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Off The Shelf
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Off the Shelf is a site created by passionate editors, authors, and others inside the book business to help you discover—or rediscover—great books. Whether they’re bestsellers you never got a chance to read or classics you remember falling for when you first read them, the books we write about have made an indelible impression on us as readers and have become friends we revisit often. We hope that shining a new light on these wonderful books will help you discover a passion for them too.

Entries by Off The Shelf

The Song of Achilles: A Forbidden Romance of Epic Proportions

(0) Comments | Posted July 25, 2016 | 2:55 PM

By Taylor Jenkins Reid | Off the Shelf

I came across The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller in one of the most romantic ways one can find a story. I was digging through a pile of used books at my local library when my hand gravitated toward...

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8 Powerful Stories of Addiction and What Comes After

(0) Comments | Posted July 14, 2016 | 4:28 PM

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By Hilary Krutt | Off the Shelf

Millions of Americans are currently suffering from addiction, and countless more have lost their lives or a loved one to the disease. The following novels and memoirs are by turns harrowing, painful, and even...

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A Pulsing Story As Layered And Complex As Life Itself

(0) Comments | Posted July 13, 2016 | 4:53 PM

By Lisa Unger | Off the Shelf

All writers begin as readers. This is where we fall in love with story. We are addicted to that feeling. You know the one: when you open a book and read a few words, a few sentences. And you just know...

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5 Books You'll Need to Ease Your Outlander Withdrawal

(0) Comments | Posted July 7, 2016 | 11:34 PM

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By Arielle Kane | Off the Shelf

Outlander's season two finale is just around the corner. Happily, the Starz hit has been renewed for seasons three and four but we all know what will follow after this weekend's finale--major withdrawal for...

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This Land is Your Land: 8 Literary Pit Stops Across the USA

(0) Comments | Posted June 30, 2016 | 5:06 PM

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By Hilary Krutt | Off the Shelf

We're kicking off the summer season with a literary road trip from the lush forests of Maine, to the small towns of the Midwest, to the expansive plains of Wyoming. Each of these eight...

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8 Literary Gardens to Escape to This Summer

(0) Comments | Posted June 29, 2016 | 1:21 PM

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By Amy Hendricks | Off the Shelf


In literature, there's something both magical and symbolic about gardens. They can be unkempt and wild, harboring secrets and failures, or brimming with well-maintained life, the beauty of the plants as radiant...

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The BFG: An Enchanting Tale of Magnificent Friendship

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2016 | 4:43 PM

By Ashley Hay | Off the Shelf

I missed Roald Dahl's The BFG when it appeared in 1982. Perhaps, being eleven, I thought I'd outgrown such things, busy instead with Judy Blume and L. M. Montgomery who wrote Anne of Green Gables. It would be thirty-three years before...

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8 Lena Dunham-Approved Books You Need to Read Right Now

(0) Comments | Posted June 20, 2016 | 3:32 PM

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By Hilary Krutt | Off the Shelf


Lena Dunham seems to be everywhere these days. Best known as the creator, writer, and star of the HBO series Girls, now in its fifth and penultimate season, and the author of...

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7 Hands-Down Favorites from Bestselling Suspense Writer of "In a Dark, Dark Wood"

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2016 | 11:34 AM

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By Ruth Ware | Off the Shelf


Maybe it's being a writer or working with books, but I'm always being asked for my "must-read" recommendations. Every time I struggle to pin it down to just one or two titles,...

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Piper's Prison Book Club: 10 Books from Orange Is the New Black

(0) Comments | Posted June 16, 2016 | 11:49 AM

By Hilary Krutt | Off the Shelf

If you have just awoken surrounded by cereal bowls with no idea of what's happened in the world in the past three days, odds are you have just finished binge-watching season three of Netflix's runaway hit Orange Is the New Black....

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13 Spectacular Audiobooks You'll Enjoy This Summer

(0) Comments | Posted June 9, 2016 | 6:24 PM

By Off the Shelf Staff | Off the Shelf


Brilliant. Fantastic. Exceptional. Outstanding. Phenomenal. These are just a few of the ways we describe our favorite audiobooks. Because June is Audiobook Month, we've got thirteen more amazing audiobooks to add to your growing collection.

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A Refreshing Discovery of Witchcraft and Forbidden Love

(0) Comments | Posted June 9, 2016 | 3:47 PM

By J.T. Ellison | Off the Shelf

The epigraph of A Discovery of Witches--"It begins with absence and desire. It begins with blood and fear. It begins with a discovery of witches."--immediately warns you're about to encounter a book out of the ordinary. The story lives up to...

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11 Groundbreaking LGBTQ Novels

(0) Comments | Posted June 3, 2016 | 11:46 AM

By Emma Volk | Off the Shelf

If you're still high on exhilaration from last June's historic Supreme Court decision, we don't blame you. Looking for ways to keep celebrating pride in all its forms? We've got you covered with our list of eleven works of LGBTQ-centric fiction....

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Nancy Drew Meets Jack Daniels

(0) Comments | Posted May 31, 2016 | 3:40 PM

By Allison Tyler | Off the Shelf

There's something delightfully endearing about Lisa Lutz's kinetic and quirky The Spellman Files. It reads like a well-scripted television sitcom/family drama and, considering Lutz's screenwriting background, that vibe makes perfect sense. As soon as I'd finished reading this offbeat novel, I...

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12 Books that Illuminate the Beautiful and Complex History of Cuba

(1) Comments | Posted May 27, 2016 | 2:40 PM

By Hilary Krutt | Off the Shelf

Until recently, the fraught relationship between the United States and Cuba has made it difficult for Americans to fully experience Cuba--except through books, that is. But even as tourism to Havana and its environs may soon become commonplace, literature continues to...

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A Full-Bodied Narrative that Cultivates Empathy Like No Other

(0) Comments | Posted May 24, 2016 | 11:49 AM

By Tom Nissley | Off the Shelf

In my bookstore, when I pull The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman off the shelf for a prospective reader, I usually say that it's my wife's favorite book ever, which it is, or at least was...

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12 Contemporary British Novels We Can't Live Without

(0) Comments | Posted May 19, 2016 | 5:38 PM

By Caitlin Kleinschmidt | Off the Shelf

As a lifelong Anglophile, I have worshipped at the altar of Austen, Brontë, and Dickens ever since I received my first copy of Pride and Prejudice in the fourth grade. But British literature goes far beyond the country manors and moody...

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A Poignant and Hilarious Graphic Memoir to Keep You in Stitches

(0) Comments | Posted May 17, 2016 | 3:59 PM

By Sarah Jane Abbott | Off the Shelf

I have read very few books in my life that compelled me to laugh so loudly in public that it made the people around me visibly uncomfortable. Allie Brosh's Hyperbole and a Half is one of them. Inspired by her...

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10 Compelling Graphic Memoirs that Will Make You a Devoted Fan of the Genre

(1) Comments | Posted May 12, 2016 | 5:23 PM

By Caitlin Kleinschmidt | Off the Shelf

For years and years, I labored under the assumption that comic books were only read by nerdy guys with a childish penchant for superheroes. But after seeing Marjane Satrapi's harrowing and exuberant film, Persepolis, I was shocked to find that it...

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How Far Would You Go to Help a Stranger?

(0) Comments | Posted May 10, 2016 | 1:01 PM

By Marysue Rucci | Off the Shelf

When I received the submission Little Bee by British author Chris Cleave in 2007 and read the first lines--"Most days I wish I was a British pound coin instead of an African girl. Everyone would be pleased to see me coming."--the...

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