What an exciting month full of books it has been! We wrapped our summer reading lists, reminisced about our favorite Booker-nominated novels, and even got an early start on our Award season reading. We saw your comments, your likes and shares, and clicks. And now it’s time to look back on all of the books we’ve collected this month and give you a rundown of the best of the best. In case you missed it, here were the most popular books featured on Off the Shelf in September—according to you!
A follow-up to the beloved THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN, SUDDEN LIGHT is a coming-of-age tale with a magical twist. Twenty-three years after a pivotal summer vacation, Trevor Ridell looks back on his first visit to the infamous family estate—the Ridell House—where he set out to save the crumbling mansion from a steely plan to sell it for profit.
On the morning of April 29, 1986, the stacks at the Los Angeles Public Library were consumed by flames. The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. Weaving her lifelong love of books and reading into an investigation of the fire, Susan Orlean delivers a mesmerizing and uniquely compelling book that manages to tell the broader story of libraries and librarians in a way that has never been done before.
This debut of love, friendship, and faith follows two couples over decades as the two husbands copastor a church against the backdrop of societal upheaval and change.
In this gripping political thriller, CIA ghost Pilgrim comes out of retirement to help foil the plot of a notorious bio-terrorist.
“For me, I AM PILGRIM was a game changer. It raised the bar for international spy thrillers and became the benchmark for all future reads. It’s rich in detail and character, full of heart-racing action, and terrifying in its plausibility. It has heart and has you questioning your own beliefs.”
Perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty and Ian McEwan, THE SLAP by Christos Tsiolkas takes an insider’s look at the dark underbelly of contemporary domestic life, marriage, and parenthood. At a friendly neighborhood barbeque, one man slaps another couple’s child. Like ripples in a pond, the single act disrupts the placidity of their suburban lives in unpredictable and terrifying ways. Told from the perspectives of eight witnesses to the crime, this novel explores the prejudice, betrayal, and possessiveness that define our private lives.
E. M. Forster's enduring classic is a story of innocence and simple pleasures. Part forbidden love story, part comedy, Forster tackles values, class, and cultural points of view making this novel an ever-relevant read.
THE GREAT ALONE, Kristin Hannah’s follow-up to THE NIGHTINGALE, tracks Ernt Allbright, a Vietnam vet desperate to rekindle his family life. In an attempt to start fresh, Ernt moves his wife, Cora, and daughter, Leni, to the depths of the Alaskan wildness, where the landscape is as beautiful as it is brutal. Soon, however, Ernt becomes increasingly unhinged, leaving Leni and Cora to fend for themselves. Cinematic and emotionally wrought, THE GREAT ALONE delves deep into an exploration of the strength of family bonds, the human soul, and the pioneering spirit.
Young Jesse Marley is run down by a motorbike and placed in the hospital. She’s unable to speak and unable to write with her dominant hand. But her weaker hand suddenly seems to have a mind of its own, and she starts to draw castles and warriors she’s never seen before. Her neurologist is intrigued—and so begins an epic journey to discover an old Norse warlord’s stronghold. She might not know it, but she has the key to the legend behind it.
THE ROUND HOUSE transports readers to the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota as a boy on the cusp of manhood seeks justice and understanding in the wake of a terrible crime that upends his family. This greatly beloved novel is a powerful coming-of-age story, a mystery, and a tender novel of family, history, and culture.