One of the many treats of the holiday season is best-of lists. As the year draws to a close, experts of every stripe round up the best movies, books, music, magazine articles -- the best of just about everything really. It's a chance to catch up on great works and ideas you missed in the previous 12 months and the perfect opportunity to populate your reading list for the coming year.
Few are better placed to compile such lists than Amazon.com. The online megastore has no shortage of reviews, order numbers, and even on-staff editors to sift through the millions of books it offers, culling the top 100 picks for the year. There list includes much-discussed social commentary, page turners, and meaty historical works. Here are the top 10 to get you started on filling up your e-reader for 2016.
1. Fates and Furies: A Novel by Lauren Groff
A National Book Award finalist "Fates and Furies is a literary masterpiece that defies expectation. A dazzling examination of a marriage, it is also a portrait of creative partnership written by one of the best writers of her generation," raves Amazon. The New York Times Review of Books agrees, calling Groff "a writer of rare gift." (As a side note, if you think you're too busy to read fiction, think again.)
2. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The winner of the National Book Award and a much-chattered-about bestseller, Between the World and Me takes the form of a letter from a father to his adolescent son and tackles the thorny (and, sadly, extremely topical) issue of race in America. Toni Morrison called it "required reading."
3. Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt
Thanks to Caitlyn Jenner, transgender issues entered the mainstream this year. If you want to think more deeply on the subject, Becoming Nicole delves into the life of a transgender girl using diaries, home videos, and even medical records, telling the story of an ordinary American family grappling with the unexpected challenges of raising a transgender child.
4. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
A page turner, Public Radio International claims "An Ember in the Ashes could launch Sabaa Tahir into JK Rowling territory ... It has the addictive quality of The Hunger Games combined with the fantasy of Harry Potter and the brutality of Game of Thrones."
5. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
The Nightingale is a novel that offers a fresh take on the history of World War II, focusing on the experiences of two sisters in Nazi-occupied France.
6. The Wright Brothers by David McCullough
Another possible suggestion for the history buffs, The Wright Brothers from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner McCullough "tells the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright," according to Amazon.
7. H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
An unlikely bestseller, H Is for Hawk tells the story of an experienced falconer who decides to train a fierce goshawk to help her cope with the loss of her father. Reviewers were smitten. "Her book is so good that, at times, it hurt me to read it ... [An] instant classic," enthused Dwight Garner in The New York Times, for example.
8. Purity: A Novel by Jonathan Franzen
Purity is the latest from Franzen, who has been hailed as one of the greatest novelists of his generation.
9. Hold Still: A Memoir With Photographs by Sally Mann
10. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
A psychological thriller that hinges on a shocking moment glimpsed out a train window. If you're looking for something you won't be able to put down, Vanity Fair claims that "nothing is more addicting than The Girl on the Train."