky. Things I've put on it so far: The Secret Garden and A Little Princess; some books by Ford Madox Ford and Conrad; Edith Wharton's Summer and some of her short stories. My sister is brainy and whimsical and will read anything, so Metafilter is the perfect place to ask: What things have you been tickled to find as epubs on Project Gutenberg? (Or elsewhere in epub form?) Thanks!
posted by BibiRose
on Aug 9, 2013 -
We've built a small secret room in our house for our children to discover. One of the features in the room is a bookshelf where we're putting secret room themed books. [more inside]
posted by MarkAnd
on Jul 30, 2013 -
Non-Americans! I'm beefing up my to-read pile (especially on my kindle), and I would like suggests of Great Classics of Your National Literature that would typically be assigned in secondary school. [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee
on Jul 21, 2013 -
The book I'm looking for is one I remember reading in my childhood. It had a boy as a protagonist. It was similar to The Wizard of Oz in that the boy was travelling with friends through a magical realm to free it from some kind of oppressive rule. And when the boy arrived to the happy ending (which I think took place in the royal palace) it was revealed that actually he's not a boy - he's a girl. A princess, to be exact. And a rightful ruler of the realm. Which came as quite a shock to him/her. I must have been less than 10 years old when I read it, which places the book in the 1970s. Did I imagine it or does it really exist? (it is possible that I mixed it up with The Wizard of Oz, although I think I've read it later).
posted by hat_eater
on Jul 11, 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 -
I'm nearing completion of a book of very short stories that riff in various ways on the 'joke' form. The pieces are 1-2 pages. I want to publish this book. I'm not sure the best way. [more inside]
posted by skwt
on May 27, 2013 -
I'm looking for the unexpected, overlooked masterpieces hiding within conventionally marginal artistic genres: novelty Christmas music albums, mass market cowboy novels, direct-to-video action movie sequels, etc. [more inside]
posted by Iridic
on May 7, 2013 -
I'm looking for recommendations for contemporary(ish) literary fiction written by folks who are not white men. [more inside]
posted by shakespeherian
on May 7, 2013 -
Asking for a friend: I like to read, but I don't like reading Literature. I feel really crappy about this. What literary books might I like that do not read like literature? [more inside]
posted by goosechasing
on Apr 24, 2013 -
Crowd-sourcing a student's question: I'm looking for contemporary novels about Iraq, Afghanistan, 9/11, and the war on terror that have been authored by women. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog
on Apr 24, 2013 -
I have in mind two (fiction) classics on the subject: An Enemy of the People (Ibsen) and The Winter of Our Discontent (Steinbeck). I would appreciate it if you could guide me to other valuable works on this issue.
posted by Basque13
on Apr 23, 2013 -
If I were to choose 10 fiction and 10 non-fiction books to read within the next year to make me a better, more well-rounded conversationalist (for argument's sake, let's say within a college-educated professional audience), what books would give me the most bang for my buck? [more inside]
posted by dynamiiiite
on Apr 23, 2013 -
My kids (a boy and a girl) are now five years old, and my wife or I read to them every night before bed. I'd like to start reading larger books to them which we can stretch out throughout a week or more, by reading them a chapter a night. Please help me put together a great reading list of age-appropriate books that will capture their imaginations and inspire happy dreams. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Apr 2, 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 -
Seeking recommendations for fiction that features matriarchy / female led societies.
posted by travelwithcats
on Feb 4, 2013 -
Simple enough question. I've never read any Elmore Leonard, and think I will give him a whirl. Where should I start?
posted by Alaska Jack
on Jan 21, 2013 -
How do you decide what books to read? Recommendations? Reviews? Go to the bookstore and read a chapter? I often find myself overwhelmed with the zillions of choices. How do you narrow it down?
posted by SampleSize
on Jan 9, 2013 -
I'm traveling to Moscow (and likely St. Petersburg as well)! Tell me all your best resources, materials, and hacks! [more inside]
posted by greta simone
on Dec 18, 2012 -
Can you help me identify a 25+ year-old short story that describes someone unable to cross a city street? [more inside]
posted by argonauta
on Nov 13, 2012 -
I looked at my bookshelf recently. Nearly every writer on there is dead and male. I should rectify this. Which books by women, living or dead, might I like? Details inside. [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan
on Oct 24, 2012 -
I'm going to be spending the next few months backpacking in the wilderness. I'm looking for 1-2 long books that would both be a great read and would last most of the trip if possible. [more inside]
posted by aleatorictelevision
on Sep 16, 2012 -
Please recommend me classic children's literature to read aloud to five-year-olds. [more inside]
posted by schmoo
on Sep 15, 2012 -
What fantasy/SF/steampunk/cyberpunk novels feature guns or other modern or futuristic weapons with enchantments or magical effects on them?
posted by shivohum
on Sep 4, 2012 -
I'm looking for great fight scenes from literature. I've seen the questions on fight scenes from movies and I'm not looking for those (or TV or comics). Books only, please (I suppose plays count, but you can safely assume I'm familiar with every fight scene from Shakespeare). [more inside]
posted by zanni
on Aug 28, 2012 -
Please help me find contemporary literary/fictional characters that make you want to love them, hate them, or -- even better -- both. [more inside]
posted by GnomeChompsky
on Aug 2, 2012 -
In what literary tradition is the work of Ian McEwan? Which authors, past or present, are stylistically related?
posted by shivohum
on Jul 31, 2012 -
What are some rhyming kids' books (4-7 yrs) that are actually enjoyable for the poetry, as well as the story and pictures? [more inside]
posted by Bardolph
on Jul 13, 2012 -
My little brother is currently in jail, and will likely be staying there or in a similar facility for quite a while. He is only allowed to receive postcards, and softcover books mailed from Amazon or B&N. If either of these items violate the byzantine regulations (details contained within), they will not reach him. What are some creative things that are basically just pieces of paper (no paint, stickers, double layers, etc)
I can send as postcards? What are some books that won’t be taken away for sex, drug, gang, etc content
you’d recommend for a 23 year old male who never really read for pleasure, recently earned his GED, and likes Hunter S. Thompson? [more inside]
posted by Juliet Banana
on Jun 28, 2012 -