Friends, a lot of us might be familiar with the Goodreads Choice Awards, wherein Goodreads curates lists of potential “best books” in certain genres (e.g. fantasy and science fiction, historical fiction, romance) and encourages their site users to vote for their favorites. And quite frankly, it’s a disservice to diverse books, marginalized authors, and the readers who are pushing for diversity and representation in literature.
Year after year, its initial nominees are predominantly white and heteronormative. In fact, in the 2019 Goodreads Choice Awards, there are only one to three authors of color per category. And this consistent outcome — this longstanding favor towards white-as-Captain-America’s-buttcheeks authors and their books — is understandably questionable because (1) first-round nominees are selected by the Goodreads staff, and (2) the criteria or judging system behind these nominations are not disclosed by the site.
So, is Goodreads and its staff actively overlooking marginalized authors and diverse books? Results from past years point us to a cold hard and resounding yes.