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]
posted by theatro
on May 15, 2014 -
I read a lot of Classic and contemporary literary fiction and am interested in reading some books purely for distraction and fun. [more inside]
posted by R.F.Simpson
on May 13, 2014 -
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.
posted by bluefly
on Apr 30, 2014 -
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]
posted by denika
on Apr 25, 2014 -
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.
posted by matildaben
on Mar 6, 2014 -
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]
posted by anaximander
on Feb 16, 2014 -
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.
posted by Xalf
on Jan 6, 2014 -
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]
posted by bluefly
on Dec 7, 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 -
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.
posted by curious nu
on Sep 23, 2013 -
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?
posted by Sleeper
on Jun 3, 2013 -
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]
posted by duckus
on Dec 14, 2012 -
What light, humorous, and humanist genre fiction should I read after I finish the Discworld series? [more inside]
posted by X-Himy
on Aug 6, 2012 -
Students of art, lovers of philosophy, can you recommend a book I can buy as a gift for a friend? [more inside]
posted by Chichibio
on Jul 25, 2012 -
Please recommend me some novels (or movies) about the confusion and ridiculousness of being in your early 20s. [more inside]
posted by ad4pt
on May 9, 2012 -
Please recommend some non-fiction books about Philippines, and fiction set in Philippines. [more inside]
posted by vidur
on Apr 17, 2012 -
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]
posted by stuck on an island
on Apr 15, 2012 -
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]
posted by yuwtze
on Jan 9, 2012 -
What books, articles or online resources would you suggest to introduce a well-intentioned guy to feminism? [more inside]
posted by peacheater
on Jan 3, 2012 -
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.
posted by kanata
on Jul 21, 2011 -
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.
posted by kanata
on May 13, 2011 -
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]
posted by parjanya
on Apr 28, 2011 -
I would like to read a biography of Emily Dickinson. Do you know of a well written, not too highly academic one? [more inside]
posted by kanata
on Dec 14, 2010 -
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.
posted by avoidance
on Sep 1, 2010 -
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.
posted by Dilemma
on Aug 16, 2010 -
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.
posted by bookish
on Aug 13, 2010 -
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]
posted by flibbertigibbet
on May 9, 2010 -
Book filter: can you recommend a good political/journalistic novel set in Washington, D.C. that meet the following criteria? [more inside]
posted by Tin Man
on Jan 10, 2010 -
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]
posted by Kurichina
on Oct 6, 2009 -
What are the best books and articles about Security Contractors/Modern Mercenaries/Paramilitary Organizations? [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus
on May 19, 2009 -
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.
posted by kissan
on Apr 29, 2009 -
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]
posted by troika
on Nov 17, 2008 -
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]
posted by Margalo Epps
on May 24, 2008 -
My fiance loves Mervyn Peake. Can you suggest some other authors/books that are similar in style to Gormenghast? [more inside]
posted by supercrayon
on Apr 18, 2008 -