The Best Books of the Year So Far, According to Amazon

The list of Amazon’s best books of the year so far has just been released. The list was compiled by Amazon’s editors, who collectively read thousands of books a year in order to curate best-of and other kinds of lists. This year, they chose 20 books as the best overall books, and provided lists of the best 20 books for other genres and categories, like literary fiction, romance, history, children’s, and more.

Read on for Amazon’s list of the 10 best overall best books of the year so far, as well as the overall best book.

#1: James by Percival Everett

James by Percival Everett cover

Here’s what Amazon’s editors had to say about James:

“With the same fiery wit, snap, and energy of his previous work, Percival Everett brings to life a retelling of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and in so doing delivers an entirely new classic, one that is rip-roaringly American, wry, and hard-hitting. A knock-out.” 

— Al Woodworth, Amazon editor  

#2: The Women by Kristin Hannah

cover of The Women by Kristin Hannah

Here’s what Amazon’s editors had to say about The Women:

“Packing as much emotional punch as The NightingaleThe Women sings the praises of the unsung heroes of the Vietnam War—the combat nurses. It’s a story that serves as another stitch in a still open wound, one that can only help the healing process.” 

— Erin Kodicek, Amazon editor

cover of All the Worst Humans

Here’s what Amazon’s editors had to say:

“This wild, oh-my-God memoir will make your jaw drop. A public relations hit man dishes on all of his dirty deeds, and it’s not only impossible to put down, it’s impossible not to talk about—in other words, perfect summer nonfiction reading.”

— Al Woodworth, Amazon editor

cover of The Ministry of Time by Kaliane Bradley

Here’s what Amazon’s editors had to say:

“This genre-bending novel explores humanity in all its frailty and potential, and how love can alter the course of history. It’s a fantastical novel that’s funny, riveting, heartbreaking, and unputdownable.”

— Abby Abell, Amazon editor

#5: Martyr! by Kaveh Akbar

cover of Martyr! Kaveh Akbar

Here’s what Amazon’s editors had to say:

“Poet Kaveh Akbar makes his dazzling fiction debut with an unforgettable main character whose voice feels shot from a cannon, and reminded us of the charismatic and undeniably addictive hero of Demon Copperhead. Martyr! is both laugh-out-loud funny and deadly serious — a coming-of-age story and a portrait of a young Iranian-American wrestling with what it means to have a life of value.”

— Al Woodworth, Amazon editor

cover of Nuclear War: A Scenario

Here’s what Amazon’s editors had to say:

“This horrifying narrative — a minute-by-minute breakdown of what happens after a nuclear missile is launched at the U.S. — is visceral and cinematic, like the big budget blockbuster of Hollywood’s dreams. Even more terrifying: it’s nonfiction, pieced together through interviews and classified documents dug up by Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Annie Jacobsen.”

— Lindsay Powers, Amazon editor

cover of All the Colors of the Dark by Chris Whitaker

Here’s what Amazon’s editors had to say:

“This extraordinary novel with a dark mystery running through it begins with a beekeeper and a pirate, and a kidnapping that changes their lives. Chris Whitaker’s vivid storytelling makes the pages fly by in a tale of family, survival, devotion, and love so powerful it hurts.”

— Seira Wilson, Amazon editor

cover of Lies and Weddings by Kevin Kwan

Here’s what Amazon’s editors had to say:

“Kevin Kwan (Crazy Rich Asians) once again delights and entertains us with a couture-studded, globe-trotting tale of family, legacy, and finding our own happiness. A surprising confession overheard at an over-the-top island wedding is just the first of many secrets spilled, hearts broken, and plans foiled, in this hilarious rom-com of wealth, prestige, shocking twists, and silver linings.”

— Seira Wilson, Amazon editor

cover of lost man's lane

Here’s what Amazon’s editors had to say:

“Lost Man’s Lane is a horror-tinged coming-of-age tale: sublime and sharp, poignant, nostalgic, and unsettling, even funny when it needs to be. Carson’s portrait of a teenage boy is spookily spot-on, as is the way he takes the novel terrifyingly sideways.”

— Vannessa Cronin, Amazon editor

cover of This Could Be Us by Kennedy Ryan

Here’s what Amazon’s editors had to say:

“This book is so multi-dimensional, just as life is—Kennedy Ryan covers divorce, self-discovery, autism, raising kids, the power of friendships, and other huge life changes, but it is done in a way that is so real and relatable.”

— Kami Tei, Amazon editor

For the other top 10 best books of the year, as well as the best books of the year within different genres, visit Amazon.


Find more news and stories of interest from the book world in Breaking in Books.

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