Readers’ Choice: The Top 25 Most Shelved Books of the Year!

December 24 2018
Share Readers’ Choice: The Top 25 Most Shelved Books of the Year!

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 OfftheShelf.com 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” below the book cover, and we’ll save your favorites for you.

These are the 25 “most shelved” books on Off the Shelf of the year.

The Bright Hour
by Nina Riggs

Brilliantly written, disarmingly funny, and deeply moving, this exquisite memoir by a woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 37 is a gentle reminder how to live and love every day.

Read the full review of THE BRIGHT HOUR.

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The Bright Hour
Nina Riggs

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MENTIONED IN:

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7 Relatable Reads to Distract You from Your Own Anxieties

By Emily Austin | June 10, 2021

10 Audiobooks to Help You Crush Your Reading Goals

By Kelly Dasta | June 9, 2021

Close
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
by Gail Honeyman

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. Smart, warm, uplifting, this is the story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine who realizes the only way to survive is to open your heart.

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Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
Gail Honeyman

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Under-the-Radar Reads That Deserve All the Love

By Chris Gaudio | June 16, 2021

Book Club at the Beach: What My Club is Reading This Summer

By Holly Claytor | June 15, 2021

Genre Bridges: 7 Books to Shake Up Your Reading Routine

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 14, 2021

Books as Gifts: 14 Reads Dad Will Love This Father’s Day

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 11, 2021

7 Relatable Reads to Distract You from Your Own Anxieties

By Emily Austin | June 10, 2021

10 Audiobooks to Help You Crush Your Reading Goals

By Kelly Dasta | June 9, 2021

Close
Do Not Become Alarmed
by Maile Meloy

To the delight of their husbands and children, Liv and Nora are taking their families on a holiday cruise. While the adults relax, the four children—ages six to 11—enjoy the nonstop buffet and their newfound independence. But on an excursion ashore in Central America, a series of minor misfortunes and miscalculations erodes the safety they had experienced aboard the ship, when one minute the children are there, and the next they’re gone.

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Do Not Become Alarmed
Maile Meloy

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Under-the-Radar Reads That Deserve All the Love

By Chris Gaudio | June 16, 2021

Book Club at the Beach: What My Club is Reading This Summer

By Holly Claytor | June 15, 2021

Genre Bridges: 7 Books to Shake Up Your Reading Routine

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 14, 2021

Books as Gifts: 14 Reads Dad Will Love This Father’s Day

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 11, 2021

7 Relatable Reads to Distract You from Your Own Anxieties

By Emily Austin | June 10, 2021

10 Audiobooks to Help You Crush Your Reading Goals

By Kelly Dasta | June 9, 2021

Close
The Spring Girls
by Anna Todd

The Spring Girls—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy—are a force of nature on the New Orleans military base where they live. As different as they are, with their father on tour in Iraq and their mother hiding something, their fears are very much the same. Struggling to build lives they can be proud of and that will lift them out of their humble station in life, one year will determine all that their futures can become. This modern-day retelling of Louisa May Alcott’s LITTLE WOMEN is perfect for book clubs.

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The Spring Girls
Anna Todd

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Close
The Last Equation of Isaac Severy
by Nova Jacobs

Just days after mathematician and family patriarch Isaac Severy dies of an apparent suicide, his adopted granddaughter Hazel, owner of a struggling Seattle bookstore, receives a letter from him by mail. In it, Isaac alludes to a secretive organization that is after his final bombshell equation, and he charges Hazel with safely delivering it to a trusted colleague. But first, she must find where the equation is hidden.

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The Last Equation of Isaac Severy
Nova Jacobs

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Close
Three Wishes
by Liane Moriarty

Liane Moriarty’s novel about female triplets is the perfect read for fans of This Is Us. Lyn, Cat, and Gemma Kettle, like Kate, Kevin, and Randall, share an unbreakable bond despite their differences and the directions their lives take. The novels follow the ups, downs, and fantastic frustrations of being a trio through their 33rd year with lots of laughter and tears.

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Three Wishes
Liane Moriarty

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Under-the-Radar Reads That Deserve All the Love

By Chris Gaudio | June 16, 2021

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By Holly Claytor | June 15, 2021

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By Off the Shelf Staff | June 14, 2021

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By Off the Shelf Staff | June 11, 2021

7 Relatable Reads to Distract You from Your Own Anxieties

By Emily Austin | June 10, 2021

10 Audiobooks to Help You Crush Your Reading Goals

By Kelly Dasta | June 9, 2021

Close
Another Brooklyn
by Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson’s acclaimed novel ANOTHER BROOKLYN heartbreakingly illuminates the promise and peril of growing up. Running into a long-ago friend sets into motion memories from the 1970s for August, transporting her to a time and a place where friendship was everything—until it wasn’t.

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Another Brooklyn
Jacqueline Woodson

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Under-the-Radar Reads That Deserve All the Love

By Chris Gaudio | June 16, 2021

Book Club at the Beach: What My Club is Reading This Summer

By Holly Claytor | June 15, 2021

Genre Bridges: 7 Books to Shake Up Your Reading Routine

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 14, 2021

Books as Gifts: 14 Reads Dad Will Love This Father’s Day

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 11, 2021

7 Relatable Reads to Distract You from Your Own Anxieties

By Emily Austin | June 10, 2021

10 Audiobooks to Help You Crush Your Reading Goals

By Kelly Dasta | June 9, 2021

Close
Dumplin'
by Julie Murphy

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin' is guaranteed to steal your heart. Willowdean, called "Dumplin'" by her former beauty queen mom, has always been at home in her own skin. But when she takes a job at a local fast-food joint and enters into a relationship with a hot former jock, Willowdean starts doubting herself—and her looks. So she sets out to take back her confidence by entering the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet Pageant to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any skinny girl does.

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Dumplin'
Julie Murphy

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Close
No One Is Coming to Save Us
by Stephanie Powell Watts

In this Gatsbyesque novel, JJ returns home to Pinewood, North Carolina, to build a huge mansion and woo his high school sweetheart. But the ostentatious wealth that JJ has attained forces everyone to consider the cards they’ve been dealt, what more they want and deserve, and how they might go about getting it.

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No One Is Coming to Save Us
Stephanie Powell Watts

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Under-the-Radar Reads That Deserve All the Love

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By Emily Austin | June 10, 2021

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Close
Hunger
by Roxane Gay

In her most vulnerable and candid book yet, Roxane Gay explores what it means to be overweight in a world that doesn't accept unruly bodies. She uses her own emotional and psychological struggles to explore our shared anxieties and to examine how a devastating act of physical violence forever altered her life.

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Hunger
Roxane Gay

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Under-the-Radar Reads That Deserve All the Love

By Chris Gaudio | June 16, 2021

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By Holly Claytor | June 15, 2021

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By Off the Shelf Staff | June 14, 2021

Books as Gifts: 14 Reads Dad Will Love This Father’s Day

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 11, 2021

7 Relatable Reads to Distract You from Your Own Anxieties

By Emily Austin | June 10, 2021

10 Audiobooks to Help You Crush Your Reading Goals

By Kelly Dasta | June 9, 2021

Close
The Wife
by Meg Wolitzer

Before Faith Frank and THE FEMALE PERSUASION, Meg Wolitzer created Joan Castleman and THE WIFE—a short but powerful novel about marriage, ambition, and success. The novel begins with Joan, sitting on a plane next to her novelist husband, deciding that the time has come to leave him. What follows is a gripping and sweeping story of their relationship, choices, sacrifices, and breaking point. With powerhouse Glenn Close in the leading role of Joan, the film adaptation is sure to be intense and a conversation starter.

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The Wife
Meg Wolitzer

Imbued with the characteristic wit and intelligence that Meg Wolitzer brought to The Interestings, The Wife raises big questions about voice, marriage, power, and gender in literature. Slim but smart, this provocative story can be read in a day, but it will remain on your mind for much longer. A film adaptation starring Glenn Close and Frances McDormand is in the works and we would watch those two titans of acting in just about anything.

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Under-the-Radar Reads That Deserve All the Love

By Chris Gaudio | June 16, 2021

Book Club at the Beach: What My Club is Reading This Summer

By Holly Claytor | June 15, 2021

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By Off the Shelf Staff | June 14, 2021

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By Off the Shelf Staff | June 11, 2021

7 Relatable Reads to Distract You from Your Own Anxieties

By Emily Austin | June 10, 2021

10 Audiobooks to Help You Crush Your Reading Goals

By Kelly Dasta | June 9, 2021

Close
The Immortalists
by Chloe Benjamin

Truly fun to read, this unique and unusual novel asks: What would you do if you knew the day you would die? This Jewish American family saga is about four siblings whose lives are changed by a fortune-teller and whose fates are intertwined forever more. Magic, logic, and emotion figure into a story that covers several decades and allows readers to know a fictional family as well, or perhaps better, than they know their own.

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The Immortalists
Chloe Benjamin

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Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows
by Balli Kaur Jaswal

A lively, sexy, and thought-provoking novel, EROTIC STORIES FOR PUNJABI WIDOWS is the tale of a young woman who teaches a creative writing course for Sikh widows at a community college. But the class doesn't go as planned when one of Nikki's students shares a book of sexy stories, setting off a wave of unexpected events. Reese Witherspoon picked this novel for her book club and so should you.

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Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows
Balli Kaur Jaswal

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Under-the-Radar Reads That Deserve All the Love

By Chris Gaudio | June 16, 2021

Book Club at the Beach: What My Club is Reading This Summer

By Holly Claytor | June 15, 2021

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By Off the Shelf Staff | June 14, 2021

Books as Gifts: 14 Reads Dad Will Love This Father’s Day

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 11, 2021

7 Relatable Reads to Distract You from Your Own Anxieties

By Emily Austin | June 10, 2021

10 Audiobooks to Help You Crush Your Reading Goals

By Kelly Dasta | June 9, 2021

Close
Dear Mrs. Bird
by AJ Pearce

A charming, irresistible debut set in London during World War II, DEAR MRS. BIRD is the story of plucky Emmy Lake, who dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent but fumbles her way into a job as an assistant to a ferocious advice columnist instead. Her boss is very clear—any letters containing Unpleasantness must go straight to the trash bin—but Emmy is unable to resist responding.

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Dear Mrs. Bird
AJ Pearce

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Under-the-Radar Reads That Deserve All the Love

By Chris Gaudio | June 16, 2021

Book Club at the Beach: What My Club is Reading This Summer

By Holly Claytor | June 15, 2021

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By Off the Shelf Staff | June 14, 2021

Books as Gifts: 14 Reads Dad Will Love This Father’s Day

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 11, 2021

7 Relatable Reads to Distract You from Your Own Anxieties

By Emily Austin | June 10, 2021

10 Audiobooks to Help You Crush Your Reading Goals

By Kelly Dasta | June 9, 2021

Close
The Incendiaries
by R. O. Kwon

THE INCENDIARIES is a brilliant, utterly captivating novel about a glamorous young woman, who secretly blames herself for her mother’s death, and the young man who falls in love with her. When Phoebe is vulnerable, she is drawn into a religious group and extremist cult, while Will struggles to confront the beliefs he’s tried to escape and the obsession consuming the person he loves.

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The Incendiaries
R. O. Kwon

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Under-the-Radar Reads That Deserve All the Love

By Chris Gaudio | June 16, 2021

Book Club at the Beach: What My Club is Reading This Summer

By Holly Claytor | June 15, 2021

Genre Bridges: 7 Books to Shake Up Your Reading Routine

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 14, 2021

Books as Gifts: 14 Reads Dad Will Love This Father’s Day

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 11, 2021

7 Relatable Reads to Distract You from Your Own Anxieties

By Emily Austin | June 10, 2021

10 Audiobooks to Help You Crush Your Reading Goals

By Kelly Dasta | June 9, 2021

Close
I'll Be Gone in the Dark
by Michelle McNamara

I'LL BE GONE IN THE DARK is the haunting true account of the elusive serial rapist turned murderer who terrorized California during the 70s and 80s. And there's more—it's also the story of the gifted journalist who died tragically while investigating the case, which was just recently solved in April 2018.

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I'll Be Gone in the Dark
Michelle McNamara

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Under-the-Radar Reads That Deserve All the Love

By Chris Gaudio | June 16, 2021

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By Holly Claytor | June 15, 2021

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By Off the Shelf Staff | June 11, 2021

7 Relatable Reads to Distract You from Your Own Anxieties

By Emily Austin | June 10, 2021

10 Audiobooks to Help You Crush Your Reading Goals

By Kelly Dasta | June 9, 2021

Close
Stay with Me
by Ayobami Adebayo

Ayobami Adebayo brings polygamy to the forefront in her debut novel STAY WITH ME. As Yejide and her husband struggle to conceive years into their marriage, the addition of a new (and more fertile) wife threatens to tear their once peaceful life apart. To save their relationship, Yejide must get pregnant and must go to extreme lengths to do so. STAY WITH ME paints an astonishing portrait of marriage, motherhood, and sacrifice.

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Stay with Me
Ayobami Adebayo

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Under-the-Radar Reads That Deserve All the Love

By Chris Gaudio | June 16, 2021

Book Club at the Beach: What My Club is Reading This Summer

By Holly Claytor | June 15, 2021

Genre Bridges: 7 Books to Shake Up Your Reading Routine

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 14, 2021

Books as Gifts: 14 Reads Dad Will Love This Father’s Day

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 11, 2021

7 Relatable Reads to Distract You from Your Own Anxieties

By Emily Austin | June 10, 2021

10 Audiobooks to Help You Crush Your Reading Goals

By Kelly Dasta | June 9, 2021

Close
The Favorite Sister
by Jessica Knoll

Jessica Knoll returns with a new novel about two sisters who join the cast of a reality TV series along with three other hyper-successful women. But no one ever expected the season to end in murder…A blisteringly paced thriller, THE FAVORITE SISTER explores the invisible barriers that prevent women from rising up the ranks in today's America and offers a scathing take on the relentless pressure to stay young, relevant, and salable.

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The Favorite Sister
Jessica Knoll

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Under-the-Radar Reads That Deserve All the Love

By Chris Gaudio | June 16, 2021

Book Club at the Beach: What My Club is Reading This Summer

By Holly Claytor | June 15, 2021

Genre Bridges: 7 Books to Shake Up Your Reading Routine

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 14, 2021

Books as Gifts: 14 Reads Dad Will Love This Father’s Day

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 11, 2021

7 Relatable Reads to Distract You from Your Own Anxieties

By Emily Austin | June 10, 2021

10 Audiobooks to Help You Crush Your Reading Goals

By Kelly Dasta | June 9, 2021

Close
Heads of the Colored People
by Nafissa Thompson-Spires

Longlisted for the National Book Award, Nafissa Thompson-Spires’s stunning collection of short stories examines the concept of black identity in this so-called post-racial era. Her stories are exquisitely rendered, satirical, and captivating in turn, engaging in the ongoing conversations about race and identity politics, as well as the vulnerability of the black body.

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Heads of the Colored People
Nafissa Thompson-Spires

Longlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction and Kirkus Prize Finalist

Calling to mind the best works of Paul Beatty and Junot Díaz, this collection of moving, timely, and darkly funny stories examines the concept of black identity in this so-called post-racial era.

A stunning new talent in literary fiction, Nafissa Thompson-Spires grapples with black identity and the contemporary middle class in these compelling, boundary-pushing vignettes.

Each captivating story plunges headfirst into the lives of new, utterly original characters. Some are darkly humorous—from two mothers exchanging snide remarks through notes in their kids’ backpacks, to the young girl contemplating how best to notify her Facebook friends of her impending suicide—while others are devastatingly poignant—a new mother and funeral singer who is driven to madness with grief for the young black boys who have fallen victim to gun violence, or the teen who struggles between her upper middle class upbringing and her desire to fully connect with black culture.

Thompson-Spires fearlessly shines a light on the simmering tensions and precariousness of black citizenship. Her stories are exquisitely rendered, satirical, and captivating in turn, engaging in the ongoing conversations about race and identity politics, as well as the vulnerability of the black body. Boldly resisting categorization and easy answers, Nafissa Thompson-Spires is an original and necessary voice in contemporary fiction.

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Close
Foe
by Iain Reid

In Iain Reid’s psychological thriller FOE, a couple’s quiet, isolated life is upended when a man in a suit visits them at their secluded home. The strange man informs them that the husband has been randomly selected to participate in the OuterMore program which will take him very far away—and that's only the start of the strange events that unravel this couple's marriage.

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Foe
Iain Reid

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Under-the-Radar Reads That Deserve All the Love

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By Off the Shelf Staff | June 11, 2021

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By Emily Austin | June 10, 2021

10 Audiobooks to Help You Crush Your Reading Goals

By Kelly Dasta | June 9, 2021

Close
The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter
by Theodora Goss 

Rediscover Gothic Victorian literature in this witty and mesmerizing novel following Mary Jekyll as she searches for the truth about her mysterious father—and stumbles upon strange, monstrous women—vividly depicted in fresh and evocative prose in this unputdownable thriller.

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The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter
Theodora Goss 

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The Night of the Gun
by David Carr

From the late journalist David Carr, this is a revelatory memoir of his years as an addict, chronicling his journey from crackhouse regular to columnist for The New York Times.

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The Night of the Gun
David Carr

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Under-the-Radar Reads That Deserve All the Love

By Chris Gaudio | June 16, 2021

Book Club at the Beach: What My Club is Reading This Summer

By Holly Claytor | June 15, 2021

Genre Bridges: 7 Books to Shake Up Your Reading Routine

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 14, 2021

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By Off the Shelf Staff | June 11, 2021

7 Relatable Reads to Distract You from Your Own Anxieties

By Emily Austin | June 10, 2021

10 Audiobooks to Help You Crush Your Reading Goals

By Kelly Dasta | June 9, 2021

Close
Funny Girl
by Nick Hornby

Set in 1960s London, FUNNY GIRL is a lively account of the adventures of the intrepid young Sophie Straw as she navigates her transformation from provincial ingénue to television starlet amid a constellation of delightful characters.

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Funny Girl
Nick Hornby

Set in 1960s London, FUNNY GIRL is a lively account of the adventures of the intrepid young Sophie Straw as she navigates her transformation from provincial ingénue to television starlet amid a constellation of delightful characters.

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Under-the-Radar Reads That Deserve All the Love

By Chris Gaudio | June 16, 2021

Book Club at the Beach: What My Club is Reading This Summer

By Holly Claytor | June 15, 2021

Genre Bridges: 7 Books to Shake Up Your Reading Routine

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 14, 2021

Books as Gifts: 14 Reads Dad Will Love This Father’s Day

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 11, 2021

7 Relatable Reads to Distract You from Your Own Anxieties

By Emily Austin | June 10, 2021

10 Audiobooks to Help You Crush Your Reading Goals

By Kelly Dasta | June 9, 2021

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Packing for Mars
by Mary Roach

Take an entertaining trip into the science of life in space. The brilliant and hilarious science writer Mary Roach paints an intricate portrait of how things actually work when human beings go into space, from the mundane—attending to basic human needs such as air and water—to the luxuries of beer and privacy.

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Packing for Mars
Mary Roach

For space geeks

Take an entertaining trip into the science of life in space. The brilliant and hilarious science writer Mary Roach paints an intricate portrait of how things actually work when human beings go into space, from the mundane—attending to basic human needs such as air and water—to the luxuries of beer and privacy.

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

MENTIONED IN:

8 Under-the-Radar Reads That Deserve All the Love

By Chris Gaudio | June 16, 2021

Book Club at the Beach: What My Club is Reading This Summer

By Holly Claytor | June 15, 2021

Genre Bridges: 7 Books to Shake Up Your Reading Routine

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 14, 2021

Books as Gifts: 14 Reads Dad Will Love This Father’s Day

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 11, 2021

7 Relatable Reads to Distract You from Your Own Anxieties

By Emily Austin | June 10, 2021

10 Audiobooks to Help You Crush Your Reading Goals

By Kelly Dasta | June 9, 2021

Close
Eliza Hamilton
by Tilar J. Mazzeo 

Imagine being the wife of a founding father, in on the ground floor where history is being made, with progress, innovation, policies, and declarations. ELIZA HAMILTON by Tilar Mazzeo gives us the inside look at Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, the strong woman who sealed her own place in history beside Alexander Hamilton, with fascinating anecdotes about growing up in the prominent Schuyler family of New York.

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Eliza Hamilton
Tilar J. Mazzeo 

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

MENTIONED IN:

8 Under-the-Radar Reads That Deserve All the Love

By Chris Gaudio | June 16, 2021

Book Club at the Beach: What My Club is Reading This Summer

By Holly Claytor | June 15, 2021

Genre Bridges: 7 Books to Shake Up Your Reading Routine

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 14, 2021

Books as Gifts: 14 Reads Dad Will Love This Father’s Day

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 11, 2021

7 Relatable Reads to Distract You from Your Own Anxieties

By Emily Austin | June 10, 2021

10 Audiobooks to Help You Crush Your Reading Goals

By Kelly Dasta | June 9, 2021

Close

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