One Writer’s Journey

December 8, 2016

Best Books: Who Votes for What?

goodreads-best-books-2016Whenever someone announces book awards or puts out a best books list, I click.  Why?  Because I’m always interested by the differences in what people choose.  ALA awards go to literary books with broad appeal.  The National Book Awards go to books with headline appeal.  I’m still getting a feel for the books chosen by my fellow Goodreads members.  The Goodreads Choice Awards for 2016 were announced yesterday.  You can find the entire listing here. There were four juvenile cateogories.

The best picture book award went to Mo Willems’ The Thank You Book.  I haven’t read this one yet but it is on my request list at the library.  In spite of this, I have to admit heaving a sigh at this one.  Early reader.  Unless I am sadly mistaken, this is an early reader as are the other Elephant and Piggie books.  Sigh.  Sigh.  Again, sigh.  I’ve read some of the other books this one beat and I LOVED Sherman Alexie’s Thunder Boy Jr.  Maybe you have to be a writer, teacher or librarian to “get” the difference between a picture book and an early reader.  Ah, well.

The best middle grade and children’s book award went to Rick Riordan’s The Hidden Oracle.  Seriously, how many series does this man have?  Another request for the library.  I have read his Hammer of Thor which was a runner-up on the list.  Although I recognized several of the others, I haven’t read them.  Yep, more requests will be made.

The award for YA sf/f went to Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Mist and Fury.  Again, I’m requesting it.  I saw she had another book on the list as well.  Obviously this is an author I should be reading. I adored Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven King (LOVED!) but am not familiar with the vast majority of books on this list.

Ruta Sepetys won YA fiction with Salt to the Sea.  I know her  name but haven’t read this book yet.  Again, several of the books look familiar, one is on my library request list, but I don’t have it yet.

The thing that was most interesting to me about these books is that the lists contain many titles that are not getting the industry buzz.  Yet they are the ones that readers are voting for and loving.  Definitely something to think about as you consider which books to read next.  Do you want to click with librarians?  Read ALA titles.  With book sellers and reviewers?  Consider National Book Award winners.  Readers?  Turn to the Good Reads awards.  Me, I’ll be reading a bit here and a bit there, but I suspect more from Goodreads than the others.

–SueBE

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