I’m about to head to Clarksdale, MS on holiday for a few days and am looking for recommendations for novels to read that are set in, and evocative of, a similar geographical area. [more inside]
I'm in the mood to read a great book. Help me find some that are right up my alley. [more inside]
Looking for fantasy books hiding out in the non-genre section of the bookstore. [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]
Seeking literary fiction with a transient, often solitary, female hero, please! [more inside]
My friend is graduating next month with a degree in Museum Studies. I'd like to get her a book as a graduation present. Can you recommend any good memoirs or biographies or popular nonfiction books set in the museum world? I would rather it not be mainly about heists or looting or art crime.
Google doesn't seem to help in regards to what I'm looking for, which is personal blogs written by either bookstore employees or librarians, detailing their day-to-day adventures (or misadventures); perhaps an anonymous blog would be even better, because I appreciate reading snarky and critical posts, too, about dealing with weird costumers, for example. Also, when it comes to librarians' blogs, I'm not looking for the more technical aspects of the library world (that's why Google didn't help). Thanks! [more inside]
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.
I stumbled across an older book, and I'd love to find others like it. Help? [more inside]
I recently bought Zero Day by Mark Russinovish because it was cheap, and also I was vaguely interested in seeing how the whole 'techno-thriller' genre has evolved since I made the mistake of trying to read the Net Force books. It's not very good. Help me find an alternative! [more inside]
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.
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]
[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.
When I was a kid, I was totally enamored of dinosaurs. I seem to have lost my affinity for them in the years since. I quit paying attention to developments in paleontology. Apparently there's been a lot that I missed, like that the dominant theory now is that modern birds are descended from a dinosaur species (I think?). And I hear velociraptors had feathers. So I need not just updates, but a good primer for adults because I've forgotten everything I used to know about them. Can anyone recommend some good modern books or documentaries on dinosaurs to rekindle the flame of dino-love?
Summer’s here. In need of amazing novel recommendations. Particulars within. [more inside]
I just started watching Fringe. I'm only about three-quarters of the way through Season 2, so please no spoilers. What I'm looking for is companion reading material. [more inside]
What are some good, current books (or other resources) on the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event? [more inside]
You helped me feel depressed through novels. Can you now help me feel good about being alive and connected to humanity through books? [more inside]
What light, humorous, and humanist genre fiction should I read after I finish the Discworld series? [more inside]
Students of art, lovers of philosophy, can you recommend a book I can buy as a gift for a friend? [more inside]
Please recommend me some novels (or movies) about the confusion and ridiculousness of being in your early 20s. [more inside]
Can you recommend me some great nonfiction books by women authors? [more inside]
Nonfiction books about the prison experience? [more inside]
Please recommend some non-fiction books about Philippines, and fiction set in Philippines. [more inside]
I want to mainline wonder! Recommend me nonfiction books or films (science, nature, history, culture, the human mind) that will make me fall in love with the world we live in. [more inside]
Please recommend books about unique story lines with minimal romance featuring female protagonists. [more inside]
My father is beginning to have difficulty following books that have multiple plot-lines or too many characters. Can you recommend some books he might enjoy? [more inside]
What books, articles or online resources would you suggest to introduce a well-intentioned guy to feminism? [more inside]
What epic book should I read next? [more inside]
Help me be sad. Recommend to me depressing, sad, mournful fiction. Books that made you sad and a tad tearful. I just want to access these emotions and be taken away in good writing and wonderful characters. Any genre is acceptable except YA (unless you can prove it is real exceptional YA I suppose). Less cliched angst situations as well.
I'd like to try to read a fantasy or even a sci-fi epic. I really have no experience in either realm besides Lord of The Rings, one Dune book, the Ender Series, and Hitchhikers. All of which I enjoyed but especially LOTR. What would be a good series to start off? The epic is the key thing as I want some nice thick books that I won't read in a day. I'm leery of things with faeries in them. Or twee YA books.
What recommendations do you have for literature with tones and themes of sadness/loneliness/inadequacy/anxiety/perfectionism/depression/alienation/dissatisfaction? (Not all in a single book, of course). [more inside]
I would like to read a biography of Emily Dickinson. Do you know of a well written, not too highly academic one? [more inside]
Loved "The Inland Sea" by Richie. Recommendations for something comparable set in modern Japan? The more recent the better. Bonus points for Kindle/iBooks availability.
Book Recommendation Filter: Please recommend books about recovering from trauma and reintegrating back into normal life and society. Experiences like cults, prison, war, abusive relationships, etc. where the person feels isolated from "normal" people. I'm looking for fiction especially but any genre is helpful.
This recent link on the blue reminded me how fascinating ethnography can be. Now I have a hankering for some well-written works of anthropology or sociology that offer insight on different people and different ways of life. Please recommend some good books for me! This is for "pleasure reading," so really dense jargon is a turn-off, but they don't need to be written for a popular audience.
I'm looking for good, non-fiction books about epidemiology and the history of disease (or of one outbreak of a disease). I'm especially interested in the intersection of social history, epidemiology, and intellectual history (like in Steven Johnson's fabulous The Ghost Map). Think "Erik Larson, for microbes." [more inside]
What books can you use to judge a person's fiction preferences? [more inside]
Book filter: can you recommend a good political/journalistic novel set in Washington, D.C. that meet the following criteria? [more inside]
Are there any great book recommendation engines/websites out there? [more inside]
Recommend some French-language books (or sites) for a intermediate French-learner, to (hopefully enjoy) reading with the aid of a dictionary and bescherelle. [more inside]
What are the best books and articles about Security Contractors/Modern Mercenaries/Paramilitary Organizations? [more inside]
Are there similar sites such as last.fm and the likes for other media types? I'm thinking sites which can recommend e.g. books and movies based on what I've recently read or watched. I'd prefer non-commercial sites, thus eliminating amazon.com and sites which recommend other titles based on what other users also bought together with a selected book/movie. Thanks.
Books about libraries, and books/essays about the future of them? [more inside]
Can you recommend some books to me similar to the sociology-of-a-subculture style of Hunter S. Thompson's Hell's Angels, Sudhir Venkatesh's Gang Leader for a Day and Bill Buford's Among the Thugs? [more inside]
Stories of life abroad w/r/t aloneness and the inscrutability of culture. Any recommendations? [more inside]
I need some new favourite writers! Please recommend some ones that I'll love as much as Mark Kurlansky and Italo Calvino, etc. [more inside]
I'm interested in reading more fun books, written in 1945 or earlier, which clearly set themselves in the time and place that they were written. Examples include Anne of Green Gables, Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers, Pride & Prejudice, and China to Me. [more inside]
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