Wednesday, 19 December 2012

End of Year Book Survey 2012

The End of Year Book Survey was something Jamie at The Broke and The Bookish & The Perpetual Page-turner came up with a couple of years ago that grew into something a little bigger than she expected.
I did this last year and it's a lovely way to reflect on what's happened over the year, what you've read and overall, a nice way to start a new blogging year. If you want to participate, you can add your link to the Mr Linky on Jamie's blog, here.

When looking at last year's post, a few things struck me. A) Some of the books I was 'anticipating' so badly in 2011, I haven't actually read yet... B) I was sad for not reading 50 books? That's silly! and C) I ended the survey with this comment - 'Get 100 followers and have people comment frequently. If that happened this time next year, I would be one happy lady'. Which fills me with zeal because guess what? I have 109 followers and people comment on most of my posts so SCORE. 

1. Best Book You Read In 2012? (You can break it down by genre if you want)
And yes, I shall break it down because there have been MILLIONS OF BOOKS THIS YEAR THAT ARE NOW MY ULTIMATE FAVOURITES. 
Historical Fiction: VIII by H.M.Castor. This book helped me so much in AS History and as entertainment on a sick day. 
Contemporary: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - FOR DEFINITE.
Sci-fi/Dystopian: Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Classic: The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald, Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
Adult Fiction: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern BECAUSE IT IS SO PRETTY. 

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
I have two for this one. Let's face it, even non-bloggers have moments of excitement over books and then are majorly disappointed when the book is a little bit rubbish. No, I have like four. But I'm going to narrow this to two. 
1. Specials - Scott Westerfeld - this year was the year I would finally read the whole Uglies series after years and years of wondering what this series was like. So after the amazingness of Uglies and Pretties, the first two books in the series, I was expecting so many things. But Specials...not so fantastic and amazing. Tally annoyed the hell out of my the whole way through and I left a little deflated. Well done Westerfeld for adding a fourth book to the series - good choice. 
2. Why We Broke Up - Daniel Handler - IT IS SO PRETTY. So pretty. It has painted pictures. It has romance. It had teenagers. It is a contemporary. And Daniel Handler? He wrote Lemony Snicket! So amazing things should be shooting from this book. Did they? No, they did not. Handler succeeded in making me hate Ed. But that was kind of it...
Other Mentions:
Emma Hearts LA - Keris Stainton
New Girl - Paige Harbison

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012? 
Freshman Year and Other Natural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin and Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro - was totally expecting to dislike these books!

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?
The fact that I work in a bookshop helps a lot with this one. I work in one of two floors. One floor is all adult fiction and as this is my favourite floor to work on and the one I am most comfortable with, I don't get to recommend a lot of YA fiction.
The ones I HAVE recommended this year mostly have been The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - both such good books. When I do sometimes get asked for recommendations on the kid's floor, my go-to book is Shadow Web by N.M.Browne because well I love this book and I think a lot of children would enjoy it. For my friends? I have been shoving The Fault in Our Stars at them all year. 
 5. Best series you discovered in 2012?
I would say this has to go to the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. I started and finished it all within 2012 (which I'm kind of proud of) and have really enjoyed it as a dose of dystopian genre. Oh and Cinder by Marissa Meyer!
 6. Favourite new authors you discovered in 2012?
Ah! So many! We've had H.M.Castor (with VIII), David Levithan (Sure I'd heard of him before but after reading The Lover's Dictionary, Will Grayson and Dash and Lily's Book of Dares - he's lovely), Marissa Meyer (Cinder is amazing...), Lauren Oliver (read both Delirium and Before I Fall!).
7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
Apart from reading the first 10 pages of Fifty Shades of Grey? It's always the genre that you like NEVER read that comes and surprises you. For me, this year that genre was classics. I've never been one of these huge I-MUST-READ-ALL-THE-CLASSICS people, I've read Pride and Prejudice (although didn't understand it the first time round), but never gone further than that.
This year I read The Great Gatsby, The Odyssey, The Catcher in the Rye, The 39 Steps, Frankenstein - all classics that I would never have approached before. The Catcher in the Rye was just weird. 
 8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?
An oldie, but it has to be Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. I needed to know what would happen in the end!
 9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:
VIII by H.M.Castor - Mostly because I'm studying Henry VIII at the moment in History for my end of year exams and this will be a good way to revise!
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen - This is the yearly read. I have to re-read it every year. 
I'm also sure I can find time to re-read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
10. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2012?
Sometimes it's not the cover that I love but actually the feel and the texture of the book itself. 
Without a doubt, that does to The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern:

The left is the cover of the hardback that I was lucky enough to borrow from my friend. The right is what the book looks like when you take the paper cover off. WHY MAKE A BOOK THAT PRETTY, IT'S TOO LOVELY? Just like to note I put this book on my Christmas list and ordered that it be the hardback. 

11. Most memorable character in 2012? 
I often think of Hazel and Augustus from The Fault in Our Stars.
 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?
Hands down, The Fault in Our Stars. I had chills at several points.
Anyone who has read The Night Circus will agree that that book is the most beautiful, imaginative and delightful book to ever find. 
13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012? 
I have two books. Firstly, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. This is about a trio of young people on their life growing up where they know their destiny. They are cloned and raised in order to be organ donors to whomever they are cloned from. They can have relationships but there is nothing in it - they can never marry, have children or anything. It was something so shocking that stuck with me for some unknown reason. 
Yes, I sound like a broken record but The Fault in Our Stars deals with a subject close to my heart - which is a new addition this year. At the start of the year and upon reading this, I knew no-one with cancer. By the end of 2012, I know 3 people, one of which has sadly passed away. So the adventures and events with The Fault in Our Stars have made a profound impact on myself more than others I would believe. Also, that book made me cry. And books never do that to me. 
 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read? 
1)  Why did I wait like 7/8 years to read the Uglies series?
2) What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen - Rebecca, you should have whacked that one out as soon as it came through the letterbox!
 15. Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012? 
Oh god. 
This is the time in your life when you should be able to fly free. If something doesn't suit you, or work out right, you jump to the next. It's one of the beautiful things of being young'
- Knee Deep by Jolene Perry
'That's the thing about demands to be felt'
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

'The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves'
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

'Well don't expect us to be too impressed. We just saw Finnick Odair in his underwear'
- Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins - I was actually laughing so much.

'Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn't stop for anybody'
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

'A world of nevers under a never sky'
- Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Nothing really to do with the survey but I thought it was
book related!

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012? 
Shortest: The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman - only 30 pages long, so perfect for English coursework!
Longest: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver with 470 pages
 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!
I have way too many.

A) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - THE ENDING. Just the ending. I think anyone who has been fortunate enough to read this amazing book will understand me. How you feel the novel is going at the beginning of the novel is completely different to the end.

B) Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins - WHERE DID THAT ENDING COME FROM?

C) Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins - When a certain person (or persons) is killed near the end of the novel, I was in shock. Why them? What's happening? Just so beautifully unexpected.

D) Delirium by Lauren Oliver - ENDING. OH MY.

E) Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier - Those that have read this book (which is now one of my favourites), when you find FINALLY about Rebecca's death and the mystery and deceit surrounded that, wow, you're in for a shocker. 
18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
I can never choose JUST one can I?

A) Dash and Lily from Dash and Lily's Book of Dares - This is so cute and they are so cute for making the book of dares. Oh Lily. No, OH DASH.

B) Hazel and Augustus from The Fault in Our Stars - Just so lovely. So heartbreaking and lovely.

C) Mclean and Dave from What Happened to Goodbye - Are any Sarah Dessen characters ever not lovely?

D) Celia and Marco from The Night Circus - BEST COUPLE EVER. Oh...
19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously
At risk of sounding like a broken record, I would say The Fault in Our Stars. BUT NO.

I would say Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen. Although Bright Young Things (first in the series) wasn't as good as the absolute beauty and glamour that was The Luxe series, Beautiful Days definitely had something close for me. 
20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
The Night Circus. I hadn't seen many reviews for this, mostly because it's an adult fiction novel. But when my friend Georgia made me take her copy of the book insisting that I would like it and after leaving it alone on my bookshelf for months, I was so surprised when I finally read it. It is an absolutely amazingly beautiful book and one of the books I will constantly recommend to anyone at work. 

 Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2012 

1. New favourite book blog you discovered in 2012? 
I'm not going to be able to pin it on one. I'M SORRY.
2. Favourite review that you wrote in 2012? 
I really enjoyed writing my review for Cinder by Marissa Meyer a lot actually. I'm not sure why, I think it's because it just flowed really well and I didn't take days and days to write it. I also love the first paragraph of my review for What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen when I just justify why she is a favourite of mine. 
3. Best discussion you had on your blog?
I think for me, the best discussion was about the role of blogging on a blogger's life and how people try and fit everything in. Have a look at it here.
4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
I can't remember what blog it was (let me know in the comments if you do know!) but I remember earlier in the year having a discussion on a blog about the whole thing that happened with The Story Siren. For the record, it was about not The Story Siren herself, but the blogosphere's reaction to it and some of the hurtful comments many bloggers contributed. I'm still in shock of the lack of community the blogosphere had at that time, I believe that she did apologise and was sorry for what she did. But that's a whole other question. 
5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
Wellll....I did meet Patrick Ness again this year which was amazing.

Please ignore the absolute beauty that is me at that
moment. I was so hot and been awake since like

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2012?
I've had so many this year actually and I don't want to sound like I'm bragging, really. 
For any bookish person, when you get tweeted or get a comment from an author you love, I think every blogger has a little happy dance they play out to themselves. This year I've received comments/tweets from Marie-Louise Jensen, Caroline Lawrence, H.M.Castor, Keris Stainton, Sarah Crossan, Lisa Stasse (who also sent me her book all the way from America!) among others. 
It was also so lovely to be sent books by Atom (Thank you Madeline) including Under the Never Sky and The Diviners - two hot and popular books on the blogosphere.
And then of course, some of the comments that show that people do love and enjoy my blog. I have over 100 followers now and that thought makes me smile so much. 

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
Weirdly, it was by review for The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
MANY. Hm, no, the posts without any comments at all could do with some love being given to them. 
9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
My love for Waterstones after working there for the whole of 2012. That place radiates book love. 

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
Both the Historical Fiction and British Books Challenge! I also wanted to read over 50 books and I beat that by 14% according to Goodreads so I'm pretty happy with that. Next year, I doubt I will be so lucky but I'm going to aim for around 70/80 books in a year. 

Looking Ahead…

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?
Hah, so so many. The two books that I think need to feel the love are The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (bought in early 2011) and Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada (bought in summer 2011)
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?
The Moon and More, the new Sarah Dessen book being released next year. I am going to be obsessively checking for a UK release date for that one!
3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?
As I said last year for this question, I'm quite happy to be still doing what I'm doing now. I have a number of amazing and scary things happening in 2013 - A2 exams (ie the BIG ones), my 18th birthday, results day and then going to university and living for the first time alone without my parents so I just hope I can keep the blog going until then, I think it would be a real comfort and escape for whatever may be happening in my life.
Oh and 200 followers this time next year wouldn't be too shabby!

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I'm currently reading TFiOS and I can see why you featured it so much! I love it!
    I'm sure you'll reach 200 followers as your blog is amazing and one of my favourites! <3


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