The end of the year is rapidly approaching and many top newspapers and retailers are posting their top books of the the year lists. The Washington Post, Amazon, Indigo and many others have done so. What many people don’t know that these lists are put together by only a handful of people, including editors and book bloggers. Things are quite different at GoodReads, who just announced their best books of 2015 list. Instead of picking the titles themselves they left it up to three million readers who voted on the best titles of the year.
The biggest publishing surprise of 2015, Go Set a Watchman, takes home the top honors in Best Fiction—a testament to the great love readers have for To Kill a Mockingbird‘s legacy. And the biggest publishing success of 2015, mega-bestseller The Girl on the Train, won Best Mystery & Thriller in a landslide, taking out both Stephen King and J.K. Rowling. Not to be missed, one of 2015’s top-rated books, World War II saga The Nightingale, won handily in Best Historical Fiction.
In Best Romance, it took fan favorite Colleen Hoover, author of Confess, to upset 2012 Choice Winner E.L. James. But repeat winners reigned supreme in Best Fantasy and Best Science Fiction, where Neil Gaiman’s Trigger Warning and Pierce Brown’s Golden Son each delivered a win. And after multiple nominations for their respective series, Dean Koontz won for Saint Odd in Best Horror and Brian K. Vaughan earned first place for Saga, Volume 4 in Best Graphic Novels & Comics.
Age is just a number. The winners of the Young Adult and Children’s categories all have major crossover appeal. All the Bright Places tops the list in Best Young Adult Fiction; the latest book in the Throne of Glass series, Queen of Shadows, edged out strong competition in Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction; and another Young Adult Fantasy contender, Red Queen, pulled out a win over in Best Debut Goodreads Author. Voters couldn’t contain their excitement for Rick Riordan’s new series starter The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1), making this year’s prize in Best Middle Grade & Children’s his fifth consecutive win! And finally The Day the Crayons Came Home keeps everyone smiling as the winner of Best Picture Books.
How many of the winners and runners-up have you read? Check out the full vote breakdown for the top 400 nominees across 20 categories, and start packing your want-to-read list with award-winners!
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.