[Small Chirps] Goodreads Choice Awards 2012 – and our favorite genres!

It’s that time again, as 2012 slowly rolls on closer to the new year. Before we know it, it’ll be 2013. December is the perfect month to curl up with a mug of hot chocolate and a book – or celebrate this year’s favorite books! 1,156,852 votes (woohoo!) and Goodreads releases its top reader choice award picks for 2012!

Here are the highlights for our favorite genres:

YA Fantasy and Scifi

Dystopian YA is still the new black, with Insurgent by Veronica Roth taking first place with her oddball (albeit creative) world of factions, intrigue, and a society that’s imploding in on itself. The author, Veronica Roth also finds herself at the top of the Best Goodreads Author category, with over twenty-thousand votes, making her a three-time winner (once for Divergent in 2011, and twice again this year). I know I’m curious  whether Roth’s third book, coming out  September 26th next year, will place first at the 2013 Reader’s Choice Awards, collecting a full set of awards for the trilogy (gotta collect them all!).

We’ll just have to see.

The paranormal teen romance genre is represented with Cassandra Clare’s latest book in the Mortal Instrument (the trailer for the upcoming movie is looking pretty good!) and Richelle Mead’s Golden Lily. The android-meets-moon-prince retelling of Cinderella, coming in fourth, had our canary vote, and –

– oh, why, hello there, Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore. In almost-fate, Rise of Nine misses ninth place by just a few votes, coming in tenth.

Best Paranormal FantasyIn best paranormal, Deborah Harkness, author of A Discovery of Witches, takes first place for her sequel and cliffhanger-resolver, Shadows of Night.  In this second book of the All Souls Trilogy, our reluctant witch and scholar Diana and her vamp boyfriend Matthew dive into adventures in Elizabethan London. From what I hear, this books suffers from a lot of the symptoms of second-book-itis, but I really shouldn’t comment before read – bad canary, bad. A Discovery of Witches, which has been hanging out on my Nook, has just been bumped up my To-Read list.

Janet Evanovich takes second place with her second book about Lizzy & Diesel, in a novel that is a combo paranormal detective mystery and chick lit, followed by Kim Harrison’s tenth Hollows novel. In fact, looking over the list, with the one exception of Daniel O’Malley’s debut novel, Rook, (coming in at #9), all twenty of the top Best Paranormal Fantasy books are at least the second books in a series. Eleventh place takes the cake with Kiss the Dead by Laurell K. Hamilton, the 22nd of the Anita Blake series.

I’d also like to give a shout-out to Patricia Brigg’s Fair Game, a spinoff of her werewolf series and authors Darynda Jones and Kelley Armstrong making it into the top ten.


Best Fantasy

When it comes to Best Fantasy category, I have definitely been sleeping on the job.

I recognize many of the names – well, with Stephen King, Terry Goodkind, Robin Hobbs, and Trudi Canavan, who wouldn’t? Jasper Fforde comes in at second place for the most recent historical fantasy book about the time-jumping, book battling heroine detective, Thursday Next. Terry Goodkind’s The First Confessor takes us to the beginning of the  confessors – kickass women with witchy mind-control powers – introduced in the super-popular Sword of Truth series.

Again, and unsurprisingly in a list of books selected by popular votes, we get a sampling of the usual suspects – the seventh Thursday Next book, the fourth-and-a-half addition to The Dark Tower series, and the latest installment from Goodkind’s world, which first hit our collective imaginations nearly two decades ago. Still, we get a few new players too, with Mark Lawrence and Brenton Weeks making the top eight.

Gotta get reading! Canaries, any books on this list to avoid or bump up the to-read queue?


Best Science FictionFor science fiction, Terry Pratchett takes first place with a time travel/science fiction novel, The Long Earth of people who travel through parallel universes. I’ve always loved the concept – those books that take history, and tweak just a teensy (or not so teensy!) detail that sends everything spinning off in an odd direction, or the ones that create world just like ours, except-not-quite.

I’ve only ever read Pratchett’s fantasy, so count me intrigued!

The omnibus of the runaway Wool success by indie author Hugh Howey – a series of five short novelettes of about 50-100 pages each – takes second place in the Reader Choice Awards and brings us adventures in the subterranean city of Silos, deep within post-apocalyptic Earth.

Space is represented in the top three reader picks by John Scalzi’s Redshirts, a riff on the Star Trek trope of killing off expendable red-uniformed stock crewmembers left and right that goes meta when the main character discovers the truth travels through space and time to confront the show writers and save himself and his crew (no guarantees – I’m just guessing! maybe they change their uniforms to blue, instead…).

This kind of book definitely isn’t my thing, but the audiobook edition is narrated by Wil Wheaton, so, you know I’m gonna end up getting it anyway.


Best Middle GradeI’m not a huge middle-grade reader, but theothercanary gave a loud and satisfied squawk when she saw this category winner. Riordan takes first place again with the latest Percy Jackson book, The Mark of Athena, getting over twice as many votes as the next runner-up.  Diary of a Wimpy Kid #7 takes second place, followed by the standalone Wonder by R.J. Palacio – which, I hear, is right good and follows Auggie, a fifth-grader with a facial deformity who is going to school for the first time ever.

I’d also like to give a shout out to the concluding Artemis Fowl book for almost making it into the top three, and the third Kane Chronicles book from category winning author, Rick Riordan, slipping into the list as well. Double the trouble, double the win!


Canaries, any favorites from the list? Any books you wish had made it to the top?

Chirp! What do you think?

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