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]
I have wanted to ask this for a while, and finally have a second example to broaden the scope of my search enough to be hopeful for hits. I am looking for literature that depicts a particular relationship between two main characters. Details to follow: [more inside]
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]
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]
Looking for films and literature based on a theme of an older person discovering that many people younger than they are, are old themselves. Meta-theme: the meaning of aging.
I would like to read all of the best things about why the arts -- and in particular literature -- Matter(s). [more inside]
Children's book, of a wintery sort (I've been trying to remember the title for six months). I read it in the last 15 years. It involved a bored princess and someone that came and shook everything up - perhaps pied piper-ish? It involved juggling I think and the character's name was really important - I remember it as something like 'Hode'.
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).
i really like the slow/subtle treatment of ennui/cultureshock/different manifestations of love/and the engaging "nonplot"
I'd like to spend more time reading serious literature or viewing art, but I find my ego keeps getting in the way. Advice, please? [more inside]
I would like to spread the word on a release party of sorts for a small publication that specializes in experimental poetry, literature, and conceptual writing. [more inside]
I don't have as much hair as I used to, and I understand this is not uncommon! It seems like the sort of thing Updike would have written about, or some other self-reflective male writer of a certain age, and I'd like to be able to read (and ideally quote) something well-written or epigrammatic for when the subject comes up. [more inside]
Take your field, your sport, your hobby, your area of occupation and tell me the best way to become really good at some aspect of it. Don’t hesitate to name some form of practice that is heavily monotonous and laborious if it manages to yield awesome results. I don’t care how tedious it is. All I’m interested in are forms of practice or exercises that do elicit measurable improvements in a person’s ability to complete some task or exhibit some skill. [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]
Due to persistant recommendations on AskMe, I am finally reading (well, listening to) The Golden Compass. It's amazing. Now I want to read about The Golden Compass. [more inside]
A group I belong to plans to have a book-themed Cupcake Wars party. Everyone's supposed to make a batch of cupcakes with a name based on a book title. Example: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cupcakes. [more inside]
I'm looking for the unexpected, overlooked masterpieces hiding within conventionally marginal artistic genres: novelty Christmas music albums, mass market cowboy novels, direct-to-video action movie sequels, etc. [more inside]
I'm looking for recommendations for contemporary(ish) literary fiction written by folks who are not white men. [more inside]
Help me ID a book I read a few years back ... [more inside]
How can I assemble a complete list of Joan Didion's uncollected works? [more inside]
Asking for a friend: I like to read, but I don't like reading Literature. I feel really crappy about this. What literary books might I like that do not read like literature? [more inside]
Crowd-sourcing a student's question: I'm looking for contemporary novels about Iraq, Afghanistan, 9/11, and the war on terror that have been authored by women. [more inside]
I have in mind two (fiction) classics on the subject: An Enemy of the People (Ibsen) and The Winter of Our Discontent (Steinbeck). I would appreciate it if you could guide me to other valuable works on this issue.
If I were to choose 10 fiction and 10 non-fiction books to read within the next year to make me a better, more well-rounded conversationalist (for argument's sake, let's say within a college-educated professional audience), what books would give me the most bang for my buck? [more inside]
Help me find a short story collection I read maybe 20 years ago. [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]