Amazon: “The Best Books of 2016”

Amazon: “The Best Books of 2016”

I do love the tech involved in Amazon’s hardware, but I’m always going to love those books! After all, I’m a former brick-and-mortar bookstore manager…they used to be my bread and butter, so to speak, however, I loved books before that, too. 🙂

That’s why one of the most intriguing things for me each year is when Amazon does their “Best Books of the Year”…and here it is! (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

These are all editorial picks, meaning that human beings made the selections. 🙂 There are 100 best Kindle book and 100 best print books, but because they do the best in categories (and holiday picks and celebrity picks and…) there are more than that.

One thing that can happen with curated book lists is that a relatively obscure book can suddenly become a big seller through discovery.

For example, there is a book on the list with only eight customer reviews, ranked #26,240 paid in the Kindle store:

Beyond Earth: Our Path to a New Home in the Planets (at AmazonSmile*)

Now, it’s reasonable to point out that the book was just released November 15th, which has something to do with the number of reviews…but at AmazonSmile* Zadie Smith isn’t even released yet, and is ranked #581 (due to pre-sales). Reviews are not allowed yet, though. Beyond Earth sounds interesting…it’s non-fiction about the future of space travel (including Jeff Bezos’ efforts), and looking at Titan (one of Saturn’s moons) as a destination perhaps preferable to Mars. That one is going on my wish list…not Titan, but the book. 🙂

While Beyond Earth is not science fiction, the twenty titles in the

Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2016 (at AmazonSmile*)

For one thing, you can see the often huge savings in the Kindle version versus the print version. Some examples (prices are at time of writing):

  • The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman | $9.74 in paperback, $1.99 in Kindle
  • The Book of the Unnamed Midwife (The Road to Nowhere) by Meg Elison | $9.00 in paperback, #3.99 in Kindle
  • The Dark Side by Anthony O’Neill | $10.35 in paperback, $4.99 in Kindle

Two of the books (10%) are even available at no extra cost to

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

members. That increases the chances that they’ll show up in Prime Reading at some point (making them free to borrow for some Prime Members).

The more than forty celebrities are an intriguing, eclectic bunch! From Anne Rice to Padma Lakshmi through Kareem-Abdul Jabbar, I love seeing the books (especially the older ones, like Lenny Lawson’s pick of The Color Magic (Discworld) by Terry Pratchett). Click on a celebrity to see their comments about the book.

Another nice section is the Editors’ Holiday Gift Picks. The categories (and I like the names of them) are:

  • Little Bookworms
  • Fun & Quirky
  • Eat, Drink, Read
  • Young (Adult) at Heart
  • Fantastic Fiction
  • Nothing But the Truth
  • Coffee Table Eye Candy
  • Cops & Crooks
  • Secrets of Success
  • Design, Construct, Create

Not surprisingly, there are some books in “Fun & Quirky” that really caught my eye!

Some from there:

  • Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer and Dylan Thuras (based on a wonderful website)
  • 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings: How to Get By Without Even Trying by Sarah Cooper
  • Judgmental Maps: Your City. Judged. by Trent Gillaspie
  • Sad Animal Facts by Brooke Barker (14 reviews with a perfect 5.0 star average!)

When Amazon sent me the press release, they were nice enough to ask if I would like to speak with the Editors about it. I’ve enjoyed doing that before, but I wanted to give you the opportunity. Are there questions you would like to ask the Editors based on the list? If you do, please comment on this post. There is no guarantee that they’ll take the questions, but I’d like to send them three from my readers and see if they’ll answer them. If so, I’ll publish the answers here. Of course, by posting the comments, you are giving me permission to send them to Amazon without compensation.

If you have other comments too, feel free to share them with me and my readers!

I would think I can’t wait long to send them: I’m going to make your cutoff noon Pacific time on this Friday, November 18th.

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* 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! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.


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