Dear Mefi, another ‘books with a feel like…’ post. This time I’m after novels set by the sea (or by a lake if we must), but with a fabulist, magical or eerie feel. Not looking for out and out horror, just a feeling of strangeness in the air. Ambiguity a plus, and many bonus points if set in a run-down seaside town. Examples below the line... [more inside]
I'm looking for prose fiction that has important scenes set at theaters/performances. [more inside]
Hey Me-fites, I'm dipping my toes into the pool of time travel novels. My main character is going back to 1984--because I want to write about 1984 Vancouver, pre Expo, pre Olympics, when it was a hick town on the far edge of the world. When my characters back in time, he's going to check out some bands, preferably pre-famous, you know, $5 cover, one of three acts, tiny clubs, etc. So, oh wise ones, what band should he find himself seeing?
Looking for a novel that involves a character whose job is to immerse themselves in a topic for about a month, write a column about it, and then move on to a new topic. [more inside]
Is there a name for the kind of novel that's basically a biography and (often quirky/odd) family history? [more inside]
My wife is writing a novel that includes a scene where a character buys and uses a prepaid cellphone. Neither of us has ever done that, and for the sake or realism, she'd like to know exactly what the steps involved are. [more inside]
I am a white cis-het male working on a writing project that includes both a fantasy novel and a tabletop RPG system and setting, based in an alternate history Earth where magic is a part of normal life. I believe in the importance of diversity in representation, so I would like to depict an America in which European/American culture is less hegemonic than in reality. One of the ways in which I want to do that is having non-European systems of magic be influential on the art and science of magic in this world. In particular, I am considering whether there is a way to incorporate chakras into both the fiction and the game's system without it being cultural appropriation. More details after the break. [more inside]
I'm a bit confused by the ending/overall plot of Iain Pears' Arcadia. (Major spoilers abound after the "more inside" so click at your peril!) [more inside]
We're NYCers going on a 2 week trip to Toronto on the 26th. We've never been! What are the new exciting sites? The old established stuff? (Again, we've never been!) We like history, werid engineering dork stuff, movie stuff, dive bars, gayness, unusual stores and secondhand vintage menswear. We don't drive, but we'd like a nice trip out of town by train or even bus. Exciting cuisine a must overall. [more inside]
It's been awhile since we had a "long flight book recommendations' question. Please give me your recent favorites for making the time fly by! [more inside]
What novels do you recommend about children abandoned by one or both parents? By abandonment, I mean everything from leaving a baby on the stoop or going out for cigarettes and never returning to the parent who becomes emotionally distant and/or physically distant following a separation or divorce. I'm interested in books in which the abandonment or the child's attempts to deal with it, perhaps when grown up, is a major theme.
It could be a novel, a non-fiction book, a diary, poem or play. Bonus question: how about the weirdest book from other global literary traditions?
As I teach it now, my first semester composition course is geared toward inquiry. My primary text is From Inquiry to Academic Writing, and Ernest Cline's Ready Player One. I'm on the hunt for a new novel. [more inside]
Can you recommend novels in which one character betraying another is a significant plot point but that betrayal is not an affair? We are so used to thinking of betrayal in that particular setting, but I'd like to read stories about other types of betrayals.
Which modern novel - the kind of thing written by Orhan Pamuk, for example - describes Sufi Zikr as shown here. [more inside]
70s Young Adult Novel ID. Main character is a teenage girl named I think Star or Starr. [more inside]
Sometime in the last month, I read the first few pages of a Kindle ebook on Amazon and loved it, but unfortunately at the time I didn't have the cash to buy it. Now I have the cash but I can't find the book! Can you help me identify it? It's a fantasy novel by a female author. [more inside]
Woman disappears: packs up her things, including all ID, and leaves without any indication of where she has gone. Adult daughter wants to file Missing Person's report, her father says it is pointless because woman clearly left of her own free will. What, in reality, would happen if the daughter tries to get the police involved? How can I find out more about police procedure in such cases? [more inside]
I cannot remember this book and it is driving me crazy. When I was in France I was starving for English language books, and so came upon a relatively dense English novel about a young gentleman making his way in the world. It's not David Copperfield, but in a similar vein. The book was not an immediately recognizable to me at the time (I'm guessing it's a lesser work), but it's by a very well known English novelist, I'm thinking 18th or 19th century. [more inside]
Inspired by this post, I would like to find some fiction involving a university or college setting in Mexico or other parts of Latin America. Contemporary is preferred, but please don't hold back on any great historical reads.
Can anybody help me find this novel? I don't know the author or title. English language, published in the USA before 2006, probably published before 1960; possibly considered a classic. Description of a scene given below the cut. [more inside]
I was listening to Kirsten Dunst on the Nerdist podcast and she said that she was writing a screenplay based on a book set in the 50s. Hardwick was pressing her for the details and she was like "I can't say yet, but let's say it's based on a book most women have read." What is it? [more inside]
The narrator relates how his parents met. In postwar Germany a soldier involved in criminal activities encounters a young German woman who is barely getting by (saves her from thugs?). Back home the soldier is a mid level mobster or account for the mob. The narrator as a young man fights with his father and leaves home. [more inside]
My husband needs to take both the OAR and GRE in the next handful of months. He has never taken the GRE and did a good job on the OAR, but needs to do a GREAT job. [more inside]
I wish I could remember this young adult fiction book, which must date back to the 1970s. I can only remember a few faint details, and I'm not sure I have them right. [more inside]
What are the best recent novels that are set between, say, 1800 and WWII? Particularly if they have a female protagonist.
I love Rainbow Rowell! Can anyone recommend me books that are similar to hers in genre/content/tone? More details after the jump. [more inside]
What's that novel filter: teen girl in hospital falls for a boy isolated behind glass. [more inside]
Help me remember this book or movie -- possibly from the mystery genre -- from the single plot point I recall? [more inside]
This is driving me crazy, because I know it's a book I like and have read more than once, but I can't for the life of me put my finger on it. Seems like Diana Wynne Jones but I can't find one of hers that fits. Details inside. [more inside]
A friend has told me about a book he remembers reading as a youth, and I am kind of maddeningly curious what it was. Any help? [more inside]
Looking for the title of a YA novel, involving alternative dimensions, pigs flying, and improbability storms. [more inside]
Bookfilter: I'm trying to locate a book I read as a child in the late 70's/early 80's. It was a (or in the style of) a Victorian melodrama, but written in a dry, humorous style. There were a few Tenniel-like illustrations here and there but it was mostly text. The little I remember is below the fold... [more inside]
Help me remember a fantasy novel from the 90s. Should have been available in paperback form around 1996. [more inside]
Do you have information regarding a (fictional) secret agent for a Commonwealth country? [more inside]
A literary Sci-fi novel I read in the mid to late '90s. Sketchily remembered details: A boy has been genetically modified for talent in the visual arts. He is told at one point to "open his gift" and goes on to become a famous artist and perhaps something of a guru. A few more details within. [more inside]
This is such a little thing but it's bugging me! I read a novel with a scene in which two women are talking. One has a baby and they put the baby down (on a rug? on the lawn?) so he can 'kick his heels'. I am pretty sure it is a British novel and probably not recent, say written before 1980. Does anyone know what novel I am thinking of? Asking because I realise I never really understood what 'kicking his heels' meant until my own baby started to do it!
Wikipedia only lists 4 novels set during the Iranian Revolution. Could you name some others? [more inside]
Do you remember the book my mother read a decade or two ago? It was a romance and/or mystery featuring an orphan with a birthmark on her face, raised by her uncle (who turns out to be her father) and her controlling aunt (who turns out to have murdered her parents, and later her boyfriend and others with poisoned tea) as she investigates her own past. My mother probably checked it out from the public library in the mid-to-late nineties, but on the outside edge, could have been between 1990 and 2004. [more inside]
I've searched without success for a novel that I read and enjoyed sometime in the 90s or early 00s. As I recall, it was about a man who had to fake his own death (maybe he had accidentally killed someone?) and started a new life, working as a photographer. He caught something big on film (possibly a fire) and became an overnight sensation. The price for his works went through the roof but it brought him to the attention of someone from his old life and he had to disappear and start over again. He was trying to be a photographer, but since he no longer had any name recognition, no one was interested in his work. [more inside]
I'm looking for a solid science fiction novel to enjoy and then send along to a friend whom I owe a book. Recommendations will be much appreciated; a few details are provided below the fold. [more inside]
I read the book about 6 or 7 years ago and it was to do with a woman in her late 40's to 50's who became pregnant when she was a teenager and was sent to a Magdalen laundry type place where she stayed for a quite a long time. After she left she became a midwife. [more inside]
There's a novel I remember getting from the library when I was very young, and it mostly flew over my head. I'm trying to remember its name. I believe the premise was the US had to be evacuated for some reason, and much of the rest of the world filled up with refugee camps and ghettos of Americans. [more inside]
Ok, I read this book as a kid even though it was not a kid's book. I assume it's a bit obscure. It's a western (I guess?) In that it's set in the desert with a cowboy, but it's not a cowboy book. The story, from what I remember, involves an old, frail but strong cow who has just given birth and her stand-off to death with an old, frail but strong mother wolf or coyote and her cubs in the desert. [more inside]
I'm looking for novels that are about, or mention in a significant way, growing up in urban 1960s America. Give me all the books you know with lots of silly detail about cars, music, sports and fashion! [more inside]
Posting on behalf of my father, who's looking for a sci-fi novel he read a long time ago. [more inside]
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?
For a coworker: I'm trying to track down a translated YA novel my co-worker remembered reading as a child in Russia. [more inside]
Years ago I read a funny novel from the public library, the premise of which I can best describe as M*A*S*H crossed with Hogan's Heroes and set in a maximum security men's prison. This would have had to be about 25 years ago or more. Wondering if this rings a bell with anybody who can tell me what it might have been.
Once again, I can't remember the name of a book I read a while back. I read it in 2006. I remember the plot pretty well but I'm unsuccessful with Google. The protagonist is a woman, age 30, and her employer has just died. She's extremely tall, which is a pretty important part of the story, I think. [more inside]