Open Thread: GoodReads 2011 Choice Awards

There is a vote going on! Vote!


Vote now for your favorite books!

Depressingly, I have access to about half of thees books via NetGalley but haven't read them yet because despite my continual complaints, I still only get 24 hours in my days. The customer service for Real Life is not good at all, I tell you.

I did vote for Never Knowing in Mystery and Cinderella Ate My Daughter in Nonfiction. I noticed that Girls Like Us is in Biography, and I really want to read that one. There were actually several books that I would have liked to see but weren't available and I was too lazy to do a write-in. Who did you vote for?

Open thread below!


Jillheather said...

If those are the best mystery novels of 2011, I weep for the genre.

(Some of their other brackets are better, some equally bad. I am puzzled at how they define "fantasy" and "paranormal fantasy", but it looks like paranormal = set now, in this worldish. But then Among Others is badly placed.)

MJSS said...


I can't vote in fantasy; too much of it is on my to-read list (The Magician King, Snuff, Deathless) and I can easily imagine wanting to vote for any of them over the rest of the slate based on prior authorial performance.

Embassytown gets my vote for pretty much anything it's eligible for, so sci-fi is easy.

I don't know if I should vote in the comics category, since the only two things in it I've read are Hark! a Vagrant and The Unwritten. Both of them are awesome, so I might anyway (but then I'd have to decide which one I was voting for...)

Amarie said...


I went straight to the romance section. And by god, I voted for J.R Ward's "Lover Unleashed" without a blink. I am proud to be a rabid fan girl.

Proud you hear me?

*cooes and goes to snuggle with my BlackDagger Brotherhood series collection and dreams of Zsadist* ^ ^

Amaryllis said...

So I looked at almost all the categories, and I've hardly read anything on their lists. (I did read Cinderella Ate My Daughter, an interesting book).

What have I been reading all year?

Oh yeah-- books published last year, and five years ago, and ten years ago, and eighty frickin' years ago-- I will never, ever catch up.

Ana Mardoll said...

I'm in the same boat -- I've been reading, but not 2011 stuff, I'm still working on the old stuff!!

Can we please do the 2011 poll a few years from now??

hapax said...


There isn't a category there I haven't read at least one of (except memoirs, which I hate with a burning passion unless they are written by someone whose first name is Anne [Dillard, Fadiman, Lamott, etc. ] and poetry, which I Don't Get, unless it is written by someone whose name is Don Marquis or Calvin Trillin) and some categories in which I've read over half the entries.

Not bragging... it's my job to be able to speak about appeal factors in what's hot in a lot of genres.

But that's the problem. I see a lot of stuff there that's red hot, and I see a lot of stuff I enjoyed fine, and a fair amount of stuff I thought was okay, and only a few things I really hated. But with the exception of THE UNWRITTEN and maybe HABIBI*, I don't see anything I'd feel comfortable calling "the best of what came out this year."

This is going to sound terribly snotty, but there's a huge difference between "stuff I like" and "stuff that's good." I mean, there may be overlap (I sure HOPE so), but the criteria are different. When I review stuff on my personal LJ, I'm always talking about "what I like". But when I review for publication, I distinguish between my personal squee buttons and what I like to think are more objective -- or at least widely intelligible -- qualities.

And that Good Reads list looks an awful lot like "Books that GoodReaders (who aren't that different from the general population) Like." Which is fine, nothing wrong with it. But how is that any more different than the multiplicity of general and specialized bestseller lists out there?

*and I can't vote for both of those :-(

hapax said...

But with the exception of THE UNWRITTEN and maybe HABIBI*, I don't see anything I'd feel comfortable calling "the best of what came out this year."

I should clarify. There are several titles I might call that, but I haven't read them yet (contrary to popular rumor, librarians usually get put on the END of hold lists, rather than the TOP -- we usually give the public first crack) and I am stingy with awarding kudos just because everybody else likes something.

Also, I may have been harsh. Among titles I have read, I'd be comfortable with a "Best" award given to both DEATHLESS and AMONG OTHERS in Fantasy, or EMBASSYTOWN in SF, or THE GIRL WHO CIRCUMNAVIGATED FAIRYLAND in Middle Grades and maaayyyybe STATE OF WONDER in Fiction.

I'm just not really thrilled with "Best" lists decided by popular vote. I am such an elitist snob.

Amaryllis said...

Oh yes, I read Among Others and I'd vote for it for "Best" on any fantasy list. And State of Wonder was interesting, but was it the *best* novel of the year? I don't know (although I will always be glad to have met Dr. Annick Swenson).

But what do you mean, you don't "get" poetry? You quote it! Not as much as I do, admittedly, but you do!

But maybe I should stop. I'm even now reading Pamela Dean's Whim of the Dragon, and it's turning into a cautionary tale about having too many snippets of poems floating around in one's head.

hapax said...

But what do you mean, you don't "get" poetry? You quote it! Not as much as I do, admittedly, but you do!

Well, yes, but that's not poetry that I get. Those are poems that come and get me.

Ana Mardoll said...

So I was feeling chatty today about off-topic things and thought "where can I go to be chatty without completely derailing a thread" and then I was like OPEN THREAD! YAY!

(A) We totally need a forum for more talking, and here I'm thinking along the lines of the NaNo forums where people can say "what do you think of my first sentence" and so forth. Or would that be too much of a duplication of the actual NaNo forums? I don't use the NaNo forums because OMG LOTS OF PEOPLE I DON'T KNOW and OMG LOTS OF PHILOSOPHIES I MAY NOT AGREE WITH. (See also Will's excellent post about Math Fails with gay characters.)

Would anyone use an open forum where people could create topics but was composed largely of the Slacktiverse / here crowd? (Especially if I could work out a way to reuse existing profiles so you wouldn't have to sign up for something?)

(B) I have Book The Second all planned out in my head (Hansel and Gretel this time instead of Beauty and the Beast) when a brand new idea for -- of all things -- teen pregnancy pacts hit me and took over my brain. I've been working feverishly on that for the last two days. I don't know why, but I had to share my strangeness.

Brin Bellway said...

Somebody tried to make a Slackti-forum as a possible solution to problems with the Patheos move. It didn't take off. I don't know if I'd use another attempt.

Ana Mardoll said...

I remember that, that's true. I didn't even go look at the forum because I was so upset about some of the Patheos stuff. *shakes head* J.D. and I have been looking at more writerly forum ideas in the hopes that we might have an open place to piece together some short story anthologies with a variety of new/indie authors. Trying to find the best format. :S

chris the cynic said...

I can't say whether or not I'd use a forum. I'm sympathetic to Lonespark's concern about time sinkage (even though I still say she should absolutely join us here), that's why I'm not in more places in the greater slacktiverse.

In concept, I think it's a nice idea, in practice I don't know if I'd use it.

Ana Mardoll said...

Yeah, I'm trying to balance the Time Suck, too. I like to think since this would be very collaborative, that this would count as productive time for ideas, getting stuck, framing cover letters, etc. Not sure if that would help or hurt, though... :/

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