Goodreads blog

Goodreads Choice Awards 2018

The winners of the Goodreads Choice Awards 2018 were announced this week. It was the 10th year these awards have run, and all of the winners are chosen by the readers on Goodreads. I must confess I haven’t heard of any of the winning books, and none of the books I voted for won. However, that means that I get to discover some new books this way as some of these look really interesting and different from my usual reads. So a couple of these have found themselves onto my TBR list ready for next year. What do you all think, are any of the winning books your choice or do you think another book has been unfairly overlooked?

The Winners are:

Fiction

Still Me by Jojo Moyes

Lou Clark is back in the brand-new follow-up to the Number One international bestsellers Me Before You and After You.
Lou Clark knows too many things . . .
She knows how many miles lie between her new home in New York and her new boyfriend Sam in London. She knows her employer is a good man and she knows his wife is keeping a secret from him.
What Lou doesn't know is she's about to meet someone who's going to turn her whole life upside down. Because Josh will remind her so much of a man she used to know that it'll hurt.
Lou won't know what to do next, but she knows that whatever she chooses is going to change everything.

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Mystery & Thriller

The Outsider by Stephen King

When an eleven-year-old boy is found murdered in a town park, reliable eyewitnesses undeniably point to the town's popular Little League coach, Terry Maitland, as the culprit. DNA evidence and fingerprints confirm the crime was committed by this well-loved family man.
Horrified by the brutal killing, Detective Ralph Anderson, whose own son was once coached by Maitland, orders the suspect to be arrested in a public spectacle. But Maitland has an alibi. And further research confirms he was indeed out of town that day.
As Anderson and the District Attorney trace the clues, the investigation expands from Ohio to Texas. And as horrifying answers begin to emerge, so King's propulsive story of almost unbearable suspense kicks into high gear.
Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy but there is one rock-hard fact, as unassailable as gravity: a man cannot be in two places at the same time. Can he?

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Historical Fiction

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

'A rich, compelling novel of love, sacrifice and survival, as epic as the Alaskan landscape it so vividly describes' Kate Morton.
‘A woman has to be tough as steel up here. You can’t count on anyone to save you and your children. You have to be willing to save yourselves.’
Thirteen-year-old Leni is coming of age in a tumultuous time. Caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, she dares to hope that Alaska will lead to a better future for her family, and a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown.
As Leni grows up in the shadow of her parents’ increasingly volatile marriage, she meets Matthew. And Matthew – thoughtful, kind, brave – makes her believe in the possibility of a better life . . . With her trademark combination of elegant prose and deeply drawn characters, Kristin Hannah celebrates the remarkable and enduring strength of women.

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Fantasy

Circle by Madeline Miller

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft.
When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia. There she learns to harness her occult craft, drawing strength from nature. But she will not always be alone; many are destined to pass through Circe's place of exile, entwining their fates with hers. The messenger god, Hermes. The craftsman, Daedalus. A ship bearing a golden fleece. And wily Odysseus, on his epic voyage home.
There is danger for a solitary woman in this world, and Circe's independence draws the wrath of men and gods alike. To protect what she holds dear, Circe must decide whether she belongs with the deities she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.
Breathing life into the ancient world, Madeline Miller weaves an intoxicating tale of gods and heroes, magic and monsters, survival and transformation.

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Best of the Best

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.
Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl's struggle for justice. Movie rights have been sold to Fox, with Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games) to star.

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Romance

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

It's high time for Stella Lane to settle down and find a husband - or so her mother tells her. This is no easy task for a wealthy, successful woman like Stella, who also happens to have Asperger's. Analyzing data is easy; handling the awkwardness of one-on-one dates is hard. To overcome her lack of dating experience, Stella decides to hire a male escort to teach her how to be a good girlfriend.

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Science Fiction

Vengeful by V.E Schwab

A super-powered collision of extraordinary minds and vengeful intentions—V. E. Schwab returns with the thrilling follow-up to Vicious.
Magneto and Professor X. Superman and Lex Luthor. Victor Vale and Eli Ever. Sydney and Serena Clarke. Great partnerships, now soured on the vine.
But Marcella Riggins needs no one. Flush from her brush with death, she’s finally gained the control she’s always sought—and will use her newfound power to bring the city of Merit to its knees. She’ll do whatever it takes, collecting her own sidekicks, and leveraging the two most infamous EOs, Victor Vale and Eli Ever, against each other once more.
With Marcella’s rise, new enmities create opportunity—and the stage of Merit City will once again be set for a final, terrible reckoning.

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Horror

Elevation by Stephen King

Castle Rock is a small town, where word gets around quickly. That's why Scott Carey wants to confide only in his friend Doctor Bob Ellis about his strange condition: he's losing weight, without getting thinner, and the scales register the same when he is in his clothes or out of them, however heavy they are. Scott also has new neighbours, who have opened a 'fine dining experience' in town, although it's an experience being shunned by the locals; Deidre McComb and her wife Missy Donaldson don't exactly fit in with the community's expectations. And now Scott seems trapped in a feud with the couple over their dogs dropping their business on his lawn. Missy may be friendly, but Deidre is cold as ice.
As the town prepares for its annual Thanksgiving 12k run, Scott starts to understand the prejudices his neighbours face and he tries to help. Unlikely alliances form and the mystery of Scott's affliction brings out the best in people who have indulged the worst in themselves and others.

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Humour

The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish

From stand-up comedian, actress, and breakout star of Girls Trip, Tiffany Haddish, comes The Last Black Unicorn, a sidesplitting, hysterical, edgy, and unflinching collection of (extremely) personal essays, as fearless as the author herself.
Growing up in one of the poorest neighborhoods of South Central Los Angeles, Tiffany learned to survive by making people laugh. If she could do that, then her classmates would let her copy their homework, the other foster kids she lived with wouldn’t beat her up, and she might even get a boyfriend. Or at least she could make enough money—as the paid school mascot and in-demand Bar Mitzvah hype woman—to get her hair and nails done, so then she might get a boyfriend.
None of that worked (and she’s still single), but it allowed Tiffany to imagine a place for herself where she could do something she loved for a living: comedy.
Tiffany can’t avoid being funny—it’s just who she is, whether she’s plotting shocking, jaw-dropping revenge on an ex-boyfriend or learning how to handle her newfound fame despite still having a broke person’s mind-set. Finally poised to become a household name, she recounts with heart and humor how she came from nothing and nowhere to achieve her dreams by owning, sharing, and using her pain to heal others.
By turns hilarious, filthy, and brutally honest, The Last Black Unicorn shows the world who Tiffany Haddish really is—humble, grateful, down-to-earth, and funny as hell. And now, she’s ready to inspire others through the power of laughter.

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Non-Fiction

I'll be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

A masterful true crime account of the Golden State Killer - the elusive serial rapist turned murderer who terrorised California for over a decade - from Michelle McNamara, the gifted journalist who died tragically while investigating the case.
'You'll be silent forever, and I'll be gone in the dark.'
For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area. Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called the Golden State Killer. Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.
I'll Be Gone in the Dark - the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death - offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman's obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Framed by an introduction by Gillian Flynn and an afterword by her husband, Patton Oswalt, the book was completed by Michelle's lead researcher and a close colleague. Utterly original and compelling, it is destined to become a true crime classic - and may at last unmask the Golden State Killer.

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Memoir & Autobiography

Educated by Tara Westover

Tara Westover and her family grew up preparing for the End of Days but, according to the government, she didn’t exist. She hadn’t been registered for a birth certificate. She had no school records because she’d never set foot in a classroom, and no medical records because her father didn’t believe in hospitals.
As she grew older, her father became more radical and her brother more violent. At sixteen, Tara knew she had to leave home. In doing so she discovered both the transformative power of education, and the price she had to pay for it.

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History & Biography

The Good Neighbour: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King

Fred Rogers (1928-2003) was an enormously influential figure in the history of television and in the lives of tens of millions of children. As the creator and star of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, he was a champion of compassion, equality, and kindness. Rogers was fiercely devoted to children and to taking their fears, concerns, and questions about the world seriously.

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Science & Technology

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs by Steve Brusatte

66 million years ago the dinosaurs were wiped from the face of the earth. Today, Dr. Steve Brusatte, one of the leading scientists of a new generation of dinosaur hunters, armed with cutting edge technology, is piecing together the complete story of how the dinosaurs ruled the earth for 150 million years.
The world of the dinosaurs has fascinated on book and screen for decades – from early science fiction classics like The Lost World, to Godzilla terrorizing the streets of Tokyo, and the monsters of Jurassic Park. But what if we got it wrong? In The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs, top dinosaur expert Brusatte, tells the real story of how dinosaurs rose to dominate the planet. Using the fossil clues that have been gathered using state of the art technology, Brusatte follows these magnificent creatures from their beginnings in the Early Triassic period, through the Jurassic period to their final days in the Cretaceous and the legacy that they left behind.
Along the way, Brusatte introduces us to modern day dinosaur hunters and gives an insight into what it’s like to be a paleontologist. The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is full of thrilling accounts of some of his personal discoveries, including primitive human-sized tyrannosaurs, monstrous carnivores even larger than T. rex, and feathered raptor dinosaurs preserved in lava from China.
At a time when Homo sapiens has existed for less than 200,000 years and we are already talking about planetary extinction, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is a timely reminder of what humans can learn from the magnificent creatures who ruled the earth before us.

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Food & Cookbooks

Cravings: Hungry For More by Chrissy Teigen

Welcome back to Chrissy's kitchen . . . Introducing the food that makes her tick. Order now for food you simply can't resist.
After two years of parenthood, falling in love with different flavours, and relearning the healing power of comfort food, this book is like Chrissy's new edible diary: recipes for quick-snap meals; recipes for lighter, brighter healthier-ish living; and recipes that, well, are gonna put you to bed, holding your belly.
Chrissy's is a life of . . .
· CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS. The ultimate quick and easy comfort food. A creamy one-pot wonder: tender chicken breast and doughy delicious dumplings.
· GARLIC HONEY PRAWNS. A 15-minute meal that's worthy of any Chinese restaurant, made with soy sauce, honey and orange, served with fluffy white rice.
· BANANA BREAD. Yes. This is THE banana bread that launched a million tweets and a hundred thousand Instagram tags . . . Delicious.

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Graphic Novels & Comics

Herding Cats by Sarah Anderson

Sarah valiantly struggles with waking up in the morning, being productive, and dealing with social situations. Sarah's Scribbles is the comic strip that follows her life, finding humor in living as an adulting introvert that is at times weird, awkward, and embarrassing. 

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Poetry

The Witch Doesn't Burn in This One by Amanda Lovelace

The witch: supernaturally powerful, inscrutably independent, and now—indestructible. These moving, relatable poems encourage resilience and embolden women to take control of their own stories. Enemies try to judge, oppress, and marginalize her, but the witch doesn’t burn in this one. 

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Debut Author

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.
Now we rise.
Zélie remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. When different clans ruled – Burners igniting flames, Tiders beckoning waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoning forth souls.
But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, anyone with powers was targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Only a few people remain with the power to use magic, and they must remain hidden.
Zélie is one such person. Now she has a chance to bring back magic to her people and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must learn to harness her powers and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.
Danger lurks in Orïsha, where strange creatures prowl, and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to come to terms with the strength of her magic – and her growing feelings for an enemy. 

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Young Adult Fiction

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat- but real life isn't always so rhythmic.
The only child of a single mum, her life is less privileged than her friends.
Her mum knows she's bisexual, but Leah hasn't mustered the courage to tell her friends. 
Not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.
Prom and college are on the horizon, and tensions are running high.
Can Leah still strike the right note, when the people she loves are fighting?
And how can she cope knowing that she might love one of her friends more than she ever intended? 

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Young Adult Fantasy

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

Aelin Galathynius's journey from slave to assassin to queen reaches its heart-rending finale as war erupts across her world.
She has risked everything to save her people – but at a tremendous cost. Locked in an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will to endure the months of torture inflicted upon her. The knowledge that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, but her resolve is unravelling with each passing day.
With Aelin imprisoned, Aedion and Lysandra are the last line of defence keeping Terrasen from utter destruction. But even the many allies they've gathered to battle Erawan's hordes might not be enough to save the kingdom. Scattered throughout the continent and racing against time, Chaol, Manon, and Dorian must forge their own paths to meet their destinies. And across the sea Rowan hunts to find his captured wife and queen – before she is lost to him.
Some bonds will deepen and others be severed forever, but as the threads of fate weave together at last, all must fight if they are to find salvation – and a better world.

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Middle Grade & Children's

The Trials of Apollo by Rich Riordan

The third book in the latest series from international bestselling author, Rick Riordan.
He was a God once. Until he was cast out his father, Zeus. Now, he's an awkward teenager.
Called Lester.
The only way out is a series of scary and dangerous trials, of course.
For his third trial, Apollo must journey through the Labyrinth to free an Oracle who only speaks in puzzles.
Then, defeat the most vicious of three very vicious Roman Emperors.
(All without the use of his godly powers.)
It looks like he will need all the help he can get - from some new and old friends.

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Picture Books

I am Enough by Grace Byers

This is a gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another—from Empire actor and activist Grace Byers and talented newcomer artist Keturah A. Bobo.
This is the perfect gift for mothers and daughters, baby showers, and graduation. We are all here for a purpose. We are more than enough. We just need to believe it.

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