Most of the winners of major book awards are selected by members of the groups that give the award – much like the film industry’s Academy Awards are selected each year. Mystery writers vote on the major mystery awards; romance writers vote on the Rita Award, etc. Goodreads, the popular readers/authors site, has a slightly different model for the Goodreads Choice Awards – 2016.
During the year, readers chat about books they’re reading and make lists of their favorites for their friends and followers to see. They also rank books they’ve read with stars, indicating how much they liked (or disliked) the titles published that year. There are thousands of books listed on the site, with thousands of comments, giving anyone who’s interested a way to see how a book (published in the U.S. in English) is viewed by the Goodreads group. Amazon acquired Goodreads, so these reviews and stars probably have an impact on book sales.
During October, the Goodreads staff looks at the stats and does the math, then nominates 15 books for each of 20 categories that have an average rating of 3.5 stars or more.
The members of the Goodreads community vote in elimination rounds. They are allowed to vote in all twenty categories, giving a broader view of a book’s popularity. If you sign up to become a member of Goodreads, you can vote as well. (It's free)
Semifinal Round now closed: Nov. 8th thru Nov. 13th (voting on the original 15 along with the top 5 write-ins in each category – voters can change their minds about the original vote)
Final Round is closed: Nov. 15th thru Nov. 27th (voting on final top 10 books in each category) Results were announced December 6th.
Here are the 2016 voting links for eight of the categories (once there, the other twelve categories are an easy click away):
The 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards went to:
Fiction: Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman”
Mystery & Thriller: Paula Hawkins’ “The Girl on the Train”
Historical Fiction: Kristin Hannah’s “The Nightingale”
Fantasy: Neil Gaiman’s “Trigger Warning”
Romance: Colleen Hoover’s “Confess”
Science Fiction: Pierce Brown’s “Golden Son”
Fourteen other categories included horror, non-fiction, memoir, humor, and more.
Did you read any of the winning choices from 2015? If so, what did you think? Let us know in the comment section.
The 2014 Goodreads Choice Awards went to:
Fiction: Rainbow Rowell's "Landline"
Mystery & Thriller: Stephen King's "Mr. Mercedes"
Historical Fiction: Anthony Doerr's "All the Light We Cannot See"
History & Biography: Helen Rappaport's The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra"
Romance: Diana Gabaldon's "Written in My Own Heart's Blood"
Science Fiction: Andy Weir's "The Martian"
The 14 additional categories included cookbooks, horror, non-fiction, children’s books and more.
The 2013 Goodreads Choice Awards went to these 6 categories & more:
Fiction: Khaled Hosseini’s “And the Mountains Echoed”
Mystery & Thriller: Dan Brown’s “Inferno”
Historical Fiction: Kate Atkinson’s “Life After Life”
History & Biography: Brian Jay Jones’ “Jim Henson”
Romance: J.R. Ward’s “Lover at Last”
Science Fiction: Margaret Atwood’s “MaddAddam”
It’s interesting to note that in 2013, 1,953,770 total votes were cast for the Goodreads Choice Awards.
At the end of voting in 2014, there were 3,317,504 votes.
The final tabulation for the Goodreads Choice Awards in 2015 was 3,007,748 votes.
Votes as of 7pm EST 12/6/16? 3,564,071
Happy reading & thanks for voting!
Attica Locke's “Pleasantville” won the 2016 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.
Other nominees were:
Chuck Greaves' “Tom & Lucky and George & Cokey Flo”
Kermit Roosevelt's “Allegiance”
The Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction was established to commemorate the 50th anniversary of “To Kill A Mockingbird," written by former Alabama law student, Harper Lee. For the past six years, the University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal have partnered to award the prize to a published work of fiction from the previous year that best demonstrates “the role of lawyers in society and their power to effect change.”
The 2016 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction was awarded in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 22, and Locke received a signed copy of "To Kill a Mockingbird," as well as $3,000 and a feature article in the ABA Journal.
Locke joins previous winners:
2011 – John Grisham, “The Confession”
2012 – Michael Connelly, “The Fifth Witness”
2013 – Paul Goldstein, “Havana Requiem”
2014 – John Grisham, “Sycamore Row”
2015 – Deborah Johnson, “The Secret of Magic”
Congratulations to all!
The Scotland Crime Book of the Year Award is given at Bloody Scotland, a premier conference for crime writers. The winner receives 1,000 pounds and the book is promoted for a year at Waterstone’s, a major book chain in the UK. This year The McIlvanney Prize was awarded on September 9th. This year’s long list, chosen by an independent panel of readers, is below, with the four finalists noted with ‘*’. The winner at Bloody Scotland was chosen by a librarian, a journalist and a newspaper editor. Click on the book title to find out more about the book.
The winner is indicated in red.
Congratulations to the McIlvanney winner and all the nominees at Bloody Scotland!
In “The 14th Protocol,” Cade Williams is a skilled computer geek and the admin for the largest email service provider in North America, Thoughtstorm. Williams is called to the mysterious 17th floor to fix what looks like a systems crash, alarms sound, he finds the problem with a minute to go, but is told NOT to fix it. Williams wonders what was really going on.
A college friend, Kyle MacKerron, is graduating from the FBI Academy and Williams goes to the ceremony, then shares his concerns about his odd work day. Kyle tells him to follow his gut and look into it. A series of bombings have occurred across the country and the severity and body count ramps up with each new attack. The FBI is investigating and Jana Baker, a rookie recruit, happens to get the assignment that leads her to the Thoughtstorm building.
Thoughtstorm is so security conscious that bulletproof glass protects the first eight floors of the building, and rotating digital codes are used to gain access to the different floors and work areas. What kind of company needs all that? Probably not people that are sending out e-flyers for shopping coupons.
The email mystery in “The 14th Protocol” covers up something so sinister that the parties involved will do anything to keep it quiet. Williams, MacKerron, and Baker are brought together to expose the truth. And what a truth it is. Nathan Goodman has penned a riveting look at what can happen when high stakes secret operations step outside the bounds of common sense. Just because we can do a thing, should we?
The players in Goodman’s book are intense, the action non-stop, and there are plenty of surprises along the way. The Cade Williams character hits all the right notes of a computer savvy guy, facing abject fear at being caught up in something outside his normal realm of experience, yet willing to help stop what’s happening.
The issues of privacy are raised as an aside to the action in the book. It’s fairly unsettling that someone with Cade Williams’ kind of clearance can also read the content in your emails. This concern has been raised repeatedly while our real-life law enforcement agencies pursue terrorists and other criminals. There are pros and cons to the arguments and Goodman handles them as his absorbing tale of spies and villains unfolds.
There is a certain amount of tech speak in “The 14th Protocol,” but Goodman presents the information clearly and simply. We know as real-time email users that too many emails going out at once will crash the server when spammers run amuck or systems overload during a major world event. These days, there are redundancy systems in place for backups in case one goes down or needs some updating. A person like Williams anticipates surges and makes sure the system works smoothly. What could go wrong?
Pay attention to current events and you might be convinced that parts of the storyline are ripped from the headlines. I have to admit that more than one scene in “The 14th Protocol” was so intense that the book has left an indelible impression.
Please visit www.nathanagoodman.com for information about Mr. Goodman's other books of edge-of-your-seat suspense.
*Contains frequent adult language.
…and the prize goes to…
Readers all over the world choose their next book based on the award winners announced by various organizations during the recent year. Here is a list of ten popular awards for recent novels in the adult category to receive applause and/or rave reviews from colleagues in the genre or from readers who loved the books.
Have you read any books on the list? If so, let us know what you enjoyed about them in the comment section.
Agatha Award given to mystery and crime writers, in 2015 cozy subgenre:
“Long Upon the Land” by Margaret Maron
Christy Award for excellence in Christian fiction 2016:
“The Five Times I Met Myself” by James L. Rubart
Edgar Allen Poe Award awarded by the Mystery Writers of America 2016:
“Let Me Die in His Footsteps” by Lori Roy
Goodreads Choice Awards chosen by readers 2015:
“Go Set A Watchman” by Harper Lee
Hugo Awards awarded for the best Science Fiction or Fantasy 2016:
“The Fifth Season” by N.K. Jemisin
Macavity Award given to favorite 2015 mystery by Mystery Readers International:
“The Killer Next Door” by Alex Marwood
Man Booker Prize literary prize for best 2015 novel translated to English language: “The Vegetarian” by Han Kang, translated by Deborah Smith
National Book Award for fiction given to U.S. authors 2015:
“Fortune Smiles: Stories” by Adam Johnson
Nebula Awards presented by Science Fiction Writers for 2015 work:
“Uprooted” by Naomi Novik
Pulitzer Prize in Literature administered by Columbia University 2016:
“The Sympathizer” by Viet Thanh Nguyen
Congratulations to all the winners!