These days it seems every second novel has a title that is suffixed with the phrase "A Novel". What was the first novel to start this, why has it become so widespread, and does anybody have stats on how prevalent it is?
I've started reading the the entirety of Richard Stark's Parker series, and I can't help noticing that the ages of cars are always mentioned. It's never just a Pontiac, it's a "two year old Pontiac." Or, "The Cadillac was four years old." Did cars in the '60s have ridiculously short life spans? What's the deal?
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]
Where can I find the previously shortlisted nominees for the Nobel Prize for Literature? [more inside]
What European language should I learn for the purpose of higher studies, work, and extensive travelling in Europe? I am a bibliophile, cinephile, and love songs with good and meaningful lyrics. Till now I've been enjoying all these, I mean the ones from Europe, in the form of translations and with the help of subtitles. (I write too; not to publish but it's very important to me). [more inside]
I'm trying to remember a short story I read years ago, in school probably, about alien archaeologists examining the only remains of earth after glaciers killed the last humans. [more inside]
This quote is all over the internet with conflicting attributions. Can you help me identify the original source? "You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving..." [more inside]
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]
My lovely wife and I are traveling to Peru in early September. We're looking for novels and stories (maybe poetry too?) that will give us a feel for what things are like there. [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 teaching high school-level English next year for students who need a high level of academic support and I want the class to be both highly engaging and content-rich. If you were a kid who LOATHED writing for school, struggled with boring English classes, or can remember what elements you truly enjoyed in your high school English class, what advice would you pass my way? [more inside]
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!
You often hear people say things like "When in Rome" or "Great Minds" when people are generally meaning, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." or "Great minds think alike." Is there an actual literary term for these clipped or shortened idioms?
I have an odd job interview coming up. I need advise on a children's book to read to a grown up audience and a two minute poem or "fun" monologue to recite. I think it'd be best if these related to the joy of learning or science. For the book, I might just read part of "Corduroy" because its beautiful and sweet, but what about the other requirement? [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?
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]
Looking for recommendations on film and literature featuring ice hockey. Details inside. [more inside]
Seeking suggestions for interesting, wide-ranging books on seemingly mundane or trivial topics. Help, hive mind! [more inside]
What are some books, stories, or poems like Upton Sinclair's The Jungle? [more inside]
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]
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?
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.
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?
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]
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]
The kid reads. The kid writes. There's got to be a better way. [more inside]
me my friend that she finally got a copy of To Be Or Not To Be the other day -- and her tween who is wicked witty and wants to read more Shakespeare is going to be stuck for a couple of hours for then next few weeks during "homework time" doing nothing and required to remain quiet.
Is this tweenish friendly? [more inside]
I very much like the sentiment of this quotation, which an acquaintance informs me is an ancient Chinese proverb. But I'd appreciate any thoughts on its actual provenance, especially because I have no idea whether this statement (or something like it) is an ancient Chinese proverb or not. "The faintest stroke of ink in a record-book is more illuminating than the most vividly-recalled memory." Thanks for any suggestions!
It's driving me crazy - the book was about fishing/fisherman and featured dark linocut illustrations. I think the cover was blue and black. My recollection is that the tone of the book was sad. This was in Canada, early 1970s, if it matters. Help!
Can you name this Soviet writer? [more inside]
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]
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).
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]
Can MeFi help me track down these two stories? [more inside]
Where is this mystical land where it is acceptable to answer statements with: "So?" [more inside]
I was linked a book some time ago via twitter, but that account is now gone and with it went the link. Things I remember: Pretty sure it was called "Daylight" (maybe not that, but definitely a time word. daytime? morning?) Content: the text was just the entirety of a single day's New York Times transcribed The link went to the publisher, I recall seeing it on Amazon also. I believe published in the early 90s. 93ish? But still purchasable Currently going crazy trying to find it with such not-so-limiting search terms. My browser history doesn't go back far enough to find it there. Hoping someone familiar with it happens upon this, I guess.
I'm halfway through A Canticle for Leibowitz and am enjoying it so much that I'm doling it out slowly. It reminds me in a lot of ways of another favorite book The Name of the Rose. I'd love recommendations for books that have that combination of erudition and imagination/fantasy. [more inside]
Simple enough question. I've never read any Elmore Leonard, and think I will give him a whirl. Where should I start?
Another episode of Ask Metafilter, book-title detectives. [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]
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]
Examples of banquets/dinner parties gone horribly wrong? [more inside]
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.
TolkienFilter: What happened to the rings Sauron gave to the elves, dwarves, and men?
Recommend me up some short stories. Inside, I'll tell you what I likes and what I don't likes. [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]
What's the story where the guy talks to a bunch of dead people and then finds out he's dead? [more inside]
Need help identifying book. [more inside]