Amazon's best books of January: This week's releases

Erin Kodicek on January 12, 2021
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Amazon's best books of January: This week's releases

This week's releases include a novel for fans of Where the Crawdads Sing, nonfiction that takes a deep dive into another tenuous time, a memoir by famed actor Gabriel Byrne (who proves his storytelling chops on the page), and more.

Learn about these and all of the Amazon Editors' picks for the Best Books of the Month.


Waiting for the Night Song by Julie Carrick Dalton

This debut novel, which tackles issues as broad as climate change and racism, will rightly be compared to Delia Owens’ Where the Crawdads Sing. Waiting for the Night Song has the lyricism of a poem and the pacing of a thriller. Dalton is a writer to watch. —Sarah Gelman


Nine Days: The Race to Save Martin Luther King Jr.'s Life and Win the 1960 Election by Paul Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick

To paraphrase Lenin, sometimes there are weeks where decades happen. Or in this case, nine days. The authors place the reader into a tense historical moment, populated by historical figures just coming into their own, to illustrate how King’s jailing, and Kennedy’s reaction, formed an inflection point that still defines our political parties today. —Chris Schluep


Aftershocks by Nadia Owusu

Achingly intimate and flaming with rage, hurt, and sadness, Nadia Owusu’s memoir wrestles with big questions of identity and demonstrates just how fragile it can be. After the death of her father and the discovery of tectonic-shifting secrets of her family's past, Owusu must “construct a story, to reconstruct her world.” A blistering and searching portrait of what it means to belong and to whom. —Al Woodworth


Walking with Ghosts by Gabriel Byrne

Walking with Ghosts would be a fascinating, moving, lyrical, and touchingly funny memoir even if one didn’t know its subject and author were actor Gabriel Byrne. Avoiding the celebrity-studded tell-all, Byrne, with the wonder of someone examining pieces of sea glass, touchingly and self-deprecatingly recounts the people and events that shaped him and set him on his life’s path. —Vannessa Cronin


Drug Use for Grown-Ups: Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear by Carl L. Hart

Dr. Carl L. Hart, a neuroscientist and expert on drug use, presents a shocking and revelatory argument for a revisionist drug policy. Hart’s scientific research, close examination of racist drug laws, and his personal experiences shed new light on decades of propaganda and compel us to take a fresh look at the facts of drug use, addiction, and incarceration. —Seira Wilson


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