A question I get asked a lot is, "How do you always know what to read next?" I actually have a hard time answering this query, because it has a lot to do with intuition, which doesn't make good fodder for advice. But I'm always happy to help by providing recommendations! So here's a list of the books I've read this year that I enjoyed or admired enough (or both) to pass on, a straightforward seal of approval (the prestigious Shelf life seal of approval, no less!) without the hassle of having to read through archives of old reviews. But I've also included links to each one, in case you do. Want to read the review, that is. Sometimes it's nice to have more detail than title and author before jumping into a new book. Maybe one of them will hold the story you've been searching for as the cure for the "what to read next?" blues.

- The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
- The Fountainhead and/or Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand
- Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephenie Perkins
- Never Let Me Goby Kazuo Ishiguro
- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doyle
- The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
- Jitterbug Perfume, by Tom Robbins
- The Inheritance of Loss, by Kiran Desai
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, by Mark Haddon
- The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
- East of Eden, by John Steinbeck
- Life of Pi, by Yann Martel
- The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown
- Looking For Alaska, by John Green
- The Inheritance Cycle, by Christopher Paolini
- A Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin

Other recommendations (not reviewed on this blog):

- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer
- The Bridge of San Luis Ray, by Thornton Wilder
- Bloody Jack, by L.A. Meyer
- Hold Still, by Nina LaCour
- Graceling, by Kristin Cashore
- The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
- Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
- Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden
- The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers, by Alexandre Dumas
- The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer
- And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie
- Howl's Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones
- Confessions of Georgia Nicholson, by Louise Rennison
- Swan Lake, by Mark Helprin
- Special Topics in Calamity Physics, by Marisha Pessl
- The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, by Lauren Willig
- Pride and Prejudice and/or Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen
- Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
- The Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro
- Second Helpings, by Megan McCafferty
The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green
The Disenchantments, by Nina LaCour
The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach