Amazon Announces 2016’s Best Books

Lab Girl Tops Amazons Best Book List

We’re halfway through 2016 and Amazon’s just announced its choices for the best books released this year thus far. Topping the list is Hope Jahren’s memoir, Lab Girl, followed by Mary Roach’s Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War. The list was put together by Amazon’s editorial team and reflects the must-read books released between January 2016 and June 2016.

“It’s always a thrill to look back over the past six months and share with customers the books that stand out,” stated Sara Nelson, Editorial Director of Print and Kindle Books at “This year, after many lively debates among our team, we’ve compiled a list that is notable for its deep selection of compelling nonfiction and wide array of topics — from engrossing explorations of war and what it means to be alive to thrilling whodunit page-turners and family dramas — there’s something for everyone. Our top pick, Lab Girl, was a wonderful surprise to us: a debut memoir by a woman in science that is at once a coming of age story, a moving portrait of love, work and life and a remarkable examination of trees, plants and, yes, dirt.”

Top 10 2016 Best Books:

1. Lab Girl by Hope Jahren: An inspiring and entertaining memoir about work, life and love from a plant scientist who is just as adept at analyzing the natural world as she is illuminating human relationships.

2. Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach: From the beloved pop science writer Mary Roach, an exploration of how our soldiers combat their non-gun-wielding opponents — panic, heat exhaustion, sleep deprivation, and more.

3. Before the Fall by Noah Hawley: From the award-winning creator of Fargo, a thrilling page-turner about an airplane crash and its seemingly heroic survivors.

4. The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney: Money + Family = well, you know it won’t end well…

5. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi: An unforgettable memoir about medicine, family and what makes life matter. Diagnosed with cancer in his mid-thirties, Kalanithi writes this book to his unborn daughter about how to live.

6. Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond: An unforgettable and harrowing investigation into poverty in America, as told through the lives of eight Milwaukee families living on the edge.

7. The Girls by Emma Cline: A mesmerizing novel about a young teenage girl who gets sucked into a Mansonesque California cult in the 1960s. A surprisingly timeless and perfectly creepy novel.

8. The Longest Night by Andria Williams: Set during the height of the Cold War, this enthralling and beautifully written novel tells the story of a young family struggling to survive natural — and human — disasters.

9. Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story by Matti Friedman: Named after an infamous Israeli outpost in southern Lebanon, Pumpkinflowers tells the tale of a soldier, a war, and a region that’s both revelatory and hauntingly familiar.

10. Narconomics: How to Run a Drug Cartel by Tom Wainwright: A fascinating exploration of the drug business…as a business: how it’s run, how technology has changed trafficking, and how the images we see in movies or on TV are drastically different in real life.

For the remaining 11-20 best books as selected by Amazon, visit