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More dark thrillers by women?

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]
posted by Lutoslawski on Feb 5, 2014 - 52 answers

Shipping books from Germany to the U.S.

I'm looking to ship a box full of books from Berlin in Germany to New York City, USA. [more inside]
posted by mrsh on Feb 1, 2014 - 5 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 - 41 answers

What book should I read next?

I need help deciding what book/books I should read next and I thought I'd query the hive mind! Details about recent favorites inside. [more inside]
posted by zeusianfog on Jan 30, 2014 - 13 answers

She inspired my first AOL screen name! I have to find her again!

In the early 90s, as a teenager, I read a hardcover novel that I found on the new books shelf of our local library. All I remember about it was that it was set in the future, and involved an elaborate online world, a lot like Second Life. The main character, a woman, had never entered this world before, but she created an avatar in order to investigate a crime. Her avatar was named ELFIE and when she lurked invisibly in the world, she was represented as a pair of blinking eyes on the screen, but when she could actually affect things happening in the online world, she was a small, pretty elf. This book inspired my first email address: Elfie2@aol.com, which I kept for years, so I want to find it again. I am 100% positive about these facts, but I remember absolutely nothing else. Can you help?
posted by pretentious illiterate on Jan 28, 2014 - 3 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

Book recomnedation: worldbuilding and self-aware, active characters

I again have time to consume books like a cookie-monster. I've avoided lists of classics-by-genera because I tend to like only 5% of what's on them. It's not that I specifically like reading dystopias or sci-fi - I liked the Poisonwood Bible for instance, as much if not more than Lord of the Rings. In addition to book recommendations, it would also be useful if, given the books listed below, you have any ideas for other trends that could help me search out books myself. Your advice is much appreciated! :) [more inside]
posted by ch3cooh on Jan 25, 2014 - 24 answers

How to boost reading stamina without a formal speed-reading course?

Hi, I'd be interested in any e-books or websites which can put me in a frame of mind where I can read more easily. I'm not really interested in learning formal speed-reading at the moment but it would be good if someone could teach me a quick way to stop subvocalising for instance? [more inside]
posted by Musashi Daryl on Jan 24, 2014 - 6 answers

Help me educate myself in the philosophical side of environmentalism

I'm a grad student in conservation biology who has always had a strong interest in conservation issues. However, I feel like the technical side of my education is much stronger than the philosophical side, and I want to restore that balance. Who should I read, what resources should I look into, what organizations or publications are out there that will help me gain a deeper understanding of the philosophical, historical, and cultural components of environmentalism? [more inside]
posted by Scientist on Jan 24, 2014 - 15 answers

Searching for a specific Lynda Barry collection.

When I was a teenager, I checked out a Lynda Barry collection of Marlys-Maybonne-Freddie Stories from the school library. The stories were mostly about Maybonne, and in particular contained a storyline where she fooled around with a Vietnam veteran in a car. What (likely out of print) collection am I remembering? [more inside]
posted by Juliet Banana on Jan 22, 2014 - 15 answers

Help me remember this smutty novel I read as a teen

[NSFW Book Filter] I only remember vague details about the book, which involved witches, a coven, the devil/demon/Satan and explicit sex scenes. [more inside]
posted by stealthy_hippo on Jan 22, 2014 - 8 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

Where are the doorways to magical worlds?

I need more examples of the ways that children get into magical worlds in books. [more inside]
posted by not that girl on Jan 21, 2014 - 56 answers

Comfort bedtime reading for nerds?

Help complete the set: (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, Calvin and Hobbes, ...). [more inside]
posted by pbh on Jan 21, 2014 - 28 answers

Movie suggestions please.

I want to show a movie to a group of 15-16 year olds after we've finished reading Sherman Alexie's "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian". [more inside]
posted by figaro on Jan 20, 2014 - 11 answers

~30,000 words of greatness

I'm binding a book that should be about 30,000 words in length. What's out there in the public domain at about that length that is also a really good read?
posted by goosechasing on Jan 19, 2014 - 4 answers

Books (or documentaries) to teach me to watch films intelligently?

I want to learn how to watch movies with more of a critical eye. I want to know what to pay attention to - technically, narratively, and so on -- and how to judge these things, so I can better appreciate what's going on. I'm looking for books or maybe documentaries that will help me do this. [more inside]
posted by Tin Man on Jan 18, 2014 - 12 answers

Who has won the most major book awards?

Who has the highest combined total of Pulitzers/National Book Awards/National Book Critics Circle Awards? Caro?
posted by jtothes on Jan 18, 2014 - 3 answers

Books about suffering loss but being better for it

I'm going through some things that have both brought me a lot of sadness and presented an opportunity to change my life for the better. I'm wondering if there are any books the MeFi hive can recommend, novels, memoirs or otherwise. They should be about people who have suffered loss, perhaps enduring shame, but emerging better for it. [more inside]
posted by Cybria on Jan 17, 2014 - 11 answers

Can you recommend some AMAZING memoirs by women?

I'm suddenly overcome by the urge to take a break from novels and read some interesting memoirs by women. I have read "Don't lets Go to the Dogs Tonight" by Alexandra Fuller and I really loved it because of how richly she described the setting, the humor and the tragedies her family went through. I felt like I was there. And that's really what I'm looking for- memoirs by female writers that are so alive that I feel like I'm there. Mefi Readers, what amazing memoirs can you recommend that have made you feel that way???
posted by misspony on Jan 17, 2014 - 65 answers

"A situation where contact with the outside world has been severed..."

TVTropes describes the trope of the closed circle: "A stock plot designed to force the characters or players to stay in a location and get involved in the adventure... and not be able to leave until it's done." Familiar, right? I am looking for examples of novels that employ this trope, but with a twist: the primary crime they're trying to solve took place in the past, before they were enclosed in the circle. [more inside]
posted by pretentious illiterate on Jan 15, 2014 - 18 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

Children's Book Including a Spaghetti Sandwich

My partner and I were remembering our differing childhood experiences of homemade spaghetti. At one point, she brought up using the leftovers in a spaghetti sandwich. I've never had one, but this triggered a vivid memory of a favorite picture book which had at least one illustration of a spaghetti sandwich. Among other odd sandwiches, possibly. I'd love to remember the title of the book and, ideally, see that illustration. [more inside]
posted by gilrain on Jan 14, 2014 - 4 answers

Geography Books for a 9 Year Old

I'm looking for geography books for my 9 year old son. He's into looking at maps, especially historical maps of countries that no longer exist or ancient civilizations (although that's not a requirement). History and cultural information is good too. [more inside]
posted by ShooBoo on Jan 14, 2014 - 12 answers

Any great nonfiction books on the history of tea and its global trade?

I'm interested in tea and its history, especially its role in global trade and conflict. Are there any great nonfiction books that cover the subject without focusing exclusively on a certain time period or location? [more inside]
posted by cowbellemoo on Jan 13, 2014 - 11 answers

Robots in fiction for a high school audience

What are some short stories, books and movies that feature robots or artificial intelligence in prominent roles? Looking for accessible conversation starters; could be classic sci-fi or more contemporary stuff. This is for a high school class of students with a wide range of English skills and cultural backgrounds. We'd like to come up with a list that would have something appealing for everyone, and would be appropriate for a school setting. [more inside]
posted by beandip on Jan 12, 2014 - 34 answers

DIY MBA

I've reached a point in my career where I'm starting to need to knowledge that comes with an MBA, but not the actual degree. What are the best books you've read that cover the hard and soft skills of an MBA? [more inside]
posted by the_shrike on Jan 9, 2014 - 12 answers

Short-ish novel with psychologically diagnosable main character?

For an abnormal psych class I have to read a novel with a main character that has a DSM-5 diagnosable disorder and then diagnose them based on the book. One problem: all the good ones are probably already claimed. [more inside]
posted by MonsieurBon on Jan 8, 2014 - 68 answers

Literary crime fiction

What are some decent, non-idiotic, contemporary crime/mystery novels? [more inside]
posted by denika on Jan 8, 2014 - 46 answers

I am Looking for the Name of a Comic Book Series Where The Bad Guys Won

Hi there. I am looking for a comic book mini-series, probably from the 1980's but possibly from the 1990's. It is not a Marvel or DC series. The premise of the series is that 5 or 10 years before the series begins, a Dr. Doom-like character leads an army of supervillians and actually defeats all the superheroes, killing or depowering them. The mini-series ran for 5 or 6 issues. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
posted by jack.brodey on Jan 7, 2014 - 8 answers

Seeking Obscure Subculture Fiction

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 - 15 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

Best Discussion Books for Book Club

It is time once again for my book group to nominate and then vote on the books for the upcoming year. Any suggestions? Criteria within. [more inside]
posted by RoadScholar on Jan 4, 2014 - 22 answers

Books with shameless cheating

I would like to read something where one character cheats on another an offensive amount and can manipulate his/her way out of it. The cheating should be with various (a lot!) people and not about love. I guess like the dynamic in American psycho / wolf of Wall Street but more about the cheating and lying. Movies/songs are ok to.
posted by LaunchBox on Jan 2, 2014 - 28 answers

Tell me how you read.

I want to up my reading game. Help? [more inside]
posted by bluloo on Jan 1, 2014 - 17 answers

Books/philosophical readings that have made an impact on your life

I'm at a bit of a crossroads in my life. This New Year's has been an introspective one for me, and has had me really contemplating my life's purpose - what I have accomplished thus far, and what I wish to accomplish from this point on. I've been doing some reading on the importance of finding and nurturing a purpose in one's life, which has certainly made a positive impact on my overall attitude and outlook. I want to discover more standouts from any genre - self-help, goal-setting, philosophical or otherwise - that have helped you, my fellow mefites, see the world and your respective circumstances in in a different, more positive light. [more inside]
posted by Kamelot123 on Jan 1, 2014 - 27 answers

When should an author respond to reviews?

I'm an author. I've seen enough other authors flame out when responding to criticism that I know never to respond to negative reviews. But I'm sometimes tempted to respond to positive reviews of my book on Amazon, Goodreads, or other sites-- perhaps with a short "Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it;" perhaps with a longer reply if it seems appropriate. Should I ever do that? If so, when? [more inside]
posted by yankeefog on Jan 1, 2014 - 34 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

Around the World in Eighty Pages

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]
posted by sevenofspades on Dec 30, 2013 - 13 answers

Help me compile a list of 100 books to read

This year one of my goals is to read two books a week, help me make sure I get the good ones! [more inside]
posted by everydayanewday on Dec 30, 2013 - 35 answers

Call all book detectives! I'm looking for a book, the cover was blue...

Please help me find a book on toy making from the 1960s or 1970s (and that I read in the 1990s). [more inside]
posted by Calzephyr on Dec 30, 2013 - 2 answers

BookFilter: English fiction with lots of Spanish language elements

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]
posted by sprocket87 on Dec 30, 2013 - 11 answers

magical realism/surreal books by women

I love Kelly Link, Jeannette Winterson, Margaret Atwood, Karen Russell, and Aimee Bender. I would like to read more books like this. Women authors only please, and I'd also love to have more queer and of color authors in my library. Thanks !
posted by dysh on Dec 29, 2013 - 43 answers

Is it better to read Proust when you're young, or when you're old?

I'm approaching forty; there are only so many books I'll get to read in my life. With that in mind, I'm trying to plan out my reading at the start of each year (planning one year at a time, mind you -- my 40-year-old self doesn't get to be the boss of what I read when I'm eighty). [more inside]
posted by spacewaitress on Dec 28, 2013 - 27 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

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