As Amazon's Editorial Director for Books, Sarah Gelman and her team of editors read thousands of books a year to help readers discover their next great read, all through their personal recommendations. Gelman is a lifelong reader who has spent her entire career dedicated to books and publishing, and the only thing she likes more than reading is sharing her favorite books with others. That's why she has created the new Amazon Book Club, "Sarah Selects” to share her favorite reads with customers.
The book club is now available on Amazon Book Clubs, a free service currently in early access where readers join book clubs of all genres or create their own. Sarah Selects will feature recently published books that Gelman loves and wants to share with customers. The books will feature a diversity of authors and characters, and will focus on the editorial director's favorite genres, including fiction, romance, mystery/thriller/suspense, biography, memoir, and pop science.
As the first official read of Sarah Selects, Gelman has selected Half-Blown Rose by Leesa Cross-Smith, the story of a woman remaking her life after her husband’s betrayal leads to a year of travel, art, and passion in Paris.
“We read so many books as an editorial team, and we often come across books that we just can’t stop talking about. Leesa Cross-Smith’s Half-Blown Rose is the latest book that has stuck in my head,” Gelman said. “It is hopeful and empowering, a tribute to the possibility of a second chance at love, and asks big questions about identity and female desire, love and family, art and music, moving on, and starting again. I can’t wait to discuss with fellow readers.”
In their work with Amazon Book Review, Gelman and her team write about books, interview authors, and ask celebrities what books they’re reading. The team also puts together Best Books of the Month—which includes each editor’s Personal Pick that month—and other curated lists, like Best Books of the Year So Far and Best Books of the Year. These lists include their overall picks, as well as favorites in popular categories, from mystery and thrillers to literary fiction, biographies and memoirs, and everything in between (including kids’ books).
The work of Gelman and her team is meaningful for readers seeking book recommendations and the authors who write those books. Cross-Smith, who authored Gelman's inaugural selection for Sarah Selects, is excited to share her book with Amazon customers who join the club.
“Having my novel Half-Blown Rose chosen for Amazon’s Sarah Selects book club is so amazing, I just want to keep screaming about it!” Cross-Smith said. “I am beyond excited to know that so many readers will hear about my book and get to immerse themselves in Paris, art, food, music, and the romance of adventure. This is a lovely dream come true and I'm absolutely wonderstruck.”
In addition to receiving curated book recommendations from Gelman herself, readers who join Sarah Selects can: