Posted by Jessica on December 03, 2013
Stop the presses! We have our winners! Casting nearly 2 million votes in the 5th annual Goodreads Choice Awards, readers have chosen their best books of the year. No other major book award tells you what the readers think—our nominations and voting rounds are all about what the readers love. Plain and simple.
Khaled Hosseini is the runaway winner in Best Fiction for his moving novel And the Mountains Echoed. In a closer race, Temple Grandin took the top prize in Best Nonfiction for The Autistic Brain, despite stiff competition from Mary Roach and Sheryl Sandberg.
For the third year in a row, a book in Veronica Roth's Divergent series is the big winner in Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction. Her perfect trifecta began with Divergent in 2011, followed by Insurgent in 2012. She caps it off this year with the series finale, Allegiant.
The most hotly contested category was Best Mystery & Thriller, where Dan Brown edged out Robert Galbraith (a.k.a. J.K. Rowling) by only 296 votes! Perhaps sleuth Robert Langdon can consult with Detective Cormoran Strike for his next madcap case.
Kate Atkinson's time-bending Life After Life won with a dominant lead in Best Historical Fiction. Stephen King also won by a large spread in Best Horror for his sequel to The Shining Doctor Sleep, although the win may be bittersweet, because the runner-up in that category is his talented son, Joe Hill! Telling hair-raising stories runs deep in that family.
Earning the most votes of any single book awards-wide, Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane won Best Fantasy by the widest margin of this year's Choice Awards, beating runner-up A Memory of Light by 30,513 votes! Yet the tables were turned in Best Children's Books, where Rick Riordan beat Gaiman by almost the same margin, 30,017 votes. Undaunted, Gaiman was definitely this year's MVP. The triple nominee also secured a third-place finish in Best Picture Books, behind winner Drew Daywalt's The Day the Crayons Quit and Lemony Snicket's The Dark.
Other winners include I Am Malala in Best Memoir & Autobiography and Jim Henson: The Biography in Best History & Biography. And don't miss Rainbow Rowell's major accomplishment in Best Young Adult Fiction, taking first and second place for Eleanor & Park and Fangirl. No easy feat!
You can view the vote breakdown for all 400 nominated books in 20 categories, and if you haven't read them all (we'd be pretty impressed if you had!), you can start adding this year's best books of the year to your to-read list. Thank you to all the voters who came out to support their favorite authors and cheer on their favorites from round to round. And now we're starting to wonder...what will be the big books of 2014?
Posted by Otis on November 18, 2013
Picture it: You're curled up on the couch, lost in a fantastic story on your new Kindle Paperwhite, when you come across the most amazing passage. It sends shivers down your spine... or it makes you laugh... or it captures something important to you. And you can't wait to see if your friends feel the same way. Now there's no need to put down your new Kindle Paperwhite to jump on Goodreads and share it with your friends...
Starting today, Goodreads is inside your books on the new Kindle Paperwhite. Reading and discussing books are no longer separated—your reading experience is all on one device!
It's long been a dream of ours to bring Goodreads inside your Kindle and into the book with you. The team has been working long and hard to make this possible and we can't wait to show you the results today.
Let's take a tour!
Thanks again to the Goodreads team who built this—they put in a lot of late nights and ate a lot of giant burritos! After a well-earned rest, they'll be back at work building a new wave of features both on Kindle and on Goodreads.com.
Goodreads is available in a free, over-the-air software update delivered automatically to new Kindle Paperwhites in the US, Canada and Australia in the coming weeks. Can't wait for the update? You can also go here to download it. We do not have details to share about other Kindle e-readers but know that Amazon has a long history of bringing new features to previous devices.
Which feature in Goodreads on the new Kindle Paperwhite appeals to you the most?
Posted by Otis on November 18, 2013
Today is the culmination of a lot of hours of hard work and invention. We're burning with excitement to announce that Goodreads is now officially available for the new Kindle Fire! When we joined the Amazon family of companies six months ago, we were most psyched about continuing the mission we most care about—helping readers find and share books they love—but in addition, we also had the opportunity to really think about what the reading experience could be for Kindle readers.
We want to make the reading experience better. We want to make it easy to find great books, and then to have engaging, amazing conversations about them. It starts now—with a deep integration of Goodreads into the reading experience on the new Kindle Fires. Our team has been working incredibly hard over these past months, and we are very proud and excited about what we've begun to build. So, for this update, we thought it might be more fun to hear from some members of the team about what they've created.
Goodreads on Kindle Fire is different from the Goodreads mobile app because it's actually part of the Kindle reading experience. "What's most exciting to me is that it's the first time ever that Goodreads has been inside the book," said Brian Rosenblat, director of product. "There's no need to switch between the book you are reading and Goodreads. Goodreads on the Kindle is the first big step towards making it all one experience."
Robert LaThanh, developer, loves how the goal is to add to the enjoyment of reading books. "At Goodreads, we're all book lovers and big believers in the joy of losing ourselves inside a great book. We never want to interrupt that. What we're doing is making it easier than ever to share your reading with your friends when you want to."
So what you can do with Goodreads on the new Kindle Fire? It's a mix of familiar and new features. Let's take a look:
Share a quote
—Ettore Pasquini, senior developer
See what your friends are reading
—Mike Williams, software engineer
Rate and review books
—Virgilio Pigliucci, senior software engineer
Track what you want to read, are currently reading,
and have already read
—Seth Goldstein, director,
Goodreads will be available on the new Kindle Fires as part of a free, over-the-air software update that will be automatically delivered in the coming weeks in the US, Canada and Australia. Of course, if you can't wait that long, you can go here to make it happen immediately! (Please note that this is only available right now for the new Kindle Fires. We don't have information yet about all the other Kindle devices but will provide updates as we have them.) There will be more features on the way as well. And for you non-Kindle Fire readers, don't worry! We're going to continue to work hard to improve Goodreads on all devices: web, tablet, and mobile! Onward!
Looking forward to hearing what you think of the new Goodreads on Kindle Fire!
The Goodreads on Kindle Fire Team
Posted by Jessica on November 18, 2013
Announcing Your Finalists! »
Only 10 books still standing in each category—the Final Round of the 2013 Goodreads Choice Awards has begun! With a whopping 1.2 million votes cast in the Opening and Semifinal Rounds, readers have narrowed the candidates to 10 finalists in each of 20 categories. You have from now until midnight (PST) on November 25 to place your final votes!
You're facing some tough choices in these hotly contested categories, and you'll also find some unusual competitors! Beloved Jim Henson is up against infamous Charles Manson in Best History & Biography. The incredibly diverse Best Memoir & Autobiography category includes the controversial Amanda Knox, Japanese teen Naoki Higashida, Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, and even Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson. And you won't find a a stiffer rivalry than in Best Picture Books, where baby sloths and unicorns are scrambling for position.
We also saw some surprising upsets coming out of the Semifinals. George Saunders narrowly edged out Jhumpa Lahiri to become a finalist in Best Fiction. Write-in nominee Philippa Gregory catapulted up the rankings in Best Historical Fiction past favorites such as Tracy Chevalier and Colum McCann, who both missed the cut. And our finalists also include some fresh faces. Indie-publishing phenom Lindsay Buroker is up against the likes of Neil Gaiman and Brandon Sanderson in Best Fantasy, and debut novelist Wesley Chu faces heavyweights Margaret Atwood, Hugh Howey, and John Scalzi in Best Science Fiction. Last but certainly not least, strength is matching strength in Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction with a deep field including Cassandra Clare, Richelle Mead, Veronica Roth, and more! Who will triumph? View all the finalists and vote!
Remember, the polls close November 25, and winners will be announced December 3. This is your third and final chance to vote for the best books of 2013!
Posted by Sarah on November 13, 2013
Warning! Using the updated Goodreads for iOS is potentially addictive and you could end up with a sky-high Want to Read pile!
The newest version of Goodreads for iOS includes a fun and easy way to see book recommendations – personalized just for you. Our recommendations engine analyzes 20 billion data points to come up with suggestions based on the books you’ve rated and your favorite genres.
We have to confess, though, that when we were testing this in our office, it resulted in some of our teammates playing for hours as they added more and more books to their Want to Read shelf!
To give you an idea of the enchantment of the Goodreads iOS recommendations, check out this 30-second video of the recommendations feature in action. Irresistible for all you book lovers, right?
But there’s more … we’ve also improved the speed of one of our members’ favorite features on Goodreads for iOS – the barcode scanner. The scanner now opens up and focuses faster so you can pull up the information about a book more quickly. We find it’s especially handy when you see a book when you are out and about and want to check out reviews from your friends and the Goodreads community to learn more about it. (We’ve also heard of members—and plenty of employees—using the scanner to efficiently catalog every single book on their shelves at home!)
Our Goodreads app for iPhone, iPad and iPad mini is updated for iOS7 and is now available so be sure to update the app if you already have it. To try it for the first time, you can download it from here.
Let us know what you think!
Posted by Jessica on November 11, 2013
Semifinal Round Now Open for Voting! »
Meg Wolitzer! Sonia Sotomayor! Guy Gavriel Kay! These are just some of the authors you have boosted into the Semifinal Round with your votes. Goodreads members cast 852,885 votes for more than 13,000 books in the Opening Round of the 2013 Goodreads Choice Awards. We have now added the top five write-ins in each category as official nominees, bringing the total to 20 nominated books in each of 20 categories. Congrats to the new nominees!
Jeannette Walls and Elizabeth Strout are now rounding out the already highly competitive Best Fiction category. Chris Bohjalian, Jamie Ford, and Edward Rutherfurd bring the male perspective to the formerly female-heavy roster in Best Historical Fiction. Other new nominees include headliners Elizabeth Smart in Best Memoir and Gwyneth Paltrow in Best Food & Cookbooks. And fresh blood in the YA categories includes Matthew Quick in Best Young Adult Fiction and Gail Carriger in Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction. View all the Semifinalists »
Vote now to support your favorite books, because big cuts are coming! The Semifinal Round closes November 16, and then we narrow the playing field dramatically. Only 10 books in each category will advance to the Final Round, beginning November 18. Don't let your favorite author get eliminated!
Posted by Patrick on November 05, 2013
Join us today for a live video chat with bestselling author Markus Zusak. We'll be discussing his breakout international hit The Book Thief, one of the most beloved books of the last decade. We'll also be discussing the film version of the novel, in theaters now.
To watch the chat or ask a question, click here.
Posted by Jessica on November 04, 2013
Vote now in the Opening Round! »
Other book awards rely on curated committees and arbiters of culture, but at Goodreads we want to know what you think. It's our favorite time of year again: Today we launch the 5th annual Goodreads Choice Awards, where the winners are determined entirely by your votes! With 20 categories ranging from Best Humor to Best Fantasy to Best Poetry, there's something for everyone. Pick your favorites in the Opening Round, and then come back to support your books that make it through to the Semifinal and Final rounds as the month progresses.
A hearty congratulations to our impressive collection of nominees! We have some interesting match-ups to keep an eye on this year. A "who's who" of literature—including Khaled Hosseini, Jhumpa Lahiri, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Wally Lamb—is duking it out in Best Fiction. Dan Brown's professorial sleuth Robert Langdon has some real competition in Best Mystery from J.K. Rowling's gruff P.I. Cormoran Strike. Can grande dame Maya Angelou hold her own against 16-year-old Nobel Peace Prize nominee Malala Yousafzai in Best Memoir? And place your bets for the father vs. son face-off happening in Best Horror, where the mighty Stephen King must stand up against his talented offspring, Joe Hill. Your favorite authors need your votes before the polls close November 25.
The Goodreads Choice Awards are the only major book awards decided by readers, and we find our nominees from books that our members read and love throughout the year. There's no judging panel or industry experts. We analyzed statistics from the 250 million books added, rated, and reviewed on the site in 2013 to nominate 15 books in each category. Of course, with hundreds of thousands of books published in 2013, no nominee list could cover the amazing breadth of books reviewed on Goodreads so we also accept write-in votes during the Opening Round to ensure that you can vote for exactly the book you want.Vote for the best books of 2013! »
Posted by Suzanne on October 30, 2013
We don’t mean to spook you, but we’re about to enter the final two months of 2013! How’s your Goodreads Reading Challenge going?
Congratulations to the more than 3,400 Goodreads members who have already completed their Goodreads Reading Challenge this year! (We’re so envious.)
But, if you’re feeling more challenged than usual, take heart. You are not alone!
Whatever your status with your own personal Reading Challenge, stick by our favorite piece of advice: Keep Calm and Carry On Reading!
Posted by Otis on October 21, 2013
More and more, mornings look like this: The alarm rings, you sit up, sleepily grasp for your smartphone, and scroll through your news and updates. According to industry analysts, by 2015 more people will access the web via mobile devices than desktops. And of course, Goodreads is no different. In September, traffic to our mobile web site was up 150 percent from last year, with most of that coming from smartphone users. Now we’re rolling out a beta mobile version of Goodreads.com that we think makes navigation on a smartphone easier and more intuitive! When you visit Goodreads.com on your smartphone’s web browser, you’ll see the new mobile site as soon as you sign in. (On tablets, you will continue to see the familiar desktop version for now.)
To give you a feel for the new look of the mobile web site, check out these fun screenshots:
Some of the improvements to look forward to include:
- More organized and easier-to-browse view of your books
- Simple view of your friends’ updates and what they are reading
- A cleaner and more useful presentation of book information
This is a beta version and we’re working on adding more mobile-optimized pages in the future, so please stay tuned.
Just to recap, all you have to do to see the new beta site is visit Goodreads.com on your smartphone. Enjoy!