December 07, 2012

December Newsletter: Best Books of 2012

New books, author interviews, find your next great read!

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Hi Sitha,

Here's our monthly newsletter from Goodreads—giving you the latest and greatest in our quest to connect people through reading!


M.L. Stedman

The Goodreads Choice Award winner for Best Historical Fiction sets her heartbreaker of a novel, The Light Between Oceans, on a remote island off Australia.


Susan Cain

The self-professed introvert advocates for awareness and change in a hyper-extroverted world through her best-seller, Quiet, winner of the Choice Award for Best Nonfiction.


John Green

The "Nerdfighting" Choice Award winner for Best Young Adult Fiction divulges his inspiration for the inspiring novel The Fault in Our Stars, about kids fighting cancer.



Announcing the 2012 Winners!

The readers have spoken! More than 1.1 million votes were cast in the 4th Annual Goodreads Choice Awards, and we have our winners in 20 categories. View the full results to see all the champions and runners-up for Best Fiction, Humor, Memoir, Cookbooks, Young Adult Fantasy, and more. Plan your to-read list for 2013!

See winners!

OBC 2.0

Oprah's Book Club 2.0 on Goodreads

Hop into the official group to discuss Oprah's new book selection, the debut novel The Twelve Tribes of Hattie.

Visit group


Robin Sloan

On December 11 join the author of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore for a live chat about geek-tastic Silicon Valley, breaking secret codes, and books for bibliophiles.


Jeff Kinney

The cartoonist will answer your questions on December 14 in a live chat about The Third Wheel, the latest in his best-selling children's book series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid.



Michael Connelly's Favorite Gifts for Mystery Lovers

The former journalist brings back famed L.A. detective Harry Bosch in The Black Box and offers his favorite hard-boiled crime fiction.


Magnus Flyte's Favorite Gifts for Fantasy Readers

Try these fantasy recs from the creators of the paranormal thriller City of Dark Magic, in which Beethoven's Prague comes alive.


Ken Jennings's Favorite Gifts for Trivia Buffs

The Jeopardy! champion compiles parental wisdom and myth in Because I Said So! and shares his top five gifts for trivia hounds.



Julia Pandl

Working in the family brunch business was both a rite of passage and a nonnegotiable requirement for the author of Memoir of the Sunday Brunch and her eight siblings.



A Possible Life

Examining the choices and fates of characters living in three centuries, this novel in five stories follows an Italian neuroscientist, a World War II POW, an alluring American folksinger, an ambitious orphan, and a devout servant girl.


Brain on Fire

New York reporter Cahalan describes her rapid mental deterioration, from hallucinations to catatonia, in this medical memoir. Post-recovery, she pieces together her bout with a rare disease that almost killed her.


The Emperor's Conspiracy

by Michelle Diener (Goodreads Author)

In this historical mystery, plucky Charlotte maneuvers her way into the highest class of 19th-century London society. With her knowledge of the city's underworld, she aids Lord Durnham as he unravels Napoleon's plot against England.



by Robert Greene (Goodreads Author)

Self-help guru Greene delves into the lives of exceptional people—Mozart, Darwin, Da Vinci, Proust—who have made indelible marks on history. He outlines how anyone can overcome doubts, take control, and become a master.


The Valley of Unknowing

Frustrated novelist Bruno Krug works as a plumber in this literary thriller set behind East Germany's Iron Curtain. The violinist he loves is involved with his rival, a brilliant writer. Driven by jealousy, Krug contacts the secret police.


The Darkest Minds

by Alexandra Bracken (Goodreads Author)

Teens are either dying or mutating in this young adult dystopian adventure. The government imprisons those with dangerous abilities such as telekinesis and mind control, but 16-year-old Ruby has escaped.



Want your words to reach 9 million people? Goodreads and the ¡POETRY! group have partnered to host an ongoing poetry contest. Join the ¡POETRY! group to vote each month to pick a winner from among the finalists. You can also submit a poem for consideration. Here is our December winner!

Jane Eyre, Unbanned

—upon hearing of a bill to ban books with gay characters in Alabama libraries

You think of Mr. Rochester, mad wives
in attics, Jane herself, as plain as flan.
You don't remember Helen Burns, Jane's friend

from school. Reader, I married her. I pressed
my eighth-grade self between those pages like
a flower, left for later hands. Helen.

"I like to have you near me," she would cough,
romantically consumptive, after Jane
sneaked to her sick-bed. "Are you warm, darling?"

We'll always find ourselves inside the book,
no matter what the book, no matter how
little we're given. I was twelve; gay meant

nothing to me. I only knew I'd go
to Lowood Institution, rise at dawn,
bare knuckles to the switch, choke down the gruel,

pray to the bell, if this meant I could hold
another girl all night, if I could clasp—
this even if she died there while I slept,
this even if I died there in my sleep.

Read more poetry

With love,

Jessica, Elizabeth, and the Goodreads Team

We are hiring Software Engineers, Front-End Engineers, a UX Designer, and an Advertising Sales Manager. Check out our jobs and send your résumé to


What is unique about the portrait in Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray?

  1. Its looks can kill
  2. It ages while Dorian remains youthful
  3. It is painted over another painting

FIRST READS: Win prerelease books!

Be the first to read new books. Enter a drawing and cross your fingers!



Anne Zouroudi
Monday, December 10 Join discussion
Bob Mayer
Tuesday, December 11 Join discussion
Greg Kincaid
Wednesday, December 12 Join discussion

QUOTE of the DAY

If everybody is thinking alike,
then somebody
isn't thinking.

—George S. Patton

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