Press Release

<< Back Unveils Best Books of 2009, Including Editors' Top 100 Books of the Year Book Editors Announce Their Favorite 100 Books of 2009, as Well as Top 100 Customer Favorites, the Majority of Which Are Available on Kindle

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 2, 2009--, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced its picks for Best Books of 2009. This annual feature includes the Editors’ Picks for the Top 100 Books of the Year, Top 100 Customer Favorites, Top 10 lists for both editors and customers in nearly two dozen categories, including Literature & Fiction and Cooking, Food & Wine, as well as videos of the year. The majority of the Best Books of 2009 are available on Kindle via wireless download in less than 60 seconds. To see the full list of the Top 100 Books of the Year, as well as the other features for Best Books of 2009, go to’s Book Blog,, began previewing the Top 100 Books on Oct. 26, starting at 100 and working backward. This end-of-year list highlights editors’ picks for the best 100 books that were released in 2009. Customers looking for holiday shopping recommendations or to stock their own bookshelves will find an eclectic list, from a celebrity memoir that’s better than any celebrity memoir deserves to be to a not-yet-released young-adult novel that’s a serious contender for the coveted spot of “the next ‘Twilight.’”

“Our editorial team spends the whole year reading new releases with our Best Books of the Year lists in mind, and every year it proves to be our most popular feature among our customers,” said Tom Nissley, senior editor of Books. “Deciding on our Top 100 Books can often get a little contentious, but this year our choice for the Best Book of the Year, Colum McCann’s ‘Let the Great World Spin,’ was the closest we’ve ever come to a unanimous pick across the entire Books team. Many readers have already fallen in love with this moving story of New York City in the mid-‘70s, centered around Philippe Petit’s audaciously graceful tightrope walk between the Twin Towers, and we’re looking forward to sharing it with many more.”

Today, the Top 10 is live on The Best Book of the Year, “Let the Great World Spin” by Colum McCann, was June’s Best Book of the Month, and also appeared on the Best Books of 2009… So Far list.

Here’s a quick peek at the Top 10:


“Let the Great World Spin” by Colum McCann: A gorgeous and moving story of 10 varied and intense New York lives, set against the backdrop of Philippe Petit’s 1974 Twin Tower tightrope crossing, that will appeal to readers of Frank McCourt, Jonathan Lethem or E.L. Doctorow.


“Strength in What Remains” by Tracy Kidder: In a sequel of sorts to his bestselling “Mountains Beyond Mountains,” Kidder follows, with clear-eyed empathy, the remarkable journey of a young man from the genocide in Burundi to homelessness and then a medical degree in the United States, and back to his home country to build a desperately needed health clinic.


“Wolf Hall” by Hilary Mantel: The most popular Man Booker Prize winner in years was an early favorite for us too: a thrillingly confident reinvention of one of the most familiar tales in the bloody history of the British monarchy.


“Brooklyn” by Colm Toibin: Toibin’s story of an industrious young girl in 1950s Ireland who reluctantly finds herself on a boat to New York City is elegantly told and full of beautiful, bittersweet moments.


“Beautiful Creatures” by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl: Everyone wants to find "the next ‘Twilight.’" We think this is it: a tale of star-crossed, small-town teens that draws you into a lush world of mystery and magic from the very first page.


“Crazy for the Storm” by Norman Ollestad: Ollestad has written a memoir that will last—just the story itself could take your breath away: as an 11-year-old boy, he was the only survivor in a small-plane crash and made his way to safety down an icy mountain face in a blizzard, using the skills and determination he learned from his father (who perished in the crash).


“The Girl Who Played with Fire” by Steig Larsson: No sophomore slump here: the second book in Larsson's thrilling trilogy is even more heart-racing than “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” as Larsson dives further into the fascinating character of his heroine, Lisbeth Salander.


“The City & The City” by China Meiville: Fans of hard-boiled mysteries and literary suspense will love “The City and the City,” Meiville’s ingenious breakout novel that imagines two cities coexisting on the eastern edge of Europe: one dying, one thriving, and both home to a host of mysterious secrets.


“Stitches” by David Small: Small, best known until now as a Caldecott-winning children's illustrator, finds a voice for the terrors of his own childhood in this delicate and haunting graphic memoir of a boy learning to stand on his own.


“The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” by William Kamkwamba: Kamkwamba's memoir is an unabashedly inspirational story of a teenager in famine-stricken Malawi who ingeniously turns the few resources at hand (scrap metal, borrowed textbooks and wind) into a powerful source of energy for his village.

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