Goodreads Choice Awards 2022 winners are once again very white

Crescent City: House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas. Image courtesy Bloomsbury
Crescent City: House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas. Image courtesy Bloomsbury /

The Goodreads Choice Awards are here again and the results are in. Unfortunately, while there were a ton of great and diverse books to choose from, the winners are, once again, very white. But before we get to that, let’s take a look at the books that won in each of the categories.

  • Best Fiction: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
  • Best Mystery & Thriller: The Maid by Nita Prose
  • Best Historical Fiction: Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Best Fantasy: House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J Maas
  • Best Romance: Book Lovers by Emily Henry
  • Best Science Fiction: Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel
  • Best Horror: Hidden Pictures by Jason Rekulak
  • Best Humor: The Office BFFs: Takes of The Office from Two Best Friends Who Were There by Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey
  • Best Nonfiction: Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience by Brené Brown
  • Best Memoir & Autobiography: I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jeanette McCurdy
  • Best History & Biography: Bad Gays: A Homosexual History by Huw Lemmey and Ben Miller
  • Best Graphic Novels & Comics: Heartstopper: Volume Four by Alice Oseman
  • Best Poetry: Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman
  • Best Debut Novel: Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
  • Best Young Adult Fiction: The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction: Gallant by VE Schwab
  • Best Middle Grade & Children’s: I Am Quiet: A Story for the Introvert in All of Us by Andie Powers and Betsy Petersen

Of all these winners, at least 88% (15 out of 17) are by white authors. That is ridiculous. The only book by a Black author is Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman. Where is the diversity? That many white authors winning awards would be laughable if it wasn’t so worrying and if it didn’t have so many dangerous implications for what gets published in the coming years.

That’s not to say some of these books aren’t great. I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jeanette McCurdy is a very important book for those of us who have difficult relationships with our parents. Heartstopper: Volume Four by Alice Oseman deals with serious issues between two queer teen boys.

Goodreads Choice Awards results are in and they’re not very diverse

But let’s be real. Sarah J Maas did not need to win again. There were some truly brilliant books in the Fantasy category including The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna and Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan. And if we want to talk about an author as famous as SJM, NK Jemisin was also in this category and somehow didn’t win.

How anything beat Bloodmarked by Tracy Deonn, I will never know. The Legendborn series is exceptionally good.

And if we compare the results to last year, the winning books are getting more white. Of the 2021 award winners at least 82% of the books were by white authors. Will it be 100% next year? Let’s hope not.

What did you think of this year’s Goodreads Choice Awards results? Did one of your favorite books win? Let us know in the comments below.

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