Ah, good old Goodreads. Here at Book Riot, we’ve looked into its clunky platform, its underrated features, and how it makes money. Yet, the thing that drives me and the other millions of readers to the site daily are Goodreads book reviews. The site is a great way to keep tabs on what your IRL and internet friends are reading, as well gauge what friends and strangers thought of the book you just read. The site is an excellent way to discover smart Goodreads reviewers with excellent tastes, in-depth reviews, and voracious appetites for books.
Like every other social platform, Goodreads has its power users. What to call the reviewers who have thousands of followers and review hundreds of books a year? Influencers? Power reviewers? Hot critics? Whatever you call them, the best Goodreads reviewers are a goldmine for of-the-moment book reviews. I’ve made a list of 10 of the best Goodreads reviewers to turn to for insightful reviews, but there are hundreds more worth following. Consider this a sampling of the interesting and diverse voices that can help inform your reading choices.
How I Picked the Best Goodreads Reviewers
Goodreads has “Top 99” lists for “most popular reviewers” (i.e., most liked reviews), “most followed reviewers,” and “top reviewers” (most books reviewed), tracked by week, year, or all-time. A number of my picks on the “most popular” reviewer list, but some are more under the radar. My criteria were: reviewers who read a lot of books, read a diverse list, regularly post reviews, and have insightful takes on what they read. All the reviews have at least around 1,000 followers and some have almost 300,000.
Pro Tip: To see how these top Goodreads reviewers’ tastes compare to your own, you can use the “Compare Books” feature (check this explainer here) to see how your tastes overlap. Also, don’t look at any of these reviewers’ annual reading challenges unless you want to feel like an under-achieving, book-loving sloth.
Here are 10 of the best Goodreads reviewers. Happy reading!
10 Top Goodreads Reviewers
GR World Popularity Rank: #19. Many authors will not rate other writers’ books on Goodreads as part of some professional code. Thankfully for us, the brilliant Roxane Gay brings her insight and critique to reviews of recent releases. Well known for her own books like Hunger, Roxane’s reviews are concise and balanced. A must follow for those into contemporary fiction.
GR World Popularity Rank: #1. Emily May just might be the unofficial Queen of Goodreads. Ranked #1 in the world for most-liked reviews, Emily May is a UK-based reviewer with eclectic tastes, reviewing new releases as well as classics. While some reviewers are popular for their (sometimes very funny) negativity, Emily May’s reviews are thoughtful and fair, and with some depth at around 300+ words per review. May is also active on bookstagram.
Unranked. Thomas lists his interests as “Reading, Writing, Psychology, Mental Health, Feminism” and his “read” shelf checks out. He brings interesting takes to a wide range of nonfiction, memoir, essays, as well as recent fiction releases. He writes thoughtfully about mental health and underrepresentation of queer people and people of color both in his reviews and in his blog, The Quiet Voice.
GR World Popularity Rank: #14. Another UK-based reader, Paromjit reads a massive number of books, mostly new releases. Her current goal counter says 226 for the year. The reviewer strikes a great balance between revealing a glimpse of plot and offering a fresh perspective on the book.
Unranked. Carol. reviews mainly sci-fi, fantasy, and mystery. She sometimes brings the snark, but her reviews are always interesting and full of choice quotes. Unlike a lot of popular reviewers, she says she’s not interested in advanced reader copies. You can find more of her reviews at her blog, book reviews forevermore.
GR World Popularity Rank: #16. The reaction-gif book review is a high art on Goodreads, and Anne does it well. Her tastes are eclectic, ranging from the Spider Man comics to Julia Quinn’s Regency romance. If you need more gifs in your life, follow Anne.
GR World Popularity Rank #57: Emma is popular, scathing at times, and usually pretty witty. Her favorite genre is “literary fiction about horrible women,” but she reads widely. She also reads a ton of advanced reader copies (ARCs) so she’s a good go to for new and upcoming fiction with a literary fit. Emma also has a blog, Emma Reads Too Much.
For more on Goodreads check out The Most Popular Books on Goodreads Right Now.