Superheroes and vampires and dark overlords (oh my!) don't operate in a vacuum. They have meetings to schedule and budgets to balance and dry-cleaning to be picked up but obviously they can't be bothered with such mundane details. I want to read stories about the staff that gets those things done. I've wandered across a couple that I have enjoyed and would love suggestions in the same vein, especially if they are funny or lighthearted and play on the contrast between the extraordinary and the banal. [more inside]
Seeking advice on how to find out about events, screenings, lectures, workshops, and gatherings organized by and for the South Asian community in New York City. [more inside]
Have you read "Frog Music" by Emma Donoghue? Can you spoil it for me? (Spoilers, probably, inside.) [more inside]
I am trying to remember the name or author of a paperback SF book I read in the 1970s. From the tone, I'm pretty sure it's a late 60s or 70s publication. Memories inside: [more inside]
When I was around 11 or so, a thick mass market paperback that had been sitting in the book cabinet my whole life finally caught my interest. It turned out to be incredibly filthy; so much so that I marked every sex scene with a Post-It and spent a lot of intimate time with the book until an older cousin borrowed it and never returned it. It's named "Labels," due to a setting in the high fashion world of the 80s? I remember basically everything about it except the author, including a LOT of sex scenes, which I will enumerate for you: [more inside]
Okay, the title pretty much is what I remember: it's a young adult book where the protagonist goes to a Go-Go’s concert where INXS is the opening act. [more inside]
I'm entering a period in my life that's going to be, shall we say, a little challenging. I'm looking for novels that will get me so engrossed that I'll forget everything outside them for a least a little while. [more inside]
I'm looking for a book or website I read a few years ago about sovereign default and how it's actually a GOOD thing. The author pointed out several examples in history where countries had defaulted on their debt and emerged more-or-less okay (if I recall correctly there were examples dating back to antiquity). Does anyone have any idea what this was?
Tell me the history books you've read that you could not put down. History of just about anything, but especially historically significant people, say, before WWI. [more inside]
We are an American-Japanese family living in the US. We have a 4 year old and a 1 year old who we would like to raise as bilingual as possible. We read both English storybooks and Japanese storybooks, but would love your recommendations for some books that have the story in both English and Japanese side-by-side. Would also be happy to hear about books readily available in both languages. Bonus points if you can vouch for the quality of the story and the translation. (Have you ever read "Goodnight Moon" in Japanese? It's not pretty.) [more inside]
I've just finished adding all of my owned books into a personal database app. Now what can I do with that information? [more inside]
I'm a software developer with several years of experience under my belt. Lately, I've been working with lots of Java code, but have very little formal Java training. Unfortunately, most of the resources that I've found seem to target people with little/no programming experience OR lots of basic Java experience. Can anybody recommend books or other resources that teach Java, from the perspective of a developer who is already experienced with OOP and other C-style languages? [more inside]
I'm writing an article about someone who spent time in the California State Asylum and San Quentin prison around the middle of the last half of the 19th century. I'm looking for books or journal article recommendations that could help give me an idea of what life was like in these institutions specifically or similar institutions in general during this time.
I have a pen pal in Angola (Louisiana State Penitentiary) to whom I'd like to send money and items (books, cds). I've used JPay and they charge a fee, and then Angola takes 50% of the money after that. When I mail him CDs, books, they must be new and they cannot contain explicit content. Even after I followed these rules, he didn't receive a book until months after it had arrived. Has anyone written up strategies for navigating this bureaucracy? Do any mefites have personal experience with this that they're willing to share?
I'd like to show my toddler videos/tv shows/movies/books that include genuine affection - parents, families, friends all giving hugs or smiles or other close, positive interactions. Any good ideas? [more inside]
I just finished reading The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer again and it was just as incredible if not more so the second time around. I'm wondering if there are other nonfiction books of similar quality and comprehensiveness for other topics - primarily looking for a diabetes book but also interested in any other comparable books. [more inside]
Please recommend some well-established series of not-too-gory or graphic mystery novels in interesting settings. [more inside]
It seems that, with the main contributors working full time on their new video game, the Idle Book Club isn't going to be coming back any time soon. Can anyone recommend a podcast (or perhaps other media) to replace it? What I'm looking for is a monthly - or similar - schedule, a mix of old and new literary fiction, and has accessible but thoughtful discussion. Please help me put the new ereader to good use!
Inspired by this, I'm interested in seeing what MeFites would nominate as the best thing (paper, article, book, presentation, etc.) from your field in the past 10 years or so. [more inside]
My father and step-father (both in their seventies) are nearing the end of their lives, and I want to give them books to read in the time they have left. I'm not looking for anything that's necessarily literally on the topic of death, nor anything religious or self-help-ish. I'm looking for books suitable for a person with limited ability to concentrate due to pain/fatigue, that run the gamut from pleasant & not inappropriate, to ones that will provoke reflection and help them come to terms with dying. Please help with your recommendations. [more inside]
What is the best fiction that accurately portrays the thoughts and lives of teenagers or young adults in 2014? [more inside]
I loved Buzzfeed's 46 Brilliant Short Novels You Can Read In A Day last year. I've just started reading the very short, very good Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway and it made me wonder...what other classic non-fiction books can be read in a single sitting/day? Are there any non-fiction lists like that Buzzfeed one? [more inside]
I'd like to try acquire the rights to material from a few related out-of-print nonfiction books published in the US during the 1920s and 30s, in order to create interactive electronic media from the material. (Initially a website, possibly an offline phone app. in the future.) This is almost certainly not fair use, and copyrights have been renewed for most of the texts. I'm hoping for a sanity check and some pointers from someone who knows more about book rights than me. [more inside]
A friend of mine moved to Philadelphia recently and is looking for places where he might run into people of a similar intellectual/philosophical/political bent as him, namely left wing, interested in critical theory, interested in reading hard books. My suggestion was the sort of cafe that radicals, hippies, immigrants and homeless people hang out at. We have a few of those in Minneapolis, but I don't know anything about Philadelphia. Help me, hivemind, you're my only hope!
Baby #3 is coming soon and I'm looking for books to read during maternity leave. I know from experience that I need quick, light material that can be read in very short bursts - nothing that relies on subtle atmospherics or requires sustained attention to 'get in to'. But I'd also like something well-written and smart enough that I don't feel like I'm letting my brain turn into nothing but mush and breast milk. Only other stipulations - not too bro-centric (eg. not revolving entirely around the sexual frustrations of an egocentric middle-aged dude); nothing prominently featuring ill/dying/suffering children and/or parents (hormones, yo). Fiction or non-fiction OK, all genres welcome!
How can I expand the social consciousness of my book loving nieces? [more inside]
Are there any ebook reading apps for Android that approach the level of polish that iBooks on iOS has? Ideally ones that have a continuous-scroll mode and which allow easy font customization? [more inside]
I won't be able to afford much travel in the next year or two. In the meantime, I'd love to be swept away with rich and vivid descriptions of faraway places. The more introspective, the better. Can be either non-fiction or fiction; essays/short stories or longer format writing; graphic novels are fine; am open to any locations. Bonus points if it also focuses on local food, and/or has an ethnographic approach, and/or is written from a woman's perspective. [more inside]
I'm looking for recommendations around novels that feature female characters who are conflicted about desire and involve sexual betrayal. [more inside]
At dinner with my 85 year old uncle yesterday and he asked me if I could recommend any good biographies covering Field Marshall Montgomery. I could not but I thought perhaps some folks here might be able to suggest a solid biography or two. Uncle Bill is aware that Monty was a controversial figure and is seeking a balanced account of his life (or perhaps just his WWII exploits.) I'd like to buy one or two for him so availability in the US would be helpful. Thanks!
How does Death speak in Discworld translations into non-alphabetical scripts? [more inside]
What literature from 2014 would you consider to be the best? I'm looking for page turners that tempt you to stay up late at night and exceed your expectations to a great degree. Fiction, non-fiction, short stories, space opera, graphic novel, anything goes. I'd like the best of the year to enjoy over break, and I'd like the recommendations to come from other like-minded mefites.
I'd like to give a gift to someone who adores Utah and will be making his second trip there next year. Any suggestions for the best travel books or some kind of unusual service/gift certificate I could give him? He likes wide open spaces and adventurous travel off the grid.
Asking for a friend. What one book would you recommend for a college aged son who has specifically requested a book "to learn about something"? He's a really great kid who has really matured a lot in the past year - business major, likes sports. Open to all suggestions!
I'm looking for science fiction with excellent worldbuilding surrounding a particular scenario: a population trapped in an enclosed environment that they can't leave for generations, so that they have to produce or reuse everything within that environment. Preferably something like a space station or a generation ship, but those details aren't required. [more inside]
My uncle is interested in reading science fiction or futuristic fantasy books that involve music as a strong narrative element. He has read some Anne McCaffrey that did this, as well as Patrick Rothfuss, but was hoping to find other options, and I drew a blank. Can you guys think of any more music-tinged works?
I just signed my first publishing deal after the publisher approached me directly. I had been noncommittally talking to an agent before this--no representation agreement or anything, just hypotheticals and suggestions. When the publisher contacted me, I just jumped for it and didn't tell the agent until it was done. Did I just screw over that agent, or is this just business? [more inside]
Can you recommend some rousing, feel-good non-fiction? [more inside]
Many apparently out-of-copyright books on Google Books are open access. Others return limited sections in response to search queries. Yet others are completely inaccessible. Why?
I've been tasked with finding my 13-year-old relative a good science fiction book. [more inside]
Please help me decide how to ethically consume books now that I'm the owner of a brand shiny new Kindle. [more inside]
I am looking for a system or tips on, basically, how to write a summary of a book that explains its main points. [more inside]
I want to read scholarly work about why doing things with "digital" tools (like word processors or MIDI music keyboards) is experienced differently from doing things with "analog" tools (like typewriters or pianos). [more inside]
I want to read very good history books. I know such threads exist. But I want recommendations from people who are very well read (decently well read, even) in the subject. If you have a particular interest, what is it, and what are some excellent books you've read and recommend? [more inside]
I just re-watched the 2002 film Insomnia. It was (still) great, and now I'd like recommendations for more things like it. [more inside]
Every year I load up my Mom's Kindle library for Christmas. This year I'm finding a lot of stuff on the non-fiction end but very little fiction that is up her alley. Her fave books: Neal Stephenson's "The Baroque Cycle" and Gillian Bradshaw's "The Sand-Reckoner." Got a rec? Expanded explanation of her taste inside! [more inside]
Yet another book identification question with minimal details: I read a science fiction series - I think a trilogy - that I acquired in a used book shop in the early to mid-90s. They probably weren't brand new at that point. There was sex in it, and aliens. [more inside]
I am a bookmobile librarian and the majority of my patrons are kids wanting chapter books. I have a variety of series that I try to keep current: The Littles, Junie B, Magic Tree, Goosebumps, Hank the Cowdog, Flat Stanley, Warriors, Star Wars, American Girl, Rainbow Fairies. Are there any other series you would suggest? Thanks a bunch hivemind!
I'm looking for books about the daily lives of ordinary, non-Jewish Germans in the run-up to WWII. Ideally about someone who wasn't that interested or involved in politics and didn't have any strong feelings about Jews, Roma or other Nazi targets. Specific questions inside. [more inside]
I'm trying to locate a book I had as a child in the early 80s (U.S.). It was a white hardcover book with red lettering (I had lost the dust cover if it ever had one). It was a kids handbook that described tons of stuff (with illustrations). [more inside]