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Every month, Amazon’s book publishers publish a list of their favorite books that month. At the end of the year, this team of nine editors draws from these lists, as well as considering any that may have been missing, to pick the best books of the year as a whole. Each of them has a different background, including authors, former booksellers and former publishing house editors, but they have all spent their careers immersed in the book world. After entering their individual favorites of the year into a spreadsheet and pitching them to their fellow editors, they discuss their picks and then finally rank their picks for the year. These totals become Amazon Book Editors’ Best Books of the Year list.

I spoke with Amazon Books managing editor Sarah Gelman about how this list is created and the trends she’s noticed in the publication this year. Gelman explained that this list is based solely on book publishers’ love, not taking into account sales or customer ratings, especially since they typically read these books well in advance of their publication date. I’m especially looking for books that “transcend genre”: that readers love even if it’s not a genre/format/topic they usually read about. Editors also consider diversity, looking at whether the list includes representation of marginalized groups — including authors of color and neurodivergent characters — both in terms of authorship and content.

One trend Gelman noted in this year’s publication, especially in their top ten, is books that focus on friendship, as opposed to those about romantic relationships, especially books that feature messy and complicated relationships with friends and family. In Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrowthe main character points out that “Lovers are common”, but “True collaborators in this life are rare”. Our hearts gone And Carrie Soto is back there are two other books on the list that focus on parent-child friendships and relationships. Gelman added that Kevin Wilson’s Now Is Not the Time to Panic, one of his favorites that didn’t make the list, is another book that explores a deep friendship between a man and a woman.

While this list is a combination of all of the Editors’ Choice Picks, Gelman loves each of the top five and particularly recommends the pairing. Usuala memoir about a child who makes the 3,000-mile trek from El Salvador to the United States alone, with Our hearts gone, a novel about a son who searches the United States for his missing mother. ON UsualGelman said, “Calling something ‘required reading’ sounds boring, but this is a book for human beings to read.”

Here are Amazon Books’ editors’ picks for the ten best books of 2022.

#1 Best Book of the Year:

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow book cover

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

“After devouring this novel, you’ll walk away with a hop in your step, a full heart, and the bubbly feeling that this is one of the best books about friendship — in all its messy complexity and glory — you’ll ever read, that’s why we named it the best book of 2022. Gabrielle Zevin has written a perfect novel for this moment, when connection is what we long for and hope it is what we need. —Al Woodworth, Amazon editor

#2 Best Book of the Year:

Cover of Usually by Javier Zamora

Usual: a memory of Javier Zamora

“Neil Gaiman once said, ‘Fiction gives us empathy…it gives us the gift of seeing the world through [other people’s] eyes.’ Usually is one of those rare non-fiction reads that achieves the same result and puts a human face on the immigration debate: that of a nine-year-old boy who makes a harrowing journey from South America to the United States and the new-found family that facilitates the his path. A heart-pounding, heart-expanding memoir. —Erin Kodicek, Amazon Editor

#3 Best Book of the Year:

the cover of Stolen Focus

Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention and How to Think Deeply Again by Johann Hari

“We can’t stop talking about it Stolen fire. It is vital and mesmerizing to examine why we as individuals and as a collective have lost our attention span. Suffice to say, Hari’s three-month tech detox and his breakthroughs will instantly make you want to stop scrolling through the internet, stop thinking in slogans and 280 characters, and genuinely engage in sustained thinking so you can tackle global problems like poverty, racism, and climate change. Deeply satisfying, life-affirming, and filled with eye-opening moments, this is a book everyone should read. —Al Woodworth, Amazon editor

#4 Best Book of the Year:

the cover of fairy tale

Fairy tale by Stephen King

TaleCharlie Reade’s joins the ranks of King’s best characters and the story it tells: a gruff neighbor with dangerous secrets, a parallel world ruled by an unspeakable monster, a giant child-eater, and a dog who’s lived through more than one life. life – it’s wonderful. Tale it’s fantasy, training, friendship and adventure: it’s good versus evil, a boy and his dog on a perilous quest; it’s King doing what he does best: igniting our imaginations. —Seira Wilson, Amazon editor

#5 Best Book of the Year:

Horse cover

Geraldine Brooks’ horse

“One of the best American novels we’ve read in years – galloping back and forth in time to tell a story about race and freedom, horses and art, and the lineage not only of ancestors but of deeds as well. From Kentucky to New Orleans, 1850 to the present day, Pulitzer Prize-winning Brooks weaves a story centered around one of the fastest thoroughbreds in history and the black groom who catapulted Lexington to the front of the track. A heart-pounding American epic. —Al Woodworth, Amazon editor

#6 Best Book of the Year:

cover by Carrie Soto is back

Carrie Soto is back by Taylor Jenkins-Reid

“Taylor Jenkins Reid, of Margaret Jones And Evelyn Hugo fame, wrote another book you will breathe in a day. Soto is a former tennis champion who returns to play to defend her title. She is unrepentant, ambitious and willing to put everything on the line. This is a big-hearted story from her about her relationship with her father, about taking risks and standing up boldly in a world that doesn’t necessarily want to see strong women succeed. —Lindsay Powers, Amazon editor

#7 Best Book of the Year:

Cover of Demon Copperhead

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

“In this mesmerizing novel, Kingsolver peers into the overlooked screams of Appalachia to tell a piercing and cutting coming-of-age story about a boy named Demon Copperhead. Born behind the eighth ball of life, Demon faces hunger, cruelty and a wave of addiction in his own little county, but never loses his love for the place that claims him as its own. With the soulful storytelling of this kind, confrontational and witty boy, Kingsolver gives voice to a place and his people where beauty, despair and resilience collide. —Seira Wilson, Amazon editor

#8 Best Book of the Year:

cover of Celeste Ng's Our Missing Hearts;  image of a bird's feather slowly disintegrating into several fledglings

Our Lost Hearts by Celeste Ng

“Celeste Ng joins our best books of the year list for the third time with her most compelling story. A mother mysteriously disappears amid a nationalist movement that seems chillingly close to reality, setting her young son on a daring quest to find her, aided by everyday heroes in unexpected places. The prose sings as the pieces click. This is fiction as revolution, serving as a cautionary tale, a dystopian fairy tale and suspenseful thriller with moments of hope that sustained us as we read. —Lindsay Powers, Amazon editor

#9 Best Book of the Year:

Cover of The Escape Artist by Jonathan Freedland

The Escape Artist: The Man Who Escaped Auschwitz to Warn the World by Jonathan Freeland

“This is the true story of one of the few people who escaped Auschwitz, but it only touches on the subject of this book. Rudolph Vrba set out to tell the world about the atrocities he had witnessed in the concentration camps, but much of the world was not ready to listen to him. The author, Jonathan Freedland, paints a vivid and moving portrait of what Vrba experienced, both during and after the war. Vrba was a hero, sure, but he was also human. This is a forgotten story that you won’t soon forget. —Chris Schluep, Amazon Editor

#10 Best Book of the Year:

the cover of City On Fire

City on Fire by Don Winslow

“Don Winslow (Power of the Dog trilogy, Broken) is, without a doubt, one of the best mystery writers of the last few decades. It’s inside Burning city, has written one of the most engaging, head-turning, heart-stopping family crime novels since The Godfather. He is about loyalty, love, brotherhood, family, belonging, betrayal and survival. But no matter how epic his themes, it’s Winslow’s eye for the little personal details that will burn these characters into your heart and memory.” —Vannessa Cronin, Amazon editor


You may also be interested in Barnes and Noble’s best books of the year and Best book of the year according to Barnes & Noble Booksellers. And watch this slot for Book Riot’s best books of the year, coming soon!

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