Amazon books to read

Struggling to pick your next book? Well thanks to Good Reads we’ve got our hands on the top 100 books you should read before you die (according to their users). Which means that you won’t need to arbitrarily plump for any of the titles at the airport’s WHSmith, nor will you run out of reads by the pool and be forced to read the hotel groups own magazine.

Stepping away from the next list of new must-reads, the reading list includes old favourites, epic classics and beloved children’s books that have all clearly left an ever-lasting imprint on all that read them.

Cult reads like the woven word magic of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s insanely beautiful The Great Gatsby, Sylvia Plath’s devasting only novel The Bell Jar and the scandalous Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov feature as well as a host of classics like War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens and Moby Dick by Herman Melville.

You might recognise childhood favourites like The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne and Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White as they still clearly hold a special place in our hearts.

And, of course, there are a whole heap of modern day classics like Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.

If you’re struggling to find time to read your way through this quintessential list then don’t worry because we’ve thought of that too, here’s how to fit more reading into your life.

Follow the Author

Until I read it.
Like so many boys who grow up in the Midwest, I revered my father. My father was a Republican, who loved Reagan and taxes and the military and said God Made America. And like so many boys, I wanted to please my father. Truth be told there was once a time in my life where I too would talk about taxes and abortion and guns and our revered troops and our God Given Right.
And then, I turned 18 and went to college. And just like all the other Midwestern white boys who find themselves in school, alone and without the need to please their patriarch, I fell in love with being Progressive. I’d talk about ignorant, closed minded country bumpkins and their pickup trucks. I’d say Bush needed to be put on trial for war crimes and that taxes needed raised and it’s a woman’s body so it’s her choice. I came to hate my father, and I came to know that I knew better than him in his closed mind in the Midwest. That the future didn’t look like him. I never did drugs, I didn’t even drink alcohol until I was a few months over 21, and I never traveled to Berlin or Chile or Thailand, and I may have never owned the Birkenstocks or the old, travel-worn bag. But I knew from my reading and my friends and my freedom that the old man was just plain wrong. I knew this.
And a large reason I knew it was because of this book. On The Road has been said to be to hippies what the Bible is to Christians. Bob Dylan read this book and then started Folk Rock, it’s said. The Beat Generation may have came before the Baby Boomers, but when Baby Boomers went to the bookstores just as soon as they were old enough they bought On The Road, and Howl and Naked Lunch. The idea of other ways to live, other ways to be other than a company man sending troops all over the world was supposed to have started with the Beats. It was Kerouac and Ginsburg and Burrows and a host of others that turned the Beatles from suit wearing British boys into long haired, bearded, sunglasses wearing hippies who fought the war and the squares and expanded their mind. And the hippies just wanted peace and free love and an end to racism and sexism, right? It was Nixon who killed real freedom, the freedom our long haired brethren from Berkeley and Frisco fought for. That was something I knew.
And I went on believing this, really knowing this, for a long time. That somewhere in our past was a truth that was squelched by oppressive forces like Nixon and Reagan and even Clinton and then Bush. The names of other old patriarchs who were stopping the future from coming. That all we needed was the future and the future promised to us years before by the long lost Counter-Culture of the 1960s.
I knew all this, right up until I was watching CNN about three weeks ago. I was on my Amazon Fire TV, on the CNN App, watching this show produced by Tom Hanks called “The 60s.” It was this little mini-series, that has been replicated for every decade since, and it talked about Rock and Roll and Vietnam and Jack and Bobby and 1968. But it also talked about the hippies, and toward the end of that hour of television something happened that I started me un-knowing what I had known. Because it turns out that Jack Kerouac, in 1968, went on William F. Buckley’s TV show and completely and unequivocally dis-owned the hippies.
I was floored. Here was the hero whose foundation held up the Counter-Culture’s house, on the show of an old-school white guy Republican ideologue, saying he wanted nothing to do with the hippies. Just what in the heck?
I, now a 30 year old Midwesterner with the Internet, checked out Wikipedia. Turns out old Jack Kerouac was a lifelong Catholic (yes, even when writing the Dharma Bums), who painted portraits of the Pope and carried a rosary. He played football in High School and went to college on a football scholarship. This square was the guy who people flocked to to change the world? This dude wearing jeans and a t-shirt and drinking a tall can of Budweiser? That article on Wikipedia was an eye-opener. Jack was also schizophrenic.
Now, I am not going to ruin this book for you. I want to, I really do. But I bought the book and read it in maybe a week or so. Even now, a few hours after I put it down, I am floored and still collecting my thoughts. Kerouac is not who I thought he was. The entirety of our great, glorious past and our experiment in free love and peace isn’t built on a lie, I’ve checked. There isn’t another On The Road written by another Jack Kerouac that I have accidentally purchased. What it seems to be based on is the most misogynist and most disdainful and most self-absorbed and outright delusional reading of a book that had occurred in the entire Baby Boomer generation. Kerouac and his friends, all subjects of this book written in with their names changed, were deluded about their place in life, disdained the order that let them treat so many people so badly, and what they did to the women in their lives makes Don Draper and Roger Sterling look like Gloria Steinem’s hard nosed instructors. These men were monsters who used people like objects and had the utter gall to appropriate the name of the Beat, originally a term used to describe black people “beaten to their socks,” and apply it to their own over-privileged selves. Sal and Dean actually got up in the morning and thought that THEY were “beat.”
I encourage everyone to read this awful tome to awful men. I hope that you read it when you are 30 like me, or maybe just when you are mature enough to understand that what is happening here isn’t a great adventure but a total abdication. I wish I had actually read this book in college. My father and I argued a lot when I was in school, when I knew he was so wrong and I was so knowing. The truth about Jack Kerouac and his friends is that even their best qualities fail to exceed my father’s worst. For all his many faults, he has never, ever treated any human on this earth the way Sal and Dean treated every single person that had the misfortune to be on the road to Sal and Dean’s kicks.
Don’t get me wrong, this book hasn’t changed my political stripe. I’m not voting for Trump two years ago or two years from now. But Holy God, to think the young people who were going to “change the world” in my father’s youth did so after reading this. It makes sense to me now, sitting here, why the #MeToo movement has ousted so many lefty men in Hollywood and the Senate, and even a lefty woman or two. I think, whether they read this book or not, they actually know what I knew until just earlier today.
I’m sorry, dad.

January 22, 2013

Library of Congress “Books That Shaped America” Available on Amazon

  • Margaret Wise Brown, “Goodnight Moon” (1947). This bedtime story has been a favorite of young people for generations, beloved as much for its rhyming story as for its carefully detailed illustrations by Clement Hurd. Millions have read it (and had it read to them). “Goodnight Moon” has been referred to as the perfect bedtime book.
  • Tennessee Williams, “A Streetcar Named Desire” (1947). A landmark work, which won the 1948 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, “A Streetcar Named Desire” thrilled and shocked audiences with its melodramatic look at a clash of cultures. These cultures are embodied in the two main characters – Blanche DuBois, a fading Southern belle whose genteel pretensions thinly mask alcoholism and delusions of grandeur, and Stanley Kowalski, a representative of the industrial, urban working class. Marlon Brando’s portrayal of the brutish and sensual Stanley in both the original stage production and the film adaptation has become an icon of American culture.
  • Alfred C. Kinsey, “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male” (1948). Alfred Kinsey created a firestorm when he published this volume on men in 1948 and a companion on women five years later. No one had ever reported on such taboo subjects before and no one had used scientific data in such detail to challenge the prevailing notions of sexual behavior. Kinsey’s openness regarding human sexuality was a harbinger of the 1960s sexual revolution in America.
  • J.D. Salinger, “The Catcher in the Rye” (1951). Since his debut in 1951 as the narrator of “The Catcher in the Rye,” 16-year-old Holden Caulfield has been synonymous with adolescent alienation and angst. The influential story concerns three days after Holden has been expelled from prep school. Confused and disillusioned, he wanders New York City searching for truth and rails against the phoniness of the adult world. Holden is the first great American antihero, and his attitudes influenced the Beat generation of the 1950s as well as the hippies of the 1960s. “The Catcher in the Rye” is one of the most translated, taught and reprinted books and has sold some 65 million copies.
  • Ralph Ellison, “Invisible Man” (1952). Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” is told by an unnamed narrator who views himself as someone many in society do not see, much less pay attention to. Ellison addresses what it means to be an African-American in a world hostile to the rights of a minority, on the cusp of the emerging civil rights movement that was to change society irrevocably.
  • E.B. White, “Charlotte’s Web” (1952). According to Publishers Weekly, “Charlotte’s Web” is the best-selling paperback for children of all time. One reason may be that, although it was written for children, reading it is just as enjoyable for adults. The book is especially notable for the way it treats death as a natural and inevitable part of life in a way that is palatable for young people.
  • Ray Bradbury, “Fahrenheit 451” (1953). “Fahrenheit 451” is Ray Bradbury’s disturbing vision of a future United States in which books are outlawed and burned. Even though interpretations of the novel have primarily focused on the historical role of book-burning as a means of censorship, Bradbury has said that the novel is about how television reduces knowledge to factoids and destroys interest in reading. The book inspired a 1966 film by Francois Truffaut and a subsequent BBC symphony. Its name comes from the minimum temperature at which paper catches fire by spontaneous combustion.
  • Allen Ginsberg, “Howl” (1956). Allen Ginsberg’s poem “Howl” (first published as the title poem of a collection) established him as an important poet and the voice of the Beat Generation of the 1950s. Because of the boldness of the poem’s language and subject matter, it became the subject of an obscenity trial in San Francisco in which it was exonerated after witnesses testified to its redeeming social value. Ginsberg’s work had great influence on later generations of poets and on the youth culture of the 1960s.
  • Ayn Rand, “Atlas Shrugged” (1957). Although mainstream critics reacted poorly to “Atlas Shrugged,” it was a popular success. Set in what novelist and philosopher Rand called “the day after tomorrow,” the book depicts a United States caught up in a crisis caused by a corrupt establishment of government regulators and business interests. The book’s negative view of government and its support of unimpeded capitalism as the highest moral objective have influenced libertarians and those who advocate a smaller government.
  • Dr. Seuss, “The Cat in the Hat” (1957). Theodore Seuss Geisel was removed as editor of the campus humor magazine while a student at Dartmouth College after too much reveling with fellow students. In spite of this Prohibition-era setback to his writing career, he continued to contribute to the magazine pseudonymously, signing his work “Seuss.” This is the first known use of his pseudonym, which became famous in children’s literature when it evolved into “Dr. Seuss.” “The Cat in the Hat” is considered the most important book of his career. More than 200 million Dr. Seuss books have been sold around the world.
  • Jack Kerouac, “On the Road” (1957). The defining novel of the 1950s Beat Generation (which Kerouac named), “On the Road” is a semiautobiographical tale of a bohemian cross-country adventure, narrated by character Sal Paradise. Kerouac’s odyssey has influenced artists such as Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and Hunter S. Thompson and films such as “Easy Rider.” “On the Road” has achieved a mythic status in part because it portrays the restless energy and desire for freedom that makes people take off to see the world.
  • Philip Roth, “Goodbye, Columbus” (1959). This early set of short stories, including the title story, won the National Book Award for Fiction for Roth, whose oeuvre largely chronicles Jewish Americans and their varied lifestyles and psychological issues.
  • Harper Lee, “To Kill a Mockingbird” (1960). This 1960 Pulitzer Prize winner was an immediate critical and financial success for its author, with more than 30 million copies in print to date. Harper Lee created one of the most enduring and heroic characters in all of American literature in Atticus Finch, the small-town lawyer who defended a wrongly accused black man. The book’s importance was recognized by the 1961 Washington Post reviewer: “A hundred pounds of sermons on tolerance, or an equal measure of invective deploring the lack of it, will weigh far less in the scale of enlightenment than a mere 18 ounces of new fiction bearing the title ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’”
  • Joseph Heller, “Catch-22” (1961). This irreverent World War II novel, a satiric treatment of military bureaucracy, has had such a penetrating effect that its title has become synonymous with “no-win situation.” Heller’s novel is a black comedy, filled with orders from above that make no sense and a main character, Yossarian, who just wants to stay alive. He pleads insanity but is caught in the famous catch: “Anyone who wants to get out of combat duty isn’t really crazy.” The novel became a cult classic for its biting indictment of war.
  • Robert Heinlein, “Stranger in a Strange Land” (1961). The first science fiction novel to become a bestseller, “Stranger in a Strange Land” is the story of Valentine Michael Smith, a human raised on Mars by Martians (his parents were on the first expedition to Mars and he was orphaned when the crew perished) who returns to Earth about 20 years later. Smith has psychic powers but complete ignorance of human mores. The book is considered a classic in its genre.
  • Ezra Jack Keats, “The Snowy Day” (1962). Ezra Jack Keats’s “The Snowy Day” was the first full-color picture book with an African-American as the main character. The book changed the field of children’s literature forever, and Keats was recognized by winning the 1963 Caldecott Medal (the most prestigious American award for children’s books) for his landmark effort.
  • Maurice Sendak, “Where the Wild Things Are” (1963). “It is my involvement with this inescapable fact of childhood – the awful vulnerability of children and their struggle to make themselves King of All Wild Things – that gives my work whatever truth and passion it may have,” Maurice Sendak said in his Caldecott Medal acceptance speech on June 30, 1964. Sendak called Max, the hero of “Where the Wild Things Are,” his “bravest and therefore my dearest creation.” Max, who is sent to his room with nothing to eat, sails to where the wild things are and becomes their king.
  • James Baldwin, “The Fire Next Time” (1963). One of the most important books ever published on race relations, Baldwin’s two-essay work comprises a letter written to his nephew on the role of race in United States history and a discussion of how religion and race influence each other. Baldwin’s angry prose is balanced by his overall belief that love and understanding can overcome strife.
  • Betty Friedan, “The Feminine Mystique” (1963). By debunking the “feminine mystique” that middle-class women were happy and fulfilled as housewives and mothers, Betty Friedan inspired the second-wave feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Friedan advocates that women need meaningful work and encourages them to avoid the trap of the “feminine mystique” by pursuing education and careers. By 2000 this touchstone of the women’s movement had sold 3 million copies and was translated into several languages.
  • Malcolm X and Alex Haley, “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” (1965). When “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” (born Malcolm Little) was published, The New York Times called it a “brilliant, painful, important book,” and it has become a classic American autobiography. Written in collaboration with Alex Haley (author of “Roots”), the book expressed for many African-Americans what the mainstream civil rights movement did not: their anger and frustration with the intractability of racial injustice.
  • Ralph Nader, “Unsafe at Any Speed” (1965). Nader’s book was a landmark in the field of auto safety and made him a household name. It detailed how automakers resisted putting safety features, such as seat belts, in their cars and resulted in the federal government’s taking a lead role in the area of auto safety.
  • Rachel Carson, “Silent Spring” (1962). A marine biologist and writer, Rachel Carson is considered a founder of the contemporary environmental protection movement. She drew attention to the adverse effects of pesticides, especially that of DDT on bird populations, in her book “Silent Spring,” a 1963 National Book Association Nonfiction Finalist. At a time when technological solutions were the norm, she pointed out that man-made poisons introduced into natural systems can harm not only nature, but also humans. Her book met with great success and because of heightened public awareness, DDT was banned.
  • Truman Capote, “In Cold Blood” (1966). A 300-word article in The New York Times about a murder led Truman Capote to travel with his childhood friend Harper Lee to Holcomb, Kan., to research his nonfiction novel, which is considered one of the greatest true-crime books ever written. Capote said the novel was an attempt to establish a serious new literary form, the “nonfiction novel,” a narrative form that employed all the techniques of fictional art but was nevertheless entirely factual. The book was an instant success and was made into a film.
  • James D. Watson, “The Double Helix” (1968). James D. Watson’s personal account of the structure of DNA and the history of its discovery changed the way Americans regarded the genre of the scientific memoir and set a new standard for first-person accounts. Dealing with personalities, controversies and conflicts, the book also changed the way the public thought about how science and scientists work, showing that scientific enterprise can at times be a messy and cutthroat business.
  • Kurt Vonnegut, “Slaughterhouse-Five” (1969). A satirical novel based on the experiences of a military chaplain’s assistant during WWII, this fantastical tale involves extraterrestrials, a differential space/time continuum, and much absurdity.
  • Dee Brown, “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” (1970). Until librarian Dee Brown wrote his history of Native Americans in the West, few Americans knew the details of the unjust treatment of Indians. Brown scoured both well-known and little-known sources for his documentary on the massacres, broken promises and other atrocities suffered by Indians. The book has never gone out of print and has sold more than 4 million copies.
  • Boston Women’s Health Book Collective, “Our Bodies, Ourselves” (1971). In the early 1970s a dozen Boston feminists collaborated in this groundbreaking publication that presented accurate information on women’s health and sexuality based on their own experiences. Advocating improved doctor-patient communication and shared decision-making, “Our Bodies, Ourselves” explored ways for women to take charge of their own health issues and to work for political and cultural change that would ameliorate women’s lives.
  • Rudolfo Anaya, “Bless Me Ultima” (1972). A story of an Hispanic boy’s awakening to learning, spirituality and his need to resolve the dissonances of culture – including the subcultures within his own family.
  • Maxine Hong Kingston, “The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts” (1975). This book uses the interplay of Chinese and American cultures to explore the identity of Chinese-Americans. Making powerful use of Chinese folklore and family history, it examines several women and the tension between their adherence to cultural expectations and the expression of their individualism.
  • Alex Haley, “Roots” (1976). This tale of an African named Kunta Kinte, kidnapped into slavery and brought to America – and the story of his descendants – spent 46 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and was made into a popular television series.
  • Milton and Rose Friedman, “Free to Choose: A Personal Statement” (1980). Economists Milton and Rose Friedman published this book in conjunction with their PBS series that espoused the virtues of capitalism versus other economic approaches.
  • Carl Sagan, “Cosmos” (1980). Carl Sagan’s classic, bestselling science book accompanied his avidly followed television series, “Cosmos.” In an accessible way, Sagan covered a broad range of scientific topics and made the history and excitement of science understandable and enjoyable for Americans and then for an international audience. The book offers a glimpse of Sagan’s personal vision of what it means to be human.
  • Toni Morrison, “Beloved” (1987). Toni Morrison won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her post-Civil War novel based on the true story of an escaped slave and the tragic consequences when a posse comes to reclaim her. The author won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1993, and in 2006 The New York Times named “Beloved” “the best work of American fiction of the past 25 years.”
  • Randy Shilts, “And the Band Played On” (1987). “And the Band Played On” is the story of how the AIDS epidemic spread and how the government’s initial indifference to the disease allowed its spread and gave urgency to devoting government resources to fighting the virus. Shilts’s investigation has been compared to other works that led to increased efforts toward public safety, such as Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle.”
  • César Chávez, “The Words of César Chávez” (2002). César Chávez, founder of the United Farm Workers’ union, was as impassioned as he was undeterred in his quest for better working conditions for farm workers. He was a natural communicator whose speeches and writings led to many improvements in wages and working conditions.
  • For years, feminists have been trying to convince literary fiction fans of two things: not all female characters need to be likeable; reject the long-abiding notion that stories by and about men are about the human experience, whereas stories by and about women represent only the female experience. Women, we’ve contended, have long read about the lives of men, and are better for it. Men, we’ve pleaded, should learn to do the same.

    In a recent essay for Lithub, Rebecca Solnit turns this logic on its head and suggests that women stop reading books by and about unlikeable men. Critiquing the list of books Esquire put together for their “The 80 Best Books Every Man Should Read” list, Solnit wonders whether there should be another list “with some of the same books, called ’80 Books No Woman Should Read.'”

    Of course, she says, “everyone should read anything they want. I just think some books are instructions on why women are dirt or hardly exist at all except as accessories or are inherently evil and empty. Or they’re instructions in the version of masculinity that means being unkind and unaware, that set of values that expands out into violence at home, in war, and by economic means.”

    She goes on to discuss her ambivalence toward writers such as Jack Kerouac, Vladimir Nabokov, and Jim Harrison, and her aversion to the red-blooded work of Ernest Hemingway, Norman Mailer, and Henry Miller. She ends by encouraging readers to seek out work that provides them with “instructions in extending our identities out into the world, human and nonhuman, in imagination as a great act of empathy that lifts you out of yourself, not locks you down into your gender.”

    It’s a nice idea, but one that rests on the dangerous assumption that women lack the same failure of imagination of which we’ve been accusing men all these years. We want the world to be open to books about unlikeable women, and believe that doing so could increase everyone’s empathy, right? Well, then, we shouldn’t be avoiding books about unlikeable men.

    “We need to read books by and about macho, sexist proto-frat boys because they are our past.”

    We need to read books by and about macho, sexist proto-frat boys because they are our past. Misogyny was not a minor player in the cultural history of the world. Women need to know it and feel it in order to understand its internal logic. Only then can we set to dismantling it. The great novels of the past, whether or not they are worthy of their greatness, present an invaluable opportunity to acquaint oneself with how men have perceived women over time. In other words, know thine enemy.

    There’s also the unfortunate yet undeniable fact that the nearly everyone was sexist in the past, including the geniuses. This means that the bulk of the great cultural works created by humans throughout history is sexist. A lack of respect for women wasn’t a box one could check on a personality survey—it was a nearly unavoidable worldview. Women shouldn’t deny themselves the privilege of reading some of humanity’s best efforts to tell our stories and make sense of existence because of the inevitable misogyny we will find within it.

    My budding interest in feminism in my early twenties got me to see where my once-beloved On the Road, along with a number of revered male writers, went wrong. But never did I regret—or stop—reading them. They are part of me and, whether or not you like it, they are part of you, too. It’s from these texts we all come. Knowing them helps us figure out where to go next.

    Herewith, ten misogynistic books that every woman should read:

    Amazon

    Rabbit, Run by John Updike

    The Gist: Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom, a onetime high school basketball star and full-time man-child, impulsively abandons his wife and son.

    The Takeaway: It’s a masterpiece of male, middle-class ennui and a behind-the-scenes look at the type of guy for whom the the grass is always greener on the other side..

    Amazon

    On the Road by Jack Kerouac

    The Gist: This Beat classic is a road trip novel about two young men traveling across the United States searching for experience and enlightenment.

    The Takeaway: This book helped define American counterculture and cultivate our admiration for free spirits.

    Amazon

    Legends of the Fall by Jim Harrison

    The Gist: Three brothers and their father try to make a life for themselves in the Montana wilderness. All the sons go to Europe to fight World War II, but only two return. A love triangle ensues.

    The Takeaway: Harrison is the king of the rustic, laconic masculinity that Americans love. These are the kind of men that make regular men feel bad about themselves.

    Amazon

    American Pastoral by Philip Roth

    The Gist: Swede Levov is a Jewish-American man who has everything he could ever want: money, well-defined biceps, non-ethnic looking features, and a pretty wife. Then his radical hippie daughter starts blowing up things.

    The Takeaway: This book sheds some light on the inner mechanics of the trophy wife phenomenon, including why men want them and what happens when they get them.

    Amazon

    For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

    The Gist: The story of Robert Jordan, a young American who goes to fight the fascists during the Spanish Civil War. There is a lot of violence and a beautiful girl named Maria with whom Robert falls in love.

    The Takeaway: A great representation of the way femininity is mythologized during war. Women represent all that is fragile, beautiful, and innocent. Eden before the fall.

    Amazon

    Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller

    The Gist: Originally banned in the United States for obscenity, this is a largely autobiographical, non-linear novel about Miller’s time in bohemian Paris in the ’20s and ’30s.

    The Takeaway: The female characters might lack depth, but the presentation of sex as vice, even addiction, does not.

    Amazon

    The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow

    The Gist: Bellows tell us the story of Augie March, a fast-talking, free-spirit who leaves his family of poor Jewish immigrants to search for success, meaning, and love.

    The Takeaway: Augie may lack respect for women (beginning with the disdain he feels for his mother), but his reverence for life is something to which everyone can relate.

    Amazon

    Women by Charles Bukowski

    The Gist: Henry Chinaski is a poet who has just earned enough fame to leave behind his previously hardscrabble life. There’s a rotating cast of of women, none of whom can satisfy this man on the rise.

    The Takeaway: He’s a pathological womanizer. Allow him to explain himself.

    Amazon

    Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

    The Gist: A European expat named Humbert Humbert has an unhealthy obsession with a girl he calls Lolita. Lo. Lee. Ta. He kidnaps her and takes her on a road trip around cheery postwar America.

    The Takeaway: This is a meditation on love and eros that is both disturbing and hypnotizing, written by one of the greatest prose stylists in history.

    Amazon

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

    The Gist: Huckleberry Finn is a young boy who runs away from home and sets off down the Mississippi River where he meets a runaway slave named Jim. The two have a series of escapades during which Finn is confronted with the reality of racism.

    The Takeway: The women in this book are mostly nags, shrews, or dummies who stay in the periphery. Nevertheless, the book’s portrayal of racism, as well as the very American sense of momentum it conveys, makes for a very worthwhile read.

    Elissa Strauss Elissa Strauss writes about gender, culture, and having it some.

    This is a list of one hundred books Amazon thinks you must read before you die and Africa’s Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” and a few others happen to be there. Amazon selected a team of books editors to compile this list of 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime. According to the online company, the essence was to come up with a list that will cover all stages of a life (which is why you’ll find children’s books in here), without making it feel like homework. Of course, no such list can be comprehensive – our lives, we hope, are long and varied – but after a long talk and argument, the team eventually came up with a list of favourites. The oldest book on the list is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813) and the latest published book on the list is Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (2013). The Amazon Books editorial team plan to audit the list regularly in order to ensure it always stays culturally relevant.

    What do you think about this list? How well do you think the team has performed? Talk about it on Goodreads, where you can vote and add your own selections.

    “We listed the books alphabetically by title,” said Sara Nelson, Editorial Director of Print and Kindle Books at Amazon.com, ” because our assumption is that no book is more important than another

    See the full list below:

    1. 1984 by George Orwell
    2. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
    3. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
    4. A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah
    5. A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning: The Short-Lived Edition by Lemony Snicket
    6. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
    7. Alice Munro: Selected Stories by Alice Munro
    8. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
    9. All the President’s Men by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein
    10. Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir by Frank McCourt
    11. Are You There, God? It’s me, Margaret by Judy Blume
    12. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
    13. Beloved by Toni Morrison
    14. Born To Run – A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall
    15. Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
    16. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
    17. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
    18. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
    19. Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese
    20. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown
    21. Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book 1 by Jeff Kinney
    22. Dune by Frank Herbert
    23. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
    24. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream by Hunter S. Thompson
    25. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
    26. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
    27. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
    28. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared M. Diamond
    29. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
    30. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
    31. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
    32. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
    33. Jimmy Corrigan: Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware
    34. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
    35. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
    36. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
    37. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
    38. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    39. Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich
    40. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
    41. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
    42. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
    43. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
    44. Moneyball by Michael Lewis
    45. Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
    46. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
    47. Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
    48. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
    49. Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth
    50. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
    51. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
    52. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
    53. Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin
    54. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
    55. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
    56. The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X and Alex Haley
    57. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
    58. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
    59. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
    60. The Color of Water by James McBride
    61. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
    62. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
    63. The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
    64. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
    65. The Giver by Lois Lowry
    66. The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
    67. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    68. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
    69. The House At Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne
    70. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
    71. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
    72. The Liars’ Club: A Memoir by Mary Karr
    73. The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1) by Rick Riordan
    74. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    75. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
    76. The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright
    77. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
    78. The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat: And Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks
    79. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
    80. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
    81. The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver
    82. The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert A. Caro
    83. The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe
    84. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
    85. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
    86. The Shining by Stephen King
    87. The Stranger by Albert Camus
    88. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
    89. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
    90. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
    91. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
    92. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel by Haruki Murakami
    93. The World According to Garp by John Irving
    94. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
    95. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
    96. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    97. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
    98. Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
    99. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
    100. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

    Amazon’s 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime

    Amazon describes this list as “A Bucket List of Books for a Well-Read Life”. As voted upon by Goodreads users, this list spans children’s fiction to adult fiction to non-fiction. Books I have read will appear in bold; books I have read and reviewed will appear in bold red (as links.)

    In alphabetical order by book title (they include “a” and “the” in their alphabetizing):

    1. 1984, by George Orwell
    2. A Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking
    3. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, by Dave Eggers
    4. A Long Way Gone, by Ishmael Beah
    5. A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning, by Lemony Snicket
    6. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle
    7. Alice Munro: Selected Stories, by Alice Munro
    8. Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
    9. All the President’s Men, by Bob Woodward
    10. Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir, by Frank McCourt
    11. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
    12. Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett
    13. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
    14. Born to Run – A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, by Christopher McDougall
    15. Breath, Eyes, Memory, by Edwidge Danticat
    16. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
    17. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl
    18. Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White
    19. Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese
    20. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, by Brene Brown
    21. Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book 1, by Jeff Kinney
    22. Dune, by Frank Herbert
    23. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
    24. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream, by Hunter S. Thompson
    25. Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
    26. Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown
    27. Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
    28. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, by Jared M. Diamond
    29. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling
    30. In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
    31. Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri
    32. Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
    33. Jimmy Corrigan: Smartest Kid on Earth, by Chris Ware
    34. Kitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain
    35. Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson
    36. Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
    37. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
    38. Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    39. Love Medicine, by Louise Erdrich
    40. Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl
    41. Me Talk Pretty One Day, by David Sedaris
    42. Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides
    43. Midnight’s Children, by Salman Rushdie
    44. Moneyball, by Michael Lewis
    45. Of Human Bondage, by W. Somerset Maugham
    46. On the Road, by Jack Kerouac
    47. Out of Africa, by Isak Dinesen
    48. Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi
    49. Portnoy’s Complaint, by Philip Roth
    50. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
    51. Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson
    52. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
    53. Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin
    54. The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton
    55. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon
    56. The Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Malcolm X and Alex Haley
    57. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
    58. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz
    59. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
    60. The Color of Water, by James McBride
    61. The Corrections, by Jonathan Franzen
    62. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America, by Erik Larson
    63. The Diary of Anne Frank, by Anne Frank
    64. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green
    65. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
    66. The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials, by Philip Pullman
    67. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    68. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
    69. The House at Pooh Corner, by A.A. Milne
    70. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
    71. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
    72. The Liar’s Club: A Memoir, by Mary Karr
    73. The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1), by Rick Riordan
    74. The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
    75. The Long Goodbye, by Raymond Chandler
    76. The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, by Lawrence Wright
    77. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
    78. The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat: And Other Clinical Tales, by Oliver Sacks
    79. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan
    80. The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster
    81. The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver
    82. The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, by Robert A. Caro
    83. The Right Stuff, by Tom Wolfe
    84. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
    85. The Secret History, by Donna Tartt
    86. The Shining, by Stephen King
    87. The Stranger, by Albert Camus
    88. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
    89. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
    90. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle
    91. The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame
    92. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murakami
    93. The World According to Garp, by John Irving
    94. The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion
    95. Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe
    96. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    97. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, by Laura Hillenbrand
    98. Valley of the Dolls, by Jacqueline Susann
    99. Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein
    100. Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak

    Spread this to the Internets:

    Press release

    The Amazon Books editorial team selects the 100 best books of the year – from adventurous fiction and investigative journalism to heartwarming memoirs and so much more

    SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nov. 12, 2019– (NASDAQ:AMZN) Today, Amazon announced its selections for the Best Books of 2019, naming Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments – the sequel to her dystopian masterpiece The Handmaid’s Tale – the Best Book of 2019. The annual list features the Top 100 books of the year plus Top 20 lists across various categories ranging from literary fiction, mystery and thriller, biography, children’s and young adult, making it the go-to list for holiday reading and gift giving. All lists are hand-selected by Amazon’s team of editors – first by choosing the best books of every month, and then, finally, the best books of the year. To explore the full list of the Best Books of 2019 and buy the print, Kindle or Audible editions, visit: amazon.com/bestbooks2019

    “The Books Editorial team reads thousands of new releases every year, all with the goal of recommending the very best to our customers,” said Sarah Gelman, Editorial Director, Amazon Books. “This year there were so many great books from various genres. Our top 100 Best Books list includes books with clever satire, heartwarming memoirs and psychological thrillers. But as soon as we read it, it was clear that Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments was the book of the year. The sequel to the modern classic The Handmaid’s Tale enraptured our editorial team and readers across the globe with a dramatic continuation of goings-on in the dystopian Republic of Gilead. It’s so exciting to witness literary history being made, and Atwood has done just that with this deeply moving book.”

    “I’m Canadian, where modesty is a requirement. So I’m mildly embarrassed, though absolutely delighted, to hear that the Amazon editorial team has chosen The Testaments as their book of the year,” said Margaret Atwood, author of The Testaments. “While I’m no prophet, we seem doomed to live in stressful times. A tale of hope and courage narrated by three strong female voices appears to have connected to this crucial 2019 moment.”

    The Testaments joins Amazon Book Editors’ past Best Book of the Year selections including Educated by Tara Westwood, Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann, Underground Railroadby Colson Whitehead, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng.

    Here are the Amazon Editorial Team’s Top 10 picks of 2019:

    1. The Testaments by Margaret Atwood: Praise be! After almost 35 years, Margaret Atwood released the sequel to her pioneering work of speculative fiction, The Handmaid’s Tale, and it is well worth the wait. While The Handmaid’s Tale explored how totalitarian regimes come to power, The Testaments delves into how they begin to fracture. At 80 years young, Atwood is at the top of her game.
    2. The Nickel Boys: A Novel by Colson Whitehead: Having earned a Pulitzer and a National Book Award with his last novel, The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead follows up with a story about two young black men sent to the infamous Nickel Academy in Florida. Set during the 1960s Jim Crow era, the story follows Elwood and Turner who, despite different backgrounds and world views, learn to lean on one another to survive.
    3. Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur: The subtitle seems to say it all: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me. And yet there is so much more to the story. Adrienne Brodeur was fourteen when her mother started secretly dating Ben Souther. What developed after that was a strange, uncomfortable, impossible-to-look-away-from triangle in which young Adrienne became cover for the trysts between her mother and Ben. This is an engaging and at times breathless memoir that builds with anticipation and continues to unfold with observations and revelations.
    4. Quichotte: A Novel by Salman Rushdie: An exquisite satire on the world we live in, Rushdie’s latest novel pays Cervantes a great, clever compliment with this deliciously funny Don Quixote for modern times. An unusual romantic quest kicks off a road trip across America in an age that would be utterly surreal if we weren’t actually living it. An antidote to fear, bursting with intelligence and wit—Quichotte is exactly what so many of us need right now.
    5. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern: Almost ten years after she wrote The Night Circus, Morgenstern offers readers a shape-shifting, time-bending, otherworldly adventure of storytelling, where pirates lurk and doors lead forward and backward in time, where crowded ballrooms collapse into oceans, and where a young man must piece together the clues to uncover and protect his own life’s story. This magnificent tribute to tales of the imagination is absolutely magical.
    6. Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber by Mike Isaac: Super Pumped is a masterful and highly entertaining work of investigative journalism into the evolution of Uber and its maverick founder Travis Kalanick. Perfect for readers who were captivated by Bad Blood, Mike Isaac’s Super Pumped provides an insider’s view of the stunning highs and catastrophic lows of the company that changed the way we use transportation.
    7. City of Girls: A Novel by Elizabeth Gilbert: It’s the 1940s, and the frivolous and fun-loving Vivian Morris arrives in New York with the goal of “becoming someone interesting”—and in short order she is, but for all the wrong reasons. The latest novel by the author of Eat, Pray, Love is bawdy, bighearted, and wise.
    8. They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, and Harmony Becker: George Takei’s vivid graphic memoir reveals the story of his family’s incarceration during the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, beginning when Takei was only five years old. Even as the memories depicted range from unsettling to infuriating, They Called Us Enemy inspires readers to insist that our country treats fellow human beings with fairness and dignity.
    9. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides: In this psychological thriller, a couple seems to have it all until the wife is convicted of shooting her husband in the face. But she will say nothing about the crime—or anything else, for that matter. After a criminal psychologist obsessed with the case comes on the scene, dark twists and delightful turns follow, secrets (and a diary) are revealed, and you will likely find yourself racing to the end of this year’s must-read thriller.
    10. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb: What happens when a celebrated psychotherapist finds herself on the other side of the couch? Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is an entertaining, relatable, moving homage to therapy—and just being human.

    The top pick in the children’s category is the middle grade novel:

    1. Dear Sweet Pea by Julie Murphy: Bestselling author Julie Murphy makes her middle-grade debut with a smart, funny novel that tween readers will quickly embrace. Patricia “Sweet Pea” DiMarco is a seventh grader dealing with a wide range of emotions and change, including recently divorced parents and friendships in transition. Dear Sweet Pea is a warmhearted read that is at once reassuring, wise, and utterly relatable.

    During 2019, the Amazon Books editorial team read thousands of pages to help customers discover their next great read. Here are some interesting facts about this year’s Best Books of the Year list:

    • Most highlighted quote from Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments, our number one pick, is: “You don’t believe the sky is falling until a chunk of it falls on you.”
    • Customers’ Most Wished For titles in our top 100: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides, The Testaments by Margaret Atwood, City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb, and Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
    • Top three best of the year selections that readers have used both Audible and Kindle interchangeably throughout are: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides, City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert, and Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner.
    • Alex Michaelides’s The Silent Patient, our ninth pick, is the number one most popular book on Goodreads this year, added to Goodreads shelves by more than 380K members; especially impressive since it’s a debut novel!
    • Lori Gottlieb’s Maybe You Should Talk to Someone (#10 on our list) is the number one most popular nonfiction book on Goodreads this year, followed closely by Three Women (#19).

    To see the complete list of Best Books of 2019, and to purchase in print, for Kindle or Audible, visit amazon.com/bestbooks2019 or visit an Amazon Books location near you, www.amazon.com/stores.

    For more coverage of the books featured on the Best Books of the Year list, as well as insightful reviews on new books, author interviews, and roundups in popular categories, visit the Amazon Book Review, www.amazonbookreview.com, and the Amazon Book Review Podcast, www.amazonbookreview.com/tag/podcast.

    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. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit www.amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.

    View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20191112005423/en/

    Source: Amazon

    Amazon.com, Inc.
    Media Hotline
    [email protected]
    www.amazon.com/pr

    STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — As consumers gear up for the holiday shopping season, Amazon has released its list of the top books of 2019, naming Margaret Atwood’s “The Testaments” this year’s best.

    “Our top 100 Best Books list includes books with clever satire, heartwarming memoirs and psychological thrillers. But as soon as we read it, it was clear that Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Testaments’ was the book of the year,” said Sarah Gelman, editorial director, Amazon Books. “The sequel to the modern classic ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ enraptured our editorial team and readers across the globe with a dramatic continuation of goings-on in the dystopian Republic of Gilead. It’s so exciting to witness literary history being made, and Atwood has done just that with this deeply moving book.”

    The annual list features the Top 100 books of the year, selected by Amazon’s team of editors. To explore the full list of the Best Books of 2019,

    See below for a look at Amazon’s Top 10.

    • The Testaments, by Margaret Atwood: The sequel to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” is well worth the wait, according to Amazon. “While ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ explored how totalitarian regimes come to power, ‘The Testaments’ delves into how they begin to fracture,” stated Amazon in a release.
    • The Nickel Boys: A Novel, by Colson Whitehead: Set during the 1960s, this is a story about two young black men sent to the infamous Nickel Academy in Florida. The story follows Elwood and Turner who, despite different backgrounds and world views, learn to lean on one another to survive.
    • Wild Game, by Adrienne Brodeur: “This is an engaging and at times breathless memoir that builds with anticipation and continues to unfold with observations and revelations,” stated Amazon, as the author was 14 when her mother started secretly dating Ben Souther.
    • Quichotte: A Novel, by Salman Rushdie: A romantic quest kicks off a road trip across America. “An antidote to fear, bursting with intelligence and wit — ‘Quichotte’ is exactly what so many of us need right now,” according to Amazon.
    • The Starless Sea, by Erin Morgenstern: Amazon described this book as a “shape-shifting, time-bending, otherworldly adventure of storytelling, where pirates lurk and doors lead forward and backward in time, where crowded ballrooms collapse into oceans, and where a young man must piece together the clues to uncover and protect his own life’s story.”
    • Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber, by Mike Isaac: This book is a “masterful and highly entertaining work of investigative journalism into the evolution of Uber and its maverick founder Travis Kalanick,” according to Amazon.
    • City of Girls: A Novel, by Elizabeth Gilbert: “It’s the 1940s, and the frivolous and fun-loving Vivian Morris arrives in New York with the goal of ‘becoming someone interesting’ — and in short order she is, but for all the wrong reasons,” stated Amazon.
    • They Called Us Enemy, by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott and Harmony Becker: A memoir that reveals the story of Takei’s family’s incarceration during the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. “Even as the memories depicted range from unsettling to infuriating, ‘They Called Us Enemy’ inspires readers to insist that our country treats fellow human beings with fairness and dignity,” stated Amazon.
    • The Silent Patient, by Alex Michaelides: “In this psychological thriller, a couple seems to have it all until the wife is convicted of shooting her husband in the face. But she will say nothing about the crime—or anything else, for that matter. After a criminal psychologist obsessed with the case comes on the scene, dark twists and delightful turns follow, secrets (and a diary) are revealed, and you will likely find yourself racing to the end of this year’s must-read thriller,” stated Amazon.
    • Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, by Lori Gottlieb: “What happens when a celebrated psychotherapist finds herself on the other side of the couch? ‘Maybe You Should Talk to Someone’ is an entertaining, relatable, moving homage to therapy — and just being human,” according to Amazon.

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory tops Dahl list

    Image copyright Getty Images

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is Roald Dahl’s most popular book on Amazon.co.uk.

    One hundred years on from the birth of the popular children’s author, the website revealed Dahl’s top 10 books in both digital and print format.

    The BFG – recently adapted into a film by Steven Spielberg – was second, followed by George’s Marvellous Medicine.

    Matilda and James and the Giant Peach rounded out the top five.

    ‘Joy and quality’

    Dahl published his first children’s book more than 70 years ago – yet he still ranks in the top five best-selling children’s authors on Amazon’s UK site.

    Image copyright Disney/AP Image caption The BFG – second in the top 10 – was recently made into a film starring Mark Rylance

    Dahl appeared in the top five alongside the modern day best-sellers, Julia Donaldson, JK Rowling, Jeff Kinney and David Walliams.

    Dan Mucha, books director for Amazon.co.uk, said: “Having grown up with Roald Dahl’s books and seeing my children read them today, I understand firsthand the joy and enduring quality of his stories.

    “The centenary of his birth marks a big moment in the literary calendar and we have seen his books continue to sell incredibly well in both print and on our Kindle store.

    “We expect that he will remain one of the top children’s authors for years to come.”

    Sales of the titles were tracked over a five-year period.

    Roald Dahl’s Top 10 Titles in Print and on Kindle (Sept 2011 – 2016)

    1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    2. The BFG

    3. George’s Marvellous Medicine

    4. Matilda

    5. James and the Giant Peach

    6. The Witches

    7. Danny the Champion of the World

    8. Fantastic Mr Fox

    9. The Magic Finger

    10. The Twits

    Source: Amazon.co.uk

    Follow us on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, on Instagram, or if you have a story suggestion email [email protected]

    A lost chapter of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, deemed too wild, subversive and insufficiently moral for the tender minds of British children almost 50 years ago, has been published for the first time.

    The chapter, in Saturday’s Guardian Review, with new illustrations by Sir Quentin Blake, was found among Dahl’s papers after his death. It was chapter five in one of many early drafts of the book, one of the best-loved children’s books, but was cut from the version first published in the US in 1964 and in the UK in 1967.

    In the chapter Charlie Bucket – accompanied by his mother, not his sprightly grandfather – and the other children are led into the Vanilla Fudge Room, where they face the sinister prospect of the Pounding and Cutting Room.

    “In the centre of the room there was an actual mountain, a colossal jagged mountain as high as a five-storey building, and the whole thing was made of pale-brown, creamy, vanilla fudge,” the chapter reads. “All the way up the sides of the mountain, hundreds of men were working away with picks and drills, hacking great hunks of fudge out of the mountainside … As the huge hunks of fudge were pried loose, they went tumbling and bouncing d own the mountain and when they reached the bottom they were picked up by cranes with grab-buckets, and the cranes dumped the fudge into open wagons.”

    The chapter reveals the original larger cast of characters, and their fates, as well as the original names of some of those who survived into later drafts. Dahl originally intended to send Charlie into the chocolate factory with eight other children, but the number was slimmed down to four. The narrator reveals that a girl called Miranda Grope has already vanished into the chocolate river with Augustus Pottle: she is gone for ever, but the greedy boy was reincarnated as Augustus Gloop.

    Timmy Troutbeck and “a rather bumptious little boy called Wilbur Rice”, backed by their vile parents, shout abuse at Willy Wonka’s warnings, scramble into the wagons, and are carried off through a hole in the wall.

    “That hole,” said Mr Wonka, “leads directly to what we call the Pounding and Cutting Room. In there the rough fudge gets tipped out of the wagons into the mouth of a huge machine. The machine then pounds it against the floor until it is all nice and smooth and thin. After that, a whole lot of knives come down and go chop chop chop, cutting it up into neat little squares, ready for the shops.”

    High on the mountain, the workers – who have not yet become the Oompa Loompas – sing “Eight little children, such charming little chicks. But two of them said ‘Nuts to you’, and then there were six.”

    Not surprisingly, no more is ever heard of Masters Troutbeck and Rice.

    Dahl was living in the US after working for British intelligence at the end of the war, a successful author for adults – his 1960 collection, Kiss Kiss, went straight into the New York Times bestseller list – and married to the film star Patricia Neal, when he began writing for a younger audience based on the tales he was telling his own children. James and the Giant Peach was published in 1961, and by then the first draft of Charlie – in which the title character falls into a vat in a sweet factory and becomes a chocolate figure – had been discarded after Dahl’s young nephew said it was rubbish.

    He abandoned the book after his four-month-old son Theo almost died when his pram was hit by a taxi in New York, and the following year his seven-year-old daughter Olivia died of measles.

    When he resumed work, his agent, Sheila St Lawrence, suggested that the workers should become “something more surprising” and added that she wanted “more humour, more light Dahlesque touches throughout”. Violet Strabismus, nee Glockenberry, would become Violet Beauregarde, Elvira Entwhistle would return as Veruca Salt, and the mint grass meadow, the chocolate waterfall and the Oompa Loompas would soon appear in later drafts.

    The book sold 10,000 copies in its first week and has never been out of print: “He lets his imagination rip in fairyland,” the New York Times said. The book has never been out of print. It has been filmed twice, with Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp as the Wonkas, become an opera, and is also a current hit West End musical which opened in June 2013 and is now booking into late next year.

    Like his first book for children, James and the Giant Peach, it initially struggled to find a UK publisher. Dahl blamed the publishers’ “priggish, obtuse, stuffiness”.

    Roald Dahl’s manuscripts and many other treasures from his archive are stored at his former home, now the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Great Missenden.

    • This article was amended on 2 September 2014 to remove an unverifiable figure for book sales.