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How many books has the average person read?

I'd be interested to know how many books the average person has read by the following ages: 21, 30, 40, 60? [more inside]
posted by Musashi Daryl on Jul 1, 2014 - 9 answers

Help me find something as good as Zita the Spacegirl for my kids?

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.
posted by blahblahblah on Jul 1, 2014 - 23 answers

Please suggest great but lesser-known non-fiction to give my dad.

Like many dads he reads mostly non-fiction books with a historical, military, political and/or transportation focus. But he seems to have read them all. [more inside]
posted by neat graffitist on Jun 30, 2014 - 27 answers

Child reading books in the summer

Hi, My 10 year old girl loves to read. When she gets started, she loves it, but it's the "getting her started" that I have a problem with. [more inside]
posted by lynnie-the-pooh on Jun 27, 2014 - 33 answers

Half-remembered fairytale

The library of my childhood had a book of fairy tales which I remember fondly but not in very much detail. I remember only one of the stories - perhaps it will ring a bell with someone? [more inside]
posted by Wolfdog on Jun 27, 2014 - 5 answers

Math book recommendations?

Years ago I read John Derbyshire's Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics and loved it. Now I'm studying formal theory/real analysis and I'm finding it really it interesting, but would like to be able to spend my downtime reading about the background of math and also explains some of the concepts. Thanks!
posted by MisantropicPainforest on Jun 24, 2014 - 13 answers

How to Win Friends and Influence Peopleware

What books can I read about the people side of managing software developers, as opposed to the process side? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 21, 2014 - 4 answers

Engrossing Science Fiction Recommendations Please!

Help me fill my Kindle with vacation reading! I like well-written doorstop SF, urban fantasy, spaceship books, epic fantasy, deep complicated books but also joyful romps, complicated prophecies that manifest in unusual ways, great worldbuilding, etc. Romantic elements are fine but I'm not as into stuff where the plot is a thin scrim to hang over endless sexy sex. And as a lifelong SF reader, I have now officially read enough books without women in them, so only books that include solid female characters (as opposed to braid-tugging smurfettes). Things I have loved under the cut. [more inside]
posted by KathrynT on Jun 19, 2014 - 66 answers

What's the name of this kids' scifi anthology I remember?

I read this book of short stories years ago, and for some reason I remember most of the stories in it but have had no luck with Googling for it. Must be that the stories' premises were creative enough or caught my imagination in a particular way. The most memorable story was about trying to survive on Earth after a supernova. I'm pretty sure these are all from the same book: [more inside]
posted by lostburner on Jun 18, 2014 - 7 answers

Fantasy Disguised as General Fiction

Looking for fantasy books hiding out in the non-genre section of the bookstore. [more inside]
posted by xenization on Jun 18, 2014 - 27 answers

Library books (and e-books) vs. physical copies of books for children

What are the pros and cons of buying physical books vs. relying primarily on library books from the point of view of exposing one's future children to a wide variety of books? [more inside]
posted by peacheater on Jun 17, 2014 - 18 answers

Victorian England/Europe book recommendations

Looking for recommendations of books exploring the culture and society of Victorian England/Europe. A few snowflakes inside... [more inside]
posted by kuanes on Jun 15, 2014 - 17 answers

How do I get google to distinguish me from another author?

I'm an author with a google problem. I have the same name as another author (completely different genre, though) and if you google that name, my books show up alongside hers in search results. This has been a recurring problem for years, to the point where I'm planning on tweaking my name for my next book, but for now I'd just like our books not to be conflated. (Google also combines images of me and this other woman, although I'm not as concerned about that). I've tried reporting this issue to google, but so far haven't had much luck penetrating the bubble. Any tech-savvy people have ideas on how I can distinguish my work? Thanks in advance...
posted by Victorian Gal on Jun 11, 2014 - 14 answers

How to catalogue a collection and plan a rare book sale

I'm looking for general advice about how to bring a garage collection of many hundreds of valuable books to market. Part of this process will likely involve software choices. [more inside]
posted by peacay on Jun 9, 2014 - 7 answers

Identify 90s (?) short story collection with a title maybe about falling

Cover was white, cover art was a face or mask or both, female author (I think), and my best recollection is that the title story was about falling or hitting bottom or some combination. [more inside]
posted by Xalf on Jun 9, 2014 - 7 answers

Need a little, silly book

I have a young friend graduating from high school - I would like a cute little book to include with a gift certificate as a gift and could use some suggestions.... [more inside]
posted by hilaryjade on Jun 7, 2014 - 18 answers

Awesome women doing awesome stuff

I'm looking for books in any genre with only three limiting factors. They have a female protagonist, NO sex and NO romance.
posted by 1066 on Jun 4, 2014 - 63 answers

Non-Western History Please!

I want to read some non-Western history, from pre-colonial periods. All I ask is that it be a good read, but non-Western authors would be a cool bonus. [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Jun 3, 2014 - 18 answers

Could you recommend some audiobooks?

I'm seeking audiobook recommendations for books that are escapist, engrossing, generally feel-good, and fast-paced (without being frightening). [more inside]
posted by slidell on May 29, 2014 - 16 answers

Books that changed your world view

I'm going to spend the next year reading a diverse set of books to change how I see the world. What books have changed your world view? [more inside]
posted by markbao on May 29, 2014 - 100 answers

Who illustrated the British covers for the Temeraire series?

Here's an example, the cover of the first book. I've had no luck searching—I even bought a book from amazon.co.uk to see if the illustrator was mentioned inside, but no luck. Does anyone know?
posted by timoni on May 29, 2014 - 2 answers

What are good books on Korean culture for a recent k-drama addict?

My mom has recently become addicted to Korean dramas, and not having much pre-existing knowledge of Korean culture, she always has a lot of questions about cultural details. Her birthday is coming up and I'd like to get her a good book about modern Korean culture. [more inside]
posted by shirobara on May 28, 2014 - 2 answers

Book/movie recommendations with similar feel as A Prayer for Owen Meany?

Looking for books or movies (fiction) that have a character who is "different" in that they have been prepared (perhaps "predestined"?) to fulfill a purpose that is often misunderstood or ignored by others. They may intuitively know about this purpose from the start, or it might be slowly revealed to them, or it only comes together at the sentinel event; as a result, they may have some quality of "otherness" (as best I can describe it). Some examples below the fold. [more inside]
posted by sealee on May 28, 2014 - 25 answers

What should a children's book author's website contain?

I'm building a website for my wife, who's written a half dozen children's books and is currently working to get them published. I've searched the web and looked at sites like Judy Bloom, Beverly Cleary, and currently reviewing this list of websites on pinterest. I'm hoping to get a list of things the hive mind thinks a children's author website should contain, outside of the obvious list like a page for the books, blog/news, and about the author.
posted by herda05 on May 27, 2014 - 11 answers

It's on the tip of someone's tongue

Please help my husband and me find words or phrases (any language!) that describe the sensation of knowing how far you are from home. Not really alienation or nostalgia or being homesick-- just the understanding/realization of the distance. [more inside]
posted by jetlagaddict on May 25, 2014 - 14 answers

Books for tweens set in New York City

Some friends are coming to visit NYC and I'd like to get their kids some fiction set in the city. [more inside]
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis on May 24, 2014 - 19 answers

books for boys

I'm slowly building up a library of amazing books for my three sons. What books do I need to make sure to include? Are there boy equivalents to Anne Shirley, Sara Crewe, Meg Murry, Matilada, et al? [more inside]
posted by logic vs love on May 23, 2014 - 41 answers

"To own a book is to want a shelf..."

I'm trying to find any record of a saying I once heard attributed to St. Francis of Assisi; it goes something like, "To own a book is to want a shelf to put it on; to own a shelf is to want a room to put the shelf in; to own a room is to want a house; to own a house"...etc., my memory is very vague after this point. Anyone heard something like this before?
posted by daisystomper on May 22, 2014 - 4 answers

Looking without seeing: art appreciation edition

I make an effort to visit art museums very regularly. I love art! How can I make the most out of my visit? I would also welcome suggestions for how to get more out of the books I read and films I watch. [more inside]
posted by gemutlichkeit on May 22, 2014 - 9 answers

Opinionated history books?

I love conversing with people who know history and are sparkling, highly opinionated storytellers. Often these are foreigners or emigrants speaking about their country. They're unafraid to draw sharp, outspoken conclusions that frame major situations (e.g. that some leader was an incompetent fool or that an accident of geography is what will ensure conflict between two groups continues). What are some book equivalents of that conversational experience? They can be on any period or region. I do not want a magisterial treatise. I want a keen-eyed, slicing talk with someone really well-informed and cynical over several drinks who's gonna say what's what.
posted by shivohum on May 22, 2014 - 14 answers

It was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen.

I am looking for recommendations of great dystopian novels, novellas, and short stories. Any length will do! [more inside]
posted by SkylitDrawl on May 22, 2014 - 39 answers

The first New York Times Best Seller List

How can I obtain an image (jpg/gif/pdf) of the first New York Times Best Seller List published on October 12, 1931. I checked timesmachine.nytimes.com which has full-paper scans but it's NYT subscribers only. I checked databases like ProQuest through my library but they only have select articles and not this one.
posted by stbalbach on May 22, 2014 - 4 answers

Queer sci-fi

Where are some good places to read queer sci fi short stories? [more inside]
posted by tinkletown on May 22, 2014 - 23 answers

Insects in Literature, Film, Poetry, Pop Culture

I'm trying to remember as many notable instances of bugs in books (and film and other media) as possible--help me compile a creepy-crawly compendium, please? [more inside]
posted by Edna Million on May 21, 2014 - 72 answers

Riding on planes with books.

Hi! I just got a new job that will have me on about three planes per week (mostly domestic, short-ish flights) for the foreseeable future. Sometimes I will have work to do on these flights, but in general I anticipate a lot of sitting around in airports/airplanes. Since these flights will often happen in the middle of my workday, I can't really default to my usual sky pastime of a Bloody Mary and a nap. Can you suggest your most engaging books for tearing through during travel? I have most recently devoured short story collections by Kurt Vonnegut and George Saunders, as well as a Joan Didion novel, but I really like to read almost everything. I've got an iPad, so things I can download on Kindle would be especially welcome, as would works by lady authors.
posted by justjess on May 20, 2014 - 26 answers

Nonfiction book about recovering from domestic abuse?

I read the article linked to in the metafilter post "Who gets to graduate," which showed "Inception"-like evidence of the power of exposing someone to a simple idea in shifting their thought processing and hence life choices. This made me think that it would probably behoove me to use this trick to help myself move forward in my desired direction of being a trusting, compassionate person who can feel a bond with people I meet and not a disdainful, broken asshole who sees people as convenient resources rather than potential friends.So I would like to find a nonfiction, first person account of someone's recovery from domestic abuse (or other traumatic event, I suppose). Bonus: Writing which included wry, dark or acerbic humor would be completely awesome. Thanks, as always.
posted by FiveSecondRule on May 18, 2014 - 12 answers

Friends, librarians, fifth-grade teachers, lend me your eyes

Librarians and school book buyers of Metafilter! When you are looking at an author's website, what kind of information do you want to see when deciding what books to stock? [more inside]
posted by Jairus on May 18, 2014 - 7 answers

Help me build a diaspora/immigrant experience lifetime to-read list

After finishing Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's "Americanah," and thinking about how I loved Zadie Smith's "White Teeth," and Hanif Kureishi's "Buddha of Suburbia," I'm finding I want to read more immigration/diaspora/post-colonial literature. Please help me build a lifetime reading list. All geographies welcome. I am very deliberately trying to read more women authors in 2014 and beyond, too.
posted by mostly vowels on May 17, 2014 - 15 answers

The mail must go through!

Do you know of any children's books featuring mail? As in, a penpal or mailing letters. Specifically for an eight year old girl but I'm open to all suggestions! [more inside]
posted by cessair on May 17, 2014 - 20 answers

Definitive books for newcomers and interested laymen?

I am in a "Learn ALL the things!" mode, and also in the mood to collect books to put on shelves. I am looking for clear-consensus best introductory guides to, well, everything. I've just finished "Bobby Fisher Teaches Chess" and am now knee deep into K&R's "C Programming Language", and have Mark Rippetoe's "Starting Strength" and "Zinn and the Art of Bicycle Maintenance" under my belt. Which introductory guides to your areas of interest are the most informative and accurate and engaging?
posted by Slap*Happy on May 16, 2014 - 20 answers

Historical novels, subtype 'just-so' stories?

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 - 32 answers

Recommend New Scary Authors Please!

I live on audiobooks, and I prefer less serious literature because I listen to them when I'm working or driving. For the last few months, I have been having trouble finding a book that really engages me that I want to stick to, and I need some help finding new authors. I'm especially interested in mysteries and thrillers. [more inside]
posted by elvissa on May 15, 2014 - 26 answers

Book search: Personal accounts of war

I am looking for books about war or other bad experiences, that are as evocative as Noonday Demon is about depression. [more inside]
posted by htid on May 14, 2014 - 26 answers

Seeking information about Doubleday, Junior Literary Guild, Junior Books

Do you know something about the history of publishing? Help me out. [more inside]
posted by crazylegs on May 13, 2014 - 2 answers

Best Airport Novels?

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 - 50 answers

Books about Stories in Games?

One of my very best friends has a birthday coming up. Over the last year he has thrown himself into game design as a hobby with his eyes on the horizon of possibly pursuing it professionally down the line. My friend is incredibly practical and intelligent so I am not so much interested in a gift that is very "how to" but instead I would love a book that looks at games on a critical level and deconstructs how they craft narrative. I've seen some questions on the green suggesting guides on a practical level and one a from a couple years ago of material that was mostly excellent blogs/posts but can anyone think of good gift books that explore ludo narrative in this way?
posted by sendai sleep master on May 12, 2014 - 5 answers

What were these peotry books and where could I buy them?

When I was a child, my uncle gave me four books which were anthologies of all sorts of poetry illustrated with collages, sketches, and other artworks. They were hardback books with a square format roughly 10" x 10". From the style of the illustrations I'd say they were published in the 70s. My mum threw them away after she had a fight with my uncle - now that I've finally forgiven her for that, can you help me identify the books and buy them? [more inside]
posted by girlgenius on May 8, 2014 - 4 answers

Book recommendations about sickness and, more importantly, healing?

Give me some ideas similar to Robin Robert's story! [more inside]
posted by shrimpsmalls on May 8, 2014 - 6 answers

Pioneer/Homesteading/Country Life books

I love reading books about homesteading and pioneer living that are more than just how to's. I'm looking for something like Laura Ingles, but for adults. Some examples of what I've enjoyed and a snapshot of my bookshelf below the fold. [more inside]
posted by julie_of_the_jungle on May 7, 2014 - 27 answers

Fantasy series that inspire fan theories like A Song of Ice and Fire?

One of my favorite aspects of ASOIAF is how GRRM drops clues and foreshadowing and his use of unreliable narrators and second-hand information to keep fans guessing and theorizing about what "really" happened. And one of my favorite aspects of ASOIAF fandom is that the word count of fan theorizing seems to now exceed the word count of the actual books by an order of magnitude. What are some other fantasy series that employ similar techniques and have inspired a comparable level of online theorizing? Thanks!
posted by Jacqueline on May 2, 2014 - 15 answers

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