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?
This is a long shot. When I was a wee child in the 70s, I remember reading an old adventure novel about a French explorer in the 1700s or 1800s, having adventures in the American wilderness, making allies with native americans, living off the fat of the land, escaping from British soldiers, etc. It was written in English though I suppose it could have been a translation. Anyone have any ideas as to title or author?
[Book filter] Please recommend stories about people who find out (through trail and error) what they really want, and eventually get there (after a bunch of detours). [more inside]
I'm an intermediate ~ advanced German student, and my instructor recommended native language-to-German translations for extracurricular reading. Her idea is to make it easy to find stories/authors/genres you already know you like, and just get you reading in German. I really like crime thrillers - serial killers, gruesome murders, etc. I'm looking for recommendations for authors and novels that have good, engaging stories, but aren't written in especially sophisticated English. I remember quite liking Cody McFadyen's stories, but being very underwhelmed with his use of language. This is perfect. I'm lucky as a native English speaker, as it's pretty likely that anything written in English that was even slightly popular has been translated into German. So, any recommendations? Vielen Dank!
Looking for fantasy that's not based on your standard European/Tolkien background. Pretty much any flavor of fantasy is alright (straight, urban, science, what have ye). Just finished reading Barry Hughart's Master Li/Number Ten Ox books and enjoyed them. Would definitely prefer "adult" fiction versus YA, but no preference for novels versus short stories.
Is censorship of words in american novels common now? [more inside]
Please recommend fiction and nonfiction novels which depict folklore and mythology created by children who are free of adult supervision and authority. [more inside]
My partner read a novel a few years ago at a book exchange in a hostel. Here's what she remembers:
- About a family (a father, son, and daughter-in-law) who are taken by the secret police of a fictional South American dictatorship (a stand in for an unnamed Argentina or Chile). The characters are tortured, and the novel focuses on their psychological recovery afterwards. The woman might be pregnant.
- She read it in English, but it may have been a translation.
- The title was some word that she thinks translated as "fish" or "sea god" or something similar. She thinks it maybe began with "P," but she's not sure.
Based on some of the negative reviews, it sounds like the more stylized portions of Marisha Pessl's "Night Film" are a mess on Kindle devices. Can anyone comment on how it is using the Kindle app on an iPad, or in iBooks?
Settle a bet: Friend claimed that Terry Pratchett's "Going Postal" and "Making Money" where unique in the fantasy genre for dealing so much with the economics and " white collar" systems of a fantasy setting. I said that couldn't be true but couldn't think of any examples ( they abound in Sci-Fi, but we're talking wands and robes here, and the Baroque Cycle is only kind-of-fantasy). So, what are some examples of fantasy novels where things like labor unions, mediums of exchange, guild politics, trade imbalances, commodities markets, hostile takeovers and government regulation are both explored and woven into the plot? [more inside]
I'm doing environmental work in Utah for the next three months. I'll have my kindle. Tell me your favorite novels about the American Southwest. [more inside]
How do I find out if the film rights are available to a book/novel? Or, more specifically, if they are not available - how do I find out who owns the rights? [more inside]
Along with a friend, I have been immersed in Dark Souls for over 100 hours the past couple weeks. Although we still have much ground to cover, we're obsessed with the beautiful world, tone and feel created by this game. Are there any movies or books that capture this? Don't know what Dark Souls is like? Explanation has lots of detail! [more inside]
I read a book in the early 90's about a guy who was helping a run-away child with nuclear launch codes embedded in his heart. The older man was a former code child himself (I think) and they were hiding out in Northern California/San Francisco with hippies driving around in art cars called "Gluers". Any idea? Amazon, Google, Good Reads, Library Searches have gotten me nothing. I'm not sure if it's even any good, I just want to make sure I didn't hallucinate the whole thing. Thanks You!
I think I'd like to begin following an author who writes mysteries featuring a regular protagonist and cast of recurring characters, but I have some d'ruthers. Can you help match me up? [more inside]
I'm looking for lines of dialogue from movies, novels, or elsewhere, in which someone says that something is not an X, even though it is an X, just not a mere X or typical X. An example of the type of exchange I'm looking for: "Wow, you spent a year's salary on a car?" "A car? This is isn't a car. It's a Lamborghini!" The second person knows that their Lamborghini is a car, but means to express that it isn't just a car. (It's important for my purposes that the person doesn't say 'just'.) There must be some recognizable instances of this type of speech, but I'm drawing a blank. Any ideas?
Are there any horror works which do not derive increased horror from increased knowledge? [more inside]
A while back, I read Noli Me Tángere by José Rizal, which is sort of the national novel of the Philippines. I've just borrowed The Knight in the Panther's Skin from the library, which is seen as "Georgia's national epic". What are some other national novels? (I've seen the Wikipedia national epics list, but I'd prefer novels to epics, I think, unless they are really outstanding.) If you have particular translations/editions to recommend that'd be great as well.
I'm looking for books where characters are exploring the solar system using space ships that are technologically within (or somewhat close to) our capability to build today. Bonus points if those novels are character driven.
I've been on a Murakami bender for a while, and I have only two novels of his left to read. I'd like to find some other Japanese or Korean novels in translation, now that I can see the end of all this is near. [more inside]
I tend to like humor, but other genres are acceptable. If this is too broad a category, we can limit recommendations to those where being in one's mid-20s is somehow central to the novel.
Seeking funny novels about Chicago, Wicker Park, and if possible the Cubs. Prefer to avoid genre fiction and the self-published. [more inside]
My taste for bleak fiction is making me miserable. Help me lighten it up. [more inside]
I recently read and enjoyed John Irving's The World According to Garp and The Hotel New Hampshire, and was wondering what other novels, by other authors, people have enjoyed that have a similar subject matter and vibe to Garp -- specifically, birth-to-death stories of writers or creative individuals, with leisurely, meandering plots and profound things to say about living, loving, and learning. This thread had some good suggestions, but I was looking for something more specifically Garp-y -- set in the 20th/21st century, with a middle-class male protagonist in fairly mundane circumstances (nothing fantastical or on the fringes of society), and spans the entire life of the protagonist. Mood should be melancholic but not overly bleak. Thanks for any suggestions.
A friend has bet me that there are no novels in which model trains or model railway enthusiasts are portrayed as villains or otherwise threaten humanity. Is this true? [more inside]
Last week I read David Foster Wallace's "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" (thanks to this FPP), while in the middle of reading Moby Dick. I found them resonating together so well: the high tragedy mixed with low comedy, the elaborate descriptive asides, the playing with formatting, the casual authorial self-hatred, the obsession with morality, to say nothing of the mechanics of the ship and the sea. All this without a single over reference back to Melville. What are some other great co-reads (or movies/TV/opera/album/etc.) to get that enriching resonance? Subtle is good: think tone, theme, shape more than plot or character. If you've caught Laurence Weschler's McSweeney's series of Convergences (published in book form here), that's more what I mean. The reader/viewer makes the connections without being led by the author (So, for instance, King Lear & Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres are too overtly linked). Bonus points for something that goes well with Cloud Atlas (the book, not the movie).
In the last 9 years, I've written a Russian novel's worth of blog comments. Can you help me channel this energy into personal writing projects? NOTE : I am NOT interested in blogging. [more inside]
Please recommend to me books prominently featuring dragons that will meet my rather high (and specific) standards. Lots of details to calibrate your suggestions inside. [more inside]
Can you recommend me a book with interesting, well-drawn characters and a page-turning plot that is not horribly depressing? Maybe (but not necessarily) something of the chick-lit variety? [more inside]
Spoiler filter - novels/scripts where the protagonist was in a coma/dead (etc) the whole time? [more inside]