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Saturday, November 16, 2019

Books we are talking about

As we wind our way toward the holiday season, the books world starts to heat up with best-of lists, awards ceremonies, and author tours. All three are common themes in our conversations these days. We've seen a lot of great authors coming through Seattle lately, and we're lucky to get to meet with many of them. Next week is the National Book Awards ceremony in New York. We just released our list of the Best Books of the Year. We are reading other people's best books lists to see where we agree and disagree. It's a busy, interesting, fun time of year. 

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Blue Moon by Lee Child

A quick look at the Charts Most Read Fiction list shows that people are reading lots and lots of thrillers right now. That's to be expected at this time of year—the fall season is big book season. We also expect to see some big new biographies during these months, along with a handful of new important works of literary fiction. Those expectations aren't as well-supported by the Charts lists (*). But for readers of Lee Child, John Grisham, Michael Connelly, Stephen King, or Nelson DeMille, know that you've got company.

(*If you're checking my work, Becoming, Educated, and Where the Crawdads Sing were all published in 2018).

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The Man Who Solved the Market: How Jim Simons Launched the Quant Revolution by Gregory Zuckerman

Algorithms. They are everywhere. Not on the Amazon Books editorial team, but definitely all over the place.

Jim Simons, who is described as "the greatest money maker in modern financial history," used algorithms to amass a fortune for himself and his company, Renaissance—and now there's a book about him that's getting some attention and rising up best seller lists. The author is Wall Street Journal investigative reporter Gregory Zuckerman. This is definitely the IT money book of the moment.

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Trust Exercise by Susan Choi

The National Book Awards are being held next week in New York. You can see the shortlists (and longlists) here.

We will report back on the winners next week.

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The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Erin Morgenstern was in Seattle this week to promote her new novel The Starless Sea. Her debut The Night Circus was published way back in 2011, so it's safe to say people have been waiting for this next book. Amazon Senior Editor Seira Wilson interviewed Morgenstern in front of an audience of adoring Amazon employees, which was a real treat. In addition, Seira has been gushing about the book, writing in her Best Book of the Month review, "I could go on and on about the beauty of Morgenstern’s writing, and the symbolism of the bee, the key, and the sword, but instead I will tell you that the night I finished this book I dreamt about it. And it was pure magic."

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The Great Pretender: The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness by Susannah Cahalan

Speaking of Best-of books, if you're a regular reader of this blog you probably know that we announced our Best Books of the Year this week.

The Best Books of the Year feature is a cornerstone to what we do here on the Books team. Be sure to check it out.

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My Brilliant Friend: The Neapolitan Novels, Book 1 by Elena Ferrante

Finally, it was recently announced that the pseudonymous Italian best-selling author Elena Ferrante has a new book on the horizon. On the tail of that news, EW has declared Ferrante's Neapolitan Quartet the best book series of the decade. Whether you agree or disagree, having strong opinions expressed about books in popular publications is never a bad thing. If you've ever considered reading the Neapolitan Quartet, you might want to read the accompanying essay. It is a great series. 

*Click here for more info about 100 hot books*

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