2013 End of Year Book Survey

Thanks to Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner for putting this survey together… it is a lot of fun to look back on what I’ve read for the year.

Best in Books 2013

1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)

Since there is a question for series below, I’m just going to put down my favorite stand-alones here.

Romance:
Unsticky by Sarra Manning

Mystery/Thriller:
The Dinner by Herman Koch

Adult Fiction:
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Non-Fiction:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Science Fiction/Fantasy:
Shades of Earth by Beth Revis

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

The 5th Wave (which I didn’t end up finishing) or Where the Stars Still Shine (which really fell flat for me, though I know it has made many people’s favorites list)

 3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013? 

I think I have to go with The Across the Universe series.  I was totally caught up in that world and really didn’t expect to enjoy the series as much as I did.

 4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

Hmm.  I haven’t been much in the book recommending business lately, I guess.  I think I highly recommended Eleanor & Park and Fangirl to a couple people, though.

 5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

The Across the Universe series by Beth Revis

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

I think I will go with Jojo Moyes… I enjoyed Me Before You and hope to read some of her other books at some point.  I will also add Susanna Daniel and Justin Kramon, as I think both had a lot of potential, though their books were not my very favorites– I intend to keep my eyes out for more of their works.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

I’d have to say that Villette by Charlotte Brontë was the book farthest out of my comfort zone I read this year and while it wasn’t a new favorite, I did enjoy reading it and it made me feel a little more confident about delving into the classics from time to time.

 8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

The best thriller I read this year was The Dinner by Herman Koch, but it was more of a quiet, slow thriller so I didn’t exactly race through it.  I absolutely could not put down Me Before You, even though it wasn’t really thrilling.  So, one thrilling, one unputdownable.

 9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Well, I did reread a couple of old favorites this year, Jane Eyre and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone which I know I will reread again eventually (though probably not next year).  As for books I read for the first time that I will probably reread, I think I will probably reread Unsticky at some point and probably Eleanor & Park, too.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

11. Most memorable character in 2013? 

I think I have to go with Will from Me Before You.  I was really intrigued by him, his plight, and his decisions.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

Probably Jane Eyre.  It’s a classic for a reason, right?

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013? 

I’d have to go with Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth.  In retrospect I feel very silly for spending so much time reading every childbirth book on the planet, but I think Ina May’s book gave me some confidence in giving birth and in my body.  There is something about that confidence in giving birth that helps spill over into confidence parenting and confidence in other areas of life.  Childbirth can be a really powerful thing and that is definitely something Ina May preaches in her book.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read? 

Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner… I used to read her books upon release, but this one took me a couple years to get to.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

I rarely write this stuff down.  But it appears I liked this one enough to put it into my Goodreads quotes.

“It’s just that the thing you never understand about being a mother, until you are one, is that it is not the grown man—the galumphing, unshaven, stinking, opinionated offspring—you see before you, with his parking tickets and unpolished shoes and complicated love life. You see all the people he has ever been all rolled up into one.”
― Jojo Moyes, Me Before You

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Shortest- If we don’t count the board books I read every day (which I don’t), it would be Making Babies by Anne Enright with 196 pages

Longest- That would be Villette by Charlotte Brontë at 573 pages.  It definitely felt 573 pages, too.

 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!

Probably the closest thing I have to this is Me Before You.  I wasn’t shocked by the ending by any means, but it was a challenging ending, the sort of thing worth discussing.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

Well, this might be cheating, but I’m going to say Jane Eyre’s relationship with herself.  I love how strong her sense of self is and how she truly feels she is worth something, in spite of the fact that the world tells her she is not.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Probably either Eleanor & Park or Fangirl… Rainbow Rowell is my only auto-buy author any more.

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

Unsticky by Sarra Manning, which I picked up after reading this review at Clear Eyes Full Shelves

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

Mystery/thriller, but mainly because I mindlessly read 10 Stephanie Plum books (in a row) earlier this year.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

Probably Levi from Fangirl if we’re talking about good, sweet, take-him-home-to-meet-the-parents guys.  Rainbow Rowell writes guys who are marriage material.

But in the world of fictional boys, I also really like rich, handsome, prickly, damaged boys, so I will also add Vaughan from Unsticky, Will from Me Before You, and my eternal favorite, Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre.

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

Well, the only 2013 debut that I read this year was The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell which was pretty good.  I think I can count The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion as a debut novel since he only previously published technical non-fiction and I really enjoyed that book.  Both are worth reading, but I think I’d go back to Simsion and The Rosie Project in the future, whereas O’Donnell won’t really be on my radar.

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

I LOVED the setting of Centauri Earth in Shades of Earth by Beth Revis.  I loved the details of a totally new, unknown environment.

Also, this question makes me think of Sea Creatures by Susanna Daniel which partly takes place in a house built on stilts in the middle of the ocean down in Florida.  The best way to describe the book was atmospheric.  I am transported just thinking about it.

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

I will go with the audiobook of Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple.  This was just a funny book with utterly ridiculous characters and situations.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

You know, I don’t actually remember crying at any books this year, but Me Before You, Eleanor & Park, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks all came close or left me with tears in my eyes.

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

I’m not really sure about this one.  I think I’m going to go with Villette by Charlotte Brontë as it isn’t the Charlotte Brontë people typically read.  I can see why it tends to get overlooked in favor of Jane Eyre as the plot is not nearly as tight and the characters not nearly as likeable.  But it is a good classic to pick up if you’re looking for a challenge.

Book Blogging/Reading Life 2013

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2013? 

I’ve been so out of the blogging world this year, but I think I will go with Renae’s Respiring Thoughts.  Renae reads A LOT and a wide variety and is absolutely not afraid to say exactly what she thinks about a book.  I don’t always agree with her opinions, but I find it sort of refreshing to read them anyways.  It helps me think through what I’ve read to read both praise AND criticism of a book.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2013? 

I definitely slacked on my review-writing this year, but I think I’m going to go with my review of Every Day by David Levithan (which I read last December, but reviewed this year).  I love talking about gender and bodies and that book gave me the chance to do it on my blog!

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

Hmmm, I’d have to say it is interesting to see people’s reactions to my Top Ten Tuesday posts… I think my favorite of those I did this year was Words/Topics That Make Me NOT Pick Up A Book

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog

Jamie’s post about becoming more picky as you read more within a genre really echoed my thoughts on the subject, as I have become totally burnt out on most YA genres this year, finding myself being overly critical of things that never bothered me in the past.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

Oh gosh, I didn’t do any blogging or book events this year I don’t think, but that has never really been my thing.

6. Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2013?

Probably reading out loud to my daughter.  I really want to share my love of reading with her and I try to do that as much as I can.  She really loves to gnaw on books right now, so I am hoping that is a good sign of things to come.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

I’m sort of surprised that my review of Unsticky has garnered the most views of any post I’ve written this year.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Anything I’ve written lately has gotten very little traffic/love, but I have been really focused on reviews and those are always a little quiet.  So… let’s say my review of Me Before You because if that book isn’t on your radar yet, it should be.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I’d have to say my library’s collection of audio ebooks.  I’d been doing audiobooks on CD prior to this year and OMG I was missing out on the most fabulously easy way to do audiobooks.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I reviewed my goals for this year back in October.  I should meet my goal of reading 50 books by the end of the year (as of right now, I’m at 49).  Really, I’m pretty pleased with my progress for the year, though I didn’t check off every goal on my list.

Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?

This question is totally the kiss of death for me.  Last year I said The Book Thief and Rebecca and read neither one.  So I’m just going to say those again and just to make me laugh at myself even harder next year, I’ll add in UnSouled by Neal Shusterman.  I love the UnWind series.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?

Probably Landline by Rainbow Rowell

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

I have no clue.  I haven’t really been paying attention to what comes out next year.

4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?

How about Ruins by Dan Wells?  I’d like to finish out that series at some point.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?

I don’t have any huge goals for next year.  I just want to keep myself reading and keep myself blogging.

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One thought on “2013 End of Year Book Survey

  1. Apparently I really need to read Me Before You! Is it a buy or borrow?

    Reading people’s end of the year surveys makes me want to start blogging again! Maybe I will 🙂

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