Every November, Goodreads releases the nominations for the Goodreads Choice Awards, a book awards system that allows readers to vote for their favorite book in each of 17 different categories. While they pre-nominate 20 books in each category, the first round also allows write-ins to theoretically level the playing field. The nominations are based on Goodreads metrics as to how many books are read, their rating, and the genre they are sorted into.

When making this list, it became abundantly clear to me that I did not read many of the most popular books of the year. Somehow, I didn’t read a single book in the “Fiction” or “Fantasy” categories, and was in fact only able to vote in about half of the categories that were available. Nonetheless, I decided to share with you the list of books that I did read, and nominate a few of my own. I also want to note that Goodreads is known for creating a VERY non-diverse list, specifically when it comes to Black authors. Something most definitely needs to change!

This opening round goes through November 27th, at which point we will move onto the final round and I will update the post accordingly.

Fiction

  • Our Missing Hearts, by Celeste Ng
  • This Time Tomorrow, by Emma Straub
  • Wish You Were here, by Jodi Picoult
  • Remarkably Bright Creatures, by Shelby Van Pelt
  • Cleopatra and Frankenstein, by Coco Meliors
  • How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water, by Angie Cruz
  • Notes On An Execution, by Danya Kukafka
  • Olga Dies Dreaming, by Xochitl Gonzalez
  • Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin
  • Nightcrawling, by Leila Mottley
  • True Biz, by Sara Novic
  • The Hotel Nantucket, by Elin Hilderbrand
  • Lucy by the Sea, by Elizabeth Strout
  • The Winners, by Fredrik Backman
  • Honor, by Thrity Umrigar
  • Mad Honey, by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan
  • Other Birds, by Sarah Addison Allen
  • Now is Not the Time to Panic, by Kevin Wilson
  • To Paradise, by Hanya Yanagihara
  • Demon Copperhead, by Barbara Kingsolver

Like I said earlier, I didn’t manage to read a single book in the Fiction category this year. I’m honestly pretty embarrassed by that, seeing as how it’s the broadest category, but I do think that I tend to read these “classic” litfic type books years down the line rather than right when they come out, so I”m looking forward to seeing what wins this category.

Mystery and Thriller

  • The Golden Couple, by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
  • The Book of Cold Cases, by Simone St. James
  • The It Girl, by Ruth Ware
  • The Bullet That Missed, by Richard Osman
  • The Overnight Guest, by Heather Gudenkauf
  • The Violin Conspiracy, by Brendan Slocumb
  • All Good People Here, by Ashley Flowers
  • The Housemaid, by Freida McFadden
  • The Night Shift, by Alex Finlay
  • More Than You’ll Ever Know, by Katie Gutierry
  • Things We Do In the Dark, by Jennifer Hillier
  • The Maid, by Nita Prose
  • Daisy Darker, by Alice Feeney
  • The Family Remains, by Lisa Jewell
  • The Paris Apartment, by Lucy Foley
  • Jackal, by Erin E Adams
  • Wrong Place Wrong Time, by Gillian McAllister
  • Killers of a Certain Age, by Deanna Raybourn
  • A Flicker in the Dark, by Stacy Willingham
  • The Family Game, by Catherine Steadman

Book That Deserved the Nom: Beneath the Stairs, by Jennifer Fawcett

I read two books in this category, The Maid and The Paris Apartment. I deeply enjoyed both books, but have to say that The Paris Apartment was much better executed. Lucy Foley is an incredible author and she’s quickly gotten onto my list of must-read (which is exciting since Riley Sager fell off the list after The House Across the Lake disappointed me earlier this year). I will add that I believe Beneath the Stairs was also very deserving of a nomination in this category! It was original and fun, and while The Paris Apartment still wins for me, I think it should have been on the list.

Historical Fiction

  • Four Treasures of the Sky, by Jenny Tinghui Zhang
  • The Book Woman’s Daughter, by Kim Michele Richardson
  • Take my Hand, by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
  • Hester, by Laurie Lico Albanese
  • Black Cake, by Charmaine Wilkerson
  • The Magnolia Palace, by Fiona Davis
  • The Diamond Eye, by Kate Quinn
  • Memphis, by Tara M Stringfellow
  • Carrie Soto is Back, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Go Tell the Bees that I am Gone, by Diana Gabaldon
  • Young Mungo, by Douglas Stuart
  • Shrines of Gaiety, by Kate Atkinson
  • Trust, by Hernan Diaz
  • The Passenger, by Cormac McCarthy
  • Violeta, by Isabel Allende
  • Peach Blossom Spring, by Melissa Fu
  • The Marriage Portrait, by Maggie O’Farrell
  • The Last Rose of Shanghai, by Weina Dai Randel
  • The Last House on the Street, by Diane Chamberlain
  • Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus

This is a tough category for me to vote in because I only read one book and I didn’t particularly like it. Young Mungo was incredibly boring and I had a hard time reading it, a fact which you all yelled at me for. Douglas Stuart is an accomplished author and I know this book was highly lauded, but I ended up just not voting at all.

Fantasy

  • The Lost Metal, by Brandon Sanderson
  • Nettle & Bone, by T Kingfisher
  • Legends & Lattes, by Travis Baldree
  • Elektra, by Jennifer Saint
  • Babel, by RF Kuang
  • Daughter of the Moon Goddess, by Sue Lynn Tan
  • Kaikeyi, by Vaishnavi Patel
  • Fairy Tale, by Stephen King
  • The War of Two Queens, by Jennifer L Armentrout
  • When Women Were Dragons, by Kelly Barnhill
  • A River Enchanted, by Rebecca Ross
  • The Golden Enclaves, by Naomi Novik
  • The Book Eaters, by Sunyi Dean
  • Thistlefoot, by GennaRose Nethercott
  • The Stardust Thief, by Chelsea Abdullah
  • The Atlas Six, by Olivie Blake
  • Ordinary Monsters, by JM Miro
  • The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches, by Sangu Mandanna
  • The World We Make, by NK Jemisin
  • House of Sky and Breath, by Sarah J Maas

Book that Deserved the Nom: When We Were Birds, by Ayanna Lloyd Banwo

I don’t normally read a ton of fantasy, and this year was no different. I am currently reading Daughter of the Moon Goddess as I type this, but I’m not far enough through to weigh in and vote for it yet. I would personally have nominated When We Were Birds, which I think was an incredible mix of fantasy and realism, for this category.

Romance

  • Love on the Brain, by Ali Hazelwood
  • The Wedding Crasher, by Mia Sosa
  • Every Summer After, by Carley Fortune
  • Things We Never Got Over, by Lucy Score
  • Electric Idol, by Katee Robert
  • Funny you Should Ask, by Elissa Sussman
  • You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty, by Awkwaeke Emezi
  • Reminders of Him, by Colleen Hoover
  • Thank you for Listening, by Julia Whelan
  • The American Roommate Experiement, by Elena Armas
  • Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey
  • Part of your World, by Abby Jimenez
  • The Bodyguard, by Katherine Center
  • Book Lovers, by Emily Henry
  • Delilah Green Doesn’t Care, by Ashley Herring Blake
  • Dating Dr. Dil, by Nisha Sharma
  • Terms and Conditions, by Lauren Asher
  • It Starts With us, by Colleen Hoover
  • The Kiss Curse, by Erin Sterling
  • Twisted Hate, by Ana Huang

Book That Deserved the Nom: Husband Material, by Alexis Hall

2022 was the year of returning to romance for me personally. I hadn’t been big into reading romances since I stopped reading YA in high school, but I came back strong this year. You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty was definitely my favorite book in the genre, potentially even my favorite book that I’ve read all year. It was so incredibly well written and it’s stuck in my head all year despite reading it in February. While that book would win the vote for me no matter what, Husband Material also deserved to e nominated in this category– especially considering that Colleen Hoover got nominated twice. I am a full believer that authors should only be able to be nominated once in each category for these type of awards, if only to increase the representation on the lists.

Science Fiction

  • Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel
  • Nona the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
  • Dead Silence by SA Barnes
  • Mickey 7 by Edward Ashton
  • How High We Go in the Dark, by Sequoia Nagamatsu
  • The Daughter of Doctor Moreau, by Silvia Moreno Garcia
  • Primitives, by Erich Krauss
  • Self-Portrait With Nothing, by Aimee Pokwatka
  • Upgrade, by Blake Crouch
  • The Measure, by Nikki Erlick
  • Sleep Walk, by Dan Chaon
  • The Kaiju Preservation Society, by John Scalzi
  • Station Eternity, by Mur Lafferty
  • Leech, by Hiron Ennes
  • The Genesis of Misery, by Neon Yang
  • Atomic Anna, by Rachel Barenbaum
  • Leviathan Falls, by James SA Corey
  • Hunt the Stars, by Jessie Mihalik
  • Ocean’s Echo, by Everina Maxwell
  • Lost in Time, by AG Riddle

I don’t really have anything to say about this category!

Horror

  • Hidden Pictures, by Jason Rekulak
  • Sundial, by Catriona Ward
  • Small Angels, by Lauren Owen
  • Such Sharp Teeth, by Rachel Harrison
  • The Fervor, by Alma Katsu
  • Manhunt, by Gretchen Felker-Martin
  • The Violence, by Delilah S Dawson
  • House of Hunger, by Alexis Henderson
  • Juniper & Thorn, by Ava Reid
  • Just Like Mother, by Anne Heltzel
  • The Hacienda, by Isabel Canas
  • Gwendy’s Final Task, by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar
  • We Spread, by Iain Reid
  • The Devil Takes you Home, by Gabino Iglesias
  • White Horse, by Erika T Wurth
  • Gallows hill, by Darcy Coates
  • Our Wives Under the Sea, by Julia Armfield
  • The Cherry Robbers, by Sarai Walker
  • What Moves the Dead, by T Kingfisher
  • The Children on the Hill, by Jennifer McMahon

Once again, I don’t have anything to say. I don’t really read horror anymore, although I do have Manhunt on hold on Libby.

Humor

  • The Office BFFs, by Jenna Fischer & Angela Kinsey
  • Who Do I Think I am, by Anjelah Johnson-Reyes
  • All About me! by Mel Brooks
  • Girls Can Kiss Now, by Jill Gutowitz
  • The Nineties, by Chuck Klosterman
  • The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of the Whole Stupid World, by Matt Kracht
  • The World’s Worst Assistant, by Sona Movsesian
  • Idiots, by Laura Clery
  • In On the Joke, by Shawn Levy
  • I’d like to Play Alone, please, by Tom Segura
  • Excuse Me While I Disappear, by Laurie Notaro
  • I’ll Show Myself out, by Jessi Klein
  • The World Deserves my Children, by Natasha leggero
  • Ten Steps to Nanette, by Hannah Gadsby
  • I’m More Dateable Than a Plate of Refried Bean and other Romantic Observations, by Ginny Hogan
  • Happy Go Lucky, by David Sedaris
  • Hello, Molly! by Molly Shannon
  • Start Without Me, by Gary Janetti
  • Sicker in the Head, by Judd Apatow
  • Midlife Bites, by Jen Mann

The only book I’ve read in this category is Girls Can Kiss Now, but luckily I think it’s fully deserving of my vote. It was so hilarious and relatable, and Gutowitz did a great job of mixing personal anecdotes with pop culture phenomena. I am also looking forward to eventually reading I’m More Dateable Than a Plate of Refried Beans, since Hogan is someone I’ve followed on Twitter for years.

Nonfiction

  • These Precious Days, by Ann Patchett
  • How to Be Perfect, by Michael Schur
  • Unmasked, by Paul Holes
  • Rogues, by Patrick Radden Keefe
  • The Trayvon Generation, by Elizabeth Alexander
  • The Myth of Normal, by Gabor Mate
  • Starry Messenger, by Neil DeGrasse Tyson
  • A Taste for poison, by neil Bradbury
  • All The Living and The Dead, by Hayley Campbell
  • what if? 2 by Randall Munroe
  • Atlas of the Heart, by Brene Brown
  • Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? by Dr. Julie Smith
  • Visual Thinking, by Temple Grandin
  • Building a Second Brain, by Tiago Forte
  • Bittersweet, by Susan Cain
  • An Immense World, by Ed Young
  • South to America, by Imani Perry
  • The Song of the Cell, by Siddhartha Mukherjee
  • The Power of Regret, by Daniel H Pink
  • Stolen Focus, by Johann Hari

Book That Deserved the Nom: Bi: The Hidden Culture, History, and Science of Bisexuality by Julia Shaw

This was an easy decision for who to vote for, since I only read one book in the category and gave it five stars. However, I also believe that Bi deserved attention in this category. I learned so much from this book and thought it was incredibly well written. Both Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before and Bi were my two favorite nonfiction books of the year.

Memoir and Autobiography

  • Year of the Tiger, by Alice Wong
  • Easy Beauty, by Chloe Cooper Jones
  • In Love, by Amy Bloom
  • Token Black Girl, by Danielle Prescod
  • Left on Tenth, by Delia Ephron
  • Crying in the Bathroom, by Erika L Sanchez
  • Friends Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, by Matthew Perry
  • What My Bones Know, by Stephanie Foo
  • The Man Who Could Move Clouds, by Ingrid Rojas Contreras
  • Funny Farm, by Laurie Zaleski
  • Finding Me, by Viola Davis
  • Uncultured, by Daniella Mestyanek Young
  • I’m Glad My Mom Died, by Jennette McCurdy
  • Mean Baby, by Selma Blair
  • We Were Dreamers, by Simu Liu
  • Madly, Deeply, by Alan Rickman
  • Bomb Shelter, by Mary Laura Philpott
  • Lost & Found, by Kathryn Schulz
  • Solito, by Javier Zamora
  • Stay True, by Hua Hsu

Book That Deserved the Nom: Pretty Baby, by Chris Belcher

I really enjoyed I’m Glad My Mom Died, if only because it was incredible insight into the life of someone I felt like I grew up with. However, the best memoir I read this year by far was Pretty Baby, the story of a lesbian woman turned dominatrix in order to pay her college tuition.

History and Biography

  • His Name is George Floyd, by Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa
  • Bad Mexicans, by Kelly Lytle Hernandez
  • Shine Bright, by Danyel Smith
  • Rise, by Jeff Yang and Phil Yu and Philip Wang
  • Dangerous Rhythms, by TJ English
  • The Escape Artist, by Jonathan Freedland
  • Gangsters vs Nazis, by Michael Benson
  • And There Was Light, by Jon Meacham
  • Prisoners of the Castle, by Ben Macintyre
  • Bad Gays, by Huw Lemmey and Ben Miller
  • Agent Josephine, by Damien Lewis
  • The Revolutionary Samuel Adams, by Stacy Schiff
  • River of the Gods, by Candice Millard
  • American Midnight, by Adam Hochschild
  • Wise Gals, by Nathalia Holt
  • Slaying the Dragon, by Ben Riggs
  • The Dark Queens, by Shelley Puhak
  • By Hands Now Known, by Margaret A Burnham
  • The Scandalous Hamiltons, by Bill Shaffer
  • Anna, by Amy Odell

I didn’t read any of these!

Graphic Novels and Comics

  • Huda F Are You, by Huda Fahmy
  • It Won’t Always Be Like This, by Malaka Sharib
  • Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell
  • Everything is Okay, by Debbie Tung
  • Messy Roots, by Laura Gao
  • Crumbs,by Danie Stirling
  • A Career in Books, by Kate Gavino
  • Lore Olympus, by Rachel Smythe
  • Saga Volume 10, by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples
  • Squire by Sara Alfageeh and Nadia Shammas
  • Odball, by Sarah Anderson
  • Demon in the Woods, by Leigh Bardugo and Dani Pendergast
  • Killing Stalking by Koogi
  • Ducks by Kate Beaton
  • Welcome to St. Hell by Lewis Hancox
  • Heartstopper Volume 4, by Alice Oseman
  • Chef’s Kiss, by Jarrett Melendez, Danica Brine, Hank Jones, and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
  • Thieves, by Lucie Bryon
  • The Many Deaths of Laila Starr, by Ram V, Ines Amaro, AndWorld Design and Filipe Andrade
  • Wash Day Diaries, by Jamila Rowser and Robyn Smith

I have never in my life read a graphic novel, and this is something I deeply want to change but haven’t actually gotten around to doing.

Poetry

  • The Shift, by Melody Godfred
  • Normal Distance, by Elisa Gabbert
  • And Yet, by Kate Baer
  • Alive at the End of the World, by Saeed Jones
  • All the Flowers Kneeling, by Paul Tran
  • The Hurting Kind, by Ada Limon
  • Call Us What We Carry, by Amanda Gorman
  • Poukahangatus, by Tayz Tibble
  • Woman Without Shame, by Sandra Cioneras
  • Walking Gentry Home, by Alora Young
  • Time is a Mother, by Ocean Vuong
  • Musical Tables, by Billy Collins
  • Serenity, by FS Yousaf
  • Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in her Head, by Warsan Shire
  • Girls That Never Die, by Safia Elhillo
  • Unlock Your Storybook Heart, by Amanda Lovelace
  • Weaving Sundown in a Scarlet Light, by Joy Harjo
  • Golden Ax, by Rio Cortez
  • On Sun Swallowing, by Dakota Warren
  • The Word Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On, by Franny Choi

I only read one book of poetry this year, i have nothing to say, and it’s so niche that I haven’t even been able to find it on Goodreads. It’s written by a local author who is dating someone I tangentially know, which is why I read it, but I cannot properly nominate it without even being able to find it online. It was good though! I would recommend!

Debut Novel

  • The Maid, by Nita Prose
  • Memphis, by Tara M Stringfellow
  • Daughter of the Moon Goddess, by Sue Lynn Tan
  • Remarkably Bright Creatures, by Shelby Van Pelt
  • A Flicker in the Dark, by Stacy Willingham
  • The Measure, by Nikki Erlick
  • Kaikeyi, by Vaishnavi Patel
  • How High We Go in the Dark, by Sequoia Nagamatsu
  • Every Summer After, by Carley Fortune
  • Olga Dies Dreaming, by Xochitl Gonzalez
  • Cleopatra and Frankenstein, by Coco Mellors
  • The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas
  • The Violin Conspiracy, by Brendan Slocumb
  • Our Wives Under the Sea, by Julia Armfield
  • Jackal, by Erin E Adams
  • Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus
  • Thistlefoot, by GennaRose Nethercott
  • Black Cake, by Charmaine Wilkerson
  • All Good People Here, by Ashley Flowers
  • Nightcrawling, by Leila Mottley

I voted for The Maid here!

Young Adult Fiction

  • See You Yesterday, by Rachel Lynn Solomon
  • Hell Followed With Us, by Andrew Joseph White
  • You’ll Be The Death of Me, by Karen M McManus
  • My Mechanical Romance, by Alexene Farol Follmuth
  • Family of liars, by e lockhart
  • I fell in Love with Hope, by Lancali
  • Nothing More to Tell, by Karen M McManus
  • The First To Die At the End, by Adam Silvera
  • Loveless, by Alice Oseman
  • A Show for Two, by Tashie Bhuiyan
  • I Kissed Shara Wheeler, by Casey McQuiston
  • Ophelia After All, by Racquel Marie
  • I Must Betray You, by Ruta Sepetys
  • The Final Gambit, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School, by Sonora Reyes
  • She Gets the Girl, by Rachael Lippincott and Alyson Derrick
  • All My Rage, by Sabaa Tahir
  • The Weight of Blood, by Tiffany D Jackson
  • Anatomy, by Sana Schwartz
  • As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow, by Zoulfa Katouh

I had to do some deep thinking to decide whether to vote Ophelia After All or She Gets the Girl here. In the end, I decided to go with Ophelia After All, but that may be because I read it more recently. Both books were so good. anddeserve all the attention in the world!

Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction

  • Cursed, by Marissa Meyer
  • Cytonic, by Brandon Sanderson
  • This Woven Kingdom, by Tahereh Mafi
  • Only a Monster, by Vanessa Len
  • If You Could See The Sun, by Ann Liang
  • These Twisted Bonds, by Lexi Ryan
  • Bloodmarked, by Tracy Deonn
  • Violet Made of Thorns, by Gina Chen
  • Foul Lady Fortune, by Chloe Gong
  • Hotel Magnifique, by Emily J Taylor
  • Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea, by Axie Oh
  • Belladonna, by Adalyn Grace
  • The Ballad of Never After, by Stephanie Garber
  • Kingdom of the Feared, by Kerri Maniscalco
  • So This is Ever After, by ET Lukens
  • Magic Steeped in Poison, by Judy I Lin
  • All That’s Left in the World, by Erik J Brown
  • The Sunbearer Trials, by Aiden Thomas
  • The Dragon’s Promise, by Elizabeth Lim
  • Gallant, by VE Schwab

Book That Deserved the Nom: Lakelore, by Anna-Marie McLemore

Lakelore was an incredible YA book worthy of the nomination in this category, but as for books actually nominated, I didn’t read any of them.

Middle Grade and Childrens

  • Small Town Pride, by PHil Stamper
  • I am Quiet, by Andie Powers and Betsy Petersen
  • The Ogress and the Orphans, by Kelly Barnhill
  • Aru Shah and the Nectar of Immortality, by Roshani Chokshi
  • The Best Gift for Bear, by Jennifer A Bell
  • The Pennymores: The Curse of the Invisible Quilt, by Eric Koester
  • Keeper of the Lost Cities: Stellarlune, by Shannon Messenger
  • The Elephant Girl, by James Patterson and Ellen Banda-Aaku
  • This is (Not) Enough, by Anna Kang and Christopher Weyant
  • Rise of the School for Good and Evil, by Soman Chainani
  • I Am Able to Shine, by Korey Watari and Mike Wu
  • Amari and the Great Game, by BB Alston
  • The Girl in White, by Lindsay Currie
  • Witchlings, by Claribel A Ortega
  • Ravenfall, by Kalyn Josephson
  • Bastille vs the Evil Librarians book 6, by Brandon Sanderson and Janci Patterson
  • Zachary and the Dragon Emperor Ying, by Xiran Jay Zhao
  • How to Heal a Gryphon, by Meg Cannistra
  • New From Here, by Kelly Yang
  • The Marvellers, by Dhonielle Clayon

It’s been a while since I’ve read a middle grade or children’s book!


What books do you think deserved the nomination? What did you vote for?