Today in Books

Amazon Picks Its Best Books of the Year So Far

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Jeff O'Neal

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Jeff O'Neal is the executive editor of Book Riot and Panels. He also co-hosts The Book Riot Podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @thejeffoneal.

Amazon Picks Its Best Books of the Year So Far

Amazon released its list of the best books of the year so far, including their #1 pick of the year, James by Percival Everett. This is confirms for me that James is the Book of the Year (so far), and I think likely to be the book of the year by the time we flip the calendar to 2026. It already had the most mentions in mid-year best of lists in my breakdown of ten lists that had already appeared. Everett had a lot of latent love from the kind of folks who care about literary fiction, and this particular book hits a lot of marks: it is readable, connected to an American classic, and, not for nothing, is selling well. I am delighted.

Publishing Industry Sales Were Hot in April

Wait, what the hell? There are some eye-popping numbers in the latest Publishers Weekly sales check-in. Overall sales for April are up 18.3% over 2023. And every category is up. Digital audiobooks are up more than 50% year-over-year. Wisely, PW does not speculate on reasons this is the case, though notes for a couple of categories that decreased returns were a factor. But why in the name of Johannes Gutenberg are ebook sales up 19%!?! I am glad to see it, but kinda speechless.

Why Do We Have A Voice In Our Heads When We Read?

I am not exactly sure if I engage in subvocalization when I read, but according to this study, maybe I better try. Essentially, for those that have a voice in their head that “reads” the words aloud benefit with better memory and comprehension. This seems to happen because we process spoken language differently because it goes through a “phonological loop” that engages different parts of our brain.

72 of the Best Horror Books, According to Horror Authors

Writers of a genre are terrific sources of recommendations in that genre. Not only do they often do a lot of reading to keep abreast of what folks are doing, they are generally huge fans.

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