2021 Goodreads Choice Awards Winners

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The votes are over and the Goodreads community has spoken. Today, Goodreads announced the winners of the 2021 Goodreads Choice Awards. This year, 4,756,261 votes were cast, up from 5,674,480 last year. The Goodreads Choice Awards began in 2009. Each year, Goodreads analyzes the ratings and reviews of hundreds of millions of books published during the year and selects 15 nominees from various genre categories. Goodreads members then vote for their preferred candidates over the months of November and December.

A noticeable difference in genre categories between this year and last year came when Goodreads removed the separate genre from picture books. Instead, nominees for picture books, such as Eyes that Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho, were merged with Middle Grade and Children’s books.

When it comes to diversity among the award-winning books this year, only three authors of color and one Hispanic author were chosen, despite a number of authors of color among the nominees in each genre. These winners include Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner, The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman, Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley and The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas. Last year, eight authors of color won the Goodreads Choice Awards, while only one won the award in 2019.

This year, Goodreads also shared a list of the 51 most read books from the 2021 Goodreads Reading Challenge. Each year, Goodreads offers its members the Goodreads Reading Challenge, in which readers can select a target number of books they want to read. would like to read during the year. In 2021, 5,599,418 members chose to participate, with an average of 53 books pledged to read during the year.

cover of Ali Hazelwood's The Love Hypothesis

Of the 51 Most Read books in the 2021 Goodreads Challenge, only seven were written by authors of color and only three of the books were selected as winners of the Goodreads Choice Awards this year. However, the Goodreads Choice Awards only include books published that year, while the Most Read books include books from any year of publication.

In this year’s Goodreads Choice Awards winners, a few interesting voting patterns also emerged. In Romance, the votes were unusually close between winner and finalist, with 88,755 votes for Emily Henry’s People We Meet on Vacation and 88,192 votes for Ali Hazelwood’s The Love Hypothesis. The race for the high school and kids winner has also drawn closer, with 24,836 votes for Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan and 24,368 votes for Bridge of Souls by Victoria Schwab.

Now, without further ado, here are the 2021 Goodreads Choice Awards! Be sure to check out the nominees in each category to find a truly exceptional selection of this year’s books.

2021 Goodreads Choice Awards Winners


Beautiful people, where are you from Sally Rooney

Mystery & Thriller

The last thing he told me about Laura Dave

Historical fiction

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid


A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas


The People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

Science fiction

Hail Mary Project by Andy Weir


The Girls’ Final Support Group by Grady Hendrix


Broken (in the best possible way) by Jenny Lawson

non-fictional works

The anthropocene reviewed by John Green

Memory & Autobiography

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

History & Biography

Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe

Graphic novels and comics

Lore Olympus: Volume 1 by Rachel Smythe


The Hill We Go Up: An Inaugural Poem for the Country by Amanda Gorman

first novel

The Spanish deception of Elena Armas

Youth fiction

The firefighter’s daughter by Angeline Boulley

Fantasy for young adults

Leigh Bardugo’s Rule of Wolves

Intermediate level and children

Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan

It’s a Wrap!

Interested in some other “Best of 2021” book lists? We have what you need! Check out the best Book Riot books of 2021 and the best book covers of 2021! What will 2022 bring to the book world?

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