Only recently have I started paying attention to the Goodreads Choice Awards, where readers from around the world vote on the best books of the year. It has only been since last year that I’ve read new releases and kept up with the books published with acclaim.
I was super excited this year because I felt like I read soooo many good books and people seemed to agree, as I was able to vote in almost every single category for the final round of voting. I felt like a contributing member to the reading society ^.^
I had been counting down the days for the results to be announced, and on December 4th, the votes and winners were finally released. I opened the list and……. was sorely disappointed. I might have pouted and let out a *hurumph*
Let me share the winners before I explain:
Let me start by congratulating the winners, there are some amazing sounding books on here and I have added several to my to read list. But what I noticed that was distinctly from the list was, well, er, any single book that I have read…. ba ba bum.
In fact, the books I felt were the best of the year made it pretty much to… last place in the finalists. This got me wondering, what books tend to win Goodreads Choice? Are there certain books that people vote for? Importantly, are the winners actually the best books of the year? (I mean, if Muse of Nightmares didn’t win, is this even a legitimate list?!?!)
One thing that stood out to me immediately for winners and runners up for several categories were author names. Many of the books were written by famous authors or people who have instant name recognition. That got me further speculating, when people haven’t read a book in a category, do they just vote for a name they recognize or assume would write a good book? Hmmm 🤔 One piece of evidence would be the number of votes for books far surpasses the number of people who have read the book on Goodreads… Pretty suspicious 🕵️
Okay, okay, okay. You got me. I voted for a book I didn’t read. Please don’t burn me at the stake!! I had the best of intentions. *cough* it was a Murakami book *cough* But the book was released a week before voting started! I couldn’t get it from the library in time to vote for what I hope is an amazing book! And that’s when I noticed, many of the books I voted for were published within a month of voting at the very end of the year. There might be a cool study there looking at publication date and number of votes. I would expect that books that were published earlier had more time for people to either read them, or at least hear about them.
Part of me wishes that books that are published closer to the voting period might be put on next year’s ballot in order to give the book a fighting chance. They just never had a chance, poor things.
Now, I can’t say that the winners weren’t the best books of the year. I didn’t read them, I just know the books I read were superb. And that brings me to my final point: how are we supposed to accurately vote for the best book when we have only read one or a handful of the nominees? To be completely fair, I think it would be best to read ALL OF THE BOOKS. BWAHAHAHAHA. I’m not crazy.
But actually, this is something I’ve been thinking about, and I think it would be really cool to sit down one year with a category and read all of the books that were nominated for the year before and create my own ranked list and compare it to the votes. In fact, it would be cool to get a group of people together and each person take one of the categories. Would the lists match, or were the wrong books voted in?! This could have dire consequences for years to come when impressionable readers try to find something to read.
For great literary justice, is anyone with me?! 20 books are listed for each category, and that can be a large undertaking (especially in the fantasy categories, the pages, the pages!!) but even reading the top 10 finalists would give us a pretty good idea. If anyone wants to get a group together for this experiment to start in January and continue through the year, please let me know! I’d be happy to organize 🙂
In the meantime, do you agree with the winners? Any you think should have been ranked higher? I’d love to hear your thoughts!