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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

2011 Goodreads Choice Awards: Semifinals November 13-November 20 (by Liviu Suciu)

Goodreads is running their third annual Goodreads Choice Awards in three rounds. I talked about eligibility and process in the post about the first round HERE.

Now that the write-ins have been tallied and the top five added to have the full 20 book semifinal list I will present the main four fiction categories I voted in and my votes and extra choices for the final round if my favorite does not make the top 10.

Remember that there are 22 categories so lots of things to vote for - in addition to the 4 main categories for me below, I also voted in Historical Fiction (Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran), History & Biography (In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson) and Middle Grade & Children's (based on my son's reading and what I glimpsed from the books myself, Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick).

1: Favorite Book of 2011 (click for titles)

Voted: A Dance with Dragons by George RR Martin

Second Choice: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I've read two more books from the list, the overall disappointing The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss and the dismal Twilight for the middle ages, A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.


2: Best Fiction of 2011 (click for titles)

Voted: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

Three more choices here:

The 2011 Booker winner The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
The utterly charming The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan
Even the partly disappointing The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht

I have not read any of the other books on the list, though I opened a few that generated waves or I've seen reviews that interested me in them. Most are away from my interests and I already have a huge reading pile, so it's quite unlikely I will read any...


3: Best Fantasy of 2011 (click for list of titles)

Voted: A Dance with Dragons by George RR Martin

Three more choices here:

Naamah's Blessing by Jacqueline Carey
The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

In addition to Rothfuss, I only read the very meh Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence and I plan to read Kingdom of Gods by NK Jemisin hopefully sometime this year, while I have no real interest in the other titles with most of them by authors I stay well away from.


4: Best SF of 2011 (click for list of titles)

Voted: The Clockwork Rocket by Greg Egan (a write in vote from me that made the extra five)

Two more choices here:

Leviathan Wakes by James Corey
Embassytown by China Mieville

I started and plan to eventually finish Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris and Flashback by Dan Simmons, while most of the other choices are from authors I stay away from.


Bryn said...

I've noticed you put together 'meh' and 'Prince of Thorns' on perhaps 17 occasions now. For a book that was meh it clearly made a huge impression on you :)

I loved it by the way as have the vast majority of those rating it on goodreads.

Liviu said...

Well it got mentioned lots of places where I happen to post too; first person narration, when it works, it really works so to speak, but when it doesn't, the book can have all the stuff I usually tend to like and it still doesn't work

As for people loving it and all, hey it is on this list so no quarrel with that.

Anonymous said...

Flashback nominated for Best of 2011? That's surprising. I thought it was atrocious and it barely qualified as a vehicle for Simmons' bigotry, let alone a novel.

John Lee said...

Here’s my two cents...

I loved Ready Player One and The Wise Man's Fear, however I gave up on George RR Martin long ago as I found his books hard to get into.

A Discovery of Witches had great reviews on Amazon, however I thought the book was dreadful.

Final thought, after reading The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms I think I'll pass on NK Jemisin's other books - I thought the ending was ridiculous.

Liviu said...

@anon: This is all based on what people who use Goodreads prefer - the first 15 choices were determined algorithmically based on number/average ratings and then the extra 5 of which Flashback is one were added based on write-ins; it could be that one write in was enough after all.

@John Thank you for your thoughts!

Elfy said...

Ready Player One, A Dance with Dragons and The Heroes are all in my top 5 reads of 2011. It didn't make the list but Cat Valente's The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making is far and away the best thing I've read this year.
For what it's worth I was pretty unimpressed with Prince of Thorns too.
Phoenix Rising is a lot of fun, nothing word shattering, but a highly enjoyable romp all the same.

Bryn said...

And yet Prince of Thorns makes the final, one of two debuts to do it. The other debut riding a pre-publication movie deal and having the largest publishing push behind it seen in a long while.

Liviu said...

Very good!
I checked the #ratings and Prince of Thorns has the lowest in 500's which makes it even more remarkable as for example The Heroes had about 1000+.

On the other hand ADWD has almost 17000, TWMF has some 14000 and Night Circus about 10000 and i think that one of the three will win easily - one thing that struck me recently is that the Night Circus readers may overlap the least with the epic fantasy readers, so who knows ADWD and TWMF may split lots of votes and Night Circus may actually win...

Mark Lawrence said...

I firmly expect PoT to secure 10th spot! But that will have exceeded my wildest expectations.

I am amazed the book beat out Abercrombie, Sanderson & the Terries Brooks & Goodkind. I'm certain that none of those guys bothered to mention it on their blogs etc & I did, I was amazed to be on the list to start with.

Also, desite the local meh-count PoT seems to be a book that excites passion (sometimes intense dislike) and passion will make people take the effort to vote.

That's me out of theories.

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