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?
My uncle is interested in reading science fiction or futuristic fantasy books that involve music as a strong narrative element. He has read some Anne McCaffrey that did this, as well as Patrick Rothfuss, but was hoping to find other options, and I drew a blank. Can you guys think of any more music-tinged works?
I am starting to write a novel. I have a totally different career in another field and want to write controversial / disturbing literary fiction. How should I handle this? [more inside]
I'm looking for more excellent blogs written by novelists. Point me in the right direction! [more inside]
I'm interested in how telepathy has been portrayed in fiction (written form) and was wondering if anyone could point me to some examples where the protagonist struggles with the trait and has to learn how to master/control it in order to stay sane. Note: I've read The Shining and its recent sequel. Thanks in advance!
I am searching for novels that provide some of the same pleasures of CBS's acclaimed legal drama "The Good Wife," but in textual form! See inside for specifics about what makes this particular plate of procedural beans so special. [more inside]
I'm trying to find an article I read a few months ago on how readers shouldn't focus on whether or not they relate to a character. Does anybody have any leads?
I'm soon to mentor a friend through a period of personal reflective study. An area I'd like to touch on is that he persistently clings to conspiracy theories, such as those of Leonard Horowitz. It is not my place to impose my own beliefs, but as he has limited exposure to contrasting material I would like him to balance these views with the "other side" and draw his own conclusions. [more inside]
When I read the Earth's Children series (Clan of the Cave Bear and its sequels), the aspect I enjoyed the most was the detailed descriptions of how the people did things back then (hunting, foraging, skinning, toolmaking, shelter building, etc.). While how-to books abound, I enjoy the fiction or narrative nonfiction format more. Any recommendations? Thanks!
My kid is a huge Warhammer enthusiast. He also loves to read. Am I going to be able to combine both. [more inside]
What are some novels featuring imperfect but sympathetically-portrayed mothers? [more inside]
What are some good novels that have a high-concept speculative element in the background, but aren't quite about that? [more inside]
Recommend me novels that have a strong component of sport, physical training, or exercise. [more inside]
I am interested in variations -- that is, not just a body count -- of the doppelganger and evil twin themes in fiction, folklore, and movies. [more inside]
After getting really into Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series, I'm looking for similar reading material. Can y'all recommend other sci-fi novels featuring a predominantly female cast?
A little while back I stumbled upon a detective novel (Losers Live Longer) that takes place in 2009 NYC and utilizes actual city streets, restaurants, bars, etc. The writing was pretty average, but the book kept me constantly aware of the protagonist's location (oftentimes cross-streets). The real-world geography of areas I knew well really sucked me into the world and engaged me on another level than the narrative alone. Are there any other good detective or mystery novels that use post-2000s (or, better yet, post-2010) New York accurately? [more inside]
Can you recommend other novels like Russell Hoban's Turtle Diary and The Bat Tattoo? [more inside]
I have been reading Zita the Spacegirl to my kids (7 & 5, boy and girl) very night. For those who haven't read it, it is a terrific graphic novel for kids full of adventure and strange creatures, with a great message. What else would you reccomend, as we approach the end of this great series? Specifically thinking of a modern, adventure-filled (but not overly mature) graphic novel or series. Science fiction or fantasy would be ideal.
I'm enjoying following Moby Dick excerpts via Twitter, and Angus MacLise's calendar poem YEAR. Are there any other Twitter accounts like this that the hive would recommend? [more inside]
Looking for fantasy books hiding out in the non-genre section of the bookstore. [more inside]
Please recommend to me any science fiction/fantasy novels (maybe TV shows as well) that are well written, interesting, and essentially nonviolent. "Completely violence-free" isn't necessary. I'm particularly looking for novels aimed at adults that don't rely on combat scenes to advance the narrative, generate/resolve tension, or provide Crowning Moments of Awesome.* [more inside]
Looking for a specific passage in a Samuel Beckett novel (probably from Watt or Murphy). I'm pretty certain this is from one of his early novels, rather than any of his other works. [more inside]
I'm teaching an introductory course on prose fiction (reading, not writing). What fun post-1900 novel should I put on the syllabus? Should be intelligent, but needn't necessarily be, you know, Literary. [more inside]
I am looking for recommendations of great dystopian novels, novellas, and short stories. Any length will do! [more inside]
I want to read novels about migration, trade, and globalization in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries -- I especially loved Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh (and its sequel River of Smoke) and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell and would love to find more novels along these lines. [more inside]
I'm craving a particular subtype of historical novel: the kind that posits a dimly-remembered reality behind a famous myth/legend/story, sort of filling it out and extrapolating the details into realism. My favorite of this kind is Mary Renault's "The King Must Die" about Theseus (also the sequel). I also enjoyed "Eaters of the Dead", about the events of 'Beowulf'. But what are some other good ones you can recommend? More examples and specifics inside! [more inside]
I read a lot of Classic and contemporary literary fiction and am interested in reading some books purely for distraction and fun. [more inside]
Trying to find a pair of novels set in the near future North America that I read sometime between 1990 and 2004 approximately. The "big idea" is that neopagan magic "returns" (or at least everyone believes it does, and acts accordingly) with the millennium. The protagonist of one novel is pregnant with the next world spiritual leader. In one scene, a prophet yells at her, "you're full of fish!" Another novel with the same setting (perhaps the same novel) involved a conspiracy and had a genderqueer magical cyberpunk/hacker as a minor character. I remember them as similar to Galveston by Sean Stewart but I'm pretty certain they're not by Stewart. It's not Bone Dance or DeLint, and they had nothing to do with Shadowrun. Help appreciated. They're probably not all that great, but the pair were striking enough that a few things stick out.
I am tired of novels that have an enigmatic woman at the center of the novel. Can you recommend some books to me where all of the female characters actually act like real people? [more inside]
I'm writing the Great American Novel (isn't everyone?). I want to intersperse press releases and newspaper clippings throughout the book, but I'm not sure about formatting (and e-book format raises yet another question). [more inside]
Another ReadMe Question. Lately I've been really enjoying literary-leaning thrillers and mystery type books authored by women. Can you recommend some more? [more inside]
A few years ago I read a lengthy novel about workplace bullying at an NGO, possibly in the U.K. It centered about two women who had been close friends but by the end of the book are sworn enemies. It may have involved violence, and there may have been a male who was a romantic interest for one or both. Do you know what book I'm talking about? (More details inside.) [more inside]
I am trying to read my way around the globe. Can you please recommend me international fiction/memoirs that frame the contemporary culture, customs, and values of the country that it is set in? [more inside]
This year one of my goals is to read two books a week, help me make sure I get the good ones! [more inside]
I'm looking for recommendations of English-language fiction that heavily features Spanish-language elements. I'm working on learning Spanish again (I had 3 years in high school, about 10 years ago) and thought it would be fun and useful to read novels that incorporate Spanish heavily, kind of an immersion strategy. [more inside]
I couldn't find any information as to how Alan Moore goes about writing his comics (namely Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and From Hell). I found an excerpt from his Watchmen script which shows how incredibly detailed he is in describing each panel. I once read that on Watchmen, it was a back-and-forth between him and Dave Gibbons, where Gibbons starts off with roughly sketching out the panels, gets comments from Moore, gets greenlit, then proceeds to drawing the final version. Any more information on Moore's process? Any other scripts you know of and is his writing as detailed for all his projects as detailed (I know that From Hell has labyrinthine appendices that almost match the work itself in length for example)?
Several years ago I found the Game of Throne books after several people suggested it on here. I have a pretty decent amount of Christmas vacation this year and I would like to read more, well-written, fantasy. This is where you come in - what would you have me read? [more inside]
I like to learn about different places and cultures by reading fiction set in those places and with characters from those cultures. Can you recommend to me a contemporary novel about American Indians? I'm particularly interested in books about Native American communities in the continental US. [more inside]
What are some examples of works of fiction (e.g. novels, movies) that feature a Thanksgiving family gathering as a major plot element? [more inside]
I'm looking for an example novel(s) that features several separate third person viewpoint characters with seemingly different plot strands at the beginning but whose plots converge as they go on and they end up meeting further on in the novel (if only briefly). I want to see how the author handles these meetings and the meta narrative of several stories merging into one. I would prefer mainstream rather than literary as I'd like to seem something straight forward rather than overly tricky and would prefer sf but please don't let that constrict you as I'm more interested in the mechanics rather than the background and any genre would do.
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]
I'm defending my dissertation next week and the process has wrung all enthusiasm for academia right out of me. The whole enterprise has come to seem like nothing but an anxiety-ridden grind. In my small amount of free time before the defense and during the break I'm allowing myself afterwards, I'd like to read some novels that will delude me into thinking that being an intellectual is kind of, well, hot. Examples and extended description below. [more inside]
What are some lesser known film adaptations of good/great novels? [more inside]
In search of accessible contemporary SF—help! [more inside]
My partner keeps rereading the Phrynee Fisher series. He likes them because they're on his E-reader, detective stories, and they pass the Bechdel and Russo tests. He likes the characters in these novels: these are relatively happy people for the most part. Please, O MetaFilter. He's ready for a new series. What else is out there?