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Novels for the American Southwest

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]
posted by Rinku on Aug 9, 2013 - 36 answers

Recommend a laptop for a grad student who knows nothing

I finished my first year of grad school, passed my comps (so they're not getting rid of me!), and spent the summer using a computer lab to work on campus. I'm sick of it and want to buy a laptop but haven't bought one in awhile and I'm not sure what to get or the best way to go about it, so I thought I'd beg y'all for advice. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by dismas on Aug 2, 2013 - 14 answers

Site that reviews translations of classical texts?

I'm on a "read all the classics" quest and trying to figure out the best translations into English. Blog recommendations would be awesome! [more inside]
posted by blue_and_bronze on Aug 2, 2013 - 7 answers

Is there a large shopping/strolling/dining area in Minneapolis-St. Paul?

Visiting the Twin Cities in a few weeks with my girlfriend. She'd like to check out some walkable shopping districts with a vibrant, dense mix of stores and places to eat. But does this exist on a somewhat-large scale? [more inside]
posted by theory on Jul 29, 2013 - 9 answers

More like Midlake please.

What artists and albums are most like Midlake's Trials of Van Occupanther?
posted by hifimofo on Jul 22, 2013 - 17 answers

Poetry and dance

What songs fuse poetry or spoken word with music? The closest I can think of are Baz Luhrmann's "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)" and Poe's "Hey Pretty". I'd be especially interested in mashups that do this.
posted by divabat on Jul 22, 2013 - 31 answers

Kid friendly grown up movies/TV?

My 10 and 8 year old daughters adored The Nr. 1 Ladies Detective Agency (the TV series). What other made-for-adults movies or TV could we watch together? [more inside]
posted by sively on Jul 11, 2013 - 46 answers

How can I get my place painted soonest?

I need to get my 2 BR apt in the Washington, DC area painted before I move in. But my only personal-networking options have fallen through: the co-op itself is presently too short-staffed, and it turns out the guy recommended by my realtor can't do it until August. I really need it painted ASAP--although I'd also like a neat, professional job. Is it realistic, to want to get it painted much sooner than August? If so, how can I go about finding a good and reliable painter or company, being new to the area? (Bonus if you have a painter/company in the area whose work you liked and you would recommend!)
posted by theatro on Jul 8, 2013 - 11 answers

What should I do in Greece that isn't a beach or a nightclub?

I'll be in Greece in September for work and it seems a shame not to take some vacation time while I'm there. Problem is most of the tourist guides seem to focus quite a bit on how great the various beaches are or how awesome the nightlife is, neither of which interest me when I'm traveling alone. Ruins and archaeology are good and I intend to include some of that but there must be some awesome things that I don't even know to look for. Some more specifics inside. [more inside]
posted by Skorgu on Jul 2, 2013 - 14 answers

Where in MPLS can I learn to throw a punch?

Just moved to Minneapolis and would like to continue my martial arts training. I was doing shotokan karate for about three years and would like to pick up where I left off, but I'm open to other forms if there is a particularly good school you'd recommend. Any suggestions of places to look into or where I can find out more about my options? [more inside]
posted by princeoftheair on Jul 2, 2013 - 2 answers

if i liked the movie l'avventura, what books will i like?

i really like the slow/subtle treatment of ennui/cultureshock/different manifestations of love/and the engaging "nonplot"
posted by sawyerrrr on Jun 25, 2013 - 8 answers

Point-and-shoot digital camera advice.

I'm thinking it might be time to upgrade my digital camera. Is it worth it? If so, what models should I be looking at? [more inside]
posted by medusa on Jun 24, 2013 - 14 answers

Things to listen to with a minimum of futzing around

I'm working at my desk for 8 hours a day: what should I be listening to during this time? I've been listening to a lot of NPR Tiny Desk Concerts, which I like because I just click start and I'm good for the next 1/2 hour, without ads, and I like the consistency of the same artist for the entire chunk of time. I'd appreciate links to albums or performances that I can stream for free! Some specific music tastes outlined inside. [more inside]
posted by estlin on Jun 23, 2013 - 11 answers

I want to read things that squick me out, but are still well written.

I would like to read some truly disturbing novels. Give me some recommendations, AskMetafilter. [more inside]
posted by SkylitDrawl on Jun 20, 2013 - 112 answers

Seeking my own special weekend-in-Minneapolis recommendations

Hi, MeFites of Minneapolis! My wife and I will be visiting your city for a weekend later this month. Based on our own picky likes and dislikes, do you have any recommendations for what we might like to see and do? [more inside]
posted by MoonOrb on Jun 11, 2013 - 11 answers

Renn Faire Brain Candy Books?

I (astonishingly) survived the first year of my PhD program. Yay! Now summer is upon me, and I (again, astonishingly) find myself desiring more reading...but this time for funsies! Specifically, I'm looking for some good hammock-and-wine reading material that I can reasonably justify spending time on to my English-Grad-Student brain. I want to immerse myself in a modern fictionalized version of the late medieval and/or Renaissance period. What can you recommend that is genuinely good, but won't ask too much of my super-exhausted noggin? More specific preferences after the jump! [more inside]
posted by Dorinda on Jun 5, 2013 - 27 answers

Good Films about Politics

What are some good films that are about politics or democracy? [more inside]
posted by lookoutbelow on Jun 4, 2013 - 34 answers

Remind me again, why are dinosaurs awesome?

When I was a kid, I was totally enamored of dinosaurs. I seem to have lost my affinity for them in the years since. I quit paying attention to developments in paleontology. Apparently there's been a lot that I missed, like that the dominant theory now is that modern birds are descended from a dinosaur species (I think?). And I hear velociraptors had feathers. So I need not just updates, but a good primer for adults because I've forgotten everything I used to know about them. Can anyone recommend some good modern books or documentaries on dinosaurs to rekindle the flame of dino-love?
posted by Sleeper on Jun 3, 2013 - 10 answers

Reading recommendations - community and friendship version

I'm starting a reading/discussion group on the topic of communities and friendships. What are some good articles/essays/books/websites for us to read? [more inside]
posted by danceswithanonymity on May 29, 2013 - 11 answers

Rdio Maven Recommendations

I just started using rdio.com to find and listen to music, but I don't know how to find people to follow for recommendations. Who do you suggest? [more inside]
posted by nevan on May 26, 2013 - 2 answers

Mystical Rock Concept Albums

I'm looking for rock concept albums from the 70s and beyond that veer towards the mystical, magic(k)al, and otherwise weird. Specimens so far include Poe's (no, not her) Up Through the Spiral, Black Widow's Sacrifice, and a whole lot of Hawkwind. I get the sense there was a lot more of this in the 70s, but who knows. [more inside]
posted by robocop is bleeding on May 17, 2013 - 38 answers

Good mystery movies to watch?

I'd like to get some good mystery movie recommendations from the 80s on. It's OK if they veer toward the thriller, like Michael Clayton, ridiculous like Ford Fairlaine, noirish like Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, or are a more standard outing with a strong, interesting, well developed detective lead like Zero Effect. Drawing room mysteries totally A-OK too. Super bonus points if I can stream them now on Hulu plus or Netflix.
posted by jsturgill on May 16, 2013 - 25 answers

Doctor & vet recommendations for Northampton, MA

I am moving to Northampton, MA. Can you recommend good doctors for me and my cat? I am looking for an OB/GYN, a veterinarian for cats, a dentist, and a primary care doctor. [more inside]
posted by john_snow on May 13, 2013 - 12 answers

Need an Employment Lawyer in LA

A friend needs an HR/Employment specialty lawyer in LA, preferably in the SGV, but no further west than downtown. Difficulty: Friend works at a law firm. [more inside]
posted by ApathyGirl on May 9, 2013 - 1 answer

I read way too many books by white dudes.

I'm looking for recommendations for contemporary(ish) literary fiction written by folks who are not white men. [more inside]
posted by shakespeherian on May 7, 2013 - 55 answers

Hotel recommendations in Buenos Aires

I will be visiting Buenos Aires on holiday this November, and would like your recommendations on hotels. [more inside]
posted by Jakey on May 6, 2013 - 9 answers

What are some good books for quicker, disjointed reading sessions?

I commute to and from work, which involves busses and trains transfers and other general distractions, and while I really enjoy reading on this commute, I can't sink my teeth into heavier books that require a ton of concentration to comprehend and follow (I save those for the weekends). I have found that lighter books with shorter chapters and engaging storylines are easiest to read in this atmosphere. What are your recommendations? [more inside]
posted by wordsmith on May 3, 2013 - 21 answers

Mission: Dinner

Where should I eat dinner tonight in the San Francisco Mission district? It will probably be just me. I like pretty much anything, but prefer the interesting hole-in-the wall to fine dining.
posted by exceptinsects on May 2, 2013 - 25 answers

Non-fiction about the Great Outdoors

I've recently discovered that I love reading non-fiction about the Great Outdoors and the things that happen there. I'm talking about books like 'Touching the Void' by Joe Simpson, and Jon Krakauer's books 'Into Thin Air' and 'Into the Wild'. It doesn't necessarily have to be about disasters and tragedies: I really loved this recent FPP about the Alaskan Iditarod. I want to read (but haven't yet) 'Into the Silence: the Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest'. Please recommend me other books in this vein?
posted by meronym on May 2, 2013 - 35 answers

E-books to get me through a long spell in the woods.

I am leaving for Africa in less than 12 hours. I will be spending the next three months doing fieldwork. I am bringing a Kindle. What reading material should I bring for entertainment? What's gotten you through some long spells away from civilization? Looking for recommendations for books that really make you think. [more inside]
posted by Scientist on May 1, 2013 - 33 answers

Voices to hook to

Another question about recommended podcasts, hooray! [more inside]
posted by Mizu on May 1, 2013 - 15 answers

I need to read some grown-up books. With unicorns, preferably.

After spending several years reading largely YA, I'd like to read some grown-up secondary world fantasy novels. Persnickety tastes below the fold. [more inside]
posted by PhoBWanKenobi on Apr 30, 2013 - 58 answers

What music should I try on Spotify?

What bands and albums should I listen to now that I'm finally able to stream almost anything ever made? Extended information as to my taste preferences inside. [more inside]
posted by jsturgill on Apr 29, 2013 - 18 answers

Romance novel suggestions, similar to Danielle Steel?

My grandmother is in her 80s, but loves romance books, especially Danielle Steel. She's gotten several of the Harlequin Intrigue, etc series, but says that there's too much sex in them. She prefers the Danielle Steel books because of the plot (I think?). Can you suggest any other authors/books? [more inside]
posted by needlegrrl on Apr 25, 2013 - 21 answers

What are some good novels where the protagonist is in his/her mid-20s?

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.
posted by jtothes on Apr 9, 2013 - 19 answers

Pick music for my 10 year-old son's iPod!

Please name one song, or album, that I should put on my 10 year-old son's iPod. [more inside]
posted by unSane on Mar 24, 2013 - 75 answers

Recommended reading on religion and natural laws?

I am a scientifically-minded person who is trying to sort out my religious beliefs. I think it would be helpful to read some debates between deism, atheism, pantheism (Spinozism), and/or a scientifically-grounded theism. Can anyone recommend me books or essays that discuss these topics in ways that are engaging, well-thought-out, and thorough? [more inside]
posted by capricorn on Mar 19, 2013 - 16 answers

And remember: external forces are never to blame.

I've always thought King Missile's Failure was a pretty good depiction of the kind of intrusive, self-defeating thoughts that characterize depression. The recent FPP'd game Depression Quest does something similar. What are some other works that are reminiscent of the experience of having depression or another mental illness (as opposed to depicting characters with the illness?)
posted by kagredon on Mar 9, 2013 - 14 answers

Fast track me to townie status: Massachusetts North Shore Edition

I am moving to Newburyport, MA in two weeks. Please help me land smoothly with recommendations for hairstylists, dog care, preferred ISPs, and anything else that pops to mind. [more inside]
posted by amelioration on Mar 9, 2013 - 6 answers

What's the best e-reader for me?

I know pretty much nothing about the e-reader market right now, but I'm thinking about taking the plunge. Given my particular requirements, what is likely to be the best e-reader for me? [more inside]
posted by Scientist on Mar 7, 2013 - 35 answers

Rural photography recommendations?

When living in the city I had no problem finding photographers to look to for new ways of seeing that particular environment. Now that I live in a fairly rural area, I'm looking for recommendations of photographers—particularly contemporary ones—who have an interesting take on rural or wilderness photography. I'm specifically not looking for landscape/wildlife photography of the long-lens-ken-rockwell variety, but other than that anything goes. A couple things that come to mind as examples are Lee Friedlander's New Mexico stuff or Stephen Shore's lonely dirt roads (although iconic 50s gas stations are in short supply on the Gulf Islands.)
posted by Lorin on Mar 7, 2013 - 7 answers

In search of a lasting wireless network solution

After wasting two different off-days trying to get my damnable modem+router working, I want to return them both and get something entirely new. Any good recommendations for a solid, reliable DSL modem and wireless router set-up with decent NAS support? [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Mar 3, 2013 - 5 answers

What are the most popular travel guidebooks/websites around the world

I'm trying to find out the most popular guides to NYC (in particular) that people around the world use. In the US, this would include guidebooks like Frommer's or Fodor's. People can also check a site like tripadvisor to find hotel or attraction recommendations. What books or sites would people in Germany, France, Italy, China, India, and countries all around the world use?
posted by meantime on Feb 18, 2013 - 9 answers

Books for the Divorced / Divorcing Man

So my divorce took a crazy turn for the worst and all hope of reconciliation has flown out the window. Can anyone recommend books for a man in his late 30s / early 40s going through and recovering from a divorce? Any books for either dealing with the divorce itself or dealing with life after and re-entry to dating world would be great.
posted by entropicamericana on Feb 14, 2013 - 3 answers

Likeable characters with lives I might want to live vicariously

I've been reading a lot of bleak books lately, often with antiheroes. Now I would like the opposite of that. I don't mind if some bad things happen, of course, or if there's conflict - usually that's kind of necessary for a good story. But I would like it if at least one of the main characters were someone I would want to be friends with. And if some of the stuff that they do or that happens in their lives makes me smile. [more inside]
posted by lollusc on Feb 8, 2013 - 53 answers

Strictly speaking, I'm never supposed to do this.

I like movies that mostly reflect reality (er...let's say enhanced reality) but have a pop of wtf-was-that. Like the square that Mia draws in Pulp Fiction. [more inside]
posted by phunniemee on Feb 5, 2013 - 90 answers

What to read?

Seeking recommendations for fiction that features matriarchy / female led societies.
posted by travelwithcats on Feb 4, 2013 - 36 answers

Recommendations of books about unconventional defectors

I've been listening to 'Escape from Camp 14' on audiobook for the past few days, and I was struck by a brief overview of & reference to the story of Charles Robert Jenkins, an American defector to North Korea. I found the concept as mystifying as it was intriguing, so I would like to know if any of you have heard of any non-fiction books about other defection stories that involve citizens of democratic nations obtaining residency in nations that would be deemed objectively totalitarian and renouncing their countries of origin. I'm on the lookout for his book, 'The Reluctant Communist,' but I'd like to hear about other stories of this type as well.
posted by Selena777 on Feb 3, 2013 - 13 answers

Tips and Recommendations for visiting the Pantanal

I'm planning to visit the Pantanal wetlands later this year. Do you have any tips or recommendations for activities and tour companies? [more inside]
posted by Jakey on Jan 27, 2013 - 0 answers

Books on the history of photography?

I only really have time to read a single book on the origins of photography. What do you recommend? Think Daguerre and Talbot, no need for hundreds of pages devoted to the camera obscura. I'd also prefer something heavier on text than actual photographs.
posted by Lorin on Jan 25, 2013 - 5 answers

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