Goodreads has just announced the winners of their 15th Annual Choice Awards.
Unlike other literary awards, winners of the Goodreads Choice Awards are selected by regular readers instead of critics. Over 5.8 million users voted for their favourite new releases, featuring 15 categories with 300 nominated books. New categories were added including the ever-growing Romantasy subgenre. This years winners include a majority of books penned by women, including one title which earned top spot in two different categories. The list remains very white, however, with few authors of colon emerging as winners.
Fiction: Yellowface by R.F. Kuang
Author June Hayward thinks she should be getting just as much success as her colleague, Athena Liu but no one wants to read about white girls, and Athena has the talent of being able to write across genres. Thats why, when June witnesses Athena die in a freak accident, she steals her recently completed novel about Chinese laborers and their effort during World War I. Passing off the work as her own, June is propelled into literary stardom and rebrands as an ethnically ambiguous bestselling writer. But when evidence of her lies emerges, shell have to ask herself just how far shell go to protect her unearned fame.
Funny and grim, Yellowface tackles racism and cultural appropriation in the publishing industry and comments on the constant erasure of Asian-American voices in white society.
Debut Novel and Historical Fiction: Weyward by Emilia Hart
Weyward weaves together the resilient stories of three women across five centuries. There’s Kate, who is fleeing from an abusive relationship to her great-aunt’s home in London, called Weyward Cottage; Altha, who is taught magic by her mother and is awaiting trial for the murder of a local farmer; and Violet, who is straitjacketed in her family’s estate and longs for her late mother as the second World War rages on.
Mystery and Thriller: The Housemaids Secret by Freida McFadden
Freida McFadden’s latest novel follows a nameless housekeeper with a troubled past who is tasked with cleaning up a penthouse owned by a generous couple, the Garricks. Her work situation is almost perfect despite never actually meeting Mrs. Garrick. But when she meets her employer behind the door of their guest bedroom and is horrified by what she sees, she makes a promise to protect her Mrs. Garrick while keeping her own secrets safe.
Romance: Happy Place by Emily Henry
Harriet and Wyn are the perfect couple, or at least they used to be. They’ve been broken up for five months and haven’t told anyone yet. So when they’re placed in the same bed during their friend group’s annual summer getaway, they plan to fake their relationship so as to not rock the boat while still contending with a burning passion for each other that hasn’t quite burned out.
Romantasy: Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarrows
Fourth Wing follows 20-year-old Violet Sorrengail, the daughter of a high-ranking general attending Basgiath War College.
An avid student of books and history, Violet plans to join the Scribe Quadrant, but her mother forces her to follow in her siblings’ footsteps and train to become a dragon rider. So she joins the Riders Quadrant instead but her odds of survival are low, considering her body is frailer than most and the dragons will kill without mercy. This is not to mention the bloodthirsty cadets training alongside her, including Xaden Riorson: the fiercest leader of the Riders Quadrant.
Fantasy: Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo
Following the events of the first novel in Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House series, Hell Bent follows Yale students Galaxy “Alex” Stern and Pamela Dawes as they attempt to find fellow student Darlington and retrieve his soul from purgatory. As faculty members begin to die off, Alex realizes that in order to survive, she needs to “reckon with the monsters of her past and a darkness built into the university’s very walls.”
Science Fiction: In the Lives of Puppets by T.J. Klune
Victor Lawson, a human, lives safely in the woods alongside three robots: Giovanni Lawson, a nurse machine, and a small vacuum. After repairing an android labeled “HAP,” Victor uncovers a dark shared history between the android and Gio, accidentally alerting robots from their past to their current whereabouts. He must then embark on a journey across the land to the City of Electric Dreams in order to save Gio from deprogramming or, worse, reprogramming.
Horror: Holly by Stephen King
Readers were first introduced to Holly Gibney as a recluse-turned-cop’s compatriot in Stephen King’s Finders Keepers series, and later as a private detective in The Outsider. In Holly, she goes solo after being tasked with locating a missing girl named Bonnie Dahl. The search becomes all the more difficult when Holly discovers Bonnie’s neighbors, two retired academics, are keeping a secret locked deep in their basement that just might be the key to finding her.
Young Adult Fantasy: Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross
The gods might be warring again after centuries of sleep, but Iris Winnow is more focused on keeping her family intact. Her mother is in the throes of addiction, and she hasn’t heard from her brother since he enlisted. A columnist promotion at the Oath Gazette promises to offer a bit of respite from her uncertain day-to-day.
Iris writes her brother letters and slips under her wardrobe, where they disappear into the hands of Roman Kitt a handsome but cold columnist vying for the same promotion. As Roman writes her back anonymously, the two develop a deep connection that follows Iris as she enters the front lines of battle.
Young Adult Fiction: Check & Mate by Ali Hazelwood
Mallory Greenleaf is done with chess. Every move counts nowadays; after the sport led to the destruction of her family four years earlier, Mallory’s focus is on her mom, her sisters, and the dead-end job that keeps the lights on. That is, until she begrudgingly agrees to play in one last charity tournament and inadvertently wipes the board with notorious “Kingkiller” Nolan Sawyer: current world champion and reigning Bad Boy of chess.
Nolan’s loss to an unknown rook-ie shocks everyone. What’s even more confusing? His desire to cross pawns again. What kind of gambit is Nolan playing? The smart move would be to walk away. Resign. Game over. But Mallory’s victory opens the door to sorely needed cash-prizes and despite everything, she can’t help feeling drawn to the enigmatic strategist….
As she rockets up the ranks, Mallory struggles to keep her family safely separated from the game that wrecked it in the first place. And as her love for the sport she so desperately wanted to hate begins to rekindle, Mallory quickly realizes that the games aren’t only on the board, the spotlight is brighter than she imagined, and the competition can be fierce (-ly attractive. And intelligent…and infuriating…)
Nonfiction: Poverty, By America by Matthew Desmond
Sociologist Matthew Desmond became a bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner with the release of his first book, Evicted, which follows eight families struggling with extreme poverty during the 2008 financial crisis. In Poverty, by America, he pulls from historical events, research, and original reporting to demonstrate how affluent citizens assist in keeping other Americans poor.
Memoir and Autobiography: The Woman in Me by Britney Spears
In June 2021, Britney Spears spoke out in an open court and detailed the ways she’d suffered under the now infamous conservatorship that controlled her finances, relationships, and even her body. Now, Britney speaks out once again in a reclamation of her narrative. In a highly-anticipated memoir, the award-winning superstar opens up about all that she’s endured and achieved over the years, as well as “the enduring power of music and love.”
History & Biography: The Wager by David Grann
From the author of Killers of the Flower Moon comes a real-life thriller about a group of 17th century seamen whose ship capsized on an island near Patagonia. Thirty starving men built a new vessel and sailed for more than 100 days before arriving on the coast of Brazil. They were seen as heroes until, six months later, three remaining crew members showed up to refute the details of their journey with a more gruesome tale of mutiny and murder.
Humour: Being Henry by Henry Winkler
In his debut memoir, Henry Winkler reflects on his biggest trials pre-Hollywood dispiriting childhood truths and severe dyslexia and during his illustrious acting career. By offering powerful moments of perseverance, he showcases “a meaningful testament to the power of sharing truth and kindness and of finding fulfilment within yourself.”