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The best free Kindle books on Amazon Prime

If you’re an existing Amazon Prime member, did you know you already have access to Prime Reading? Whether you’re a confessed bookworm or just like to read on your morning commute, Prime Reading offers unlimited access to a selection of over one thousand e-books, audiobooks, magazines, and comic books to keep you entertained. You’ll find bestsellers from popular publishing houses alongside literary classics from authors like Jane Austen — and the best bit is that all the books are free for Prime members. You also get one free pre-release book per month from a selection of editors’ picks, allowing you to read some great books before everyone else.

You can read on the Kindle Paperwhite or Oasis — or just download the Kindle app for iOS and Android to start reading for free.

Don’t have Amazon Prime? We’ve also rounded up some of the best free Kindle books — with something to suit all tastes. There’s quite a lot to choose from in the Prime Reading catalog, so we’ve selected some of the best free Kindle books on Amazon Prime from a range of genres, including mystery, action, romance, and more.

Jump straight to a category

Action and adventure

Edge of Collapse by Kyla Stone

Edge of Collapse

This chilling post-apocalyptic survival thriller is the first in a seven-book series. Set after an EMP attack destroys the U.S. power grid in the heart of winter, the country is plunged into chaos with no cars, phones, or electricity. But Hannah Sheridan might be having the best day of her life. She’s been held captive by a psychopath for the last five years, and the locks on her cage were disabled by the EMP attack. Released from captivity she finds herself trekking across a frozen, hostile winter wilderness. Meanwhile, Liam Coleman, a reclusive ex-soldier who thought he was prepared for disaster, has just lost everything and everyone important to him. The story follows the journeys of these two to their destination in rural Michigan – over 200 miles away — as they battle not only the cold, unforgiving climate but also the relentless chase from Hannah’s captor.

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The Atlantis Gene by A.G. Riddle

The Atlantis Gene

The first book in the bestselling Origin Mystery trilogy, The Atlantis Gene tells the story of researchers in Antarctica who uncover a mysterious structure buried under the ice. At the same time, an autism researcher in Jakarta discovers a treatment that could change everything. These two incredible discoveries may seem amazing — but not all is as it seems. Together they set off an event that could change humanity forever, and a race to unravel the deepest secrets of our existence. Packed with real science and history, this is a book that will appeal to fans of Michael Crichton and Dan Brown.

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Hard Road by J.B. Turner

Book cover is dark blue with a picture of a man walking up a snow covered road towards a grand old building, with the author's name in large yellow letters above this and the title of the book in white letters beneath

The first in a nine-book series, Hard Road follows black-ops specialist Jon Reznick as he carries out his next hit — a textbook job that’s supposed to look like a suicide. But when the operation is compromised, Reznick finds himself on the run with the man he was meant to kill — a man who’s wanted by the FBI and by a terrorist organization that wants to see the U.S. brought to its knees. When Reznick’s daughter becomes a pawn in the dangerous game, he has to use every trick in the book to stay one step ahead of those responsible. This action-packed thriller is a five-star read that’s perfect for fans of Jack Reacher.

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Mystery, thriller, and suspense

Thin Air by Lisa Gray

Thin Air

When private investigator Jessica Shaw receives a photo of a three-year-old girl kidnapped twenty-five years ago from LA, she recognizes the girl as herself. Heading to the dark underbelly of LA, she discovers her biological mother was killed on the same night she was taken. Jessica sets out to solve a case forgotten by the police, but before long her path crosses with veteran LAPD detective Jason Pryce, who seems to be hiding something about her mother’s death. This taut thriller is a page-turner that will keep you guessing right until the end.

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In the Heart of the Fire by Dean Koontz

In the Heart of the Fire

Whether you read Dean Koontz in the 90s — classics like Watchers or Hideaway — or bypassed him as an author entirely, In the Heart of the Fire is well worth reading. This is a short story, and coming in at just 61 pages it can be devoured in a single sitting. The first of the Nameless series, it’s about the bloodthirsty Sheriff Russell Soakes, who’s terrorizing a small Texas town … until Nameless arrives, a vigilante who’s lost his memory and been commissioned to kill. There are six books in the series in total, although the others aren’t on Prime right now.

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The Girl Beneath the Sea by Andrew Mayne

The Girl Beneath the Sea

Lauderdale Shores police diver Sloan McPherson works as the go-to diver for evidence recovery — until she finds a woman with a murky past floating in a canal; a past that collides with her own. Soon she’s more of a suspect than a witness, and the killer is hunting her down too. Her every move followed by her colleagues, hunted by a killer, and stalked by a cartel searching for their lost fortune, she must stay one step ahead of her enemies — and her family of Florida drug smugglers and treasure hunters — if she wants to stay alive.

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The Other Wife by Claire McGowan

Photo shows the cover of The Other Wife, with a dark blue background showing a picture of a house with lights on in the windows, and yellow text with the book's title.

The Other Wife is one of those books that really gets under your skin, leaving you feeling distinctly uneasy long after you’ve turned the final page. This Amazon charts bestseller follows the story of three strangers who realize they have more in common than they thought. There’s Suzi, who made a mistake and is paying for it, living in an isolated cottage with her jealous husband; Nora, who moves in nearby and quickly becomes Suzi’s friend (but seems to be hiding something); and Elle, who places a high price on perfection while dealing with the betrayal of her husband. When a shocking event brings them all together, their lives will never be the same.

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History and politics

Second Best Thing: Marilyn, JKF, and a Night to Remember by James L. Swanson

Second Best Thing

Another short read at just 45 pages long, historian James Swanson reconstructs the fabled night where Marilyn and the President, John F. Kennedy, attended an after-hours, no-press-allowed party at a millionaire’s Manhattan townhouse. Months before Marilyn suggestively crooned “Happy Birthday” to the President, the two spent a weekend together at a private summit hosted by Bing Crosby, followed by the aforementioned party. For over half a century the party has been the subject of myth and rumor, fuelled in part by Cecil Stoughton’s 23 prints labeled “Marilyn Monroe at JKF Party – Sensitive Material; Do Not File”, which were seized by the National Archives. So, what really happened that night?

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What It Takes: The Way to the White House by Richard Ben Cramer

If you prefer your reading a little more political, pick up this book by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and New York Times best-selling author Richard Ben Cramer. It’s an intense ride along the 1988 U.S. presidential campaign trail, with timeless insight into this unique moment in history. Get up close and personal with the six presidential candidates: George H.W. “Poppy” Bush, Gary Hart, Joe Biden, Richard Gephardt, Bob Dole, and Michael Dukakis, and find out what makes otherwise ordinary people decide to throw their hat in the ring as candidates for leadership of the free world. While this isn’t a book to dip into on your morning commute, it’s great for those days you have a bit more time to dedicate to reading and offers a fascinating insight into the lives of the candidates.

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Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

Whether you’ve seen the 2013 movie of the same name or not, Twelve Years a Slave is a must-read. The 1853 memoir and slave narrative of Solomon Northup, a free-born African American who was kidnapped by slave traders, is a moving, vital account of forcible enslavement — and it should be on everyone’s bookshelf. If you haven’t already seen the movie, we’d definitely recommend reading the book first.

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Biographies and memoirs

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

My Family and Other Animals

Whether you’re a fan of The Durrells in Corfu show or have never heard of it, My Family and Other Animals is a heartwarming memoir that tells the story of a British family that moves to the sun-soaked Greek island of Corfu to escape the gray British weather. Ten-year-old Gerald Durrell is fascinated by natural history and delights in bringing home a panoply of the island’s animals, from bats and butterflies to toads and scorpions. The hilarious mishaps that ensue, coupled with his reflections on his family life, make this a touching read.

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Not Tonight, Josephine: A Road Trip Through Small-Town America by George Mahood

Not Tonight Josephine

Totally cringeworthy and laugh-out-loud hilarious, Not Tonight, Josephine is the story of George and Mark, two Brits who set off from NYC on a road trip to discover the “real” America. Along the way, the worst car in the world, dwindling finances, and run-ins with the police add up to a calamitous but classic road adventure packed with “I can’t believe they did that” moments. Will they make it all the way to California? You’ll have to keep reading to find out …

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A Drop of Midnight: A Memoir by Jason Diakité

The bright pink cover of A Drop of Midnight by Jason Diakite. The book title is in large blue font at the top, under which is a blue and black portrait of the author in profile. The author's name is in white letters at the bottom

If you’re looking for a compelling memoir to read right now, look no further. Written by world-renowned hip-hop artist Jason “Timbuktu” Diakité, A Drop of Midnight takes you on a vivid and incredibly intimate journey through his and his family’s history. Jason was born to interracial parents in Sweden and is Swedish, American, Black, white, Cherokee, Slovak, and German — with complex family roots that left him in constant search of self and a sense of belonging. Drawing on conversations with his parents, long-lost letters, personal experiences, and pilgrimages to New York and South Carolina, Jason’s memoir paints a vivid picture of ambition, family, race, and discrimination — and couldn’t be more appropriate reading for the era we find ourselves living in. This unflinching look at the author’s own history and that of generations affected by the trauma of the African diaspora, then and now, should be on everyone’s bookshelf.

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Classic literature

The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

Cover of the book shows a picture of a man standing on a chair to make an announcement at a table full of other men. The book title and author name are below the picture

The Pickwick Papers was actually Charles Dickens’ first novel and became the world’s first publishing phenomenon, with merchandise related to the book, theatrical performances, and bootleg copies. Originally serialized in monthly installments, today it remains one of Dickens’ most popular works, with its popular characters Sam Weller and Mr. Pickwick bringing no end of delight not only to fans of Dickens but lovers of classic literature the world over. If you’re looking to combine classic literature and humor, this is a perfect read — many of the quotes are laugh-out-loud funny.

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Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

Picture shows the cover of Vanity Fair, which is divided in two diagonally - the top section is cream and the bottom a bottle green. The title is at the top and in the middle is a circular image showing two men and two women in period clothing dancing

If you can get past its daunting size — at 720 pages, it’s going to keep you busy for a while — William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair is a book everybody should read at least once. A sharp, witty look at the upper-class Regency world, as seen through the eyes of Becky Sharp and the rather more retiring Amelia Sedley, it looks at the position of women in a male-dominated society. Here, everybody strives for things that are not worth having, and Miss Becky Sharp is more determined than most to climb to the heights of English society. The 2018 TV series starring Olivia Cooke and the earlier 2004 movie with Reese Witherspoon as Becky are both worth watching — once you’ve read the novel.

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A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift

Picture shows the book cover which has a dark red background, The book's title is in a large white font at the top, underneath which is a table setting with a plate, knife and fork. On the plate is the quote "Infants' flesh will be in season throughout the year..." and underneath is the author's name in white font

A classic you may not have heard of, A Modest Proposal, by the author of the better-known Gulliver’s Travels, may be short at just 25 pages long, but its satirical take on the divide between rich and poor in 18th-century Ireland ensures it’s an entertaining read. Nowhere else will you hear an author suggest — however humorously — selling poor Irish children as food to the wealthy. Pick up a copy for a friend before reading, as it’s a book you’ll definitely want to discuss.

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Persuasion by Jane Austen

Photo shows the cover of Persuasion by Jane Austen with a picture of a man and woman in period dress embracing and the title in white font on a dark blue background above the image

Pride and Prejudice seems to be the most popular of Jane Austen’s books, but Persuasion features one of her most reliable, mature heroines. Part fairytale, part social commentary, the book tells the story of Anne Elliot, single and past her prime at the age of 27, with a broken engagement to Captain Frederick Wentworth in her past and a seemingly bleak future. But after a chance opportunity to reconnect with her former lover, could Anne have a second chance at romance, on her terms? If you read one Jane Austen novel, this should be it.

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Historical fiction

The Beekeeper’s Promise by Fiona Valpy

The Beekeeper's Promise

When heartbroken Abi Howes takes a summer job at the rural Chateau Bellevue in France, she finds herself drawn to the building’s history, in particular one woman’s story. Back in 1938, beekeeper Eliane Martin tends beehives in the chateau’s gardens, where she meets and falls in love with Mathieu Dubosq. Her hopes for a happy future are dashed when the two lovers are separated by the approaching clouds of war and German occupation. Eliane makes the brave decision to join the Resistance to fight for France’s liberty. This is the tale of two remarkable, resilient women, generations apart, who must fight for what they believe in.

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Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan

Beneath a Scarlet Sky

Like your history packed with romance, suspense, and action? Beneath a Scarlet Sky checks all the boxes — and it’s being turned into a movie starring Tom Holland. Italian teenager Pino doesn’t care about the war or the Nazis, until his home in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs. He joins an underground railroad helping Jews escape, when he meets and falls in love with Ana. Meanwhile, his parents force him to enlist as a German soldier in a bid to protect him and keep him out of combat. But after sustaining an injury, he’s recruited as the personal driver for General Hans Leyers, one of the Third Reich’s most powerful commanders and Hitler’s left hand in Italy. By spying for the Allies inside the German High Command, and dreaming of Ana and the life he hopes they’ll one day share, will Pino be able to endure the horrors of the war and the Nazi occupation?

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Mustard Seed by Laila Ibrahim

Photo of the book cover shows two women in period dresses, one green, one red, with a backdrop of a grand country house surrounded by trees. The title of the book is in a dark red, historic font

Set in Oberlin, Ohio, in 1868, three years after the end of the Civil War, Mustard Seed tells the intertwining stories of Lisbeth Johnson, a privileged white woman; her nurse, Mattie; and Mattie’s son, Jordan Freedman, born into slavery. The unlikely bond between Lisbeth and Mattie forms the heart of the story as they return to the plantation they both once called home after Lisbeth discovers her father is dying. You’ll come to really care about the characters and the injustice they face in this novel that transports you to 1868 Ohio — and if you enjoy this book, you should also check out Yellow Crocus, the author’s debut novel.

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Science Fiction and Fantasy

The Will and the Wilds by Charlie N. Holmberg

The Will and the Wilds

If you enjoyed The Fifth Doll and The Paper Magician, you’ll love The Will and the Wilds. Charlie N. Holmberg has a knack for spinning amazing, fantastical tales, and this is no exception. Enna has been taught to fear the mystings in the Wildwood near her home. But when one attacks her and tries to steal her enchanted stone, she fights back with her own mysting. Maekallus’ help isn’t free though – it costs a kiss … but not just any kiss; one that will steal Enna’s soul. The deal leaves Maekallus bound to the mortal realm, slowly being eaten alive. The only thing that can save him is Enna’s kiss, given willingly, which spells temporary salvation for him, but doom for Enna. As part of Enna’s soul burns within Maekallus, he starts to feel things for the first time. But her sacrifice won’t last long. Together they must break the spell that binds him to the mortal realm before he’s consumed completely, taking Enna’s soul with him.

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Split Second by Douglas E. Richards

Michael Crichton fans will love Split Second, a near-future thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Wired. Time travel novels seem to be everywhere these days, but this is a unique take, posing the question:

“What if you found a way to send something back in time? But not weeks, days, or even minutes back. What if you could only send something back a fraction of a second? Would this be of any use? You wouldn’t have nearly enough time to right a wrong, change an event, or win a lottery.”

Physicist Nathan Wexler thinks he’s found a way to send objects back into the past — but only by a split second. There’s no time to confirm this, though, as he and his fiancée soon find themselves battling for their lives. They’re about to realize that time travel to an instant earlier isn’t as useless as it seems.

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Bone Music by Christopher Rice

The first book in The Burning Girl trilogy, Bone Music is a gripping thriller about Charlotte (Charley) Rowe, who is abducted by serial killers after her mother’s brutal murder. But the nightmare doesn’t end when she’s rescued — she’s exploited by her real father who sells her story to the tabloids. Fleeing her past and hoping to put it to rest, Charley is soon swept into a new, terrifying series of events after being secretly dosed with an experimental drug that bestows new powers upon her. Pursued by a shadowy corporation bent on controlling her, Charley uses her extraordinary abilities to fight the evil in her life, becoming a weapon hell-bent on vengeance and taking on predators like those responsible for her harrowing childhood. We found ourselves unable to put this book down and devoured it in one sitting. Luckily, the third book in the trilogy has just been published, so you won’t have to wait to find out what happens.

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Quantum Space by Douglas Phillips

Book cover is black with a picture of space craft and planets, and the title in large gold letters, with the author name at the bottom in white letters

The first book in the Quantum trilogy, Quantum Space tells the story of a Russian Soyuz capsule — with three astronauts on board — beginning its re-entry. There’s a shimmer, a blinding flash of light, and the capsule vanishes. But what really happened? When a communications facility on the other side of the world picks up a transmission that could be from one of the astronauts, it’s clear that lives are on the line. NASA operations analyst Marie Kendrick and government science investigator Daniel Rice must work together to track down the cause, plunging into the bizarre world of quantum physics. One for fans of Arthur C. Clarke and Greg Bear, this book has its roots planted firmly in real science, with a believable yet out-there plot and characters you’ll be rooting for.

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Romance

The First Girl Child (The Chronicles of Saylok) by Amy Harmon

The First Girl Child

Something a little different for the romance category is this historical Viking romance from author Amy Harmon. Packed with rich history, warring clans, and a cursed kingdom, it’s a must-read. It tells the tale of Bayr of Saylok, the bastard son of a powerful chieftain, who is plagued by the curse uttered by his dying mother:

“From this day forward, there will be no daughters in Saylok.”

Turns out, his mother wasn’t quite right though, as Alba, the first girl child born in almost two decades, becomes Bayr’s responsibility to protect. Luckily, he’s gifted with inhuman strength, even if he has an all-too-human heart. The fate of Saylok lies with Bayr and Alba, but each of them poses a threat to the greedy, corrupt king. Together, they could break the curse to defeat the king and save their land from corruption — but will this also destroy them?

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And Then You Loved Me by Inglath Cooper

And Then You Loved Me

Becca Miller gave up the boy she loved and had hoped to marry, all for her sister. It’s not that she regrets her decision — after all, you can’t ever go back, so they say — as it was the only choice. For the past 18 years, she’s looked back as little as possible and committed to her decision. But when the love of her life, Matt Griffith, returns to town for his grandmother’s funeral, she has to deal with feelings she thought were gone for good. Turns out, the roads we’ve traveled don’t fade, they just wait for us to travel on them once again. But will Becca make the same choices this time around? This emotional, heartfelt contemporary romance will delight fans of The Notebook.

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Shadow of a Century by Jean Grainger

If you like your romance with a dose of history, Shadow of a Century from Irish author Jean Grainger is just the ticket. Telling the stories of three women across the span of a century, against the backdrop of the Irish rebellion, this beautifully written book has been billed as more than your typical love story. One to keep you up at night turning its pages, Jean Grainger has written a sad yet uplifting story set in Ireland and New York — and it’s definitely a book you’ll want to re-read once it’s all over.

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Comics and graphic novels

The Essential Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

Photo shows the cover of The Essential Calvin and Hobbes with illustrations by Bill Watterson

Calvin and Hobbes need no introduction, and whether you’re a long-time fan of Bill Watterson’s colorful characters or new to this brilliant comic strip, this is sure to delight. It’s worth noting that this can only be viewed on color tablets, not on your desktop PC or black and white e-reader, but don’t let that deter you. Following the imaginative adventures of Calvin and his tiger, Hobbes, this collection brings together the first two Calvin and Hobbes collections, Calvin and Hobbes and Something Under the Bed Is Drooling, as well as an original, full-color, 16-page story.

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The Boys Volume One: The Name of the Game

Picture shows the black and red graphic novel cover of The Boys: Volume 1

It feels like ages ago that we finished watching season 2 of The Boys on Amazon Prime Video and we can’t wait for season 3  — but if you’re missing the antics of Homelander, Starlight, and A-Train, this graphic novel should keep you entertained until it drops. With an introduction from Simon Pegg, this collects issues 1 through 6 of The Boys, but don’t expect it to be anything like the TV show. Garth Ennis’s graphic novel is delightfully depraved, with gore, cursing, and a cliffhanger of an ending that will leave you rushing to read volume 2. It’s an introduction to this dark and grimy world that’s essential reading for fans of the show.

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Self-help

Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

Girl, Stop Apologizing

If you’re feeling in need of some positivity and help reaching your goals — aren’t we all — then Girl, Stop Apologizing is a must-read. Stop being afraid of others judging you for who you are and start embracing your full potential. There’s no need to fear embarrassment, falling short of perfection, or not being good enough. Author Rachel Hollis identifies those excuses that are holding you back, helps you find new, healthier behaviors to adopt, and teaches you the skills you need to grow, become more confident, and believe in yourself.

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

Picture shows the book cover which is half blue, half white, with the title in large white letters at the top and the author's name in smaller letters at the bottom

This year, we’re more into wellness than ever before, so no list of books is complete without a couple of self-help titles. Captivating readers for over 25 years, Stephen R. Covey’s book is just as relevant and popular today as it was when it was first published. Its easy-to-understand infographic format helps you to be more effective and successful, guiding you through each habit step by step, from Habit 1: Be Proactive to Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw. This inspiring, insightful book can help you broaden your way of thinking, improve your problem-solving abilities, and help you to be more successful in both your business and personal life. If you’re just getting back to work after lockdown or want to make the most of 2021, this is definitely a book you should read.

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To-Do List Formula by Damon Zahariades

Picture shows an orange book cover with a black bar at the top with the title writting in white and orange letters. Beneath this is some text in white that says A stress-free guide to creating to-do lists that work. There are three circular pictures of to-do lists beneath this, and the author's name in black font at the bottom of the cover

Yes, some of us are those people who love to make lists. If you’re the same, then Damon Zahariades’ To-Do List Formula is going to be right up your alley. Juggling a hectic workload and personal life isn’t always easy, so if you find yourself getting frustrated that you never manage to tick off every item on your to-do list — we’ve all been there — this is the book you need. The author teaches a simple yet effective approach to creating to-do lists that actually work and make your life easier as a result, with step-by-step instructions for creating the perfect list and tips for how to keep your to-do list system running smoothly. Designed to help you be more productive, reduce your stress levels, and enjoy more free time, this book is a must-have if your goal this year is to be more organized and productive.

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Editors' Recommendations