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Depictions of Children's Street Culture in Fiction and Nonfiction

Please recommend fiction and nonfiction novels which depict folklore and mythology created by children who are free of adult supervision and authority. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 3, 2013 - 16 answers

What do we do with used books in a town that doesn't want 'em?

After the Great Book Cull, we have 400+ books to get rid of. Unfortunately, we're anglophones in a town with about 5% English speakers, most of them senior and conservative, and our tastes in books are rather... eclectic. What to do? [more inside]
posted by Shepherd on Sep 2, 2013 - 41 answers

Help my partner identify a novel she read in South America.

My partner read a novel a few years ago at a book exchange in a hostel. Here's what she remembers:
posted by HeroZero on Sep 2, 2013 - 5 answers

Wait, don't I know this already?

What are some good historical sources on the Reformation? [more inside]
posted by Sara C. on Aug 31, 2013 - 13 answers

Books to enhance the experience of travelling in Germany

So, I'm looking to do some travelling in Germany either this fall, or next spring. Right now, Munich and Berlin are on my list. I'm hoping for some interesting books to read before the trip on the history and culture of the places I'll be visiting. [more inside]
posted by backwards guitar on Aug 31, 2013 - 13 answers

What 20/21 century literature classics do you recommend reading for GRE?

Hi everyone. I am an international student considering the option of going to the US to do my graduate studies. I am currently studying for the GRE. As I am not a native English speaker (Portuguese), the verbal section is really difficult for me because of the vocabulary. As I got bored of studying vocab flashcards, I am know thinking of reading a book with a great diversity of words. What recent books do you recommend reading? (remember that I am completely unaware of the what the best english literature may be)
posted by tsuwal on Aug 31, 2013 - 16 answers

The End is Nigh

Could you recommend books about the history of apocalyptic thinking? I am especially interested in any academic analyses about how apocalyptic thinking relates to or has related to conceptions of mental illness. I'm not necessarily looking for dense dissertations on the subject, but something reasonably footnoted would be nice. Any opinions or anecdotes about tendency towards apocalyptic thinking and how it relates to mental illness are also welcome.
posted by garuda on Aug 31, 2013 - 9 answers

Which self help/self improvements books changed your life?

I know self help books have a bad reputation, but some transcend the genre. Any subject, from parenting to finance to spirituality is ok. [more inside]
posted by cherrybounce on Aug 30, 2013 - 29 answers

An illustrated post apocalypse.

A few years ago I saw a series of illustrations about a post apocalyptic Earth. The people had regressed to medieval life and there were still advertisements and cars and passenger planes from the previous era. [more inside]
posted by Our Ship Of The Imagination! on Aug 28, 2013 - 7 answers

Mid 20th Century American Culture Recommendations

I am interested in the time period right before WWII (late 30's) up to the Counterculture (Mid 60's). I would like some cultural recommendations from that period. I am interested in books (fiction and nonfiction), movies, tv shows, and music that was either created in that time period or takes place in that time period. Any recommendations would be appreciated!
posted by R.F.Simpson on Aug 27, 2013 - 29 answers

Marisha Pessl's "Night Film" as eBook

Based on some of the negative reviews, it sounds like the more stylized portions of Marisha Pessl's "Night Film" are a mess on Kindle devices. Can anyone comment on how it is using the Kindle app on an iPad, or in iBooks?
posted by boombot on Aug 26, 2013 - 6 answers

Economic Fantasy And The Anti-Anthem.

Settle a bet: Friend claimed that Terry Pratchett's "Going Postal" and "Making Money" where unique in the fantasy genre for dealing so much with the economics and " white collar" systems of a fantasy setting. I said that couldn't be true but couldn't think of any examples ( they abound in Sci-Fi, but we're talking wands and robes here, and the Baroque Cycle is only kind-of-fantasy). So, what are some examples of fantasy novels where things like labor unions, mediums of exchange, guild politics, trade imbalances, commodities markets, hostile takeovers and government regulation are both explored and woven into the plot? [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Aug 26, 2013 - 30 answers

Please help me find more novels to read!

Lately I've been reading novels and memoirs about unconventional/rough upbringings. Please help me find more! I especially liked The God of War, so more books with the same "feel" would be welcome. [more inside]
posted by easy, lucky, free on Aug 24, 2013 - 24 answers

Best books for teaching yourself a new skill?

What are the absolute best books for teaching yourself a new and interesting skill starting from scratch? [more inside]
posted by pracowity on Aug 23, 2013 - 21 answers

The Second Shift, Again?

I really enjoyed The Second Shift by Arlie Hochshild and Unequal Childhoods by Annette Lareau. What other books will I like? [more inside]
posted by carolinaherrera on Aug 23, 2013 - 19 answers

Medical anthropology and history: what to read next?

I'm about to finish The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. Before that, I read Nancy Scheper-Hughes' Death Without Weeping. What's next? [more inside]
posted by oinopaponton on Aug 22, 2013 - 8 answers

Name that book!

I've been trying to find a great book I read about ten years ago. It is told (I think) from the POV of a young boy. He travels around from town to town with his mother, who enters a series of bad relationships and then they skip town each time. The kid in the book is very precocious, I think he is supposed to be quite young throughout. Eventually the mother settles down with a boyfriend, they move into his house I think...and at the end the kid murders his mother's boyfriend. I keep thinking the title has something to do with Light and Motion, and I think it refers to him watching the streetlights pass as they drive from town to town. Any help greatly appreciated.
posted by drunkonthemoon on Aug 22, 2013 - 5 answers

Books and Movies that Connect Disparate Time Periods

I really enjoy books and films that feature narratives strewn across different time periods. I'm looking for recommendations. [more inside]
posted by Lutoslawski on Aug 19, 2013 - 50 answers

Is anybody doing good sci fi/fantasy/horror book reviews?

I used to really enjoy the reviews at an old website called Inchoatus, their focus was sci fi. But they went dark a long time ago. So are there any decent independent sites doing thoughtful, in-depth (and, sure, snarky) reviews of sci fi and horror (I'm less interested in fantasy, though I understand that it's part of the whole thing) books these days?
posted by turbid dahlia on Aug 18, 2013 - 5 answers

Trying to remember a poem - "three than four then many more"

That's really the only string I can grab at it "Three then four, then many more" or maybe
posted by Atticus Swanson on Aug 16, 2013 - 1 answer

Ok, so we've split up, now who gets custody of the book idea?

My ex and I had a couple of ideas for books before we started dating. They were joint ideas and something we were going to work on together. Unfortunately our working styles clashed and very little got done on even the main one. I want to have the option to actually put the hard work in to develop the story from the tiny amount of info I have now into a finished story at some point in the future. So is it possible, wise, legal or even moral to ask him to sign something saying he relinquishes the rights to the ideas in return for a very small royalty IF I finsih the books and get them published? [more inside]
posted by Ranting Prophet of DOOM! on Aug 15, 2013 - 13 answers

Looking for a Chinese and English GCSE science book

I'm looking for two books, one biology, one chemistry. They are related to GCSE, they say that on the front of the books, but I don't know if they're licensed. One has a green cover, one has a blue cover, but they both have pictures on the front. The good thing about these books is that they explain scientific concepts through diagrams in one-pagers, which are conveniently in both Chinese and English. Help me find these books? [more inside]
posted by sarae on Aug 14, 2013 - 3 answers

Special Snowflake Gifts: US History Book Recommendation

My girlfriend has virtually no knowledge of US history. She is an incredible bright, intelligent, interesting recent college graduate, but due to side effects from a medicine, was essentially in a fog for the entirety of her Junior year of high school and remembers nothing. This is a huge source of embarrassment and anxiety for her. Her birthday is just around the corner, and I would like to get her a great book to help her fill in the gaps and be more comfortable with the subject. [more inside]
posted by joshers13 on Aug 13, 2013 - 19 answers

Make this snowflake excited for the next issue again!

Help me get back into comic books after years away. [more inside]
posted by Hennimore on Aug 12, 2013 - 9 answers

Best way to manage a small library at work?

I am buying a bookshelf to centralize the books (<500) currently strewn about our office at work. I would like to setup a simple system for keeping track of books in inventory, and manage who borrows what. Ideally there would be a simple web-based piece of software built specifically for this, but I am open to a more lo-if solution if necessary. Bonus points if its not specific to books, but able to manage more things to let people borrow among a trusted group. There are about 150 people in the office.
posted by wordsmith on Aug 10, 2013 - 9 answers

Good books with humor & wordplay for a 9-year-old

My 9-year-old loved Half Magic, The True Meaning of Smekday, and The Phantom Tollbooth. What else might he like? [more inside]
posted by not that girl on Aug 9, 2013 - 37 answers

Novels for the American Southwest

I'm doing environmental work in Utah for the next three months. I'll have my kindle. Tell me your favorite novels about the American Southwest. [more inside]
posted by Rinku on Aug 9, 2013 - 36 answers

Unexpected fun things from Project Gutenberg?

I'm setting up an e-reader for my sister. I'll be giving her a gift card to buy books, but am also filling the reader with some selections from Project Gutenberg. Of course, she can use Gutenberg herself if inclined, so I want my choices to be a little fun and quirky. Things I've put on it so far: The Secret Garden and A Little Princess; some books by Ford Madox Ford and Conrad; Edith Wharton's Summer and some of her short stories. My sister is brainy and whimsical and will read anything, so Metafilter is the perfect place to ask: What things have you been tickled to find as epubs on Project Gutenberg? (Or elsewhere in epub form?) Thanks!
posted by BibiRose on Aug 9, 2013 - 44 answers

Can you convert a (literate) non-reader?

I would like my boyfriend to read more for leisure. Partly because I think he'd enjoy it, but also because I think it would be a good activity to share together. He's never been "into" reading; I think he sees it as a significant commitment. Were you a non-reader previously and now love to read? What made you change? If you are an avid reader yourself, have you ever inspired someone to start? How did you go about it? [more inside]
posted by goblue_est1817 on Aug 7, 2013 - 44 answers

History of the science of planetary motion for kids

I'm looking for a short book or series of books for my 7.5 year old son describing the history of the search to explain planetary motion. [more inside]
posted by alms on Aug 5, 2013 - 6 answers

Greek island books.

Last year we accompanied our trip to Greece with some chosen volumes of contemporary Greek writing: Panos Karnezis' Little infamies, Vangelis Hatziyannidis' Four walls, Petros Márkaris' Expiring loans, Apostolos Doxiadis' Uncle Petros and Goldbach's conjecture, and, for our kids, Evghenios Trivizàs' The last black cat. What are some other great books either set in Greece or by Greek authors, for us to take this time?
posted by progosk on Aug 5, 2013 - 12 answers

Best stores for zines in San Francisco

I'll be in San Francisco for about twelve hours, and I would like to find a bookstore or two that have an amazing zine selection. Any suggestions? [more inside]
posted by Unified Theory on Aug 4, 2013 - 5 answers

How do Half Price Books stores organize their stock?

I've got a long wishlist of books, and shop fairly frequently (in person) at a local Half Price Books. I'd like to organize my list generally by the physical order of the books on their shelves. Does anyone know if they use the Dewey Decimal System, or Library of Congress, or some other system? Is it different for each store? [more inside]
posted by SuperSquirrel on Aug 4, 2013 - 7 answers

Looking for the best in non-repetitive non-fiction

You know how a lot of non-fiction books get really tiresome after the first few chapters? Yeah, me too. Help me compile a list of non-fiction books that can keep my interest from the first to the last page. Challenge: no psych/neuro allowed. Other sciences okay. [more inside]
posted by dino might on Aug 3, 2013 - 47 answers

Old books for young tykes

I'm looking for kids' books for my 10 year old that were written at least 50 years ago. She's an excellent reader, but enjoys kid themes. We've discovered that older books use more complex language and sophisticated writing style, but simultaneously have sweeter, more gentle content. As a bonus, there seem to be forgotten gems that are under the radar of our excellent local children's librarians who have given us a million great suggestions over the years but sometimes run low on ideas for my widely-read kid. [more inside]
posted by latkes on Aug 2, 2013 - 91 answers

What book should my son and I read once we're done with Harry Potter?

We're almost done with Harry Potter. What should we read next? My son is 10 years old, and this is for bedtime reading aloud. The books have to be interesting, not too scary (I had to summarize one or two passages in Harry Potter), funny for both of us. Long is good, especially books that are in a series. There can't be any cruelty to animals (not even the slightest bit) and preferably not much cruelty to people. He doesn't like romance -- Ron and Hermione are trying his patience. The more recent the books, the better. He likes books that are for kids, not adult books that happen to be okay for kids to read. [more inside]
posted by The corpse in the library on Aug 2, 2013 - 61 answers

Where to find free non-literary book summaries?

This summer I have a lot of reading to do: some books about physics and math applied to sports, others about evidence-based sport conditioning, objectivism, ... stuff that built up because I didn't had to read it. When I read books I like to have a top down view of the subject but most books' introduction fail to do so, either because it is too short and not enough to give a good overview of each chapter or because they not even try to summarise the contents of the books and on how to use the book. [more inside]
posted by tsuwal on Aug 2, 2013 - 2 answers

Scientists on science, engineers on engineering

I am looking for books where master scientists or engineers describe their philosophy of the field they are working in or/and treat semi-technical topics in a playful, essayistic manner. Examples inside. [more inside]
posted by jarekr on Aug 1, 2013 - 12 answers

Smallerize Me

Seeking recommendations for a diet book with lots of sample meal plans & recipes, some flexibility in food, inclusion of some carbs, and not a crazy amount of planning. [more inside]
posted by Bella Sebastian on Jul 31, 2013 - 9 answers

What is that book of cover art from self-released records?

I feel like an idiot "wasting" a question on this, but it's driving me crazy and I am experiencing uncharacteristic google failure. Some time in the last few months I read reviews of a book of cover art from self-released LPs. The hell was that book called?
posted by dersins on Jul 30, 2013 - 2 answers

Secret Room Literature

We've built a small secret room in our house for our children to discover. One of the features in the room is a bookshelf where we're putting secret room themed books. [more inside]
posted by MarkAnd on Jul 30, 2013 - 109 answers

Books of stories to read aloud

We're looking for books of fairy tales well-suited to bedtime reading. [more inside]
posted by The Notorious B.F.G. on Jul 29, 2013 - 11 answers

Books or movies like Dark Souls?

Along with a friend, I have been immersed in Dark Souls for over 100 hours the past couple weeks. Although we still have much ground to cover, we're obsessed with the beautiful world, tone and feel created by this game. Are there any movies or books that capture this? Don't know what Dark Souls is like? Explanation has lots of detail! [more inside]
posted by Senza Volto on Jul 25, 2013 - 17 answers

Present for Anglo-Japanese newborn

Good friends of mine are about to have their first child, a girl. What present can I get for the little one that will be both sentimental and personal, and which she can keep for her whole life? I'm currently thinking along the lines of a really nice children's book, ideally one with an Anglo-Japanese theme because dad is Japanese and mum is British - it would be nice to give something which will represent both of her inherited cultures. Any suggestions for presents with an Anglo-Japanese theme very welcome. My budget is about £30 / $50 and I'm in the UK. Thanks!
posted by matthew.alexander on Jul 24, 2013 - 7 answers

love pochin' #9

Is there such thing as an English-language, available in the US, version of "livres de poche" (pocket-sized books)? [more inside]
posted by threeants on Jul 23, 2013 - 13 answers

Biographies where the subject dies long before the book ends

Can you recommend any well regarded biographies where the subject dies long before the end of the book? (The latter half of the book could be focused on the reaction to their death, an examination of the impact of their ideas or work over the following decades, etc.)
posted by NotMyselfRightNow on Jul 22, 2013 - 6 answers

THE ABYSS AWAITS; BRING ME UNKNOWN FRUITS FROM THE FURTHEST NATIONS

Non-Americans! I'm beefing up my to-read pile (especially on my kindle), and I would like suggests of Great Classics of Your National Literature that would typically be assigned in secondary school. [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee on Jul 21, 2013 - 31 answers

ISO Good Mystery Series (novels)

I think I'd like to begin following an author who writes mysteries featuring a regular protagonist and cast of recurring characters, but I have some d'ruthers. Can you help match me up? [more inside]
posted by taz on Jul 20, 2013 - 30 answers

Looking for a new author

I'm looking for an author who writes long books with engaging characters, intricate plots, preferably in first person.
posted by GnomeChompsky on Jul 19, 2013 - 15 answers

Looking for books about narcissistic parents

I’m looking for books (fiction and non-fiction) about children dealing with narcissistic parents. The kind of parents I want to read about will present a perfect front to the outside world, but in private will emotionally abuse their children to serve their own needs. These parents are attention seekers, self-pitying, deny that hurtful incidents occurred (gaslighting), play family members off against each other, are infantile and manipulative, are obsessed by others having a positive view of them, undermine their children’s autonomy, disregarding their privacy and personal space (give their possessions away, denigrate them in public, eat food off their plates) – but ALWAYS claim that the abuse is for the child’s own good and are usually seen by other adults as very good parents. The abused offspring I want to read about – both children and adults – become compulsive caretakers, are frequently confused by their parent’s behaviour, learn not to trust their own feelings and experience overwhelming feelings of inadequacy. For a long time they may be duped into believing the myth that their parent is loving and that they (the child) are the cause of their own unhappiness. If possible I would like books that focus entirely on emotional abuse rather than it being part of a broader spectrum of abuse. Thank you!
posted by matthew.alexander on Jul 17, 2013 - 37 answers

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