Thursday, January 8, 2015

End of Year Book Survey

The End of the Year Book Survey

Jamie, over at The Perpetual Page-Turner (AWESOME BLOG!!), has been doing this year-in-review for several years now and I think it's such an awesome way to wrap up and reflect on how your reading went over the past year.  This is my first time participating in this book survey...but I doubt it will be my last.

2014 Reading Stats
Number of Books Read:  69
Number of Rereads:  1 (I don't really like re-reading books...unless it's HP or something awesome)
Genre You Read the Most From:  Literary/Historical Fiction

Best in Books
Best Book Read
The House of Special Purpose by John Boyne.  This is a beautifully written, heartfelt novel set during the ruling of the Romanovs.  It's uniquely laid out and so good.  So good!

Book I was Most Excited About but Was Disappointing
The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown.  The synopsis sounded so promising, but I was severely let down.  I didn't like the characters at all and it was clunky to get through.

Book that Most Surprised Me (Good or Bad)
In Paradise by Peter Matthiessen.  I had such high hopes for this book.  I love Holocaust literature (is that morbid?) and it looked like it had wonderful potential.  Alas.  Perhaps I need to read it again and reflect a little more.

Book I "Pushed" People to Read
City of Thieves by David Benioff.  Historical WWII lit?  Sign me up!  I loved this book and thought other people should read it.  It was also my book club reading selection (when our book club was able to meet).

Best Series?  Best Sequel?  Best Series Ender?
Best series choice:  Divergent by Veronica Roth...only because it was the only complete series I read last year.  Best Sequel:  A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin.  He is an imaginative genius!  Best Series Ender:  Timeless by Gail Carriger.  The Parasol Protectorate series was loads of fun to read and the last one was a hoot!

Favorite New Author You Discovered
Dave Eggers.  I know he's definitely been around for a while, but Zeitoun was the first book of his I've read and it was fantastic!  Sara Ramsey was also a great discovery.

Best Book from an Atypical (for you) Genre/Out of Your Comfort Zone
Love Stories in This Town by Amanda Eyre Ward.  I don't read a lot of short story collections, but this one was great.  Ironically, I found that one for a steal at the Dollar Tree and what a great find it was.

Most Action-Packed/Thrilling/Unputdownable Book
A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin.  In case you've been living under a rock, this is the book that included the Red Wedding scene...and it's so much better in the book!

Book Most Likely to be Re-Read
Cress by Marissa Meyer.  I am in love with The Lunar Chronicles series and can't wait until they are all out so I can re-read them like I do with HP.

Favorite Cover
Hollow City by Ransom Riggs.  It's creepy and eye-catching. 

Most Memorable Character
Alexia Tarabotti/Macon from the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger.  Alexia is brash, hilarious, ingenious, and a glutton for trouble.  An amusing combination, for sure.

Most Beautifully Written Book
An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine.  Though I didn't enjoy it as much as I was hoping (still a good read), this book was gorgeous in both story and prose. 

Most Thought-Provoking/Life-Changing Book
Zeitoun by Dave Eggers.  Chronicling the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Eggers tells the trials and tribulations of Zeitoun and his boat.  Read it if you haven't!

Book You Can't Believe You Waited Until 2014 to Read
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden.  This is probably one of my new favorite books.  It's beautiful, engaging, and hard to resist.  Definitely wish I'd read it sooner.

Favorite Passage/Quote from a Book
"I grabbed my book and opened it up.  I wanted to smell it.  Heck, I wanted to kiss it.  Yes, kiss it.  That's right, I'm a book kisser.  Maybe that's kind of perverted or maybe it's just romantic and highly intelligent." --The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Shortest and Longest Books Read
Shortest:  Stuart Little by E.B. White at 131 pages.  Not my favorite choice...
Longest:  A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin at 1177 pages.  So freakin' good!

Book That Shocked You
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn.  It's disturbing and graphic and so good.

OTP of the Year
Cress and Captain Carson Thorne from Cress by Marissa Meyer.  I love the relationship these two have.  It's sweet and tender.  There is such care between them.

Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship
Emily and Cameron from Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian.  The relationship that develops between Emily and Cameron, two child runaways, is beautiful and heartbreaking.  Emily is fiercely protective of Cameron and both take on more responsibility than they should have to in their young lives.

Favorite Book from a Known Author
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  This book was dark, twisted, psychological, and awesome.  I couldn't put it down.

Book Read Based on a Recommendation
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.  I kept hearing rave reviews about this book and, though it isn't one I normally gravitate toward, I decided to give it a shot.  I'm not disappointed at all!  It's a great read and I'm so glad I took the recommendations seriously.

Newest Fictional Crush
Lord Maccon from the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger.  He's manly, gruff, and a werewolf to boot.  Not normally my forte, but I like that he's Scottish and sticks his nose up at the "norm" of society.

Best 2014 Debut
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Murakami Haruki.  This was a beautiful book about self-discovery and uncovering the past.  Stunning.

Best World Building/Vivid Setting
A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin.  I don't know how he does it, but Martin is a settings genius.  His vivid descriptions force you to see the places he manages to conjure.  Brilliant.

Book That Put a Smile on Your Face/Was the Most Fun
Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie.  This is a beautiful fairy tale of a story.  The descriptions are glorious and magical and Haroun is a delightful character on an amazing adventure.

Book That Made You Cry
The House of Special Purpose by John Boyne.  It didn't necessarily make me cry (most books don't), but this had the intense feelings that are required.  So beautiful.

Hidden Gem
The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.  I've always meant to read this and wish I had done so early.  It's a great book.  Fast-paced, heartfelt, shocking, and awesome. 

Crushed Your Soul
The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi Durrow.  So sad and tragic...and beautiful.  I think this story needs more recognition. 

Most Unique Book
The House of Special Purpose by John Boyne.  What I found to be unique about this book was the format in which the story was relayed to the reader.  It is not told in linear order.  Instead, it is set in both the past and present (alternating chapters) and those time-frames slowly work toward each other until they meet at the end of the book.

Book That Made You Mad
The Fever by Megan Abbott.  I had such high hopes for this book, but it was so terrible.  So terrible.

Blogging Bookish Life
Favorite Blog Discovered
There were so many great blogs that I stumbled across this past year.  Some standouts:  Great Imaginations, The Broke and the Bookish, Mama's Losin' It, and The Perpetual Page-Turner (of course!). 

Favorite Reviews Written
I really enjoyed writing The House of Special Purpose: A Review.  Mainly because I loved the book so much. 

Best Discussed/Non-Review Post Written
This would probably be Writer's Workshop: Worst Gift.  Though there aren't a lot of comments on this, I felt that it was well received and slightly appalling.  It really was the worst gift!

Best Event Participated In
I loved participating, and felt quite successful, in Bookish Bingo: Holiday Edition.  I dominated that bingo card.  I always really enjoyed the A-Z Blogging Challenge this year. 

Best Bookish or Blogging Moment
Probably killing challenges!  I kind of went challenge wild this year and participated in nearly everything I came across...some weren't as successful, but I had a great time.

Most Popular Post
My most popular post, based on views, would be B...is for Baudelaire, Borges, Borowski, and Bohjalian.  Again, part of the A-Z Blogging Challenge.

Post You Wish Got More Love
I wish all of my posts got more love ;)

Best Bookish Discover
Book Riot...hands down.  This site is AWESOME!

Completed Reading Challenges/Goals
The Goodreads Challenge, Bout of Books 10 and 11 (currently in 12), Bookish Bingo Summer Edition and Holiday Edition (currently in New Year Edition), the Library Books Reading Challenge, the Summer Library Challenge, the Beat the Heat Read-a-thon

Looking Ahead
One Book Not Gotten to in 2014
Definitely A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin.  I've been purposely putting it off because the sixth book isn't out and I don't like waiting!!
 
Book You're Most Anticipating (Non-Debut)
Winter by Marissa Meyer.  Much like the above about not liking to wait when I'm reading a series, this is the final book in the Lunar Chronicles saga and I can't wait!!
 
2015 Debut You're Most Anticipating
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante.  I discovered this series a bit ago and it is just so beautifully written.  The Italian translation of the final book is supposed to come out this year.  Yay!
 
Series Ending/Sequel You're Most Anticipating
Same as above...Winter.
 
One Thing You Hope To Accomplish in Your Reading/Blogging Life
I really want to be more consistent in blogging.  I would also love to see my blog grow a little bit, introduce new material, and branch out from bookish things (I've been working on this).  Also, I desperately need to clean up my To-Read pile.  There is stuff on there that I'm not very excited to read...so why read it?
 
2015 Release You've Already Read and Recommend
Not a thing yet...
 
Whoa...so that turned out much longer than anticipated.  Thanks for sticking with me (if you did).
 
Happy reading!


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