The winners of the 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards were announced on Monday, and you can view the results here. (There’s also a cute post showing the winning authors expressing their gratitude!)
Not a single one of my top choices was voted a winner. In any category. But I’m OK with that. Really.
(On the other hand… well, I’m kind of happy that one of the books that I was desperately hoping wouldn’t win DIDN’T. I thought it would – that’s why I was worried. So, yeah. That was a thing that happened.)
I joined Goodreads back in October 2012, but only started using the site regularly in late 2013 – so I haven’t experienced many Goodreads Choice Awards. Still, each time they take place, I’m always reminded of how few new books I read. I didn’t recognize many of the books, and had only read a handful of them.
This is partially due to just not being all that interested in certain genres: I rarely read literary fiction, self-help books, horror, et cetera.
Buuuuut… it’s ALSO related to my apathy towards reading the latest books as soon as they come out! I read SOME books as soon as they come out, or shortly thereafter, but most of the time I’m content to read them “whenever.” Staying up-to-date in the bookish world just isn’t my priority.
For the record, here are the nominated books I’ve read. (Note that there are LOADS of genres missing here, because I just didn’t read anything from those categories.) My nominations are marked with an asterisk.
Graphic Novels & Comics
- Saga, Vol. 4 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
- Nimona by Noelle Stevenson*
- Thor, Vol. 1: The Goddess of Thunder by Jason Aaron
- Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson
Young Adult Fiction
- Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Middle Grade & Children’s
- The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
- George by Alex Gino
- The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton*
Now let’s examine that list, shall we?! OK, beginning from the top – yeah, I read a lot of graphic novels and comic books this year. (I did last year, as well!) This genre was the most fun to vote for because I had the most choices! I love that I’ve gotten more into to graphic novels and comic books over the past few years.
That’s not a typo under Young Adult Fiction. No asterisk is missing – I didn’t vote for Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I refuse to vote for the only book I’ve read from any particular genre if I didn’t like it. (I had the same policy in 2013 and 2014 as well.) There were a bunch of things I disliked about that book – I rated it 2 or maaaaaaybe 2.5 out of 5 stars – and I just don’t see the point in supporting something I didn’t like.
(If you were wondering – yes, that’s the book I didn’t want to win in the Young Adult Fiction category. All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven won instead.)
On a less bitter note, I am honestly REALLY PROUD of BOTH of the authors (and their books!) from the Middle Grade & Children’s category. It was VERY difficult for me to decide between George by Alex Gino and The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan. Both books are so lovely and well written!
I grew up reading Riordan’s books, and binge-read his Heroes of Olympus series in 2014, so his stories are pretty near and dear to my heart. On the other hand, for all of Rick’s diversity… George focuses on diversity more directly, and it’s just SO important to have positive, light-hearted children’s stories with transgender characters so that little trans kids know they’re not alone!
In the end I chose George, but I love both of them SO MUCH.
I am not-so-secretly a child and you should all go read The Princess and the Pony because A) the artwork is adorable and B) the pony burps and farts. SORRY I CAN’T HELP IT THAT I’M SO IMMATURE.
I could write an ENTIRE POST about this (and I probably will at some point), but: I love the Goodreads Choice Awards. Even when I don’t agree with
the people who voted for Divergent back in 2012 the top choices, I love the idea of these awards – the process behind it. I think it would be cool to be a book critic some day, but I also realize that there is often a disconnect between what the critics are reading (and enjoying!) and what the vast majority of people are reading (and enjoying!).
To be honest, I rarely pay attention to book awards – Caldecott and Newbery nominations notwithstanding. There may be a few other awards that I care about, but… yeah, that’s all I can think of off the top of my head.
I’m not interested in committees deciding which books are “worthy.” It’s important to take a look at what ordinary people are reading. Critical acclaim? Meh. I’m into that kind of thing like maybe 10% of the time – the rest of the time, I want to know what everyone and their mother is reading. What has received public acclaim? Sometimes books that are adored by critics fail to achieve widespread popularity, and vice versa. And that’s OK.
Why is YA fiction split into two categories? I know it’s been like this for a while in the Goodreads Choice Awards, but still. If you’re going to divide YA fiction into specific subgenres – which I am 100% for, by the way – why not go all the way and add multiple genres? Why stop at “YA Fiction” and “YA Fantasy & Science Fiction”? How about “YA Contemporary” and “YA Nonfiction” and “YA Romance” and so on and so forth?
(For that matter, why are fantasy and science fiction lumped together? I’ve never understood that… they don’t really have much in common.)
It just makes me frustrated that books aimed at adults are placed in their very own genres, but YA/middle grade/children’s books don’t receive the same treatment.
Can we please have three LGBTQ+ genre categories, one for YA and one for adult stuff and one for nonfiction? I mean, honestly. If “Science & Technology” gets separated from general “Nonfiction,” and “Food & Cookbooks” and “Debut Goodreads Author” are legitimate categories, why can’t we have these?
I requested Winter by Marissa Meyer and it’s finally finally FINALLY waiting for me at the library and I’m SO FREAKING EXCITED TO READ IT, but… I’m not OK with its inclusion on the list of nominations for YA Fantasy & Science Fiction. It hadn’t even been published when the award process began – it was published on November 10th, and the awards started on the third! I mean, it was published on the day the semifinal round began!
I’m sure it’s a lovely book, and Marissa Meyer is one of my favorite writers, but I ALSO strongly believe that books that haven’t even been published should not be considered in ANY award process. I know some people received ARCs of Winter, but… yeah, that still doesn’t mean the vast majority of people had access to that book yet.
It didn’t win or anything – it came in fourth, I believe – but I still don’t understand why it was included. How are you supposed to vote for a book you haven’t read yet? Why would you vote for a book you haven’t read yet?
Tell me YOUR thoughts about the 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards! What books did you nominate? Did any of the winning titles surprise you? Did any of your nominations win?!