Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Novels are set in post-war Naples, and the Catholic Church shows up only peripherally, if at all. There is a wedding in the first novel, and the religious aspects of even this event are hardly acknowledged. Why might this be? [more inside]
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]
I have always been fond of writing poetry, but lately I seem to want to expand my writing craft towards short stories. I think the most notable clincher for writers to improve their overall craft is simply by reading voraciously; with an eclectic wide range of authors and literary works. What are some wonderful literary works, authors, playwrights, short stories, non-fiction, fantasy work, et cetera. Can you recommend for me? To further my own voice and writing craft. [more inside]
I recently enjoyed The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer and am searching for similar novels. By which I mean novels that are about people living their lives, and the growth and change that naturally happens as they do. Engaging, but not particularly dramatic. Difficulty level: reading that helps me fall asleep. A couple of snowflakes inside... [more inside]
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?
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]
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]
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]
[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]
My taste in novels has generally tended towards the classics but lately I feel like reading some good contemporary fiction. Please recommend some recent-ish books that are well-written and well-crafted, have emotional depth and deal with human relationships in insightful and moving ways. Kazuo Ishiguro is an example of the kind of writer I'm looking for. [more inside]
I've been tasked to find metasatirical horror novels: horror novels (or short stories, I suppose) that explore, criticize and parody their own genre tropes. What are the prose equivalents of The Cabin in the Woods and Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon?
I am looking for examples of authors who have used unconventional graphical conventions in their work, published in traditional dead-tree form (books, magazines etc.). Excluding graphic novels, comics etc. Obvious example would be e.e. cummings using lower case; perhaps other poets who use text unconventionally. but novels? There's the big S at the start of Joyce's Ulysses. But what authors have exploited the graphical possibilities of the printed medium in an extensive way? thanks.
What are some great (somewhat) recently released novels/books/memoirs with queer/LGBTQ themes or characters? [more inside]
What are the great novels of Detroit? All genres welcome, but latter half of the 20th century preferred. Thanks!
Are there any good novels that use Greek trade in or around the 6th c. BC as a way of exploring ancient cultures?
Are there any good novels that use Greek trade in or around the 6th c. BC as a way of exploring ancient cultures? Also, how far did Greeks travel during that time? Did they make into India? To the British Isles?
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]
Have any recommendations for post-Cold War spy/espionage novels? [more inside]
I entered graduate school in literature six years ago, and since then I feel like I've lost track what's happening in contemporary literature. Help me catch up: What are the essential works of the last six years?
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]
I'm looking for good intermediate-level German novels. In German, that is. [more inside]
I'm up for tackling some big all-time classics, especially Don Quixote and War and Peace, and I'm wondering which translations to get. [more inside]
Help me prove my friend wrong. What are some works of fiction (novels, short stories, even poetry) written by women, but from the first-person point of view of a male character? [more inside]
What indie/experimental/small-press/"weird" novels set in Los Angeles would you recommend for an "Alternative L.A. Literature" list? [more inside]
Can you recommend great fiction about cities and the urban experience? [more inside]
What are some novels in which the plot primarily revolves around a marriage? [more inside]
All great libraries have books in them, but how many great books have libraries in them? I just finished reading "Big Machine" by Victor Lavalle, and am currently reading "Kafka on the Shore" by Haruki Murakami (yes, finally!), and it's purely coincidental, but they both happen to feature libraries prominently. So now I'd like to know what other really good novels feature libraries in a significant way. [more inside]
Midwestern Urban Fiction: Great novels that exemplify the industrialized cities of the U.S. Midwest?
Midwestern Urban Fiction: What are the great novels that exemplify or characterize (as opposed to "are set in") any of the industrialized cities of the U.S. Midwest (St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit, the Twin Cities, etc.)? [more inside]
Please recommend mystery/thriller novels with incredibly complex plots. [more inside]
Book-recommendation-filter: help me choose a book to get for my dad for Christmas. [more inside]
I am looking for recommendations for a sequence of novels that might lead an adult fan of very trashy action to the real gold. [more inside]
Can you recommend American female novelists who've had their debut novels published within the last 3 years or so?
Can you recommend American female novelists who've had their debut novels published within the last 3 years or so?
What are some or how can one best find science-fiction novels that are good by general literary standards? [more inside]
Recommendations for erotica [more inside]
My uncle recently mentioned to me that he's never read any book written by a woman. Apparently this is because he doesn't think they'll be any good - he seems to think women can only write romance novels. I find this both horrific and hard to believe, but he seemed serious. So, Hive Mind, I need your help in drafting a list of the very best books written by female authors. Help me teach him the error of his ways! [more inside]
Apparently I'm a fan of graphic novels now, but I don't even know where to start. I love (LOVE!) Preacher; I liked Watchmen. What should I read next? [more inside]
Seeking relatively well-known, canon-caliber fictional accounts of imaginary encounters between actual, historically significant figures -- especially encounters that could well have taken place, but which we know did not or remain undocumented. Philip Levine's poem "On the Meeting of Garcia Lorca and Hart Crane" typifies what I'm looking for. Mark Twain's _A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court_ does not (respectable evidence out there of a historical Arthur notwithstanding). The literary field is rife with examples, I know -- say, some novel casting Charles Lindbergh and Adolf Hitler into a tete-a-tete. But, ack, I'm drawing a blank. [more inside]
How does one sell a (mystery) novel? [more inside]
Robinson Crusoe was originally published without reference to Defoe, seemingly pretending to be a genuine account (see the original opening page). Would the readers of that first edition have genuinely thought the story was true? How many early novels relied on this kind of blurring between reality and fiction? Was this an important element accounting for the initial success of the novel form? As a side note, does anybody know of any good and accessible written histories of the novel format?
Why do publishers slap on "A Novel" to the titles and/or covers of, well, novels? [more inside]
What are some reasonably well-known, preferably famous, examples of novels with evil first-person narrators? All that's coming to mind is Humbert Humbert, but he's too aware of his own nastiness for my purposes. I need novels where the undiluted dastardliness of the first-person narrator affects the entire moral framework of the story, so that you might be forgiven for suspecting that the author actually sides with this monster. Cheers!
ProseFilter: Nabokov's Lolita was once hailed as "a love letter to the English language." I'm looking for modern and contemporary authors with similar aspirations. [more inside]
Help balance my male dominated library. Looking for authors that happen to be female and great reads (either literature or very good genre). Specifics inside. [more inside]
Looking for the name of a sci-fi book. Man is injected with a serum that causes him to shrink forever, eventually discovering there are universes smaller than atoms. [more inside]
Why do/did certain old novels censor names of towns/shires/boroughs? [more inside]
What novels are on the middle school syllabus these days? or What novels should be on the middle school syllabus? [more inside]
I loved fairy tales as a child, and now that I am (nominally) a grownup, I love the "retellings" of fairytales — the fleshed-out versions which, for example, feature actual character development instead of lines like "she was as beautiful as she was good". I love Robin McKinley's retellings of "Donkeyskin", "Sleeping Beauty" and "Beauty and the Beast" (which she did twice for good measure), and Gregory Maguire's surprisingly political Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. What other good grown-up fairytales are out there?
Please help me select a book as a present for my nephew. He's 19, and when I gave him a Chapters gift card for his high school graduation last spring, he used it to buy a complete set of Tom Clancy novels. Political espionage/intrigue/adventure has to be the genre I know the least about. If my nephew likes Tom Clancy's and Frederick Forsythe's works, what other books in the same genre would he enjoy?
Bookworm MeFites: I'm looking for novels, short stories, and plays by white authors where their non-white characters speak in a dialect. For instance, the slave Jim in Twain's Huckleberry Finn. [more inside]
I'm looking for the longest sentence in Proust's Remembrance of Things Past. [more inside]
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