Some friends are coming to visit NYC and I'd like to get their kids some fiction set in the city. [more inside]
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]
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?
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]
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.
I am looking for recommendations of great dystopian novels, novellas, and short stories. Any length will do! [more inside]
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.
Where are some good places to read queer sci fi short stories? [more inside]
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]
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.
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.
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]
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.
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]
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?
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 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]
I am looking for books about war or other bad experiences, that are as evocative as Noonday Demon is about depression. [more inside]
Do you know something about the history of publishing? Help me out. [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]
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?
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]
Give me some ideas similar to Robin Robert's story! [more inside]
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]
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!
I would like to buy and own a printed edition (not a CD-ROM or an online text) of the Poetic Edda in Old Norse. I don't mind if a translation is included or not, but the original text must be. Can anyone suggest any specific editions? Include ISBNs if possible! Thanks. [more inside]
I realized I've just read and enjoyed several books built around the same theme/structure, and would like to find more. They generally involve a girl/young woman growing up sometime in the 20th century, usually in America, often told from the perspective of the character as a grown-up looking back and reflecting. Examples inside. [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.
I'm curious about the business of children's literature. I'm looking for any books/articles/personal anecdotes that discuss it from the cutthroat capitalism angle; such as how monopolies may affect the content published, or perhaps particular authors known for their ruthlessness.
I have a hard time finding books to read that can balance holding my attention with not being too difficult or a "hard" read. What non-fiction books are like the books after the cut? [more inside]
I am looking for books that mainly have a hurt/comfort angle to it. Lots of angst is good (YES PLEASE FOR MY HEART), and romance, too, of course. [more inside]
I'm new to history as a field of study, and I chose World War 1 as a place to start. Having finished reading several books on the topic, I'm ready to move past World War 1 for now. My first instinct was to dive into the seemingly infinite pool of literature that is World War 2, but I'm not sure if I'd be doing the 20th century justice by skipping the intervening years. Essentially, I'm looking for a book that covers the period between the World Wars. Ideally, this book would focus on Europe but touch on at least some of the rest of the world. Bonus points if this book is available as an audiobook.
A couple of years ago I read a piece online written by a teacher about using Finnegans Wake as a teaching tool. He had them analyze the ending of the book, or rather, the beginning/end. Their analysis of it surprised him. Many of the students came up with different interpretations showing how many ways it can be read. I can't for the life of me find it anywhere. Could someone help me out?
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]
A favorite childhood book was titled something like "A Mysterious Parcel." It was a translation from another (unknown) language into my own Eastern European language, so the original title might have been quite different. [more inside]
The last two books I've read, Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Book Store and The Westing Game have both made me feel the same way - happy, alive, joyous. By the end of each book, I was really rooting for the characters and their happiness. At the same time, I was feeling really good. They were similar in some ways, but I can't really define the genre, so it's hard for me to look for similar books. Can people suggest books that meet some number of these qualifications? [more inside]
RecoFilter: I'm looking for recommendations of books, preferably in the sci-fi/fantasy genres, that have a 'big reveal' somewhere in there that changes the whole perspective of the book or protagonist. Examples would be The Inverted World, The Prestige, or Ender's Game, for example, or the first Star Trek film, or some Lovecraft stories — the whole thing, and all events narrated, appear in a different light after, you know? [more inside]
Should I put more effort into reading books? Is not reading books detrimental to my critical thinking skills? [more inside]
Specifically books about the blossoming of The Self [more inside]
Can anyone recommend a really excellent book, preferably one with lots of illustrations, wacky anecdotes, and/or other intensely engaging content about 1970s rock music? Specifically music of the "prog-ish" type, e.g., early Genesis. I poked around on Amazon a bit but nothing really stood out... [more inside]
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.
I'm not usually a mystery reader, but I recently read In the Woods and The Likeness, by Tana French, on a friend's recommendation. I loved them, but I'm not familiar enough with the genre to find others like them. What I like about them: strong characters, suspense that is mainly psychological in nature, clear prose. I also enjoyed the Stieg Larsson books; other Scandinavian mysteries have been hit or miss. Any recommendations, MeFites?
For a friend: Say someone wants to develop a working sense of modern-day cultural literacy in the United States. This person has very limited knowledge of current events, and has limited himself to only a very narrow scope of popular entertainment. He now wishes to be able to converse about these topics with reasonably savvy adults (such as in dating scenarios and social gatherings). Can you provide sources of information for the following? [more inside]
I've been looking for this book I remember from my childhood - or maybe I dreamt it - that was a sweet little illustrated picture book about a Teddy Bear Masquerade Ball. This askmefi question is my Hail Mary pass. If no one else remembers this, I'll end my search! [more inside]
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]
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]
Help me find books that convey a jolly feeling of appreciation for the wonders of modern life. Ideally these would be books that have a sci-fi or fantasy feel, but in which nothing overtly magical or fantastic happens. The best recent examples I can think of are Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, which has all the elements of a fantasy novel but is set squarely in our world, and William Gibson's most recent novels, all of which feel fantastic to me but are grounded in real life. [more inside]
My SO prefers reading in French, and I'm introducing her to some of my favourite English-language books. Is there a site somewhere that I can use to look up which books are agreed to have really great translations from English to French? [more inside]
I have a huge love for space/planetary exploration fiction. Think 2001, the sadly mistreated Defying Gravity TV show and Kim Stanley Robinson's mars series. Do you have recommendations for me? Books primarliy, but TV/Films too though I guess i have seen most of those in this genre already. [more inside]