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!
In a rush to pick out your summer vacation ‘beach-reads’? This may help with the ‘run-in-and-grab’ non-thought process. Categories are listed in no particular order of favoritism or warning…
“Brisinger” by Christopher Paolini.
More complex than the previous two books in the trilogy. Eragon is more developed as a character, but this has resulted in less time spent on adventures/conversations with Saphira, his dragon. Still great fun for dragon/fantasy fans.
Rated PG-13 for war and violence.
“Night Light” by Terri Blackstock.
A world-wide power outage has kicked the earth back into 19th century technology. No cell phones, no computers, no AC and people have to ride bikes and grow their own food. Fascinating look at how one Christian family chooses to deal with the challenges of a more primitive life, including digging a well to obtain potable water. The young children in the book have dialogue that is developmentally inaccurate, but the overall story made me wonder how I would cope – and what kinds of vegetables I would be able to grow so that I could barter with someone who raised chickens.
Rated PG-13 for a murder, a kidnapping and scenes of drug usage.
“I am Number Four” by Pitticus Lore.
An alien teenager, who has been hiding out on Earth with his protector, must deal with saving the world from nasty beings from his home planet that aim to wipe out his species. Made into a movie, but the book is MUCH better. There are sequels, but “I am Number Four” is the best. Filled with teen bits like first love, outsiders that don’t quite fit in, but are smarter than the ‘cool kids,’ blowing up the high school, etc. Written for teens that are into intense action stories.
Rated PG-13 for alien invasion, intensity, and violence. Adults should look this over to assess its appropriateness for their teen.
Do you have a favorite summer vacation book? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out three quite different Beach Reads from last summer's list here.
Whatever you decide to read, enjoy!
Each year the Mystery Writers of America (MWA) awards the Edgars, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television, published or produced in 2015. The Edgar® Awards were presented at the annual banquet on April 28, 2016, in New York City. The nominees were terrific! The winners are indicated in red:
The Strangler Vine by M.J. Carter (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
The Lady From Zagreb by Philip Kerr (Penguin Random House – A Marian Wood Book)
Life or Death by Michael Robotham (Hachette Book Group – Mulholland Books)
Let Me Die in His Footsteps by Lori Roy (Penguin Random House – Dutton)
Canary by Duane Swierczynski (Hachette Book Group – Mulholland Books)
Night Life by David C. Taylor (Forge Books)
BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR
Past Crimes by Glen Erik Hamilton (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
Where All Light Tends to Go by David Joy (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll (Simon & Schuster)
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Atlantic – Grove Press)
Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm (Penguin Random House – Viking)
BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter by Malcolm Mackay (Hachette Book Group – Mulholland Books
What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
Woman with a Blue Pencil by Gordon McAlpine (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)
Gun Street Girl by Adrian McKinty (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)
The Daughter by Jane Shemilt (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
BEST FACT CRIME
Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide by Eric Bogosian (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown and Company)
Where The Bodies Were Buried: Whitey Bulger and the World That Made Him by T.J. English (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
Whipping Boy: The Forty-Year Search for My Twelve-Year-Old Bully by Allen Kurzweil (HarperCollins Publishers – Harper)
Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime by Val McDermid (Grove Atlantic – Grove Press)
American Pain: How a Young Felon and his Ring of Doctors Unleashed America’s Deadliest Drug Epidemic by John Temple (Rowman & Littlefield – Lyons Press)
BEST SHORT STORY
“The Little Men” – Mysterious Bookshop by Megan Abbott (Mysterious Bookshop)
“On Borrowed Time” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Mat Coward (Dell Magazines)
“The Saturday Night Before Easter Sunday” – Providence Noir by Peter Farrelly (Akashic Books)
“Family Treasures” – Let Me Tell You by Shirley Jackson (Random House)
“Obits” – Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King (Simon & Schuster – Scribner)
“Every Seven Years” – Mysterious Bookshop by Denise Mina (Mysterious Bookshop)
BEST YOUNG ADULT
Endangered by Lamar Giles (HarperCollins Children’s Books – HarperTeen)
A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis (HarperCollins Publishers – Katherine Tegen Books)
The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury (Scholastic – Scholastic Press)
The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma (Algonquin Young Readers – Workman)
Ask the Dark by Henry Turner (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – Clarion Books)
Sisters in Crime
ELLERY QUEEN AWARD
Janet Rudolph, Founder of Mystery Readers International
Nominations in additional categories of the Edgar Awards can be seen here: www.theedgars.com
Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!