I look forward to the annual
Goodreads Choice Awards every year. As an avid reader and member of the wider bookish community, it's fascinating to see what books across 19 different genres made the biggest impact on readers in a year. And when it comes to the Goodreads Choice Awards 2017 winners, it is gratifying to see just how many of those impactful books have been written by women—a whopping 15, in fact. Because 2017 was the year of resistance, and that includes the books we read just as much as the marches we participate in or the charities to which we donate our money.
Groups like the
bookish community of authors, publishers, editors and readers have continually made a push for more diverse books and Own Voices books this year, responding to the social and political state of the world at every turn. And although a majority of the winning books on the list are not political per se, the amount of women and authors of color on this list is a huge indication of our collective state of mind moving forward. If you're still looking for that perfect book to gift, look no further. And make sure you add some of these to your own end of year TBR. Best Fiction — 'Little Fires Everywhere' by Celeste Ng
In Shaker Heights, everything is planned—from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, who always plays by the rules. Enter Mia Warren, who arrives with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. All four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.
Click here to buy. Best Mystery & Thriller — 'Into the Water' by Paula Hawkins
In the last days before her death, Nel called her sister. Jules didn’t pick up the phone, ignoring her plea for help. Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules has been dragged back to the one place she hoped she had escaped for good, to care for the teenage girl her sister left behind. But Jules is afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of knowing that Nel would never have jumped. And most of all she’s afraid of the water, and the place they call the Drowning Pool.
Click here to buy. Best Historical Fiction — 'Before We Were Yours' by Lisa Wingate
Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which a Memphis-based adoption organization kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families—
Before We Were Yours follows 12-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings in 1939. Wrenched from their home and thrown into a an orphanage, the children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but quickly realize that the truth is much darker. In present day, Avery Stafford returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, but a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions—and compels her to take a journey through her family's long-hidden history. Click here to buy. Best Debut Goodreads Author & Best Young Adult Fiction — 'The Hate U Give' by Angie Thomas
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood unarmed best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
Click here to buy. Best Fantasy — 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay' by J.K. Rowling
When Magizoologist Newt Scamander arrives in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when his magical case is misplaced and some of Newt's fantastic beasts escape, it spells trouble for everyone.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, author of the beloved and internationally bestselling Harry Potter books. Click here to buy. Best Romance — 'Without Merit' by Colleen Hoover
Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. He sparks renewed life into Merit—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself...until she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix. Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.
Click here to buy. Best Science Fiction — 'Artemis' by Andy Weir
Jazz Bashara is a criminal. Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you're not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But she learns that she's stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.
Click here to buy. Best Horror — 'Sleeping Beauties' by Stephen King and Owen King
In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place. The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied, or is she a demon who must be slain?
Click here to buy. Best Humor — 'Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls and Everything in Between' by Lauren Graham
Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham looks back on her life so far, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood, the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway, as well as behind-the-scenes dispatches from her return to the role of Lorelai Gilmore. Click here to buy. Best Nonfiction — 'How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life' by Lilly Singh
Actress, comedian, and YouTube sensation Lilly Singh shares her definitive guide to being a bawse—a person who exudes confidence, reaches goals, gets hurt efficiently, and smiles genuinely because they’ve fought through it all and made it out the other side. Told in her hilarious, bold voice that’s inspired over nine million fans, and using stories from her own life to illustrate her message, Lilly proves that there are no shortcuts to success.
Click here to buy. Best Memoir & Autobiography — 'What Happened' by Hillary Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals what she was thinking and feeling during one of the most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections in history. Clinton takes you inside the intense personal experience of becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major party in an election marked by rage, sexism, exhilarating highs and infuriating lows, stranger-than-fiction twists, Russian interference, and an opponent who broke all the rules. What Happened is the story of the 2016 campaign and its aftermath—both a deeply intimate account and a cautionary tale for the nation.
Click here to buy. Best History & Biography — 'The Radium Girls' by Kate Moore
The Curies' newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the dark years of WWI. Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil in the radium-dial factories. With such a coveted job, these "shining girls" are the luckiest alive—until they begin to fall mysteriously ill. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of the 20th century, a groundbreaking battle for workers' rights.
Click here to buy. Best Science & Technology — 'Astrophysics for People in a Hurry' by Neil deGrasse Tyson
While you wait for your morning coffee to brew, or the train to arrive,
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will reveal just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe. It's a no frills guide to the cosmos with acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson as your guide. Click here to buy. Best Best Food & Cookbooks — 'The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It! Simple, Scrumptious Recipes for Crazy Busy Lives' by Ree Drummond
Ree Drummond transforms taking it easy in the kitchen into an art, giving readers her very best make-it-happen strategies, pulled from her own non-stop life as a devoted wife, mother of four, food lover, and businesswoman.
Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes for a Crazy Busy Life includes more than 125 of Ree’s best food solutions for making filling, nutritious meals with minimal fuss, for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Click here to buy. Best Graphic Novels & Comics — 'Big Mushy Happy Lump' by Sarah Andersen
Sarah Andersen's hugely popular Sarah's Scribbles comics come to life in
Big Mushy Happy Lump. In addition to the most recent Sarah's Scribbles fan favorites and dozens of all-new comics, this volume contains illustrated personal essays on Sarah's real-life experiences with anxiety, career, relationships and other adulthood challenge. It's the same uniquely frank, real, yet humorous and uplifting tone that makes Sarah's Scribbles so relatable, in longer form. Click here to buy. Best Poetry — 'The Sun and Her Flowers' by Rupi Kaur The Sun and Her Flowers is a vibrant and transcendent journey about growth and healing. Ancestry and honoring one’s roots. Expatriation and rising up to find a home within yourself. Divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, the sun and her flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. A celebration of love in all its forms. Click here to buy. Best Young Adult Fantasy — 'A Court of Wings and Ruin' by Sarah J. Maas
Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit— and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places.
Click here to buy. Best Middle Grade & Children’s — 'The Ship of the Dead' by Rick Riordan
Magnus Chase, a once-homeless teen, is a resident of the Hotel Valhalla and one of Odin's chosen warriors. As the son of Frey, the god of summer, fertility, and health, Magnus isn't naturally inclined to fighting. But he has strong and steadfast friends. Now Magnus and his crew must sail to the farthest borders of Jotunheim and Niflheim in pursuit of Asgard's greatest threat. Will they succeed in their perilous journey, or is Ragnarok lurking on the horizon?
Click here to buy. Best Picture Books — 'We’re All Wonders' by R.J. Palacio
Over five million people have fallen in love with
Wonder. Now younger readers can meet Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face, and his beloved dog, Daisy. With We’re All Wonders, Palacio shows readers what it’s like to live in Auggie’s world—a world in which he feels like any other kid, but he’s not always seen that way. This may be Auggie’s story, but it taps into every child’s longing to belong, and to be seen for who they truly are. It’s the perfect way for families and educators to talk about empathy and kindness with young children. Click here to buy.