On December 6, 2016, Goodreads announced the winners and nominees of the 8th edition of the only major book award decided by readers – Goodreads Choice Awards.
Since the beginning of November, users of the most popular social network for book lovers were voting for their favorite books in twenty categories, including fiction, mystery & thriller, fantasy, and Debut Goodreads Author.
In total, a record number of 3,564,102 votes were cast. The second best year was 2014, with 3,317,504 votes left.
Which book collected most votes? It’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
The 8th story in the Harry Potter series, co-written by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany, received a stunning number of 128,543 votes. It’s more votes than any other nominee in the entire history of Goodreads Choice Awards. What’s interesting, the book has an average rating of 3.82, based on 250 thousand ratings left by Goodreads users.
The 2016 Harry Potter book won in the Best Fantasy category. The Best Mystery & Thriller of 2016 is Stephen King’s spectacular finale to the Bill Hodges series, End of Watch, with 42,382 votes cast.
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead won in the Best Historical Fiction category (24,175 votes). This story of a young slave seeking her freedom on a real underground railroad was also picked by Amazon editors as the best book of 2016.
Below, you’ll see the winners in the most important categories. We present them together with short descriptions, average Goodreads ratings, and links to both print and Kindle versions.
You can also see the winners in our Goodreads Choice Awards 2016 infographic.
Read also 50 short books for busy people
Best short books you can read in less than three hours. Novels and novellas you can't miss, short stories, and most interesting non-fiction books.
Goodreads Choice Awards 2016 – winners
Best Fiction 2016
Truly Madly Guilty
Liane Moriarty is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Husband’s Secret, and Big Little Lies.
In her new novel, Moriarty turns her unique, razor-sharp eye towards three seemingly happy families.
Sam and Clementine have a wonderful, busy life. Sam has just started a new dream job and Clementine, a cellist, is busy preparing for the audition of a lifetime. If there’s anything they can count on, it’s each other.
Clementine and Erika are each other’s oldest friends. One day Erika invites Clementine to a barbecue with her neighbors, Tiffany and Vid.
It will be a normal weekend. What could possibly go wrong?
Average rating: 3.6/5, 30,154 customer reviews
Best Mystery & Thriller 2016
End of Watch
Retired Detective Bill Hodges now runs a two-person firm called Finders Keepers with his partner Holly Gibney. They met in the wake of the ‘Mercedes Massacre’ when a queue of people was run down by the diabolical killer Brady Hartsfield.
Brady is now confined to Room 217 of the Lakes Region Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, in an unresponsive state. But all is not what it seems: the evidence suggests that Brady is somehow awake, and in possession of deadly new powers that allow him to wreak unimaginable havoc without ever leaving his hospital room.
When Bill and Holly are called to a suicide scene with ties to the Mercedes Massacre, they find themselves pulled into their most dangerous case yet…
Average rating: 4.1/5, 42,382 customer reviews
Best Historical Fiction 2016
The Underground Railroad
#1 New York Times bestseller and Amazon’s #1 Book of 2016.
A story of a young slave Cora working on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits.
When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape.
But things do not go as planned. Cora kills a white boy who tries to capture her.
Average rating: 4.1/5, 24,175 customer reviews
Best Fantasy 2016
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the 8th story in the Harry Potter series and the first one to be presented on stage. It’s based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne.
The world premiere of the play will take place in London’s West End on 30th July 2016.
Harry Potter is now an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children. His youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
Average rating: 3.8/5, 128,543 customer reviews
Best Romance 2016
It Ends with Us
Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.
Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.
As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan – her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.
Average rating: 4.6/5, 59,546 customer reviews
Best Science Fiction 2016
Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back.
Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.
Finally, the time has come.
Average rating: 4.5/5, 45,353 customer reviews
Best Horror 2016
From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of NOS4A2 and Heart-Shaped Box comes a chilling novel about a worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion that threatens to reduce civilization to ashes and a band of improbable heroes who battle to save it, led by one powerful and enigmatic man known as the Fireman.
No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. It’s a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames.
Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.
Average rating: 4.0/5, 23,289 customer reviews
Best Humor 2016
The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo
The Emmy Award-winning comedian, actress, and writer has taken the entertainment world by storm with her winning blend of smart, satirical humor.
Now, Amy Schumer has written a refreshingly candid and uproariously funny collection of (extremely) personal and observational essays.
Amy mines her past for stories about her teenage years, her family, relationships, and sex and shares the experiences that have shaped who she is.
Average rating: 3.9/5, 41,080 customer reviews
Best Nonfiction 2016
Hamilton: The Revolution
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeremy McCarter
From Tony Award-winning Lin-Manuel Miranda comes a backstage pass to his groundbreaking, hit musical Hamilton.
The musical tells the story of the poor kid from the Caribbean who fought the British, defended the Constitution, and helped to found the United States.
Fusing hip-hop, pop, R&B, and the best traditions of theater, this once-in-a-generation show broadens the sound of Broadway, reveals the storytelling power of rap, and claims the origins of the United States for a diverse new generation.
Average rating: 4.4/5, 52,925 customer reviews
Best Memoir & Autobiography 2016
When Breath Becomes Air
At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer.
When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.
What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child?
Average rating: 4.4/5, 26,085 customer reviews
Best History & Biography 2016
Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man
William Shatner, David Fisher
Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner first crossed paths as actors on the set of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Little did they know that their next roles as Spock and Captain Kirk, in a new science fiction television series, would shape their lives in ways no one could have anticipated.
In seventy-nine television episodes of Star Trek and six feature films, they grew to know each other more than most friends could ever imagine.
As much a biography of Nimoy as a story of their friendship, is a uniquely heartfelt book written by one legendary actor in celebration of another.
Average rating: 3.8/5, 16,477 customer reviews
Best Science & Technology 2016
Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?
Frans de Waal
Based on research involving crows, dolphins, parrots, sheep, wasps, bats, whales, and of course chimpanzees and bonobos, Frans de Waal explores the scope and the depth of animal intelligence, revealing how we have grossly underestimated their abilities.
De Waal tells of the rise and fall of a view of animals as stimulus-reponse beings, and opens our eyes to their complex and intricate minds.
With astonishing stories of animal cognition, expert science and De Waal’s deeply enquiring mind, the book challenges everything you thought you knew about animal-and human-intelligence.
Average rating: 4.1/5, 12,370 customer reviews
Goodreads Choice Awards 2016 infographic
Here are all the winners of Goodreads Choice Awards 2016 in one handy visual. Feel free to share it with your friends and followers.
• • •
More to explore:
- The best 2016 infographics about books, libraries, and reading
- 9 gift ideas for the Kindle addict in your life
- Best Kindle books of 2016, based on sales
- 10 protective cases for your Amazon Fire HD 8 (2016)
- Explore Amazon’s 100 best books of 2016
Tips and tricks
Kindle Store – a guide to deals, special sections, and features
Browse Kindle Store easily. Check out this handy list with Amazon ebookstore’s most important links: deals, bestsellers, special features, help pages, and more.
Amazon Prime Reading – most important things to know
Most important things to know about Amazon Prime Reading in a form of single-minded questions and answers.
12 classy iPad Pro case covers and sleeves (9.7 and 12.9-inch)
iPad Pro 9.7 & 12.9 case covers and sleeves that are far more original than Apple’s original Smart Cover.
8 best gift ideas for the Nook owner in your life
Here are some ideas to let you pick the perfect gift for someone who is addicted to reading Nook books.
10 protective cases for your Amazon Fire HD 8 (2016)
Check out the selection of Amazon Fire HD 8 (2016) case covers that are meant to fully protect your tablet from dust, scratches, and bumps.
7 best gift ideas for the Kobo user in your life
Here are some ideas to let you pick the perfect gift for someone who is addicted to reading Kobo books.