Announcing the Amazon Editors’ picks for the Best Books

Announcing the Amazon Editors’ picks for the Best Books

Samuel Johnson once said: “Books, like friends, should be few and well-chosen.” When we release our annual list of the Best Books, we’re often asked about trends. Some of the most celebrated literary works of all time focus on romantic relationships. Platonic friendships seem to finally be given their due, something that will be especially evident when you read our top pick, Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow.

If there is one lesson all of us have learned in the past few years, it’s how essential making and maintaining these kinds of connections is—the importance of connection in general. Fortunately there are far more than a few amazing books published, that hit that message home. And we are only too happy to help you choose them.

Below you’ll find our top 10 from the Amazon Editors’ overall favorites, plus recommendations and gift ideas for fans of literary fiction, biographies, romance, science fiction, history, mystery, and more.


After devouring this novel, you’ll walk with a bounce in your step, a full heart, and the buzzy feeling that this is one of the best books about friendship—in all of its messy complexity and glory—you have ever read. Gabrielle Zevin has written a novel perfect for this moment, when connection is what we crave and hope is what we need. —Al Woodworth, Amazon Editor


Solito

by Javier Zamora

Neil Gaiman once said, “Fiction gives us empathy…gives us the gifts of seeing the world through [other people’s] eyes.” Solito is one of those rare nonfiction reads that achieves the same thing, and puts a human face on the immigration debate—that of a 9-year-old child making a harrowing journey from South America to the United States, and the found family who eases his way. A heart-pounding, heart-expanding memoir. —Erin Kodicek, Amazon Editor


Stolen Focus

by Johann Hari

We can’t stop talking about Stolen Focus. It’s vital and mesmerizing, examining why we as individuals and as a collective have lost our attention spans. Suffice to say, Hari’s three-month tech-detox and his findings will make you immediately want to stop scrolling the internet, quit thinking in slogans and 280 characters, and engage authentically in sustained thought so that we can tackle global issues like poverty, racism, and climate change. Deeply satisfying and affirming and full of light-bulb moments, this is a book everyone should read. —Al Woodworth, Amazon Editor


Demon Copperhead Intl

by Barbara Kingsolver

In this mesmerizing novel, Kingsolver peers into the neglected hollers of Appalachia to tell an insightful and razor sharp coming-of-age story about a boy called Demon Copperhead. Born behind the eight ball of life, Demon faces hunger, cruelty, and a tidal wave of addiction in his tiny county, but never loses his love for the place that claims him as its own. With the soulful narration by this kind, conflicted, witty boy, Kingsolver gives voice to a place and its people where beauty, desperation, and resilience collide. —Seira Wilson, Amazon Editor


Horse

by Geraldine Brooks

One of the best American novels we’ve read in years—galloping backward and forward in time to tell a story about race and freedom, horses and art, and the lineage of not just ancestors but actions. From Kentucky to New Orleans, from the 1850s to present day, Pulitzer Prize-winning Brooks weaves together a story centered on one of the fastest thoroughbreds in history and the Black groom that catapulted Lexington to the front of the track. A heart-pounding American epic. —Al Woodworth, Amazon Editor


Carrie Soto Is Back

by Taylor Jenkins Reid

We reveled in Carrie Soto’s fiery energy—Taylor Jenkins Reid (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo) has written another book you’ll inhale in a day. Soto is a former tennis champ who returns to the game to defend her title. She’s unapologetic, ambitious, and willing to put everything on the line. This is a big-hearted story about her relationship with her father, taking risks, and standing up bravely in a world that doesn’t necessarily want to see strong women succeed. —Lindsay Powers, Amazon Editor


Fairy Tale

by Stephen King

Fairy Tale’s Charlie Reade joins the ranks of King’s best characters, and the story he tells—of a curmudgeonly neighbor with dangerous secrets, a parallel world ruled by an unspeakable monster, a child-eating giant, and a dog who has lived more than one lifetime—is wonderous. Fairy Tale is fantasy, coming-of-age, friendship, and adventure—it’s good versus evil, a boy and his dog on a perilous quest; it’s King doing what he does best: setting our imagination on fire. —Seira Wilson, Amazon Editor


Our Missing Hearts

by Celeste Ng

Celeste Ng joins our Best of the Year list with her most gripping story. A mom mysteriously disappears amid a nationalistic movement that feels chillingly close to reality—launching her young son on a courageous quest to find her, aided by everyday heroes in unexpected places. The prose sings as the pieces click. This is fiction as revolution, serving as a warning, a dystopian fairy tale, and a suspenseful thriller with moments of hope that buoyed us as we read. —Lindsay Powers, Amazon Editor


The Escape Artist

by Jonathan Freedland

This is the true story of one of the few people who escaped Auschwitz, but that only touches on what this book is about. Rudolph Vrba set out to tell the world about the atrocities he had witnessed in the concentration camps, but much of the world was not ready to hear it. The author, Jonathan Freedland, paints a vivid, moving portrait of what Vrba experienced, both during and after the war. Vrba was a hero, for sure, but he was human as well. This is a forgotten story that you won't soon forget. —Chris Schluep, Amazon Editor


City on Fire

by Don Winslow

Don Winslow (Power of the Dog trilogy, Broken) is, without doubt, one of the best crime fiction writers in decades. And in City on Fire, he’s written one of the most immersive, head-turning, heart-stopping crime family novels since The Godfather. It’s about loyalty, love, fraternity, family, belonging, betrayal, and survival. But no matter how epic its themes, it’s Winslow’s eye for the small, personal details that will sear these characters in your heart and in your memory. —Vannessa Cronin, Amazon Editor

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