Goodreads Blog

The Most Popular Books of the Decade—Chosen by You

Posted by Danny on September 05, 2017

Goodreads Turns Ten is sponsored by Audible. Enjoy a free book with your trial.

We're celebrating our tenth anniversary at Goodreads, but our annual Choice Awards are just a few years younger. It all started in 2009, when the inaugural awards launched to honor our readers' favorite books of the year.

And though the awards have changed a bit over time—for instance, we've added categories like Humor, Poetry, and Historical Fiction—your love for books has never waned. In fact, just last year more than 3.5 million votes were cast across all 20 categories.

The best books of the year are chosen by you, the readers, and the Top 20 titles fight it out for the top prize. You have eternal favorites (Rick Riordan has won a record-breaking six times), but debut authors have a chance, too (Alwyn Hamilton won last year for Rebel of the Sands).

Before we begin this year's ninth annual Goodreads Choice Awards in November, look back at all your favorite books from yesteryear, shelve a few you may have missed, and share your favorites in the comments.

Fiction
Truly Madly Guilty
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Go Set a Watchman
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Landline
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And the Mountains Echoed
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The Casual Vacancy
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1Q84
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Room
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The Help
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Nonfiction
Hamilton
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Modern Romance
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The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories
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The Autistic Brain
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Quiet
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The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth
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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
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Columbine
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Mysteries & Thrillers
End of Watch
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The Girl on the Train
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Mr. Mercedes
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Inferno
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Gone Girl
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Smokin' Seventeen
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The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
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The Girl Who Played with Fire
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Fantasy
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two
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Trigger Warning
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The Book of Life
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The Ocean at the End of the Lane
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The Wind Through the Keyhole
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A Dance with Dragons
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Towers of Midnight
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Dead and Gone
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Science Fiction
Morning Star
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Golden Son
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The Martian
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MaddAddam
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The Long Earth
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11/22/63
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Feed
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Leviathan
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Young Adult Fiction
Salt to the Sea
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All the Bright Places
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We Were Liars
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Eleanor & Park
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The Fault in Our Stars
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Where She Went
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Before I Fall
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long for the Ride
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Romance
It Ends with Us
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Confess
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Written in My Own Heart's Blood
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Lover at Last
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Fifty Shades Freed
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Lover Unleashed
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Lover Mine
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An Echo in the Bone
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See complete coverage of the Goodreads Ten-Year Anniversary Celebration, including:
Your Favorite Authors' Top Ten Favorite Books
Ten of Our Top Reviews of All Time
Ten Ways You Know You're a Goodreads Member
Participate in our Hide-a-Book Day on September 18



Comments (showing 1-50 of 77) (77 new)


Arthur Pendragon Such a wonderful list with some great books on here!


message 2: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Not a lot of variety in the romance category...


Arthur Pendragon Lauren wrote: "Not a lot of variety in the romance category..."

I'm not surprised to see Fifty shades in there


message 4: by Kristin (last edited Sep 05, 2017 04:17PM) (new)

Kristin I'm pleased "Eleanor and Park" made the cut for the YA category!


message 5: by Alicia (new)

Alicia Harry Potter and the Cursed Child...are you kidding me?!


message 6: by Nichole (new)

Nichole Mohler Alicia wrote: "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child...are you kidding me?!"

I agree, that book was horrible!


message 7: by Whitney (new)

Whitney When you've read half the YA winners and two of them were AMAZING and the other two you actively try to forget about lol

Most of the books on this list are pretty good, though. Definitely found some new ones to add to my TBR list


message 8: by Ane (new)

Ane I would've loved to see a "Science and Technology" category


message 9: by Kaelyn (new)

Kaelyn I seriously doubt this was chosen by readers. Maybe a few readers, but I feel like there would be a lot more authors on here rather than just 4 in the romance category, and I also don't think Harry Potter and the Cursed Child would be on this list.


message 10: by Sophie (new)

Sophie Quist Lauren wrote: "Not a lot of variety in the romance category..."

Nope. Disappointing. It's not like there's any shortage of romance books and authors.


message 11: by Megan (new)

Megan I feel like a lot of these books are here because of their famous authors, not because the books themselves are actually that good!


Caidyn (BW Book Reviews) Alicia wrote: "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child...are you kidding me?!"

That was my first thought!


message 13: by Kadee (new)

Kadee Girl Megan wrote: "I feel like a lot of these books are here because of their famous authors, not because the books themselves are actually that good!"

I completely agree.


message 14: by Meep (new)

Meep Megan wrote: "I feel like a lot of these books are here because of their famous authors, not because the books themselves are actually that good!"

Agreed.


message 15: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte Whiteing We werr liars?!?!? Errmm no that was awful

I was in this bookshop and saw a review next to the book that just said "i hate this book." It was a very relatable review


message 16: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Alicia wrote: "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child...are you kidding me?!"

I feel like this was fans' way of getting in Harry Potter when Harry Potter wasn't an option.


message 17: by Jeannie (new)

Jeannie Diana Gabldon's Outlander series is NOT ROMANCE. It is FICTION. Historical fiction if you want to go with that. But good Lord, people. There's more to it than people meeting and having sex. Do you really think millions of people would read (and re-read) 8 + books of over 800 pages each if they were *just* romance????


message 18: by Caroline (new)

Caroline Cairn Megan wrote: "I feel like a lot of these books are here because of their famous authors, not because the books themselves are actually that good!"

I concur. People are like sheep nowadays.


message 19: by Katsuro (last edited Sep 06, 2017 10:33AM) (new)

Katsuro Ricksand Jeannie wrote: "Diana Gabldon's Outlander series is NOT ROMANCE. It is FICTION. Historical fiction if you want to go with that."
Lots of romance novels are historical fiction, so...
And it's a bit silly to say that a book isn't romance, but fiction. ALL romance novels are fiction. Every novel ever written is fiction by definition. Fiction isn't the name of a specific genre; it's the word for all made-up stories. So this comment is kinda "This isn't a Volvo V70, it's a CAR!"

"There's more to it than people meeting and having sex."
Just like in thousands and thousands of romance novels. I've never read a romance novel where all that happened was that people met and had sex.

Do you really think millions of people would read (and re-read) 8 + books of over 800 pages each if they were *just* romance???? "
Sure, why not? In my opinion, it's perfectly possible that people might do that, provided that it's a romance series that's sufficiently well-written. The number of people who read a book series doesn't determine whether it's a romance series or not.


message 20: by Rafael (new)

Rafael González Martín Pathetic


message 21: by Spencer ♡ (new)

Spencer ♡ I don't know who decided to put 50 Shades on this list but they were wrong


message 22: by Kurt (new)

Kurt Would like to see LGBT category.


message 23: by Meep (new)

Meep Jeannie wrote: "Diana Gabldon's Outlander series is NOT ROMANCE. It is FICTION. Historical fiction if you want to go with that. But good Lord, people. There's more to it than people meeting and having sex. Do you ..."

What's wrong with romance?
There's very often more to it than people meeting and having sex. There's more to people.


message 24: by Meep (new)

Meep Katsuro wrote: "Jeannie wrote: "Diana Gabldon's Outlander series is NOT ROMANCE. It is FICTION. Historical fiction if you want to go with that."
Lots of romance novels are historical fiction, so...
And it's a bi..."


Well expressed Katsuro.


message 25: by Emma (new)

Emma Getz The choices for top YA of the past decade are a bit disappointing, especially considering how much amazing YA fantasy has been released the past few years


message 26: by Diana (new)

Diana Of these, I have read The Help. Gone Girl, and the Girl on the Train.


message 27: by Erin (new)

Erin I am shocked that Truly, Madly, Guilty is on here. The worst of Liane Moriarty's works IMO


message 28: by Erin (new)

Erin Also, Landline?!? Don't get me wrong, I love me some Rainbow Rowell, but I thought Landline was her weakest book by a country mile. Attachments is a million times better -- and so often overlooked.


message 29: by Baldurian (new)

Baldurian Lot of terrible books in this list...


message 30: by Martina (new)

Martina Bučková At least Science Fiction list looks good to me :)


message 31: by Raul (new)

Raul Reyes Spencer ♡ wrote: "I don't know who decided to put 50 Shades on this list but they were wrong"

I suppose that the same guys who put Dan Brown's Inferno. This is just a list of bestselling authors but the quality of some of them is dodgy. I agree with you.


message 32: by Raul (new)

Raul Reyes Go Set a Watchman, The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl, Inferno, A Dance of Dragons, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child... Mates, this list is appalling.


message 33: by Danjal (new)

Danjal Have read 3, want to read 2, so I can't really vote for any...


message 34: by Danjal (new)

Danjal Raul wrote: "Go Set a Watchman, The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl, Inferno, A Dance of Dragons, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child... Mates, this list is appalling."

I heard a lot of good stuff about Gone Girl, got maybe 30 pages in to it, and then gave up.


message 35: by C.A. (new)

C.A. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is on this list? What a joke!


message 36: by Samadhi (new)

Samadhi There are so many great books on this list!!


message 37: by Sandie (new)

Sandie Brown I must have missed that memo. Not too impressed


message 38: by Alana (new)

Alana Haase Fantastic list! I wish I could just read 24 hours a day!


message 39: by Aurora (new)

Aurora Wow, i am disappointed with selections. Most of them didnt even make it on my five star list....


Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder* I thought most were disappointed by Go Set a Watchmen? I think this is basing on sales?


message 41: by Sharlene (new)

Sharlene Arthur Pendragon wrote: "Lauren wrote: "Not a lot of variety in the romance category..."

I'm not surprised to see Fifty shades in there"


I read exclusively romance, and I haven't read any of these.


message 42: by Gloria (new)

Gloria Kadee wrote: "Megan wrote: "I feel like a lot of these books are here because of their famous authors, not because the books themselves are actually that good!"

I completely agree."


I agree with you both. Dead and Gone? NO.


message 43: by Sharron (new)

Sharron Gone Girl? No no no no no.


message 44: by Zarish (new)

Zarish Fatima well this is really the most famous main stream books. most rated not the best.


message 45: by Martina (new)

Martina Bučková Most of these books are winners of the goodreads choice, for those who did not notice. So they got the most votes I assume, which leads me to the fact that a lot of people liked them even though here I see people who are not satisfied.


message 46: by Shreyas (last edited Sep 07, 2017 02:23AM) (new)

Shreyas Surprised with the Cursed Child script book in there. The poll actually should have been termed as 'Popular Books' instead of 'Best Books'.


message 47: by Jeront (new)

Jeront Love it.


message 48: by Julie (new)

Julie DeVisser I wish Goodreads would have thought ahead for diversity of authors and limited each category to the most popular/"best" book for that author. If I like one book by that author, the likelihood is that I will check out other books by that author.


message 49: by Aman (new)

Aman Seriously though. How the hell does The Way of Kings or Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson not feature in Fantasy? I thought they were a few of the highest rated GoodReads books.


message 50: by Nick (last edited Sep 07, 2017 07:04AM) (new)

Nick Rivard I'm confused by this list. It says this was voted by us but how exactly did the voting take place? I think that this is really just a collection of the books that were most read as opposed to "The Best."
Also, why "The Cursed Child" and not " Deathly Hallows (2007)?" Cursed child was "Ok" but idk that it deserves "Best".
Where are the Pulitzer prize winners for non-fiction as well?! "The Emperor of all Maladies" wasn't as good as "Hamilton?!"


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