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.
There’s no shortage of books about the kind of passionate romances that cause women to go mad, men to embark on quests, and couples to cross heaven and earth to make out in the rain and live happily ever after. Love stories are an eternal favorite because of all the strong, satisfying, and generally warm and fuzzy feelings one gets from reading them. But the feelings one gets from real-life intense relationships are actually quite different. These 7 books are not only great, satisfying reads, but they show that making out in the rain is not a prerequisite for a great, satisfying love story.
Every day, teachers across the country inspire and empower their students to see the world in a new way through classic and contemporary novels. But we know there’s a lot to worry about in high school: friends, driver’s tests, college applications, and, fine, maybe also that cute guy or girl who sat behind you in Algebra. Regardless of whether you completed every extra-credit assignment (guilty as charged), required reading has a lot to offer, even more so when you circle back to those books later on in life. Here’s a list of 13 books I’ve reread since my time in high school and some of the surprising results that came with returning to them.
For a couple years when I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronomer. I subscribed to Astronomy magazine, eagerly muddled my way through complex scientific articles, and marveled at breathtaking photos of cosmic objects. The vast universe seemed as mysterious as it was beautiful. Though I didn’t become a scientist (astronomy involves a lot of math), the night sky continues to fill me with curiosity. The universe holds the answers to so many fundamental questions: How did life begin? How does the flow of time work? Could there be other dimensions and other Earths out there? If you’re a stargazer like me, here are 10 books that will take you through our galaxy and beyond.
With dystopian classics like George Orwell’s 1984 and Margaret Atwood’s THE HANDMAID’S TALE resurfacing at the top of bestseller lists, it may feel like the world is ending–or at least radically changing. As we imagine what the future holds, we’re reminded of these 15 talented writers who envisioned, and perhaps warned, of a future more sinister than we’d like to imagine.
Hollywood is the home of countless fascinating stories, but none are as captivating as those from the people who have worked and lived in Tinseltown. From an icon of the silent era to one of today’s most outspoken opponents of the Church of Scientology, this list features several of the most scintillating celebrity memoirs by some of Hollywood’s biggest power players. If you’re obsessively watching Ryan Murphy’s new hit show FEUD about the legendary rivalry between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, this reading list is your next obsession.
These short tales pack quite the punch in under 200 pages. Though these books won’t take you much time to read, I’m sure they will stay with you for some time after you finish. If you are trying to read 50 books this year, you’ll get a head start on that goal for certain. These 11 books stay true to the old adages “Good things come in small packages” and “Enjoy the little things in life.”
It’s been more than a year since the release of the tremendously satisfying finale to the Neapolitan Quartet, THE STORY OF THE LOST CHILD, and Elena Ferrante’s name is still on everyone’s lips.
Simply put, the quartet was unlike any writing I’d encountered: an unsparing look at the frenzied, sometimes ugly interior lives of two women and how complicated, yet deep and giving, a love/hate friendship can be. It didn’t shy away, it didn’t beautify, and it propelled you forward with such ferocity that putting down the book felt like hitting the brakes and sitting, dizzied, for however many moments you needed to gather yourself.
Who wouldn’t want more of that? Here’s where to turn when everything else pales in comparison.
If you ask an Off the Shelf writer “What’s your favorite book?” don’t expect to get a short answer. We have, and will continue to, evangelize about all the books we’re currently in love with until you beg us to stop. But, if you’re into that kinda stuff, we’ll always be here for you.
Here are 10 authors we’re currently crazy about, characters whose honor we will defend until death, and the well-worn books we will forever keep on our shelves—because…you just never know when you will need it, okay?
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 are the thirteen “most shelved” books on Off the Shelf so far in 2017.