Amazon’s The Best Books of 2015
I honestly look forward to these lists each year. As a former manager of a brick-and-mortar bookstore, I like to see what they pick. That’s not because I think they necessarily are the best books, or even are books I am likely to read. It intrigues me. :)
It’s also a place I may discover books to buy for other people, and that’s important.
As part of that, it’s key that this isn’t simply a list of 100. It’s a whole storefront. There is a list of the top 100, but you can also see their “best” in a lot of categories:
- Arts & Photography
- Biographies & Memoirs
- Business & Investing
- Children’s Books
- Comics & Graphic Novels
- Cookbooks, Food & Wine
- Crafts, Home & Garden
- Kindle Singles
- Humor & Entertainment
- Literature & Fiction
- Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
- Science Fiction & Fantasy
- Sports & Outdoors
- Teen & Young Adult
picks from celebrities, Editors’ Holiday Gift Picks, Best Debuts, and more!
They sent me a press release
with some interesting tidbits in it.
I want to highlight this one:
“Debut authors in the Top 100: 22”
While this list isn’t limited to Kindle e-books, the expansion of independent publishing that e-books enabled has, I’m sure, affected how debut authors are seen. Since authors don’t need to go through the established channels, it allows the unestablished to break out…and then sometimes go tradpub (traditional publisher), sometimes not.
This is specifically
I have read…exactly zero of them. ;)
That doesn’t meant that I think that some of them might not be the best books of the year. There are some there I would like to read.
It’s more that my pattern of reading isn’t likely to include a book the same year that it is released any more.
What do I read?
- Books that are gifted to me. Those are usually pretty specialized, and may be my family buying from my Wish List. Those don’t tend to be frontlist, newly published titles
- Public domain books: generally older
- Books I get from Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*), Amazon’s subser (subscription service). Again, those don’t tend to be published this year, at least the ones I choose to read
I recently wrote about a jump in books priced $14.99:
In that piece, I wrote about us moving more towards a tiered system of readers:
- Top tier: pay premium prices for new, brand name releases
- Middle tier: pay for some books, but don’t pay the top prices for new novels…they read independently published books, books that were on sale, books through KU (this would be my tier)
- Lower tier: read free books
This list is definitely geared toward the top tier reader in that system. Only two of the books are under $5 at time of writing:
- Smoke by Catherine McKenzie (which is also available through KU…the only one on the list, I believe)
- The Wonder Garden by Laura Acampara
Most of the books, by far, are over $9.99.
Here are the top 10:
- Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Becoming Nicole by Amy Ellis Nutt
- An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
- The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
- The Wright Brothers by David McCullough
- H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
- Purity: A Novel by Jonathan Franzen
- Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs by Sally Mann
- The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
The average price at time of writing of those top ten? $14.24
Amazon doesn’t appear to have favored books it has published, with the exception of the category for Kindle Singles noted above.
I know I’m interested in the analysis, but I also know you may be more interested in the actual books. :)
Please let me know what you think of the choices, and especially, if there were others you would have listed. You can let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.
Special note: the person who recently arranged
has also offered to reach out for me to someone involved with creating this list.
If you have particular questions you would like me to ask them, if I get that opportunity, also let me know that in the comments.
I’m curious, so I’m going to include a couple of polls:
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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!
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.