Cloud Atlas: most recommended book on Metafilter? August 15, 2009 9:40 PM   Subscribe

Cloud Atlas: most recommended book on Metafilter?

I was looking through old askme questions where people are looking for book recommendations and it seems like David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas is invariably suggested, recommended and lauded at every possible opportunity.

It is a good book. Are there any other titles that have been recommended as much?

Google results: 101 from ask.metafilter.com for "cloud atlas". And usually it gets recommended multiple times within the results.
posted by Mrs. Buck Turgidson to MetaFilter-Related at 9:40 PM (73 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

Your favorite book sucks.
posted by John of Michigan at 9:46 PM on August 15, 2009


Atlas Shrugged. And Protocols of the Elders of Castro.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:57 PM on August 15, 2009


something something link to wiki
posted by Rhomboid at 10:18 PM on August 15, 2009


289 hits for "Infinite Jest," because it's approximately 2.8 times the piece of literature "Cloud Atlas" is.

Not.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:25 PM on August 15, 2009


Probably "A People's History of the United States" == 54 hits
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:25 PM on August 15, 2009


The Gift of Fear is regularly recommended in AskMes relating to abusive/stalking situations.
posted by amyms at 10:37 PM on August 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


I always do my best to throw in Robert Anton Wilson's name, if appropriate ... and it usually is. If Ayn Rand is the God of Objectivism, Wilson is the goddess of subjectivism. And he's funny.
posted by philip-random at 10:41 PM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Lego Star Wars seems to be the Cloud Atlas of video games.
posted by lore at 10:43 PM on August 15, 2009


Blood Meridian: 47
posted by freebird at 11:16 PM on August 15, 2009


Sounds like we need a tool that iterates though a list of titles or authors and generates search results. Are there any sites that do this automatically for a specific domain? I tried Google squared, and Wolfram Alpha, but there doesn't seem to be a way to get it to focus on a single domain.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:22 PM on August 15, 2009


The Fountainhead, The Celestine Prophecy, The DaVinci Code.

Also, MeFites are generally huge fans of Thomas Kinkaid.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:25 PM on August 15, 2009 [5 favorites]


"Zen And The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values" gets 109 Googly references from AskMe. They're not all recommendations*, but Pirsig has a fan base here.

And then there is that whole MOQ.org crowd.

*Personally, I thought Lila was a better, if also much more flawed, book, for having started on the blood-slippery sand of human morals as its topic, and thus, carried a broader view of human thought. Call me "crazy," and intend the joke.
posted by paulsc at 11:25 PM on August 15, 2009


Googly coincidence: "Guns, Germs and Steel" by Jared Diamond also has 109 ask.metafilter.com references. Isn't that just cargo cult precious?
posted by paulsc at 11:34 PM on August 15, 2009


Dhalgren gets 60. READ IT!

Stranger in a Strange Land
gets 86. READ IT!
posted by Meatbomb at 11:42 PM on August 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy " by Douglas Adams gets 122 Google nods from AskMe, perhaps not all recommendation to the individual books that make up the series.

Hey, this is fun! Let's check to see how many AskMe references "the Bible" gets.... Oh, wait... Do we have to check it by its individual "books"? Cause that could take awhile... :-(
posted by paulsc at 11:42 PM on August 15, 2009


Atlas Shrugged. And Protocols of the Elders of Castro.

Lies! Do not listen to Blazecock.
posted by the Cabal at 11:50 PM on August 15, 2009


Gravity's Rainbow: 96

House of Leaves: 92
posted by jayder at 11:51 PM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


For some reason, Fanny Hill is not cited once on MetaFilter.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:56 PM on August 15, 2009


From the "change your mind, change your life" squad (of which I am a member), we see a lot of The Feeling Good Handbook.
posted by ottereroticist at 12:02 AM on August 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Time Traveler's Wife: 97
posted by marsha56 at 12:11 AM on August 16, 2009


135 for The Master & Margarita.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:31 AM on August 16, 2009


Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, 101
posted by creeky at 12:42 AM on August 16, 2009


Jumping Tigers by Bawls, Claude, is quite popular.
posted by klangklangston at 12:49 AM on August 16, 2009


I don't know about recommendations, but if Google Suggest is any guide then Bradbury's All Summer in a Day is one of the most sought-after titles.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:55 AM on August 16, 2009


Man, you lot really love House of Leaves.

Man I hate that book. Total pretentious con-job.
posted by Artw at 1:32 AM on August 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


The Artist's Way is frequently suggested.
posted by bigmusic at 2:55 AM on August 16, 2009


Godel, Escher, Bach is also suggested quite a bit.
posted by aheckler at 4:16 AM on August 16, 2009


Confederacy of Dunces: 83 hits
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:05 AM on August 16, 2009


The Handmaid's Tale gets 98 hits. But I know from memory that a bunch of those hits are slamming the novel. There are a total of 137 Google hits for Margaret Atwood, thouh.

Slaughterhouse Five gets 81 hits. Vonnegut gets a total of 283 Google hits.
posted by brina at 5:32 AM on August 16, 2009


"Baroque cycle" 136 hits
Cryptonomicon: 134 hits
"Neal Stephenson" 344 hits
posted by biffa at 5:42 AM on August 16, 2009


The reason Cloud Atlas is recommended so often is that it's FUCKING AWESOME. Really. "Oh you like books? You enjoy reading printed words on a page? READ THIS."
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:47 AM on August 16, 2009


Feeling Good - 136 hits
posted by fire&wings at 6:00 AM on August 16, 2009


How to Goodbye Depression - 1 hit.
posted by idiopath at 6:06 AM on August 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm wondering if you saw the ultimate book thread, only because it didn't mention Cloud Atlas.
posted by gman at 6:22 AM on August 16, 2009




Not specifically an answer to the question, but awesome and worth mentioning: the exhaustive ReadMe entry on the wiki, itself just one of several pages in the Askme Collections category.

More on point, philosophistry did exactly this sort of rundown on a per-category basis a while back, for the human relations and the work & money categories.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:51 AM on August 16, 2009


2001: 2,360 hits
posted by biffa at 8:10 AM on August 16, 2009


Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything gets 106 results on Ask. I've read it twice. Couldn't even get thru the first 10 pages of Cloud Atlas without falling asleep. I now use it instead of Restoril.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 8:10 AM on August 16, 2009


I enjoyed Mitchell's Ghostwritten, so I should give Cloud Atlas a try.

> Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything gets 106 results on Ask. I've read it twice.

I hope you read it for entertainment, because Bryson usually doesn't actually know what he's talking about.
posted by languagehat at 8:19 AM on August 16, 2009


You mean despite all my tireless efforts, it's not Ladies Man by Richard Price? Shee-it! (I'm typingf this from 34000 feet over fucking Kansas, so Price should be grateful.
posted by jonmc at 8:47 AM on August 16, 2009


I'm typingf this from 34000 feet over fucking Kansas

*goes out to front yard to wave at jonmc's place*
posted by amyms at 8:52 AM on August 16, 2009


err... plane*
posted by amyms at 8:53 AM on August 16, 2009


*jon and pips wave back at amy*

I assume you're out there somewhere among all that fucking wheat....
posted by jonmc at 8:57 AM on August 16, 2009


*waves at pips too*

The wheat harvest is done for the year; you're probably seeing milo or grassland.
posted by amyms at 9:01 AM on August 16, 2009


OK, then what're all those things out my window that look like crop circles?
posted by jonmc at 9:10 AM on August 16, 2009


Probably irrigated fields (corn or milo) with a center pivot.
posted by amyms at 9:16 AM on August 16, 2009


Milo grows in fields? I always thought it was made from recycled shopping bags.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:19 AM on August 16, 2009


Sure. That's what you want me to think.

*upgrades hat to Reynolds Wrap*
posted by jonmc at 9:20 AM on August 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think you probably need a double layer of that Reynolds Wrap.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:21 AM on August 16, 2009


Cool, Ubu! Turns out there's no milo in Milo, though.
posted by amyms at 9:28 AM on August 16, 2009


I would have guessed Cryptonomicon. I read both that and Cloud Atlas thanks to Metafilter.
posted by yeti at 9:57 AM on August 16, 2009


languagehat: I hope you read it for entertainment, because Bryson usually doesn't actually know what he's talking about.

He actually did his research this time. Or, if you prefer, unlike with his language books, he could hire fact-checking assistants. Here are a review by a scientist, another review which calls it "science for the verbally-minded" and the NYT review which is by a pop science writer. All are quite surprised by its how accurate it is.
posted by Kattullus at 10:04 AM on August 16, 2009


A search for "Clive Cussler" gives a disappointingly/encouragingly low number of results, although it did lead me to this wonderful comment by gottabefunky:

All I know is that I tried to read The Da Vinci Code and threw it aside after 50 pages. The guy makes Clive Cussler look like Umberto Eco.
posted by brundlefly at 10:42 AM on August 16, 2009


> All are quite surprised by its how accurate it is.

OK, then, good for him. I was generalizing from experience.
posted by languagehat at 11:40 AM on August 16, 2009


There is a user named Infinite Jest though. Must find ways to account for false positives. Excluding "posted by infinite jest" I get only 83 hits. This excludes pages containing both references to the book *and* contributions from the user, though.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:46 AM on August 16, 2009


Dune gets 289 hits.
posted by deborah at 12:05 PM on August 16, 2009


Generalising from experience? Like that ever got anybody anywhere.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:11 PM on August 16, 2009


I'm pretty sure the answer to this question is actually IN the Bible, as all answers are, so long as the answer is 'Jesus is God except for when he's not, and all other gods are big big lies made to make you go to hell.'

Excuse me now, I need to go speak in tongues for a while.
posted by kaibutsu at 12:14 PM on August 16, 2009


If only there were a LOLXTIANS manifesto - then it would be the most recommended book here.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:31 PM on August 16, 2009


Someone must be on comission for "The Dance of Intimacy."
posted by johngoren at 2:01 PM on August 16, 2009


(110 hits.)
posted by johngoren at 2:06 PM on August 16, 2009


Protocols of the Elders of Castro

There's a book revealing the secret gay cabal that's running the world out of Eureka Valley? Damn it, man, how do I get my hands on a copy?!
posted by nanojath at 2:33 PM on August 16, 2009


Stranger in a Strange Land, fo sho.
posted by lazaruslong at 4:26 PM on August 16, 2009


KokuRyu: "For some reason, Fanny Hill is not cited once on MetaFilter."

Wrong, unless I misunderstood.
posted by WCityMike at 4:37 PM on August 16, 2009


The Book of My Cock : 1

Hint: it's encycloapedic and a hard read. I'll go now
posted by lalochezia at 4:54 PM on August 16, 2009


Slaughterhouse 5
The 8
11
A Captain at 15
Catch 22
Fahrenheit 451
1984
posted by netbros at 6:20 PM on August 16, 2009


Everybody Poops - 27
posted by empath at 6:45 PM on August 16, 2009


How to Be an Adult in Relationships
posted by rmless at 8:56 PM on August 16, 2009


He's great in Peep Show too.
posted by turgid dahlia at 1:29 AM on August 17, 2009


Another expensive thread.
posted by bigmusic at 5:06 AM on August 17, 2009


Milo grows in fields? I always thought it was made from recycled shopping bags.

But, but... But Milo is delicious!

Bet you don't like Vegemite either.

Heathen.
posted by The Monkey at 7:14 AM on August 17, 2009


Another expensive thread.

You can say that again, combined with the wiki reading lists I just ordered 12 books from the book depository. (Free shipping to NZ, you see.)

(Will make a nice set with the 7 and a half unread books from my last order. Going to take some holiday time, I think.)
posted by The Monkey at 8:31 AM on August 17, 2009


'Starting Strength' is recommended in pretty much every exercise thread. Not usually the ones about novels, though.
posted by box at 11:51 AM on August 17, 2009


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