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]
My son reads for an hour every night as part of his homework, and quite often longer than that just for fun. He's a fairly quick reader, and reads at levels higher than his age. This means that we are often in search of new and interesting books for him to read, and I could use some help. More info below. [more inside]
So I read a children's book as a kid in the 1980s that used the title quote as a running gag. Can anybody identify it? [more inside]
Please recommend interesting, well-written and easy-reading nonfiction books [more inside]
Help me find this book series I loved as a kid. It documented the anthropomorphized life of assorted woodland creatures. Not fantasy, exactly, just woodland creatures doing woodland things. Nothing like Redwall. They were "chapter books," and I remember their covers being green. There were a lot of them- I want to say a dozen? One story-line revolved around a family of beavers. Any ideas, hive mind?
Carl Hiaasen meets H.P. Lovecraft. What book am I looking for? [more inside]
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.
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]
I have this book and I love it. I pick it up, open to a random page, and read whatever story I land on (generally with great success) and often discover a new author to read. Can you recommend other similarly gigantic, wonderfully edited, genre-specific collections of short stories/novellas? [more inside]
Can people recommend good examples of the collected works of an individual journalist, collected and published as a book? I want to see how great journalists arrange and contextualize distinct pieces that also contain larger narrative arcs. Thanks.
I am tired of novels that have an enigmatic woman at the center of the novel. Can you recommend some books to me where all of the female characters actually act like real people? [more inside]
I'm going to be stocking a small bookcase with 5 to 10 books, and placing it in a room inside a college. I need a way to prevent the books from being stolen. Options seem surprisingly limited. Any help? [more inside]
Spring break is coming up, and the best part of spring break is reading all day - so I need to come up with a bunch of books to bring! I'm specifically looking for ghost stories, YA fantasy, historical romance, and travelogues, though if you know of something else fun and easy, feel free to chime in. [more inside]
Searching for book recommendations. [more inside]
For an upcoming project I'm putting together what's meant to be a comprehensive timeline of important (even "necessary") works of American science fiction since the late 19th century. [more inside]
I'd like to brush up on my understanding of American politics today. Could anyone point me in the direction of an accessible, well-regarded book that approaches an interesting political phenomenon, or American politics in general, in a relatively non-partisan way? I'd prefer to stay away from highly ideological works about how either conservatives or liberals are leading America to its doom.
I need some rough data about books published by recognized publishers vs. books that are self-published. Can you help me find where to look for these numbers? [more inside]
I really like reading Atomic Rockets at Project Rho. But I want to take it around with me in an easily digestible form. Can anybody recommend books that have the same sort of content and a similar feel? Not science fiction, but books about the science of science fiction. [more inside]
I'm starting a book club among my friends where we just read the dirty bits from popular books to each other. They don't even have to be popular books - just books that I can actually find easily. And it's not exactly a book club. More like a reading-to-each-other club. Anyway, can you remember and recommend any notably hot sex scenes from books you might have read? [more inside]
I was at lunch with a friend of mine and the conversation turned to escargot. She said, "I remember reading a book when I was a kid where the girl went out to a fancy restaurant, and she accidentally ordered escargot because she didn't know what they were." [more inside]
I just finished reading Zealot, by Reza Aslan, and I found it to be a fascinating book. I'm looking for similar books! [more inside]
I'm looking for non-fiction books that describe the day-to-day life of an allied tanker (guy in a tank or other AFV) in World War II. [more inside]
A male friend of mine has recently learned that he's not as good at dating women as he thought he was, and wants to get better. Where can I point him for sex and relationship advice, addressed to men, but written from a feminist perspective? [more inside]
I'm looking for some good book blogs in the style of Forever Young Adult, which I adore, but which are focused on adult literature. What I like about Forever Young Adult is the informal style and frequent reviews of new books I might not otherwise hear about - the book blogs I know of are more focused on author interviews or commentary, and tend to take themselves more seriously than I would like. [more inside]
I am looking for sources of reliable, science-based information about food / exercise / medication / etc during pregnancy. [more inside]
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!
I have a title for a self-help workbook I'm writing, but I'm having a lot of trouble thinking of a good subtitle... [more inside]
Where can I go to find publicly accessible (preferably online) and well-thought-out basic interpretations and commentary on books? I don't mean reviews, and I don't mean ultra-scholarly theoretical or historical work. I mean commentary and explanation. For example, if I just read The Trial and I wanted to know what some of the standard opinions about its meaning were, where could I reliably go?
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]
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.
A definite long shot, but I'm looking for the names of two of my favourite children's books from the '80's, these are picture books that were read to me about 25 years ago, and I'd love to find them for nostalgia's sake but also to read to my own children. The first was about a little boy who follows a clown into his television, I think maybe at the boy's bedtime. The second was about a boy and a monkey who go on adventures together, maybe to space, and I think there were trap doors or other neat ways of traveling. The illustrator of the book included these great doodles and tiny squiggles on every page (within the pictures not all over the text), and that's what I remember most, the great illustrations that were really intricate.
Book suggestions for a gift exchange recipient that combine business, Haruki Murakami, David Foster Wallace, and/or music? (here's hoping my recipient isn't also a Mefite!) [more inside]
I'm writing the Great American Novel (isn't everyone?). I want to intersperse press releases and newspaper clippings throughout the book, but I'm not sure about formatting (and e-book format raises yet another question). [more inside]
Could anyone recommend engaging, story-driven books on moments from American labor history? [more inside]
I've been tasked with putting together a medical library for my small disability law firm. Doctors, what are five essential medical books that we should look at obtaining regarding general medical practice? [more inside]
Our book club is doing a "Lean In free swim" -- everyone will read Lean In* plus one other book of their choice on the topic of gender and work. What would be some good choices for the second book? [more inside]
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).