338 posts tagged with literature and books.
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Looking For Short, Fun and Smart Fiction

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]
posted by kbbbo on Jun 17, 2015 - 24 answers

What are some works of SFF that use extraordinarily beautiful language?

What are some works of SFF that showcase beautiful language on a par with All The King's Men, Gilead, and Raymond Chandler's detective novels? I've read plenty of SFF that has transported me, but little that's struck me as gorgeously written. Thanks!
posted by Going To Maine on May 24, 2015 - 32 answers

Childhood Reading - Making Up for Lost Time

Help me experience the reading I missed out on as a child. [more inside]
posted by xenization on May 20, 2015 - 60 answers

Recommend books on enchancing poetry and short story craftmanship?

I'm trying to find some valuable works of advice to improve my craftsmanship on writing poetry and short stories. If you can recommend any advice books, poetry, novels, and short stories that can help contribute to better writing in the genre of: science fiction, southern Gothic literature, classic literature, modernism, and modern ligature works, that would be most appreciated. [more inside]
posted by RearWindow on May 19, 2015 - 3 answers

Books about magazines?

There are a lot of books about the New Yorker (Gone: The Last Days of the New Yorker; Remembering Mr. Shawn's New Yorker; Here but Not Here; About Town: The New Yorker and the World It Made). What behind-the-scenes, inside baseball books are there about New York , the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, the NY Review of Books, Texas Monthly, The Atlantic, and other prominent feature-oriented magazines?
posted by Dr. Send on Apr 19, 2015 - 5 answers

Books and audiobooks with creole?

This may be a longshot question, but I am looking for books (and ideally audiobooks) with extensive and well-done use of English creole (eg Jamaican Patois, Sierra Leonian Krio, Gullah, etc) or Spanglish, as well as Haitian Creole, though I don't really speak it, and I'm open to other linguistic options. [more inside]
posted by Dip Flash on Feb 23, 2015 - 5 answers

Book Recommendations, Please!

Please help me find some new reading material! [more inside]
posted by I_love_the_rain on Feb 19, 2015 - 11 answers

Smart books, 10 minutes at a time?

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!
posted by Ausamor on Jan 1, 2015 - 31 answers

Take me armchair traveling: your favorite works of travel writing?

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]
posted by nightrecordings on Dec 28, 2014 - 36 answers

Looking for volunteer "proofreaders" (proof listeners?) for an audiobook

Mr. Sixswitch is an award-winning Canadian author. He's worked with a professional audiobook producer to create an audiobook version of his first book. But neither of us ever listen to audiobooks, so we're looking for test listeners. Can you suggest places to find interested people online? Or if you'd be interested, let me know in the thread or by MeMail?
posted by sixswitch on Nov 10, 2014 - 8 answers

WANTED: Excellent, yet easy reads

I'm going to start by admitting that my interest in reading went from avid bookworm to "I don't even want to read this considerably lengthy text message." That being said, I'm about ready to jump back into literature. So where do I start? [more inside]
posted by ourt on Nov 7, 2014 - 44 answers

Books That Reuse Text From Other Books

What books reuse all or part of the text of another book? I'm looking for works like Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, or A Humument, or F***ing Frankenstein, where large chunks of text are transformed but are still recognizable from the original. I am not looking for books like Wicked or The Wind Done Gone, where the story or characters are used but text is entirely original. [more inside]
posted by yankeefog on Oct 17, 2014 - 18 answers

Narratives - Neuroscience and psychology

What are good layman-level books and articles on how the brain interprets narratives (books, television, or any other form of story)? [more inside]
posted by rebooter on Sep 19, 2014 - 5 answers

Finding a great translation of a foreign book

When there are a lot of editions of a foreign book available, how do you go about finding and choosing a good translation? [more inside]
posted by spbmp on Aug 24, 2014 - 5 answers

Aging in literature and film

As I approach my fifties and confront the reality that parts of my body are wearing out and will never be young and resilient again, I turn to the arts for deeper philosophical understanding of this aspect of the human condition that I am facing. I'd like recommendations of fictional treatments of physical aging which are realistic but compassionate. Guidelines and caveats behind the fold. [more inside]
posted by matildaben on Aug 13, 2014 - 25 answers

Bibliotherapy for misandry?

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]
posted by anonymous on Aug 6, 2014 - 26 answers

Need examples of overlapping conversations from fiction

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.
posted by asher on Jul 16, 2014 - 21 answers

Lady-friendly sci-fi recommendations?

After getting really into Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series, I'm looking for similar reading material. Can y'all recommend other sci-fi novels featuring a predominantly female cast?
posted by schooley on Jul 10, 2014 - 22 answers

Half-remembered fairytale

The library of my childhood had a book of fairy tales which I remember fondly but not in very much detail. I remember only one of the stories - perhaps it will ring a bell with someone? [more inside]
posted by Wolfdog on Jun 27, 2014 - 5 answers

Opinionated history books?

I love conversing with people who know history and are sparkling, highly opinionated storytellers. Often these are foreigners or emigrants speaking about their country. They're unafraid to draw sharp, outspoken conclusions that frame major situations (e.g. that some leader was an incompetent fool or that an accident of geography is what will ensure conflict between two groups continues). What are some book equivalents of that conversational experience? They can be on any period or region. I do not want a magisterial treatise. I want a keen-eyed, slicing talk with someone really well-informed and cynical over several drinks who's gonna say what's what.
posted by shivohum on May 22, 2014 - 14 answers

It was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen.

I am looking for recommendations of great dystopian novels, novellas, and short stories. Any length will do! [more inside]
posted by SkylitDrawl on May 22, 2014 - 39 answers

Help me build a diaspora/immigrant experience lifetime to-read list

After finishing Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's "Americanah," and thinking about how I loved Zadie Smith's "White Teeth," and Hanif Kureishi's "Buddha of Suburbia," I'm finding I want to read more immigration/diaspora/post-colonial literature. Please help me build a lifetime reading list. All geographies welcome. I am very deliberately trying to read more women authors in 2014 and beyond, too.
posted by mostly vowels on May 17, 2014 - 15 answers

Female wanderers wanted!

Seeking literary fiction with a transient, often solitary, female hero, please! [more inside]
posted by Isingthebodyelectric on Apr 30, 2014 - 40 answers

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 - 43 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

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 - 68 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

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

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 - 41 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 - 46 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

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

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

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

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

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

TV in novels?

What novels and short stories do a good job of depicting television? Mostly I'm interested in characters watching TV, but I'll also accept answers like 1984—where (a slightly different version of) TV plays a major role in the plot.
posted by Hoenikker on Sep 8, 2013 - 23 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

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

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

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

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

A children's book about gender change

The book I'm looking for is one I remember reading in my childhood. It had a boy as a protagonist. It was similar to The Wizard of Oz in that the boy was travelling with friends through a magical realm to free it from some kind of oppressive rule. And when the boy arrived to the happy ending (which I think took place in the royal palace) it was revealed that actually he's not a boy - he's a girl. A princess, to be exact. And a rightful ruler of the realm. Which came as quite a shock to him/her. I must have been less than 10 years old when I read it, which places the book in the 1970s. Did I imagine it or does it really exist? (it is possible that I mixed it up with The Wizard of Oz, although I think I've read it later).
posted by hat_eater on Jul 11, 2013 - 7 answers

if i liked the movie l'avventura, what books will i like?

i really like the slow/subtle treatment of ennui/cultureshock/different manifestations of love/and the engaging "nonplot"
posted by sawyerrrr on Jun 25, 2013 - 8 answers

Publishing options for a collection of literary short fiction

I'm nearing completion of a book of very short stories that riff in various ways on the 'joke' form. The pieces are 1-2 pages. I want to publish this book. I'm not sure the best way. [more inside]
posted by skwt on May 27, 2013 - 4 answers

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