The Best Books of 2012 According to Goodreads


The winners of the Goodreads Choice Awards have just been announced, and the results are a little surprising. As Shelf Life points out, the Goodreads Choice Awards are the closest thing the literary world has to the People’s Choice Awards, with 1,156,852 votes cast by readers for their favorite books in 20 categories, including Fiction, Memoir, Poetry and YA. So we could expect that the winners would skew commercial — no snooty critic here to put in her two cents. That said, we were still rather amazed that J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy was voted as the best work of fiction of the year. Surely, the name recognition isn’t enough — nothing against Rowling, but there were so many better books in 2012. That said, other picks — like Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl for Best Mystery, John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars for Best Young Adult, and Cheryl Strayed’s Wild for Best Memoir — we’re totally on board with. See the complete list of winners after the jump, and let us know what you think in the comments.

Fiction The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

Nonfiction Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Mystery & Thriller Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Historical Fiction The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

Memoir & Autobiography Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

History & Biography Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch by Sally Bedell Smith

Poetry A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver

Science Fiction The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett

Horror The Twelve by Justin Cronin

Young Adult Fiction The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Fantasy The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King

Paranormal Fantasy Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Romance Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James

Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Humor Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson

Goodreads Author Veronica Roth

Food & Cookbook The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl by Ree Drummond

Graphic Novel & Comic The Walking Dead, Vol 16: A Larger World by Robert Kirkman, Illustrated by Charlie Adlard

Children’s Book The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

Picture Book Olivia and the Fairy Princesses by Ian Falconer