5-star newbies #1

5-star newbies #1

There’s something about reading a newly published book. Personally, I love reading old books…even a century old or more. How exciting would it have been, though, to read Hemingway, Dickens, or Burroughs when they were first being published? That’s before someone else tells you they are classics, before a movie has been made…before your know-it-all cousin says, “Oh, yes, that book made quite a splash…when I first read it ten years ago.” 😉

The problem, of course, is figuring out what books which have just come out are going to be great.

Well, in my ever-expanding quest for book discovery 😉 I tried something new this time.

I looked at books published this month with 5-star (out of 5 possible) customer reviews on Amazon. I have to qualify that a bit: 5-star in this case means 4.6 or higher (they would round to five). New is also new to the USA Kindle store…they could have been published previously in other formats or territories.

I looked through and picked ten of them, and I am allowing myself to be swayed by the number of reviews. A 4.7 average with only five reviews doesn’t mean as much to me as a 4.6 with five hundred reviews.

Outside of that, these are just ones that caught my eye.

First, though, here is the entire list of 5-star (as defined by Amazon) USA Kindle store books released this month, in order of best customer review average:

RAW (at AmazonSmile)
by Belle Aurora
4.8 stars, 766 customer reviews
Romantic suspense

Appears to be a stand-out of the genre…but it does look creepy.

Urban Imagination (at AmazonSmile)
by George Zisiadis
4.9 stars, 89 reviews
Humor and entertainment

This one looks fun! It’s a collection of child-like cartoons of urban settings with familiar objects transformed into something playful, like a parking meter becoming a gumball machine. Sounds like it would make (or a gift recipient) smile. 🙂

Black Arts: A Jane Yellowrock Novel (at AmazonSmile)
by Faith Hunter
4.8 stars, 129 reviews
Urban fantasy

I’ve never read any of these (this is number 7), but the reviews are great and make it sound like a real “page turner”. At one point, people wanted to update “page turner” to “button masher”, but we don’t always have buttons any more either. 😉

Life on Altamont Court: Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary (at AmazonSmile)
by Trent D. Pines
4.9 stars, 51 reviews

Based on the reviews, I could see someone adapting this into a TV series. It’s a memoir about a wacky neighborhood, but with a modern make-up.

The Mind Body Solution: Train your Brain for Permanent Weight Loss (at AmazonSmile
by AJ Mihrzad
5 stars, 49 reviews
Self help, stress management

Downward Dog
by Edward Vilga
4.9 stars, 106 reviews
Contemporary fiction

I’m amazed at how many people comment on where this fits in the “yoga novel” genre. 🙂 Reviews are good..

Secret to Startup Failure: Fail Fast. Fail Cheap. Fail Happy. (at AmazonSmile)
by Sonia Lin
5 stars, 47 reviews
Business & investing

The Survival Medicine Handbook: A guide for when help is NOT on the way (at AmazonSmile)
by Joseph Alton, Amy Alton
4.8 stars, 88 reviews
Safety & first aid

This is the kind of book I would expect to be over $9.99. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, we have a relatively high awareness of the possibility of being cut off from help for days. My recommendation for your “go bag”: have your doctor give you a list of your chronic conditions, medications, and allergies. With EMRs (Electronic Medical Records), that’s easier than it used to be.

Style that Sizzles & Pacing for Power: An Editor’s Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction (at AmazonSmile)
by Jodie Renner
4.8 stars, 63 reviews
Writing skills

Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs
4.9 stars, 26 reviews
Teen & young adult horror

Finishing up with the sequel to a well-known book…nice!

So, there you go! You can read them before all of the “cool kids” do, and the reviews suggest they’ll be good. 🙂 Of course, not all of these will become classics…that’s especially true of non-fiction, which can sometimes be very much tied to the time it was published.


Nominate a child to be given a free Kindle at Give a Kid a Kindle.

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

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