Top 5 Wednesdays: Award-Winning Books

I don’t really pay a lot of attention to awards in general, aside from when a reading challenge prompt requires it. My original idea for this week’s prompt was actually to focus specifically on Goodreads Choice Awards winners that I’ve read and enjoyed. I know a lot of people don’t consider the GCA a “real” award because they seem like such a popularity contest, but to be honest that has always confused me. I tend to think a lot of awards in general (not just for books, but also things like movies and music) are ultimately popularity contests to some degree. Every year, people complain a lot about the books that are nominated for the GCA and especially how predictable the winners tend to be, but I still find it fun to see which books come up and vote in the process. I don’t put too much stock into whether a book wins or not but it’s fun to vote anyway. However, when it came time to actually making this post, I got curious about which books I’d already read this year that were award-winners. I decided my easiest option was to just check the Goodreads page for any awards, and rule out any books that had either had nothing or had been nominated for an award that it did not win. It turns out that of the over 130 books I read this year, only 16 of them were award winners which is somehow both more than I expected but also less than I’d expected. I think I assumed that some of my books had at least won a Goodreads Choice Award, but instead I had many nominees but no winners. Instead of trying to narrow it down further, I decided to just list all of the award-winning books I’ve read this year and the awards they’ve won. I am not well versed enough in awards to know which ones are the “best” or most prestigious, so it seemed only fair to mention them all. Keep in mind that I am only listing the awards that the book won, not necessarily a full list of nominations.

Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Gingerreadslainey on Youtube, and is now hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. The official GoodReads group with the weekly topics can be found here.

1) Smile by Raina Telgemeier

  • Vermont Golden Dome Book Award (2012)
  • Iowa Children’s Choice Award (2012)
  • Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards for Best Publication for Teens (2011),
  • Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award (2013)

2) The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

  • Swoon Award for Contemporary Romance (2021)

3) Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

  • ITW Thriller Award for Hardcover Novel (2019)

4) I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

  • Anthony Award for Best Critical / Non-Fiction Work (2019)
  • Goodreads Choice Award for Nonfiction (2018)

5) 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard

  • Irish Book Awards for Irish Independent Crime Fiction (2021)

6) Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis

  • Goodreads Choice Award for Young Adult Fiction (2019)
  • Hea Noorteraamat (2019) (I have no idea what this award is! I couldn’t figure it out even from searching online, so if anyone knows, please leave me a comment)

7) The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

  • ALA Alex Award (2021)
  • Blogistanian Globalia (2021)

8) The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

  • Orange Prize for Fiction (2012)
  • Gaylactic Spectrum Award for Best Novel (2013),
  • Women’s Prize for Fiction (2012)

9) Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman

  • Aurealis Award for Best Science Fiction Novel and for Best Young Adult Novel (2019)

10) My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

  •  Anthony Award for Best First Novel (2019)
  • Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller (2018)
  • The Rooster — The Morning News Tournament of Books (2019)

11) Educated by Tara Westover

  • Audie Award for Best Female Narrator (2019)
  •  ALA Alex Award (2019)
  • Goodreads Choice Award for Memoir & Autobiography (2018)
  • Evans Handcart Award (2019)
  • Reading Women Award for Nonfiction (2018)

12) Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

  • National Book Award for Fiction (2017)
  •  Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Fiction (2018)

13) A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

  • Kate Greenaway Medal (2012)
  • Galaxy British Book Awards for Children’s Book of the Year (2011)
  • Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire for Jeunesse (2013)
  • Red House Children’s Book Award (2012)
  • Galaxy National Book Award for Children’s Book of the Year (2011)
  • The Kitschies for Red Tentacle (Novel) (2011)
  • Carnegie Medal (2012)

14) The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman

  • Pulitzer Prize for Special Citation (1992)
  • American Book Award (1992)

15) Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

  • Ignyte Award for Best Novel – Adult (2020)

16) The Dark by Lemony Snicket

  • Charlotte Zolotow Award (2014)

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