The Best Books of 2012 According to Goodreads

The winners of the Goodreads Choice Awards have just been announced, and the results are a little surprising. As Shelf Life points out, the Goodreads Choice Awards are the closest thing the literary world has to the People’s Choice Awards, with 1,156,852 votes cast by readers for their favorite books in 20 categories, including Fiction, Memoir, Poetry and YA. So we could expect that the winners would skew commercial — no snooty critic here to put in her two cents. That said, we were still rather amazed that J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy was voted as the best work of fiction of the year. Surely, the name recognition isn’t enough — nothing against Rowling, but there were so many better books in 2012. That said, other picks — like Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl for Best Mystery, John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars for Best Young Adult, and Cheryl Strayed’s Wild for Best Memoir — we’re totally on board with. See the complete list of winners after the jump, and let us know what you think in the comments.

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Mystery & Thriller
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Historical Fiction
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

Memoir & Autobiography
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

History & Biography
Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch by Sally Bedell Smith

A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver

Science Fiction
The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett

The Twelve by Justin Cronin

Young Adult Fiction
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King

Paranormal Fantasy
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James

Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction
Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson

Goodreads Author
Veronica Roth

Food & Cookbook
The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl by Ree Drummond

Graphic Novel & Comic
The Walking Dead, Vol 16: A Larger World by Robert Kirkman, Illustrated by Charlie Adlard

Children’s Book
The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

Picture Book
Olivia and the Fairy Princesses by Ian Falconer