By Emily Temple on Dec 4, 2012
The winners of the Goodreads Choice Awards have just been announced, and the results are a little surprising. As Shelf Life points out, the Goodreads Choice Awards are the closest thing the literary world has to the People’s Choice Awards, with 1,156,852 votes cast by readers for their favorite books in 20 categories, including Fiction, Memoir, Poetry and YA. So we could expect that the winners would skew commercial — no snooty critic here to put in her two cents. That said, we were still rather amazed that J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy was voted as the best work of fiction of the year. Surely, the name recognition isn’t enough — nothing against Rowling, but there were so many better books in 2012. That said, other picks — like Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl for Best Mystery, John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars for Best Young Adult, and Cheryl Strayed’s Wild for Best Memoir — we’re totally on board with. See the complete list of winners after the jump, and let us know what you think in the comments.
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
Mystery & Thriller
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Memoir & Autobiography
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
History & Biography
Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch by Sally Bedell Smith
A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver
The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett
The Twelve by Justin Cronin
Young Adult Fiction
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James
Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson
Food & Cookbook
The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl by Ree Drummond
Graphic Novel & Comic
The Walking Dead, Vol 16: A Larger World by Robert Kirkman, Illustrated by Charlie Adlard
The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
Olivia and the Fairy Princesses by Ian Falconer
Goodreads is a privately run "social cataloging" website started in December 2006 by Otis Chandler, a software engineer and entrepreneur. The website permits individuals to sign up and register books to create their library catalogs and reading lists. It also allows users to create their own groups of book suggestions and discussions. In December 2007, the site had over 650,000 members and over 10,000,000 books added. As of July 2012, the site reported 10 million members, 20 million monthly visits, and 30 employees.
In October of 2012, Goodreads announced it had grown to 11 million members with 395 million books catalogued and over 20,000 book clubs created by its users. Only one month later, in November of 2012, Goodreads had surpassed 12 million members, as their member base had doubled in a year.
The Readers Choice Awards is a yearly award program that was first launched on Goodreads in 2009. The award program allows users to nominate books of their choosing that were released for that year, with the final voting round collecting the top ten books from twenty different categories.