Many of our longtime Off the Shelf subscribers have already discovered “Your Shelf” on our website. If you’re new here, you can create your own reading list from books you find on OfftheShelf.com with our “Your Shelf” feature.
To start building “Your Shelf,” simply sign up for an Off the Shelf account. Then, when you see a book you want to add to your reading list, click “Add to Your Shelf” next to the book cover, and we’ll save your favorites for you.
These 13 books were the “most shelved” books on Off the Shelf in 2016—starting with the number one favorite! They’re a great way to start building “Your Shelf” today!
The Light Between Oceans
When a dead man and a living baby wash up on the shores of a remote island off the coast of Australia, the lighthouse keeper and his wife decide to claim the baby as their own. When they later return to the mainland, though, they learn their choice has had devastating effects.
Gone to Soldiers
Sweeping from North Africa to New Zealand and from Palestine to Japan, this epic captures images of deprivation, terror, and excitement during World War II, from the front lines to the home front, through the eyes of ten distinct characters. Each fights their own private and public battles, while their lives intertwine and diverge and the world burns around them.
A finalist for the 2014 National Book Award, STATION ELEVEN isn’t your average dystopian fiction. In this spellbinding novel, when a devastating flu pandemic brings civilization as we know it to an end, a small troupe of actors and musicians travel between the remaining settlements, dedicated to keeping the remnants of art, music, literature, and humanity alive.
There’s more than one side to every story, as this compassionate historical retelling attests. Set in the isolated Icelandic countryside in 1829, BURIAL RITES follows the emotional last days of a young maid accused of the murder of her former employer.
In a Dark, Dark Wood
When reclusive writer Leonora is invited to the English countryside for a weekend away, she reluctantly agrees to make the trip. But as the first night falls, revelations unfold among friends old and new, an unnerving memory shatters Leonora’s reserve, and a haunting realization creeps in: the party is not alone in the woods.
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry
Elsa is seven years old and different. Her eccentric grandmother is Elsa’s best—and only—friend. When she dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa discovers that her greatest adventure is just beginning. This is the heartfelt and humorous second novel from the author of A MAN CALLED OVE.
The Kitchen House
When a white indentured servant violates the delicate order of plantation society, she unleashes a tragedy that exposes the best and worst in everyone tied to the estate. Sweeping from 1790–1810, this is a heartbreaking, but ultimately hopeful, story of class, race, and familial bonds.
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
The Cookes—Mother and Dad, brother Lowell, sisters Fern and Rosemary—are an ordinary middle-class American family, in all ways but one: Fern is a chimpanzee. Beautifully written, this is the tale of an unconventional family and the heartbreaking consequences of their good intentions.
All the Light We Cannot See
This masterful and mesmerizing Pulitzer Prize–winning novel set during World War II follows a blind French girl and a young German boy attending a brutal academy for Hitler Youth. At its heart, this is a story about what it means to be human, to have empathy, and to be brave in the face of the most difficult choices.
Isabel is a single, twentysomething thrift-store shopper and collector of remnants, things cast off or left behind by others. GLACIERS follows Isabel through a day in her life and unfolds internally, the action shaped by her sense of history, memory, place, and the imminent loss of the glaciers she knew as a young woman in Alaska.
Inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead in New Guinea during the 1930s, EUPHORIA is an enthralling story of passion, possession, exploration, and sacrifice from accomplished author Lily King.
A Man Called Ove
A lighthearted yet deeply moving novel about a grumpy but loveable curmudgeon who finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door. This quirky debut is a thoughtful and charming exploration of the impact one life has on countless others—and it’s an absolute delight.
The Age of Miracles
The unforgettable 11-year-old girl at the heart of this debut is coming of age against the backdrop of an utterly altered world. With crystalline prose and the indelible magic of a born storyteller, Karen Thompson Walker has crafted a story about people going on with their lives in an era of profound uncertainty.