Monday, November 4, 2013

Goodreads Choice Awards 2013

It is the opening round of the 2013 Goodreads Choice Awards, the only book awards that are decided on by popular vote from readers.

Since Goodreads is probably my primary resource for deciding which books I review and blog about, I am always incredibly interested in the Goodreads Choice Awards and which books have made the cut in each category. And fortunately, I have managed to choose quite a few books that have been nominated in various categories.

Just from looking at the fiction category I can see I'll have to make some tough decisions this year. No surprise that Khaled Hosseini's And The Mountains Echoed made the cut for this category. But also in the running are Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah, Anthony Marra's A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, and Ruth Ozeki's A Tale for the Time Being. I'd be willing to cheer on all four of these books, but I can only vote for one. And I am sure they will all have a hard time going up against Jhumpa Lahiri's The Lowland.

A few nominees for the Mystery & Thriller category that are also not at all surprising are Stephen King's Joyland and Robert Galbraith's The Cuckoo's Calling. Of course, as most everyone knows by now, Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym being used by J.K. Rowling. But even with the immediate popularity The Cuckoo's Calling was guaranteed to gain upon being associated with the popular Harry Potter author, I have to say that the book is pretty good and can stand on its own merit. And another book nominated for this category that I am actually in the middle of reading is Marisha Pessl's Night Film. I am only about a fifth of the way through and from what I have read I do believe it deserves to be nominated.  I will probably lean towards Stephen King, but Night Film may end up changing my mind.

Cathy Marie Buchanan's The Painted Girls has been nominated for the Historical Fiction category, and while I generally enjoyed the book, I can't say I believe it to be the best of the year. However, I also read Burial Rites by Hannah Kent for an upcoming blog post, and this book I am willing to vote for. But as always, this category has some stiff competition with Colum McCann's TransAtlantic and Philipp Meyer's The Son.

I actually don't have any favorites for the Science Fiction category, so I decided to write in Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter's The Long War. I'm kind of surprised it was not nominated seeing how the first book in the series, The Long Earth, took the prize in this category for 2012.

For a future blog post I read The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen Year Old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida and translated by David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas). Just from reading the book jacket I had a feeling this book would be nominated, and here it is in the Memoir & Autobiography category. It is one of those books that probably everyone should read, and it is fairly short, coming in at under 150 pages. I won't be at all surprised if this book stays in the running for a long time, or if it ends up winning the entire category.

Probably my favorite category of all is Young Adult Fiction, and I am so glad to see that Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl has been nominated, a book I will be gushing about in an upcoming blog post. However, it isn't my only favorite from this year to be included in this category. Sarah Dessen's most recent novel, The Moon and More, as well as Ruta Sepetys' Out of the Easy have also been included. And really, I could see any of them taking the prize. Dessen seems to me like the obvious favorite, but Rowell could pull off an upset...Fangirl is just that good.

This is only the first round of voting, which is open through November 9th, and the second round begins next Monday, November 11th. So go ahead and begin voting for your own favorites here and making some predictions of your own. I must say, that I am probably more excited about this year's Goodreads Choice Awards than I should be. But hey, that's a bookworm for you.

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