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Unofficial subreddit for information regarding the goodreads website and how it is used. We also promote goodreads friends in our megathread. https://discord.gg/goodreads
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This is a moderated subreddit. It is our intent and purpose to foster and encourage in-depth discussion about all things related to books, authors, genres, or publishing in a safe, supportive environment. If you're looking for help with a personal book recommendation, consult our Weekly Recommendation Thread, Suggested Reading page, or ask in r/suggestmeabook.
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r/Fantasy is the internet's largest discussion forum for the greater Speculative Fiction genre. Fans of fantasy, science fiction, horror, alt history, and more can all find a home with us. We welcome respectful dialogue related to speculative fiction in literature, games, film, and the wider world. We reserve the right to remove discussion that does not fulfill the mission of /r/Fantasy.
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Young Adult [YA] and New Adult [NA] Literature
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This subreddit is dedicated to everything related to The Kingkiller Chronicle, a fantasy trilogy by Patrick Rothfuss, telling the biography of "Kvothe", an adventurer, arcanist and musician.
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Posted by13 days ago
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Posted by9 days ago

Yes, yes, I know, we've already had several. But what about third Goodreads Discussion, asks Pippin. The horse has been beaten to death and resurrected and beaten to death again. Yet here I am getting out my necromancer's bells, ready to engage in some good old fashioned equine bothering because I can't leave well enough alone.

Goodreads doesn't come out and say how they select nominees, but in the past I've asserted pretty confidently that the relevant metric seems to be total shelvings rather than number of ratings. Shelvings takes into account not just "read" but also "currently reading" and "to-read" numbers, which is helpful in that it allows books that have come out later in the year to have a chance (not as many people will have had a chance to read them because they haven't been out very long, so they'd be hurt if "read" was the only metric that matters, whereas looking at total shelvings captures some of the hype of books that people are very eager to read but haven't finished yet). So let's look at the shelvings for the nominees this year:


TitleShelvings
Thistlefoot69,644
The War of Two Queens230,148
Legends & Lattes91,775
Daughter of the Moon Goddess247,566
When Women Were Dragons66,227
Elektra97,732
Fairy Tale221,055
The Lost Metal76,177
The Book Eaters105,755
Nettle & Bone97,892
A River Enchanted67,827
The Stardust Thief65,724
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches106,525
House of Sky and Breath400,236
The Golden Enclaves67,890
The Atlas Six521,702
Ordinary Monsters81,420
Kaikeyi88,720
The World We Make29,935
Babel232,608

As u/HistoricalKoala3 pointed out in this helpful thread, there's a gender disparity here. 80% of the authors are female, 20% are male. Reading through the comments, I did find it interesting the number of people assuming that this disparity was somehow "hand-selected" by Goodreads: that the female authors had hand-selected at the expense of male authors who were more popular but were excluded because they were men.

Looking at shelvings numbers I haven't seen any evidence of this happening. Now, it's possible that number of shelvings isn't the be-all-end-all metric (more on this in a bit!), and in the past years there's been the occasional inclusion or exclusion that suggests Goodreads is editing the final slate slightly. They haven't confirmed that shelvings is the metric, and cynically, it's in their best interests as a book-selling corporation not to (they can edit the slate as they like without having to announce or justify why they're doing it).

Let's look at some numbers and see if we can get a better sense of what's going on under the hood. The book with the lowest number of shelvings on the slate was The World We Make with 29,935 shelvings. So that's the number to beat.

Next question: what popular books by male authors came out this year, and how many Goodreads shelvings did they have? (These are picked based on general knowledge of what people on here talk about since Goodreads doesn't let you search by shelvings because they hate transparency).

  • Hunger of the Gods by John Gwynne, 28,108 shelvings

  • Moon Witch Spider King by Marlon James, 26,295 shelvings

  • The Justice of Kings by Richard Swann, 20,887 shelvings

  • Locklands by Robert Jackson Bennett, 19,985 shelvings

  • Amongst Our Weapons by Ben Aaronovitch, 19,547 shelvings

  • Dreadgod by Will Wight, 19,324 shelvings

  • In the Shadow of Lightning by Brian McClellan, 18,255 shelvings

  • All the Seas in the World by Guy Gavriel Kay, 16,709 shelvings

  • The Girl and the Moon by Mark Lawrence, 10,152 shelvings

  • The Hourglass Throne by KD Edwards, 6,586 shelvings

First takeaway: more people should reads KD Edwards. Second takeaway: Gwynne got pretty close, but as you can see, pretty much all the books by men that I've seen mentioned in this sub were well below 29,935. I say "pretty much" though. Was anything excluded? Well, actually, yes. I found several books that had higher shelvings than The World We Make that were omitted. But only one was by a male author; the other 6 of them were by women:

  • Book of Night by Holly Black, 235,949 shelvings, 3.56 rating

  • The Atlas Paradox by Olivie Blake, 83,635 shelvings, 3.83 rating

  • Soul Taken by Patricia Briggs, 38,896 shelvings, 4.48 rating

  • The North Wind by Alexandria Warwick, 38,565 shelvings, 3.78 rating

  • The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen, 38,294 shelvings, 4.24 rating

  • Fevered Star by Rebecca Roanhorse, 35,692 shelvings, 4.13 rating

  • The Starless Crown by James Rollins, 31,399 shelvings, 3.82 rating

So what's going on here? With 235,949 shelvings, Black's book would have been in fourth place. I think the answer has to be that they nixed it based on the low rating, so there is a threshold of some kind where rating matters. Next, Blake's book. Now, I don't think it was excluded for the same reason as Black's. 3.83 isn't that low, and notably, two books on the slate have lower ratings: Elektra and The Bone Eaters both have 3.76. (Incidentally, this tells us that if there is an actual numerical cutoff for inclusion rather than just a vibecheck by Goodreads, it's somwehere between 3.56 and 3.76). However, Blake has another book from the same series on the slate. In the past, we've seen two books from the same series appear; last year had two Dresden novels, for instance. I'm guessing that they changed the rule this year, both to give other authors a shot and keep fans of the series from having to split their vote.

The next five books are harder. They all have sufficiently high ratings and shelvings clustered in the 30s. Some of them are romantic fantasy, but that shouldn't disqualify them since Maas and Armentrout are on the ballot.

Let's look back at the numbers of the books that made it onto the slate:

TitleShelvings
Thistlefoot69,644
The War of Two Queens230,148
Legends & Lattes91,775
Daughter of the Moon Goddess247,566
When Women Were Dragons66,227
Elektra97,732
Fairy Tale221,055
The Lost Metal76,177
The Book Eaters105,755
Nettle & Bone97,892
A River Enchanted67,827
The Stardust Thief65,724
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches106,525
House of Sky and Breath400,236
The Golden Enclaves67,890
The Atlas Six521,702
Ordinary Monsters81,420
Kaikeyi88,720
The World We Make29,935
Babel232,608

Note the distribution of the shelvings: there are a bunch of books with shelvings in the 60k range, and then nothing until The World We Make with 29,935. Those five books missing from the slate would slot into that gap (and I imagine there are others besides those that I missed that would fit in there). Based on this, I suspect, but can't prove, that The World We Make was "manually" picked to fill the slot vacated by either House of Night or The Atlas Paradox.

In sum, here's how I think the Goodreads Choice Awards Fantasy books were picked this year:

  1. Goodreads pulls a list of the top 20 fantasy books by shelving

  2. Goodreads removes Book of Night because it has a low rating

  3. Goodreads removes The Atlas Paradox because The Atlas Six is also on the list

  4. Goodreads pulls on the 21st book by shelvings, The Stardust Thief, because it has 65,724 which is very close to the book that came in 20th (When Women Were Dragons with 66,227)

  5. There's a significant gap between the book in 21st place and 22nd, which might be Soul Taken by Patricia Briggs with 38,896 shelvings, or might be something else I didn't catch. For whatever reason, Goodreads decides to pull on The World We Make, which has 29,935. Possibilities include the fact that Jemisin has more awards, or that the book is more likely to sell well/have crossover appeal to Goodreads voters, since it just came out and isn't the thirteenth volume in a long-running urban fantasy series, and Goodreads wants to sell books.

  6. Goodreads reveals none of this and leaves us all to argue about it on Reddit

  7. ???

  8. Profit!

What *don't* see evidence of is any kind of selection based on gender. Shelvings was the most important metric even though it wasn't the only one, and female authors just had higher numbers. We can argue about why that is, whether it's a bad thing, and what (if anything) should be done about it, but this year at least, them does indeed seem to be the breaks.

Agree? Disagree? Let's argue about it!

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Posted by21 days ago
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Posted by10 days ago

I analyzed the gender ratio of nominations in the Goodreads Choice Awards: since they started in 2011, the data is sufficiently limited that it is still possible to analyze by hand (someone more tech-savy than me maybe can write a code that analyze the data automatically, but that's beyond my capabilities, I'm afraid), while still giving some interesting insights on how the situation is evolved.

TL;DR:

Up to 2019, there were some fluctuations, but more or less the difference was within 1 sigma (one could argue that 2011-2014 were more male-dominated, while 2016-2018 more female dominated, but the difference were quite within the expected statistical fluctuations for 20 nominations). The gap increased in the last years, especially in 2021 and 2022, where it was ~ 20-80. This seems more or less consistent with the trend in the Hugo nominations (see here, for example; of course, since the Hugo's are around since 1960's, you have a much large period where the nominations were heavily male-dominated).

Methodology

- I considered only the Fantasy section; if someone else want to analyze other sections, I would be very interested in the results.

-I considered only two categories, male/female. I do recognize that this is an oversimplification, however among 236 nominations (16 in 2011, 20 in all the other years), as far as I can tell (see next point) only 8 did not fit in these categories: 7 because they are by a husband-wife couple, which I had no idea how to categorize, only 1 because the author (Rivers Solomon) is non-binary. For the record, it is interesting to notice that there were way more non-binary authors nominated for Hugo's (the first one was nominated in 2018, there has been 10 so far, at least according to the analysis in the link I posted before).

- In most of the cases, I guessed the gender based on the name. If I was unable to guess based on the name, I checked which pronouns were used in the author profile in Goodreads, in their website or in the sellers' website (such as Amazon); he/him->male, she/her->female. Of course, this method is far from perfect (even not considering human errors, which are always possible): for example, if someone is named "Mark" but identify as non-binary, I would have miscounted them as male; or if someone uses the pronouns she/her, but does not identify as female, I would have miscounted her as well. Here you can find the raw data I used, if someone spot a mistake, please let me know and I will correct it.

- In 2016, the winner was Harry Potter and The Cursed Child. The author listed was John Tiffany, who I guess wrote the adaptation, however I did consider it as a JK Rowling's book, so I counted it as "female nomination"

- If in a given year an author got two books nominated, those are counted as two separate nomination, not one

Results

I will report the percentage for each category: if the total does not add up to 100% is because the 8 nominations that did not fit the male/female categories (there are 20 nominations each year, except for 2011, so each nomination is 5%).

For nerds: assuming a binomial distribution and perfect gender parity, the standard deviation for 20 nominations would be around 11%.

YearMaleFemale
201150%50%
201265%35%
201350%50%
201455%40%
201540%55%
201640%50%
201745%50%
201840%50%
201935%65%
202040%60%
202115%80%
202220%80%

In the 12 years, the winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for fantasy was a book written by a man 4 times (5 if you consider the author of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child to be John Tiffany and not JK Rowling), by a woman 8 (7) times.

A quick consideration (I don't have a lot of strong evidence in support, this is just an impression I got while compiling the data): it seemed to me that there were (much?) more new names among the women, while for men most of the nominations were for few(er) "big names"; for example: Mark Lawrence's books were nominated 10 time, Brandon Sanderson's 8; Michel J Sullivan's 7; for the women, instead, the one nominated the most was Patricia Briggs with 7, tied at second place we have Anne Bishop and N.K. Jemisin with 6 each.

In total, male-authored books were nominated 97 times, while female-authored 131; however, if you consider only the distinct authors (i.e. you count Mark Lawrence only once, not 10 times, just to be clear), you have 46 male authors and 75 female authors who were nominated at least once; this means that in average, each male author was nominated 2.11 times, while each female author ~1.75 times.

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Posted by18 days ago
1/2
Both books came with two cute stickers and a bookmark each. I also carefully took the packaging off just so I could keep it lol
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Posted by13 days ago

Hello everyone! This month we are reading # The Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman

Kinch Na Shannack owes the Takers Guild a small fortune for his education as a thief, which includes (but is not limited to) lock-picking, knife-fighting, wall-scaling, fall-breaking, lie-weaving, trap-making, plus a few small magics. His debt has driven him to lie in wait by the old forest road, planning to rob the next traveler that crosses his path.

But today, Kinch Na Shannack has picked the wrong mark.

Galva is a knight, a survivor of the brutal goblin wars, and handmaiden of the goddess of death. She is searching for her queen, missing since a distant northern city fell to giants.

Unsuccessful in his robbery and lucky to escape with his life, Kinch now finds his fate entangled with Galva's. Common enemies and uncommon dangers force thief and knight on an epic journey where goblins hunger for human flesh, krakens hunt in dark waters, and honor is a luxury few can afford.

Bingo: Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey, Shapeshifter, Family Matters, Anti-hero, Book Club (this one!)

The comments in this thread include spoilers for everything up through the end of Chapter 32, page 215 approximately 50%. Any spoilers beyond that point should be tagged.

The discussion prompts will be posted as comments - I will post a few to get us started, but feel free to add your own if you have a question or if there's an aspect of the book you'd especially like to discuss!

Final Discussion - Nov 28th

August nominations: Nov 21st

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