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Live Video Chat with Gabrielle Zevin, Today at 7 pm ET/4 pm PT
Posted by Patrick Brown on December 13, 2011

Join us today at 7 pm ET/4 pm PT for a live video chat with author Gabrielle Zevin. Gabrielle is the author of Elsewhere and Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac. Today we'll be discussing her latest novel All These Things I've Done. In All These Things I've Done, Anya lives in a New York City where caffeine and chocolate are illegal and the government changes its arbitrary rules on a regular basis. Her world is turned upside down when she's framed for a terrible crime. Can she uncover the truth in time to save herself and her fragile family?

Don't miss your chance to chat with this talented storyteller!

To watch the chat or join the discussion, click here.

The Best Books of 2011: Announcing the Goodreads Choice Award Winners!
Posted by Jessica on December 06, 2011

Congratulations to our winners in 22 categories from poetry to paranormal romance »

Voting has concluded for the 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards, the only major book awards chosen by readers, for readers. Thank you to everyone who voted, and a big round of applause for our winners!

In a result that reinforces the crossover power of Young Adult titles, Divergent, the debut novel by Veronica Roth, won Favorite Book of 2011. The critically-acclaimed 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami, a 900-page masterpiece of mystical realism won Best Fiction of 2011. Definitely not in the loser category is the winner of Best NonfictionThe Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth by Alexandra Robbins, which demonstrates how outcasts thrive after high school. Our other big winners include The Paris Wife, Steve Jobs, Two Kisses for Maddy, and many more—see all the winners here!

We had a tremendous voting turnout for 2011, the third year we've run the Goodreads Choice Awards (view 2009 and 2010 results). Thanks for sharing your passion for your favorite books. However, we're guessing you haven't read every single book among our 440 nominees, so view the full results to see the vote breakdown for 20 nominees across 22 categories. Discover tons of new books to add to your to-read shelf and find great holiday gift ideas for every kind of reader on your shopping list!

If you have friends who love reading, please share this blog post using the Facebook or Twitter links at the end. Spread the word about great books!

See the full results »

Finally, we're thrilled to share this video from 2011's big winner, Goodreads Author Veronica Roth, newly decorated with both Favorite Book of 2011 and Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction for Divergent, her debut novel. That's right; the first-time novelist beat out heavy hitters like George R.R. Martin and Tina Fey. Kudos to Veronica for a huge year—first book published, movie deal, and now two Goodreads Choice Awards!

Great Book Gift Ideas: Your Cheat Sheet to the New York Times Notable Books of 2011
Posted by Patrick Brown on December 01, 2011

When The New York Times released its annual 100 Notable Books list earlier this week, we rubbed our hands together gleefully. But "Best Of" lists are often easy to discount as subjective—or worse, pure fiction. We've got the data to help you sift through these year-end lists and find the perfect holiday reads.

So, here's a cheat sheet to The New York Times' own cheat sheet for the best books of 2011. We've found the top five stocking stuffers, and depending on your taste, a few you may want to skip. (In an effort to be fair, we only looked at books on the list that received at least 500 ratings by Goodreads members.) You may be surprised by some of the books that made it into the mix.

Here are the five top-rated books by average rating:

1. The Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Medicine, Madness & the Murder of a President by Candice Millard. With an average rating of 4.25, this nonfiction book is a hidden gem. It's only been rated 520 times, but those who have read it rave about it, noting that it's packed full of all sorts of odd historical tidbits. Goodreads member Susan Jones says, "As sad as the story is, I loved the telling of it in this book...I would never have known otherwise that Alexander Graham Bell invented a metal detector so that he could try to locate the bullet still in Garfield's body." (Nonfiction)

2. Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable. Not a huge surprise here. This new biography of Malcolm X was popular enough with Goodreads members to make it a Finalist for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best History & Biography. (Nonfiction)

3. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach. The pinnacle in terms of average ratings for novels. This is the highest-ranked work of fiction on the entire list. Harbach's popular campus novel about baseball lives up to its hype, sporting a healthy 4.10 average rating. In baseball terms, you could say it hit .400. (Fiction)

4. The Pale King by David Foster Wallace. The New York Times likes it and so do our readers. David Foster Wallace's unfinished novel didn't disappoint, earning a 4.01 average rating. Goodreads member RandomAnthony says, "The Pale King is a skyscraping doesn't need a sympathy vote; the book soars on its own merits." (Fiction)

5. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. This NYT pick is also a pick for us. Apparently this highly anticipated translation was worth the wait. Murakami's latest not only boasts a 4.00 average rating, it's also a Finalist for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Fiction. (Fiction)

But what about the books that didn't fare as well?

While none of the books on the list had truly bad average ratings (this is a notable books list, after all), two books stood out as being decidedly less popular with Goodreads members, each earning less than a 3.25 average rating and receiving more than 500 ratings. Considering that the average rating for all books published in 2011 was 3.89, this is fairly low.

Helen Schulman's This Beautiful Life might have impressed The New York Times, but there is considerably more ambivalence about it on Goodreads. It's average rating of 3.08 is the lowest of any book on the list with more than 500 ratings. The story of a viral video and the havoc it causes in an upper-class enclave of Manhattan received praise for its "frank but sophisticated prose that leaves you marvelling at the author's command of language." Others called it "original and entertaining." Among the negative reviews, the word "disappointment" looms large.

Another book with tons of buzz that proved divisive was Karen Russell's Swamplandia! Its fans are many and ardent, enough to make it a write-in candidate for the Goodreads Choice Awards in Best Fiction. However, those on the other side of the debate found the story "creepy," "derivative," and, again that word, "disappointing." Still, many of those who gave the book one star mentioned that they thought Russell a talented writer and would possibly give her next book a chance.

As for the weirdest books on the list, how about Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them? Not only is this a book about rubber ducks that get lost at sea, it also has the longest title of any book on the list. And in case you were wondering, it does not have the longest title of any book published in 2011. That award goes to My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me: And Other Stories I Shouldn't Share with Acquaintances, Co-workers, Taxi Drivers, Assistants, Job Interviewers, Bikini ... and Ex/ Current/ Future Boyfriends But Have by Hilary Winston. Incidentally, Goodreads members were split on Moby-Duck, giving it a 3.25 rating.

What are your favorite books on the list? Let us know by voting for them in this Listopia list!
Live Video Chat with Sandra Brown, Today at 1 pm ET/10 am PT
Posted by Patrick Brown on November 29, 2011

Join us today at 1 pm ET/10 am PT for a live video chat with bestselling author Sandra Brown. Sandra's novel Ricochet has recently been adapted for the screen as part of TNT's Mystery Movie Night, and in celebration of the launch of the series, we will be chatting live about the book-to-TV process, how she writes her bestselling thrillers, and more. Join us for this lively half-hour discussion!

Ricochet will be airing on TNT Wednesday night at 9 p.m.

To watch the chat and join the discussion, click here!

Last Chance to Vote in the Goodreads Choice Awards
Posted by Jessica on November 28, 2011

Polls Close November 30! »

Only three days remain in the 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards. We have 10 finalists in 22 categories, each gunning for a victory! Polls will close at midnight on November 30, so vote now to make sure your favorite book of the year doesn't place second. Nearly 570,000 votes have been cast so far with no signs of slowing as the Final Round draws to an end.

If you haven't yet perused the list of stellar finalists who have made it this far, take a look! No doubt you'll find something new and exciting to read among the more than 200 books nominated. Our big winners will be announced in December, so stay tuned. Vote for the best books of 2011! »
Vote Now in the 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards Final Round: See What Made the Cut!
Posted by Jessica on November 21, 2011

Only 10 books left standing in each category! »

After two rounds of voting and more than 411,000 votes cast, we've entered the Final Round of the Goodreads Choice Awards. There are now 10 lucky finalists in each of 22 categories. Congratulations to the authors who have made it this far!

The polls remain open until midnight on November 30, and it's still anyone's race! Voters are keeping things interesting and spreading their love across a broad range of books. Whisper-thin margins separate the top books, so get out the vote and lead your favorite book to victory! To give you an idea, at the end of the Semifinal Round only 24 votes separated the top books in Best Fiction—despite thousands of votes cast. Several books are vying for the top spot in Best Paranormal Fantasy, with rampant fans all supporting their favorites series. You might guess that best-selling juggernaut Stephen King would have Best Science Fiction all wrapped up, but write-in candidate Ilona Andrews rocketed into the top 10, even without an Opening Round nomination. It's a wide-open race!

You now have a third and final chance to vote for your favorite books of the year. Remember, polls close November 30, so don't forget to vote this week as you baste your turkey and roll your pie crusts for Thanksgiving dinner. Winners will be announced in December.

Vote for the best books of 2011! »
Do You Live in the Twilight Belt? [INFOGRAPHIC]
Posted by Patrick Brown on November 18, 2011

There is no more divisive book on Goodreads than Twilight. It manages to top both our Best Books Ever and Worst Books of All Time lists. And now, surprisingly, we've discovered that where you live can indicate whether you're a Twi-Hard or not.

With the release of the film adaption of Breaking Dawn (well, the first half of the film adaptation), we thought it might be fun to dive into some more of the incredible trove of data we have on the Twilight Saga and its readers.

A map of what each state thinks of Twilight ends up looking a lot like a map of the most recent election results. On the map above, the readers in the red states rated the book highly (the darker the red, the higher the rating), while readers in the blue states gave it a lower rating). The Midwest and the South represent The Twilight Belt, while the coasts were decidedly less impressed with the book.

Reviews were mostly distributed according to population, with the notable exception of Utah. Utah is the 34th most populous state in the US, but it generates the 6th most reviews of Twilight. In terms of cities, Salt Lake City—the 125th largest city in the country—is second only to New York in number of Twilight reviews. Opinion on the book is split in the Beehive state, with the average rating a pedestrian 3.64.

Not surprisingly, the Twilight books also split along gender lines. Women were twelve times as likely as men to review Twilight on Goodreads -- we have 573,797 ratings by women and only 46,554 by men. Women were also more likely to have liked the book, giving it an average rating of 3.77 stars, whereas men were, well, not so happy with it, rating it 2.94 stars.

As the Boston Globe recently noted, young adult books have broken out big with readers of all ages, and Twilight is no different. In fact, as many 28, 29, and 30-year-olds read the book as 15, 16, and 17-year-olds. If you're on Goodreads and you're not young, chances are good that you're young at heart.

Announcing the Goodreads Kindle Fire App!
Posted by Patrick Brown on November 16, 2011

For those of you unpacking a shiny new Kindle Fire today, we've got some great news for you -- the Goodreads Kindle Fire app is now available for download! Now you can enjoy the Goodreads experience on your Kindle Fire.

Our enormously popular Android app has been downloaded over 118,000 times and is growing at over 12,000 downloads per month, and our Kindle Fire app features all the same functionality. Rate and review books, keep track of your to-read shelf, connect with friends, and discuss books in all of your groups. You'll also enjoy our millions of reviews, our thousands of Listopia lists, and more.

And the best part of all? The Goodreads Kindle Fire app is free. Click here to download the app!

Announcing the 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards Semifinalists: Polls Now Open!
Posted by Jessica on November 14, 2011

Vote now to keep your favorites in the running! »

Congratulations to the semifinalists! Readers came out in droves to nominate their favorite books in the Opening Round of the 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards. Just over 270,000 votes were cast for more than 8,000 books published in 2011. We have now added the top 5 write-ins as official nominees, bringing the total to 20 nominated books in each of 22 categories.

By popular demand, Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus is now up for Favorite Book of 2011. Critically acclaimed books like Bonnie Jo Campbell's Once Upon a River and Tayari Jones's Silver Sparrow proved also to be reader favorites, earning nominations in Best Fiction. The Best Fantasy category has become the battle of the Terrys: Terry Pratchett, Terry Brooks, and Terry Goodkind all are pitted against George R.R. Martin. In Best Humor, Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling now must contend against fellow funny woman Ellen Degeneres. Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, the subject of much conversation this year, earned a write-in slot in Best Memoir & Autobiography. Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone picked up two nominations, in Favorite Book of 2011 and Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction. Did your favorite books make it past the opening round? View all the semifinalists and vote!

Readers can now vote a second time for their favorite books of the year. Semifinal Round voting is open only this week—polls close November 20. Next week we narrow the field to the top 10 vote-getters in each category and announce the 2011 Finalists! Readers will then have a third and final chance to vote before the Choice Awards conclude on November 30. Vote now to make sure your preferred reads make it past the elimination round and into the finals! Winners will be announced in December.

Vote for the best books of 2011! »
Live Video Chat with Gregory Maguire, Today at 7 pm ET/4 pm PT
Posted by Patrick Brown on November 11, 2011

Join us today for a live video chat with bestselling author Gregory Maguire. The Wicked Years is coming to a close with the fourth and final book in the series, Out of Oz. What will the conclusion be? Watch the chat and join the discussion to find out how Maguire reinvents the classic literary land of Oz, what fires his imagination, and much more. The chat will begin at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT and will last for a half an hour. If you're a Wicked fan or a fan of imaginative storytelling, this is a video chat you don't want to miss.

To watch the chat and join the discussion, click here!