Thursday, December 13, 2012

End of Year Book Survey

I gave up my monthly wrap-up posts around June because I didn't feel like I was achieving enough to document it, but now I'm kinda glad because it means I can take part in Jamie's End of Year Book Survey.

So here's a bunch of questions about the books I read this year, the bookish and bloggy things I did, and a couple of things I want to do for next year. Enjoy!

Best in Books 2012

1. Best Book You Read In 2012? (You can break it down by genre if you want)

 Dracula by Bram Stoker,
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.

A definite tie. They're completely different books, but both were phenomenal reads and ones that I had put off reading for ages. If you've been umming and ahhhing about either, stop it, just read them!

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

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

While I really liked the series overall, I was really disappointed with the first book in the series. I think it was mostly because of how similar it was to Battle Royale, but it was probably also because of how hyped it was by everyone. Everyone should still read it, but yeah, little disappointed.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012?

Gerald's Game by Stephen King

This was one of the King books I picked up at a book sale, but had never really heard anything about. I ended up freaking loving it (except the ending) and was so relieved to see King write a nuanced and realistic female character for once.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?

The Game of Thrones Series by George R. R. Martin


5. Best series you discovered in 2012?

 Locke and Key by Joe Hill (words) Gabriel Rodriguez (art)

This series, you guys, is so god damn good. It is so well-structured, well-written and well-crafted. I am exploding with excitement for the final installment. So good. Seriously.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?

Joe Hill (Locke and Key), Cormac McCarthy (The Road), Yuvi Zalkow (A Brilliant Novel in the Works) and Hilary Mantel (Wolf Hall).

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

Zoo City - Lauren Beukes

The dystopian nature of this book is definitely in my comfort zone, but the YA focus and general style of book definitely isn't one I usually choose for myself. It definitely had its problems, but I really enjoyed it for the most part.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?

The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

While I had problems with the series and wasn't enthralled with the first book I read them all in a single weekend while I back home in Cairns. If that doesn't equal thrilling and unputdownable then I don't what would!

9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:

Locke and Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

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

11. Most memorable character in 2012?

Carrie (in Carrie by Stephen King)

She's such an interesting and tortured character. I love her.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

This book is hauntingly beautiful. It's very dark and extremely grim, but the language is transcendent.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?

A Brilliant Novel in the Works by Yuvi Zaklow
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

ABNitW in regards to emotionally chewing me up and spitting me out and Wolf Hall for reigniting a passion of mine for history.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read?

Carrie by Stephen King
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
Dracula by Bram Stoker

But seriously, most of them?! Too many books, too little time!

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

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012?

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel -longest at 651 pages
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett -shortest at 120 pages  (excluding comics)

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!

The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins

I'm pretty sure there were some MAJOR scenes in all three books that made me go WTF, OMG, ALL MY CREYS, and SERIOUSLY?!

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

Locke and Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

The family dynamic between the Lockes, and the friends that they make are warm, real and complex. Love them.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously

The Running Man by Stephen King

This book probably ties it with Carrie as my favourite Stephen King book of the year. Really solid story, epic adventure and so much darkness and anger.

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

American Vampire by Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque and Stephen King (issue one only)

Tom came home with the first trade and was like "Kayleigh, you need to read this. It's Scott Snyder, Stephen King and has awesome non-Twilight-y vampires" He could have just said Stephen King, but whatever I read it and I loved the whole thing.

Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2012 

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2012?

There are a couple. I love that Gabe is finally back and blogging, but I've been a fan of hers for ages. I also really enjoy the blogs of Annabel Smith and Reading Rambo, and a bunch more but it's hard to remember when I started following everyone!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2012?

It's probably a tie between my review of The Road by Cormac McCarthy and Ugly to Start With by John Michael Cummings. They were two of my favourite reads this year, and I loved trying to get under the skin of the text and really bring the story to life in my review.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

The Hunger Games posts probably elicited the most discussion on the blog, and it was always interesting to see how differently people came at the series. But one of my favourites was probably a little one-sided. It was my "7 Ways to Keep Reading While You're Writing a PhD Thesis" and it was very carthartic to work through it all and sort out my work/reading balance.

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

Hmmmm, maybe when I spruiked Hunter S. Thompson to absolutely everyone on Laura's (Devouring Texts) blog? Or some of the more social issue related discussion over at Gabe's two blogs (Gabriel Reads and The Mind of Gabe).

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

The Brisbane Writer's Festival is always a highlight, and this year was no different. I got to meet a bunch of authors, bookish volunteers, and see some fascinating talks and presentations.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2012?

Working out how to balance it with my post-grad studies. It seems like such a small thing, but for awhile there I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to read enough to continue my blog, so it's amazing to be able to do both.

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

Probably my Hunger Games posts for the three books and the film. I loved writing them, and I loved the mini-discussions in the comments sections.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Can I say all of them? I really want to get to a point where there is more content in the comments than in the reviews. I want to start conversations and debates and really tease apart the book in question - that's something I'll work on for next year.

I was also quote proud of my "Trying to make sense of the book blogger 'verse" post, since it helped me really work through a few issues I was having with the book blog world. So a few more page views would have been nice :)

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

All the bookish etsy stores, I have so many pretty prints, cards, jewellery and paraphernalia in my favourites - I might explode if I don't buy something soon! Seriously, just search for your favourite book/author/film on etsy and you will find the most amazing arts and crafts celebrating them!

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

Only my Goodreads Books in 2012 challenge. I actually beat my set amount several times and kept raising it. My other two challenges were pretty sad attempts!

Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

I will get to this one day!!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?

Gun Machine by Warren Ellis

Warren Ellis is a literary god.

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?

Gain a bigger readership and have larger discussions on my posts. I want a sense of community!



    I love this survey and I'm totally going to write it and have it ready for... actually, probably New Years Eve (I take the 'end of year' thing totally seriously!) BUT I feel sad about like 'what was your favourite thought provoking discussion on another blog etc' because there have been SO many but how am I to remember? I just don't know. I just don't. *shakes head sadly.*


      You could cop out completely and just say "all of them" and we would have to take your word for it that every comment you leave either instigates or joins a remarkable conversation in the blogosphere :)

  2. Carrie is on my TBR for 2013, along with many other King novels. I'm fairly new to him.



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