Amazon Announces the Best Books of 2016, Naming Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad the #1 Book of the Year

Amazon book editors reveal the 100 best books of the year, selecting
titles in over two dozen categories from Literary Fiction and Mystery to
Children’s & Young Adult

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–(NASDAQ:AMZN)— today announced its selections for the Best
Books of 2016, naming Colson Whitehead’s novel The Underground
the Best Book of the Year. The annual list features the Top
100 books of the year plus Top 20 lists across various categories. All
lists are hand-selected by Amazon’s team of editors who read hundreds of
thousands of pages throughout the year—choosing the best books of every
month and then, finally, the best books of the year. To see the full
list of the Best Books of 2016 and buy the print or Kindle editions,

“The editorial team had a handful of books that we seriously considered
for the top pick but in the end our choice of The Underground Railroad
was unanimous,” said Chris Schluep, Amazon Senior Book Editor. “Colson
Whitehead’s novel is timely, important, and a great work of literature.”

Here are the Amazon Editorial Team’s Top 10 picks this year:

  1. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead: A
    brilliant, wise, fantastical yet grounded portrayal of a young slave
    seeking her freedom on a real underground railroad.
  2. The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis: Part literary
    thriller, part western, this is a debut novel about a young tomboy
    trying to survive a post-apocalyptic wilderness as she searches for
    her parents.
  3. Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance: A very personal
    tour of a segment of our culture that’s losing its way in modern
  4. The Nix by Nathan Hill: A big, smart novel about
    so many things: family, politics, revolution and the things we choose
    to remember (and forget).
  5. Mischling by Affinity Konar: Affinity Konar’s
    beautiful novel about twin sisters who survive Auschwitz is precisely
    crafted, acutely sensitive and ultimately uplifting and hopeful.
  6. Lab Girl by Hope Jahren: An inspiring and
    entertaining memoir about work, life and love from a plant scientist
    who is just as adept at analyzing the natural world as she is at
    illuminating human relationships.
  7. Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson: A poetic,
    breathtaking novel about growing up female and black in the 1970s—a
    time of conflicting pressures and sometimes crushing assumptions.
  8. Pumpkinflowers by Matti Friedman: An
    unforgettable nonfiction account of men changed by war, told in a
    voice that is both straight forward and undeniably literary.
  9. Before the Fall by Noah Hawley: From the
    award-winning creator of Fargo, a thrilling page-turner
    about an airplane crash and its seemingly heroic survivors.
  10. Swing Time by Zadie Smith: A masterful novel that
    tackles big issues—race, class and the ups and downs of long term
    friendship—told with a dancer’s grace and ease.

Here are some interesting facts about this year’s Best Books of the Year

  • Number of debut authors in the Top 20: 3
  • Number of science-related books in the Top 100: 6
  • Number of memoirs in the Top 100: 26
  • Number of entertainers who have authored books in the Top 100: 2
  • Number of books that were considered for the #1 spot on the list
    before the editors selected Colson Whitehead’s The Underground
    : 4

The top picks in Children’s categories include The Night Gardener
(Picture Books), The Secret Keepers (Middle Grade – ages 9-12)
and The Sun is Also a Star (Young Adult). Topping the list in
other popular categories is Anthony Bourdain’s Appetites
(Cookbook) and David Yarrow’s Wild Encounters (Arts &

About Amazon

Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than
competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational
excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping,
personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle
Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa
are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more
information, visit

Contacts, Inc.
Media Hotline: 206-266-7180