Share The Best of 2018: The Top 10 Reviews of the Year

The Best of 2018: The Top 10 Reviews of the Year

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 readers have spoken! Irresistible forbidden romances. White-knuckling philosophical thrillers. Powerful memoirs.  Here are the 10 most popular book recommendations on Off the Shelf this year. Bravo, readers. These are some pretty impressive picks.


Disobedience
by Naomi Alderman
I often read the book a movie is based on before getting the ticket. I generally think it’s a good rule to follow. In the case of DISOBEDIENCE by Naomi Alderman, I read the book long ago, loved it, and cannot wait to see the characters—played by Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz—on the big screen.

Read the full review of DISOBEDIENCE.

Disobedience
Naomi Alderman

MENTIONED IN:

The Best of 2018: The Top 10 Reviews of the Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2018

Read this Novel of Forbidden Love Before Buying Your Movie Ticket

By Aimee Boyer | May 2, 2018

12 Books You Must Read Before Seeing the Movies this Spring

By Tolani Osan | February 1, 2018

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The Light We Lost
by Jill Santopolo
There is a reason THE LIGHT WE LOST was a New York Times bestseller, a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick, and optioned for a movie: it’s that good. Since I tore through the novel several months ago, I’ve found myself recommending it to everyone and anyone who will listen.

Read the full review of THE LIGHT WE LOST

The Light We Lost
Jill Santopolo

MENTIONED IN:

The Best of 2018: The Top 10 Reviews of the Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2018

The Unforgettable Novel I Recommend to Everyone

By Carola Lovering | June 28, 2018

13 Feel-Good Novels You’re Going to Love

By Taylor Noel | May 3, 2018

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I'm Thinking of Ending Things
by Iain Reid
It was a dark and rainy afternoon—with one of those eerie midsummer storms—the day I bought I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS at the Strand bookstore. I was braving this ominous weather to get Iain Reid’s novel that I had only just heard about and I knew I couldn’t wait to read it. I was immediately intrigued by its premise: a book that mainly consists of a single conversation between a girl and her boyfriend, Jake, on a car ride to visit her boyfriend’s family, described as a philosophical—as opposed to psychological—thriller.

Read the full review of I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS.

I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Iain Reid

MENTIONED IN:

The Best of 2018: The Top 10 Reviews of the Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2018

5 Books You Can Read in One Sitting

By Stu Smith | May 28, 2018

This Book Will Chill You to the Bone, But You Won’t Know Why

By Nikki Barnhart | April 4, 2018

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Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
by Matthew Sullivan
Some people can’t walk past a bookstore without going inside. Well, I can’t pass by a book with books on the cover without picking it up. As soon as I laid my eyes on MIDNIGHT AT THE BRIGHT IDEAS BOOKSTORE, I knew I would soon be flipping its pages.

Read the full review of MIDNIGHT AT THE BRIGHT IDEAS BOOKSTORE.

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
Matthew Sullivan

MENTIONED IN:

The Best of 2018: The Top 10 Reviews of the Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2018

Enter for a Chance to Win the Ultimate Book Lovers Prize Pack

By Off the Shelf Staff | September 10, 2018

Readers’ Choice: The Top 10 Most Shelved Books in January

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 26, 2018

12 More Books About Books for Big Book Nerds

By Taylor Noel | January 22, 2018

The Mysterious Novel All Book Lovers Will Enjoy

By Elizabeth Breeden | January 9, 2018

Holiday Gift Ideas and Book Recommendations from Off the Shelf

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 2, 2017

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Tell the Wolves I'm Home
by Carol Rifka Brunt
Carol Rifka Brunt’s brilliant and layered TELL THE WOLVES I’M HOME is the story of 14-year-old June, who falls forward into the wilds of her adolescence after the death of her beloved uncle, Finn. It is also a story of siblinghood, grief, vulnerability, and shame.

Read the full review of TELL THE WOLVES I‘M HOME.

Tell the Wolves I'm Home
Carol Rifka Brunt

In this tender coming-of-age story, June Elbus is fourteen years old and grieving the loss of her uncle Finn, a renowned painter with whom she shared a special bond. Though her mother refuses to speak about the mysterious illness that Finn suffered from, his death brings a new friend into June’s life: one whom she must keep secret, but will ultimately help her heal.

MENTIONED IN:

The Best of 2018: The Top 10 Reviews of the Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2018

9 Novels Illuminating the Art World As Seen By Women

By Nikki Barnhart | August 29, 2018

A Brilliant Coming of Age Tale About the Wilds of Adolescence

By Lauren Doyle Owens | March 21, 2018

I Heart the 80s: 12 Radical Reads About Everyone’s Favorite Decade

By Julianna Haubner | October 27, 2016

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The Secrets She Keeps
by Michael Robotham
Looking for a smart, well-written, and emotionally volatile book you absolutely won’t be able to put down? Well, look no further. Michael Robotham’s THE SECRETS SHE KEEPS is one of those blockbuster thrillers that you have to finish reading in one sitting because you desperately need to know what happens next. And even after you turn the last page, you can’t stop thinking about it.

Read the full review of THE SECRET SHE KEEPS.

The Secrets She Keeps
Michael Robotham

MENTIONED IN:

The Best of 2018: The Top 10 Reviews of the Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2018

Readers’ Choice: The Top 10 Most Shelved Books in January

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 26, 2018

A Blockbuster Thriller You Won’t Be Able to Put Down

By Taylor Noel | January 2, 2018

12 Audiobooks Perfect for Your Holiday Travels

By Tolani Osan | November 21, 2017

How to Pack for the Perfect Bookish Vacation

By Taylor Noel | October 19, 2017

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The Bright Hour
by Nina Riggs
I’d been hearing about THE BRIGHT HOUR for a while before I read it. All I knew was that it was a memoir written by a 37-year-old woman dying of breast cancer. No way, I thought. I’m not emotionally or mentally prepared for that reading experience, of confronting that fear.

Read the full review of THE BRIGHT HOUR.

The Bright Hour
Nina Riggs

MENTIONED IN:

The Best of 2018: The Top 10 Reviews of the Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2018

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

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 24, 2018

10 Recommendations from the Co-Owner of Literati Bookstore

By Hilary Gustafson | July 12, 2018

6 of Alice Hoffman’s Favorite Books of the Year

By Alice Hoffman | July 3, 2018

13 of the Most Powerful Memoirs I’ve Ever Read

By Taylor Noel | June 7, 2018

Readers’ Choice: The Top 10 Most Shelved Books in February

By Off the Shelf Staff | February 23, 2018

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The Women in the Castle
by Jessica Shattuck
In every reader’s life, you will come across a genre that grabs you and makes you want to go out and find every book you can on the subject. For many readers these past few years that subject has been World War II. Whether it be the stunning ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE by Anthony Doerr, the touching THE NIGHTINGALE by Kristin Hannah, or the beautiful EVERYONE BRAVE IS FORGIVEN by Chris Cleave, we have all found a plethora of books to satisfy this itch. And satisfy it I did, perhaps too well.

Read the full review of THE WOMEN IN THE CASTLE.

The Women in the Castle
Jessica Shattuck

On the exhaustive subject of World War II, Jessica Shattuck has found a fresh perspective and an interesting viewpoint of the typical German citizen struggling against their homeland to do the right thing. This kind of bravery seems welcome and essential for today’s reader. —Stuart

MENTIONED IN:

The Best of 2018: The Top 10 Reviews of the Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2018

11 Fantastic Books New in Paperback This Year

By Meagan Harris | December 19, 2018

The Impeccable Historical Novel That Feels Like a Fresh Take on WWII

By Stu Smith | June 6, 2018

6 Fiction Favorites Now Out in Paperback

By Meagan Harris | January 17, 2018

The 5 Best Novels I Read This Spring

By Elizabeth Breeden | July 27, 2017

13 Books We Wish We Could Read Right Now

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 21, 2017

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The Time Traveler’s Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger
There is some kind of alchemy involved in finding the right book at the right time. I truly believe there is a specific and perfect time in anyone’s life to read a story—you just have to cross your fingers and hope that you’ll cross paths with it, or have the book pressed into your hands by a loved one, precisely when you need it the most.

Read the full review of THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE.

The Time Traveler’s Wife
Audrey Niffenegger

“I love you, always. Time is nothing.”
A dazzling novel in the most untraditional fashion, this is the remarkable story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare’s passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap, and it is Audrey Niffenegger’s cinematic storytelling that makes the novel’s unconventional chronology so vibrantly triumphant.

MENTIONED IN:

#LastLines: 18 Perfect Book Quotes to Celebrate the End 2018

By Kerry Fiallo | December 31, 2018

The Best of 2018: The Top 10 Reviews of the Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2018

11 Unconventional Love Stories to Set Your Heart Pitter-Pattering

By Erica Nelson | February 11, 2016

Addicted to Outlander? 11 Books to Read During the Long Wait for Season Two

By Caitlin Kleinschmidt | June 4, 2015

Who Doesn’t Love a Love Story?

By Off the Shelf Staff | February 10, 2015

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The Weight of Silence
by Heather Gudenkauf
A good book should draw you in right from the start. I’ve always felt that way, both as a reader and as a writer. There are simply too many good books in the world—and too little time—to spin our wheels delving into something that doesn’t hook us.

Read the full review of THE WEIGHT OF SILENCE.

The Weight of Silence
Heather Gudenkauf

MENTIONED IN:

The Best of 2018: The Top 10 Reviews of the Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2018

I Was Hooked From the Very First Sentence

By Kristin Harmel | March 27, 2018

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