I want to read journals and letters by people in their fifties and sixties. It could be anyone, anywhere, any century. I prefer good writing, and some levity. Most of all I'm looking for a sense of personality, text that brings the writer to life. The writer in his/her late middle age has lived several decades. They are settled in themselves, yet they still struggle. They look forward to years ahead, and they ponder mortality. What do they have to say? [more inside]
Or failing that, academic papers or blogs where I can try to figure out his literary references? [more inside]
I'm looking for horror recommendations (defined as broadly as you wish). I'd like books with a deeper resonance, the kind you keep thinking about after you finish, but books that make you feel as well. My favorite writers are Shirley Jackson, Peter Straub, Caitlin R. Kiernan; I don't care as much for Lovecraft and the more cosmic stuff. Ideally this would be a book you would describe as being emotionally moving or compassionate as well as creepy. The further off the beaten path, the better.
Can you identify this (possibly Borges) short story? Years ago I read a story that I'd like to read again, if only I could find it. It went something like this: A detective is pursuing a murderer . . . [more inside]
I'm an enthusiastic reader, across pretty broad boundaries; literary fiction is probably my favorite, but I also enjoy good sci-fi/speculative fiction, mysteries and thrillers as well as quite of bit of non-fiction, including history, science and true crime. What I've never been able to manage though, is to even read, let alone enjoy poetry. [more inside]
I'm interested in catching up with the latest developments in the evolution of the mystery novel. What should I read? [more inside]
What are some great quotes, poems, or literary excerpts about being an outsider, a constant traveler, or a countryless foreigner?
I'm looking for examples of archaeology of the present day, and/or of the ruins of the modern world, from the perspective of the future, as expressed in fiction or film. These could be major plot points, recurrent themes, or merely passing references. [more inside]
Yesterday, I ran across the proverb "Great cry and little wool, as the devil said when he sheared the hogs," along with the explanation that this came from "an old mystery play, David and Abigail, based on 1 Samuel." Where/when was this mystery play performed, and is its text available? [more inside]
I recently enjoyed The Builders by Daniel Polansky immensely. I also enjoy other books about anthropomorphised or semi-anthropomorphised animals in a medieval, heroic or fantasy setting like the Duncton Wood books and (to a lesser extent) Redwall. It's so much fun! Any recommendations for similar books in this genre? [more inside]
I'm going nuts trying to remember which piece of classic literature/famous book cover uses Lydian: https://www.myfonts.com/fonts/mti/lydian-mt/pro/ [more inside]
Looking for comic title for non-reading young girl with strong visual narrative. [more inside]
Please help me find writing and art about feeling or being invisible to the world. [more inside]
What are some excellent annotated versions of already excellent books? [more inside]
It could be a novel, a non-fiction book, a diary, poem or play. Bonus question: how about the weirdest book from other global literary traditions?
I would like to broaden her mind a little and give her a selection of comics to see which she likes best and see if she takes to reading as a life habit. [more inside]
I'm looking for an essay I read in a collection of critical essays on the origins of literary genres - its thesis was that since the gothic tradition often reversed or undermined mainstream Victorian ideals, it could be seen as a sublimated response to colonial guilt that couldn't be expressed in public. The argument tied it into the practice of keeping looted Egyptian mummies in parlors and the first sprouts of Gothic arriving from the idea of something old and dead and foreign in your home that might be out for revenge. Ring any bells?
Looking for short novels composed of fragments, vignettes, etc. Examples: Michael Ondaatje's The Collected Works of Billy the Kid, Elizabeth Hardwick's Sleepless Nights, Danielle Dutton's Margaret the First. [more inside]
What poems / readings would you recommend for a 50th Anniversary? My parents have been having health issues so I would prefer to avoid the usual "ha ha you're falling apart" joke poems about pills and getting infirm. They are somewhat stoic but have a good sense of humor.
In search of novels, memoirs, and other literary works where physical ugliness (NOT beauty, primarily) is a major subject/theme. Thanks!
In the first chapter of Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep, Marlowe says "I'm thirty-three years old, went to college once and can still speak English if there's any demand for it. There isn't much in my trade." What does he mean by that? [more inside]
What are the most interestingly designed children's books? I am wanting to find ones with holes in the pages, unusual bindings, strange covers, textures inside, or simply unusual illustrations. Any advice?
Hey Brilliants, I hope you are all enjoying the beginning of spring! I am researching a new project on secession and am looking for examples in literature, film, tv, etc. of stories that are about a US state or city trying to secede from the union. I'm somewhat aware of Texas' ability to secede but am wondering if anyone has written anything about what would happen if another state or city tried to secede. Thanks so much :) [more inside]
I remember reading a short story some time ago, about a little girl who was (I think?) trapped in an invisible labyrinth, and had a salamander (possibly two?) that were her companions. The salamander(s) always had to be moving or they would die/turn to stone. Eventually one (or both) saves the girl, sacrificing himself in the process. Where can I find this story?
I have a faint recollection of reading an essay by C. S. Lewis, in which he discusses reading poetry, and suggests moving one's lips while reading. Does this ring any bells? [more inside]
I'm trying to remember the author and title of a story (at least, I think it's a story). All I really remember is a parent, I think a dad but I could be wrong, sitting in traffic on a bridge. I believe there are at least two kids in the car, and there might be some kind of accident or disaster ongoing or impending, hence the traffic. Possibly earthquake related because I think it's in the Bay Area? I'm pretty sure it's the Golden Gate bridge? But it might just be a generic/elsewhere bridge and I made it the Golden Gate in my mind. It could also be an opening/early scene in a novel? But I feel pretty sure about the short story part, at least. I wish I remembered more, but I know this exists and it's driving me crazy. Short story with parent(s) in car with kid(s) on bridge, possibly set in the Bay Area: ringing any bells?
Are there any book reviewers out there who have great reputations as book reviewers? [more inside]
Looking for fiction, lyric essays, poetry, or theoretical texts that discuss emotional and verbal abuse in romantic relationships. Interested in both fiction and non-fiction, but not interested in self-help, psychology, life coach-y type lit, nor YA novels. [more inside]
[Book recommendation filter] Must be literary. Must be wildly absorbing. Ensemble casts of characters preferred but not required. The longer, the better. Did it sweep YOU off your feet? Tell me about it! [more inside]
I am casually aware of the idea that some people experience some works of narrative fiction by identifying with the protagonist of the story, and by experiencing the protagonist's story as if it were their own. What is the formal name or definition of this idea, and what are some canonical writings about it? [more inside]
You'd think Google would be best for this, but help me out: I have pieces of writing that I would like to share online (non fiction, poetry, short stories, etc.). I have joined various post-your-stuff sites, but I find most of them to be full of teens (which is great! Seems like the kids these days are just cranking stuff out...) posting teen type writing or fan fiction. I'm talking about Wattpad and similar sites. Do you know of any good writer's sites with a social/interactive element (ratings, following, etc.) that have a more mature/literary bent? Thanks! Happy new Year
I am thinking about starting my morning radio show with a very brief "thought for the day," as I have about 20 seconds to fill each morning. Looking for both individual ideas, and sites. More details inside. [more inside]
I'm trying to remember a poem I read in my British Authors class, which, I believe, was written in the first person (maybe even epistolary). It was about a White British hunter somewhere in Colonial East Africa (I believe it was in Kenya?), and I think he was hunting lions, but also metaphorically it was about love... [more inside]
I am trying to remember a series of books I read as a child, as I want to buy some of them for my niece. Can anyone help me find this supernatural, colonial themed book series? [more inside]
Can anybody give me some examples of characters in film, television, or literature who incidentally have an illness or disability (i.e., their illness or disability does not somehow become a central plot device)? [more inside]
A long time ago, on another forum, someone wrote a quote that came from Pride & Prejudice, or some other work by Jane Austen. The quote criticized women who put down other women in an attempt to appeal to men. [more inside]
Hi My nephew is 5, starting school in 2016 January (southern hemisphere semester.) He reads above the average for his age, and his interests vary greatly week to week. Neither of his parents, or Grandparents or extended family have any interest in Mythology or literature at all. He does have some though. He grasps the narrative structures of cartoons and TV shows he likes. He also really enjoys books of classic Fairy Tales like Grimm and Aesop, told for children. He seems like he is ready for Roald Dahhl... [more inside]
I have always held a deep love and excitement for the Southern Gothic literary tradition and its sundry themes. But I've long ago exhausted the likes of Flannery O'Connor, William Faulkner, Cormac McCarthy and most of the well known folks in between. I'm looking for more obscure or unexpected works, like Fred Chappell's "Dagon". Books as well as films. Does not have to be "traditional" Southern Gothic (see below fold). The more psychologically unsettling, the better. [more inside]
Hi Brilliants! Can anyone point me in the direction of a novel, article, documentary, film, tv show, etc. that is about Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners or S.A.N.E. nurses? I am doing research for a written piece. I'm mostly interested in what their lifestyle is like, any challenges they face, etc. Thanks so much for your help!
I'm a newly recovering addict, and I just did something stupid- left inpatient rehab 5 days into the program- for a fairly good reason: Patients at this particular institution aren't allowed to READ "non-recovery-related material" during free time. Good news in, I'm going back tomorrow- but not before a trip to the discount bookstore to pick up any and all readable "recovery-related material" I can put my hands on. Problem: This is not a genre with which I am familiar. Help? [more inside]
Looking for poetry that is warm, thoughtful, deceptively plainspoken, esp. if very rooted in place? Examples: poets like Naomi Shihab Nye, Ellen Bass, Wendell Berry, William Stafford, Hayden Carruth [more inside]
I’m looking for recommendations for conventional short stories that are reasonably easy to read and have some literary merit. When I say “conventional”, I mean stories that have a distinct plot, with recognizable characters, and some kind of clear resolution at the end. [more inside]
I'm hosting my bookclub's discussion of Under the Skin and per tradition providing dinner inspired by the food themes of the book. I'm looking for suggestions about what food to use to represent various comestibles mentioned in the text. [more inside]
The single appearance of the footprint in Daniel Defoe's 1719 novel, Robinson Crusoe, is perhaps one of the most famous events in all of literature. I am interested in who has referenced it, and for what ends, especially in critical theory. I also wonder whether Michel Foucault's famous closing lines to 'The Order of Things' is a subtle reference to the appearance of that footprint? Can other allusions to 'the figure of man' and marks in the sand be traced back to Defoe's novel?
How do I get a good grounding in the study of literature while not a full-time student? What resources (Great Courses, books, textbooks, seminars, courses, etc.) would help? The purpose is to add depth, symbolism, and allusion to my own writing. [more inside]
Please can you recommend books similar to Bruno Schulz's, Isaac Babel's and Bulgakov's Master & Margarita? [more inside]
My Search-Fu is utterly failing me. Where did I read the line (paraphrased): "He was like a tennis player who mistakes his best game for his everyday game [or natural level or basic capability]". I want to say it was in a novel by a female author,: Lessing, Christie or Woolf maybe? I might be completely wrong. Fairly sure the narrator's voice was female. Can anyone help?
In Per Petterson's great novel, Out Stealing Horses, there is a moment when baby animals appear outside a home. The English translation that is current calls them "fauns". This disturbs me and I have read and re-read the passage to determine if we are talking about "fawns" which would make sense, or goat-footed children, which would be something different. Although others have noted this translation difficulty, no major critic seems to take notice. So, I want to know: "fauns" or "fawns"? [more inside]
I'm looking for books that capture the feel, culturally, politically, and/or otherwise, of the 1990's in America. Can y'all help me out?
Can anyone recommend a good historical examination of literary and performed works throughout all of human history that stood out from their contemporaries for containing exceptionally violent/disturbing imagery, even for their own time? (more 'recent' examples being Titus Andronicus, the various Penny Dreadfuls, de Sade, Milton, etc) [more inside]