Share Off the Shelf’s 15 Favorite Book Lists from 2016

Off the Shelf’s 15 Favorite Book Lists from 2016

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!"

Our motto at Off the Shelf is “the more the merrier.” What could be better than a book recommendation? A whole list of book recommendations. Because we like to share, we’ve gathered some of our favorite lists of 2016. Enjoy!


First Impressions
by Charlie Lovett

13 Books About Books for Big Book Nerds

Few people love books as much as we do. Authors might be the exception to that rule. It’s no wonder, then, that so many have included books as crucial plot points in their novels, often crafting brilliant stories within stories. For a meta reading experience, here are 13 great novels in which books play a prominent role—usually instigating the plot.

First Impressions
Charlie Lovett

13 Books About Books for Big Book Nerds

Few people love books as much as we do. Authors might be the exception to that rule. It’s no wonder, then, that so many have included books as crucial plot points in their novels, often crafting brilliant stories within stories. For a meta reading experience, here are 13 great novels in which books play a prominent role—usually instigating the plot.

MENTIONED IN:

Happy Birthday, Jane Austen!

By Kerry Fiallo | December 16, 2016

Off the Shelf’s 15 Favorite Book Lists from 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 15, 2016

13 Books About Books for Big Book Nerds

By Kerry Fiallo | September 13, 2016

Close

The Boston Girl
by Anita Diamant

Girl Crazy: 15 Literary Ladies You’ll Want to Know

Here’s a party game for you: Can you name a “girl” book? Of course you got GONE GIRL and THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, but there are lots of other girl books that you’ll want to add to your reading list. Whether you like thrillers, literary fiction, or history, these “girls” all have one thing in common—they are compulsively readable.

The Boston Girl
Anita Diamant

Girl Crazy: 15 Literary Ladies You’ll Want to Know

Here’s a party game for you: Can you name a “girl” book? Of course you got GONE GIRL and THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, but there are lots of other girl books that you’ll want to add to your reading list. Whether you like thrillers, literary fiction, or history, these “girls” all have one thing in common—they are compulsively readable.

MENTIONED IN:

Off the Shelf’s 15 Favorite Book Lists from 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 15, 2016

Girl Crazy: 15 Literary Ladies You’ll Want to Know

By Aimee Boyer | March 29, 2016

Enter to Win These 12 Fall Book Club Favorites

By Off the Shelf Staff | September 29, 2015

Close

The Luminaries
by Eleanor Catton

Reading XXL: 15 Extra Long Books Perfect for Extra Long Winter Nights

We like big books and we cannot lie—we buy them, we shelve them, and we stare at them, promising that someday, when we have the time, we’ll read them. Winter is the perfect season for crossing some of those wonderful doorstops off your list.

The Luminaries
Eleanor Catton

Reading XXL: 15 Extra Long Books Perfect for Extra Long Winter Nights

We like big books and we cannot lie—we buy them, we shelve them, and we stare at them, promising that someday, when we have the time, we’ll read them. Winter is the perfect season for crossing some of those wonderful doorstops off your list.

MENTIONED IN:

10 Books We Can’t (and Won’t) Stop Talking About

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 4, 2017

Off the Shelf’s 15 Favorite Book Lists from 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 15, 2016

Reading XXL: 15 Extra Long Books Perfect for Extra Long Winter Nights

By Julianna Haubner | January 26, 2016

5 Of Our Favorites from the Man Booker Prize

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 2, 2014

Close

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
by Alan Bradley

12 Super Sleuthy Books for Grown-Up Fans of Nancy Drew

When I was young, there was nothing more thrilling than pulling a brand-new, yellow-spined Nancy Drew mystery off my shelf. If as an adult you are awash with nostalgia for the Nancy Drew series, here are some grown-up female sleuths with continuing series to devour.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Alan Bradley

12 Super Sleuthy Books for Grown-Up Fans of Nancy Drew

When I was young, there was nothing more thrilling than pulling a brand-new, yellow-spined Nancy Drew mystery off my shelf. If as an adult you are awash with nostalgia for the Nancy Drew series, here are some grown-up female sleuths with continuing series to devour.

MENTIONED IN:

Happy Pi Day! 13 Sweet Books for Mathletes and Pie Lovers

By Sarah Jane Abbott | March 14, 2017

12 Super Sleuthy Books for Grown-Up Fans of Nancy Drew

By Sarah Jane Abbott | December 23, 2016

Off the Shelf’s 15 Favorite Book Lists from 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 15, 2016

Close

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
by Helen Simonson

13 Books to Read After A MAN CALLED OVE

So you’ve finished reading A MAN CALLED OVE by Fredrik Backman and fallen in love with the (secretly wonderful) Swedish curmudgeon known as Ove. And now you’re bereft. We understand. What do you read after falling under the spell of such an unexpected, surprising, charming book?

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
Helen Simonson

13 Books to Read After A MAN CALLED OVE

So you’ve finished reading A MAN CALLED OVE by Fredrik Backman and fallen in love with the (secretly wonderful) Swedish curmudgeon known as Ove. And now you’re bereft. We understand. What do you read after falling under the spell of such an unexpected, surprising, charming book?

MENTIONED IN:

Off the Shelf’s 15 Favorite Book Lists from 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 15, 2016

13 Books to Read After A MAN CALLED OVE

By Arielle Kane | November 25, 2016

Close

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot

12 Essential Books About Race in America

Talking about race isn’t easy. It’s personal, it’s political, it’s visceral. Here are 12 books that have changed the way we talk about race in America.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Rebecca Skloot

12 Essential Books About Race in America

Talking about race isn’t easy. It’s personal, it’s political, it’s visceral. Here are 12 books that have changed the way we talk about race in America.

MENTIONED IN:

The XY Factor: 13 True Tales of Women Who Changed Science

By Julianna Haubner | January 5, 2017

Off the Shelf’s 15 Favorite Book Lists from 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 15, 2016

12 Engaging Reads for Students in Life’s Classroom

By Kerry Fiallo | September 6, 2016

12 Essential Books About Race in America

By Eloy Bleifuss Prados | January 18, 2016

13 Important Stories to Celebrate Banned Books Week

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 1, 2015

12 Essential Reads for Black History Month

By Caitlin Kleinschmidt | February 26, 2015

Close

American Psycho
by Bret Easton Ellis

Straight Off the Shelf: 8 Narrators Who Redefine Crazy

Call them unreliable, odd, or downright nuts: there’s nothing more addictive than being behind the wheel with a protagonist who’s not entirely there. You might not want to be their friend, but these eight books feature narrators who you’d be crazy to miss.

American Psycho
Bret Easton Ellis

Straight Off the Shelf: 8 Narrators Who Redefine Crazy

Call them unreliable, odd, or downright nuts: there’s nothing more addictive than being behind the wheel with a protagonist who’s not entirely there. You might not want to be their friend, but these eight books feature narrators who you’d be crazy to miss.

MENTIONED IN:

Off the Shelf’s 15 Favorite Book Lists from 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 15, 2016

Close

Amy and Isabelle
by Elizabeth Strout

14 Books Worth Revisiting From Today’s Best Writers

So many writers who we admire have new books out this year: Richard Russo, Ann Patchett, Jane Hamilton, and Amor Towles, just to name a few. But the good news doesn’t stop there. To help you combat the dreaded waiting-for-the-next-book syndrome, here are some of our favorite older books from writers with new ones out this year.

Amy and Isabelle
Elizabeth Strout

14 Books Worth Revisiting From Today’s Best Writers

So many writers who we admire have new books out this year: Richard Russo, Ann Patchett, Jane Hamilton, and Amor Towles, just to name a few. But the good news doesn’t stop there. To help you combat the dreaded waiting-for-the-next-book syndrome, here are some of our favorite older books from writers with new ones out this year.

MENTIONED IN:

Off the Shelf’s 15 Favorite Book Lists from 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 15, 2016

14 Books Worth Revisiting From Today’s Best Writers

By Wendy Sheanin | August 18, 2016

Close

Interpreter of Maladies
by Jhumpa Lahiri

10 Books to Read in the Back of a Tuk-Tuk

I love India so much that I cannot wait to go back. At this very moment, I am struggling against the desire to pack some lightweight clothing into a suitcase and head to Kerala, where I spent the better part of a week while traveling abroad in 2012. Here are a few of the stories I return to when I’m longing for a jasmine flower tucked behind my ear and a seat at an old friend’s table on the streets of Cochin.

Interpreter of Maladies
Jhumpa Lahiri

10 Books to Read in the Back of a Tuk-Tuk

I love India so much that I cannot wait to go back. At this very moment, I am struggling against the desire to pack some lightweight clothing into a suitcase and head to Kerala, where I spent the better part of a week while traveling abroad in 2012. Here are a few of the stories I return to when I’m longing for a jasmine flower tucked behind my ear and a seat at an old friend’s table on the streets of Cochin.

MENTIONED IN:

What We’re Reading for Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge

By Sarah Jane Abbott | February 28, 2017

Off the Shelf’s 15 Favorite Book Lists from 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 15, 2016

10 Books to Read in the Back of a Tuk-Tuk

By Amy Hendricks | February 18, 2016

Good Things Come in Small Packages: 11 Short Story Collections to Savor

By Erin Flaaen | July 30, 2015

Close

Careless People
by Sarah Churchwell

11 Fascinating Books That Will Turn You Into a True Crime Junkie

From “Serial” to “The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” the true crime genre has seen a recent renaissance in pop culture. Here are expertly written true crime books where you can discover some of the darkest and oddest moments in history. Even if you’re not a true crime junkie, you’ll enjoy these compelling narratives and fascinating tales.

Careless People
Sarah Churchwell

11 Fascinating Books That Will Turn You Into a True Crime Junkie

From “Serial” to “The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” the true crime genre has seen a recent renaissance in pop culture. Here are expertly written true crime books where you can discover some of the darkest and oddest moments in history. Even if you’re not a true crime junkie, you’ll enjoy these compelling narratives and fascinating tales.

MENTIONED IN:

Z Is for Zelda: 11 Novels to Cure Your Fitzgerald Fever

By Julianna Haubner | March 7, 2017

Off the Shelf’s 15 Favorite Book Lists from 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 15, 2016

11 Fascinating Books That Will Turn You Into a True Crime Junkie

By Kerry Fiallo | July 14, 2016

Close

Eat, Pray, Love
by Elizabeth Gilbert

9 Amazing Audiobook Picks from an Industry Insider

I LOVE books but with young children, work, a marriage, a house, most days are a juggling act with no downtime to sit and read for fun. I have worked in audiobook publishing for years and listened sporadically but never embraced the format completely until recently. Now I listen anytime, anywhere: on the train, the bus, getting groceries or coffee, cooking, cleaning, walking and even going to bed.

Eat, Pray, Love
Elizabeth Gilbert

9 Amazing Audiobook Picks from an Industry Insider

I LOVE books but with young children, work, a marriage, a house, most days are a juggling act with no downtime to sit and read for fun. I have worked in audiobook publishing for years and listened sporadically but never embraced the format completely until recently. Now I listen anytime, anywhere: on the train, the bus, getting groceries or coffee, cooking, cleaning, walking and even going to bed.

MENTIONED IN:

Off the Shelf’s 15 Favorite Book Lists from 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 15, 2016

Close

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
by Jamie Ford

15 WWII Novels Beyond Europe’s Shores

Several months ago, I read GONE TO SOLDIERS by Marge Piercy and fell in love with its unique kaleidoscopic perspectives on the war. I have since been on a hunt for more World War II fiction that portrays the war from viewpoints outside of Europe. I have discovered many novels that show the war as it played out in Asia, America, and the Pacific. Here are just a few I most look forward to reading.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Jamie Ford

15 WWII Novels Beyond Europe’s Shores

Several months ago, I read GONE TO SOLDIERS by Marge Piercy and fell in love with its unique kaleidoscopic perspectives on the war. I have since been on a hunt for more World War II fiction that portrays the war from viewpoints outside of Europe. I have discovered many novels that show the war as it played out in Asia, America, and the Pacific. Here are just a few I most look forward to reading.

MENTIONED IN:

Off the Shelf’s 15 Favorite Book Lists from 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 15, 2016

15 WWII Novels Beyond Europe’s Shores

By Erin Flaaen | September 1, 2016

13 Reasons to Join Our Mothers’ Book Club

By Off the Shelf Staff | September 22, 2015

Wartime Fiction Is Hell

By Off the Shelf Staff | August 21, 2014

Close

This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage
by Ann Patchett

13 Fantastic Books Sure to Get Your Book Club Talking

At Off the Shelf, we not only love to write about great books we’ve read, we also love to talk about them endlessly—inside the office and out (where it’s more acceptable to drink wine). We’ve collected these fantastic titles that are perfect for book clubs because they incite thoughtful reflection, introduce readers to worlds they’ve never experienced before, and are beautifully written.

This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage
Ann Patchett

13 Fantastic Books Sure to Get Your Book Club Talking

At Off the Shelf, we not only love to write about great books we’ve read, we also love to talk about them endlessly—inside the office and out (where it’s more acceptable to drink wine). We’ve collected these fantastic titles that are perfect for book clubs because they incite thoughtful reflection, introduce readers to worlds they’ve never experienced before, and are beautifully written.

MENTIONED IN:

Off the Shelf’s 15 Favorite Book Lists from 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 15, 2016

13 Fantastic Books Sure to Get Your Book Club Talking

By Erica Nelson | June 16, 2016

Close

Butter
by Elaine Khosrova

7 Mouthwatering Books to Create Our Favorite Holiday Treat

With Thanksgiving over, I’m sure that yet another feast is the last thing you want to see. But it is the season to start getting chummy with those in the office who make the best cookies and treats. My favorite sweet to share is a classic sugar cookie with icing, and I’ve made it so many times now I know the recipe by heart. While you wait an hour for the dough to set in the fridge or for your dozens and dozens of cookies to chill, open up one of these great books exploring the history of the ingredients you’ll be using!

Butter
Elaine Khosrova

7 Mouthwatering Books to Create Our Favorite Holiday Treat

With Thanksgiving over, I’m sure that yet another feast is the last thing you want to see. But it is the season to start getting chummy with those in the office who make the best cookies and treats. My favorite sweet to share is a classic sugar cookie with icing, and I’ve made it so many times now I know the recipe by heart. While you wait an hour for the dough to set in the fridge or for your dozens and dozens of cookies to chill, open up one of these great books exploring the history of the ingredients you’ll be using!

MENTIONED IN:

Off the Shelf’s 15 Favorite Book Lists from 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 15, 2016

Close

West of Sunset
by Stewart O'Nan

11 Scandalous Novels That Illuminate the Golden Age of Hollywood

Hollywood has long been the land of dreams and epic storytelling, but many stories of scandal, betrayal, and mystery remain behind the curtain. It’s no wonder that novels inspired by the gossip and intrigue of Tinseltown are so exciting to read. Travel to the golden age of Hollywood with these enchanting, glittering, and sometimes dark tales behind the scenes of your favorite silver-screen legends.

West of Sunset
Stewart O'Nan

11 Scandalous Novels That Illuminate the Golden Age of Hollywood

Hollywood has long been the land of dreams and epic storytelling, but many stories of scandal, betrayal, and mystery remain behind the curtain. It’s no wonder that novels inspired by the gossip and intrigue of Tinseltown are so exciting to read. Travel to the golden age of Hollywood with these enchanting, glittering, and sometimes dark tales behind the scenes of your favorite silver-screen legends.

MENTIONED IN:

Z Is for Zelda: 11 Novels to Cure Your Fitzgerald Fever

By Julianna Haubner | March 7, 2017

11 Scandalous Novels That Illuminate the Golden Age of Hollywood

By Kerry Fiallo | December 30, 2016

Off the Shelf’s 15 Favorite Book Lists from 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 15, 2016

Close

Thank you for joining our email list!

If you create and Off the Shelf account, you'll be able to save books to your personal bookshelf, and be eligible for free books and other good stuff.

Click here to create your free account.

You must be logged in to add books to your shelf.

Please log in or sign up now.