Share 13 Books We Wish We Could Read Right Now

13 Books We Wish We Could Read Right Now

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!"

When you tell someone that you work in book publishing, their response is often: “Wow, it must be so great to be able to read books all day.” But the reality is quite the opposite—much to our chagrin, most of us don’t actually get to read books at our desks. As a result, we spend a lot of time wishing that we could still be reading the book that was so engrossing it almost made us miss our subway stop on the way to work. Here are the books we wish we were reading right now.


Bring Up the Bodies
by Hilary Mantel

My reading goal for 2017 is to try a sort of reverse escapism and select books that explore complicated, contemporary themes. Interestingly enough, the first one I found myself drawn to was the second book in Hilary Mantel’s award-winning (soon-to-be) trilogy of Thomas Cromwell. Set in Tudor England, BRING UP THE BODIES is a total page-turner, replete with larger-than-life characters, warring factions, backstage manipulations, and political chaos. Sound familiar? —Julianna

Bring Up the Bodies
Hilary Mantel

My reading goal for 2017 is to try a sort of reverse escapism and select books that explore complicated, contemporary themes. Interestingly enough, the first one I found myself drawn to was the second book in Hilary Mantel’s award-winning (soon-to-be) trilogy of Thomas Cromwell. Set in Tudor England, BRING UP THE BODIES is a total page-turner, replete with larger-than-life characters, warring factions, backstage manipulations, and political chaos. Sound familiar? —Julianna

MENTIONED IN:

13 Books We Wish We Could Read Right Now

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 21, 2017

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Undaunted Courage
by Stephen E. Ambrose

I’m a huge history nerd and one of my favorite topics is the Lewis and Clark expedition to the Pacific Ocean. Right now, I’d love to sit outside on a warm day and learn more about these complex men and follow them (and Sacagawea, of course) on their life-changing and dangerous journey. —Kerry

Undaunted Courage
Stephen E. Ambrose

I’m a huge history nerd and one of my favorite topics is the Lewis and Clark expedition to the Pacific Ocean. Right now, I’d love to sit outside on a warm day and learn more about these complex men and follow them (and Sacagawea, of course) on their life-changing and dangerous journey. —Kerry

MENTIONED IN:

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By Off the Shelf Staff | April 21, 2017

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Barefoot Dogs
by Antonio Ruiz-Camacho

This collection of fiction centers around a family left in tatters after their patriarch is kidnapped. I am looking forward to reading about the inner workings of a Mexican family written from the point of view of a Mexican-American author in this time of harried US–Mexican relations. —Chris

Barefoot Dogs
Antonio Ruiz-Camacho

This collection of fiction centers around a family left in tatters after their patriarch is kidnapped. I am looking forward to reading about the inner workings of a Mexican family written from the point of view of a Mexican-American author in this time of harried US–Mexican relations. —Chris

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Watership Down
by Richard Adams
It’s been years since I read WATERSHIP DOWN. It’s one of my most favorite books—one I recommend often—and I’ve wanted to reread it for a long time. Sadly, author Richard Adams recently passed away, so I finally took my copy off the shelf. Would it be as good as I remembered? Oh, yes. —Aimee
Watership Down
Richard Adams

A phenomenal worldwide bestseller for more than forty years, Richard Adams's Watership Down is a timeless classic and one of the most beloved novels of all time. Set in England's Downs, a once idyllic rural landscape, this stirring tale of adventure, courage, and survival follows a band of very special creatures on their flight from the intrusion of man and the certain destruction of their home. Led by a stouthearted pair of brothers, they journey forth from their native Sandleford Warren through the harrowing trials posed by predators and adversaries, to a mysterious promised land and a more perfect society. Suggested by Jim Fusco

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Letterman
by Jason Zinoman

Long before every channel had a late-night talk-show host, there was only one king of comedy—Johnny Carson. But David Letterman subverted talk-show conventions in a way that established late night as we now know it. I hope there’s a chapter on Larry “Bud” Melman. —Chris

Letterman
Jason Zinoman

Long before every channel had a late-night talk-show host, there was only one king of comedy—Johnny Carson. But David Letterman subverted talk-show conventions in a way that established late night as we now know it. I hope there’s a chapter on Larry “Bud” Melman. —Chris

MENTIONED IN:

13 Books We Wish We Could Read Right Now

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 21, 2017

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Lincoln in the Bardo
by George Saunders

George Saunders is an acclaimed short story writer of collections THE TENTH OF DECEMBER, PASTORALIA, and more. His first novel, LINCOLN IN THE BARDO, is a mesmerizing blend of historical fact and fiction. It is the story of the death of Abraham Lincoln’s son, Willie, told almost entirely through the voices of the spirits in the graveyard where Willie is laid to rest and where Lincoln returns to hold his son’s body. —Erin

Lincoln in the Bardo
George Saunders

George Saunders is an acclaimed short story writer of collections THE TENTH OF DECEMBER, PASTORALIA, and more. His first novel, LINCOLN IN THE BARDO, is a mesmerizing blend of historical fact and fiction. It is the story of the death of Abraham Lincoln’s son, Willie, told almost entirely through the voices of the spirits in the graveyard where Willie is laid to rest and where Lincoln returns to hold his son’s body. —Erin

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The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
by Hannah Tinti

Like the rest of the world, I was instantly charmed by Hannah Tinti’s first novel THE GOOD THIEF. Somehow I think her second novel—this one about a man with twelve bullet scars who has to take care of his teenage daughter after years on the run—is even better. —Taylor

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
Hannah Tinti

Like the rest of the world, I was instantly charmed by Hannah Tinti’s first novel THE GOOD THIEF. Somehow I think her second novel—this one about a man with twelve bullet scars who has to take care of his teenage daughter after years on the run—is even better. —Taylor

MENTIONED IN:

13 Books We Wish We Could Read Right Now

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 21, 2017

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Bel Canto
by Ann Patchett
In the last month alone, four great readers have told me that BEL CANTO was their favorite novel. This is one of those books that has been on my shelves for years and I know will be so amazing, but I just haven’t gotten around to reading yet. —Taylor
Bel Canto
Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett’s 2001 novel is set somewhere in South America at a birthday party hosted by the country’s vice president. Rozanne Coss, opera’s most revered soprano, has just finished a mesmerizing performance when a band of terrorists breaks into the house and holds everyone for ransom. Salon calls Bel Canto “a story of passionate, doomed love; of the glory of art; of the triumph of our shared humanity over the forces that divide us.” OTS calls it “the most elegant, meditative hostage-takeover novel ever.”

MENTIONED IN:

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The Attention Merchants
by Tim Wu

I’ve been listening to the audiobook of THE ATTENTION MERCHANTS and would love to be listening to it right now. In this incredibly thorough history of the advertising industry, Tim Wu gives a play-by-play of how the current "attention economy" came to be, and how companies profit by capturing and re-selling the attention of consumers to the highest bidder. As a marketer, this is fascinating. As a consumer, it is rather frightening. —Erica

The Attention Merchants
Tim Wu

I’ve been listening to the audiobook of THE ATTENTION MERCHANTS and would love to be listening to it right now. In this incredibly thorough history of the advertising industry, Tim Wu gives a play-by-play of how the current "attention economy" came to be, and how companies profit by capturing and re-selling the attention of consumers to the highest bidder. As a marketer, this is fascinating. As a consumer, it is rather frightening. —Erica

MENTIONED IN:

13 Books We Wish We Could Read Right Now

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 21, 2017

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Ambulance Girl
by Jane Stern

I’ve loved the food recommendations of Jane and Michael Stern since I first read ROAD FOOD in 1977. Recently I learned of Jane’s 2004 memoir, AMBULANCE GIRL. It has nothing to do with food and everything to do with then 52-year-old Stern’s journey as an EMT and reclaiming her life from depression. Can’t wait to read it! —Allison

Ambulance Girl
Jane Stern

I’ve loved the food recommendations of Jane and Michael Stern since I first read ROAD FOOD in 1977. Recently I learned of Jane’s 2004 memoir, AMBULANCE GIRL. It has nothing to do with food and everything to do with then 52-year-old Stern’s journey as an EMT and reclaiming her life from depression. Can’t wait to read it! —Allison

MENTIONED IN:

13 Books We Wish We Could Read Right Now

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 21, 2017

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Eileen
by Ottessa Moshfegh

This gritty first-person narration is one of the most captivating and suspenseful voices I’ve read recently (think HAUSFRAU with less empathy). It’s my current subway read, which has me opting for the local to have more time to read! —Elizabeth

Eileen
Ottessa Moshfegh

This gritty first-person narration is one of the most captivating and suspenseful voices I’ve read recently (think HAUSFRAU with less empathy). It’s my current subway read, which has me opting for the local to have more time to read! —Elizabeth

MENTIONED IN:

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The Queen of the Night
by Alexander Chee

Lilliet Berne, legendary soprano at the Paris Opera, is offered a coveted original role, but realizes with horror that this new opera is based on the dark secrets of her own past. Who betrayed her? This thrilling historical drama is filled with so many things I love: mystery, political intrigue, opera, and treachery. —Sarah Jane

The Queen of the Night
Alexander Chee

Lilliet Berne, legendary soprano at the Paris Opera, is offered a coveted original role, but realizes with horror that this new opera is based on the dark secrets of her own past. Who betrayed her? This thrilling historical drama is filled with so many things I love: mystery, political intrigue, opera, and treachery. —Sarah Jane

MENTIONED IN:

13 Books We Wish We Could Read Right Now

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 21, 2017

Close

The Women in the Castle
by Jessica Shattuck

On the exhaustive subject of World War II, Jessica Shattuck has found a fresh perspective and an interesting viewpoint of the typical German citizen struggling against their homeland to do the right thing. This kind of bravery seems welcome and essential for today’s reader. —Stuart

The Women in the Castle
Jessica Shattuck

On the exhaustive subject of World War II, Jessica Shattuck has found a fresh perspective and an interesting viewpoint of the typical German citizen struggling against their homeland to do the right thing. This kind of bravery seems welcome and essential for today’s reader. —Stuart

MENTIONED IN:

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By Elizabeth Breeden | July 27, 2017

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