Tuesday, December 02, 2014

King Takes the Crown Again

Although the books-oriented Web site Goodreads is no longer an independent venture, but has been owned for the last couple of years by Amazon, a number of my friends still contribute to its growing database of reviews, and the site’s mission doesn’t seem to have been seriously undermined by corporate ownership. So the annual Goodreads Choice Awards continue to count for something.

Online voting to pick the 2014 Choice Awards recipients began in November and featured 20 nominees in the Best Mystery and Thriller category. Earlier today the winner in that division--receiving 41,453 votes--was announced. It’s Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes (Scribner), a novel that I must admit remains on my to-be-read pile.

Also in contention for Best Mystery and Thriller novel honors were (in descending order of support): The Silkworm, by Robert Galbraith (Mulholland); The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line, by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham; Festive in Death, by J.D. Robb (Putnam); Top Secret Twenty-One, by Janet Evanovich (Bantam); The Long Way Home, by Louise Penny (Minotaur); The Secret Place, by Tana French; The Son, by Jo Nesbø (Knopf); I Am Pilgrim, by Terry Hayes (Atria/Emily Bestler); The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches, by Alan Bradley (Delacorte Press); Missing You, by Harlan Coben (Dutton); The Gods of Guilt, by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown); Natchez Burning, by Greg Iles (Morrow); The Good Girl, by Mary Kubica (Mira); In the Blood, by Lisa Unger (Pocket); Personal, by Lee Child (Delacorte Press): The Target, by David Baldacci (Grand Central); Mean Streak, by Sandra Brown (Grand Central); The Weight of Blood, by Laura McHugh (Spiegel & Grau); and Runner, by Patrick Lee (Minotaur).

Word is that 3,317,504 votes were cast in this year’s content, as compared with last year’s 1.9 million votes. That’s a fairly good record of participation. I’m a bit disappointed, however, that the crime, mystery, and thriller genre--which is such a mammoth seller worldwide--enjoys only minimal presence in the Goodreads competition, while what we think of a Science Fiction and Fantasy is split up among five categories, each of which has a winner. If there’s a Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction section, why is there not at least a category for Young Adult Mystery and Thriller?

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