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]
I'm looking for novels that are re-tellings of other stories, such as Wicked for the Wizard of Oz or A Thousand Acres for King Lear. Can you name some? [more inside]
What are the best novels about and/or set in Los Angeles -- with an emphasis on characters of color, particularly Hispanic?
I'm currently pregnant and going through the first trimester from hell. Literally the only thing that has kept me sane is reading these two amazing trashy novels I discovered in this AskMe thread. Recommend me some more? [more inside]
Have you read "Frog Music" by Emma Donoghue? Can you spoil it for me? (Spoilers, probably, inside.) [more inside]
I'm entering a period in my life that's going to be, shall we say, a little challenging. I'm looking for novels that will get me so engrossed that I'll forget everything outside them for a least a little while. [more inside]
My uncle is interested in reading science fiction or futuristic fantasy books that involve music as a strong narrative element. He has read some Anne McCaffrey that did this, as well as Patrick Rothfuss, but was hoping to find other options, and I drew a blank. Can you guys think of any more music-tinged works?
I am searching for novels that provide some of the same pleasures of CBS's acclaimed legal drama "The Good Wife," but in textual form! See inside for specifics about what makes this particular plate of procedural beans so special. [more inside]
When I read the Earth's Children series (Clan of the Cave Bear and its sequels), the aspect I enjoyed the most was the detailed descriptions of how the people did things back then (hunting, foraging, skinning, toolmaking, shelter building, etc.). While how-to books abound, I enjoy the fiction or narrative nonfiction format more. Any recommendations? Thanks!
What are some novels featuring imperfect but sympathetically-portrayed mothers? [more inside]
What are some good novels that have a high-concept speculative element in the background, but aren't quite about that? [more inside]
Recommend me novels that have a strong component of sport, physical training, or exercise. [more inside]
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?
A little while back I stumbled upon a detective novel (Losers Live Longer) that takes place in 2009 NYC and utilizes actual city streets, restaurants, bars, etc. The writing was pretty average, but the book kept me constantly aware of the protagonist's location (oftentimes cross-streets). The real-world geography of areas I knew well really sucked me into the world and engaged me on another level than the narrative alone. Are there any other good detective or mystery novels that use post-2000s (or, better yet, post-2010) New York accurately? [more inside]
I have been reading Zita the Spacegirl to my kids (7 & 5, boy and girl) very night. For those who haven't read it, it is a terrific graphic novel for kids full of adventure and strange creatures, with a great message. What else would you reccomend, as we approach the end of this great series? Specifically thinking of a modern, adventure-filled (but not overly mature) graphic novel or series. Science fiction or fantasy would be ideal.
Looking for fantasy books hiding out in the non-genre section of the bookstore. [more inside]
I am looking for recommendations of great dystopian novels, novellas, and short stories. Any length will do! [more inside]
I'm craving a particular subtype of historical novel: the kind that posits a dimly-remembered reality behind a famous myth/legend/story, sort of filling it out and extrapolating the details into realism. My favorite of this kind is Mary Renault's "The King Must Die" about Theseus (also the sequel). I also enjoyed "Eaters of the Dead", about the events of 'Beowulf'. But what are some other good ones you can recommend? More examples and specifics inside! [more inside]
I read a lot of Classic and contemporary literary fiction and am interested in reading some books purely for distraction and fun. [more inside]
Trying to find a pair of novels set in the near future North America that I read sometime between 1990 and 2004 approximately. The "big idea" is that neopagan magic "returns" (or at least everyone believes it does, and acts accordingly) with the millennium. The protagonist of one novel is pregnant with the next world spiritual leader. In one scene, a prophet yells at her, "you're full of fish!" Another novel with the same setting (perhaps the same novel) involved a conspiracy and had a genderqueer magical cyberpunk/hacker as a minor character. I remember them as similar to Galveston by Sean Stewart but I'm pretty certain they're not by Stewart. It's not Bone Dance or DeLint, and they had nothing to do with Shadowrun. Help appreciated. They're probably not all that great, but the pair were striking enough that a few things stick out.
I am tired of novels that have an enigmatic woman at the center of the novel. Can you recommend some books to me where all of the female characters actually act like real people? [more inside]
I'm writing the Great American Novel (isn't everyone?). I want to intersperse press releases and newspaper clippings throughout the book, but I'm not sure about formatting (and e-book format raises yet another question). [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]
I am trying to read my way around the globe. Can you please recommend me international fiction/memoirs that frame the contemporary culture, customs, and values of the country that it is set in? [more inside]
This year one of my goals is to read two books a week, help me make sure I get the good ones! [more inside]
I'm looking for recommendations of English-language fiction that heavily features Spanish-language elements. I'm working on learning Spanish again (I had 3 years in high school, about 10 years ago) and thought it would be fun and useful to read novels that incorporate Spanish heavily, kind of an immersion strategy. [more inside]
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]
What are some examples of works of fiction (e.g. novels, movies) that feature a Thanksgiving family gathering as a major plot element? [more inside]
I'm looking for an example novel(s) that features several separate third person viewpoint characters with seemingly different plot strands at the beginning but whose plots converge as they go on and they end up meeting further on in the novel (if only briefly). I want to see how the author handles these meetings and the meta narrative of several stories merging into one. I would prefer mainstream rather than literary as I'd like to seem something straight forward rather than overly tricky and would prefer sf but please don't let that constrict you as I'm more interested in the mechanics rather than the background and any genre would do.
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]
I'm defending my dissertation next week and the process has wrung all enthusiasm for academia right out of me. The whole enterprise has come to seem like nothing but an anxiety-ridden grind. In my small amount of free time before the defense and during the break I'm allowing myself afterwards, I'd like to read some novels that will delude me into thinking that being an intellectual is kind of, well, hot. Examples and extended description below. [more inside]
In search of accessible contemporary SF—help! [more inside]
My partner keeps rereading the Phrynee Fisher series. He likes them because they're on his E-reader, detective stories, and they pass the Bechdel and Russo tests. He likes the characters in these novels: these are relatively happy people for the most part. Please, O MetaFilter. He's ready for a new series. What else is out there?
[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]
Looking for fantasy that's not based on your standard European/Tolkien background. Pretty much any flavor of fantasy is alright (straight, urban, science, what have ye). Just finished reading Barry Hughart's Master Li/Number Ten Ox books and enjoyed them. Would definitely prefer "adult" fiction versus YA, but no preference for novels versus short stories.
Is censorship of words in american novels common now? [more inside]
Please recommend fiction and nonfiction novels which depict folklore and mythology created by children who are free of adult supervision and authority. [more inside]
My partner read a novel a few years ago at a book exchange in a hostel. Here's what she remembers:
- 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.
Based on some of the negative reviews, it sounds like the more stylized portions of Marisha Pessl's "Night Film" are a mess on Kindle devices. Can anyone comment on how it is using the Kindle app on an iPad, or in iBooks?
Settle a bet: Friend claimed that Terry Pratchett's "Going Postal" and "Making Money" where unique in the fantasy genre for dealing so much with the economics and " white collar" systems of a fantasy setting. I said that couldn't be true but couldn't think of any examples ( they abound in Sci-Fi, but we're talking wands and robes here, and the Baroque Cycle is only kind-of-fantasy). So, what are some examples of fantasy novels where things like labor unions, mediums of exchange, guild politics, trade imbalances, commodities markets, hostile takeovers and government regulation are both explored and woven into the plot? [more inside]
I'm doing environmental work in Utah for the next three months. I'll have my kindle. Tell me your favorite novels about the American Southwest. [more inside]
Along with a friend, I have been immersed in Dark Souls for over 100 hours the past couple weeks. Although we still have much ground to cover, we're obsessed with the beautiful world, tone and feel created by this game. Are there any movies or books that capture this? Don't know what Dark Souls is like? Explanation has lots of detail! [more inside]
I think I'd like to begin following an author who writes mysteries featuring a regular protagonist and cast of recurring characters, but I have some d'ruthers. Can you help match me up? [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'm looking for books where characters are exploring the solar system using space ships that are technologically within (or somewhat close to) our capability to build today. Bonus points if those novels are character driven.
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.
My taste for bleak fiction is making me miserable. Help me lighten it up. [more inside]
Last week I read David Foster Wallace's "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" (thanks to this FPP), while in the middle of reading Moby Dick. I found them resonating together so well: the high tragedy mixed with low comedy, the elaborate descriptive asides, the playing with formatting, the casual authorial self-hatred, the obsession with morality, to say nothing of the mechanics of the ship and the sea. All this without a single over reference back to Melville. What are some other great co-reads (or movies/TV/opera/album/etc.) to get that enriching resonance? Subtle is good: think tone, theme, shape more than plot or character. If you've caught Laurence Weschler's McSweeney's series of Convergences (published in book form here), that's more what I mean. The reader/viewer makes the connections without being led by the author (So, for instance, King Lear & Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres are too overtly linked). Bonus points for something that goes well with Cloud Atlas (the book, not the movie).
Can you recommend me a book with interesting, well-drawn characters and a page-turning plot that is not horribly depressing? Maybe (but not necessarily) something of the chick-lit variety? [more inside]
Spoiler filter - novels/scripts where the protagonist was in a coma/dead (etc) the whole time? [more inside]