Here at Off the Shelf, we strongly believe that every time of day is the perfect time to lose yourself in a good book. Can’t decide what to read? These books will keep your reading from dawn till dusk.
Can’t sleep during those dark hours of the very early morning? Pass the time with William Boyd’s beautifully observed portrait of Europe during World War I. This novel follows Lysander Rief, an English actor in 1913 Vienna, who begins a passionate affair with beguiling artist Hettie Bull. A year later, war is stirring and Lysander is drawn into the dangerous theatre of wartime intelligence.
As the sun peeks above the horizon, pick up Elie Weisel’s harrowing novel about Elisha, a Holocaust survivor and Israeli freedom fighter, who is set to execute John Dawson, a captured English officer, at dawn. Caught between the horrors of the past and the dilemma before him, Elisha wrestles with guilt, ghosts, and God as he waits for morning to come.
Over your morning coffee, try this exquisitely moving novella. Grandpa, his son, Ted, and his grandson, Noah, sit on a bench in a square and share memories, some happy, some sad. But as their peculiar surroundings grow dimmer and more confusing, they all must learn how to say good-bye.
When the clock hits noon and you take a lunch break, read THE NOONDAY DEMON, Andrew Solomon’s award-winning and expansive examination of depression. Based on his own struggles with the illness as well as interviews with fellow sufferers, doctors, policy makers, and more, Solomon brings new understanding to the complex and misunderstood disease with uncommon humanity, candor, and wit.
To pass the afternoon, delve into this rich and opulent saga about Aimée Savaray, a privileged young woman at the center of Parisian Belle Époque society who dreams of being a painter among the great Impressionists and being loved by Henri, the boy her parents took in as a child and raised alongside her. But then Henri disappears and seems to not want to be found. When he returns years later, dark secrets and lies come to light.
Spend your evening with this stirring and uplifting novel about Ann Grant Lord, who at 65 finds herself in a fog of illness, thinking back to a summer weekend when, at 25, she fell in love at her best friend’s Maine wedding. She relives those three vivid days on the coast, when a devastating tragedy marred the happy event.
During a summer weekend in Maine twenty-five-year-old Ann Grant fell in love at her best friend’s wedding, which was darkened by tragedy. Forty years later as she is dying, that weekend returns in the delirium of a fever dream. Passionate, poetic, and highly ambitious, this is a novel I can read again and again.
The shadowy dusk is the perfect time for Stephen King, so pick up this story collection to keep you company. In these stories, a book salesman with a grievance picks up a mute hitchhiker, a blind girl works a miracle with a touch of her hand, a stationary bike takes its rider on a terrifying journey, and a psychiatric patient’s irrational thinking may create an apocalyptic threat in the Maine countryside.
Why spend your night sleeping when you could be reading this haunting and suspenseful literary thriller about investigative journalist Scott McGrath? He’s investigating the mysterious death of Ashley Cordova, the daughter of Stanislas Cordova, a reclusive filmmaker known for his dark and unsettling films. As McGrath is drawn deeper into the underbelly of New York and of Cordova’s world, he begins to wonder if he may be the next victim.
Midnight is the perfect hour to read the story of Saleem Sinai, who is one of 1,001 children who were born at midnight on the night of India’s independence, each endowed with an extraordinary talent. Through Saleem’s gifts—telepathic powers and a wildly sensitive sense of smell—we are drawn into a fascinating family saga set against the vast, colorful background of the India of the twentieth century.
This novel is at once a fascinating family saga and an astonishing evocation of a vast land and its people–a brilliant incarnation of the universal human comedy. Twenty-five years after its publication, Midnight’ s Children stands apart as both an epochal work of fiction and a brilliant performance by one of the great literary voices of our time.