2012 End of Year Book Survey

Head over to The Perpetual Page-Turner to see more lists and to add your own 🙂

I’ve seen this on a couple of different blogs and when I first saw it on The Broke and the Bookish, I saved the link and then forgot about it…then I saw it again on Book Pairing and thought about it some more. Today I finally decided to hunt down the survey from The Perpetual Page-Turner and take a stab at answering the questions. Thanks for sharing, Jamie!

As a reader of many books, I think it’s important to look back at your reading life — see what you remember, what you forgot, what you loved, what you hated — if you don’t (at least for me), it just all becomes a big blur and you end up picking up a book you’ve already read before but clearly wasn’t that memorable since you don’t remember reading it the first time. So here it goes…

Best in Books 2012

1. Best Book You Read In 2012?
As I mentioned in my 2012 Best Books post, this was a pretty great year of reading and I can’t possibly name just one as the best (but it might be Gone Girl…). So I’m using this question to talk about the rest of my favorites that didn’t quite make my Best Books post.

On the Kids front:
Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman
Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs retold by Mo Willems
SciFi & Fantasy finds:
A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin — My favorite of the series.
Timeless by Gail Carriger — Very excited for more by Carriger in 2013!
Ashfall by Mike Mullin — Great story about survival and a supervolcano.
Loved Listening To:
The Passage read by Scott Brick — I can’t WAIT to listen to The Twelve (I read it and liked it — with Scott Brick narrating I have a feeling the audio experience will be even better.)
Memorable Memoirs:
Monkey Mind by Daniel Smith — I live with anxiety so it was nice to see that I’m not alone.
The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe — Bonding over books. ❤
Geeky Goodness:
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan — for book geeks (and computer geeks.)
The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro — for art geeks.
Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson — for computer geeks (and book geeks).
Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America by Jeff Ryan — for video game geeks (I listened to the audio, I found it very entertaining).
The Rest:
Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer — Robots, love, marriage ❤
Ask the Passengers by A.S. King — Great book about identity and figuring out who you are.
All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps — Real stories of love and loss. I sobbed for most of it.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling — I knew it was going to be totally different from Harry Potter, but that’s part of why I was SO excited. I didn’t even finish it 😦
Thumped by Megan McCafferty — I LOVED Bumped last year, but Thumped was pretty awful. I was SO disappointed.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012?
Building Stories by Chris Ware — I haven’t finished it yet, but I’m LOVING this collection (?). I don’t even know what to call it…is it a graphic novel? Whatever you want to call it, I’m surprised by how much I’m loving it.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?
It depends on who I’m recommending to:

5. Best series you discovered in 2012?
The Newsflesh Trilogy by Mira Grant — AWESOME kitten-approved trilogy.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?
Laura Buzo — I really hope more of her novels make their way across the globe.
Hugh Howey — He lost some luster when he ended up going with a publisher…part of his appeal was that he was self-published AND GOOD.
Emma Straub — I’d heard of her short story collection, but I finally read that collection and her novel this year. Both were pretty great.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
Hmm…these are the problems I’m experiencing with this question: I don’t read outside of my comfort zone often OR my comfort zone is pretty large OR I didn’t  like anything I read outside of my comfort zone. :-/

I did try Fifty Shades of Grey, but found it wanting. However, during all of that hubbub about self-published novels I gave On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves a shot and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It isn’t erotica, but it does tell an unorthodox love story between a teen and his tutor.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Hands down. I couldn’t stop reading and THEN once I finished it I HAD to talk to someone about it.

9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:
Probably won’t re-read, but instead grab the audio books…I’m looking forward to listening to Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Beautiful Ruins, The Fault in Our Stars, and The Twelve.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
I picked up this book BECAUSE of this cover.

11. Most memorable character in 2012?
AuggieBernadetteAmy Dunne….Augustus. They all stand out for different reasons.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter — the text is as beautiful as the cover.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?
Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History by Florence Williams — Umm…boobs are cool and we need to take better care of them. (Weird, but true.) Seriously, this book made me question what I eat, where it comes from, the air we breathe, everything.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read?
Oh man…I’m ashamed to admit this…the oldest book I read this year was published in the 1960s and I didn’t even like it. Yeah…I’m talking about DUNE. (Aside from that, I can’t believe I waited so long between reading A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords.)

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012?

Passage from Shine Shine Shine by Lydia NetzerFrom Shine Shine Shine – quote starts on page 178 of the Hardcover edition:

“When you become a mother, how can you be another thing at the same time?…She worried now that everything she became has just squeezed the love out….Maybe you can’t truly wrap your flesh around another person, after there’s been a baby inside you.”

Pretty much sums up why I’m terrified of having children…CAN you be someone else other than mom once you’ve had a child? How do you balance the roles of wife, sister, mother, librarian?

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012?
I read several picture books and a couple of serials this year, so those would be the shortest (Including this short story from the interwebz). Longest is A Storm of Swords coming in at a whopping 1100+ 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!

  • Gone Girl(There was a real WTF moment while reading Gone Girl…I was by the pool and just kind of sat there.)
  • Pandemonium. (The end!)
  • A Storm of Swords. (I hate Joffrey because he clearly hates books — and for lots of other reasons.)

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
So many…but Hazel and Augustus come to mind first. Followed closely by Sunny and Maxon.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously
Gone Girl. The Fault in Our Stars. The Twelve. A Storm of Swords.

20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
Gone Girl. I never would have read it if I hadn’t kept hearing such amazing things from GalleyChatters.

Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2012
(I don’t really consider myself a “book blogger”…I’m more of a reader that occasionally blogs about books.)

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2012? BookPairing

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2012?
I tend not to post too many reviews on my blog, but I’m always surprised when my reviews on Goodreads get “liked” (especially since my reviews tend to be ramblings and *squees* rather than critiques). My favorite review is probably what I wrote about Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple or Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon (both for our library blog).

My most popular reviews on Goodreads for 2012 are Gone Girl followed closely by Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. (How DO people discover reviews on Goodreads though? It seems that if you have a review that starts gaining likes, it suddenly snowballs. I’m still surprised when I get likes on my review/rant on Fall of Giants — But also quite pleased. It makes me feel like someone out there is listening.)

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?
The one post that wasn’t a Top Ten Tuesday post that had discussion: Crafting with…umm…cat hair? I also have a lot of discussions with myself about “fat” celebrities and the whereabouts of JTT that I love and I wish others would join in 😉

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
Body Image and Every Day by David Levithan, a discussion by Christie Gibrich
I loved Every Day by David Levithan, but I also love hearing a different perspective.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I love hashtags — #ewgc,  #libfavs2012, #boutofbooks. Also Top Ten Tuesday — I don’t partcipate regularly but when I do, I love it.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2012?
Not the best moment, but one that stuck with me…You know  how I like different perspectives — I was amazed by the craziness that was (and probably will always be) the up-in-arms-ness of book bloggers/librarians/ARCs. Can’t we all just get along?

OH! It was VERY exciting for me when the author of the Newsflesh trilogy shared my blog post with her Twitter followers. Cute kittens reading books really attracts viewers! 🙂

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
Most popular post written in 2012: TTT – Books for People that Like World War Z
Most popular older post: Beauty is Pain

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
Not book related — but I would like to hear from more brides & bride-to-be’s. The wedding posts have many silent visitors and I’m nosy so I want to know more about these quiet folks that stop by.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
I think my first #ewgc (EarlyWord Galley Chat) happened in January 2011. I’ve loved it since.

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I wanted to read 100 books this year. Counting audio books (29), picture books (12), etc, I’m at 135 books and I’m OK with that.

Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. I WILL read it in 2013.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?
I’m very excited for the conclusion of a few series…I’m a little series-ed out, you know? I’m very much looking forward to Requiem and Resurgent/Detergent/Convergent (does it have a title yet?).

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?
Keep on keeping on. I’m pretty happy with everything I’ve accomplished this year. My job is great (I blog for work, too). My life is great. All is wonderful and right with the world, so I’d like to keep that up. 🙂

I would like to do some “regular” posts — I end up posting A LOT of links on Facebook through out the week so I’m thinking I might try to compile those into a weekly post here.

3 thoughts on “2012 End of Year Book Survey”

  1. Oooh we’ve read so many of the same books this year! I just finished The Twelve and really ended up liking it. Especially after I kind of figured out all the tangled knots he had put together, it was fun to see the whole story wrapping in on itself. Definitely agree that it would be all the fun to listen to it on audiotape.

    I also have Alif the Unseen on my nightstand. It looks like you really enjoyed it, which may push me to actually get on it 😀

    Wonderful end of the year list!

    1. There were a couple of sections in The Twelve where I definitely experienced “what-does-that-have-to-do-with-anything?” moments, but ultimately I really enjoyed the story.

      Alif definitely took a little while for me to get into, but I enjoyed it. Let me know what you think! It definitely had an Aladdin meets Wizard of Oz meets Ready Player One kind of feel.

      1. I’m just glad I read the text version first so I was able to jump back to another page — “now who is this character?”

        Oooh, well I absolutely loved RP1! Will let you know how I like it.

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