2015 End of Year Survey

As always, thank you to Jamie of the Perpetual Page-Turner for creating this survey and link-up.  It is an annual tradition for me to fill it out– one of the only posts I manage to consistently put together every year and I love having them to look back on!

 

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Number Of Books You Read:

81

Number of Re-Reads:

7

Genre You Read The Most From:

chick lit (of course)

 

best-YA-books-2014

1. Best Book You Read In 2015?

I think I gotta go with Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith.  Just so, so, so good.

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

Girl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer… it sounded so up my alley, got tons of rave reviews, but was one of the worst books I read this year.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?

Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White– I never expected to like Kiersten White’s books as much as I do.  I was really surprised that this managed to be more than just fluffy, stereotypical YA paranormal romance.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Hmm.  Maybe the Cormoran Strike series, since I’m sort of obsessed with it?  I also completely nailed it by giving The Martian to my dad without having read it first… he has been talking about it all year!

 5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?

Best series started: probably the Myron Bolitar series by Harlan Coben
Best sequel: Career of Evil, duh
Best series ender: Hmm, I finished out two series this year– His Fair Assassins and Paranormalcy– both Mortal Heart and Endlessly were my least favorite books in their series, so I guess a tie between them?

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?

This one’s tough for me this year… I discovered some great new-to-me authors, but not really any that have set me on a mission to read their entire backlists OR ones that don’t have backlists.  I guess I will go with Harlan Coben since I binge-read the Myron Bolitar series this year.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

I’m going to have to go with Brown Girl Dreaming.  I don’t usually read memoir, middle grade, or poetry and this was a really beautiful book.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

I hate to put Career of Evil down as the answer for every question, but… it was all these things.

 9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Unsticky because I have reread it annually since discovering it in 2013 and I have been itching for it to be 2016 so I can read it for a fourth time.  And while there are books I read this year that I’d like to reread, I don’t know that I will get back to any of them in 2016.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?

I'll Give You the Sun

 

11. Most memorable character of 2015?

Krystal Weedon from The Casual Vacancy or Cormoran Strike from Career of Evil.  That Rowling, man, she writes some good characters.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?

It would either be Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson or The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien… wowsers, such good writing in both of those.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?

I’m going to go with Bottled Up by Suzanne Barston.  It was just the right book for me to read at the right time and helped me process the guilt and disappointment of not being able to breastfeed that I’ve been dealing with for almost 3 years now.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read? 

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, which has been on my TBR since 2011 and The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien because I know I bought it after reading about it in one of my grad school classes in like 2009 or 2010.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015

“I take a sip of my beer, and it’s– I mean, it’s just astonishingly disgusting. I don’t think I was expecting it to taste like ice cream, but holy fucking hell. People lie and get fake IDs and sneak into bars, and for this? I honestly think I’d rather make out with Bieber. The dog. Or Justin. Anyways, it really makes you worry about all the hype surrounding sex.”  —Simon and the Homo Sapiens Agenda

“How can I explain to anyone that stories are like air to me, I breathe them in and let them out over and over again.” —Brown Girl Dreaming

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?

Neither of these is a traditional novel, but hey, I guess that’s why they are shortest and longest.

Shortest: Fanning the Flames by Victoria Dahl (61 page novella)
Longest: Blankets by Craig Thompson (592 page graphic novel)

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Three Simple Rules by Nikki Sloane… I don’t really read erotic romance and kind of stumbled upon this one accidentally and maybe I’m a bit prudish, but the things I went along with in this book sort of surprised me.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Well, I have to admit to shipping Strike and Robin pretty hard after finishing Career of Evil.  I realize this might be entirely futile, but I don’t even care.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

I would have to say Simon’s relationships with his parents and sisters in Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.  It’s so rare to see healthy and well-developed family relationships in YA and, at least for me, those were some of the most significant and longest-lasting relationships of my teen years.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Besides Career of Evil, of course?  It would probably have to be Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid… she pulled off a story I don’t think most authors could.

21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

I only read The DUFF because friends gave it good reviews and it was actually really really good.  I wish it had been around when I was a teen.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?

Oh gosh, that’d have to be Reiner Kulti from Kulti by Mariana Zapata.  I really love grumpy, damaged, arrogant love interests.

23. Best 2015 debut you read?

I’m usually bad about reading debuts, but I actually read four 2015 debuts this year, which I’m pretty sure is an improvement on previous years.  My favorite was probably Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

The Martian by Andy Weir had a very memorable and unique setting (Mars) and the setting played a huge part in the plot of the story.  I also want to highlight Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin in this category because her book was set in Fort Worth and was just the truest depiction of North Texas I have ever read.  And I can’t forget The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. danforth– the Montana setting in that one was spectacular and I am a huge sucker for Western settings.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White… those books were all just cute and fun and fluffy.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?

I never remember which books made me cry, though I know I cried at multiple books this year.  I am pretty sure Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid made me cry.  And if it didn’t, I’m just heartless.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Well, according to Goodreads, the least popular book I read this year was Bottled Up by Suzanne Barston.  That’s totally a niche read, but very worthwhile if breastfeeding vs. bottlefeeding is a topic you care at all about.  For something I think that would appeal more widely, If You Lived Here, You’d be Home Now by Claire LaZebnik is a backlist title that I haven’t seen much of anything about (would never have found it if it wasn’t the favorite of a blogger friend) and it was one of the best books I read this year.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Nine Uses for an Ex-Boyfriend by Sarra Manning.  I really love Sarra Manning for being willing to portray messy, flawed people, but in this one there was so much back and forth and the main character is a total pushover.  I was totally exhausted after finishing it.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson had a really unique writing style that I enjoyed.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

That would have to be Missoula by Jon Krakauer.  It was rather infuriating to see how women who report rape are treated by the criminal justice system and perhaps it was even more infuriating to see how the accused rapists were not only allowed to get away with their crimes, but actually received more sympathy and support than their alleged victims.

 

book-blogging

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?

I am actually not sure about this… keeping up with other blogs hasn’t happened the way I hoped it would in 2015.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?

I’m going to have to go with my review of Bottled Up.  That was a deeply personal post to write, but I think it is the review that I have put the most into in all of my time blogging.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

Most of my non-review posts this year were update type of posts or challenge-related, which are kind of boring to share, so I’ll just skip this category.

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

I participated in a blogging event back in March called Day in the Life, where we all posted a run-down of an ordinary day in our lives.  That was one of the most fun blogging events I’ve ever participated in and it was fascinating to see how varied everyone’s day-to-day lives were.  I hope that this event will be repeated again in the future… I think it’s a good exercise to see how life looks for yourself at a certain point and to see what goes on in the busy lives of others.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?

Probably completing the 2015 Read Harder Challenge… I didn’t really think I’d be able to commit to a challenge like that and I did and really challenged myself to read some stuff outside my comfort zone.

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

This kind of surprises me, but it was my Top Ten Tuesday post about Diverse Books.  This was something I tried to more actively focus on this year, so I’m glad to see people enjoyed my recommendations.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

So, apparently my mini-reviews of books in verse only got one view?  I mean, it isn’t a spectacular feat of reviewing by any means, but those are a couple of diverse book picks that I’d highly recommend, so maybe check it out if you are looking for a novel in verse/diverse book to spice up your reading life!

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

Ummm, my library implemented auto-renewals on books checked out without holds on them and I have been taking advantage of this to keep books out from the library way too long.  So, I discovered a way to be lazy and avoid monthly trips to the library?

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

I had two reading goals for the year– to read 60 books as part of the Goodreads challenge and to complete the Book Riot Read Harder challenge.  I completed both of these goals by mid-October!  So,it was a very successful year in terms of goal-setting!

 

looking-ahead-books-2015

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?

I have been auto-filling this with Rebecca the last few years, but I actually read that one this year.  How about The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee?  That or The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?

Taylor Jenkins Reid has a new book coming out this summer called One True Loves.  That promises to be a good one.

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

I actually have no 2016 debuts on my TBR yet, so… I guess I’ll wait until more reviews come in before deciding on this category.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?

*crosses fingers for another Cormoran Strike novel in 2016*

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?

Well, 2016 is already looking like it will be a crazy year… I start a new job on January 4 and am expecting a baby towards the end of January, so… I am just hoping to read some good books this year, stretch myself some, but mostly just to have fun with it all and do what I can/want to do.

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

Not applicable.

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Statistics Survey 2014

Statistics Survey 2014

Umm, as soon as I saw tweets about a stats survey, I was like I AM IN.  I totally geek out on this stuff.  So… thanks to Brittany at The Book Addict’s Guide and Andi of Andi’s ABCs for putting this together!

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  1. Number of books under 250 pages (not including novellas): 6
  2. Number of books read between 400-449 pages: 10
  3. Number of books read between 450-499 pages: 6
  4. Number of books read over 500 pages: 4
  5. Number of books read over 1000 pages: 0
  6. Number of novellas read: 0
  7. Number of books that made you cry: No idea!  More than 1, less than 20?
  8. Number of books from a female POV: 34 (including some with multiple female POVs)
  9. Number of books from a male POV: 6 (including one with multiple male POVs)
  10. Number of alternating or multiple POVs: 27
  11. Number of DNFs (did not finish): 5
  12. Number of five star reads: 4
  13. Number of one/two star reads: 7 (I also included 2.5s)
  14. Number of authors met in 2014: 0
  15. Number of book events attended in 2014: Uhh, 2 or 3 if you count the library sale and story time
  16. Number of books you read in one day: Depends on how you define read in one day… I had 0 books started and finished on the same day, but 3 finished after one day (for example, started on the 1st, finished on the 2nd)
  17. Number of audiobooks: 10 (new record for me!)
  18. Number of 2015 books you have on pre-order: 0
  19. Number of re-reads: 2

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  1. Book with the highest rating on Goodreads: Funnily enough, my least favorite book of the year, A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, gets a 4.44 on Goodreads.
  2. Book with the lowest rating on Goodreads: Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close has a ranking of 3.07… I gave it a 4.  Haha, I really don’t jibe with the Goodreads average, I guess.
  3. Book read furthest away from home (vacation reads?): Wild Child by Molly O’Keefe– read it while I was in NYC visiting my sister!
  4. Book that took you the longest to read: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill took me 29 days to read on audio
  5. Book that you personally connected with the most: Either Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close because it was such a perfect depiction of modern life in your 20s or Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty which just hit home in its depictions of parenthood, marriage, and friendship.
  6. Book that made you love the villain: Hmm, maybe Stay by Allie Larkin… by the end of the book, I understood some of the bad guys a little better
  7. Book you said you’d come back to but still haven’t picked up again: Eventide by Kent Haruf… couldn’t do it on audio and just haven’t felt like reading literary fiction much.
  8. Book you read waaaay before it’s publication date: N/A since I don’t do ARCs
  9. Book you read on your birthday: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
  10. Book with a character who shares your name: The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith has a character named Elizabeth.
  11. Book you weren’t entirely truthful about when rating (Fluff up any ratings? Rated even though you didn’t finish?): Haha, I gave Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier a half-point boost (3.5 to 4) just because I love Marillier and don’t have the heart to not LOVE her books.
  12. Book you read in 2014 but already want to re-read: Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier, Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close, anything and everything by Sarra Manning… etc.
  13. Book you borrowed from a friend a long time ago and still have: I… don’t think I have any of these. (I hope.)
  14. Book by a foreign author/originally published in another country: I read a bunch of Liane Moriarty books and she’s Australian, so is Juliet Marillier.  And I read some British writers, too– Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling, Sarra Manning.  But nothing outside of the English-speaking world, unfortunately.
  15. Book you wish you could go back and read for the first time again: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
  16. Most books read by one author this year: 3 books each for 4 different authors- Liane Moriarty, Sarra Manning, Rae Carson, and Juliet Marillier

Stat Survey This and That

  1. Happiest & saddest:
    Happiest- mmm, this is hard, I’d say the most joyful book (though it had a lot of angst) was Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz.
    Saddest- One Plus One by Jojo Moyes… so many things go wrong, but it was kind of hopeful sad if that makes sense
  2. Longest & shortest:
    Longest: A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin at 801 pages
    Shortest: Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice by Phillip Hoose at 133 pages
  3. Best & worst:
    Best: Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
    Worst: A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
  4. First & last reads of 2014: First was a reread of Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins and the last was Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern.
  5. First & last books on your bookcase (1st book on the top left and last book on the bottom right):
    First- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling
    Last- The Beatles Anthology (one of my husband’s books… we share shelves)
  6. The most disappointing & the biggest pleasant surprise:
    Most disappointing: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
    Most pleasant surprise: After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  7. Bandwagon/fandom you joined & one you abandoned:
    Fandom Joined: Juliet Marillier… love her writing
    Fandom Abandoned: Mmm, I think I am done singing the praises of Erin McCarthy… I have only really liked one of her books, the others have been ridiculous.
  8. Most lenient & harshest ratings:
    Most lenient: I gave The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz a 3… but I didn’t really like it.  I inflated the rating because I felt it taught me something even if it was not enjoyable to read.
    Harshest: Hmm, maybe Guitar Girl by Sarra Manning? I gave it a 3.5 because it was a really depressing book, but when I reviewed it I found I probably liked it a lot better than just a slightly better than average book.
  9. Most hyped & furthest under the radar that you read:
    Most hyped: I read a lot of hyped stuff this year.  I’m going to go with Shadow and Bone.  SO MUCH GRISHA HYPE.
    Furthest Under the Radar: Uhhh, probably The Sundial by Shirley Jackson which was out of print for quite some time and definitely not one of her well-known works.

Stat Survey Grab Bag

  1. Book you read that is red: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  2. Book you read that starts with M: My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins and The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman
  3. Book you read that you may have hugged when you finished it: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
  4. Book you read that you may have wanted to throw across a room: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  5. Book that has the letters Q, X, or Z in the title (bonus for one of the words in the title beginning with those!): The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen and The Drake Equation by Heather Walsh
  6. Book that suffered some damage this year (food? water? ripped pages/cover? Ouch!): Umm, how about my Kindle Fire?  It got covered in fire extinguisher gunk after a minor kitchen fire.
  7. Food you craved while/after reading a certain book:  Chex Mix after reading Rainbow Rowell’s story in My True Love Gave to Me
  8. First book you read in 2015: It’ll probably be I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson.
  9. Number of books read that end with a 6 in the page count: 6!  How perfect is that?!

Stat Survey Blogging Life

  1. Number of posts in 2014: 65
  2. Number of reviews posted this year: 41 (some posts included reviews of multiple books, so more than 41 books reviewed!)
  3. First post of 2014: My review of We Are Water by Wally Lamb
  4. First review of 2014: We Are Water by Wally Lamb
  5. Last post of 2014: My 2014 End of Year Book Survey
  6. Last review of 2014: One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
  7. Least coherent review: Hahaha, probably my review of All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill.  I totally did not remember the book well enough to write a review of it.
  8. Review with the most views (regardless of post date): My review of Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt got the most views this year.  Anything that gets read in middle or high school classes always gets tons of search engine hits.  Come on, kids, do your own homework.
  9. Post with the most comments: My TTT for Top Ten Books I Read in 2014
  10. Post you wish you could re-write: Maybe my review of Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier.  I felt like I was overly harsh in it, when I actually mostly loved the book.
  11. Most popular post this year (that was posted in 2014): My review of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (for some reason the spambots love this post and also the kids not wanting to do their own homework)