In search of novels, memoirs, and other literary works where physical ugliness (NOT beauty, primarily) is a major subject/theme. Thanks!
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]
Please can you recommend books similar to Bruno Schulz's, Isaac Babel's and Bulgakov's Master & Margarita? [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]
How can I read more about life in countries other than the USA? [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]
Someone recently told me that Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses and Tony Hillerman's Navajo Tribal Police mystery novels evoked a significantly New Mexico/Southwestern feeling to the point that these books helped them stave off homesickness when they were living elsewhere. What other novels and authors capture and portray a sense of place that makes you feel like you're back in a place that you remember? I know some authors are known for writing about certain settings, but which works really capture the place as felt by someone who lives or lived there?
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 is this short story I read sometime in the late 1990s? Plot involved two teenage girls in the 1960s, Beatlemania, and the terrifying truths of growing up. [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.
Next week, I am taking the Empire Builder from Chicago to Portland, Oregon. In a previous question about train travel, someone suggested reading books that take place along your train route. This is an idea I love ... and I have at least 47 hours to pass! So: what are your favorite (kindle) books which occur in Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, or Oregon? Bonus for rural themes. I am not a big mystery fan, but if it is particularly excellent, I'll read it. Romance is out. Otherwise, I'm open to anything!
I'm teaching an introductory course on prose fiction (reading, not writing). What fun post-1900 novel should I put on the syllabus? Should be intelligent, but needn't necessarily be, you know, Literary. [more inside]
I am looking for recommendations of great dystopian novels, novellas, and short stories. Any length will do! [more inside]
I want to cry my eyes out over a book. It's been a long time since I have and I need the catharsis. [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]
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?
What are some decent, non-idiotic, contemporary crime/mystery novels? [more inside]
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.
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?
Can you recommend me some fiction, comics, and movies that are parenting positive--especially mom-positive? [more inside]
I want to know about that favorite short story writer of yours that no one else has ever heard of. [more inside]
What are your favourite examples of building tension or suspense in literature? Ideally these are brief moments, single paragraphs or small scenes, compelling the reader to continue on, worried about what will follow. [more inside]
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]
For a project I'm currently working on as part of my graduation in Graphic Design, I wanted to compile something like an atlas of fictional cities. These may be from books, legends, stories, video games, advertisements, comics, really whatever... Even "real" cities but alternate versions, imagined or in some way deviate from their real counterpart are valid. [more inside]
I'm looking for recommendations for contemporary(ish) literary fiction written by folks who are not white men. [more inside]
Can MeFi help me track down these two stories? [more inside]
Seeking recommendations for fiction that features matriarchy / female led societies.
I like science fiction books that are placed in the general fiction section - but for me they are hard to find on Amazon or in libraries. Examples of these kinds of books are The Sparrow, The Yiddish Policemen's Union, Oryx and Crake, Cloud Atlas and The Dog Stars ... but I need more new stuff - any suggestions?
Simple enough question. I've never read any Elmore Leonard, and think I will give him a whirl. Where should I start?
How do you decide what books to read? Recommendations? Reviews? Go to the bookstore and read a chapter? I often find myself overwhelmed with the zillions of choices. How do you narrow it down?
I've been asked to put together a longish reading list for a BA Art/Literature module, and I'd love some ideas for texts outside my current knowledge. The list should cover a series of genres and contexts, with writing from, and about, the history and theory of art, journalism, academia, design, architecture and film. Writing on design and architecture are particularly outside my knowledge. What innovative and critically significant writings can you recommend across any of these subject areas? [more inside]
Recommendations for fiction about the rich and all their trappings, imposters within that world, or stories where the mighty fell and then rose again? [more inside]
Can you help me identify a 25+ year-old short story that describes someone unable to cross a city street? [more inside]
I looked at my bookshelf recently. Nearly every writer on there is dead and male. I should rectify this. Which books by women, living or dead, might I like? Details inside. [more inside]
Please help me find contemporary literary/fictional characters that make you want to love them, hate them, or -- even better -- both. [more inside]
What are the great novels of Detroit? All genres welcome, but latter half of the 20th century preferred. Thanks!
I am looking for any information about a triangle-shaped literary magazine that was published in Northampton, MA in the 1980s. [more inside]
Akashic Books Noir Series. Which are your favorites? Each book is an anthology of original short stories. It looks like they've published over fifty volumes. I find they differ greatly in style and overall quality of writing. It makes sense... each anthology has its own editor. I'd like to read the volumes that have the best quality writing, and are the most fun. Here's what I've read so far, in most favored order: [more inside]
Help one of my colleagues identify a short story (we think) for a patron! [more inside]
I'm looking for more fiction that features detailed or frequent mentions of food. For example Iris Murdoch's The Sea, the Sea with its talk of "fresh hot buttered toast, with or without the addition of bloater paste". Bonus points if they're set in the UK, but I'd love any suggestions!
Looking for novels with first-person narrators, in the style of Conrad's Heart of Darkness (specifically Marlow), E.L. Doctorow's Homer & Langley, Sandor Marai's Embers, etc. [more inside]
Recommend good short stories for starting moral or ethical debates! [more inside]
Building on this FPP, I'd like to start writing fiction about multiple internet identities. Is anyone else wrting about this?
What are some comics, novels or non-fiction with a similar sense of humor and adventure to the new John Rogers-penned Dungeons and Dragons comic being put out by IDW? (Sample inside.) [more inside]
I'd like to broaden my reading in Spanish, and would like recommendations for books, originally written in Spanish, which are canonical enough to have been on Spanish or Latin American high school reading lists, or canonical enough that someone educated in Spain or Latin America might assume familiarity. [more inside]
Looking for book recommendations. I enjoy novels where characters deal with some type of mystery from the past. Can be historical fiction (like People of the Book or Possession) or entirely fictional. [more inside]
I'm looking for a realistic political novel that's not a spy thriller. [more inside]
Ask whether the universe of the story recognizes the existence of persons. Is this distinction between SF and Fantasy original with Ted Chiang? Can you think of any counter-examples that don't fit? [more inside]
What-was-that-book-filter: 70's or 80's (?) heist (?) novel that involved shutting down L.A. by closing a couple of freeways and the central telephone switching system. [more inside]