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The 49th Shelf Timeless Books Challenge

There is something refreshingly quiet about January in the book world, after the flurry of fall literary awards and a proliferation of year-end books lists. And sure, we're already looking ahead to an exciting books season—stay tuned for our Spring Preview coming soon—but in the meantime there a chance to take a breath. Our towers of new releases aren't quite toppling yet, and maybe here's that rare chance to reach back to celebrated titles of previous years and finally pick up that one  timeless book that's been on your to-be-read list for far too long now.

It's been a rough couple of years, and 2022 is all about taking it easy, so the challenge here is pretty low-stakes. Pick at least one book from this list of fiction that's dazzled us over the last few years, and read it. We hope you love it. And we hope this challenge starts off your literary year on a high note, inspiring you to seek out books from all kinds of places instead of just bestseller lists. We hope you dare to blaze your own literary trails.

*****

Undercard, by David Albertyn

"I wanted Undercard to have all the aspects of a great sports story, within the context of a great thriller."

About the book: Set over the course of twenty-four exhilarating hours, Undercard is the story of four childhood f …

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