Amazon’s best books of 2021

Time has been doing funny things lately. It’s already Thanksgiving, and yet that cargo ship got stuck in the Suez canal last spring, not ten years ago, which is what it feels like. Speaking of shipping delays, this is definitely not the year to procrastinate on holiday shopping.

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. This year has harvested a bountiful Thanksgiving feast of books to devour. Whether you’re shopping for a loved one, or just looking to treat yourself, Amazon’s annual Best Books of the Year list is a great place to start.

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Each year, the team of Amazon Book Editors read through thousands of books across genres to choose the best 100 books of the year. And today they’ve announced the 2021 selection. Topping the list is Amor Towles’ The Lincoln Highway, which Sarah Gelman, editorial director of Amazon Books, said was “the one book the team unanimously agreed on.” Learn why Amazon’s editors “just couldn’t stop talking about it” and browse through the rest of the top ten books in the list below.

“Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow) might just have written one of the best novels of this decade, delivering one of the greatest gifts of fiction: hope. Filled with 1950s nostalgia and the gentle naïveté and hijinks of those who are young, optimistic, and on a mission, The Lincoln Highway follows four kids whose paths collide as they search for their mother and a stashed wad of cash.” – Al Woodworth, Amazon Book Review

Credit: Viking

“You will laugh, you will cry, your stomach will rumble with hunger, and you’ll tap your toe to the beat of this powerful mother-daughter and Korean American story that shows just how important it is to accept someone fully for who they even—and love them just the same.” – Al Woodworth, Amazon Book Review

Image of Crying in H Mart: A Memoir book cover

Credit: Knopf

The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz

“A story within a story that is a Rubik’s Cube of twists, The Plot follows an uninspired author fading into obscurity until his new book rockets him to fame. Only the plot isn’t his, and someone knows it. Korelitz keeps us guessing—even when all seems clear—right up to the knockout ending.” – Seira Wilson, Amazon Book Review

Image of The Plot book cover

Credit: Celadon Books

“Smith’s tour of places and landmarks linked to slavery is the type of book that can change your perspective, even if you have known of the places (or thought you did) your entire life.” – Chris Schluep, Amazon Book Review

Image of How the Word is Passed book cover

Credit: Little, Brown and Company

“Set during the Great Depression and featuring an unlikely heroine who will lodge herself in your heart, The Four Winds is a reminder, when we so urgently need it, of the resilience not only of the human spirit, but of this country as well. Hannah’s latest story reads like a classic.” – Erin Kodicek, Amazon Book Review

Image of The Four Winds book cover

Credit: St. Martin’s Press

“From the author of Say Nothing comes an addictive account of the Sackler family—the founders and masterminds behind OxyContin. From their rise by marketing pharmaceuticals, to the backdoor dealings of FDA approvals, to the front door dealings of museum philanthropy, this is an impossible-to-put-down true story of ambition, power, deception, and greed.” – Vanessa Cronin, Amazon Book Review

Image of Empire of Pain book cover

Credit: Doubleday

“The two-time Pulitzer Prize winner of The Nickel Boys and The Underground Railroad tells a blisteringly entertaining tale of schemers and dreamers, mobsters and crooks, elaborate heists and furniture fronts, and the thrilling mischief of those who are up to no good and others who are just trying to make a living.” – Al Woodworth, Amazon Book Review

Image of Harlem Shuffle book cover

Credit: Doubleday

“Shipstead has accomplished the impossible—an epic novel that is ambitious, literary, and utterly accessible. Great Circle follows two women who yearn for adventure and freedom—aviator Marian Graves and starlet Hadley Baxter—and like flying, it’s the thrill of the century.” – Sarah Gelman, Amazon Book Review

Image of Great Circle book cover

Credit: Knopf

“As in The Martian, Weir makes science and problem solving not only cool but absolutely essential to survival. In Project Hail MaryWeir delivers an electrifying space adventure sure to wrench your gut and pull at your heart strings.” – Adrian Liang, Amazon Book Review

Image of Project Hail Mary book cover

Credit: Ballantine Books

“Ishiguro’s quiet, emotional, and moving novel about a robot girl with artificial intelligence, who is designed as a playmate for real children, is a story that will captivate and haunt readers.” – Chris Schluep, Amazon Book Review

Image of Klara and the Sun book cover

Credit: Knopf

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