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Take a Look, It’s In a Book: Off the Shelf’s Own Reading Rainbow

Erin Flaaen is a corporate marketing coordinator at Simon and Schuster. She loves dark stories, devours historical fiction, and still has a soft spot for great YA. (A short list of her favorite authors would include Emma Donoghue—not just for ROOM—Lisa See, George Saunders, David Ebershoff, Jeannette Walls, Shirley Jackson, Scott Westerfeld, David Levithan, and Libba Bray.) 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 buses.

There’s no doubt that reading can often be a “colorful” experience. At Off the Shelf, we’ve taken this literally by creating our own reading rainbow filled with books whose titles include a spectrum of colors. Among our favorite color-filled reads, experience a “red” story collection, some “yellow” historical fiction, and the story of a girl with an “indigo” name.


Red Light Run
by Baird Harper
When two cars collide in a Chicago suburb, police are surprised to find Hartley Nolan and Sonia Senn behind the wheels. Hartley rarely drinks—his wife’s the alcoholic—and why is Sonia even home? This collection of tightly linked short stories untangles the many forces that led Hartley and Sonia to the deadly crash.
Red Light Run
Baird Harper

MENTIONED IN:

Take a Look, It’s In a Book: Off the Shelf’s Own Reading Rainbow

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Five Quarters of the Orange
by Joanne Harris
When Framboise Simon returns to her hometown on the Loire, she opens a small creperie, using her often-cruel late mother’s scrapbook of recipes. As she studies the book, she discovers that the pages may hold the key to what happened when she and her mother left the town years before.
Five Quarters of the Orange
Joanne Harris

MENTIONED IN:

Take a Look, It’s In a Book: Off the Shelf’s Own Reading Rainbow

By Erin Flaaen | January 4, 2018

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Half of a Yellow Sun
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
A 13-year-old houseboy, a professor’s mistress, and a shy and young Englishman are brought together during the turbulent 1960s when Biafra begins its impassioned struggle for independence from Nigeria. As Nigerian troops advance, these characters must flee for their lives, severely testing their ideals and loyalties to one another.
Half of a Yellow Sun
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Nigerian Civil War of the late 1960s is brought to life through the voices of five unforgettable characters. Among them is Ugwu, a houseboy who comes to his master a naive child and ends the novel a wary ex-soldier. As war drags on and the differences between Ugwu and the once-privileged family he serves shrink, their shared, raw humanity is all that remains.

MENTIONED IN:

Take a Look, It’s In a Book: Off the Shelf’s Own Reading Rainbow

By Erin Flaaen | January 4, 2018

5 Nigerian Authors You Need to Read

By Tolani Osan | September 28, 2017

12 Powerful War Novels that Transcend War

By Matt Gallagher | February 3, 2016

14 Must-Read Books Set Under the African Sun

By Emma Volk | January 12, 2016

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By Emma Volk | August 18, 2015

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Green Island
by Shawna Yang Ryan
Taking place across six decades and two continents, this novel tells the history of Taiwan during the second half of the Twentieth Century, beginning with the birth of the novel’s narrator and following her journey as she flees the troubles in her home country and immigrates to the United States.
Green Island
Shawna Yang Ryan

MENTIONED IN:

Take a Look, It’s In a Book: Off the Shelf’s Own Reading Rainbow

By Erin Flaaen | January 4, 2018

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The Blue
by Lucy Clarke
Lana and Kitty leave home and find adventure aboard THE BLUE, a yacht filled with young wanderers headed from the Philippines to New Zealand. When one of their new friends disappears overboard, the secrets held by everyone on board begin to unravel, and the cruise quickly turns into a nightmare.

MENTIONED IN:

Take a Look, It’s In a Book: Off the Shelf’s Own Reading Rainbow

By Erin Flaaen | January 4, 2018

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Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo
by Ntozake Shange
This is story of three African-American sisters from Charleston in the 1970s: Sassafrass, the oldest, is an artist attending college in Los Angeles; Cypress, the middle sister, leaves home to become a dancer; and Indigo, the youngest, lives through poetry, talks to her dolls, and has the gift of seeing magic in the world.
Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo
Ntozake Shange

MENTIONED IN:

Take a Look, It’s In a Book: Off the Shelf’s Own Reading Rainbow

By Erin Flaaen | January 4, 2018

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A Memory of Violets
by Hazel Gaynor
In 1912, Tilly Harper becomes assistant housemother at a home for Flower Girls, orphans who live on the streets of London selling violets and watercress to survive. When Tilly discovers a diary written by one orphan, she sets out to discover the girl and her sister’s fates.
A Memory of Violets
Hazel Gaynor

MENTIONED IN:

Take a Look, It’s In a Book: Off the Shelf’s Own Reading Rainbow

By Erin Flaaen | January 4, 2018

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