James by Percival Everett is the Amazon Best Book of 2024 So Far

The Amazon Books Editors share their list of favorites from among the vast selection of books released so far this year on Amazon

Amazon Editors' Best Books of 2024 So Far (Graphic: Business Wire)

SEATTLE--()--Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced that the Amazon Books Editors have revealed the Best Books of the Year So Far, naming Percival Everett’s novel, James, as the top choice. The Amazon Books Editors call it “a wildly entertaining and thought-provoking read that cements Percival Everett as one of the best modern-day writers.” Other titles that rounded out the top five include The Women by Kristin Hannah, All the Worst Humans: How I Made News for Dictators, Tycoons, and Politicians by Phil Elwood, The Ministry of Time by Kaliane Bradley, and Martyr! by Kaveh Akbar.

The Amazon Books Editors are on a mission to make it easy for customers to discover great reads from among the wide selection on Amazon through curated recommendations. They collectively read thousands of books per year to determine the Best Books of the Month, the Best Books of the Year So Far, and the Best Books of the Year, while writing regularly about books and interviewing authors on the Amazon Book Review. Comprised of books published between January and June, the Best Books of the Year So Far list features their top 20 book picks, as well as recommendations in popular categories, including literary fiction, mystery and thrillers, romance, history, biographies and memoirs, cookbooks, and children’s books.

Percival Everett’s James joins previous Best of the Year So Far No. 1 picks like Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano, Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt, The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré, and Educated by Tara Westover.

After being told James was the No. 1 pick, Everett said, “I'm always thrilled to hear that someone somewhere in this country is reading any book. I'm especially moved when I imagine that book might be mine. I love books. I sort of like writers. But none of this happens without readers. So, thank you.”

“Like our year-end list, the Best Books of the Year So Far is a culmination of months of passionate debate and careful consideration by our team, and features our top picks across genres,” said Sarah Gelman, editorial director, Amazon Books. “One pick that our entire team was in full agreement on was our top selection, James, which builds on the trend of re-imagining American classics. This re-telling of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a must-read for any type of reader.”

Below are the top 10 picks of 2024 so far. To explore the full Best Books of the Year So Far list, visit www.amazon.com/bestbookssofar. Readers can also tune into an Amazon Live interview with Percival Everett, author of the No. 1 pick James, on June 18 at 11:30 am PDT/2:30 pm EDT.

  1. James by Percival Everett
    “With the same fiery wit, snap, and energy of his previous work, Percival Everett brings to life a retelling of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and in so doing delivers an entirely new classic, one that is rip-roaringly American, wry, and hard-hitting. A knock-out.” — Al Woodworth, Amazon editor
  2. The Women by Kristin Hannah
    “Packing as much emotional punch as The Nightingale, The Women sings the praises of the unsung heroes of the Vietnam War—the combat nurses. It’s a story that serves as another stitch in a still open wound, one that can only help the healing process.” — Erin Kodicek, Amazon editor
  3. All the Worst Humans: How I Made News for Dictators, Tycoons, and Politicians by Phil Elwood
    “This wild, oh-my-God memoir will make your jaw drop. A public relations hit man dishes on all of his dirty deeds, and it's not only impossible to put down, it's impossible not to talk about—in other words, perfect summer nonfiction reading.” — Al Woodworth, Amazon editor
  4. The Ministry of Time by Kaliane Bradley
    “This genre-bending novel explores humanity in all its frailty and potential, and how love can alter the course of history. It’s a fantastical novel that’s funny, riveting, heartbreaking, and unputdownable.” — Abby Abell, Amazon editor
  5. Martyr! by Kaveh Akbar
    “Poet Kaveh Akbar makes his dazzling fiction debut with an unforgettable main character whose voice feels shot from a cannon, and reminded us of the charismatic and undeniably addictive hero of Demon Copperhead. Martyr! is both laugh-out-loud funny and deadly serious—a coming-of-age story and a portrait of a young Iranian-American wrestling with what it means to have a life of value.” — Al Woodworth, Amazon editor
  6. Nuclear War: A Scenario by Annie Jacobsen
    “This horrifying narrative—a minute-by-minute breakdown of what happens after a nuclear missile is launched at the U.S.—is visceral and cinematic, like the big budget blockbuster of Hollywood’s dreams. Even more terrifying: it’s nonfiction, pieced together through interviews and classified documents dug up by Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Annie Jacobsen.” — Lindsay Powers, Amazon editor
  7. All the Colors of the Dark by Chris Whitaker
    “This extraordinary novel with a dark mystery running through it begins with a beekeeper and a pirate, and a kidnapping that changes their lives. Chris Whitaker’s vivid storytelling makes the pages fly by in a tale of family, survival, devotion, and love so powerful it hurts.” — Seira Wilson, Amazon editor
  8. Lies and Weddings by Kevin Kwan
    “Kevin Kwan (Crazy Rich Asians) once again delights and entertains us with a couture-studded, globe-trotting tale of family, legacy, and finding our own happiness. A surprising confession overheard at an over-the-top island wedding is just the first of many secrets spilled, hearts broken, and plans foiled, in this hilarious rom-com of wealth, prestige, shocking twists, and silver linings.” — Seira Wilson, Amazon editor
  9. Lost Man’s Lane by Scott Carson
    “Lost Man's Lane is a horror-tinged coming-of-age tale: sublime and sharp, poignant, nostalgic, and unsettling, even funny when it needs to be. Carson’s portrait of a teenage boy is spookily spot-on, as is the way he takes the novel terrifyingly sideways.” — Vannessa Cronin, Amazon editor
  10. This Could Be Us by Kennedy Ryan
    “This book is so multi-dimensional, just as life is—Kennedy Ryan covers divorce, self-discovery, autism, raising kids, the power of friendships, and other huge life changes, but it is done in a way that is so real and relatable.” — Kami Tei, Amazon editor

About Amazon Books Editors

The Amazon Books Editors are a group of literary experts with extensive experience spanning publishing, journalism, and communications. They read thousands of books every year across genres to help customers discover their next favorite read, and put together Best Books of the Month, Best Books of the Year So Far, and Best Books of the Year lists on Amazon. To read Editor reviews, discover recommendations of new books in popular categories, and explore author interviews, visit the Amazon Book Review. You can also follow the Amazon Books Editors’ recommendations and conversations @amazonbooks on Facebook and Instagram.

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. Amazon strives to be Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company, Earth’s Best Employer, and Earth’s Safest Place to Work. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Career Choice, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, Alexa, Just Walk Out technology, Amazon Studios, and The Climate Pledge are some of the things pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.


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