Amazon’s books editors have chosen their annual list of the 10 best books that have been released since January.
This year, a biography of author John Updike tops the list, and the other nine books span everything from a book on Edward Snowden and the NSA to a fictionalized story of American abolitionist and women’s rights advocate Sarah Grimké.
The overall list is one of 18 that get compiled around this time of year in various categories like cookbooks, audiobooks and others.
The top 10 books of 2014 so far are:
1. “Updike” by Adam Begley — A biography of American novelist John Updike that also looks at where his life and novels intersect.
2. “The Book of Unknown Americans” by Cristina Henríquez — Henríquez’s third novel pulls readers into the lives of nine immigrant families who come to the U.S. from Central and South America.
3. “Redeployment” by Phil Klay — This is Klay’s first collection of semi-autobiographical short stories about the Iraq war.
4. “Euhporia” by Lily King — Inspired by the life of the anthropologist Margaret Meade, “Euphoria” follows a love triangle among anthropologists in New Guinea.
5. “No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State” by Glenn Greenwald — This book is British journalist Glenn Greenwald’s retelling of his meetings with Edward Snowden ahead of the publication of The Guardian’s series on U.S. surveillance.
6. “In Paradise” by Peter Matthiessen — Matthiessen, who has previously won the National Book Award three times, sets his novel at Auschwits in 1996, where people are attending a spiritual retreat.
7. “The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd— A fictionalized retelling of the lives of activist Sarah Grimké and a slave named Hetty, the novel follows them over the years.
8. “Red Rising” by Pierce Brown — The first of a trilogy, Brown’s debut book is about a revolution on mars.
9. “Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller’s Tragic Quest for Primitive Art” by Carl Hoffman — Journalist Michael Hoffman takes a look at the 1961 disappearance of Michael Rockefeller in New Guinea.
10. “Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children” by Ranson Riggsoll — This book, the second in Riggs’ young adult series brings together fantasy writing and vintage photos to tell the story of children who seek refuge after escaping from an island.