Shelf Indulgence

There’s no such thing as being too well-read. We think it’s fair to say that most people wish they read (or listened to audio-books) more often than they do. But work, friends, family, pets, social lives, and a million other things all get in the way of sitting down on the couch and focusing your full attention on a book for a while.

So to help keep you or get you back in the habit of reading, we’ve compiled a short list of our current favorite reads:

Have your own book recommendation? Scroll to the bottom of this post to submit your favorites, to be featured in our next “Shelf Indulgence.

  • The Age of Miracles

    by Karen Thompson Walker

In Walker’s stunning debut, a young California girl coming-of-age in a dystopian near future confronts the inevitability of change on the most personal level as life on earth withers.

Sixth-grader Julia, whose mother is a slightly neurotic former actress and whose father is an obstetrician, is living an unremarkable American middle-class childhood. Then one October morning there’s a news report that scientists have discovered a slowing of the earth’s rotation, adding minutes to each day and night. After initial panic, the human tendency to adapt sets in even as the extra minutes increase into hours. Gravity is affected; birds begin to die, and astronauts are stranded on their space station. By November, the “real time” of days has grown to 40 hours, and the actual periods of light and dark only get longer from that point. The world faces crises in communication, health, transportation and food supply. The changes in the planet are profound, but the daily changes in Julia’s life, which she might be facing even in a normal day, are equally profound. Hanna’s family moves to Utah, leaving Julia without a best friend to help defend against the bullies at the bus stop. She goes through the trials and joys of first love. She begins to see cracks in her parents’ marriage and must navigate the currents of loyalty and moral uncertainty. She faces sickness and death of loved ones. But she also witnesses constancy and perseverance. Julia’s life is shaped by what happens in the larger world, but it is the only life she knows, and Walker captures each moment, intimate and universal, with magical precision.

Category: Science Fiction & FantasyPublished: June 26, 2012
Page Count: 288ISBN: 978-0-8129-9297-7


    by Adriana Suyama

    Illustrated by Janelle Jordan

I like this book because she changed herself from who she used to be. She used to be selfish and mean. Jolie did not like people who were different from her. But she changed herself from being mean to being nice by helping people. My favorite part of this amazing book was when she started to help people. I would recommend this book to everyone because it shows that people can change themselves.

reviewed by special guest Eva (age 9)

Category: Children’s FamilyPublished: January 1, 2020
Page Count: 34ISBN: 978-0-5787-7165-6

  • Chasing The Sun

    The Epic Story of the Star That Gives Us Life

    by Richard Cohen

After more than eight years of research and visits to nearly 20 countries, Richard Cohen ranges about in gleeful fascination, marching through the rich, ancient history of stargazing, from the Babylonian and Egyptian astronomers to Pythagoras, Aristotle, Chinese cosmology, Copernicus, Galileo and Newton. The author discusses the story of sunspots, the art of navigation, the breathtaking presence of Stonehenge, medicine wheels and the Dancing Stones of Namoratunga in Kenya. He traces the evolution of the calendar, the advent of solar power and the daystar’s effect on the writing of Euripides, Shakespeare, Nabokov and Styron. “Sometimes it is the direct subject of their creations,” he writes, “sometimes a symbol of what they have wanted to convey, infusing their work with an authority, even majesty, that no other force could match.” Ever enthusiastic, Cohen provides illuminating personal anecdotes, but he includes just the right amount of detail, never allowing the material to sprawl untethered.

Category: Science & TechnologyPublished: Nov. 9, 2010
Page Count: 624ISBN: 978-1-4000-6875-3

Have a book recommendation? Share with us your favorites to be included in a future “Shelf Indulgence” post! (No sign in or sign-up required)