It’s Time to Vote for the Goodreads Choice Awards 2020. There’s just one thing…

I received an email in my inbox this morning that it’s time to vote for the Goodreads Choice Awards 2020. I’m not much of a Goodreads fan, but I went over there anyway just to see what was on their lists.

It was easy to vote for Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell in the Historical Fiction section. And, Tana French’s latest book, The Searcher, in Mystery and Thriller. I don’t read Young Adult, or Poetry, or Romance, or even much popular fiction these days, so I kept scrolling for a category which I adore.

Perhaps you will not be as shocked as I was, but there is no category for Books in Translation! Now, I know there is the Booker International Prize, and the Best Translated Book Award, and a myriad of other awards for translated literature. But, I thought that such a large forum as Goodreads would include it as a category for a reader’s Choice Award. Surely, they are not so narrow.

My opinion of them has not changed much since my latest visit. In fact, I would be so inclined as to call the name Goodreads a misnomer, if not an oxymoron, since they are so remiss as to exclude one of the best genres of all.

What do you think? Am I the silly one for expecting to find Books in Translation a category within which to vote?

8 thoughts on “It’s Time to Vote for the Goodreads Choice Awards 2020. There’s just one thing…”

  1. Oh, I really think there should be a separate category for translated works! After all, as you point out, there’s a Booker international prize so why not a corresponding category on Goodreads to see what the “average” reader might actually be interested in? I suppose I shouldn’t criticize, since I’ve never joined Goodreads (I’ve been thinking of doing so, but keep putting it off, mainly because I haven’t been terribly impressed with their past “winners” ) — my, don’t I sound elitist?

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    1. Janakay, I am afraid I sound like (am?) an elitist, too. It is simply shocking to me that an enormous site (owned by Amazon, of course) for book discussion and recommendation neglects a translation category. For goodness sake, even books I didn’t particularly enjoy but turned out to be bestsellers, such as The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo, are translated! I think it’s appalling that they lack the translation genre in the Book Choice Awards.

      For what it’s worth, I don’t think you would gain much by joining. As Murakami says, “If you only read what everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

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  2. I scrolled through all the lists, but haven’t read any of the “nominees.” I guess I’m not doing a very good job of keeping up on the new releases (says she who is watching the second to the last season of Game of Thrones!). How did you like Tana French’s new book? I loved her earlier mysteries, but haven’t been impressed with her more recent works. Is The Searcher worthwhile?

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    1. Hello, dear Lesley! I had only read the two I mentioned above from all the lists I perused. But, that didn’t surprise me as I read less and less of the books which could be called bestsellers. However, Hamnet?! I will write a review of that soon, and it is certainly in my top ten…maybe top five…maybe top three of the year.

      The Searcher was good. I didn’t enjoy it as much as her earlier work, of which I’ve read them all. It reminded me a bit of The Witch Elm, in that there was almost more novel than mystery. She spent a lot of time developing her characters, who were interesting, but for me, ultimately, the mystery was disappointing. My favorite novel of hers was of the girls’ school.

      As for The Game of Thrones…love! I have read all but the last two novels, and I watched the entire series with my son, who is an ardent fantasy fan. I was entranced by all of it, and now I feel like reading them and watching the series again. If only we could share a cup (several pots?) of tea and do just that. Xo

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      1. I’ve seen a few glowing reviews for Hamnet, so I’m going to add it to my TBR list. I’ll probably skip The Stranger, however. I’d rather go back and re-read some of her earlier books. I loved Faithful Place and The Likeness. I have enjoyed watching GoT and am anxious to FINALLY watch Season 8 later in November when we head out on another little camping trip. We love watching the show in our RV, especially since my mom would not enjoy watching with us at home. I don’t know if Rod will be ready, but I could go back and start watching from the beginning as soon as we finish! Yes, wouldn’t it be fun to sit and watch them together?! xoxo

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  3. I think you’re right, they absolutely should have it. It would be a good excuse to name the translators as well as bringing attention to otherwise undiscovered books (which is what prizes are supposed to be all about, right?)
    Realised recently that I only use Goodreads to log what I’m reading, the recommendations are rubbish and the timeline seems to show the same posts and books again and again! It could be so much better but Amazon don’t seem to know what they want to do with it…

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