Waxing Poetic | The Reader’s Shelf

Author Colum McCann wrote in the Guardian that “poets have their fingers on a different pulse.” The creators of the following novels skillfully position poetry at the center of their tales, putting their own fingers on that very beat.

Past Intrigue: Historical Mysteries | The Reader’s Shelf

Combining two genres—historical fiction and mystery—these books offer a walk through time and crime, via well-set novels that are abundant in detail, feeling, and clever plots.

Stories About Stories | The Reader’s Shelf, March 1, 2017

From Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran to the film You’ve Got Mail, stories influenced by books, magazines, and authors are unfailing joys. The six works of fiction and nonfiction below further prove the point.

Romantic Pairings | The Reader’s Shelf, February 1, 2017

For Valentine’s Day and beyond, here are a few perfectly matched romances: two paranormal debuts, sequels to recent series, and a duo of gems on audio.

Rendering Russia | The Reader’s Shelf, February 15, 2017

This arresting array of titles gives newbies and Russophiles alike a taste of the culture and politics that have shaped this nation, while also revealing its ordinary people to be educated, creative, and often in possession of an earthy sense of humor.

Ten Years of Lists—and Counting | The Reader’s Shelf, January 2017

In 2007, the first Reading List Council began work. To mark its tenth anniversary, the original members of the committee revisit some of their favorite winners.

All in Good Time | The Reader’s Shelf, November 15, 2016

Just as Ursula K. Le Guin once said, authors help readers sail the river of time. The boarding pass for a story can take one deep into history, far into the future, or allow bibliophiles to bounce back and forth.

A Year in Books | The Reader’s Shelf, December 2016

In keeping with this column’s end-of-the-year tradition of highlighting favorite titles, a number of readers’ advisors have surveyed their bookshelves and pulled novels they have deeply enjoyed.

A Female Perspective | The Reader’s Shelf, November 1, 2016

From fiercely determined to quietly striving, the ladies filling these pages reward readers’ attention as they forge and define their lives.

Sophomore Triumphs | The Reader’s Shelf, October 15, 2016

Second novels can be tricky. Will the buzz surrounding a first splash be repeated, or will that sophomore effort turn out to be a one-hit wonder? Here are six titles that shine as much as the debuts that preceded them.