Friday, November 8, 2019

Discussion: The Goodreads Choice Awards


This Week’s Topic: 
THE GOODREADS CHOICE AWARDS


I am sure many of you have noticed, that voting for the Goodreads Choice Awards has opened. I rather enjoy seeing, which books made the first cut. The pain comes later on, when all the books I voted for are quickly eliminated. *sigh*

I was sort of surprised this year. There were some HUGE books, or at least, books I thought were huge, missing from the lists. Was anyone else surprised by that? I was also taken aback by how few books on the list I have read. I read across age groups and dabble outside of my genre every now and again, but still, there were categories, where I normally read at least one of the nominated books, and this year - none. Anyone else?

Let's go category by category.

Fiction - ZERO BOOKS READ! This is one of the categories that shocked me. I do tag in for some adult fiction, here and there, but I have read zero of these nominees. In addition, I only have one on my TBR - The Overdue Life of Amy Byler.

Mystery & Thriller - I acknowledge, that I do not read many mystery-thrillers, but I do read a few every year. Though, once again, I have read ZERO books from this list, I was more familiar with the books nominated. Many have been featured by bloggers I follow, though none piqued my interest. 

Historical Fiction - I have only read a few adult historicals, but was sort of sad not to see When We Left Cuba on the list. I think this series is progressing beautifully, and love that she is moving forward through Cuba's history as we learn more about each of the Perez women. I understand not all books can be included, though, and was happy to see four from my TBR on the list.


Fantasy - Let's be honest, I don't read a lot of fantasy books, but when I do, they are YA. Needless to say, the only book on my radar is The Red Scrolls of Magic. I am so entrenched in the world of the Shadowhunters, I just can't say no to another book in that world.

Romance - Now we're talking! I have read TEN of the nominees in this category, which I hope comes as no surprise to you all. Contemporary romance is my favorite, and this category was really painful for me, because there are SO MANY good books nominated. I am super stressed out by this category, but would probably be happy with any book that wins.



Science Fiction - As with fantasy, if I read a sci-fi book, it will most likely be YA. So, once again ZERO books read, and also, zero on my TBR.

Horror - See Fantasy and Science Fiction, though, this time, I don't even read horror in YA. It's just a genre I don't touch. I am not in scary stuff; I like fluff! I did recognize a few of the books. One, because I have been dying for Chbosky to put out a new book, and the others, because they had been featured on many blogs I visit.

Humor - Anyone, who knows me, knows I like funny books, but really, I like funny fiction. Once again, I have read NONE of these, but I am actually rooting for Ali Wong. I think she is hilarious, and I hope that came across in her book.

Non-Fiction - I am all about fiction, so, I think you already know what I am going to say here.

Memoir & Autobiography - I have talked about how I am not a fangirl, and I have never really been into celebrity culture. I think I have listened to one memoir for a reading challenge, but I don't really seek them out (though, I have read quite a few about scientists, so, I guess I am sort of a fangirl?) Again, read NONE.

History & Biography - Not my thing. If I read books with historical content, they are usually fictional.

Science & Technology - I used to read a lot of science books, but none since I left teaching. There were two on this list that I am curious about, should I ever get a wild hair and want to read a non-fiction book. Invisible Women, because I used to struggle in a male dominated field and Will the Cate Eat My Eyeballs?, because, well, the title, and wondering what sort of wisdom a funeral director has for me.


Food & Cookbooks - I don't cook, but if I did, I think I would pick up Let's Make Ramen! I love ramen and the cover makes me want some.

Graphic Novels & Comics - We are getting closer to my true love, YA, here, and there are several on my TBR. Not sure, which I would want to win, but I feel strongly about Heartstopper from all the amazing reviews I have read.


Poetry - Though I don't tend to read poetry collections, I do enjoy a book in verse. I have not read any of these books, but Shout is one I hope to read.

Debut Novel - I love supporting debuts! Though I read more YA debuts, I did read two of these, and both was amazing! I would be please if either RW&RB or Evvie Drake won.


Young Adult Fiction - This is another stressful category for me. I read LOADS of YA, and I have so, so many loves. I have read NINE of the nominees (and DNFed one). I must admit, it is a very strong group of books, and I think there are only two I would not be happy about. Obviously, if I DNFed a book, I wasn't into, and the other, I felt wasn't as strong as the other books on the list, but that's my opinion. I was pretty excited to see Opposite of Always on the list, because many of the other books are by established authors, and those books got a lot of hype compared to Reynolds' book, which is a favorite of mine.

Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction - I read a few of these and have a few to read, like, actually have the books. This list sort of disappointed me, because I felt like it was so predictable. There are several books people were screaming about sadly missing from this list, and I hope they get enough write-ins to make the next cut.


Middle Grades - I am somewhat invested in this category, because I do enjoy reading middle grades books, and have featured quite a few this year. I have only read one of the nominees, and do wish some of the books I read featuring MCs with disabilities had been nominated, but there is a nice variety featured on this list.


I guess you can tell, I am not that invested in the awards this year. I usually have read more of the nominees, but not this year. Still, I will eagerly await the results of several of these categories, because I am curious to see if any of my picks will win. 

Now it's your turn!

Were you surprised by any nominations? 
Are you/did you vote? 

What books are you rooting for this year? 
Let us know in the comments!

55 comments:

  1. Every year I see this award around and...I'm not even curious enough to go and see which books made the cut. I guess it's mainly because I'm sure the kind of books I read hardly feature haha. I don't even know who decides the nominees. I suppose it would make more sense to me if those were the most read books of the year according to some site algorithm, but if they're random...I'm also wondering if authors care for the GR awards? I've never seen one of them mention them, but maybe someone I don't follow does/did?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. P.S.: you got me curious, so I went and looked if I had any books in the nominees, and...there's only ONE...that I still have on my TBR list! 😂 (Middlegame by Seanan McGuire).

      Delete
    2. I have seen authors happily tweet about being nominated/winning in the past. I also, do not know how books make the list. I am sure that information is out there somewhere. I am not surprised you have the McGuire book on your TBR. You seem to enjoy her books.

      Delete
  2. I was surprised that I hadn't read any from the fiction nominees, either. I do read some general fiction every year but nope... not a single one. Same with mystery/thriller. I was stumped in historical fic because of the two I'd read both were excellent: Mrs. Everything and Daisy Jones & The Six. They will both be in my top reads of the year so it was hard to choose just one. I've read 7 of the romance nominees but I was confused that two of them were even in that category. The Flatshare felt more like women's fiction of just general fiction to me. And Verity wasn't anywhere near a romance. It was more like a psychological mystery/thriller. So that was weird. Even so, I didn't have any trouble with my top pick. I'd only read one out of the YA fic (I Wish You All the Best) so that made it awfully easy on me. LOL And there was only one other that I have any interest in reading (Serious Moonlight). It'll be interesting to see what makes it to the next round!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have not read Verity, but I feel like The Flatshare focused equally on both Leon and Tiffy. It did have a LOT of just each of them and their issues, but I was ok with calling it a romance.

      Delete
  3. I voted but I actually had to skip a couple categories because I hadn't read any of the books in them. I guess since I read a lot of backlist? Surprisingly, the romance category was the hardest for me to choose - I had only read two of the books, but I was really torn between them! (The Unhoneymooners and The Girl He Used to Know - I went with The Girl!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I refuse to skip. I read about the books or vote for ones I know people have raved about. Probably not the best way to pick, but I want to be counted. I enjoyed both Unhoneymooners and Girl. They are so different from each other. I am pretty sure I picked Things You Save in a Fire, though, I thought it was more women's fiction with a really strong romance. Either way, I loved that book and had to honor it in some way.

      Delete
  4. Most of the books I read are backlist or not hyped, so I can rarely vote in the Goodreads Choice Awards. This year, I’ve read exactly 0 of the nominated books. A few of them are on my TBR list, though! I’ll get to them eventually.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can be a good thing reading backlist, because there are usually a lot of opinions available for you to decide if you want to use your time to read it or not. I have been reading more and more backlist, and I am happy I am doing so.

      Delete
  5. So, usually I've read a lot of the YA ones. This year out of the 186 books I have read, I think there were only 2 that I'd read listed in any of the awards category. You'd think since most of what I've read is romance this year though, that I'd have more in that category, but nope, only one of the nominees had I actually read, although several are on my TBR list. Oh well. I always vote anyway, based on what I want to read or in categories I don't read, I'll vote based on what I've heard from people I trust about their likes and dislikes. Great discussion!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel like the romance books nominated were all really hyped, and did we really need two books from LJ Shen? I think it's great there was a bit of self published work represented, but why both from the same author? Like you, if I have not read any of the nominees, I base my choice on friends' input. I just cannot not vote.

      Delete
  6. There's never much point in me voting as I read so few new releases when they first come out! I'm working on reading all my backlog so generally I haven't read anything listed! I'll maybe take a look at the categories though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This would only included books published late 2018 and in 2019, so I can understand not seeing any books you have read if you are mostly reading backlist books. But, I read a LOT of new releases, and if I didn't read them, I was at least aware of what was out there getting a lot of good buzz. I was surprised by some books that were not on the list.

      Delete
  7. I'm not sure how they work up the list, but I was surprised that I didn't have one mystery novel in the batch because I read a lot of mysteries! I'm always surprised by what gets on the list. :/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am seeing a lot of people feeling that way about the mystery category. I don't really read adult mystery, but they must have really missed the mark there, because I know some of these people read a LOT of mystery, and the major releases as well.

      Delete
  8. I just voted this morning for my favorites. I also do not read horror. I was happy to see many books I read this year on the lists, but some of the books I loved didn't make the cut.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read a lot and I read a lot of new releases, and I didn't have too many on the list. Normally, I see a lot of books I have read nominated, but not this year.

      Delete
  9. There are a lot of amazing sounding books on the list but sadly I haven't read majority of them so voting was hard for me this year. I really need to step out my norm books and read some from other genres.

    Have a great weekend!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am hearing that from a lot of people. You are not alone.

      Delete
  10. I cannot believe this is already up!!! OMG I'm so behind with my bookish life (or life in general) I didn't even know!. With the fire on high was a master piece so I'm happy to see it here. TI enjoy the Girl in Red but I don;t think I'd have it on this list :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. Acevedo writes wonderful stories, and I am glad her books get positive attention. A few people are questioning books in certain categories. It's not that they were not good books, but were rather misplaced. I voted for Things You Save in a Fire for best romance, but I felt it was women's fiction. Maybe they need more categories, and that would perhaps, help with some of the other drama over the awards (lack of author diversity, etc).

      Delete
  11. love your post. i know it took a lot of time to put it together. i don't always look and rarely vote. if i haven't read the book, how can i vote on it? i read a lot of indie authors, so most of the time their books, no matter how fabulous, are rarely on the list
    sherry @ fundinmental

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This took a lot more time than my normal discussion posts, but I had feelings about the awards this year, and I never really felt like this about them before. I was just saying above, that they should have more categories. Why not an indie category? I like to think that Goodreads is a place to expose us to all sorts of books. More categories = more nominees = more books to learn about

      Delete
  12. I was sad that I could only vote once in some categories Sam! But I was also surprised by the science fiction section as none of the books that I have read were present! I think on the first round we should be allowed to vote for 3 winners ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I felt like that in the romance and YA fiction category. I read and loved so many of the nominees. You should send GR your suggestion. Maybe if enough of us "suggest" changes, they could be adopted for next year.

      Delete
  13. I voted, but have only read one that was nominated which is The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen. I have The Girl He Used to Know which I haven't read yet, but I voted for it anyway, no matter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Girl He Used to Know was really, really good. I hope you pick it up at some point. I love Dessen, and The Rest of the Story was classic Dessen, but I would love to see a lesser known author win the category. Is that wrong of me?

      Delete
    2. Not at all! And yes I am determined to pick that one up asap!

      Delete
    3. Can't wait to see what you think of Girl

      Delete
  14. I need to get over there and take a look. I'm assuming that I'll have read few of the nominees, as usual, but I am glad to see Two Can Keep A secret represented. I hope that I'll be familiar with some of the thrillers/ mysterie too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you will know more of the thriller/mysteries too. That seems to be a category that is vexing many people.

      Delete
  15. I seem to always be underwhelmed by their picks. Meh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had mixed feelings. I liked many of the books in the romance category, but felt like some leaned more women's fiction, and I have strong feelings about calling women's fiction romance. I thought a lot of the YA picks were very predictable, and I am all about spreading the love and would like to see some newer or not as hyped authors get some attention

      Delete
  16. Weirdly, I am never invested in this prt of the awards, but after yes, i want to know who win and what should be on my TBR

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can understand that. I am always so disappointed when my books don't make the cut. I almost take it personally.

      Delete
  17. I read the most books from the romance and Y.A. Sci-fi/fantasy categories. It was hard voting in those two categories because there were so many great nominees. It will be fun to see which books win :)

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I felt the same way with romance and YA fiction, so, I opted to pick the less hyped book

      Delete
  18. There weren't many books I have read this year except for that romance and historical category. It kind of sucks to be honest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tend to only read contemporaries, so I was shocked that I didn't see many books I read in many categories, but I expected to have read more in my goto categories.

      Delete
  19. I was really shocked by some of the popular 2019 books not making the list, and I have to say, I was a tad disappointed seeing the nominees. There are good books there, but there's been a lot of valid criticism brought up regarding the awards. I do, in all honesty, question the validity of the goodreads choice awards - and I don't see why it couldn't be the readers who nominate books. For one, Supernova, the third book in Marissa Meyer's Renegades series came out this Tuesday, AND it was somehow nominated? I do suppose it will do well, but I simply don't see how they could fairly nominate a book that was pubbed the same week as the nominees went live. Either way, great post, Sam!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have heard, that nominees are selected by GR staff, which seems to run counter the whole idea, that these are "reader awards". They should have an open nomination period or maybe even allow books to be nominated all year. Then they can tally from there. The nominations are for books published in 2019 and the end of 2018, so, I guess it is plausible that a newer book could make the list, but that just shows how readers do not necessarily have a say in nominations unless they write-in

      Delete
  20. I haven't read many of the books this year. I was happy to see more women horror authors this year, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's good to hear something is improving, because a lot of people are disappointed that there is not enough AOCs and LGBTQIA representation

      Delete
  21. I usually haven't read any of the books in a category or I have a terrible choice between a bunch I liked.
    And .... wow. I didn't realize that GR chooses the nominees which doesn't seem quite right.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was shocked to learn the nominees aren't reader elected. They should really change that. And, as you can see, in my genre, I have read many books. Sort of the same situation you described - fast or famine.

      Delete
  22. I always find it interesting to see what books are nominated. I haven't read many of the books this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would have thought that you read quite a few in the SFF categories. You even read quite a few mystery/thrillers, no? I do wish there were more categories, so more books could be recognized.

      Delete
  23. I was surprised at how few books I had read from the nominee lists as well. I skipped several categories for that reason when I voted. I was also surprised and kind of impressed with myself at how many I had read from the Romance category. I think that's your influence, lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This seems to be a common feeling among many people. You are a true mixer too, so, this surprises me. And, ha, ha! Welcome to the romance side.

      Delete
  24. I'm always so conflicted about these awards... I always have to skip categories because I hadn't even heard of the books that were voting options. I'm also always thrown off when a book has JUST come out, and it's on the list... but a really popular book from January didn't make the list. I'd be curious to see how the options are chosen and what the date range is. After all, we still have a while before 2019 is over!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is the first year that I feel so out of touch. I read a lot of blogs and always check out the books reviewed in publications, but there were quite a few books I had never heard of. I understand a new release making the list, since the people making the list probably had access to review copies, and the awards are open for books published this year, but how much input could the readers have then? And, I think a lot of us are curious to how this initial list of nominees is assembled.

      Delete
  25. Honestly, this year I'm not amazed by the choices. I admit, I tend to only read in a few of the categories but I feel like this year some of the categories are focused too much on the big titles and why is there no historical romance in the romance category? Oh well, I'll wait and see what comes in the next round and see how it goes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you really shocked that the categories are stacked with big titles? I sort of wish they had more categories, so those smaller books can get the love they deserve too. And, there is only one romance category, when romance makes up one of the largest market shares. There are some blogs doing more specialized awards - LGBT, AOCs, etc, and maybe someone will do a romance centric one.

      Delete
  26. I was actually shocked because looking at the nominations made me realise that I really don't read new releases any more, and if I do it tends to be the new releases which are unknown and not too popular! I read a lot of backlist titles. So I only had read one or three overall :P I also think they need to up their diverse titles on their lists...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes it's good to wait and see what more people have to say. I am pretty good about picking out a book that's good for me, but I have been burned a few times by reading too soon. I feel like I read more "smaller" books. They are published by big press, but I wouldn't say they are wildly read.

      Delete