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Celebrate Summer With Off the Shelf!

We are passionate readers who love nothing more than discovering fantastic books and sharing them with friends. We recommend books that move us to laughter and tears—and everything in between.

Trust us when we say, "You've got to read this!"

The weekend is approaching, the sun is shining, and Off the Shelf is heading to the beach. We are excited to set up our umbrellas, dig our toes in the sand, and while away the hours with our favorite beach reads. Each of our staff members has selected a favorite beach read, and one lucky reader will win a beach bag stuffed full of books to keep you reading throughout the summer!

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This is some text!NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER/WIN. Sweepstakes begins 6/24/15 and ends 7/2/15. Open to legal residents of any 1 of the 50 US or DC who are at least 18 years old. Void where prohibited by law. Subject to full Official Rules in Terms and Conditions above. Total ARV of all prizes: $159. Odds of winning depends on the # of eligible entries received. Sponsor: Simon & Schuster, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, NY, NY 10020.


The Forgotten Garden
by Kate Morton
With Kate Morton’s latest hitting bookstores this fall, now is the time to discover this enchanting Australian author. Sweeping from the poverty-stricken alleys of Edwardian London to the shores of colonial Australia and back to Cornwall’s windswept coast, this intricately plotted tale of physical and emotional journeys is a tribute to the power of storytelling.
The Forgotten Garden
Kate Morton

From the #1 internationally bestselling author of The House at Riverton, a novel that takes the reader on an unforgettable journey through generations and across continents as two women try to uncover their family’s secret past.A tiny girl is abandoned on a ship headed for Australia in 1913. She arrives completely alone with nothing but a small suitcase containing a few clothes and a single book—a beautiful volume of fairy tales. She is taken in by the dockmaster and his wife and raised as their own. On her twenty-fi rst birthday, they tell her the truth, and with her sense of self shattered and very little to go on, "Nell" sets out to trace her real identity. Her quest leads her to Blackhurst Manor on the Cornish coast and the secrets of the doomed Mountrachet family. But it is not until her granddaughter, Cassandra, takes up the search after Nell’s death that all the pieces of the puzzle are assembled. A spellbinding tale of mystery and self-discovery, The Forgotten Garden will take hold of your imagination and never let go.

MENTIONED IN:

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The Girls At the Kingfisher Club
by Genevieve Valentine

This dazzling story of love, sisterhood, and freedom reimagines the fairy tale of the Twelve Dancing Princesses as Jazz Age flappers who escape their father’s Manhattan town house each night to dance in the city’s underground speakeasies. If you loved Rules of Civility or The Paris Wife, be sure to tuck this bewitching novel into your beach bag.

The Girls At the Kingfisher Club
Genevieve Valentine

This dazzling story of love, sisterhood, and freedom reimagines the fairy tale of the Twelve Dancing Princesses as Jazz Age flappers who escape their father’s Manhattan town house each night to dance in the city’s underground speakeasies. If you loved Rules of Civility or The Paris Wife, be sure to tuck this bewitching novel into your beach bag.

MENTIONED IN:

A Fairy Tale Novel of Jazz-Filled Nights

By Kirsten Nicholas | August 14, 2015

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By Off the Shelf Staff | June 25, 2015

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The Rosie Project
by Graeme Simsion
Meet Don Tillman, a brilliant but socially inept genetics professor who designs “The Wife Project,” an evidence-based survey to find the perfect mate, but the art of love is never a science. Charming and unconventional, this bestselling romantic comedy is laugh-out-loud funny and overflowing with heart.
The Rosie Project
Graeme Simsion

The protagonist of Graeme Simsion’s romantic comedy THE ROSIE PROJECT is the most refreshingly unique, honest, and hilarious character I have read in a long time. I don’t generally read romantic comedies, but this one stole my heart right from the first paragraph.

Read Sarah Jane Abbott’s review here.

MENTIONED IN:

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By Off the Shelf Staff | February 14, 2017

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By Erica Nelson | February 11, 2016

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By Julianna Haubner | June 30, 2015

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By Sarah Jane Abbott | June 26, 2015

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All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr
Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize–winning mega-bestseller has already been spotted in Reese Witherspoon’s beach bag—and is destined to be everywhere this summer. Lyrical and ambitious, it is beloved for the way it illuminates how, against all odds, human beings try to be good to one another.
All the Light We Cannot See
Anthony Doerr

Already beloved by millions of readers, this novel follows a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as they both try to survive the devastation of World War II. The breakout hit of 2014, this beautiful novel was a finalist for the National Book Award and it just won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. If you haven't read it yet, this one should be at the top of your spring reading list.

MENTIONED IN:

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By Julianna Haubner | January 17, 2017

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By Tolani Osan | December 1, 2015

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The Shell Collector
by Anthony Doerr

If you’ve already read and loved All the Light We Cannot See and are hungry for more of Anthony Doerr, his debut story collection does not disappoint. These exquisite stories take readers from the African coast to the pine forests of Montana to the moors of Finland, and explore the vast emotional landscape of the human condition.

The Shell Collector
Anthony Doerr

If you’ve already read and loved All the Light We Cannot See and are hungry for more of Anthony Doerr, his debut story collection does not disappoint. These exquisite stories take readers from the African coast to the pine forests of Montana to the moors of Finland, and explore the vast emotional landscape of the human condition.

MENTIONED IN:

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By Off the Shelf Staff | October 17, 2016

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I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You
by Courtney Maum

Travel to Paris and London with a failed monogamist who attempts to answer the question: Is it really possible to fall back in love with your spouse? Skillfully balancing wit with a deep emotional undercurrent, this funny and touching read is perfect for fans of The Vacationers or Where’d You Go, Bernadette.

I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You
Courtney Maum

Travel to Paris and London with a failed monogamist who attempts to answer the question: Is it really possible to fall back in love with your spouse? Skillfully balancing wit with a deep emotional undercurrent, this funny and touching read is perfect for fans of The Vacationers or Where’d You Go, Bernadette.

MENTIONED IN:

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By Off the Shelf Staff | June 7, 2016

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Brain on Fire
by Susannah Cahalan
This gripping memoir and medical suspense story about a young reporter’s struggle with a rare and terrifying disease is an unforgettable exploration of memory and identity, and a profoundly compelling tale of survival and perseverance.
Brain on Fire
Susannah Cahalan

Susannah Cahalan awakes in a hospital room, strapped to the bed. Crazy? Psychotic? Mental breakdown? BRAIN ON FIRE is her story of a devastating autoimmune disease misdiagnosed over and over—all while it appears she is losing her mind.

MENTIONED IN:

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By Off the Shelf Staff | March 3, 2017

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By Off the Shelf Staff | June 25, 2015

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What You Don’t Know Can Kill You

By Allison Tyler | May 12, 2014

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The Flamethrowers
by Rachel Kushner
This ambitious literary novel set in Rome, New York, and the desert of the American West in the late 1970s captures the idealism and hypocrisy of art, politics, and violence—and established Rachel Kushner as a writer of spectacular talent and imagination. Fans of Jennifer Egan and Lorrie Moore will delight in this fearless and electric novel.
The Flamethrowers
Rachel Kushner

An ambitious literary novel set in Rome, New York, and the desert of the American West in the late 1970s, The Flamethrowers captures the idealism and hypocrisy of art, politics, and violence. A National Book Award finalist and selected as one of the ten best books of 2013 by The New York Times, it confirmed Rachel Kushner’s emerging reputation as a writer of spectacular talent and imagination.

MENTIONED IN:

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By Off the Shelf Staff | October 20, 2015

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By Meg Miller | February 24, 2015

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We Are Called to Rise
by Laura McBride
Far from the casinos and lights, the Las Vegas suburbs sprawl out into the desert. In this desolate boomtown, three desperate souls—a woman attempting to revive her marriage, a veteran just returned from Iraq, and a brave eight-year-old immigrant boy—must decide whether to give into despair or to find the courage and resilience to rise.
We Are Called to Rise
Laura McBride

Far from the casinos and lights, the Las Vegas suburbs sprawl out into the desert. In this desolate boomtown, three desperate souls—a middle aged woman attempting to revive her marriage, a veteran just returned from Iraq, and a brave eight-year-old Albanian boy—must decide whether to give in to despair, or to find the courage and resilience to rise.

MENTIONED IN:

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By Off the Shelf Staff | May 16, 2017

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By Tolani Osan | September 24, 2015

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By Wendy Sheanin | August 20, 2015

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By Caitlin Kleinschmidt | April 21, 2015

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Red Sparrow
by Jason Matthews
Written with the insider details that only a real-life veteran CIA operative would know, this bestselling espionage thriller is sophisticated, stylish, and impossible to put down.
Red Sparrow
Jason Matthews

Read with a Classic Martini

In this incredible first novel in the RED SPARROW trilogy set against the backdrop of modern-day Russia, Dominika Egorova is drafted to become a “Sparrow” for the Russian state intelligence. Her complex journey has all the makings of the perfect espionage tale: Moles, double lives, betrayals, and yes... even love. The only pairing that makes any sense with this book should be shaken—not stirred.

MENTIONED IN:

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By Off the Shelf Staff | June 6, 2017

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By Emma Volk | October 15, 2015

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The Summer Girls
by Mary Alice Monroe

Three sisters reunite on Sullivan’s Island off the coast of South Carolina after years of separation in this first installment of the Lowcountry Summer trilogy. Fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Dorothea Benton Frank will be charmed by this heartwarming series that explores the depths and complexities of sisterhood, friendship, and forgiveness.

The Summer Girls
Mary Alice Monroe

Three sisters reunite on Sullivan’s Island off the coast of South Carolina after years of separation in this first installment of the Lowcountry Summer trilogy. Fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Dorothea Benton Frank will be charmed by this heartwarming series that explores the depths and complexities of sisterhood, friendship, and forgiveness.

MENTIONED IN:

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By Erin Flaaen | June 8, 2017

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By Off the Shelf Staff | June 7, 2016

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By Aimee Boyer | March 29, 2016

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By Off the Shelf Staff | June 25, 2015

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