• Most votes
  • Most comments
  • Newest
  • Activity
  • Showing only topics in ~books with the tag "recommendations". Back to normal view / Search all groups
    1. Project Gutenberg is a great resource for free books, but its 50,000+ titles are intimidating in number (if not outright impenetrable). The same goes for other free ebook aggregators/feeds, of...

      Project Gutenberg is a great resource for free books, but its 50,000+ titles are intimidating in number (if not outright impenetrable). The same goes for other free ebook aggregators/feeds, of which there are many. There are also lots of authors who offer up their books for free. And, of course, there are tons of free options available in, say, the Kindle store. While it's nice to have so many choices, it hinders discoverability. Individual books get lost in all the noise.

      As such, I'd like to know: what are some standout, recommended books that are available to readers for free?

      Obvious disclaimer: I am not interested in pirated content.

      24 votes
    2. Top level comments should fill in the blank with some sort of descriptor identifying a kind of book you would like suggestions for. Be as generic or specific as you want. Replies can then...

      Top level comments should fill in the blank with some sort of descriptor identifying a kind of book you would like suggestions for. Be as generic or specific as you want.

      Replies can then recommend books to that individual.

      Examples of what I'm thinking for top level posts, in case my description was unclear:

      • Recommend me a book that will make me cry.
      • Recommend me a book with a great twist.
      • Recommend me a book that deals with loss.
      • Recommend me a book about the fall of the Roman Empire.
      • Recommend me a book with a main character in her 80s.
      • Recommend me a book to help me learn PHP.
      30 votes
    3. Poland has a long history, and is an interesting blend between Eastern and Western Europe, which has probably affected its literary tradition. The country has also been divided and united in many...

      Poland has a long history, and is an interesting blend between Eastern and Western Europe, which has probably affected its literary tradition. The country has also been divided and united in many different forms: Commonwealth, Holy Roman Empire, Prussia, Russia, German Empire, Soviet Union, and now in it's current form. Poland has produced many famous figures, such as Chopin and Marie Skłodowska Curie, and now it's time to share Poland's best authors.

      So, without further ado:
      What are your favourite texts originally written in Polish?

      6 votes
    4. I like the idea of poetry, but I almost never actually read it. My knowledge of the form is pretty much limited to a handful of popular classics that I had to read back in high school; one or two...

      I like the idea of poetry, but I almost never actually read it. My knowledge of the form is pretty much limited to a handful of popular classics that I had to read back in high school; one or two poems each from Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, Walt Whitman, and Shakespeare.

      Where do I start if I want to dip my toes into poetic waters? What are some good poems/compilations for poetry novices? I'm particularly interested in modern, contemporary voices, but I'm open to anything.

      19 votes
    5. This time I'm looking forward to some recommendations of books written in Arabic. It's a huge language, so I'm expecting some great suggestions! Sidenote: I can highly recommend checking out #3...

      This time I'm looking forward to some recommendations of books written in Arabic. It's a huge language, so I'm expecting some great suggestions!

      Sidenote: I can highly recommend checking out #3 Portuguese. It wasn't the most commented post, but it had some good recommendations.

      10 votes
    6. Hello ! I've been interested in reading some works from famous Beat Generation authors like Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Carolyn Cassady, Allan Ginsberg, etc. I have yet to read any of their...

      Hello !

      I've been interested in reading some works from famous Beat Generation authors like Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Carolyn Cassady, Allan Ginsberg, etc.

      I have yet to read any of their works but I'm not quite sure where to start. I've been thinking of 'On the Road' by Kerouac but the reviews I've been reading have been mixed. It doesn't seem like it's for everybody, especially considering the writing style. I've also been thinking of 'The Dharma Bums', also by Kerouac since it seems to be more spiritual, which is something that really resonates with me.

      Anyway, if you have any recommendations/opinions I'd be more than happy to hear them. Thanks !!!

      12 votes
    7. The last thread was pretty dead, but thanks to a encouraging message I decided to give it another go. This time: Portuguese. Brazilian, European and African Portuguese is welcome here (and of...

      The last thread was pretty dead, but thanks to a encouraging message I decided to give it another go.

      This time: Portuguese. Brazilian, European and African Portuguese is welcome here (and of course other places as well =)! The only writer of Portuguese that I know by name is Paulo Coelho, so I look forwards to your recommendations.

      So, without further ado:
      What are your favourite texts originally written in Portuguese?

      15 votes
    8. I am well aware of the ongoing ebooks vs. physical books debate, and I have no interest in kindling that fire here. Instead, I am seeking recommendations for books that are arguably better in...

      I am well aware of the ongoing ebooks vs. physical books debate, and I have no interest in kindling that fire here.

      Instead, I am seeking recommendations for books that are arguably better in physical form due to their makeup. House of Leaves is a perfect example, with its textual trickery essentially requiring physical pages. Coffee table books also fit the bill, for example. Some textbooks and reference books technically do as well, though I'm not interested in recommendations in those areas unless you have something in mind that's an absolute standout.

      20 votes
    9. So I haven't read any books since my senior year, where the ones I did were for book essays. That was about 3 years ago. I was, however, a fanatical reader in my formative years, all throughout...

      So I haven't read any books since my senior year, where the ones I did were for book essays. That was about 3 years ago. I was, however, a fanatical reader in my formative years, all throughout elementary school. I read lots of Fantasy like Harry Potter, the Magyk series, Skullduggery Pleasant, Percy Jackson, stuff in that vein. As of late, my ADD addled brain has decided to let go a tad and I want to get back into reading

      This might be very vague but I'll try my best. I'm looking for books similar to (or maybe kinda detached from, if you think a tangential connection is sufficient enough to warrant an outlier) the books I mentioned earlier. I'm also very open to Sci-Fi, but I like world/race exploration the most. Interesting Alien species and odd planets/phenomena. I prefer novels where the author has a good grasp on the English language, with some wit or neat descriptors, but Tolkien-esque long-in-the-tooth verbosity wears me out after a while. I recall greatly enjoying some Halo novels as well.

      This is getting a little long in the tooth, but lastly, if there's anything even remotely comparable to the SCP Foundation collection of stories, I'm way into it. I've also been picking up and putting down House Of Leaves for a while, and it has some neat stuff, but it rambles quite often. Not so much that I want to put it down, but it makes me restless trying to get to the meat but having to wade through the writer's extraneous verbose ramblings. I don't know if this will give enough info but I'll greatly appreciate anything thrown at me!

      22 votes
    10. Last time we had some discussion whether it'd be best to discuss authors from different countries, or authors writing in different languages. I think it'd be best if the focus is on the language,...

      Last time we had some discussion whether it'd be best to discuss authors from different countries, or authors writing in different languages. I think it'd be best if the focus is on the language, but I won't get mad if you post Nabokov in the thread about Russian. So, without further ado:

      What are your favourite texts originally written in Korean?

      9 votes
    11. This is the first post (a test post, to see if there is any interest) of a series of posts where we can share our favourite texts in foreign languages. I will try to include the large languages,...

      This is the first post (a test post, to see if there is any interest) of a series of posts where we can share our favourite texts in foreign languages. I will try to include the large languages, and some small as well. You're welcome to request a language too. So, without further ado:

      What are your favourite texts originally written in Italian?

      15 votes
    12. I'm learning Spanish and feel like reading is really helping me get to the next level. I've read 1984 and one part of Harry Potter in Spanish but now I'm thinking of trying some original,...

      I'm learning Spanish and feel like reading is really helping me get to the next level. I've read 1984 and one part of Harry Potter in Spanish but now I'm thinking of trying some original, non-translated literature.

      What Spanish-language books would you recommend (that are not too difficult to read)?

      6 votes
    13. I've read a few novels, I think an excellent short novel is Elevation by Stephen King. It's not what you'd expect from a Stephen King novel (no horror elements), but it's a great read. I can't say...

      I've read a few novels, I think an excellent short novel is Elevation by Stephen King. It's not what you'd expect from a Stephen King novel (no horror elements), but it's a great read. I can't say too much without spoiling it, but here's the blurb:

      The latest from legendary master storyteller Stephen King, a riveting, extraordinarily eerie, and moving story about a man whose mysterious affliction brings a small town together—a timely, upbeat tale about finding common ground despite deep-rooted differences.

      It starts off a little slow, but give it a little bit of time. It's readable in an afternoon, I think I spent 5 or so hours reading it.

      7 votes
    14. This is my 2019 project, to gain some understanding of the subjects of income and wealth inequality. I've prepared a reading list but was just wondering if there is a proper way to go about it....

      This is my 2019 project, to gain some understanding of the subjects of income and wealth inequality. I've prepared a reading list but was just wondering if there is a proper way to go about it. I'm from a third world country and didn't go to college, if that's of any help.

      19 votes
    15. I'm an audio engineer, and I spend many hours a day consuming music. I could talk your ear off about genres, sub-genres, vocal styles, rhythms, and exactly what combinations of those I really...

      I'm an audio engineer, and I spend many hours a day consuming music. I could talk your ear off about genres, sub-genres, vocal styles, rhythms, and exactly what combinations of those I really enjoy. Technology, recommendations, and websites like everynoise.com have really enhanced how accurate my recommendations are, and I'm constantly consuming music that I absolutely love.

      But when it comes to books... I'm so lost. Literature genres are like the equivalent of listing what instruments play on an album. Okay, this book is "sci-fi," so I know it's probably got futuristic technology, may be set in space, and could have some aliens. But that doesn't tell me anything about the writing style.

      I know enough to know that I can't go just by good reviews on sites like amazon. How do I learn to quantify what I enjoy and curate my recommendations more effectively?

      15 votes
    16. as in the title. Be it textbooks, bios or anything else. Somewhere I've heard that a couple of books in a given subject can give you quite a good understanding of it. It does not have to be a...

      as in the title. Be it textbooks, bios or anything else. Somewhere I've heard that a couple of books in a given subject can give you quite a good understanding of it.
      It does not have to be a niche either; I am interested in hearing about your favourite general psychology or biotechnology books just as well; I hope we can exchange recommendations about how to dive into a given field.

      For me, I'd say that to get a taste of Computer Science from the metal to high level concepts, I'd go with:

      • Introduction to Algorithms by Cormen et al. - for many it's bible of algorithms designs, I also enjoyed it very much (and I like to think that it was not only because of widespread aclaim)
      • CODE by Petzhold - for people who like to understand every part of the system they build; it goes through the process of building a computer, starting with logic gates and ending with fully working Turing machine.
      22 votes
    17. I always say that most of the challenges we're facing today require deep thoughts, and the only way to get to that level is by reading. Podcasts, videos and articles are fine, but they don't give...

      I always say that most of the challenges we're facing today require deep thoughts, and the only way to get to that level is by reading. Podcasts, videos and articles are fine, but they don't give you the depth of a book.

      So since Christmas is almost here, I thought it would be interesting to give you a few books to get started (and I hope you recommend some books back!) By the way, I'm not going to recommend the latest books, but the books I think are timely for the situation we're living.

      1. 21 lessons for the 21st century. My favorite book of 2018. This is a must read.

      2. The filter bubble. Indispensable to understand the digital world we live in.

      3. Adcreep. If you want to get a wide picture of where advertising comes from and where it's going, this is a great book.

      4. Free will. Short book but I think it's fundamental to start acknowledging that we might not be the authors of our own thoughts.

      5. Conspiracy. Intriguing and entertaining book on how Peter Thiel took over Gawker media. I think this book is great to have a better picture of what goes on behind the scenes and understand power structures and communications processes.

      I hope you find this useful.

      Please, share your recommendations

      25 votes
    18. I ask because I have several physical books that I would love to have digital copies of. Most of the services out there are destructive, so you lose the book when you send it in to scan. I'm fine...

      I ask because I have several physical books that I would love to have digital copies of.

      Most of the services out there are destructive, so you lose the book when you send it in to scan. I'm fine with this in theory, except for the fact that I'd hate to lose the physical book and have it replaced with a crappy digital copy. I've not had terribly great luck with my own attempts at OCR with documents (but I'm also not a professional).

      Additionally, some of the books I want to scan have extensive footnotes. The ideal would be that the book gets scanned and edited to have these footnotes hyperlinked in the resulting ebook, but I don't know if anyone offers that kind of service. I'd even be okay with the footnotes just being eliminated if it's too much trouble. What I don't want is them just being flowed into the main text of the document.

      There are a lot of different options out there, and I'm more than willing to pay for a good job. Has anyone used one of these services and can speak to their quality?

      7 votes
    19. I've started doing this amateurishly a few months ago, translating a novel slowly, and nowadays I'm thinking of going to a few publishers and asking for actual contracts. Currently, I'm using an...

      I've started doing this amateurishly a few months ago, translating a novel slowly, and nowadays I'm thinking of going to a few publishers and asking for actual contracts. Currently, I'm using an Org mode file in Emacs to do the translation, but I'm not sure that this is the most optimal way to do it. I was doing it using paper for a while, but editing and commenting is more flexible in Org mode. Yet it is also rather cumbersome the way I do it:

      <<pageNo.paragraphNo.sentenceNo>> Text, text text
      #
      some text with a comment
      # comment about the part between this comment and the above empty one
      more text, more text. <<...>> Another sentence
      

      I'm thinking of adding some code to make this a bit prettier, though.

      But are there anything that's better out there already. My preference hierarchy: Emacs mode, yayyy! > Open source app, that's fine > Proprietary app, shit! but better than nothing.

      I'm not sure if this should go under ~comp, ~tech or here (~books).

      8 votes
    20. What are for you the best modern whodunnit/criminal investigation books? I'm interested in books like Sherlock Holmes where there are clever deductions but also books where everybody knows who the...

      What are for you the best modern whodunnit/criminal investigation books? I'm interested in books like Sherlock Holmes where there are clever deductions but also books where everybody knows who the criminal is but they need to find evidence and the bad guy seems to always be two steps ahead (kind of like Daredevil season 3 with Wilson Fisk).

      10 votes
    21. China Miéville

      Is anyone here familiar with his work? Perhaps you could recommend a starting point for someone more inclined towards exploring darker urban / sociopolitical realist "fantasy"; not so interested...

      Is anyone here familiar with his work? Perhaps you could recommend a starting point for someone more inclined towards exploring darker urban / sociopolitical realist "fantasy"; not so interested in escapism for the sake of escapism. LeGuin over Tolkien, etc.

      10 votes
    22. I'm in the last 100 pages and would like to recommend this book. Although it plods a little bit early on, to me it's something of an achievement to keep things going and create interest in the...

      I'm in the last 100 pages and would like to recommend this book. Although it plods a little bit early on, to me it's something of an achievement to keep things going and create interest in the last pages. The premise is that people live multiple lives, but there's more to it than that. The level of writing is above average and the breadth of the book, taking you through several countries and historical events is well done. I'll be up for discussing it in a week or so if anyone's interested.

      6 votes
    23. I finished The Little Stranger last week. While I found the pacing very compelling, I felt some pretty palpable dissatisfaction in how everything ended. I can't quite put my finger on it...

      I finished The Little Stranger last week. While I found the pacing very compelling, I felt some pretty palpable dissatisfaction in how everything ended. I can't quite put my finger on it...

      9 votes
    24. You know the kind I'm talking about - a series of fiction novels (generally falling into urban fantasy/sci fi/straight fantasy) based around a main character (or small group of characters),...

      You know the kind I'm talking about - a series of fiction novels (generally falling into urban fantasy/sci fi/straight fantasy) based around a main character (or small group of characters), nothing overly serious, though they may sometimes touch on serious topics. Fun, fluffy reads with engaging characters that leave you wanting more. The main drawback of a lot of these series is that the starring characters can turn into Mary Sues REAL FAST (Looking at you, Harry Dresden), but I'm ok with that.

      A few examples:

      • Jim Butcher - The Dresden Files
      • Kim Harrison - The Hollows

      What series have you enjoyed?

      8 votes
    25. I read the book 'Municipal Dreams' a few weeks ago and really enjoyed the history of social housing presented in it. I picked up 'Living in Cities' by Ralph Tubbs which is like a modernist new...

      I read the book 'Municipal Dreams' a few weeks ago and really enjoyed the history of social housing presented in it. I picked up 'Living in Cities' by Ralph Tubbs which is like a modernist new town pamphlet style book about the futures of cities & towns. I also have 'Post-Modern Buildings in Britain' which is quite nice for a flip through and some history of these buildings.

      I'd definitely reccomend Municipal Dreams for anyone even slightly intrested in UK social housing (and more) and I think the way it is presented is really nice.

      I was wondering if anyone knew any particularly good books about architecture (specifically about social housing's architecture), I realise this is quite hard as little has been recorded around some of this stuff.

      Further any books surrounding modernist ideals that lead to this would be nice to discuss as well as I've not seen much in the way of primary sources here.

      8 votes
    26. SF recommendations

      Not exactly an original first post, but as a life long avid SF fan, I'm always on the lookout for recommendations. According to Google Play, my reading (and re-reading) this year has been ... Iain...

      Not exactly an original first post, but as a life long avid SF fan, I'm always on the lookout for recommendations.

      According to Google Play, my reading (and re-reading) this year has been ...

      Iain M Banks, Alastair Reynolds, John Scalzi, Dan Simmons, Neal Stephenson, Charles Stross, China Miéville, Vernor Vinge, Peter Watts, Neal Asher, Richard K Morgan, Corey Doctorow, C.J. Cherryh, Karl Schroeder, Ann Leckie, Hannu Rajaniemi, Yoon Ha Lee, Greg Bear and James S.A. Corey.

      So I guess that sums up my current taste, which would seem to tilt towards space opera and "hard" SF.

      11 votes
    27. Hello to all! Since I first read a Saramago novel (All the Names), I've grown to love Portuguese literature. Later I read Gonçalo Tavares and Pessoa, and I have some names to discover from their...

      Hello to all!

      Since I first read a Saramago novel (All the Names), I've grown to love Portuguese literature. Later I read Gonçalo Tavares and Pessoa, and I have some names to discover from their classics (illustrious ones like Gil Vicente or Eça de Queiroz), but because I don't know Portuguese yet, I have to make do with translations, which impedes me from following the current, less famous authors. So, I wonder if you could tell me about some of these ones. Which are your favourites, which ones would you suggest? Does not matter if translated or not, I can read in a couple other languages and will learn Portuguese soon too. Thanks in advance!

      7 votes
    28. I'm looking for something challenging to read that is sort of on the fringe of philosophy and makes some interesting arguments. I would like to read classical philosophy but the girl I'm reading...

      I'm looking for something challenging to read that is sort of on the fringe of philosophy and makes some interesting arguments. I would like to read classical philosophy but the girl I'm reading it with just finished a philosophy major and doesn't want to, so I guess I'm looking for something a little "softer".

      4 votes
    29. Non-fictions lovers, what are your favorite subjects to read about, and what are your recommended readings for them? My personal areas of interest are: American Civil War Battle Cry of Freedom by...

      Non-fictions lovers, what are your favorite subjects to read about, and what are your recommended readings for them? My personal areas of interest are:

      American Civil War

      • Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson - Perhaps the definitive overview of the Civil War
      • The Confederate War by Gary Gallagher - A look at the war from the perspective of the Confederacy
      • A Short History of Reconstruction by Eric Foner - A relatively brief but complete analysis of the years following the war

      Custer

      • Cavalier in Buckskin by Robert Utley - A very balanced, comprehensive study of Custer’s life (there is a large hardcover version available that also contains a lot of interesting pictures)
      • A Terrible Glory by James Donovan - Well researched and covers more of the aftermath of Custer’s Last Stand than the typical Custer book
      • Custer Victorious by Gregory J.W. Urwin - An extensive examination of Custer’s distinguished Civil War career

      OJ Simpson

      • Without a Doubt by Marcia Clark - A fascinating, detailed read written by the lead prosecutor herself
      • The Run of His Life by Jeffrey Toobin - The best book written about the case by someone not directly involved in it
      • Murder in Brentwood by Mark Fuhrman - Despite what reservations people may have about Mark Fuhrman, his account of the trial is thorough and eye-opening

      The Atomic Bomb

      • The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes - A long-winded history of the creation of the bomb, including the physics behind it
      • Hiroshima in History and Memory by Michael J. Hogan - A collection of essays detailing the decision to drop the bomb, and the effects it had on Japan and American afterward
      • In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Richard Polenberg - Contains the transcripts of the J. Robert Oppenheimer trial, “father of the atomic bomb,” who was put on trial several years after the end of World War II for being a suspected Soviet spy
      5 votes
    30. Whenever I hear sci-fi being discussed it’s usually in the context of the classic titles, and there’s nothing wrong with that but I wanna read sci-fi of the now! One series I just picked up is the...

      Whenever I hear sci-fi being discussed it’s usually in the context of the classic titles, and there’s nothing wrong with that but I wanna read sci-fi of the now! One series I just picked up is the Terra Ignota series by Ada Palmer - the first book is called Too Like The Lightning, it’s a really rich and dense text that - and it’s hard to describe without spoiling anything - manages to discuss a lot about human nature in the past, present and perhaps in the future through a really well told narrative. It’s mysterious and a thrilling read as more and more of the world is revealed to you.

      Does anyone have any cool sci-fi published recently that they’re reading?

      21 votes