It’s Prime Day! To celebrate, we’ve spotlighted 11 (a prime number) fantastic books that are getting the Prime Day treatment today, October 13. The Prime Day deal runs from 3 p.m. Eastern Time, October 13, until 2:59 a.m., October 14 / from noon until 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on October 13.
These books are award winners, our editors’ Best of the Month picks (and several Best of the Year picks), or just darn good reads.
On this Prime Day, give yourself the gift of one of these great thrillers, historical novels, fascinating nonfiction, or contemporary tales.
Pretty Things by Janelle Brown
The Amazon Books editors were talking only last week about how Pretty Things is among the most enjoyable new thrillers of 2020. A con woman and her mark go head-to-head in this book, but, as senior editor Vannessa Cronin says, “both come from families that make the Borgias look like the Brady Bunch, so you know it’s going to be last man standing as class warfare, social media, money, and old history square off in this complex and riveting thriller.”
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
The Amazon Editors picked Ng’s debut novel as the Best Book of 2014—a surprise for many but not for any reader who’d picked up this book. The book opens with a shocker—Lydia is dead—and then proceeds to delicately unravel the family relationships and the identity of a young woman struggling to find her place in the world.
Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
When Reese Witherspoon selected this novel for her Hello Sunshine book club, she described it as a “beautiful novel that's full of forbidden passions, family secrets, and a lot of courage and sacrifice.” The story of a love affair between a mismatched pair on the eve of the Cuban revolution alternates with a woman’s modern trip to Havana, delivering readers into both Cuba’s past and its politically fraught present.
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Taylor Jenkins Reid tells the story of a band—The Six—who were doing fine until they brought in young, wildfire singer Daisy. Then their celebrity skyrocketed…until it all crashed down. Told as an oral history gathered from the band members, the manager, and others who supported them during their rise to fame, Daisy Jones and The Six slowly, suspensefully reveals the personalities and tensions that fractured the biggest (fictional) band of the 1960s and 1970s.
The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The debut novel of powerful author Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Water Dancer takes readers back to the years of slavery in Virginia and gives this raw, heartbreaking story a fantastical edge. Hi Walker—son of a slave and a plantation owner—can remember every single thing he ever saw except the day his mother was sold away. Hi also has other, even more incredible gifts, which are revealed and developed as Hi goes north and joins the Underground Railroad. Magical realism and the ravages of slavery combine to create a potent and unforgettable story about trauma, family, and liberty. The Amazon Editors named The Water Dancer as one of the top 20 Best Books of the Year in 2019.
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison is a giant among writers, and so it’s no surprise that her first novel, The Bluest Eye, has wowed readers since it was first published in 1970. The Bluest Eye is the story of a Black girl named Pecola Breedlove who yearns to have blue eyes so she will be seen as beautiful and worthwhile, after being told through words and actions that she’s worthless as she is. Morrison later said about her novel, “I was interested in…the far more tragic and disabling consequences of accepting rejection as legitimate, as self-evident.” What’s also tragic is that this book is still relevant today. As one Amazon customer said in their review, “Be prepared to cry and think hard.”
Long Bright River by Liz Moore
Two sisters couldn’t be more different: Mickey is a cop in Philadelphia, while Kacey is a drug addict. When Kacey goes missing, Mickey’s investigations force her to step across the line she’s drawn between them. Said Vannessa Cronin about Long Bright River when she picked it as one of the Best Books of the Month in January 2020: “Both a harrowing tale that shows how the arc of addiction can feel like death by a thousand cuts to the rest of the family, and a tense, layered police procedural with a strong sense of place that puts it right up there with the best of Tana French or Dennis Lehane.”
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
Gabriel García Márquez’s story of a love that never fades won the Nobel Prize and also the hearts of thousands of readers. At the funeral of Fermina’s longtime husband, her erstwhile suitor Florentino declares that the love they shared 50 years ago has never died. Márquez plunges the reader into the passion of their youth and then how their lives moved forward after their split, revealing through moments both absurd and touching how one man’s view of a love affair may be completely unaligned with the view of the same by his beloved.
Code Name Hélène by Ariel Lawhon
Readers of World War II fiction should grab Code Name Hélène while they have the chance. Based on the true life of Australia spy Nancy Wake, this novel adds a fictional shine to an already thrilling story about a woman who, under four different code names, wreaked havoc against the Nazis during their occupation of France. Enthralled by this amazing tale, we picked Code Name Hélène as one of the Best Books of the Month in April 2020.
While this book was timely before the pandemic (heck, it’s probably been timely since people started pairing up), Eve Rodsky’s Fair Play will strike a chord with the many couples struggling to juggle career, kids, home, parents, and pets. Rodsky shares her own challenges with being a working parent, and then shows couples how to balance the domestic workload in a way that works for you. Bonus: Rodsky is bright and funny and honest while she does it.
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
In her memoir, Strayed takes to the Pacific Crest Trail in a combo of running away from and trying to deal with a death in the family, her recent divorce, and mistakes she's made. Through the grueling hike, which she was unprepared for, Strayed delves into her broken places in order to heal them and develops a hard-won grit along the way. The perfect read for those who enjoy reading about journeys both emotional and adventurous.
These darn good books can be downloaded at a special Prime Day price for a limited time on October 13, 2020, but are well worth your reading time any day of the year.