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.
BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE is a perfect candidate for your next book club pick. This should come as no surprise. After the success of A MAN CALLED OVE and MY GRANDMOTHER ASKED ME TO TELL YOU SHE’S SORRY, Fredrik Backman has proven himself to be essential reading.
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.
For two years in high school, I had a long-suffering crush on a guy named Randy, who only saw me as a brainy, funny friend and not the coquettish sexpot I so desperately wanted to be. We talked on the phone often, exchanged book recommendations, and watched movies together. Meanwhile, I desperately yearned to crawl underneath his arm or for his hand to brush mine and for him to spontaneously decide that OF COURSE he loved me, too.
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.
After the election, desperate to mute the news that had become the soundtrack of my life, the torment only a reader knows struck. Despite the many books teetering on my to-be-read pile, I couldn’t fall in love with a new book. History teaches the cure lies behind us; thus I searched my shelves, seeking a book out of the limelight but still in my heart.
I opened THE LITTLE GIANT OF ABERDEEN COUNTY with trepidation, praying it would again transport me. Being a dedicated member of the first-line club, I held my breath and read the opening words in the prologue…
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?
“I don’t think I’m a food writer any more than I am a love writer or a fish writer or a fowl writer. I just write about life.”
This quote might seem surprising since M. F. K. Fisher is synonymous with food writing. Her 30+ books are largely centered on food, as clearly exhibited in THE ART OF EATING, which has been in print since 1954. This masterful tome contains her five most popular books—SERVE IT FORTH (1937), CONSIDER THE OYSTER (1941), HOW TO COOK A WOLF (1942), THE GASTRONOMICAL ME (1943) and AN ALPHABET FOR GOURMETS (1949). An eclectic mixture of instruction, opinion, and autobiography, her writing is straightforward but beautiful, giving the reader a sense of familiarity with every story told.