Last Updated on October 5, 2020 by Taylor
It’s that time again: the Goodreads Choice Awards nominees have been selected!
If you’re anything like me, you’ll be frantically scrolling through the list and adding books to your TBR left and right. (If you’re not on Goodreads yet, here’s more about what Goodreads is & why you should join!)
Let me save you the trouble of digging through the pile. While ALL the nominated books deserve a read, I’ve narrowed down some of the best-loved and most buzzed-about books on the list, so you have somewhere to start.
To keep things simple, I’ll focus on certain genres: Fiction, Mystery/Thriller, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, and Science Fiction.
(I don’t follow other genres as closely – such as Romance and Nonfiction – so I left those off my list.)
Best Goodreads Choice Awards Nominees: Fiction
1. A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum
This novel centers around a young Arab-American woman in America, and the expectations placed upon her by her conservative community. I found a copy of this the other day, and I’m thrilled to dive in.
2. Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
This family drama explores love, friendship, tragedy, and forgiveness. It centers around two cops in a suburban town whose families grow up together, and delves into how relationships can change over time.
3. The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo
Another multi-generational family drama, this novel shows us how four very different sisters cope with modern issues – and each other.
4. The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
This one’s a little controversial in that some readers felt it didn’t mesh with the writing of the original story (The Handmaid’s Tale). But many readers loved it and felt it totally lived up to the hype. So it’s worth a try! Plus, Margaret Atwood rules.
Best Goodreads Choice Awards Nominees: Mystery & Thriller
1. Miracle Creek by Angie Kim
This book has been ALL over Bookstagram, and for good reason. It’s a dynamic mystery and family drama combo, and has tons of rave reviews.
2. The Whisper Man by Alex North
This is another ultra-buzzy book in the Bookstagram sphere. It’s a serial killer thriller with a unique twist. I’m dying to get my hands on this one – sounds like it’s right up my alley!
3. The Lost Man by Jane Harper
Jane Harper is quickly becoming a well-known name in the mystery genre. Her first book, The Dry, was as atmospheric as it was compelling. It sounds like this new novel is just as good (if not better)!
4. Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
Here’s another author whose novels are all over Bookstagram. They’re always fun and twisty, and feature female heroines in unique situations.
5. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
I’ve heard so much about this book, I’m surprised (but thankful!) that I haven’t seen a spoiler yet. From what I’ve heard, it’s one of those truly unique psychological thrillers that only comes along once in a blue moon. I’m dying to get my hands on it!
Best Goodreads Choice Awards Nominees: Historical Fiction
1. Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield
A mix of history and folklore, this genre-bender is a perfect novel to get lost in. The setting (the river Thames in London) makes it all the more appealing.
2. Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Taylor Jenkins Reid took the book world by storm with her 2017 novel, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. It was one of my favorite reads that year (I read it in 2 days!). Her new novel, set in the late sixties in L.A. and focusing on a famed rock & roll band, has been just as well-received.
3. The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
Colson Whitehead has a knack for novelizing difficult topics in American history. With this novel, he brings to light what it was like to be a “delinquent” boy sentenced to a corrupt juvenile reformatory called The Nickel Academy in the early 1960s. This book’s been called heavy and devastating, but so worth the read.
Best Goodreads Choice Awards Nominees: Fantasy & Science Fiction
1. The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
Author Christina Henry describes this as “a gorgeous, aching love letter to stories, storytellers and the doors they lead us through…absolutely enchanting.” ‘Nuff said.
2. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
The author herself describes this book as a “feminist retelling of Saint George and the Dragon”. It’s a coming-of-age novel perfect for fantasy lovers looking for a unique read.
3. Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
One thing about Seanan McGuire: her books are always unique. The premise of this one mixes alchemy, gods, and a globe-trotting game of wits. Tell me you aren’t fascinated!
4. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
If you haven’t read Erin Morgenstern’s first novel, The Night Circus, you’re in for a sumptuous treat. Her descriptions will draw you in and make you forget the real world completely. Her second novel, The Starless Sea (a standalone), looks just as magical.
5. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
This book had me at the mention of dark academia. This sounds like a mashup of The Secret History and a dark Harry Potter. SOLD.
Here are all of Leigh Bardugo’s books in order!
6. Recursion by Blake Crouch
If you’ve never read a Blake Crouch novel, get ready to have your mind blown. His high-octane plots and forays into dark science will have you glued to your book!
There you have it! Hopefully this list will help you grow your own TBR with less overwhelm. I know I’ll be keeping a sharp eye out for copies of my own.
If you’ve read any Goodreads choice awards nominees, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Related post: Goodreads Giveaways: How to Get Free Books to Read
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