The Goodreads Choice Awards are the only major book awards chosen by readers. These are their picks for the best of the year!
FICTION: Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee
Harper Lee's much anticipated novel — a continuation of the stories she began in her beloved To Kill a Mockingbird — wasn't universally loved, but it certainly had everyone talking this year.
MYSTERY & THRILLER: The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins
Paula Hawkins’ debut psychological thriller follows Rachel, a woman nearing rock bottom. She rides the commuter train to London every day so no one knows she lost her job, she’s a barely functioning alcoholic, and she is still pining for her cheating ex-husband. When she finds herself invested in the story of a missing local woman, she starts unraveling a chain of dangerous secrets — but no one will believe her.
HISTORICAL FICTION: The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah
In France of 1939, Vianne Mauriac sends her husband off to war. When the Nazis invade her village, and quickly her house, she has to figure out how best to live and keep her and her child out of danger. Meanwhile, her young sister, recently brokenhearted, heads willingly into danger when she joins the Resistance.
YOUNG ADULT: All the Bright Places, by Jennifer Niven
Theodore Finch and Violet Markey are high school students who seemingly have nothing in common — Finch is a depressive and misunderstood outcast; Violet is an outgoing, but secretly troubled, popular girl. But when they find themselves in similarly desperate situations, standing at the top of their school’s bell tower, their unlikely friendship is formed and grows into a rollercoaster of a romance.
YA FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION: Queen of Shadows, by Sarah J. Maas
The fourth book in the Throne of Glass series, Queen of Shadows has Celaena Sardothien returning to the empire to fight for her throne.
MEMOIR & AUTOBIOGRAPHY: A Work in Progress, by Connor Franta
Twenty-two-year-old YouTuber Connor Franta has had a wild life — from growing up in a small Midwestern town, struggling with his body image and sexuality, to pursuing his creative dreams and becoming an internet sensation — and he explores it all with humor and insight in his memoir.
HUMOR: Why Not Me?, by Mindy Kaling
Mindy Kaling's poignant and hilarious collection of essays explores all facets of being a woman in Hollywood — making new friends, falling in love, finding contentment, and making a place for herself even when it seems like she shouldn't be there.
POETRY: The Dogs I Have Kissed, by Trista Mateer
This is Tumblr darling Trista Mateer's second collection of poetry, and it's filled with all of the heartbreaking honesty and beautiful imagery that made a whole new generation of readers fall in love with her.
NONFICTION: Modern Romance, by Aziz Ansari
Frustrated with his own dating experiences, Aziz Ansari dives into courtship is the age of apps through interviews, anecdotes, and scientific research.
HISTORY & BIOGRAPHY: Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, by Erik Larson
Erik Larson tells the gripping and heartbreaking story of the Lusitania — the luxury ocean liner that was attacked by a German U-boat during World War I — and the passengers who sank with it. It's a thorough look at the changing rules of war and the danger of hubris, and an intimate examination of one of the 20th century's greatest tragedies.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY: Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish, by John Hargrove
Former orca trainer (and one of the stars of the documentary Blackfish) John Hargrove reveals what life is like for orcas in captivity, and talks about the work being done toward changing it.
ROMANCE: Confess, by Colleen Hoover
Auburn Reed goes into a Dallas art studio looking for work, but ends up falling for an artist who works there. When she risks everything she's worked towards to be with him, she finds out his secret past threaten their future.
SCIENCE FICTION: Golden Son, by Pierce Brown
The second book in the much-loved Red Rising trilogy, Golden Son continues the story of Darrow, the tragic hero rebelling against overlords to break down the elitist society and free his people.
FANTASY: Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances, by Neil Gaiman
Gaiman's latest collection of short fiction includes stories about the paranormal, ghosts and fairies, the mysterious, the fantastic, and the horrific — and even a story about Doctor Who.
HORROR: Saint Odd, by Dean Koontz
This is the seventh book in Koontz's series about Odd Thomas, a short-order cook who can speak to the dead, and when a carnival comes to Odd's small desert town it seems they're bringing a lot of evil with them.
GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMICS: Saga, Volume 4, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
In this continuing story of a young family trying to figure out where in the universe they belong, the family visits a scary new world with its own unique dangers.
FOOD & COOKBOOKS: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime, by Ree Drummond
Ree Drummond — host of the Food Network show The Pioneer Woman — has won a Goodreads Choice Award before, and this time she conquers dinner: from hearty salads, to comfort soups, to tasty casseroles, and more.
MIDDLE GRADE & CHILDREN'S: The Sword of Summer, by Rick Riordan
Rick Riordan is a Goodreads fave for his otherworldly adventures, and The Sword of Summer begins the saga of Magnus Chase: the orphaned kid trying to survive on the streets of Boston until one day a mysterious man tells him he is actually the son of a Norse god.
PICTURE BOOKS: The Day the Crayons Came Home, by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers
This imaginative story of all the lost crayons looking to find their way back to their box — and all of the misadventures that led them astray — won the hearts of children across the country.