Seeking suggestions for interesting, wide-ranging books on seemingly mundane or trivial topics. Help, hive mind! [more inside]
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]
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?
Want methods for memorization, time management, and other study tips... [more inside]
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?
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]
What are some decent, non-idiotic, contemporary crime/mystery novels? [more inside]
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]
What contemporary literature are academics discussing these days? Where is the literary avant-garde? [more inside]
I'm looking for an amazing 2014 wall calendar. [more inside]
What are some books, stories, or poems like Upton Sinclair's The Jungle? [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'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]
What's it called when authors put ****** in place of place names or character names? [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?
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.
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]
Give me your most well written genre fiction! [more inside]
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]
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]
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.
I'm looking for examples of novels without protagonists. See inside for details. [more inside]
Can you recommend me some fiction, comics, and movies that are parenting positive--especially mom-positive? [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]
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]
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]
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!
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]
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]
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!
I want to know about that favorite short story writer of yours that no one else has ever heard of. [more inside]
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.
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]
Recently, I purchased a complete set of Balzac's Human Comedy for my Kindle. At roughly the same price as my morning coffee. Balzac was a infamously productive writer. So I'm asking for some recommendations to help me navigate this hyoooge corpus. [more inside]
Can you name some instances, in literature and film, in which the magical negro trope is turned on its head? [more inside]
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)
So I remember reading this short story once. It was about the pope and he had some kind of an infected toe. And it made him ornery and unforgiving. And then at some point the toe bursts, he feels better, it bloodies his slipper (which he doesn't change) and then he just starts forgiving everyone and everything. Does this ring any bells for anyone?
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!
That's really the only string I can grab at it "Three then four, then many more" or maybe
Can you name this Soviet writer? [more inside]
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!
I'm trying to identify an English-language book by its cover as seen in a photo of my friend taken in 1970 when she was a year old. The original image is hard to make out, but I inverted it and made it black and white. Does anyone recognize it? [more inside]
What are some great articles, websites, discussion forums, magazines, or books that would orient me to the state of the modern poetry and poetics -- the different artistic schools of thought, the competing aesthetic theories, what's considered avant garde, the culture, the gossip, the key small presses and publications, the place of MFA programs in it, and so on? Positive views, critiques, objective commentary -- all of it would be welcome.
I'm on a "read all the classics" quest and trying to figure out the best translations into English. Blog recommendations would be awesome! [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]