Wednesday, December 26, 2012

End of the Year Book Survey - 2012

 I found this year-in-review survey at The Perpetual Page Turner and thought it sounded like fun to write.  Hopefully it will be interesting to read, as well.
Best in Books 2012
1. Best Book You Read In 2012? (You can break it down by genre if you want)
       The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
       Insurgent by Veronica Ross -  I LOVED Divergent and was very disappointed in the 2nd book of the trilogy.  I'll probably read the third book but I'm not counting down the days.
3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012? 
       Probably Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins.  I thought Anna and the French Kiss was ok cute, but fell in love with Lola.
4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?
       Tie between Attachments by Rainbow Rowell and We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver.
5. Best series you discovered in 2012?
       I'm going to say The Passage by Justin Cronin, but with an asterisk.  I haven't read The Twelve yet and since I was so let down by several other second books in trilogies I'm hesitant to get too excited.
6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?
       Jillian Flynn and John Green
7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?       Incarnate by Jodi Meadows - I don't read much fantasy and I wasn't expecting much from it, but it was a lot of fun and interesting.  Excellent world building.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?       Gone Girl by Jillian Flynn.  Holy sh*t is all I have to say on that one.

9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:       Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?       The book was a bit of a disappointment but I still LOVE the cover of What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang

11. Most memorable character in 2012?        Kevin from We Need to Talk about Kevin.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?       This isn't really a category I feel I notice a lot.  I'll go with The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh or April Fool's Day by Bryce Courtenay.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?        This is a tie.
       The Purity Myth by Jessica Valenti - This one just changed how I view our cultural/media/political discourse on women's issues.
       We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver - I may not have thought about this one every day since I read it, but darn close.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read?        The Stand by Stephen King

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012? I can't pick just one.  How bout top 7?
      “You don't have to stop thinking and asking questions to believe in God, child. If He'd wanted a flock of eight billion sheep, He wouldn't have given us opposable thumbs, much less free will.” - When She Woke

      “Teachers were both blamed for everything that went wrong with kids and turned to for their every salvation. This dual role of scapegoat and savior was downright messianic but even Jesus was probably paid better.”    - We Need to Talk about Kevin (how timely is that quote right now?)

      "Maybe I do not know what to call it, that Thursday.  The atrocity sounds torn straight from a newspaper, the incident is minimizing to the point of obscenity, and the day our own son committed mass murder is too long isn’t it? - We Need to Talk about Kevin

      “It’s awful, telling it like this, isn’t it? As though we didn’t know the ending. As though it could have another ending. It’s like watching Romeo drink poison. Every time you see it you get fooled into thinking his girlfriend might wake up and stop him. Every single time you see it you want to shout, You stupid ass, just wait a minute and she’ll open her eyes! Oi, you, you twat, open your eyes, wake up! Don’t die this time! But they always do.”   - Code Name Verity

       “But the plans were on display..." "On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them." "That's the display department." "With a flashlight." "Ah, well, the lights had probably gone." "So had the stairs." "But, look, you found the notice, didn't you?" "Yes, yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard'.” ― The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

       “We are literally in the heart of Jesus," he said. "I thought we were in a church basement, but we are literaly in the heart of Jesus." "Someone should tell Jesus," I said. "I mean, it's gotta be dangerous, storing children with cancer in your heart." "I would tell Him myself," Augustus said, "but unfortunately I am literally stuck inside of His heart, so He won't be able to hear me.” ― The Fault in Our Stars
        “To be fair to Monica," I said, "what you did to her wasn't very nice either." "What'd I do to her?" he asked, defensive. "You know, going blind and everything." "But that's not my fault," Isaac said. "I'm not saying it was your fault. I'm saying it wasn't nice.” ―  The Fault in Our Stars

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012? 
       The Longest - The Stand by Stephen King @ 1153 pgs.  I enjoyed it, but would have been just fine (and probably happier) with the original version at about 800 pgs.
       The Shortest - The Bridesmaid Lotto by Rachel Astor @ 192 pgs.  Honestly this was either free or $1 on Kindle.  It was predictable and if it had been much longer I wouldn't have finished it.

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
       Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.  "KISS ME, HARDY! Kiss me, QUICK!"   Ahhhh, nononononono.  And I'm tearing up just thinking about it.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
       Another Tie.
       Eleanor and Park from Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.  Perfect portrayal of first love.
       Maddie and Julie from Code Name Verity.  I hadn't realized how much I was ODing on typical YA romance.  Loved this friendship!

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously
       The Garden of Happy Endings by Barbara O'Neal.  I love how O'Neal writes women. 
20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:       The Passage by Justin Cronin.  Thanks to All the Books I can Read

Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2012
1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2012?        I pretty much just discovered book blogs this year.
              Don'tTake my Books Away
              All the Books I can Read

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2012? 
       Eleanor& Park by Rainbow Rowell

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?
       I don't have much of a following yet so I'll pass on this one.
4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?         Maybe Elizabeth's review of Gone Girl by Jillian Flynn (and our subsequent email convo after - to avoid spoilers to those who haven't read it yet).
5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
       I really enjoy Top 10 Tuesdays @ The Broke and the Bookish

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2012?       
       Hmmm - I'm pretty proud of this post.  I feel like it's honest and well written.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?       
       One week I participated in TGIF at Greads and that post has 5 times as many views as anything else.  Unfortunately that meme went away.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
       My Review of We Need to Talk About Kevin.  After reading that one I DESPERATELY wanted to discuss it with someone.

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?    
      Goodreads - Yeah I was living in the dark ages.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?       I set a goal to read 75 books.  Just barely got it done.  (Although I don't count romance novels - If I did I'd have been pretty comfy)

Looking Ahead…
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?       The Twelve by Justin Cronin.  It came out too close to the busy season at work.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?       Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?       
       Yeah I've got three goals for this year.
              1. Read 50 new books. 
              2. Review all the books I read - even if it's a very short review.
              3. Complete two Challenges
                     1.  TBR Pile Challenge 2013
                     2.  Back to the Classics Challenge 2013


  1. Oh my gosh, ALL the tears for Code Name Verity. Ahhh, ow my heart.

    Insurgent was one of the books I was most disappointed by as well... I seriously LOVED Divergent, but was left wanting

    1. I'm really hoping that the final of the Divergent Trilogy brings it back to a place I'm happy with.

  2. I've heard good reviews of Eleanor & Park. I'm looking forward to it! Great survey!

    1. One of NPR's blogs just listed Eleanor & Park on it's list of Top 50 things in pop culture for 2012!

  3. One.more.month until Eleanor & Park is out... I should probably pre-order that. And I miss the TGIF feature, too. It was my favorite of the memes out there. And I also didn't discover Goodreads until the last year-ish, so I guess we lived in the Dark Ages together :-)

    And thanks for shouting out to me a couple times... it has been fun getting to know you and keeping up with your blog! You have recommended some great books to me!

    1. You've obviously added some great books to my reading list as well.

      Good Luck tomorrow!

  4. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that finding Goodreads changed my life. Looking back now, I can't believe I ever had the problem of wondering what I should read next -- as in, having no clue, not having too many choices! So, I am very happy for you that you've discovered it!