This morning we got some interesting news out of Amazon as the online retail giant is making moves on condo lobbies. The new Amazon Hub will be rolling out across major US cities soon but for now it’s time for the company’s Best Books of 2018. The Amazon Editorial team is now ready to share its top 20 books of the year (so far) from “compelling memoirs and page-turning novels to unpredictable thrillers”.

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Every year around this time, Amazon’s Editorial staff unveils its picks for the top books released between January and June, offering readers a look at some of the best-selling titles of the year thus far.

This year’s list was topped by The Woman in the Window about an agoraphobic woman with a storied past and Kristin Hannah’s The Great Alone: A Novel. Hannah highlights the heroics of women as a Vietnam war vet’s wife and daughter find themselves in a troubling situation through the Alaskan wilderness.

But this year’s “hands-down” pick was Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover. Awed by the journey, Westover’s story from uneducated survivalist to her time at Cambridge University on the way earning her doctorate is clearly the best read of the year (so far), according to Amazon.

Some other notable titles in the top 10 include The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson, Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao and Francisco Cantú’s The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border.

Also, the Tessa Fontaine memoir, The Electric Woman, has come in at number 7. It is essentially a behind-the-scenes look at carnival life while painting an interesting picture surrounding the idea of unconditional love.

Needless to say, Amazon certainly likes to point these things out in order to further its own interests: selling books, Kindle devices and Audible subscriptions. Nonetheless, it is a great way to get an idea of what titles are really popular and all things considered, Amazon’s reading services/devices are some of the best out there.

Here’s a quick look at the top 5 titles on the list and what the Editorial staff had to say about them:

  1. Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover: Tara Westover didn’t see the inside of a classroom until she was seventeen, but it was an experience that dramatically changed the trajectory of her life. This stirring memoir chronicles how she survived her survivalist upbringing, eventually earning a PhD from Cambridge University. It’s a rousing reminder that knowledge is, indeed, power.
  2. The Great Alone: A Novel by Kristin Hannah: In this pressure cooker of a page-turner, a damaged Vietnam vet moves his family to the wilds of Alaska. Initially it’s a welcome change, but as winter approaches, and his mental state deteriorates, his wife and daughter find themselves in an increasingly precarious position. Like her mega-bestselling The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah’s The Great Alone highlights the heroics of everyday people, especially women.
  3. The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson: Clever, informative, and sometimes endearingly bumbling, this mix of natural history and crime opens up new worlds. Readers will never look at an old stuffed bird or an elaborately tied fishing fly the same way again.
  4. The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn: The Woman in the Window is a seductive and unpredictable novel about an agoraphobic woman with a tricky past who witnesses a murder. Or does she? With twists that will have you gasping out loud, this Hitchcockian noir thriller is the book to read if you’ve been waiting (too long) for the next Gone Girl.
  5. Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao: This emotionally ungentle novel of two very different young women in modern-day India will prompt both outrage and hope as the girls separately traverse perilous paths to find each other again.

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