Announcing the Winners of the 2020 Goodreads Choice Awards!

Posted by Danny on December 7, 2020

More than 5.6 million votes were cast and counted in the 12th Annual Goodreads Choice Awards honoring the year's best books decided by you, the readers!

This year, every vote counted: The Best Fiction category was narrowly won (BY FIVE VOTES) by Matt Haig with his whimsical book The Midnight Library, which just surpassed Goodreads readers' other favorite of the year, Fredrik Backman's Anxious People. In other news, Silvia Moreno-Garcia beat out reigning champion Stephen King in the Horror category, making Rick Riordan—who won again this year—our Goodreads Choice Award champion (Riordan now has ten wins, while King has nine). Another big winner this year was Ibram X. Kendi, who won two awards: Best Nonfiction (for Stamped) and Best Picture Book (for Antiracist Baby). Lastly, Margaret Atwood followed up last year's Best Fiction win (for The Testaments) with a win in the poetry category for her new collection, Dearly

Now comes our favorite part: revealing all of the incredible winners across 20 categories! Congratulations to all of the best books (and their fabulous authors) of the year in each of the 20 categories!

Best Fiction: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
 

“I am overjoyed to get this. A year ago, I was still editing The Midnight Library and had no idea how readers would respond. The reaction since publication has been overwhelming, and I want to thank everyone who voted for this book and who has spread the word. The great thing about the Goodreads Choice Awards is they are voted for by readers. It is a real honor. Thank you.” —Matt Haig (photo credit: Kan Lailey)

Best Mystery & Thriller: The Guest List by Lucy Foley
 

“I’m completely over the moon to win—and the fact that this prize has been decided by you, the readers, makes it so incredibly special. I’ve been blown away by the way you’ve embraced my dark little book. Thank you for picking The Guest List for your book clubs, for talking about it with friends, and for all your brilliant reviews and comments! In a strange year, when we’ve all probably felt pretty isolated, it has been wonderful to connect with you all online.” —Lucy Foley (photo credit: Lucy Foley) 

Best Historical Fiction: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
 

“It's such an honor to win a Goodreads award! Thanks to all the readers who loved and shared The Vanishing Half and to those who voted!” —Brit Bennett (photo credit: Miranda Barnes) 

Best Fantasy: Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas
 

“Thank you so much to my lovely readers for their incredible support and for making this win possible! There were so many phenomenal books nominated this year, written by truly brilliant authors, and I'm deeply honored to have Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood included alongside them.” —Sarah J. Maas (photo credit: Beowulf Sheehan) 

Best Romance: From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout
 

“Such a huge honor to have been nominated alongside many of my favorite books of the year, and I’m awed by the response to From Blood and Ash! A huge thank you to Goodreads, to Blue Box Press, and to all the readers who voted. Casteel and Poppy send their love!” —Jennifer L. Armentrout (photo credit: Jennifer L. Armentrout) 

Best Science Fiction: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini
 

“A huge thank you to everyone on Goodreads who voted for To Sleep in a Sea of Stars! I can’t tell you how much it means to me. Here’s to many more stories set in the Fractalverse! And remember: 'Eat the Path.' ” —Christopher Paolini (photo credit: Lo Hunter) 

Best Horror: Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
 

“This is the year that horror literature came roaring out of the grave like a super zombie, and I'm glad to be part of this ghoulish book parade. Stay spooky, everyone.” —Silvia Moreno-Garcia (photo credit: Martin Dee) 

Best History & Biography: Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
 

“Democracy at work! I know how discerning Goodreads members are, and I am over the moon that they came out for this book. How beautiful to hear straight from the readers—they are the ones who inspire me to write. In a year when people have been searching for answers, I am grateful that so many have found them in this book. Thank you to everyone!” —Isabel Wilkerson (photo credit: Noah Britton) 

Best Science & Tech: A Life on Our Planet by David Attenborough
 


“I truly believe that our planet is in real trouble. If this award suggests that my book has explained why this is so, and what can be done about it, then I am deeply grateful.” —David Attenborough (photo credit: Conor McDonnell) 

Best Food & Cookbooks: Modern Comfort Food by Ina Garten


"In Modern Comfort Food, I wanted to write easy recipes for the classic dishes that would satisfy your cravings and help you take care of the people around you. Thank you, Goodreads, for this great honor!” —Ina Garten (photo credit: Quentin Bacon)

Best Memoir & Autobiography: A Promised Land by Barack Obama
 

Barack Obama (photo credit: Pari Dukovic)

Best Graphic Novel: Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
 

“I'm shocked and amazed and so, so honored! Thank you so much to all my readers for your support for HeartstopperI'm continually blown away by your love and enthusiasm for the series. I can't wait to share more of Nick and Charlie's story with you!” —Alice Oseman (photo credit: Alice Oseman) 

Best Poetry: Dearly by Margaret Atwood
 

“To have Dearly voted by readers as the Best Poetry book for 2020 is very touching for me. The very first award I won was for poetry, back in 1961, when I was 21. Can that really be 60 years ago? Thank you, dear readers, for being readers. Without our belief that you exist, writers would be unlikely to write.” —Margaret Atwood (photo credit: Luis Mora) 

Best Young Adult Fiction: Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
 

“I want to give such a shout-out to all the readers who not only read and loved the novel, but took to the Goodreads streets to get their votes counted! In all seriousness, Clap When You Land is a book about loss and celebration, and this year more than any other, I'm so glad for this incredible community of readers who held space for all the big feelings in the novel.” —Elizabeth Acevedo (photo credit: Denzel Golatt) 

Best Young Adult Fantasy & Sci-Fi: The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black
 

“I cannot explain how thrilled I was to find out that The Queen of Nothing won the 2020 Goodreads Choice Award for Best Young Adult Science Fiction & Fantasy. Since its inception, I’ve thought of the Goodreads Choice Awards as indicative of reader passion—a thing more precious and meaningful than any other metric. I am so thankful that people liked the way the Folk of the Air series ended, that they stuck with me the whole way, and schemed great schemes.” —Holly Black (photo credit: Holly Black) 

Best Picture Book: Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi
 

“I'm so thankful to the Goodreads community. I'm thrilled readers have voted for Stamped as Best Nonfiction Book and Antiracist Baby for Best Picture Book. It's encouraging that so many passionate caretakers are introducing young people to antiracist literature. The earlier we encourage young people to value equity and justice, the better for humanity.” —Ibram X. Kendi (photo credit: Stephen Ross) 

Best Debut: Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
 

“This is incredible. I'm so honored and thrilled. To the Goodreads community and everyone who voted, thank you immensely for spending time with my novel.” —Kiley Reid (photo credit: David Goddard) 

Best Middle Grade & Children's: The Tower of Nero by Rick Riordan
 

“I am humbled and honored to win a Goodreads Choice Award 2020 for The Tower of Nero! This has been such a difficult year for everyone, but one thing that always makes me feel better is discovering new favorite books. I am so glad The Tower of Nero was one of yours!” —Rick Riordan (photo credit: Becky Riordan) 

Best Nonfiction: Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
 

“I’m so honored and humbled that Stamped has received this award, especially since it’s chosen by the most important people—the readers. Thank you to everyone who has read this book and has decided to join, or continue to wrestle and reckon with, the conversation around racism and antiracism in America. Means the world to me, and could very well mean the future to us all.” —Jason Reynolds (photo credit: Dayo Kosoko) 

Best Humor: Strange Planet by Nathan W. Pyle
 

“Taylor and I send our * g r a t i t u d e * to every being who voted for Strange Planet for this Goodreads award! We love reading so many of your kind reviews for the book, and we have always loved sharing in the joy of the community of Strange Planet readers who create the most entertaining comment section we have ever seen!” —Nathan W. Pyle (photo credit: Nathan Pyle) 

Thank you to all of the readers who make the Goodreads Choice Awards such a success every year! Happy reading!

Check out more recent articles, including:
Goodreads Staffers Share Their Top Three Books of the Year
The Most Anticipated YA Books of December
Steamy Romances to Heat Up December

Comments Showing 1-50 of 65 (65 new)


message 1: by Anish (new)

Anish Shintre Everything is unexpected in 2020...but one thing expected was that Rick Riordan will win this award again...and he did.!!!
Congratulations Uncle Rick!!


message 2: by Will (last edited Dec 07, 2020 09:07PM) (new)

Will Two I voted (The Guest List and Heartstopper) won this year! So happy. I'm sad Boyfriend Material didn't win but cheers to those who won the honors!

Just saw that Anxious People, the one I voted for Fiction lost to the Midnight Library by whopping 5 votes!


message 3: by Zulfiya (new)

Zulfiya Congrats to winners. Somehow, I cannot get rid of the feeling that these are the most popular books, but not the best books .... Just my two cents, expecially when we talk about genre fiction .... On the other hand, this is the website is for readers, and not everyone likes great but challenging writing. Sometimes, a brain candy will work ...


message 4: by Annie (new)

Annie I would like to congratulating to all the winners. I read some books of them and I loved.


✨BookLover✨ Congratulations to everyone!! You all worked hard and I appreciate your effort into making these great books!


message 6: by Jos (new)

Jos I'm really happy that Heartstopper won, it's an amazing graphic novel❤️ congratulations to all the authors!!!


message 7: by Shivansh (new)

Shivansh Prakash Congratulations to all our great authors!! I have read The Tower Of Nero and it's astonishing. And I am sure the other books are equally amazing.


message 8: by Zachery (new)

Zachery Wilkerson Well congratulations to all the authors and fans of their books i read the tower of Nero and it was amazing the book I would have liked to see win was the ballad of songbirds and snakes by Suzanne Collins but it is a choice award and that meant the people chose it I am also planning on reading the winner:A promised land by Barack Obama.Overall I think that these books were deserving of their wins and i hope rick will win next year.


message 9: by Manha (new)

Manha Ch Can't wait to read Uncle's Rick's new book! I'm such a huge fan. He totally deserves this.


message 10: by Lucy (new)

Lucy Doyal So glad Tower of Nero won!!! I read it as soon as it came out!!! Best book ever!!


message 11: by Sara-Crew (new)

Sara-Crew Congrats to all the winners!! And I'm over the moon since Tower of Nero won the award!!! It certainly deserved it.


message 12: by Sadieeeee (new)

Sadieeeee Lucy wrote: "So glad Tower of Nero won!!! I read it as soon as it came out!!! Best book ever!!"

It did? YEAH!


message 13: by Shristi (new)

Shristi Congrats to the winners🎉🎉❤️


message 14: by Lisa (last edited Dec 15, 2020 02:25AM) (new)

Lisa Congratulations to all the winners. I love seeing the diversity of the list. I do, however, wish that less well-known authors were recognised. I recently read a brilliant fantasy novel titled The Apprentice In The Master’s Shadow’ by Ian Gregoire. It’s somewhat disheartening that he, along with many other authors I suspect, are not recognised for their talents. This should be addressed, especially if we are being asked to vote for ‘best books’.


message 15: by Viktoria (new)

Viktoria Yesterday I ordered the Midnight Library and the Vanishing Half, I'm really excited to read those books and hopefully agree with their ranking :)


message 16: by Esther (new)

Esther Patrobers Congratulations 👏 👏 👏


message 17: by Viktoria (new)

Viktoria Christine wrote: "Well done, all winners! I only wish that there was an additional category (or two) for writing that crossed some of the entrenched literary boundaries listed here."

Oh that would be great! I fully agree


message 18: by Janice (new)

Janice Viktoria wrote: "Yesterday I ordered the Midnight Library and the Vanishing Half, I'm really excited to read those books and hopefully agree with their ranking :)"

Enjoy! They are both brilliant books.


message 19: by Theresa (new)

Theresa Hargitai Can we see all the books that were nominated? I certainly use these awards listings to look for books and authors, and if we could see a list of all nominees, then more unknowns could become well loved knowns.


message 20: by Kulandai (new)

Kulandai Swami I rejoice over these prestigious awards by goodreads vicariously and send out my congrats to all the winners in the capacity of my being a bilingual writer (English & Tamil). With my 'Samy's Stories for Kids' (published with PARTRIDGE INDIA 2014) and my debut novel 'A TALE of TWO DIARIES' (Fiction: published with NOTION PRESS India/Dec.2020) I am proud, but humble, to say that I belong to the worldwide community of Book lovers & Readers and Authors. Hail Goodreads!


message 21: by R.J (new)

R.J Willey Scanning the bio pics of this year's winners, my thoughts that there ought to be more old age pensioners in the list, became irrelevant. Atwood, Attenborough, Obama.........,write on!


message 22: by Sadieeeee (new)

Sadieeeee TRIALS OF APOLLO!


message 23: by Sadieeeee (new)

Sadieeeee HEARTSTOPPER!


message 24: by Sadieeeee (new)

Sadieeeee YESSSSSS!


message 25: by Joan (new)

Joan Jay wrote: "Zulfiya wrote: "Congrats to winners. Somehow, I cannot get rid of the feeling that these are the most popular books, but not the best books ..."

Your instincts are correct. Most of what you see pr..."



message 26: by Joan (new)

Joan Agree, a lot of reading light. But in this year of death, maybe was what was needed.


message 27: by Roberta (new)

Roberta Eagleston Congratulations to all, but only one I may want to read and that is The Guest List.


message 28: by Sadieeeee (new)

Sadieeeee trials of apollo!


message 29: by Sadieeeee (new)

Sadieeeee heartstopper!


message 30: by Sadieeeee (new)

Sadieeeee yessssss!


message 31: by Tallulah (new)

Tallulah Nanni Woah! I would love to read all of these wonderful books! Asspecialy Heartstopper, I love graphic novels. Keep up the good writing. :)


message 32: by Sadieeeee (new)

Sadieeeee u talking 2 me? 'Coz if u r, thanx!


message 33: by Lilly (new)

Lilly Theresa wrote: "Can we see all the books that were nominated? I certainly use these awards listings to look for books and authors, and if we could see a list of all nominees, then more unknowns could become well l..."

Click on the category and it will take you to all that were nominated.


message 34: by Tallulah (new)

Tallulah Nanni Rudolph! The red nosed reindeer… wrote: "u talking 2 me? 'Coz if u r, thanx!"
Yeah, I guess so. '_'


message 35: by Betsy (new)

Betsy Latorre Lilly wrote: "Theresa wrote: "Can we see all the books that were nominated? I certainly use these awards listings to look for books and authors, and if we could see a list of all nominees, then more unknowns cou..."

Zulfiya wrote: "Congrats to winners. Somehow, I cannot get rid of the feeling that these are the most popular books, but not the best books .... Just my two cents, expecially when we talk about genre fiction .... ..." - exactly... popular is the key word here! Why even bother to congratulate the winners if you're feeling they aren't up to your standards?


message 36: by Luna (new)

Luna  Lovegood All of them did a great job, but i was expecting Mena Massoud to win. SOMEONE COMMENT BACK IF YOU LIKE ZAYN MALIK OR TAYLOR SWIFT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


message 37: by Dalene (new)

Dalene Johnson Cannot for the life of me understand how The Midnight Library won. A gimmicky "do over" premise for a book about 50 pages too long to reach the obvious conclusion that the game isn't over as long as you have pieces on the board. However many weeks, days, hours "before Nora decided to kill herself" were just too tedious. I was begging her to just do it! This was NOT the book of the year.


message 38: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Remember, when looking at the winners and finalists, it's important to look at how many ratings they have in proportion to how many votes they received. You can find some really good reads that way even though they didn't win. Does anyone else find it hilariously ironic that Obama's book only had like 8,000 reviews, but received over 80,000 votes and this in a year when Dems are being accused of rigging an election? That one cracked me up.


message 39: by James (new)

James Congratulations to all the authors who shared their words with us. Caste by Isabel Wilkerson was the most profound reading for me this year.


message 40: by Val (new)

Val Hicks We have a fairly diverse list this year!!! What a win in itself. Let's keep up the momentum in 2021!!


message 41: by Faith (new)

Faith Wheatley James wrote: "Congratulations to all the authors who shared their words with us. Caste by Isabel Wilkerson was the most profound reading for me this year."

yes yes yes!!!!! the ONLY book I have ever read, AND that was challenging but brilliant. I read in bed and that calls for relaxing reading. BUUUUTTTT Caste had me ! I read longer than usually when in bed, and my mind thought about the text deeply as I fell asleep. It was deep in my thoughtful brain (that's a medical term). ;)


message 42: by Pedro Pablo (new)

Pedro Pablo Enhorabuena a los premiados


message 43: by Hajrah (new)

Hajrah Abid congrats , everybody


message 44: by Theresa (new)

Theresa Hargitai Lilly wrote: "Click on the category and it will take you to all that were nominated."
I don't believe that those were ALL the books nominated. A neat 20 in each category? I wonder how many actually got nominated per category. And on what basis they kept the list to 20.


message 45: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Jay wrote: "Zulfiya wrote: "Congrats to winners. Somehow, I cannot get rid of the feeling that these are the most popular books, but not the best books ..."

Your instincts are correct. Most of what you see pr..."


In this case, the books who received the most votes from Goodreads users won.


message 46: by Emani (new)

Emani Williams Good Job on the winning books!!!!


message 47: by Salbooter (new)

Salbooter Lisa wrote: "Congratulations to all the winners. I love seeing the diversity of the list. I do, however, wish that less well-known authors were recognised. I recently read a brilliant fantasy novel titled [book..."

NIce job Lisa


Jacob saint fleur How do I read a book on Goodreads I'm new to it


message 49: by Kara (new)

Kara So many of the books I voted for made the list of winners. I have yet to read any of them but I have them in my want to read books.


message 50: by Sienna (new)

Sienna A Promised Land

I am so happy that Barack Obama won best Autobiography award! He truly deserves it, and I am a huge fan of his work and his whole family.

To anyone who hasn't read this, read it! (and also Becoming, by his wife, Michelle, may I add!!!!!)

LOVE YOU GUYS!


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