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Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body...

Should I put more effort into reading books? Is not reading books detrimental to my critical thinking skills? [more inside]
posted by WeekendJen on Apr 17, 2014 - 21 answers

 

Knock knock, what was that book?

Please help me find a mystery book from my childhood. I am stumped. It would have been in the mid 70s, probably between 1974-77. I think it was science/nature-related book that may have been one of a series. What I remember is a hard-cover book, and on the back inside cover there was mounted a round plastic disk with an arrow inside, sort of like a compass. It was visible though holes in the pages and front cover. There were questions with multiple choices on each page, and you would close the book and knock on the cover a certain number of times to make the needle point to the correct answer on a corresponding page. That sounds crazy even as I type it, but if someone could find this book (or even corroborate my memory) I would be eternally grateful.
posted by mefireader on Apr 14, 2014 - 2 answers

Books that allude to books that do not exist.

In The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, the title character is negatively influenced by a "poison" book that is mentioned repeatedly in the text but never named. "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius," the short story by Jorge Luis Borges, mentions several nonexistent books including a mysteriously altered encyclopedia and a History of the Land Called Uqbar. I am looking for more fictional references in novels or stories to other books that do not exist. Help, please? [more inside]
posted by BlueJae on Apr 11, 2014 - 59 answers

A special novel?

A family friend is graduating from high school and I would like to give her a gift. She is going to study literature at university so I would like to get her a book. I'm looking for recommendations for something special. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by sapien on Apr 11, 2014 - 14 answers

Help me find a pair of novels set in the future with magic.

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.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos on Apr 3, 2014 - 2 answers

Like Gleick is to Information Theory, X is to Social Choice Theory

What are some great, accessible books that would allow me to learn more about social choice theory without having to become an economist? I am thinking something along the likes of James Gleick's "popular science" Information Theory book, but for social choice theory. [more inside]
posted by TheyCallItPeace on Apr 3, 2014 - 2 answers

Book Hunt

Hey, could anyone show me where to find the book called "How to make money in your spare time" by 673126? The case is yours Detective Hive Mind!
posted by CyborgHag on Mar 9, 2014 - 5 answers

SciFi Books from a While Ago

I'm yet again looking for some books I read over a decade ago. Details below. Somewhere in there I swear is a link to Frank Herbert, but I don't know for sure (every time I search for his bibliography it comes up all Dune). [more inside]
posted by BenevolentActor on Mar 6, 2014 - 7 answers

Where can I find free NYC street maps for a for-profit travel book?

I'm trying to create a travel book and website for tourists to NYC. Are there any resources I can use for free or very low cost in regards to the street maps in the printed version, especially those including subway and/or bus stops (nice, but not required).
posted by NYC-BB on Feb 27, 2014 - 2 answers

YANAmazon, but…

I stumbled across an older book, and I'd love to find others like it. Help? [more inside]
posted by xenization on Feb 27, 2014 - 8 answers

How do you keep up with your favorite authors?

Is there some kind of app or website that will send me notices when authors I designate as my favorites publish a new book? [more inside]
posted by something something on Feb 26, 2014 - 5 answers

Help me find some new books to love.

I am looking for something in the area of science biography. Particularly, I enjoy reading about the inner lives of great minds. I'm not really interested in gossipy type info, but more about the personal growth and development of the scientist him/herself that paralleled their work. [more inside]
posted by JanewayJunior on Feb 22, 2014 - 18 answers

Look at this old bookplate!

What language is this? What does it say? [more inside]
posted by steef on Feb 21, 2014 - 8 answers

I need more good non-fiction

I need more good non-fiction. I'm particularly interested in food and history (and, obviously, food history) but I'm getting a bit desperate so I'm open to anything except politics and sports. I prefer more in-depth and non-fluffy books if I can get them, with extra points if they're available on Kindle. [more inside]
posted by ninazer0 on Feb 16, 2014 - 65 answers

Best Books for Ancient History?

I've recently developed an interest in ancient history (yes, the recent history-related posts on the blue may have helped) and am looking for good books on the subject that I can buy/check out from the library. I'm particularity interested in technological and cultural histories of major ancient civilizations. [more inside]
posted by Noms_Tiem on Feb 7, 2014 - 14 answers

Surf and Turf

What's this literary novel about a woman falling in love with a sea creature? [more inside]
posted by exceptinsects on Feb 6, 2014 - 6 answers

Help me identify this fantasy novel

I bought it from a thrift store sometime in the 90's. Mostly, I recall there being an auction of magical/religiously significant items and a chase scene involving a golem. [more inside]
posted by darchildre on Feb 6, 2014 - 2 answers

Looking for interesting books about mundane topics.

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 - 40 answers

What was this "Trapped in an RPG" book?

A book that I'm reading now gave me a flashback to something that I must have read around 1992-93, and now I want to find that book again, re-read it, and see if it ever became a series (ISTR a cliff-hanger-ish ending). Definitely not Joel Rosenberg's _Guardians of Flame_ series, but the same trope - group of modern-day RPG players find themselves trapped in the game they're playing. Sadly, the number of things I remember (of the paperback edition that I read) is pretty sparse. I remember: the blue cover, with a wizard riding in a Montgolfier brothers'-style hot air balloon in front of a computer; that the 'game world' the players found themselves in had very hexagonal terrain and that inhabitants of the game world knew how many hexes of different terrain they could travel in a given time period, and could not cross hex boundaries even if there was plenty of daylight left if they'd traveled that distance. I know it's a longshot, but, help?
posted by hanov3r on Jan 28, 2014 - 7 answers

Books about the classifying impulse

I suspect there must be quite a number of books dealing with our need to classify things… [more inside]
posted by MrMisterio on Jan 27, 2014 - 11 answers

Looking for sweeping FICTION epics of the old west

Help me find more sweeping fiction epics of the old west like Lonesome Dove and Hard Country, please. Horses, cattle, cowboys, empty country, ranching, pioneers, prospectors, trappers, etc. Bonus points for very long books or multiple books in the series. I've read everything by Larry McMurtry, and know about Michael Garrity's series, having just finished Hard Country. What else should I read? (I have lots of nonfiction books lined up already, so let's concentrate on fiction, or near-fiction.) Thanks!
posted by bluesky78987 on Jan 27, 2014 - 21 answers

Media recommendations for a gender-nonconforming 3-year-old boy

I’m looking some age-appropriate media that will show my bright, sensitive 3 year old son (who seems to be more interested in all things femme every day) that his interests are okay. He has lots of female family members and friends who demonstrate to him that there are a million different ways of being a woman or a girl. But neither his dad nor I is feminine in the slightest, and most of the men in his life are uniformly masculine. I’d love it if he could see positive representations of boys and men in books and TV who have a wider variety of gender expressions. [more inside]
posted by libraritarian on Jan 27, 2014 - 32 answers

Buying UK Used Books Online That Ship to US

I have a lot of favorite British authors whose books I'd love to purchase used in the hardback, UK versions. I'd also like shipping costs to the US not to be too high. Do you have any suggestions of where to purchase used books in the UK online? I'd prefer to use an independent seller, if possible, and not Amazon. Thank you!
posted by lagreen on Jan 22, 2014 - 11 answers

Recommendations for books/programs that weigh social issues

I like books that take divisive issues and present both sides of the argument. For example, "Social Ethics: Morality and Social Policy," and the debates hosted by NPR's Intelligence Squared U.S. (link). Can you recommend other books or audio like this?
posted by saperlipopette on Jan 14, 2014 - 6 answers

What can you send to UK prisons?

What can you send to UK prisons - are books really banned now? [more inside]
posted by maiamaia on Jan 5, 2014 - 7 answers

Novels set in Westchester, NY?

Looking for books set in Westchester County, New York, in any of the towns/ cities. So far, I have T.C. Boyle's World's End, Gish Jen's Mona In The Promised Land, and various John Cheever works. I want the "a ha!" moment, when I recognize a street or a founding family's name while I am reading. (Boyle did that so very well.) Fictionalized towns are OK too. Thanks!
posted by Neeuq Nus on Dec 31, 2013 - 17 answers

A "Great" Anniversary

I like to give myself literary new year's resolution and since this year will be the 100th anniversary of The Great War I think it would be fitting to read some literature and history of/from that era. I've read Guns of August and All Quiet On The Western Front. What else should I read?
posted by brookeb on Dec 30, 2013 - 37 answers

Hit me with your best music macrohistories!

Trying to find the perfect book to scratch a partner's literary itch for macrohistories related in some way to music. Details within. [more inside]
posted by Stacey on Dec 28, 2013 - 12 answers

Children's book: mid 1970s, a scary (for me) mystery

This is what I remember: A boy (and his dog?) wants to go outside, and he asks his mother for permission. She says "okay, but don't cross any streets in this fog!" [more inside]
posted by Melismata on Dec 26, 2013 - 3 answers

What's that book with the thing?

I'm trying to recall a business/self-help book. The main idea was that setting goals and pacing yourself is counterproductive, and that accomplishment happens by immersing one's self in a big idea. Steve Jobs, etc. I believe the cover was an illustration of a businessman opening a shirt to reveal a superhero costume. There may have been a critique of Tony Schwartz' energy management model inside. It was probably written in the last ten years. Can anyone name the book?
posted by michaelh on Dec 18, 2013 - 2 answers

Readings on Johnson and the Great Society

Looking for books/long articles about Lyndon Johnson and the Great Society- the history, the political effort, the hits and the flops. [more inside]
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Dec 17, 2013 - 4 answers

Looking for fairy tale book, read in the mid-1970s.

Children's book filter: Am thinking it was Sleeping Beauty, though it may have been Rapunzel or some other fairy tale with a wicked queen and a princess. [more inside]
posted by Melismata on Dec 10, 2013 - 4 answers

How to get books in classroom quantities for cheap?

I'm looking to get 25 to 50 copies of a certain hardback book that was published in 2000. It's the Spanish "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," and it retails for $13 on Amazon. How can I get them closer to wholesale price? [more inside]
posted by wnissen on Dec 5, 2013 - 6 answers

Looking for those inkless, perforating library stamps.

Sometimes, one of the first pages of a library book will bear an identifying stamp made of perforations punched through by a special tool. This practice seems to have disappeared, and Googling for it has only frustrated me. What is the tool called and where can I find one? [more inside]
posted by viewofdelft on Dec 2, 2013 - 10 answers

Requesting book recommendations for a one-year-old

My one year old niece loves books that "do things" - especially ones with flaps to lift. Her favorite thing to do when she wakes up is to play quietly with her books for about 20 minutes, and I'd love to encourage that. I would like to get her some books for Christmas. I've purchased Fuzzy Bee and Squishy Turtle for children before, and they were well-received, but the children were younger (in the 6 month range). Are Fuzzy Bee and Squishy Turtle too young for her? Can you recommend any other books that she might like? Her parents are open to anything, as she doesn't have many books and they'd like her to have more, but they're first time parents and not sure what she'd like either.
posted by RogueTech on Nov 30, 2013 - 20 answers

Fiction featuring Thanksgiving gatherings?

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]
posted by Asparagus on Nov 30, 2013 - 21 answers

Awesome books from 2013?

What are some well reviewed books in 2013 that blow my socks off? [more inside]
posted by SpacemanStix on Nov 29, 2013 - 19 answers

Novels about entering middle age?

Can you recommend fiction books that feature a main character who is entering middle age and is evaluating his or her life so far, and what direction their life should take? [more inside]
posted by mark7570 on Nov 17, 2013 - 27 answers

A is for Autopsy

My soon-to-be-17-year-old niece is interested in pursuing forensic science as a career. What are the best books on the subject that would both entertain and inform her? Fiction and non-fiction suggestions are welcome.
posted by Paris Elk on Nov 16, 2013 - 14 answers

Books for my friend with ADHD?

She can read, but doesn't like to. There's been only one book that has captured her attention. Help me find more books that she will like! [more inside]
posted by switcheroo on Nov 10, 2013 - 22 answers

Book ID: "Celebrity" Edition

[Book Filter] Can anyone identify the book in the Pamela Anderson post marathon photo?
posted by Busmick on Nov 5, 2013 - 3 answers

Je veux lire de l'histoire française

I'm in the middle of In Search of Lost Time. It's interesting me in French history. It's better to learn about it from non-fiction, though, since Proust mixes real figures and facts with ones he made up. What good books are there about any period of French history between 1789 and, say, 1939? Popular or academic books are fine, and they don't have to concern themselves with wars, arms races, and treaties, either. Cultural histories are good.
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Nov 4, 2013 - 21 answers

Resources for deciding to be a mother?

I'm looking for resources (books, websites, etc.) to help me gain a balanced perspective on whether or not motherhood is right for me, given my anxieties and health issues. [more inside]
posted by Maya Cecile on Nov 2, 2013 - 15 answers

How can I print high-quality screen caps?

I'm trying to create a book of tweets.

I've screencapped images of tweets as both jpegs and pngs, and uploaded them to four different "make a book" sites (Picaboo, Mixbook, Snapfish, and Shutterfly) and each time, the site warns me that the image is too low-quality to print well. The image preview does not look good. [more inside]
posted by Flying Saucer on Oct 27, 2013 - 10 answers

Reading suggestions for a friend who has never read a book

I have a friend who wants to read something. He is a 40 year old black male who grew up on the streets of south central. He has a high school education, but has never read a book in his life (his words). He is very open minded and interested in a lot of different things and he sees me and his girlfriend reading all the time and wants to join in on the fun. He says he is mainly interested in nonfiction but open to reading fiction also. [more inside]
posted by R.F.Simpson on Oct 27, 2013 - 79 answers

Black turtlenecks, cigarettes, red wine, and Derrida

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]
posted by pretentious illiterate on Oct 26, 2013 - 19 answers

Children's books that include biracial families?

Inspired by an earlier question, are there any books for young children that show families of mixed race?
posted by ChipT on Oct 23, 2013 - 13 answers

Recent Entry-Level Science Fiction

In search of accessible contemporary SF—help! [more inside]
posted by xenization on Oct 22, 2013 - 24 answers

Fiction about the War in Heaven

I'm looking for books (or movies/tv, though I'd prefer written media) that deal with the War in Heaven, the fall of Lucifer, and the fallout from that. Basic, garden-variety conflicts between angels and demons would also be very welcome. Things along those lines I've liked and special snowflake details under the fold. [more inside]
posted by darchildre on Oct 21, 2013 - 39 answers

Studying the masters, not their pupils (budget edition)

I am a frequent buyer of <$5 books on Amazon. Lately I am interested in math treatises but have been unable to find any that aren't way out of my price range. Am I being way too demanding? [more inside]
posted by myitkyina on Oct 20, 2013 - 9 answers

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