In search of novels, memoirs, and other literary works where physical ugliness (NOT beauty, primarily) is a major subject/theme. Thanks!
What are some good stories about transitioning from one place to another? [more inside]
I thoroughly enjoyed this post on the blue -- which explored how characters fall in love in novels. I would like to find new to me fiction that uses this technique in developing love stories. [more inside]
I seem to greatly enjoy fiction about the absurd, ridiculous, or obnoxious aspects of an academic or research environment. Examples that I really liked include PhD Comics (mostly the early years), Bellwether by Connie Willis, and especially Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher. MetaFilter, can you recommend any similarly absurd books about stressed academics? [more inside]
Book Recommendation Filter: Looking for urban fantasy or "modern world" sci-fi (not horror) told in third person and doesn't try to sell me on vampire protagonists. This is turning out to be a surprisingly difficult itch to scratch. Help? [more inside]
I am travelling to meet my favorite science fiction author at a convention, but I haven't done this before. What do? [more inside]
Can you recommend fiction set in winter that will make me feel cozy? Also I am a snob so it needs to be not super cheesy (I tried The Mistletoe Promise, couldn't get past this) and fairly well-written. [more inside]
That is, what is a novel you read later in life that you wish you had come across as a kid or teen? Totally fine to recommend books that weren't yet published when you were young.
I've just read When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. What an amazing book! Thanks to my ever-growing collection of nieces and nephews, I've enjoyed lots of middle grade fiction. It's been a few years years since I've picked up a good MG novel, though. Does anyone have any recent recommendations in a similar category or style? I'm looking for sophisticated middle grade fiction with strong crossover appeal.
Of course, the real answer is most books, but I'm looking for something a little more specific... [more inside]
A friend's birthday is coming up. He likes to play darts (plays in a league) and he likes to read. I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for gifts that might combine both. [more inside]
I'm looking for more science fiction to read, along the lines of The Martian or Seveneves, where solving engineering challenges is a major part of the story. Lots of technical detail is good.
I'm looking for examples of a particular kind of narrative writing style that might be (or overlap with) what I think is sometimes called deep-point-of-view. [more inside]
If I greatly enjoyed Ted Chiang's "Understand", Lucy, Flowers for Algernon and Limitless, what other works along the same "superintelligence", "hyperbrain" or "gifted with superhuman intelligence amongst a world of normal people" theme would I enjoy? [more inside]
My niece mentioned/complained to me recently that there is very little YA lit for and about lesbians. I took a look on goodreads and found a couple of lists with what appear to be a nice selection of books. However, on reading further, I'd like to narrow the list down to actually well-written or otherwise reasonably good books. Any thoughts? [more inside]
I recently started reading a bit of sci-fi and fantasy books - these genres are new to me and I'd like to read more. I've especially enjoyed time travel books. The challenging part for me is that I'm an impatient and/or lazy reader. If a book doesn't grab me from the beginning, I just can't bring myself to keep reading. So - what fantasy or sci-fi book (or series) do you think I would enjoy? [more inside]
I'm looking for fiction with extensive sourcing/citations that are entirely fake. [more inside]
Please can you recommend books similar to Bruno Schulz's, Isaac Babel's and Bulgakov's Master & Margarita? [more inside]
[Book Filter] Looking for fiction that features survivalist/prepping themes... [more inside]
Please suggest good summer reading for tween girls (11/12) who also happen to be going through their parents' divorce. [more inside]
I currently work such long hours that I don't have much time to read. I can't read the types of books that I normally would want to - literary fiction - because I am too exhausted to really concentrate at night and I just don't have the time. I also don't want to be stuck in a 400 page novel for 3 months. details inside [more inside]
I'm interested in good science fiction in any format (book, film, comics, etc.) that explores that idea that we are not alone in the universe, but wildly mismatched with everybody or nearly every else in terms of civilization stages, kinds of technology, perception, etc. [more inside]
What are the best scifi and/or fantasy book series that are consistently great from novel to novel? For my purposes this would be a series of at least three books, and probably no more than... six? ish? (I might be cutting it short; this is a general estimate of about how long my interest tends to remain keen. Not a dealbreaker if a bit more). I'm looking for the sorts of books that really draw you into the fictional world and have a lot of character building, with few or no "weak links" from book to book. [more inside]
I loved A Song of Ice and Fire, The Kingkiller Chronicle and the Stormlight Archive. I'm in book 2 of the Mistborn series and it's enjoyable but not as good as the previous. Where should I go next? Needs to be on Audible (I have a 2 hr commute every day).
In preparation for our upcoming trip, I want to immerse myself in delicious fiction set in Scotland. [more inside]
Horrors, psychological thrillers, mysteries, etc. Please no vampires, werewolves, or high fantasy, but mega points for ghosts and hauntings!! [more inside]
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]
What is the best fiction that accurately portrays the thoughts and lives of teenagers or young adults in 2014? [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]
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 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]
Thanks to MeFi, I recently read Benjamin Rosenbaum's short story "Feature Development for Social Networking" - please recommend me some other high quality horror / supernatural fiction in which the Web plays a central role.
I want your book recommendations. I have just finished watching the first season of The Americans, a TV series about two Russian spies who live as an American couple with two children during the Cold War, and was surprised that I loved it a lot. I want more of that, but I don't usually love this kind of tv series. So I thought, instead of looking for other tv shows like this, I could try to find some books that I like. [more inside]
When I read the Earth's Children series (Clan of the Cave Bear and its sequels), the aspect I enjoyed the most was the detailed descriptions of how the people did things back then (hunting, foraging, skinning, toolmaking, shelter building, etc.). While how-to books abound, I enjoy the fiction or narrative nonfiction format more. Any recommendations? Thanks!
Can you recommend novels, short stories or even biographies that might help me overcome my fear, distrust and occasional feelings of downright hatred towards men? [more inside]
What are some good novels that have a high-concept speculative element in the background, but aren't quite about that? [more inside]
I'm sure this has been asked before, but searching the archives didn't help much. I'm an avid reader, but can't find any compelling new books to read. Feminist, sci-fi-ish books with a literary bent would be ideal. Detailed likes and dislikes inside! [more inside]
So two books I really love are Heaven to Betsy and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I love how they go into the details of the period they take place, particularly the fashion and food. It was also only recently I realised that they take place roughly around the same era. It really surprised me because they are so completely different to one another. Francie has an alcoholic father and the family can barely get food on the table; Betsy's biggest ordeal is falling in love with a boy that doesn't like her back and not studying for an essay contest. So my question is two-fold and is aimed at requesting book suggestions. [more inside]
I've always wanted to wind up with a large collection of books like my parents have. However, when I can find constantly updated information on the internet and I check out fiction from the library, I can rarely convince myself there's a good reason to actually BUY a book. What books should I be buying? Some snowflakes inside. [more inside]
I'm looking for examples from fiction of multiple conversations happening at once, between at least three different people. The more complex the conversation, the better. Better still if it's from a known author.
Looking for fantasy books hiding out in the non-genre section of the bookstore. [more inside]
I'm seeking audiobook recommendations for books that are escapist, engrossing, generally feel-good, and fast-paced (without being frightening). [more inside]
I am looking for recommendations of great dystopian novels, novellas, and short stories. Any length will do! [more inside]
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]
Seeking literary fiction with a transient, often solitary, female hero, please! [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]
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]
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]
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]