Share 12 Books to Celebrate the Solar Eclipse

12 Books to Celebrate the Solar Eclipse

Erin Flaaen is a corporate marketing assistant at Simon and Schuster. Despite her innocent appearance, she loves dark stories, having been strongly influenced by Flannery O'Connor and William Faulkner as a teenager. Originally from Arizona, she moved to New York in 2014 and now spends her days being constantly confused by the weather, craving Mexican food, and reading books on trains.

On August 21, all of North America will be given the opportunity to view one of nature’s most awe-inspiring sights—a solar eclipse. While from our offices here in New York we’ll only see a partial eclipse, we’re still celebrating this celestial event with a list of some of our favorite “sun” and “moon” books!


Circling the Sun
by Paula McLain
From the author of THE PARIS WIFE, a historical novel about a woman ahead of her time. Following her untraditional childhood in Kenya, Beryl Markham defies gender norms to ultimately become a record-setting aviator, all while caught up in a passionate love triangle with safari hunter Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen.
Circling the Sun
Paula McLain

Set in Kenya in the 1920s, this captivating novel illustrates the life of Beryl Markham, a record-setting aviator who becomes caught in a passionate love triangle with safari hunter Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen, who wrote the classic memoir OUT OF AFRICA under the pen name Isak Dinesen.

MENTIONED IN:

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Paris to the Moon
by Adam Gopnik
In 1995, New Yorker writer, Adam Gopnik was given the opportunity to move to Paris with his wife and infant son. PARIS TO THE MOON is Gopnik’s personal story of navigating a foreign city for the first time, all while facing the trials and tribulations of being a new parent.
Paris to the Moon
Adam Gopnik

If you loved A MOVEABLE FEAST, you should try PARIS TO THE MOON. Adam Gopnik, a longtime writer for the New Yorker, spent several years based in Paris. This delightful collection of essays, some previously published in the New Yorker, are funny and contemplative at once. I always feel nostalgic for Paris when I read them.

MENTIONED IN:

12 Books to Celebrate the Solar Eclipse

By Erin Flaaen | August 21, 2017

7 Books for Unabashed Francophiles

By Glommable | May 25, 2017

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By Elaine Wilson | August 6, 2015

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By Off the Shelf Staff | October 23, 2014

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A Thousand Splendid Suns
by Khaled Hosseini

From the author of THE KITE RUNNER comes the heart-wrenching story of Mariam and Laila, two Afghani women jarringly brought together by war, loss, and fate. Chronicling 30 years of Afghan history through the eyes of these two women, A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS paints a story of friendship, family, and love in a time of great unrest.

Read the full review of A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS.

A Thousand Splendid Suns
Khaled Hosseini

MENTIONED IN:

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By Erin Flaaen | August 21, 2017

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By Off the Shelf Staff | November 17, 2016

A Timeless and Tragic Masterpiece of Afghanistan

By Tolani Osan | September 23, 2015

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The Moon Is Down
by John Steinbeck
Set in Norway during World War II, John Steinbeck’s classic novel about the effects of invasion on both the conquered and the conquerors served as a major piece of Allied propaganda in Nazi-occupied Europe—in some areas, owning a copy was punishable by death. Now, it serves as a profound reflection on the horrors and truths of war.
The Moon Is Down
John Steinbeck

MENTIONED IN:

12 Books to Celebrate the Solar Eclipse

By Erin Flaaen | August 21, 2017

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Hello, Sunshine
by Laura Dave
Sunshine Mackenzie is a culinary star with millions of fans, bestselling cookbooks, and a devoted husband, until she gets hacked. With her secrets revealed, Sunshine is forced to return to her childhood home—and her estranged sister—to sort through the ruins of her life.
Hello, Sunshine
Laura Dave

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By Elizabeth Breeden | August 30, 2017

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Moon Palace
by Paul Auster
Beginning the summer men first walked on the moon, weaving forward and backward in time, and spanning three generations, MOON PALACE is the story of one orphan’s journey to piece together his past, while finding love and his unknown father.
Moon Palace
Paul Auster

MENTIONED IN:

12 Books to Celebrate the Solar Eclipse

By Erin Flaaen | August 21, 2017

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Empire of the Sun
by J.G. Ballard
In 1941, with war raging around him, a young British boy wandered the streets of Shanghai in search of his parents, before ultimately being imprisoned in a Japanese internment camp for more than three years. J. G. Ballard’s semi-autobiographical novel is an honest coming-of-age story set in an often-overlooked corner of World War II.
Empire of the Sun
J.G. Ballard

A young British teenager is separated from his parents when the Japanese invade Shanghai, where he lives. His struggle to find his parents and to survive as a prisoner of war is crazy and quite harrowing. Trivia: did you know the movie adaptation stars a very young Christian Bale? I know, right?!

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By Erin Flaaen | August 21, 2017

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By Off the Shelf Staff | August 21, 2014

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The Moon and the Other
by John Kessel
In the middle of the twenty-second century, the moon is inhabited by millions of people living in underground cities. One such city-state, the Society of Cousins, seems to be a matriarchal utopia, but when its secrets are revealed, the first moon war erupts, leaving everyone to decide what’s worth fighting for.
The Moon and the Other
John Kessel

MENTIONED IN:

12 Books to Celebrate the Solar Eclipse

By Erin Flaaen | August 21, 2017

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The Shadow of the Sun
by Ryszard Kapuscinski
In his years as an African correspondent for Poland’s state newspaper, Ryszard Kapuściński traveled back and forth across the continent, documenting the end of colonial rule, from the early days of independence in Ghana to the genocide in Rwanda. His memoir paints a stunning picture of Africa’s peoples, cultures, and modern history.
The Shadow of the Sun
Ryszard Kapuscinski

MENTIONED IN:

12 Books to Celebrate the Solar Eclipse

By Erin Flaaen | August 21, 2017

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Moon Tiger
by Penelope Lively
At the end of her life, lying in a London hospital bed, elderly historian and former war correspondent Claudia Hampton imagines writing a history of the world. Instead, what emerges is a rich account of her own life, a truncated affair with a British tank commander in Egypt during World War II at its center. A beautiful, complex, intricately composed fugue, MOON TIGER won the Booker Prize.
Moon Tiger
Penelope Lively

Claudia Hampton, a strong, independent woman and bestselling author, recalls her contentious relations with family and friends and the one short-lived love affair that resonated throughout her life in this Man Booker Prize–winning novel.

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The Sun and Other Stars
by Bridgid Paskula

After losing both his mother and brother, 22-year-old Etto finds himself adrift in his soccer-obsessed small Italian town. When a scandal-ridden Ukrainian soccer star arrives, though, Etto learns life might have more to offer him than he ever expected.

Read the full review of THE SUN AND OTHER STARS.

The Sun and Other Stars
Bridgid Paskula

MENTIONED IN:

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By Erin Flaaen | August 21, 2017

For Fans of Beautiful Ruins: A Novel of Hope and Community in an Italian Village

By Etinosa Agbonlahor | May 8, 2015

How Soccer Can Lead to Love

By Off the Shelf Staff | July 30, 2014

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The Girl Who Chased the Moon
by Sarah Addison Allen
After the death of her mother, Emily is brought to live with her reclusive grandfather in a North Carolina town, only to discover her mother left several mysteries behind. Next door, Julia Winterson bakes cake after cake, hoping, one day, they’ll bring back her lost love.
The Girl Who Chased the Moon
Sarah Addison Allen

MENTIONED IN:

12 Books to Celebrate the Solar Eclipse

By Erin Flaaen | August 21, 2017

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