Bookshelf with a light shining on it

Rediscovered Reviews: 6 Powerful Books That Resonate More Over Time

April 26 2022
Share Rediscovered Reviews: 6 Powerful Books That Resonate More Over Time

It’s a rare book that takes root in our minds, grows alongside us, and continues to flourish years later. We’ve rounded up past reviews of older books that constantly feel new again, whether because their stories resonate later in life or because current events shed a different light on them.  

Fall on Your Knees
by Ann-Marie MacDonald

I remember reading FALL ON YOUR KNEES in high school. It was recommended to me by a friend. She didn’t try to explain it, just pressed it into my hands and said, rather seriously, “You need to read this book. I think you would love it.” She was right on both accounts. It is a powerful story, and it has stayed with me.

FALL ON YOUR KNEES is an exploration of obsession and lust. It is a multigenerational story following the lives of the women of the Piper family, characters who are large, complex and drawn in cripplingly beautiful prose that lays bare their imperfections and heartbreak and will make you flinch as you read about how they suffer and overcome horrific experiences. The Pipers are a colorful collection of personalities, vastly different from each other but united by their strength and common tragedy.

Read more of Elaine’s review

Amazon logo Barnes & Noble logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo
Fall on Your Knees
Ann-Marie MacDonald

Set on stormy Cape Breton Island off Nova Scotia, Fall on Your Knees is an internationally acclaimed multigenerational saga that chronicles the lives of four unforgettable sisters. Theirs is a world filled with driving ambition, inescapable family bonds, and forbidden love.Compellingly written, by turns menacingly dark and hilariously funny, this is an epic tale of five generations of sin, guilt, and redemption. An Oprah Book Club Pick!

Amazon logo Barnes & Noble logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo

MENTIONED IN:

Rediscovered Reviews: 6 Powerful Books That Resonate More Over Time

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 26, 2022

10 Bewitching Novels Most Popular This October

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 30, 2020

The 10 Most Popular Books That Captured Our Hearts This September

By Off the Shelf Staff | September 30, 2020

The 10 Most Popular Books We Added to Our TBR This August

By Off the Shelf Staff | August 31, 2020

12 Classic Oprah Book Club Picks Guaranteed to Get Your Club Talking

By Alice Martin | August 5, 2020

12 Literary Families to Invite Over for Thanksgiving

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 19, 2015

Close
Strange as This Weather Has Been
by Ann Pancake

Ann Pancake’s powerful novel STRANGE AS THIS WEATHER HAS BEEN does what a truly great book does best: it reveals our humanity in the midst of beauty and grief and heartbreak and joy, while simultaneously opening our eyes to something we all need to see—in this case, environmental disaster—without ever sacrificing character or story.

Set in a West Virginia town in the midst of a coal boom, the novel introduces a family plagued by poverty and by the effects of the mountaintop removal mining that is destroying the land around them.

While the novel is told through the eyes of several characters living amid the ruinous effects of coal mining, this story belongs mostly to Lace and her teenage daughter, Bant, born when Lace herself was a teenager. In these pages we see the daily struggles of those who live amid mountain-removal mining: the constant fear of “black floods” (rivers of coal sludge that come from pools of toxic waste) weighed against a desperate need for work; the memories of what once was versus the wasteland that now exists. Lace and Bant are deeply connected to the land and feel these effects more strongly than most, in their very bones.

Read more of Midge’s review

Amazon logo Barnes & Noble logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Strange as This Weather Has Been
Ann Pancake

Amazon logo Barnes & Noble logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Rediscovered Reviews: 6 Powerful Books That Resonate More Over Time

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 26, 2022

An Eye-Opening and Poetic Environmental Novel

By Midge Raymond | April 6, 2016

Close
Writing to Save a Life
by John Edgar Wideman

Highly acclaimed, award-winning author John Edgar Wideman tells a deeply personal and emotional story of his own with his beautiful book WRITING TO SAVE A LIFE.

A brilliant combination of historical research, personal memory, and imagination, Wideman writes about Emmett Till, the famous civil rights martyr, and his father, Louis Till. He studies how the family was treated by the justice system following their alleged involvement in two separate dramatic acts provoked by racism. Bravely explored and unrelentingly researched, Wideman’s work is history like you’ve never seen before. It is poetically described and vividly constructed. It will leave you better informed of the obstacles the Civil Rights Movement faced in pursuit of racial equality and, more importantly, better prepared for the continued fight.

 Read more of Chris’s review

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo
Writing to Save a Life
John Edgar Wideman

In 1955, Emmett Till was brutally murdered for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Ten years earlier, Emmett’s father, an iconic Civil Rights martyr, was executed by the Army for rape and murder. In WRITING TO SAVE A LIFE, John Edgar Wideman searches for Louis Till, a silent victim of American injustice. An evocative and personal exploration of individual and collective memory in America by one of the most formidable intellectuals of our time.

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

MENTIONED IN:

Rediscovered Reviews: 6 Powerful Books That Resonate More Over Time

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 26, 2022

5 Books You Can Read in One Sitting

By Stu Smith | May 28, 2018

A Work of History and Imagination Like You’ve Never Seen Before

By Chris Gaudio | January 15, 2018

15 Black Writers We Should All Be Reading in 2017

By Tolani Osan | February 23, 2017

Close
Everything You Want Me to Be
by Mindy Mejia

I happen to judge books by their “stickiness,” or how long the story, resolution, or characters stick with me after I finish the last page. The stickiest book that I’ve read in a long while was Mindy Mejia’s EVERYTHING YOU WANT ME TO BE.

Meet high schooler Hattie Hoffman. Hattie has spent her entire life being good: a good daughter, a good student, a good girl. Or has she? But this too-smart-for-her-own-good young woman may not know how much power she has or how manipulative she is. Then, she is stabbed to death on opening night of her school play. We see her family in peril because their daughter is murdered, and another marriage in peril because they had to move back to the wife’s hometown to take care of her ailing mother. The story is told from three different points of view and alternates between pre-murder, leading up to the crime, and post murder, investigating the crime.

For the all-too-brief time it took to read EVERYTHING YOU WANT ME TO BE, I lived in that town, I knew those characters, and I felt their feelings. I investigated along with the authorities, felt the stress of the unknown and the shock of every twist and turn. And I still feel it today. It stuck.

Read more of David’s review

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo
Everything You Want Me to Be
Mindy Mejia

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

MENTIONED IN:

October eBook Deals: 10 Books You Know You Want

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 4, 2022

Rediscovered Reviews: 6 Powerful Books That Resonate More Over Time

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 26, 2022

Readers’ Choice: The Top 25 Most Shelved Books of All Time

By Off the Shelf Staff | March 29, 2019

Close
Speak No Evil
by Uzodinma Iweala

SPEAK NO EVIL is one of the most powerful novels I have ever read. The pitch-perfect execution of this novel was simply breathtaking. It’s hard to really even grasp how necessary, timely, and important this novel is.

What makes SPEAK NO EVIL so captivating is how Uzodinma Iweala, author of the acclaimed BEASTS OF NO NATION, wields his characters’ privilege. Meredith is a straight, white female and Niru a gay, black male. The two are best friends, and the bulk of the novel’s conflict stems from the repercussions of Niru coming out to Meredith. This revelation instantly changes their friendship and sets off a chain of events that result in a devastating amount of pain.

SPEAK NO EVIL is the pinnacle of what literary fiction aspires to be. It adds to the current cultural dialogue in a timely way, but it’s also just a fantastic story with flawless prose.

Read more of Will’s review

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Speak No Evil
Uzodinma Iweala

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

MENTIONED IN:

Rediscovered Reviews: 6 Powerful Books That Resonate More Over Time

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 26, 2022

A Gut-Wrenching Novel of Identity and Pain

By Will Rhino | March 28, 2019

Close
Anatomy of a Scandal
by Sarah Vaughan

“You want to believe your husband. She wants to destroy him.” When I first read this line describing ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL by Sarah Vaughan, I got goose bumps. James, a powerful man in the British government, is accused of rape. The government and media are quick to jump on the story. There will, of course, be a trial, but the slow unraveling of the story is what makes ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL so gripping. And, at the center of it all, are two women forced to grapple with the actions of a powerful man.

ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL hit the book world shortly after the #MeToo movement drastically altered the cultural conversation. The hashtag went viral in October 2017, and ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL was published shortly after, in January 2018. This external factor only added to the intensity of the novel.

ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL is so much more than a timely novel—it is an edge-of-your-seat courtroom drama that delves into the mysterious history of its characters.

Read more of Will’s review

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo iTunes logo Indiebound logo Kobo logo Kindle logo Bookshop logo Libro.fm logo
Anatomy of a Scandal
Sarah Vaughan

SOON TO BE A NETFLIX SERIES

Instant International Bestseller

“A nuanced story line perfectly in tune with our #metoo times.” —People, Book of the Week

“One of the season’s most buzzed-about thrillers.” —Bookish

Some people’s secrets are darker than others.

Sophie Whitehouse has a lovely home, two adorable children, and a handsome, successful husband. In other words, she has the “perfect” life. But everything changes the night her husband James comes home and confesses an indiscretion. Suddenly, her neat, ordered world is turned upside down. Did she ever really know the man she married?

And, as it turns out, James’s revelation is just the tip of the iceberg. He stands accused of a terrible crime. But, the truth is even more shocking than anyone ever could have thought. Is James the guilty perpetrator or an innocent victim of a toxic agenda?

In this riveting story of love, revenge, and deception, no one’s motives are pure, but some people’s secrets are much darker than others.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo iTunes logo Indiebound logo Kobo logo Kindle logo Bookshop logo Libro.fm logo

MENTIONED IN:

Kristin Harmel’s 10 Favorite Books from the Past 10 Years

By Kristin Harmel | October 7, 2022

8 Cozy Books That Will Make You Think

By Sharon Van Meter | October 6, 2022

Indie Booksellers Recommend: 10 Fall New Releases Booksellers Love

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 5, 2022

October eBook Deals: 10 Books You Know You Want

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 4, 2022

New in Paperback: 10 October Releases Primed for Autumn

By Alice Martin | October 3, 2022

The 10 Most Popular Books of September

By Off the Shelf Staff | September 30, 2022

Close

Photo credit: iStock / MihailUlianikov

You must be logged in to add books to your shelf.

Please log in or sign up now.