I thought I’d get ready for the barrage of end-of-year best-of lists early this year. I mean, why not use the half year point as an excuse to come up with a list of the 10 best books of the year…so far? It’s pretty silly, but Amazon has created this list, and while it’s subjective as all these kinds of lists are, it is an interesting peek into a mix of titles published this year that are incredibly diverse. And not all of them have been big bestsellers, or even very talked about, which is also worth noting. PW had their take on the list mentioning the emphasis on historical in both fiction and nonfiction.
I’m sure all of the authors and publishers are thrilled that Amazon is promoting the books so heavily on their home page. Free publicity seen by millions of eyes is not so easy to find these days, and this is sort of like mass hand-selling. Like those shelves in bookstores where you have Employee Picks. I always go there first.
Personally, I’m really happy to see a food memoir on there: Gabrielle Hamilton’s Blood, Bones, & Butter, which garnered a large advance from Random House and seems to be making its money back based on how long it’s been living on the bestseller lists. As well as The Tiger’s Wife, which I blogged about before. I’m still amazed this young woman has created what many feel is a masterpiece at the ripe old age of 25. And only one celebrity book—Tina Fey’s Bossypants, which has been pretty much universally praised, and the millions Reagan Arthur paid for it probably feels like a worthy investment for the publisher.
So check it out and see what you think. I wonder how many of these will make their way onto the best-of lists at the end of the year, and how many more great books will be released over the next 6 months. Are there other books you’ve read this year that you think should be on the list? Let us know, and we’ll take a look. Maybe we’ll even use Amazon’s list combined with your ideas for our next book club picks (there are 10 of us now so we need a lot of titles, and fiction only please for book club!).