These Are the Best Books of 2021, According to Amazon Editors

published Nov 20, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Shutterstock/Syda Productions

If you’ve read even just one book this year, chances are, you’ll have heard of at least one of the books in Amazon Book Editor’s 2021 Books of the Year list. From literature classics to the newer reads that rose to fame this year thanks to the popularity of TikTok’s #booktok trend, there’s bound (no pun intended) to be a book for you on the list.

Taking the top spot in 2021 is “The Lincoln Highway” by Amor Towles, which follows four kids whose paths collide as they search for their mother and a stashed wad of cash. 

“This year, fiction reigned, with emerging and established authors telling stories of struggle, daring, and redemption,” said Sarah Gelman, Editorial Director of Amazon Books in a press release announcing the winners. “We all had our personal favorites this year, but the one book the team unanimously agreed on was Amor Towles’ “The Lincoln Highway”—we just couldn’t stop talking about it. The four main characters’ sense of innocence felt like the hope we needed as we end this year.”

“The Lincoln Highway” also resonated with readers. The quote most often highlighted by Kindle readers: “For what is kindness but the performance of an act that is both beneficial to another and unrequited?”

“It’s a real honor to have “The Lincoln Highway” singled out by the team at Amazon,” said Towles. “I can only hope that their confidence in the book is matched by the enjoyment of readers who join Emmett, Billy, Duchess, and Woolly on their fateful journey.”

Closing the chapter on another incredible year for readers, here are the Amazon Editor’s Top 20 Book of the Year.

  1. The Lincoln Highway“, by Amor Towles
  2. Crying in H Mart“, by Michelle Zauner
  3. The Plot“, by Jean Hanff Korelitz
  4. How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America“, by Clint Smith
  5. The Four Winds“, by Kristin Hannah
  6. Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty“, by Patrick Radden Keefe
  7. Harlem Shuffle“, by Colson Whitehead
  8. Great Circle“, by Maggie Shipstead
  9. Project Hail Mary“, by Andy Weir
  10. Klara and the Sun“, by Kazuo Ishiguro
  11. Razorblade Tears“, by S.A. Cosby
  12. Sankofa“, by Cibundu Onuzo
  13. The Beatryce Prophecy“, by Kate DiCamillo
  14. What Storm, What Thunder“, by Myriam J. A. Chancy
  15. Beautiful World, Where Are You“, by Sally Rooney
  16. The Sentence“, by Louise Erdrich
  17. When Ghosts Come Home“, by Wiley Cash
  18. The Last Thing He Told Me“, by Laura Dave
  19. Count the Ways“, by Joyce Maynard
  20. Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience“, by Brené Brown