I've browsed a lot of book recommendation questions here but haven't found a thread that quite suits my interests. I'm a mostly nonfiction reader, but most of my all-time favourite books are novels. I'd like to read more fiction but I'm having a hard time finding novels I like. All suggestions appreciated! [more inside]
I recently read Marjorie Morningstar and The Women's Room, and I'm looking for more some mid-20th-century books that have some of the qualities I liked about these two: sprawling plot, cast of engaging characters, and a sense of what life was like at the time. Preferably U.S. or UK. Perhaps books that have been unjustly forgotten but still hold up well today -- neither of my examples is really "forgotten", but you don't really hear people talking about Wouk or Marilyn French much these days. (I didn't mind the retrograde gender politics in Marjorie Morningstar at all but I would prefer to avoid Roth/Mailer-style misogyny.)
What are some novels you've enjoyed that have contained recipes? Either as part of the narrative, in between chapters, or as an addendum. [more inside]
I read a lovely Irish or Scottish novel between ten and fifteen years ago. It was a newish paperback at the time, greenish-blue cover. The title was long and obscure. The novel centers around a retired woman -- maybe she was a schoolteacher? [more inside]
I am looking for horror novels that will really scare me. I mean, lingering-two-days-later, don't-read-after-sunset, check-under-the-bed kind of scary. Please recommend me some. Preferences (but not requirements) under the cut. [more inside]
Can you recommend some exceptionally well written novels about quiet folks just living their lives? [more inside]
Novel suggestions, please, for a potential project. Im looking for novels on the theme of people who choose to disappear and start a new life. They could be the protagonist, or someone else in the book whose disappearance drives the story. Lilia in Emily St John Mandel's 'Last Night In Montreal' and Kathryn Carlyle in Rupert Thomson's ah, 'Kathryn Carlyle' are perfect examples.
Looking for short novels composed of fragments, vignettes, etc. Examples: Michael Ondaatje's The Collected Works of Billy the Kid, Elizabeth Hardwick's Sleepless Nights, Danielle Dutton's Margaret the First. [more inside]
A review of the recent novel War of the Encyclopaedists, by Christopher Robinson and Gavin Kovite, said "there are precedents for good, competent co-authored novels, but not many." Which got me to thinking; I came up with a few examples and googled up some more (see the "more inside"), and I'm wondering if MeFites can come up with others—examples from outside the Anglo-American literary world will be especially welcome. I'm looking for books that are well known and respected, and were published, let's say, before the turn of the century. [more inside]
Last year I read and loved Station Eleven, looking for something to scratch the same itch. Some (hopefully) light snowflakes ahead. [more inside]
I'm unemployed - what novels about being unemployed, or featuring major characters who are, can I read to bring me back down to earth and not feel like the only unemployed person in the entire world?
[Book recommendation filter] Must be literary. Must be wildly absorbing. Ensemble casts of characters preferred but not required. The longer, the better. Did it sweep YOU off your feet? Tell me about it! [more inside]
Please recommend novels where trauma and healing are major themes. Bonus points if: (a) it's well written; (b) it's genre fiction; (c) it's a comic; (d) the person who underwent trauma doesn't commit violence or suicide; (e) it will make me cry.
I'm trying to find a piece written by Elena Ferrante in Corriere della Sera several years ago which apparently refers to someone on whom her character Lila is based. [more inside]
Book Recommendation Filter: Looking for urban fantasy or "modern world" sci-fi (not horror) told in third person and doesn't try to sell me on vampire protagonists. This is turning out to be a surprisingly difficult itch to scratch. Help? [more inside]
I need fictional novels to help me dive head first into the abyss. Please recommend some. [more inside]
I love love love post-apocalyptic fiction and found the suggestions in this previous Ask very wonderful, but I'm wondering about suggestions for post-apocalyptic fiction set decades or centuries later that focuses on the rebuilding of governments, societies, civilization. [more inside]
That is, what is a novel you read later in life that you wish you had come across as a kid or teen? Totally fine to recommend books that weren't yet published when you were young.
Hi there Brilliants, I'm looking for examples of identity thieves in movies, tv, literature, comics, etc. Or for articles about techniques these thieves use. Even something like "Catch Me If You Can" is helpful. I'm looking for techniques that these thieves use. I am not a thief! I am just doing some research for a story to help out a student. Thanks so much for your help!
Someone gave me "The Player of Games" by Iain M Banks and, having recently read it, I have a couple of questions about the Culture novels. [more inside]
It's been about nine years on the green since someone asked about novels of ancient Rome, and I'm hankering for some newer reads. Recommendations solicited! [more inside]
I'm looking for recommendations of books, particularly novels, written in French. Details inside. [more inside]
A friend's birthday is coming up. He likes to play darts (plays in a league) and he likes to read. I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for gifts that might combine both. [more inside]
Looking for Graphic Novels for a 14 year old boy. He loves Garfield, slap stick movies (Airplane, Naked gun), and is into Star Wars. Looking for recommendations that are not violent and that you may find at a public library. Thanks!
I've turned 40 this year. In high school I used to go around reading Nabokov because I thought that's what smart people would read. I loved the words but missed about 80% of the thematic elements because I was too young and hadn't lived enough. I just picked him up again and am boggled. What other books should I return to? What authors are only intelligible to readers in mid-life?
I'm looking for fiction with extensive sourcing/citations that are entirely fake. [more inside]
Please can you recommend books similar to Bruno Schulz's, Isaac Babel's and Bulgakov's Master & Margarita? [more inside]
My Search-Fu is utterly failing me. Where did I read the line (paraphrased): "He was like a tennis player who mistakes his best game for his everyday game [or natural level or basic capability]". I want to say it was in a novel by a female author,: Lessing, Christie or Woolf maybe? I might be completely wrong. Fairly sure the narrator's voice was female. Can anyone help?
I'm looking for books that capture the feel, culturally, politically, and/or otherwise, of the 1990's in America. Can y'all help me out?
Hey Brilliants! Can you think of any characters who are deaf and are also rebellious or unconventional / daring? Thanks so much!
For reasons I don't fully understand, lately I find myself wanting to read novels that make me cry. For personal reasons, I'm not interested in books about cancer or abuse, but I'm open to most other subjects. So, can you recommend intelligent and well-written books that are likely to make a reader cry? Themes of lost romantic love, grief, troubled or lost friendship, or painful family relationships are all possibilities. Some authors seem emotionally manipulative, and I'm not looking for that, but I recognize that's a tough line to draw.
Could anyone help me identify science fiction novels whose central theme is society forgetting science? I was listening to the radio a few weeks ago and I heard a description of a novel about society moving back to pre-enlightenment levels of knowledge and I thought it sounded interesting. I don't remember any details about the book mentioned but I'm open to reading any good books about losing knowledge.
I currently work such long hours that I don't have much time to read. I can't read the types of books that I normally would want to - literary fiction - because I am too exhausted to really concentrate at night and I just don't have the time. I also don't want to be stuck in a 400 page novel for 3 months. details inside [more inside]
I don't typically read horror and I want to read more. Specific tastes inside. [more inside]
I'm hitting a rough patch in my life and really failing at something for the first time(bout to drop out of graduate school). I'm looking for recommendations of novels or books that feature characters failing(in whatever way you define that). Not necessarily looking for feel-good/happy endings(although those are alright!). I'm more just curious about how others deal with failing + failing. Kind of a listening to sad music after a break-up thing.
Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Novels are set in post-war Naples, and the Catholic Church shows up only peripherally, if at all. There is a wedding in the first novel, and the religious aspects of even this event are hardly acknowledged. Why might this be? [more inside]
I'm trying to find some valuable works of advice to improve my craftsmanship on writing poetry and short stories. If you can recommend any advice books, poetry, novels, and short stories that can help contribute to better writing in the genre of: science fiction, southern Gothic literature, classic literature, modernism, and modern ligature works, that would be most appreciated. [more inside]
I'm looking for novels that are re-tellings of other stories, such as Wicked for the Wizard of Oz or A Thousand Acres for King Lear. Can you name some? [more inside]
Wanted: novels about prosecutors. [more inside]
I'm curious to know if there are any works of novels, poetry, and non-fiction that parallel with the work of Walden? From an individualist, naturalist, and stream of consciousness point of view. Particularly works similar to Thoreau's eloquent writing style. [more inside]
What are the best novels about and/or set in Los Angeles -- with an emphasis on characters of color, particularly Hispanic?
I have always been fond of writing poetry, but lately I seem to want to expand my writing craft towards short stories. I think the most notable clincher for writers to improve their overall craft is simply by reading voraciously; with an eclectic wide range of authors and literary works. What are some wonderful literary works, authors, playwrights, short stories, non-fiction, fantasy work, et cetera. Can you recommend for me? To further my own voice and writing craft. [more inside]
I'm currently pregnant and going through the first trimester from hell. Literally the only thing that has kept me sane is reading these two amazing trashy novels I discovered in this AskMe thread. Recommend me some more? [more inside]
Recommend me some fun(-ish) fiction in which characters forcibly escort other characters from Point A to Point B, all the while developing some kind of relationship. Maybe it's a cop escorting an arrestee, maybe it's a US Marshal escorting a reluctant federal witness, maybe it's a bounty hunter escorting a bail jumper, maybe it's a truant officer scooping up a truant, or maybe it's something less official entirely. [more inside]
I've got a 2 week staycation coming up, and I need some solid novel recommendations. I don't care about genre at all -- I just want something totally gripping, well-written and transporting. [more inside]
Have you read "Frog Music" by Emma Donoghue? Can you spoil it for me? (Spoilers, probably, inside.) [more inside]
I recently enjoyed The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer and am searching for similar novels. By which I mean novels that are about people living their lives, and the growth and change that naturally happens as they do. Engaging, but not particularly dramatic. Difficulty level: reading that helps me fall asleep. A couple of snowflakes inside... [more inside]
I'm entering a period in my life that's going to be, shall we say, a little challenging. I'm looking for novels that will get me so engrossed that I'll forget everything outside them for a least a little while. [more inside]
What are some novels in which the genders of some or all of the central characters is not revealed to the reader? [more inside]
I find the legal and operational nooks and crannies of running a startup detailed in Neal Stephenson's novel Cryptonomicon fascinating. (Example: "People like Avi and Beryl, who have been in business a lot, have this noticeable preference for two-person conversations [to protect other corporate officers].") Do you have any recommendations for novels or non-fiction with similar storylines, passages and advice?