10 Audiobooks to Help You Crush Your Reading Goals

Kelly Dasta
June 9 2021
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With the arrival of June comes the arrival of sunshine, vacations, relaxation . . . and new books to read. However, did you know that June is also Audiobook Month? Audiobooks can be a fantastic way to get through your TBR pile, so I’ve put together a list of 10 engrossing audiobooks that can help you crush your summer reading goals in no time.

Check out Simon Audio’s Audiobook Month Sweepstakes and enter for a chance to win a Samsung speaker and collection of bestselling audiobooks!

It Had to Be You
by Georgia Clark

IT HAD TO BE YOU is a witty romantic comedy featuring a wedding planner, her unexpected business partner, and their coworkers in a series of linked love stories—perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Casey McQuiston. This audiobook alternates between the perspectives of multiple characters, each voiced by a different narrator, so time truly flies while listening to this one. Georgia Clark and the full cast of narrators made me laugh out loud, warmed my heart, and reaffirmed my faith in true love.

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It Had to Be You
Georgia Clark

“A wedding planner dies and leaves the business to his wife—and his mistress. What could possibly go wrong? A charming rom-com to kick off your summer.”—People

An Elin Hilderbrand Entertainment Weekly Summer Reading Pick

“The book-equivalent of a perfect first date... Highly highly recommend.” —Elin Hilderbrand, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“A heady kaleidoscope of romance, heartbreak, and healing that’s both rich in insight and enchantingly funny.” —Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author

The author of the “emotional, hilarious, and thought-provoking” (People) novel The Bucket List returns with a witty and heartfelt romantic comedy featuring a wedding planner, her unexpected business partner, and their coworkers in a series of linked love stories—perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Casey McQuiston.

For the past twenty years, Liv and Eliot Goldenhorn have run In Love in New York, Brooklyn’s beloved wedding-planning business. When Eliot dies unexpectedly, he even more unexpectedly leaves half of the business to his younger, blonder girlfriend, Savannah. Liv and Savannah are not a match made in heaven, to say the least. But what starts as a personal and professional nightmare transforms into something even savvy, cynical Liv Goldenhorn couldn’t begin to imagine.

It Had to Be You cleverly unites Liv, Savannah, and couples as diverse and unique as New York City itself, in a joyous Love-Actually-style braided narrative. The result is a smart, modern love story that truly speaks to our times. Second chances, secret romance, and steamy soul mates are front and center in this sexy, tender, and utterly charming rom-com.

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The Other Black Girl
by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Urgent, propulsive, and sharp as a knife, THE OTHER BLACK GIRL is about the tension that unfurls when two young Black women meet against the starkly white backdrop of New York City book publishing. Narrated by the all-star cast of Aja Naomi King (from How to Get Away with Murder), Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Heather Alicia Simms, and Bahni Turpin, the audiobook kept me on the edge of my seat until the very last twist. I could not stop listening.

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The Other Black Girl
Zakiya Dalila Harris

Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2021 by Time, The Washington Post, Harper’s Bazaar, Entertainment Weekly, Marie Claire, Bustle, BuzzFeed, Parade, Goodreads, Fortune, and BBC

​​“Riveting, fearless, and vividly original.” —Emily St. John Mandel, New York Times bestselling author of The Glass Hotel

“A brilliant combustion of suspense, horror, and social commentary that leaves no assumption unchallenged and no page unturned.” —Walter Mosley, internationally bestselling author of Devil in a Blue Dress

Urgent, propulsive, and sharp as a knife, The Other Black Girl is an electric debut about the tension that unfurls when two young Black women meet against the starkly white backdrop of New York City book publishing.

Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. Fed up with the isolation and microaggressions, she’s thrilled when Harlem-born and bred Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers. They’ve only just started comparing natural hair care regimens, though, when a string of uncomfortable events elevates Hazel to Office Darling, and Nella is left in the dust.

Then the notes begin to appear on Nella’s desk: LEAVE WAGNER. NOW.

It’s hard to believe Hazel is behind these hostile messages. But as Nella starts to spiral and obsess over the sinister forces at play, she soon realizes that there’s a lot more at stake than just her career.

A whip-smart and dynamic thriller and sly social commentary that is perfect for anyone who has ever felt manipulated, threatened, or overlooked in the workplace, The Other Black Girl will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last twist.

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Animal
by Lisa Taddeo

Lisa Taddeo is a masterful writer, but in combining her words with narration from actress Emma Roberts, this audiobook is an absolute knockout. This must-listen illustrates one woman's exhilarating transformation from prey into predator—a depiction of female rage at its rawest, and a visceral exploration of the fallout from a male-dominated society. I walked away from this audiobook telling all of my friends how much they need to listen to it!

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Animal
Lisa Taddeo

Lisa Taddeo illustrates one woman's exhilarating transformation from prey into predator in Animal, the “ferociously beautiful” (Library Journal) debut novel from the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller and international phenomenon Three Women, named to more than thirty best-of-the-year lists and hailed as “a dazzling achievement” (Los Angeles Times) and “a heartbreaking, gripping, astonishing masterpiece” (Esquire).

I am depraved. I hope you like me.

Joan has spent a lifetime enduring the cruelties of men. But when one of them commits a shocking act of violence in front of her, she flees New York City in search of Alice, the only person alive who can help her make sense of her past. In the sweltering hills above Los Angeles, Joan unravels the horrific event she witnessed as a child—that has haunted her every waking moment—while forging the power to finally strike back.

Animal is a depiction of female rage at its rawest, and a visceral exploration of the fallout from a male-dominated society.

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MENTIONED IN:

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By Chris Gaudio | June 16, 2021

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By Off the Shelf Staff | June 14, 2021

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Close
That Summer
by Jennifer Weiner

Nothing says “summer” like THAT SUMMER. Jennifer Weiner’s fantastic writing paired with lively narration from Younger star Sutton Foster propelled me through this twisty story of intrigue and the power of female friendship. With a thriving career and a beautiful home in the Philadelphia suburbs, Daisy Shoemaker should be content—but instead she can't sleep. While Daisy tries to identify the root of her dissatisfaction, she’s also receiving misdirected emails meant for a woman named Diana Starling. When an apology leads to an invitation, the two women become friends. But as they get closer, we learn that their connection was not completely accidental.

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That Summer
Jennifer Weiner

“Weiner, the undisputed boss of the beach read, is back with another stunner.” —The New York Times

That Summer Is Your *IDEAL* Beach Read.” —Cosmopolitan

Named a Most Anticipated Book of Spring 2021 by Marie Claire, Bustle, Good Morning America, CNN, PopSugar, Good Housekeeping, Frolic, Country Living, and Working Mother

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Big Summer comes another deliciously twisty novel of intrigue, secrets, and the transformative power of female friendship.

Daisy Shoemaker can’t sleep. With a thriving cooking business, full schedule of volunteer work, and a beautiful home in the Philadelphia suburbs, she should be content. But her teenage daughter can be a handful, her husband can be distant, her work can feel trivial, and she has lots of acquaintances, but no real friends. Still, Daisy knows she’s got it good. So why is she up all night?

While Daisy tries to identify the root of her dissatisfaction, she’s also receiving misdirected emails meant for a woman named Diana Starling, whose email address is just one punctuation mark away from her own. While Daisy’s driving carpools, Diana is chairing meetings. While Daisy’s making dinner, Diana’s making plans to reorganize corporations. Diana’s glamorous, sophisticated, single-lady life is miles away from Daisy’s simpler existence. When an apology leads to an invitation, the two women meet and become friends. But, as they get closer, we learn that their connection was not completely accidental. Who IS this other woman, and what does she want with Daisy?

From the manicured Main Line of Philadelphia to the wild landscape of the Outer Cape, written with Jennifer Weiner’s signature wit and sharp observations, That Summer is a story about surviving our pasts, confronting our futures, and the sustaining bonds of friendship.

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MENTIONED IN:

10 Audiobooks to Help You Crush Your Reading Goals

By Kelly Dasta | June 9, 2021

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The Soulmate Equation
by Christina Lauren

I can always count on Christina Lauren to give me a story that I can’t put down. THE SOULMATE EQUATION is an effervescent audiobook about what happens when two people with everything on the line are thrown together by science—or fate? This must-listen proves that the delicate balance between fate and choice can never be calculated, and its unique premise is one to remember! Patti Murin’s narration is funny, charming, and full of warmth, and she brings each character to life.

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The Soulmate Equation
Christina Lauren

The New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners returns with a witty and effervescent novel about what happens when two people with everything on the line are thrown together by science—or is it fate? Perfect for fans of The Rosie Project and One Plus One.

Single mom Jessica Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. Raised by her grandparents—who now help raise her seven-year-old daughter, Juno—Jess has been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in. After all, her father was never around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before Juno was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close, but working constantly to stay afloat is hard...and lonely.

But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: This Jess understands.

At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98 percent compatibility with another subject in the database: one of GeneticAlly’s founders, Dr. River Peña. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Peña. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate. But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess—who is barely making ends meet—is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River. As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond Match” that could launch GeneticAlly’s valuation sky-high, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist—and the science behind a soulmate—than she thought.

Funny, warm, and full of heart, The Soulmate Equation proves that the delicate balance between fate and choice can never be calculated

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Let's Talk About Hard Things
by Anna Sale

From Anna Sale, the host of the popular WNYC podcast Death, Sex & Money, LET’S TALK ABOUT HARD THINGS is an invitation to discuss the tough topics that all of us encounter. Touching, personal, and inspiring, this must-listen provides a profound meditation on why communication can connect us instead of divide us and how we can all do it better. Read by Sale herself, this audiobook is perfect to listen to while on a walk in the park or on a drive to the beach.

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Let's Talk About Hard Things
Anna Sale

From the host of the popular WNYC podcast Death, Sex, & Money, Let’s Talk About Hard Things is an invitation to discuss the tough topics that all of us encounter.You will laugh, cry, nod in recognition, and by the end, feel like no topic is off-limits when it comes to creating meaningful connection” (Lori Gottlieb, New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk To Someone).

Anna Sale wants you to have that conversation. You know the one. The one that you’ve been avoiding or putting off, maybe for years. The one that you’ve thought “they’ll never understand” or “do I really want to bring that up?” or “it’s not going to go well, so why even try?”

Sale is the founder and host of WNYC’s popular, award-winning podcast Death, Sex, & Money, or as the New York Times dubbed her, “a therapist at happy hour.” She and her guests have direct and thought-provoking conversations, discussing topics that most of us are too squeamish, polite, or nervous to bring up. But Sale argues that we all experience these hard things, and by not talking to one another, we cut ourselves off, leading us to feel isolated and disconnected from the people who can help us most.

In Let’s Talk About Hard Things, Sale uses the best of what she’s learned from her podcast to reveal that when we have the courage to talk about hard things, we learn about ourselves, others, and the world that we make together. Diving into five of the most fraught conversation topics—death, sex, money, family, and identity—she moves between memoir, fascinating snapshots of a variety of Americans opening up about their lives, and expert opinions to show why having tough conversations is important and how to do them in a thoughtful and generous way. She uncovers that listening may be the most important part of a tough conversation, that the end goal should be understanding without the pressure of reconciliation, and that there are some things that words can’t fix (and why that’s actually okay).

Touching, personal, and inspiring, Let's Talk About Hard Things is a profound meditation on why communication can connect us instead of divide us and how we can all do it better.

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MENTIONED IN:

10 Audiobooks to Help You Crush Your Reading Goals

By Kelly Dasta | June 9, 2021

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The Summer of Lost and Found
by Mary Alice Monroe

This story of love, courage, and resilience is the perfect beach listen! The New York Times bestselling Beach House series returns with THE SUMMER OF LOST AND FOUND, following the Rutledge family as they face a summer of upheaval and change with perseverance, unity, and a dose of humor, discovering unexpected joys and lessons that will endure long past the summer. I completely forgot about my worries and got lost in this poignant, heartfelt audiobook.

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The Summer of Lost and Found
Mary Alice Monroe

One of Bustle’s “20 Best Beach Reads of 2021”
One of BookTrib’s Most Anticipated Reads of 2021
One of Get Literary’s Most Anticipated Reads of 2021
One of Country Living’s “30 Can’t-Miss Beach Reads for This Summer”
One of Frolic’s “25 Best Books of Spring 2021”

“The perfect kickoff to summer!” —CNN

“Mary Alice Monroe takes you on a trip to the idyllic sun, sand, and gracious lifestyle of a Southern summer. This season’s must-read!” —Nancy Thayer, New York Times bestselling author of Surfside Sisters

The New York Times bestselling Beach House series returns with this tender and compassionate novel following the Rutledge family as they face a summer of upheaval and change with perseverance, unity, and a dose of humor, discovering unexpected joys and lessons that will endure long past the season.

The coming of spring usually means renewal, but for Linnea Rutledge, it begins a season of challenge. Linnea faces another layoff, this time from the aquarium she adores. For her—and for her family—finances, emotions, and health teeter on the brink. To complicate matters, her new love interest, Gordon, struggles to return to the Isle of Palms from England. Meanwhile, her old flame, John, turns up from California and is quarantining next door. She tries to ignore him, but when he sends her plaintive notes in the form of paper airplanes, old sparks ignite. When Gordon at last reaches the island, Linnea wonders—is it possible to love two men at the same time?

Love in the time of COVID-19 proves challenging, at times humorous, and ever changing. Relationships are redefined, friendships made and broken, and marriages tested. As the weeks turn to months, and another sea turtle season comes to a close, Linnea learns there are more meaningful lessons during this summer than opportunities lost: that summer is a time of wonder, and that the exotic lives in our own backyards. In The Summer of Lost and Found, Linnea and the Rutledge family continue to face their challenges with the strength, faith, and commitment that has inspired fans for decades.

Mary Alice Monroe once again delves into the complexities of family relationships and brings her signature “sensitive and true” (Dorothea Benton Frank, New York Times bestselling author) storytelling to this poignant and timely novel of love, courage, and resilience.

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The Last Thing He Told Me
by Laura Dave

Selected as a Reese’s Book Club pick, this gripping mystery held my attention from the very beginning. Before Owen Michaels disappears, he smuggles a note to his beloved wife of one year: “Protect her.” Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers—Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. With tantalizing narration from Rebecca Lowman, this riveting audiobook is full of unexpected twists and turns.

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The Last Thing He Told Me
Laura Dave

Instant #1 New York Times bestseller
Now a Reese Witherspoon Book Club Selection!

A gripping mystery about a woman who thinks she’s found the love of her life—until he disappears.

Before Owen Michaels disappears, he smuggles a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her. Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers—Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.

As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered, as the FBI arrests Owen’s boss, as a US marshal and federal agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity—and why he really disappeared.

Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realize they’re also building a new future—one neither of them could have anticipated.

With its breakneck pacing, dizzying plot twists, and evocative family drama, The Last Thing He Told Me is a riveting mystery, certain to shock you with its final, heartbreaking turn.

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Books That Celebrate Black Love, Joy, and Life

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The Final Revival of Opal & Nev
by Dawnie Walton

As an electrifying oral history voiced by a full cast of narrators, THE FINAL REVIVAL OF OPAL & NEV is practically destined for the audio format—I listened to this one from beginning to end on a weekend hiking trip. Opal and Nev, an iconic interracial rock duo, rise to fame in 1970s New York City. When a rival band signed to their label brandishes a Confederate flag at a promotional concert, Opal’s bold protest and the violence that ensues is a deadly reminder that repercussions are always harsher for women, especially black women, who dare to speak their truth.

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The Final Revival of Opal & Nev
Dawnie Walton

*** A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BUZZ PICK! ***

An electrifying novel about the meteoric rise of an iconic interracial rock duo in the 1970s, their sensational breakup, and the dark secrets unearthed when they try to reunite decades later for one last tour.

“Feels truer and more mesmerizing than some true stories. It’s a packed time capsule that doubles as a stick of dynamite.” —The New York Times Book Review

“One of the most ​immersive novels I’ve ever read….This is a thrilling work of polyphony—a first novel, that reads like the work of an old hand.” —Ta-Nehisi Coates, New York Times bestselling author of The Water Dancer and Between the World and Me

* A Most Anticipated Selection By * O, The Oprah Magazine * Vogue * Elle * Good Morning America * Washington Post * Entertainment Weekly * Essence * PopSugar * BookRiot * Goodreads * Literary Hub * Parade * Ms. Magazine * The Millions *

Opal is a fiercely independent young woman pushing against the grain in her style and attitude, Afro-punk before that term existed. Coming of age in Detroit, she can’t imagine settling for a 9-to-5 job—despite her unusual looks, Opal believes she can be a star. So when the aspiring British singer/songwriter Neville Charles discovers her at a bar’s amateur night, she takes him up on his offer to make rock music together for the fledgling Rivington Records.

In early seventies New York City, just as she’s finding her niche as part of a flamboyant and funky creative scene, a rival band signed to her label brandishes a Confederate flag at a promotional concert. Opal’s bold protest and the violence that ensues set off a chain of events that will not only change the lives of those she loves, but also be a deadly reminder that repercussions are always harsher for women, especially black women, who dare to speak their truth.

Decades later, as Opal considers a 2016 reunion with Nev, music journalist S. Sunny Shelton seizes the chance to curate an oral history about her idols. Sunny thought she knew most of the stories leading up to the cult duo’s most politicized chapter. But as her interviews dig deeper, a nasty new allegation from an unexpected source threatens to blow up everything.

Provocative and chilling, The Final Revival of Opal & Nev features a backup chorus of unforgettable voices, a heroine the likes of which we’ve not seen in storytelling, and a daring structure, and introduces a bold new voice in contemporary fiction.

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Books That Celebrate Black Love, Joy, and Life

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 18, 2021

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By Maddie Ehrenreich | June 17, 2021

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By Chris Gaudio | June 16, 2021

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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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The Devil's Hand
by Jack Carr

As a #1 New York Times Audio Bestseller, the fourth thriller in the Terminal List series follows former Navy SEAL James Reece as he is entrusted with a top-secret CIA mission of retribution twenty years in the making. Jack Carr’s masterful plotting coupled with Ray Porter’s suspenseful narration will leave you gasping for breath. I was unable to unplug my headphones because I was dying to find out what happened next after each action-filled scene!

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The Devil's Hand
Jack Carr

THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER

“Take my word for it, James Reece is one rowdy motherf***er. Get ready!” —Chris Pratt, star of The Terminal List, coming to Amazon Prime

“They’re great, man. They lock you in. They’re gripping.” —Joe Rogan, on the Terminal List series

The fourth thriller in the “so powerful, so pulse-pounding, so well-written” (Brad Thor, #1 New York Times bestselling author) Terminal List series follows former Navy SEAL James Reece as he is entrusted with a top-secret CIA mission of retribution twenty years in the making.

It’s been twenty years since 9/11, two decades since the United States was attacked on home soil and set out to make the guilty pay with their lives. In the shadows, the enemy has been patient—learning, and adapting. And the enemy is ready to strike again.

A new president offers hope to a country weary of conflict. He’s a young, popular, self-made visionary…but he’s also a man with a secret.

Halfway across the globe a regional superpower struggles with sanctions imposed by the United States and her European allies, a country whose ancient religion spawned a group of ruthless assassins. Faced with internal dissent and extrajudicial targeted killings by the United States and Israel, the Supreme Leader puts a plan in motion to defeat the most powerful nation on earth.

Meanwhile, a young PhD student has gained access to a bioweapon thought to be confined to a classified military laboratory known only to a select number of officials. A second-generation agent, he has been assigned a mission that will bring his adopted homeland to its knees.

With Jack Carr’s signature “absolutely intense” (Chuck Norris) writing and “gripping authenticity” (The Real Book Spy), The Devil’s Hand is a riveting and timely thriller that will leave you gasping for breath.

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Books That Celebrate Black Love, Joy, and Life

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 18, 2021

10 Chilling Summer Thrillers to Cool You Off in No Time

By Maddie Ehrenreich | June 17, 2021

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

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Photo credit: iStock / RossHelen

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