It probably doesn't need to be stated that part of the Amazon Editor's job is to read, and to read a lot. What might not be as obvious is that we read way ahead of publication. Which means that we don't actually read books most of the time; we read "galleys," also known as "ARCs," which is short for "Advance Reader Copies." Because we are reading in advance, we tend to do it in a vacuum. Will other people like this? Will the media pick up on it? Will it reach bestsellerdom? Nothing is guaranteed.
Since our mission is to connect readers with their next great read, we have to rely on our own taste and experience, as well as our understanding of what other people like, in order to do our jobs well. It's generally a fun job, and when the world starts responding months later, and agreeing with us, then it's really fun. The first book on this list has received responses like, "I can't even express how much I love this book! I didn't want this story to end!" (Reese Witherspoon), or "a painfully beautiful first novel" (The New York Times Book Review). For us, reading those words is almost as rewarding as reading the novel itself. Almost.