For research, I’m looking for a few book recommendations.

1) I am shamefully ignorant of all things African mythology/folklore (except, stereotypically, Egypt).  I want to fix this.  I’m interested more in fleshed out retellings than dry notes about details.  Something like what this book did for Norse Mythology, where you get a nice prose retelling with academic/anthropological notes about context, culture etc., in footnotes and the appendix, would be great.  Honestly, I won’t care about the academic details until after I care about the story, and most of what I’m finding on my own does a general, “In Western Africa you get myths about these characters who do these things.  In Central Africa, it’s similar, except more root vegetables.”  Nobody actually tells stories this way – some anthropologist committed murder in collecting those summaries.  A fabricated retelling (with good research and notes) is much, much more desirable than re-polished notes collected by a dead white guy.

2) Has anybody run across a book that rendered either telepathy or computers talking to each other across a network, while verbal communication is happening in the same scene, particularly well?  I am failing to create a satisfactory technique for this on my own and would like very much some sources for theft.  I want something more than weird punctuation – I’m looking for somebody who captured how the non-verbal, non-written communication would actually work.

3) It’s been a while since I’ve had my mind blown.  I’m starting to feel jaded.  Anybody got anything mind-blowing to recommend?  I read all fiction, so do not feel constrained by genre.

One thought on “Reading Recommendation Request

  1. Re: Question 3

    I’m in the middle of the last book of the “Chaos Walking” trilogy by Patrick Ness. Looks like a YA coming of age story, then starts chewing on some really hard & intense moral issues – do you kill to save your own life, or not? Do you do what you must to survive a tyrant, or do you fight? How do you choose sides when war comes to you?

    I’ve loved these books for the nonstop tension, the relationship between the protagonists, and just how sharply the antagonists are written, especially in the middle book, “The Ask and the Answer”.

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