Gift-giving season is finally here and the Amazon editors have released their list of “Best Books of 2016,” putting Colson Whitehead’s “The Underground Railroad” at the top of the list. The annual list always makes for a perfect jumping-off point if you are shopping around for a new title, or if you need a few suggestions when looking for a new book to give a special-someone or co-worker.

The Amazon book editors revealed the 100 best books of the year earlier this month, selecting titles in over two-dozen categories from Literary Fiction and Mystery to Children’s & Young Adult. All of the 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.

“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.”

This year’s Top 20 included three debut authors, and there were 6 science-related books in the top-100 overall. Obviously we don’t want to unload all 100 terrific choices on you, but we will give you the top-ten to start, as detailed by the editors over at Amazon.

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.

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.

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

  • A very personal tour of a segment of our culture that’s losing its way in modern America.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


To see the full list of the Best Books of 2016 and buy the print or Kindle editions, visit: We will update more Black Friday all day and night for Black Friday through Cyber Monday. You can find the current list of Black Friday announcements on our site at or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.