How can I get better at organizing my ideas in writing? I want to be able to write essays, long-form blog posts, articles, etc. I want to be able to use in-depth writing as a tool to accomplish things, instead of just enduring it when it comes up. I'm interested in resources (classes? books?), techniques, and advice. [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Aug 30, 2014 -
There have been a few punctuated instances in health. I'm struggling to find a non-fiction article about when [I think] cataracts suddenly became curable and the experiences of those that had newfound eyesight. [more inside]
posted by vapidave
on Aug 29, 2014 -
The title is on the tip of my tongue, but all the words are common enough that Google isn't helping: a recently released nonfiction book that is about the phenomenon of crime writing (i.e. why we enjoy reading about murder) rather than about a specific case. [more inside]
posted by pretentious illiterate
on Aug 3, 2014 -
With the recent events in Ukraine and Gaza lately, I've been feeling upset as to what our world has become, and where we as a race are headed.
I'd like to understand how we got here. Can you share your favorite books, and explainers that illuminate the history of the Middle East conflicts, as well as that of Russia and Ukraine. [more inside]
posted by rippersid
on Jul 21, 2014 -
I'm neck deep in writing an academic book at the moment, and on the worst days I lose the will to live. To dislodge myself from the daily temptation to nuke the whole manuscript, slit my wrists and be done with it all, I've been trying to keep motivated by reading good accounts of the life of writers. I would love recommendations! Details inside. [more inside]
posted by starcrust
on Jul 18, 2014 -
Like many dads he reads mostly non-fiction books with a historical, military, political and/or transportation focus. But he seems to have read them all. [more inside]
posted by neat graffitist
on Jun 30, 2014 -
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!
posted by ChuraChura
on Jun 20, 2014 -
I'm looking for essays, books, poetry, nonfiction, or whatever else about normal people's everyday lives and pasts, humorous if possible. I'm looking for stuff in the vein of the New York Press's old columns (like the ones Ned Vizzini wrote) or like Books of Adam
. Writing that is casual, but well written.
posted by holmesian
on Jun 9, 2014 -
What great short stories, short novellas, or even short nonfiction pieces can I legally download for free for my Kindle? Some details inside. [more inside]
posted by Flunkie
on May 26, 2014 -
I read the article linked to in the metafilter post "Who gets to graduate,"
which showed "Inception"-like evidence of the power of exposing someone to a simple idea in shifting their thought processing and hence life choices. This made me think that it would probably behoove me to use this trick to help myself move forward in my desired direction of being a trusting, compassionate person who can feel a bond with people I meet and not a disdainful, broken asshole who sees people as convenient resources rather than potential friends.So I would like to find a nonfiction, first person account of someone's recovery from domestic abuse (or other traumatic event, I suppose). Bonus: Writing which included wry, dark or acerbic humor would be completely awesome. Thanks, as always.
posted by FiveSecondRule
on May 18, 2014 -
My friend is graduating next month with a degree in Museum Studies. I'd like to get her a book as a graduation present. Can you recommend any good memoirs or biographies or popular nonfiction books set in the museum world? I would rather it not be mainly about heists or looting or art crime.
posted by bluefly
on Apr 30, 2014 -
I have a hard time finding books to read that can balance holding my attention with not being too difficult or a "hard" read. What non-fiction books are like the books after the cut? [more inside]
posted by bimbam
on Apr 29, 2014 -
If you guys were my real friends, you would have told me about Heavy Metal Parking Lot before now. Back in the day, I used to hear about great documentary films through the grapevine. I guess the best example of this is the Evening with Kevin Smith series. But I never seem to hear about these any more. Heavy Metal Parking Lot looks awesome. What else am I missing?
Parameter: nothing really sad. Hands on a Hard Body was kind of a bummer to me, but it's still the sort of thing I'm looking for. Anything about, say, the Holocaust, is out of this league. Thanks, MeFites!
posted by Jane Austen
on Mar 6, 2014 -
Book suggestions for a gift exchange recipient that combine business, Haruki Murakami, David Foster Wallace, and/or music? (here's hoping my recipient isn't also a Mefite!) [more inside]
posted by divabat
on Mar 4, 2014 -
I need more good non-fiction. I'm particularly interested in food and history (and, obviously, food history) but I'm getting a bit desperate so I'm open to anything except politics and sports. I prefer more in-depth and non-fluffy books if I can get them, with extra points if they're available on Kindle. [more inside]
posted by ninazer0
on Feb 16, 2014 -
I'm interested in tea and its history, especially its role in global trade and conflict. Are there any great nonfiction books that cover the subject without focusing exclusively on a certain time period or location? [more inside]
posted by cowbellemoo
on Jan 13, 2014 -
Trying to find the perfect book to scratch a partner's literary itch for macrohistories related in some way to music. Details within. [more inside]
posted by Stacey
on Dec 28, 2013 -
I really, really enjoyed Nicholas Schmidle's article "A Very Rare Book
" (on a nearly-flawless contemporary forging of a unique copy of Galileo's "Sidereus Nuncius") in last week's New Yorker and I'd like to read more journalism/non-fiction like it. [more inside]
posted by griphus
on Dec 17, 2013 -
My dad loved the series Deadwood. He also loves biography and historical non-fiction books. I would like to give him an interesting history of Deadwood for Christmas but not necessarily one connected with the show (which seems to be most of them). Any recommendations?
posted by torisaur
on Dec 9, 2013 -
I love reading nonfiction about pharmaceutical drugs, their development, use, methods of action, etc. What's out there lately that I should read? Recent books I've read inside. [more inside]
posted by fiercecupcake
on Dec 5, 2013 -
Back in the late 80s/early 90s, I read an excerpt of a book about a man's experience as a crab fisherman in the Bering Sea in The Reader's Digest
. I was only around ten years old, so I wasn't exactly thinking about taking notes of the title and author. Help me now find this book, please! Details inside. [more inside]
posted by Fukiyama
on Oct 27, 2013 -
You're teaching a massive survey course on the history of the 20th Century. What books are on the syllabus, in what order? [more inside]
posted by grrarrgh00
on Oct 25, 2013 -
I read "The Fifties"
by David Halberstam awhile back and loved the interconnecting of chapter-focused-vignettes with the decade as whole, coming together to provide some similar themes. Do you know and recommend any similar non-fiction books for other periods of time or even events?
posted by sandmanwv
on Oct 9, 2013 -
I'm not-so-shamelessly enamored with true-crime specials like Dateline and 20/20. What can I listen to that has the same flavor? [more inside]
posted by frizzle
on Sep 10, 2013 -
Please recommend fiction and nonfiction novels which depict folklore and mythology created by children who are free of adult supervision and authority. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Sep 3, 2013 -
It's an especially slow time at work for me right now, and will be for a few more weeks at least. Please recommend some online time-killers. Specs within. [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie
on Aug 12, 2013 -
What are some good nonfiction books that offer a window into an exciting but little-known industry or profession through the eyes/life of one person? [more inside]
posted by gottabefunky
on Aug 9, 2013 -
I'm looking for high-quality, moving, compelling, interesting writing about having ADD; i.e. personal essays, creative nonfiction, that sort of thing. [more inside]
posted by threeants
on Aug 4, 2013 -
You know how a lot of non-fiction books get really tiresome after the first few chapters? Yeah, me too. Help me compile a list of non-fiction books that can keep my interest from the first to the last page. Challenge: no psych/neuro allowed. Other sciences okay. [more inside]
posted by dino might
on Aug 3, 2013 -
What are some stories (real/historical or fictional) about good mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationships that I can read? [more inside]
posted by peacrow
on May 30, 2013 -
Looking for recommendations for the best non-fiction books on the subject of running a large museum/art archive. From any POV, from the fund-raising presidents to the ticket takers, guards, and art history interns in the basements. I'm looking for more large, prestige institutions ("What is it like to work at the Met" for example) but smaller collections or niche museums are also good.
posted by The Whelk
on May 25, 2013 -
I want to read nonfiction about ritualistic/magical/occult/religious practices or events in a historical/cultural context that will learn me real good without sacrificing the fun factor. More interested in things like druid sacrifice or the Salem witch trials than modern-day ghostbusters or psychics, but all cultures are welcome.
posted by goosechasing
on May 20, 2013 -
My kids (currently 6 and 9) have become voracious readers. We have a large and varied collection of excellent fiction for them, but the non-fiction collection is more haphazard. They love learning new facts as they read (the type of thing that makes them look up from the book and say, "Did you know...?"). I want to make sure that the collection of books gives them a good introduction to fields where I myself may not have enough knowledge to judge the quality/accuracy of the book. So what's the kid's book in your field that makes you say, "If only every kid got to read this book, people would understand [topic] better."? [more inside]
posted by winston
on May 18, 2013 -
I'm trying to learn more about contemporary Indonesia, and I'd love book & essay recommendations, especially of narrative non-fiction with a strong first person narrative voice! (But I'd also love suggestions of fiction, good travelogues, podcasts, blogs, zines, films, academic articles--really anything that doesn't demand prior in depth knowledge.) [more inside]
posted by tapir-whorf
on May 13, 2013 -
I'm looking for examples of informative nonfiction books that are heavily illustrated, but are not textbooks. [more inside]
posted by cmoj
on Apr 10, 2013 -
More specifically I want to read books on the topic of "What you take for granted, someone else is praying for". [more inside]
posted by Kateruba
on Apr 7, 2013 -
I'm going to be a proud first-time papa in a couple months, and I'm gearing up for the madness and joy to come. I've really enjoyed reading non-fiction anecdotes about fathers and children, and I was wondering if you had any books you might recommend? Hopefully nothing 'Chicken Soup for the ____'-ish, but more along the New Yorker-y lines of Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik and Home Game by Michael Lewis. [more inside]
posted by evadery
on Mar 12, 2013 -
I read a nonfiction piece awhile back that I can't find via my google-fu. It concerns a guy visiting Cuba who meets with locomotive types in memory of (or for) his father, who was a train buff. The piece was nostalgic and colorful, and focused on the concept of Cuban train engineering effectively being frozen in time. Can anyone help?
posted by eggman
on Jan 21, 2013 -
I'm looking for the very best non-dry nonfiction about different mythologies, especially as they relate in a historical/societal context. Comparative mythology is awesome, but so is focusing on a specific mythology (like a book focusing solely on druids or fairies or what have you). I don't want a compilation of myths or retellings. I do want an examination of common themes within a culture or the structure of the culture's pantheon.
posted by goosechasing
on Jan 19, 2013 -
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?
posted by SampleSize
on Jan 9, 2013 -
Writing fiction: is it the sort of thing where you either have "the gift," or you don't? [more inside]
posted by indognito
on Jan 6, 2013 -
I have an ~18 hour flight ahead of me and I am compiling a DIY ebook
of longform journalism/non-fiction for my Kindle to get me through it. So, what is the best thing you read this year? [more inside]
posted by AceRock
on Dec 21, 2012 -
Years ago Jack Hart, the esteemed editor and writing coach at The Oregonian
, posted the rough drafts of Tom Hallman's Pulitzer winning story The Boy Behind the Mask
. Perhaps to a writers'/journalists' forum or mailing list. One editor's reaction to seeing the progression of the story through the drafts was to call it the most instructive lesson he'd ever had in newspaper writing. Help me track down those drafts!
posted by AceRock
on Nov 26, 2012 -