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

Erin Madison is an assistant marketing manager at Simon & Schuster. She adores historical fiction, has a secret love for dark stories, and devours great YA. (A short list of her favorite authors includes Emma Donoghue, Lisa See, George Saunders, Reyna Grande, Jeannette Walls, Scott Westerfeld, David Levithan, Libba Bray, Laurie Halse Anderson, Robin Wasserman, and Courtney Summers.) In her free time, she writes LGBTQ+ YA novels. You can find out more about her writing, the books she loves, and her black cat on Twitter @ErinWrites93.

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.

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Red Light Run
Baird Harper

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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.

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Five Quarters of the Orange
Joanne Harris

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MENTIONED IN:

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

By Erin Madison | 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.

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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.

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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.

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Green Island
Shawna Yang Ryan

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MENTIONED IN:

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

By Erin Madison | 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.

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The Blue
Lucy Clarke

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MENTIONED IN:

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

By Erin Madison | 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.

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Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo
Ntozake Shange

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MENTIONED IN:

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

By Erin Madison | 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.

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A Memory of Violets
Hazel Gaynor

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MENTIONED IN:

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

By Erin Madison | January 4, 2018

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