Share 13 of Off the Shelf’s Favorite Book Recommendations from 2016

13 of Off the Shelf’s Favorite Book Recommendations from 2016

We are passionate readers who love nothing more than discovering fantastic books and sharing them with friends. We recommend books that move us to laughter and tears—and everything in between. Trust us when we say, "You've got to read this!"

Off the Shelf is made possible by a small group of passionate readers who love nothing more than discovering fantastic books and sharing them with Off the Shelf readers. We recommend books that move us to laughter and tears—and everything in between. It gives us great pleasure to offer you a collection of our favorite single-title recommendations from 2016. Trust us when we say, “You’ve got to read this!”


Euphoria
by Lily King

“The engine that propels this juicy, smart novel is desire—sexual and intellectual, essential and existential. It seeps out of every sentence, filling the reader with the longing of the characters.” - Molly Prentiss

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Euphoria
Lily King

The engine that propels this juicy, smart novel is desire—sexual and intellectual, essential and existential.

Read Molly Prentiss’s review here.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Readers’ Choice: The Top 25 Most Shelved Books of All Time

By Off the Shelf Staff | March 29, 2019

What Book Should You Read Based on Your Zodiac Sign?

By Lara Blackman | October 1, 2018

13 Authors That Define and Celebrate America

By Taylor Noel | February 7, 2018

Love Is In the Air and These 13 Books Are On Our Minds

By Off the Shelf Staff | February 14, 2017

13 of Off the Shelf’s Favorite Book Recommendations from 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2016

13 Most Shelved Books on Off the Shelf in 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 13, 2016

Close

Gone to Soldiers
by Marge Piercy

“Upon finishing GONE TO SOLDIERS, I immediately recommended it to several friends, my mother, and my sister. I went to social media and wrote the same message to all: this is a book you need to read—all 750+ pages of it. It’s a beautiful story that will leave you haunted, as the characters are, by a war that shattered so many lives.”

Read the full review by Erin Flaaen here.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Gone to Soldiers
Marge Piercy

“Upon finishing GONE TO SOLDIERS, I immediately recommended it to several friends, my mother, and my sister. I went to social media and wrote the same message to all: this is a book you need to read—all 750+ pages of it. It’s a beautiful story that will leave you haunted, as the characters are, by a war that shattered so many lives.”

Read the full review by Erin Flaaen here.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

13 of Off the Shelf’s Favorite Book Recommendations from 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2016

Close

The Spellman Files
by Lisa Lutz

“There’s something delightfully endearing about Lisa Lutz’s kinetic and quirky THE SPELLMAN FILES. It reads like a well-scripted television sitcom/family drama and, considering Lutz’s screenwriting background, that vibe makes perfect sense. As soon as I’d finished reading this offbeat novel, I wanted to binge-read the rest of the books in the series.”

Read the full review by Allison Tyler here.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
The Spellman Files
Lisa Lutz

“There’s something delightfully endearing about Lisa Lutz’s kinetic and quirky THE SPELLMAN FILES. It reads like a well-scripted television sitcom/family drama and, considering Lutz’s screenwriting background, that vibe makes perfect sense. As soon as I’d finished reading this offbeat novel, I wanted to binge-read the rest of the books in the series.”

Read the full review by Allison Tyler here.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

13 of Off the Shelf’s Favorite Book Recommendations from 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2016

12 Super Sleuthy Books for Grown-Up Fans of Nancy Drew

By Sarah Jane Abbott | December 23, 2016

Nancy Drew Meets Jack Daniels

By Allison Tyler | April 11, 2016

12 Bloody Good Mysteries—Even for the Faint of Heart

By Emma Volk | October 27, 2015

Close

Different Seasons
by Stephen King

“You’ll find the themes of hope and innocence weaved throughout the four novellas that comprise Stephen King’s DIFFERENT SEASONS, warped and broken as they may seem. The ways in which they’re tested, sustained, mangled, or transformed are often uncomfortable but always captivating.”

Read the full review by Amar Deol here.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Different Seasons
Stephen King

“You’ll find the themes of hope and innocence weaved throughout the four novellas that comprise Stephen King’s DIFFERENT SEASONS, warped and broken as they may seem. The ways in which they’re tested, sustained, mangled, or transformed are often uncomfortable but always captivating.”

Read the full review by Amar Deol here.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

13 Timely Books to Read During Banned Books Week

By Sarah Jane Abbott | September 25, 2017

13 Stephen King Books for Every Kind of Reader

By Sarah Jane Abbott | September 21, 2017

7 Books That Give Us Library Envy

By Elizabeth Breeden | March 16, 2017

10 Terrible Book Characters We Love to Hate

By Kerry Fiallo | February 6, 2017

13 of Off the Shelf’s Favorite Book Recommendations from 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2016

Happy Birthday, Stephen King! 8 of Our Favorites From the Master

By Sarah Jane Abbott | September 21, 2016

Close

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
by Karen Joy Fowler

“WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES is one of those completely absorbing books that makes the rest of the world disappear, while at the same time reminding us all too clearly of the world we come from and its occasional cruelty.”

Read the full review by Midge Raymond here.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
Karen Joy Fowler

“WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES is one of those completely absorbing books that makes the rest of the world disappear, while at the same time reminding us all too clearly of the world we come from and its occasional cruelty.”

Read the full review by Midge Raymond here.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

We’re All Completely Obsessed with This Award-Winning Novel

By Mary Doria Russell | August 7, 2019

Off the Shelf Turns 5: The Top 10 Reviews of All Time

By Off the Shelf Staff | March 18, 2019

13 of Off the Shelf’s Favorite Book Recommendations from 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2016

13 Most Shelved Books on Off the Shelf in 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 13, 2016

The Beautiful, Haunting Story of an Unconventional Family

By Midge Raymond | February 1, 2016

12 Literary Families to Invite Over for Thanksgiving

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 19, 2015

Close

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl
by Issa Rae

“I’ve spent much of my twenties trying to come to terms with my awkwardness, cringing months—years, even—after any given social misstep. Enter Issa Rae, the queen of graceless girls like me. Her web series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” and hilarious resulting memoir provide an uncannily accurate and helpful guide for navigating the world as an awkward black girl.”

Read the full review by Tolani Osan here.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl
Issa Rae

“I’ve spent much of my twenties trying to come to terms with my awkwardness, cringing months—years, even—after any given social misstep. Enter Issa Rae, the queen of graceless girls like me. Her web series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” and hilarious resulting memoir provide an uncannily accurate and helpful guide for navigating the world as an awkward black girl.”

Read the full review by Tolani Osan here.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

13 of Off the Shelf’s Favorite Book Recommendations from 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2016

Close

The Elegance of the Hedgehog
by Muriel Barbery

“The novel contains all the hallmarks of a modern French classic: quirky characters prone to fatalistic philosophical musings, action set against the florid backdrop of a ritzy hôtel particulier in bourgeois Paris, vivid voyeuristic depictions of the residents’ interior lives—and just a touch of playful pretention.”

Read the full review by Hilary Krutt here.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Muriel Barbery

“The novel contains all the hallmarks of a modern French classic: quirky characters prone to fatalistic philosophical musings, action set against the florid backdrop of a ritzy hôtel particulier in bourgeois Paris, vivid voyeuristic depictions of the residents’ interior lives—and just a touch of playful pretention.”

Read the full review by Hilary Krutt here.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

The Ultimate Guide to Reading Your Way Through Paris in 15 Books

By Julianna Haubner | April 3, 2018

13 of Off the Shelf’s Favorite Book Recommendations from 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2016

A Tale of Two Lovable Misanthropes in Haute Paris

By Hilary Krutt | April 1, 2016

Close

The Age of Miracles
by Karen Thompson Walker

“THE AGE OF MIRACLES was so frightening because the apocalypse begins as an annoyance, like a lipstick that has melted. Walker’s greatest device is that the end of the world comes incrementally, almost casually, and each turned page winds the reader just a little more tightly.”

Read the full review by Richard Fifield here.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
The Age of Miracles
Karen Thompson Walker

“THE AGE OF MIRACLES was so frightening because the apocalypse begins as an annoyance, like a lipstick that has melted. Walker’s greatest device is that the end of the world comes incrementally, almost casually, and each turned page winds the reader just a little more tightly.”

Read the full review by Richard Fifield here.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Readers’ Choice: The Top 25 Most Shelved Books of All Time

By Off the Shelf Staff | March 29, 2019

4 Coming-of-Age Novels to Add to Your Reading List

By Nikki Barnhart | November 8, 2018

15 Dystopian Novels for People Who Don’t Read Dystopian Novels

By Taylor Noel | April 13, 2017

13 of Off the Shelf’s Favorite Book Recommendations from 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2016

13 Most Shelved Books on Off the Shelf in 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 13, 2016

It’s the End of the World as We Know It: 13 Profound Books of Pessimism, Plagues, and Pandemics

By Julianna Haubner | November 1, 2016

Close

The Song of Achilles
by Madeline Miller

“I’ve always thought that a good book should be either the entry point inward, to learn about yourself, or a door outward, to open you up to new worlds. With THE SONG OF ACHILLES, Madeline Miller gave me both.”

Read the full review by Taylor Jenkins Reid here.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
The Song of Achilles
Madeline Miller

“I’ve always thought that a good book should be either the entry point inward, to learn about yourself, or a door outward, to open you up to new worlds. With THE SONG OF ACHILLES, Madeline Miller gave me both.”

Read the full review by Taylor Jenkins Reid here.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Excited for the Hot New Books of Spring? Read These 12 Favorite Novels First!

By Taylor Noel | February 16, 2018

Waiting in the Wings: 11 Famous Stories Told from Another Point of View

By Julianna Haubner | August 17, 2017

13 of Off the Shelf’s Favorite Book Recommendations from 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2016

A Forbidden Romance of Epic Proportions

By Taylor Jenkins Reid | June 15, 2016

11 Ground-breaking LGBTQ Novels

By Emma Volk | February 4, 2016

Under the Spell of the Gods: 11 Tales for Fans of Classical Mythology

By Caitlin Kleinschmidt | May 28, 2015

Close

The Interestings
by Meg Wolitzer

“Like any good friend group, Wolitzer’s novel has a little bit of everything. There’s romance, there’s comedy, there’s drama, there’s sadness, and there’s an undeniable, everlasting devotion to the people you take the journey with.”

Read the full review by Julianna Haubner here.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
The Interestings
Meg Wolitzer

“Like any good friend group, Wolitzer’s novel has a little bit of everything. There’s romance, there’s comedy, there’s drama, there’s sadness, and there’s an undeniable, everlasting devotion to the people you take the journey with.”

Read the full review by Julianna Haubner here.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Close

Crazy Love You
by Lisa Unger

“I am a scaredy-cat. I can’t get past the opening credits of ‘American Horror Story,’ the poster for ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ gave me nightmares for months, and I still can’t look at a spider without wanting to cry. So maybe reading Lisa Unger’s CRAZY LOVE YOU wasn’t the best idea for me. But I am so glad I did, and I want everyone else to experience this horrifying and wonderful book, too.”

Read the full review by Leora Bernstein here.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Crazy Love You
Lisa Unger

“I am a scaredy-cat. I can’t get past the opening credits of ‘American Horror Story,’ the poster for ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ gave me nightmares for months, and I still can’t look at a spider without wanting to cry. So maybe reading Lisa Unger’s CRAZY LOVE YOU wasn’t the best idea for me. But I am so glad I did, and I want everyone else to experience this horrifying and wonderful book, too.”

Read the full review by Leora Bernstein here.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Psychological Thrillers that Will Psyche You Out

By Leora Bernstein | March 6, 2019

13 of Off the Shelf’s Favorite Book Recommendations from 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2016

A Deeply Satisfying Merry-Go-Round of a Mystery

By A.J. Banner | March 30, 2016

Close

Bee Season
by Myla Goldberg

“When asked about how she structured the novel, Goldberg said in an interview with Grendel.org, ‘I did write it very consciously to get darker and stronger as it continues. I wanted it at first to be [a] sunny, happy . . . read, and to lull people into this sense of complacency and then hit them over the head.’ As I read BEE SEASON, I was pleased to find just that; what begins with a child’s small victory leads to the unraveling of a family.”

Read the full review by Sarah Jane Abbott here.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Bee Season
Myla Goldberg

“When asked about how she structured the novel, Goldberg said in an interview with Grendel.org, ‘I did write it very consciously to get darker and stronger as it continues. I wanted it at first to be [a] sunny, happy . . . read, and to lull people into this sense of complacency and then hit them over the head.’ As I read BEE SEASON, I was pleased to find just that; what begins with a child’s small victory leads to the unraveling of a family.”

Read the full review by Sarah Jane Abbott here.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

13 of Off the Shelf’s Favorite Book Recommendations from 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2016

A Richly Layered Novel of a Family Unraveling

By Sarah Jane Abbott | June 20, 2016

Close

Eight Hundred Grapes
by Laura Dave

“Laura Dave takes what seems to be a romantic comedy and spins it into a thoughtful meditation on the nature of love, partnership, and family—and what it means to take your life into your own hands.” - Elizabeth Breeden

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Eight Hundred Grapes
Laura Dave

EIGHT HUNDRED GRAPES is escapist reading at its best because not only are there sun-dappled fields to picture, a dashing neighbor vying for Georgia’s attention, and behind-the-scenes winemaking (author Laura Dave took her wine research seriously!), there is also real heart.

Read Elizabeth Breeden’s review here.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Enter for a Chance to Win the Perfect South of France Adventure

By Off the Shelf Staff | March 25, 2019

Have a Book Picnic with These Tasty Titles

By One.More.Page | August 4, 2018

Party Planning Tips from the Scenes of Your Favorite Novels

By Sarah Woodruff | July 2, 2018

Love Is In the Air and These 13 Books Are On Our Minds

By Off the Shelf Staff | February 14, 2017

13 of Off the Shelf’s Favorite Book Recommendations from 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2016

A Delicious Read to Enjoy With a Glass of California Pinot

By Elizabeth Breeden | October 19, 2016

Close

Thank you for joining our email list!

If you create an Off the Shelf account, you'll be able to save books to your personal bookshelf, and be eligible for free books and other good stuff.

Click here to create your free account.

You must be logged in to add books to your shelf.

Please log in or sign up now.