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 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]
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]
Last year I read and loved Station Eleven, looking for something to scratch the same itch. Some (hopefully) light snowflakes ahead. [more inside]
[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]
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]
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.
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]
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?
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'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.
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]
What are the best novels about and/or set in Los Angeles -- with an emphasis on characters of color, particularly Hispanic?
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]
Have you read "Frog Music" by Emma Donoghue? Can you spoil it for me? (Spoilers, probably, 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]
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 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]
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!
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]
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]
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.
Looking for fantasy books hiding out in the non-genre section of the bookstore. [more inside]
I am looking for recommendations of great dystopian novels, novellas, and short stories. Any length will do! [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]
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 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]
In search of accessible contemporary SF—help! [more inside]