Goodreads Choice Awards 2020: Round #1

I just love this time of year…all the “best of” lists start coming out and I really contemplate the books I read and the books I may have missed and want to prioritize reading.

This year, I’m much more informed about the Goodreads Choice Awards (thanks to Sarah’s Book Shelves podcast last year that I co-hosted) and I wanted to make the whole process a little more fun. I’m going to do a blog series here until the final Book of the Year is announced!

For each category, I will tell you what book I voted for, which nominated books I have read, and my predicted winner. I will skip a few categories – I either haven’t read any books in that category or it’s not a genre I really pay attention to.

Best Fiction

This is the category I’ve read the most of – 10 out of the 15!

I had a hard time choosing between The Girl With the Louding Voice, Writers & Lovers, and My Dark Vanessa. All of these were 5 star reads for me and made it onto my Halfway Top 10: 2020 List. Ultimately, I chose Writers & Lovers because it’s a book I still find myself thinking about…I adored the slow and methodical way King portrayed the mundanity and reflective nature of day-to-day life. I hugged this book after finishing it!

Of the books remaining on the list, A Burning and Anxious People are on my immediate TBR.

My Predicted Winner: American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins.

Mystery & Thriller

In this category, I’ve read 5 of the 15 nominations.

I picked The Sun Down Motel to win this category. The pacing was excellent and St. James weaved in the perfect amount of spookiness and mystery. I’m a big fan of Simone St. James and I hope she wins the honors!

None of the remaining nominations are on my TBR list. Thrillers/mysteries are very hit or miss for me and it’s definitely not my preferred genre.

My Predicted Winner: Home Before Dark by Riley Sager.

Historical Fiction

In this category, I’ve read 5 of the 15 nominations.

Hands down, I picked Deacon King Kong to win this category! It is a very strong contender for my favorite book of the year! I adored everything about this book – the delightful characters and their unique names, the tidbits of humor sprinkled throughout, and the exploration of the racial divides and drug wars of the late 1960s in NYC.

Of the remaining books, Where the Lost Wander, The Pull of the Stars, The Book of Lost Friends are on my TBR.

My Predicted Winner: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Romance

Again, I’ve read 5 of the 15 books in this category.

I love a good book about grief, and The Two Lives of Lydia Bird touched my heart. It did start off slow, but after it got going a little bit, I couldn’t put it down. Probably my favorite part was how it ended on a hopeful note.

Sadly, the remaining books on the nomination list don’t really catch my attention so I probably won’t be reading any of them.

My Predicted Winner: Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

Horror

I can’t believe that I’ve read 4 of the 15 nominations! I don’t usually pick up horror books, but there was a lot of hype surrounding some of these books this year!

Out of the nominations, I chose Mexican Gothic to be the winner. It was so atmospheric and creeped me out so much that I felt the hairs on the back of my next stand up. Not only is the scare factor high, but there are also so many layers to this story – the symbolism and the history of Mexico’s fascination with eugenics after the Revolution. There’s a lot to unpack with this one, and I really enjoyed it!

I hope to read The Year of the Witching at some point! 

My Predicted Winner: If It Bleeds by Stephen King

Nonfiction

I’ve only read two of the selections, but this is probably the category that has the most books on my TBR list!

For this category, I wrote in A Knock at Midnight by Brittany K. Barnett. So far, it’s been the most powerful book I’ve read and I think everyone should read it. I was so inspired by Barnett and her social justice plight and I can’t wait to hear what she does next.

Almost every single one of the books listed below are on my TBR list…I hope I can read at least a few before the final round so I can make a more informed decision (if A Knock at Midnight doesn’t get added to the list).

My Predicted Winner: Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds

Memoir & Autobiography

I have read 4 of the 15 books:

I voted for Untamed. Everything she writes hits me straight in my heart and I really relate to what she has to say.

There are several other nominations on my TBR: Uncanny ValleyConditional CitizensA Promised Land, and All Boys Aren’t Blue

My Predicted Winner: Untamed by Glennon Doyle

History & Biography

I’ve only read 2 of the 15 books nominated in History & Biography, but a whole lot of the other nominees are on my TBR!

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson is one of those books that everyone should read; therefore, it got my vote in this category. This is my first book by Wilkerson, but I will be reading her previous book in the very near future.

I also read The Address Book and was so unexpectedly blown away by it. It was truly facsinating to learn about addresses – how they came to be and why there so important to have.

Begin AgainWandering in a Strange Land, and Fight of the Century are on my TBR.

My Predicted Winner: The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson

Debut Novel

I have read 9 of the 15 books in the debut category:

This was a hard category for me to vote for. There were so many debut books that I really enjoyed! I decided to write in Saving Ruby King by Catherine Adel West. I loved this book and think it deserves way more hype than it got!

A Burning and The Year of the Witching are totally on my TBR!

My Predicted Winner: My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

While I didn’t officially vote in the remaining categories, I went ahead and recorded my predicted winners…just for fun! I’m totally guessing on these predictions because I am not invested enough in the categories to be qualified to even kind of have an idea of who will win. 🤷🏼‍♀️

  • Fantasy: Crescent City by Sarah J. Maas
  • Science Fiction: Network Effect (The Murderbot Diaries, #5) by Martha Wells
  • Humor: A Very Punchable Face by Colin Jost
  • Science & Technology: That Wild Country: An Epic Journey through the Past, Present and Future of America’s Public Lands by Mark Kenyon
  • Food & Cookbooks: Eat a Peach by David Chang
  • Graphic Novels & Comics: Heartstopper (Heartstopper, #3) by Alice Oseman
  • Poetry: Homie by Danez Smith
  • Young Adult Fiction: Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
  • Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
  • Middle Grade & Children’s: The Tower of Nero (The Trials of Apollo, #5) by Rick Riordan
  • Picture Books: The Cool Bean (The Bad Seed, #3) by Jory John

And there you have it! Phew!

I would LOVE to hear your favorite books of the year…please drop me a comment below!

3 thoughts on “Goodreads Choice Awards 2020: Round #1

  1. Wow, that’s impressive, you are clearly right up with the reading trends, I’ve only read one or two on a few of the lists, I wish they included Translated fiction.
    Still, great to see what’s being really enjoyed out there.
    My favourite reads this year are Sanmao’s Stories of the Sahara and Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s A Ghost in the Throat!

    Liked by 1 person

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