Getting ready for some summer reading? Here are a few suggestions from a company that sells a ton of books: Amazon.
On June 18, Amazon announced its selections for the Best Books of the Year So Far, naming Elizabeth Gilbert’s novel City of Girls the top pick overall. Over the course of the year, the Amazon Books editorial team reads hundreds of thousands of pages of new releases to select the Best Books of the Month as well as the Best Books of the Year So Far and, at the end of the year, the Best Books of the Year. The annual list features the Top 20 books of the year, published between January and June 2019, as well as top picks across various categories, including literary fiction, mystery and thriller, biography, children’s, and young adult. To explore the full list visit: www.amazon.com/bestbookssofar.
“We love selecting the Best Book of the Year So Far,” said Sarah Gelman, Editorial Director, Amazon Books. “We’ve read so many great books this year – a heart-wrenching memoir of loss, an intoxicating novel of a ’70s rock band, a psychological thriller worthy of Agatha Christie comparisons, and so much more. But one book stood out for us, Elizabeth Gilbert’s City of Girls. It has so many elements that make reading fun – the sparkle of youth, indiscretions, sassy characters, and freedom in a city that doesn’t sleep – perfect summer reading in our book.”
“What a delight and a joy, to have earned this great accolade! It’s my understanding that they see a lot of books at Amazon, so this is a particularly delicious honor,” said Elizabeth Gilbert, author of City of Girls. “Thank you for loving City of Girls, and for bringing it to the world’s attention. I’m truly grateful and thrilled.”
Elizabeth Gilbert’s novel City of Girls was also named the Best Book of June by the Amazon Books editors. It joins previous Best Books of the Year So Far picks that include Tara Westover’s Educated, Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, Hope Jahren’s Lab Girl, Helen Macdonald’s H Is for Hawk, and Adam Begley’s Updike.
The Amazon Books editors’ picks for the first 10 of the Best Books of the Year So Far are:
1) City of Girls: A Novelby Elizabeth Gilbert (Riverhead Books): It’s the 1940s, and the frivolous and fun-loving Vivian Morris arrives in New York with the goal of “becoming someone interesting” (and in short order she is, but for all the wrong reasons). The latest novel by the author of Eat, Pray, Love is bawdy, big-hearted, and wise.
To listen to an interview with Elizabeth Gilbert about City of Girls, visit the Amazon Book Review.
2) The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides (Celadon Books): While we’re only halfway through the year, this debut thriller with the twistiest of endings may be the thriller of 2019.
Visit the Amazon Book Review to read an interview with Alex Michaelides.
3) Once More We Saw Stars: A Memoirby Jayson Greene (Knopf): In the face of unimaginable tragedy, they say the only way out is through. That’s exactly what Greene learns when his daughter dies from a freak accident. This emotional memoir shines a beacon of light in the darkest of places.
Visit the Amazon Book Review to read a feature piece by Jayson Greene on writing about grief.
4) Mrs. Everything: A Novel by Jennifer Weiner (Atria Books): Sweeping in its personal and political scope, this tale of two sisters is a multi-layered and very moving story for the #MeToo era, one that traces how far women have come, and how far we have yet to go. Weiner’s most ambitious novel yet.
Visit the Amazon Book Review to read a feature interview with Jennifer Weiner.
5) The Night Tiger: A Novel by Yangsze Choo (Flatiron Books): Supple and powerful, like the predator that stalks the shadows of Choo’s ensnaring tale, this historical novel set in 1930s Malaysia swirls around a strong-minded apprentice dressmaker and a young houseboy whose destinies collide as they both search for a very unlucky mummified human finger.
Visit the Amazon Book Review to read a feature interview with Yangsze Choo.
6) Daisy Jones & The Six: A Novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Ballantine Books):Presented as a series of interviews, this novel about a young, captivating singer who came of age in the late ’60s/early ’70s will leave you thinking that Daisy Jones & The Six really existed.
Visit the Amazon Book Review to read why Taylor Jenkins Reid wrote the book the way she did.
7) Underland: A Deep Time Journey by Robert Macfarlane (W.W. Norton & Company): A one-of-a-kind book, Underland explores the universe beneath our feet, diving into catacombs, caves, and the land under Greenland’s shrinking ice cap to delve into the darker recesses of our imaginations—a place where artists, adventurers, and criminals have traveled, willingly and otherwise.
Visit the Amazon Book Review to read the Best of the Month review of Underland.
8) The Unwinding of the Miracle: A Memoir of Life, Death, and Everything That Comes After by Julie Yip-Williams (Random House) : Julie Yip-Williams’ beautiful memoir speaks to one of our greatest fears, that we would be diagnosed with a terminal disease, and to our greatest hope, which is that we could face life straight on, fully, without squinting, and live each day with honesty, ambition, and true feeling.
Visit the Amazon Book Review to read the Best of the Month review of The Unwinding of the Miracle.
9) Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir by Ruth Reichl (Random House):Save Me the Plums chronicles how food writer Ruth Reichl came to be editor-in-chief of the magazine she’d pored over as a child, how she transformed it from a stuffy relic of the old guard into a publication that embraced a new culinary era, and how Gourmet magazine met its end. A memoir to savor.
To listen to an interview with Ruth Reichl about Save Me the Plums, visit the Amazon Book Review Podcast.
10) Cari Mora: A Novel by Thomas Harris (Grand Central Publishing): Thomas Harris’ harrowing new novel of greed and survival, Cari Mora is as cinematic as one might expect (and hope for), charged with smugglers and lawmen, gruesome deaths, and deceit that crisscrosses the ocean between Colombia and Miami. Harris is a masterful storyteller who knows exactly how to get under our skin and into our heads.
Visit the Amazon Book Review to read the Best of the Month review of Cari Mora.
The top pick in the children’s category is:
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise byDan Gemeinhart(Henry Holt and Co.): An unforgettable middle grade novel about a girl and her father on a cross-country journey, the people they meet, and how they find their way home again. This is a book young readers won’t want to miss. Coyote’s story is wise, funny, and holds onto your heart long after you’ve read the final page.
To see the complete list of the Best Books of the Year So Far, and to purchase for Kindle or in print, visit www.amazon.com/bestbookssofar or visit an Amazon Books location near you, www.amazon.com/stores.
For more coverage of the books featured on the Best Books of the Year So Far list, as well as insightful reviews on new books, author interviews, and roundups in popular categories, visit the Amazon Book Review, www.amazonbookreview.com, and the Amazon Book Review Podcast, www.amazonbookreview.com/tag/podcast.