Riot Headline The Most Read Books on Goodreads This Week

The Votes Are In: Goodreads Choice Awards 2021 Winners

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Megan Mabee


Megan Mabee has been filling notebooks with her story ideas and favorite book quotes since she first began reading. She enjoys board gaming, rewatching Miyazaki movies, and building Legos with her preschooler. Megan holds a Master of Library and Information Studies degree from UNC Greensboro and a Public Librarian Certification. Megan has worked in a college bookstore and high school library, and she now loves talking books in the public library where she works and as a Bibliologist at TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations.

The votes are in and the Goodreads community has spoken. Today, Goodreads has announced the Goodreads Choice Awards 2021 winners. This year, 4,756,261 votes were cast, as compared to 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 in various genre categories. Goodreads members then vote on their favorite nominees during the months of November and December.

Eyes that Kiss in the Corners Joanna Ho

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

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

This year Goodreads also shared a list of The 51 Most Read Books of the 2021 Goodreads Reading Challenge. Each year, Goodreads poses the Goodreads Reading Challenge to its members, in which readers can select a goal number of books they’d like to read during the year. In 2021, 5,599,418 members opted to participate, with an average of 53 books pledged to read during the year.

cover of The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

Amongst the 51 Most Read Books of the 2021 Goodreads Challenge, only seven were written by authors of color and only three of the books were selected as Goodreads Choice Awards Winners this year. However, the Goodreads Choice Awards include only books published this year, while the most read books included books from any publication year.

In this year’s Goodreads Choice Awards winners, a couple interesting voting patterns emerged as well. In Romance, the votes came exceptionally close between the winner and the runner-up, with 88,755 votes going to People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry and 88,192 votes to The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood. The race for the Middle Grade and Children’s winner came close too, with 24,836 going to Rick Riordan’s Daughter of the Deep and 24,368 votes to Victoria Schwab’s Bridge of Souls.

Now, without further ado, here are the Goodreads Choice Awards of 2021! Don’t forget to check out the nominees in each category to find a truly exceptional selection of books from this year.

Goodreads Choice Awards 2021 Winners


Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney

Mystery & Thriller

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

Historical Fiction

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid


A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas


People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

Science Fiction

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir


The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix


Broken (in the best possible way) by Jenny Lawson


The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green

Memoir & 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 & Comics

Lore Olympus: Volume One by Rachel Smythe


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

Debut Novel

The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas

Young Adult Fiction

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Young Adult Fantasy

Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo

Middle Grade & Children’s

Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan

That’s a Wrap!

Interested in a few more “Best of 2021” book lists? We’ve got you covered! Check out Book Riot’s Best Books of 2021 and The Best Book Covers of 2021! What will 2022 bring in the bookish world?