7 Books to Read If You Love Elena Ferrante

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.

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

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?

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Readers’ Choice: The 13 Best Books on Off the Shelf in 2017 (So Far)

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 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.

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An Independent Bookseller Shares Her Favorite Books

Over the course of a year, I read about 150 books and keep track of them in a small Shinola notebook. My favorite genre to read is fiction. I love getting lost in a story, getting to know a character, sometimes not even liking that character, and watching the words move across a page. Having owned Bank Square Books for almost 11 years and Savoy Bookshop & Cafe for one, I am inundated with advance reading copies each day, and have my pick of the crop. I love getting a bound manuscript from an editor with a note of love for the book. And I am ghastly afraid of being on an airplane with nothing to read after having finished what I brought.

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Straight Off the Shelf: Bestselling Novelist Lisa See’s 13 Favorite Books

Whenever I’m asked to name my favorite books, I go into a whirlwind of indecision. Should I list my favorite books written by women? Or make a list of my favorite books in a category—historical novels, adventure, autobiography, crime, mystery, thriller, or food? Maybe the list should be made up of the books on my nightstand, because surely what I have still ahead of me to read will be my absolute favorites. Or maybe it should be books by those writers who influenced me the most when I was growing up or have made me laugh or cry. You see? A whirlwind of indecision. The 13 books on this list are my favorites from a variety of categories, and here’s what they’ve meant to me.

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10 Royal Reads for Fans of “The Crown”

With the success of Netflix’s The Crown and Masterpiece’s Victoria, it’s obvious that the complex, dazzling, and often-scandalous lives of royal women fascinate us. While those from the British royal family may be the most well known, there are and have been countless fascinating tales of royalty from around the world. Below are a collection of novels and biographies about some of the most compelling royal women of all time.

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12 Debut Novels You Won’t Want to Miss

I’m losing my mind over the amazing crop of new novels slated for publication in 2017. The excitement over highly anticipated new novels from Paula Hawkins, Celeste Ng, and Nickolas Butler may actually induce heart palpitations. But I shouldn’t get ahead of myself. While some of these books are already out, we still have months to wait before most hit bookstores. To quell your impatience, make sure you’ve read the dazzling debut novels and story collections that first introduced these writers to the world.

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Straight Off the Shelf: 7 Unhinged Narrators Who Will Haunt Your Dreams

Being a lover of troubled and complex characters, I want to share a list of books I love that have unreliable narrators. Uncertain of their world, they have all reshaped it in their own ways, often with startling and disturbing results. Their voices are intimate, quirky, unique; their motivations unfathomable. We may not always like these darkly ingenious creations, and yet their stories pursue us from the page, and more often than not, into our dreams…

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7 Books That Give Us Library Envy

The SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON’s treehouse, the hidden flowers of THE SECRET GARDEN, Pemberly’s portrait-filled halls in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE—I could list a hundred bookish settings I’ve used to furnish my daydreams. When not imagining myself between the pages of these stories, I would repeatedly rewind (on a VHS tape nonetheless) the scenes of first exploration in their film versions, wishing myself into each character’s footsteps and their expressions of awe. But of all the literary walls to fancy yourself between, top of the list has to be the library in Disney’s animated “Beauty and the Beast.” With shelves filled with colorful spines, spiral staircases, and a massive fireplace to read by, the most wonderful element by far was its feeling of marvel and discovery (I can only hope the library in the live-action remake—in theaters March 17—is just as marvelous). If you share a fascination with libraries, you’ll find even more bibliophile inspiration in these titles.

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