2018 has been dominated by polemics. Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury, Bob Woodward’s Fear, Tucker Carlson’s Ship of Fools…all signs of our divisive times. But there is one notable, and refreshing, exception that’s been giving the pundits a run for their money: Tara Westover’s Educated. Published last February, this debut memoir was our pick for the best book of the year so far, and for the first time in best-books history, it is also our pick for the best book of 2018, overall.
“This year we read many great books across many different genres, but one story—a true story—stood out to us for its bravery, insight, and the fact that it’s so very readable,” said Chris Schluep, manager of the Amazon books editors. “Educated is a rare gem of a memoir– it surprises and inspires, and we want to tell everyone: read this book!”
Educated has been on the Amazon Charts Most Sold list for 36 weeks but it may surprise you that one of the questions we do not ask when evaluating best-of contenders is: “Is this going to be a bestseller?” It’s certainly validating when a book we love resonates with readers, but since we read a few months in advance of publication, we’re going on our team’s early judgement/impression. What we knew for sure is that Educated was special–we loved it and were excited to recommend it–and that is the criteria we use when helping customers find their next favorite read.
Rounding out our top three is Esi Edugyan’s novel Washington Black–an adventure and scientific exploration on a par with the novels of Jules Verne–and Indianapolis, which shines a spotlight on a wartime tragedy that still echoes within the survivors, and the Navy, today. Our number one pick in the kids’ genre is the middle grade novel, The Season of Styx Malone. Senior Editor Seira Wilson says that “young readers will quickly bond with Kekla Magoon’s characters and her beautifully-crafted story of three boys who wind up teaching each other about trust, forgiveness, and family.”
Visit https://amazon.com/bestbooks2018 to see all of our favorites in over twelve categories from biographies, to literary fiction, to romance and sci-fi (and everything in between). Included are releases from literary luminaries like Stephen King, Barbara Kingsolver, John Grisham, and Jodi Picoult—but we are especially excited to introduce you to first-time authors Tommy Orange, Tomi Adeyemi, Christelle Dabos, and more. One thing you won’t find? Polemics (sorry/not sorry).