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SF/Fantasy books with a 'big reveal'?

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]
posted by BlackLeotardFront on Apr 18, 2014 - 38 answers

 

Literature review hacks, please!

I'm in grad school and am writing a literature review as part of my capstone project. I have done a lot of initial research and have created awesome annotated bibliographies - it's just not enough, though. [more inside]
posted by WaspEnterprises on Apr 16, 2014 - 4 answers

Infamous bars from fantasy

Korova. Chalmun's. Venusville. Strangefellows. What other terrible bars exist in fiction, fantasy and literature?
posted by Jacen on Apr 14, 2014 - 50 answers

Modern Life is Magic

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]
posted by spacewaitress on Apr 10, 2014 - 18 answers

Does The Scarlet Letter belong to a literary genre?

Does The Scarlet Letter belong to a literary genre? How would publishers market the book today, and on what book shelf would you find it in the book store? Same question for The Brothers Karamazov. Could these stories, if they were told in a prose style indicative of the 21st c, find a publisher?
posted by jwhite1979 on Apr 9, 2014 - 12 answers

Name that children's picture book - a tailor traveled the world.

After reading a recommendation here for the utterly delightful Ms. Rumphius, I started thinking about kids books about travel that I used to enjoy. When I was a kid I loved a picture book about a kingdom where everyone had to wear black all the time because the prince or princess had died and the kingdom was in mourning, and an apprentice tailor traveled the world by boat and learned about clothing in different cultures and eventually came home and made beautiful colorful clothing for everyone in the kingdom and the sadness over the kingdom was lifted. I have searched and searched and can't remember anything more about it. Can anyone remember? It was a lovely book and I would like to share it with my daughter.
posted by n'muakolo on Mar 30, 2014 - 0 answers

The American SF "Canon"

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]
posted by gerryblog on Mar 23, 2014 - 67 answers

What's the deal with Albertine disparue?

Which articles or books, in English, detail the editorial challenges, contradictions, and ambiguities posed by the competing versions of Proust's Albertine disparue (The Fugitive/Albertine Gone)? [more inside]
posted by Houyhnhnm on Mar 18, 2014 - 1 answer

Name my Bible podcast

I'm thinking about starting up a podcast. It would be, for the most part, deep interpretations of Biblical texts from a critical but appreciative point of view. What should I call it? [more inside]
posted by Pater Aletheias on Mar 17, 2014 - 58 answers

(Very) short plays appropriate for highschool aged students?

I'm looking to find a few very short, preferably one-act, plays that are appropriate for students 14-18. Classics are OK, but I'm definitely more interested in stuff that's more contemporary (post-45?). [more inside]
posted by munyeca on Mar 9, 2014 - 16 answers

Probably not the right word, but "grace" in film and literature?

The movies and films I have in mind are: A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean, Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, and The Thin Red Line by Terrence Malick (though many of his films would count). The "technical" definition of grace is such that I'm not entirely sure that's an accurate description of what it is that I see that joins these movies together, but it is certainly something present or mentioned in all three. The things that stick out to me are things such as: forgiveness, that nature is perhaps closer to God(liness), that there is grace/beauty in life despite some of the bad things in it. Do you know of any films and books that might be considered related to my above group given what I've tried to describe?
posted by SollosQ on Mar 8, 2014 - 39 answers

Repository for literary interpretations?

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?
posted by shivohum on Mar 7, 2014 - 4 answers

Essential novels of the 20th-21st century

I know next to nothing about 20th and 21st century literature. What are some recommendations for "essential" novels that I can start with? [more inside]
posted by vanitas on Feb 21, 2014 - 52 answers

"Do you believe in miracles?"

Looking for recommendations on film and literature featuring ice hockey. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by sapien on Feb 10, 2014 - 12 answers

More dark thrillers by women?

Another ReadMe Question. Lately I've been really enjoying literary-leaning thrillers and mystery type books authored by women. Can you recommend some more? [more inside]
posted by Lutoslawski on Feb 5, 2014 - 52 answers

Major Depressive Disorder and Imaginative Fiction

I've been depressed for many years. It has sapped my creative powers. I've had enough. How can I live as a depressed person, but elevate above the limitations this has imposed on me in the past to escape into a writing practice that could create imaginative works of fiction? [more inside]
posted by samizdat on Feb 3, 2014 - 15 answers

The Origin of Cathy Ames

Is there any evidence that the character Cathy Ames in Steinbeck's East of Eden was based on a real person? [more inside]
posted by helloimjohnnycash on Feb 1, 2014 - 3 answers

Looking for interesting books about mundane topics.

Seeking suggestions for interesting, wide-ranging books on seemingly mundane or trivial topics. Help, hive mind! [more inside]
posted by Stacey on Jan 31, 2014 - 40 answers

Looking for film/lit examples of pre-destined relationships

There's a trope in literature/film where one character is pre-destined to have a particular relationship with another character (e.g., A and B will always fall in love). I'm looking for examples where this happens multiple times with the same characters. [more inside]
posted by eisenkr on Jan 24, 2014 - 41 answers

What's This Short Story, Part I?

I once read a short story about a kid in New York. I was exposed to it in one of my college courses on the short story form, so it wasn't something I randomly stumbled upon. It was the sort of story that would probably be taught to neophytes studying the form. I can't recall if it was in our Norton anthology (don't think so; I've checked through anthologies from that era) or a copy packet. The bare facts: Brooklyn kid, I think; lived in a Brownstone; at the age when it was time to make a decision about college or work; listened to a Giants (baseball) game on the radio; lazed about in his room thinking; went for a walk (maybe at night?) because he had a big decision to make; feels to me now like the sort of thing that would have been written in the 40s or 50s. I've been wanting to reread this story for 15 years. Finally got around to writing this out and seeking the assistance of Ask Metafilter. Can anyone help?
posted by samizdat on Jan 14, 2014 - 3 answers

How to Score Higher on a Close-Booked English Lit. Exam Under Pressure?

Want methods for memorization, time management, and other study tips... [more inside]
posted by lorn on Jan 10, 2014 - 11 answers

Modern creative types whose success came late?

What are examples, in the last 20 years, of musicians, artists, dancers, writers, and so on who labored long in obscurity and only achieved success, financial and otherwise, after the age of 40? And for those people, how did their success finally come about?
posted by shivohum on Jan 8, 2014 - 40 answers

Short-ish novel with psychologically diagnosable main character?

For an abnormal psych class I have to read a novel with a main character that has a DSM-5 diagnosable disorder and then diagnose them based on the book. One problem: all the good ones are probably already claimed. [more inside]
posted by MonsieurBon on Jan 8, 2014 - 68 answers

Literary crime fiction

What are some decent, non-idiotic, contemporary crime/mystery novels? [more inside]
posted by denika on Jan 8, 2014 - 45 answers

Please sort this French language reading list into a sensible order!

I have a small stack of French language more-or-less classic books to read. My French reading is okay but I need a dictionary frequently. My aims in reading them are to improve my reading knowledge of French and to reduce the number of books I have bought but not yet read. (And also to enjoy them in the usual way.) What is a sensible order to tackle these in so that the exotic-ness of the vocabulary, and any other sorts of language comprehension demands, rise progressively? [more inside]
posted by bertran on Jan 6, 2014 - 6 answers

What is the high brow literature of today?

What contemporary literature are academics discussing these days? Where is the literary avant-garde? [more inside]
posted by Hennimore on Jan 5, 2014 - 9 answers

In Search Of Post Time

I'm looking for an amazing 2014 wall calendar. [more inside]
posted by casarkos on Jan 3, 2014 - 8 answers

Books Like The Jungle?

What are some books, stories, or poems like Upton Sinclair's The Jungle? [more inside]
posted by Edna Million on Dec 30, 2013 - 9 answers

What book is similar to "Number the Stars" for my 9 year old?

My nine year old just read "Number the Stars" by Lois Lowry. It is her first introduction to really high quality historical fiction. She is excited to read more books that teach her about history, but are also fun to read because they are fiction. Do you have any ideas about historical fiction books that are excellent quality like "Number the Stars" but that are age appropriate for my nine year old? Thank you.
posted by lynnie-the-pooh on Dec 15, 2013 - 42 answers

Twee

I'm looking for recommendations for twee art. You can define this as broadly as you like, and if you want to include how you are defining the word, feel free. But I am looking for art that you actually like that is nonetheless decidedly twee. [more inside]
posted by Bunny Ultramod on Dec 12, 2013 - 48 answers

She was from *********

What's it called when authors put ****** in place of place names or character names? [more inside]
posted by dilaudid on Dec 5, 2013 - 13 answers

experts on portuguese literature senior academics preferably

can anyone direct me to some experts on either portuguese literary translation, portuguese literature or 19th century portuguese literary realism senior academics preferably or people with a PHD anywhere in the world who write in english? [more inside]
posted by sparkle55 on Nov 22, 2013 - 4 answers

Help me identify this short story based on my hazy memory, please.

I heard a story (fiction) on the radio a few years ago and I'd like to find out what it was called and who wrote it. It was most likely presented on the show "Selected Shorts" but I'm not certain about that. The story took place in a town where everything seemed normal except that a black shape appeared one day in the sky overhead. Slowly over time the black shape fills the sky until the horizon is covered. A married couple are at the center of the story - there's more about their relationship than this thing in the sky. I think the sky-thing is a metaphor for something unspoken that dominates our fears. The characters barely react to it's presence (I think.) Anyone out there know this story?
posted by cellura p on Nov 18, 2013 - 7 answers

O captain, fire of my loins!

What are some flattering address from classic literature? My two examples (and the extent of my list) are Walt Whitman's "O Captain! My captain!" and "...light of my life, fire of my loins!" from Lolita. Both are very fun things to call Mr. Grandysaur. BUT I WANT MORE. I'm looking for grandiose, recognizable, turns of phrase that I can use to address those that are worthy. The more ridiculous the better.
posted by Grandysaur on Nov 14, 2013 - 40 answers

Progressively Challenging Hindi Literature for the Novice Hindi Reader

I'm looking for Hindi books that progressively increase in difficulty. I'm a Hindi speaker that learned from my parents conversationally, but I have no grasp of the Devanagari script. I thought I could teach myself the script by rote, then work my way up through books of increasing difficulty similar to how I have read books in grade school in the USA. [more inside]
posted by brocrastinator on Nov 11, 2013 - 3 answers

Highfalutin' Genre Fiction

Give me your most well written genre fiction! [more inside]
posted by latkes on Nov 4, 2013 - 49 answers

High school literary magazines: What do I need to know?

I'm going to be doing on-site critiques of high school literary magazines at an upcoming conference. I've worked as a reader and editor for several literary journals; what do I need to know about high school publications? [more inside]
posted by roll truck roll on Oct 21, 2013 - 4 answers

Like Virginia Woolfe... But happier!

Bookfilter: Books that are beautifully written but funny, feel-good (at least at the end) and preferably with some female characters that are cool. [more inside]
posted by dinosaurprincess on Oct 18, 2013 - 22 answers

Recommend fiction featuring the decline of a global superpower, please!

What novels or short stories grapple with the decline of a superpower? I'm thinking waning-British-Empire stuff, primariy, but the decline of other global powerhouses is fine too. Must be fiction. Decline-of-Empire can either be primary to the plot or a backdrop against which other key aspects of the story unfold.
posted by croutonsupafreak on Oct 16, 2013 - 16 answers

Novels without protagonists

I'm looking for examples of novels without protagonists. See inside for details. [more inside]
posted by naju on Oct 16, 2013 - 31 answers

Please make this pregnant lady cry

Can you recommend me some fiction, comics, and movies that are parenting positive--especially mom-positive? [more inside]
posted by PhoBWanKenobi on Oct 14, 2013 - 39 answers

You know where you want to go, but you don't know for sure...

[Book filter] Please recommend stories about people who find out (through trail and error) what they really want, and eventually get there (after a bunch of detours). [more inside]
posted by fix on Oct 13, 2013 - 24 answers

¿Como se dice "space ship"?

I am re-re-re-embarking on my periodic quest to actually develop competent Spanish skills. (I'm Hispanic, it feels obligatory.) Something I've never had previously--books I actually wanted to read for fun that were not translated from English. So: Are there Spanish-language authors to look for who're writing science fiction and fantasy? Especially of the YA variety? [more inside]
posted by Sequence on Oct 13, 2013 - 11 answers

Can anybody identify this novel?

I'm trying to remember the name of a novel I read when I was in school. I believe it was Canadian, and the main character was a goodhearted but simpleminded, somewhat overweight female prostitute living in a small town. I also believe the title was her nickname; I thought it was "Sweetie," but that has proven to be incorrect.
posted by The Card Cheat on Oct 12, 2013 - 4 answers

Book recommendations for an 11-year-old girl available on Amazon.ca?

My niece celebrates her eleventh birthday soon. She loves to read. She lives in Canada; I live in the UK: for convenience’s sake I’d like to buy her books from Amazon.ca as a gift. Besides reading, her previous interests have included princesses, ballet and cupcakes—the latter leading me to order to some volumes from The Cupcake Diaries as last year’s gift. What’s new and cool in the world of books if you’re Canadian and eleven?
posted by misteraitch on Oct 2, 2013 - 8 answers

How can I improve my writing?

My writing tends to be very brief, and it's difficult for me to write long essays that are good. Also, I would like to start writing literary and cultural critiques and would like MeFites' advice. [more inside]
posted by myitkyina on Sep 28, 2013 - 11 answers

Seeking "Twist Ending" Story Anthologies

Can you guys recommend any short story anthologies whose theme is twist endings? The one requirement is that all of the stories must feature a twist ending -- so books like Guy de Maupassant or O. Henry collections, or even Twilight Zone anthologies, in which only many/most of the stories feature twist endings, are disqualified. I'm not sure whether such an anthology even exists, but I'd love to find out. Thanks for any recommendations!
posted by Mo' Money Moe Bandy on Sep 26, 2013 - 7 answers

Modern Greek or Roman fiction not centered on military or leaders?

Ancient Roman and Greek civilizations set my imagination ablaze, and while I've loved Homer's works right now I'm interested in works written in, say, the last century that take place in those times, or thereabouts. [more inside]
posted by gregoryg on Sep 24, 2013 - 25 answers

Help feed my Kindle! Books for a long time away

I've been in South America for six months and running out of books to lose myself in. I read a lot of big long books-do you know of some more? [more inside]
posted by lightgray on Sep 17, 2013 - 24 answers

[Book Recommendation Filter] A comprehensive history of Savile Row

I'm looking for book recommendations for thorough, engaging, and rigorous histories of Savile Row tailoring and/or books that talk about the history and philosophy of fine men's tailoring and dress. I'm not averse to books with technical information, as well as historical and cultural information. Thank you!
posted by moxie_milquetoast on Sep 15, 2013 - 4 answers

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