Every year the Amazon Editors read more than 1,000 books, sharing our favorites so that customers can find their next great read. Along the way, we search for the one special title that will emerge as the Best Book of the Year. This year, the Amazon Editors chose James McBride’s The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store. In a world that is sometimes so divisive and isolating, stories can connect us and create community. The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store not only captures that sentiment, it celebrates the power of goodness and looking out for one another—even people who are (seemingly) different from us.
McBride’s novel joins prior Best Book of the Year selections from the Amazon Editors, including Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow; Amor Towles’ The Lincoln Highway; Brittany K. Barnett’s A Knock at Midnight; Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments; Tara Westover’s Educated; and David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon.
Besides featuring formidable casts of female protagonists, many of our favorites this year share a common theme—they highlight the importance of found family and community. And these books also accomplish what the best ones do: Put us in other people’s shoes and expand our empathy.
Learn more about our Top 10 picks below. To view the full list, visit the Best Books of 2023. There you’ll find the titles that round-out our overall top 20, along with picks in popular categories, like debut authors, biographies, literary fiction, history, mystery, romance, sci-fi, and everything in between.
1.The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store
by James McBride
"Featuring a cacophonous cast of characters you will adore and a story chock full of the social, racial, and ethnic politics of the small town in which they live, The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store is an irresistible novel—profound as it is ingeniously entertaining, making it one of the great American novels of our time, and why we named it the best book of 2023." —Al Woodworth, Amazon senior editor
2.The Berry Pickers
by Amanda Peters
"Debut novelist Amanda Peters explores the lengths we go to for love, the cancerous impact of lies, and the unbreakable bonds of family. For fans of Celeste Ng and Ann Patchett, this quietly beautiful book will break, then mend, your heart." —Sarah Gelman, Amazon editorial director
3.The Art Thief: A True Story of Love, Crime, and a Dangerous Obsession
by Michael Finkel
"What a romp! You’ll fly through this true story of an idealistic maniac on a mission to filch priceless treasures —upping the ante with each outrageous crime. A blast to read—but also horrifying when you consider what happened to $2 billion worth of invaluable art." —Lindsay Powers, Amazon senior editor
by Rebecca Yarros
"An epic of world-building, this tale of a kingdom under duress, a deadly competition to become an elite dragon rider, and the young woman who bucks the odds to become powerful in her own right, is a thrilling, not-to-be-missed romantic fantasy." —Seira Wilson, Amazon senior editor
5.King: A Life
by Jonathan Eig
"Eig’s definitive and engrossing portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. is a remarkable feat of writing and research, revealing the gutting hardships and heroics of a man who changed the world. This is biography at its absolute finest." —Al Woodworth, Amazon senior editor
by Nathan Hill
"With the vibes of Jonathan Franzen novels mixed with the panache of (500) Days of Summer—Wellness is a love story, a marriage story, and a contemporary critique on our world that’s captivated (and maybe even controlled) by social media and the pursuit of domestic bliss. Utterly absorbing, funny, and familiar, Hill captures how life can be hopeful and hurtful, idiosyncratic and robotic, fated and chaotic." —Al Woodworth, Amazon senior editor
7.The Covenant of Water
by Abraham Verghese
"We didn’t want this book to end—told over the course of three generations, Abraham Verghese weaves a magnetic story of how cultural, social, and racial politics play out in the lives of wives, doctors, and artists who strive to find a home and purpose in a world that is ever-shifting and ever-dangerous. Filled with characters who love deeply and dream big, this novel will sweep you off your feet." —Al Woodworth, Amazon senior editor
by Stephen King
"Holly is retro-King horror at its best in a high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse between an unassuming couple committing unspeakable crimes and Private Investigator Holly Gibney. With tension that coils tighter with every chapter, this unforgettable novel will thrill longtime King fans and newcomers alike." —Seira Wilson, Amazon senior editor
by Walter Isaacson
"You probably have strong opinions about Elon Musk. Walter Isaacson’s page-turning biography perfectly captures the troubled, brilliant, pugnacious billionaire—and how his growing power circles the globe. Packed with oh-my-God moments big and small, I couldn’t put this book down." —Lindsay Powers, Amazon senior editor
by Dennis Lehane
"Unflinching, unsparing, and unsentimental, Lehane's incendiary story is a freeway pileup of racism, mob rule, and a desperate mother pushed beyond her last limit. This moving and darkly hilarious vengeance novel was the mystery we kept returning to this year." —Vannessa Cronin, Amazon senior editorExplore the latest releases and enjoy popular books and authors right now with Kindle Unlimited, our binge-worthy literary subscription service that offers unlimited reading and listening.