Monday, December 26, 2011

Second Annual End Of Year Bookish Survey: 2011

Hey guys! I hope those of you who celebrated had a great holiday. I am trying to squeeze a little bit more relaxation and miscellaneous tasks before 2012 and a new semester begins. Before 2012 begins, though, let's review what 2011 looked like for me and my blog. This Survey was originally started by Jamie over at The Perpetual Page Turner. If you haven't already visited her blog, get on that. It rocks!
1. Best Book You Read In 2011?

Oh, this is tough, and I can’t pick just one. I LOVED Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez, but other major standouts include The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, Looking for Alaska by John Green, and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente.

2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?


I would say the most disappointing is The Anti-Prom by Abby McDonald. This book had a really cool premise, but it fell pretty flat by the end. I was also very unhappy with These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf. To me, that book read like a soap opera.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?


Again, I’ve got multiple books for my answer here. Absolutely The Giver by Lois Lowry. This book is regarded as a children’s classic, and although I went in with high expectations, I was unaware of how heart-wrenching it would be.

I was also really surprised by A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. I didn’t know what to expect going into this one because it has a very cryptic summary. The plot of this short novel came together brilliantly by the end.

Lastly, Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. I was expecting another mediocre vampire book, but it’s freaking awesome!

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?


Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez. If you haven’t read it, go do that. I also pushed Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins on a lot of people. I even went so far as to purchase a copy for Misty of Book Rat because she wouldn't buy herself a copy.

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?


Hands down the Chemical Garden trilogy (first book being Wither by Lauren DeStefano). Not a contest. At all.


6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?

Jessica Martinez, but I’d also like to give honorable mention to Patrick Ness, Gayle Forman, and Kiersten White.

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


Actually A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. There’s an element of horror in this story (note that I say an element of, I’m not sure if I’d categorize this book as horror) and I don’t really read that genre.

I’ve always liked fantasy, but I hadn’t picked up adult fantasy in quite some time, so in a way The Name of the Wind was also out of my comfort zone. It was absolutely fabulous.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?


Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer. I read it in about 48 hours, and for a book of that length, that is very fast for me.

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?


Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. And it totally lived up.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?


That would be a tie between the covers for Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez and Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken.

11. Most memorable character in 2011?

Either September from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship of Her Own Making or Joey Pigza from Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?


Believe it or not, this is actually a three-way tie between Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, and Chime by Franny Billingsley. Honorable mention goes to Wither by Lauren DeStefano.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?


Probably If I Stay by Gayle Forman. It’s not a perfect book, but it made me cry and it made me think.

14. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read?


The Giver by Lois Lowry Seriously, what rock had I been living under? I don’t normally use the phrase amazeballs, but this book is deserving of that label.

Also The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Again--amazeballs!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011?


There are several from Virtuosity, but I don’t have it memorized, can’t find it on GoodReads, and don’t have my copy of the book (or my quote book) with me. I also wrote down a lot of quotes from Lauren DeStefano’s Wither.

I wrote tons of quotes from John Green’s Looking for Alaska. Again, all I have with me as I write this post is GoodReads, and I can’t find the exact quote I want, but here’s one I loved.

Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. (...) You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.


And of course, there were some totally awesome quotes in Patrick Rothfuss's The Name of the Wind.

My parents danced together, her head on his chest. Both had their eyes closed. They seemed so perfectly content. If you can find someone like that, someone who you can hold and close your eyes to the world with, then you're lucky. Even if it only lasts for a minute or a day.
16. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012?

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. I wasn’t fanatical about the ARC and just obtained a finished copy, so I want to see how it’s changed from ARC to final copy. Plus, I think it’s worth re-reading before the sequel comes out.

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’ll just say the final scene of If I Stay. As soon as I finished, I kept thinking, “You did NOT just go there Gayle Forman! WHAT WAS THAT ENDING ARRGGHH!!!!! I’m confused and I don’t like it!”

Thankfully, I talked it over with Ashley of Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing. We hashed it out in great detail and talked about our world views and beliefs. I felt much better about the ending after our chat. Definitely one of the best bookish discussions I had in 2011!

Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2011 (optional)


1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2011?


I’m going to be straightforward--once school started in August, I didn’t discover tons of new blogs. And yes, I know lately I've been awful about commenting on blogs, and I'm sorry. But I discovered Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing when Ashley and Misty of Book Rat hosted Fairy Tale Fortnight together. Ashley’s blog is one of my new favorites!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2011?


Bahahaha my review of Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. Normally when I need to fangirl in a review, I try to throw in something comprehensible. This is just me spouting ridiculous words about how much I loved this book.

I was pretty proud of my review of Virtuosity as well. I loved this book and felt that my review may have come kind of close to doing it justice.

And, while it’s not the most beautifully written review ever, I did throw a nice Ghostbusters reference into my review of Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?


Most of you may roll your eyes, but I actually think that would be my post “Black Swan Terrified Me Or Really, You Guys, I Swear This Is Relevant.”

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


You know, I’ve loved all of the discussion posts that Reading Teen has posted lately. Their posts always get me to think about a certain topic, like Sex In YA, from a different perspective.

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


The Dark Days of Winter tour stop in Minnesota this past March was awesome. Amber of Me, My Shelf and I, Alea of Pop Culture Junkie and I got drinks and snacks beforehand. Plus there were tons of awesome bloggers there, such as Brittany of Looksie Lovitz and Mariya of Mystifying Paranormal Reviews, not to mention many cool authors to be met.


The Wolfsbane release party was also a great time. Even more awesome bloggers than at the Dark Days of Winter stop, finished copies of Wolfsbane, and a WOLFSBANE CAKE. Seriously, you guys. Bookish. CAKE.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2011?
In general, I feel like I’ve established more contacts in the publishing world, which is great. Plus, I always love it when I realize an author I admire is following me on Twitter and I have those, “Oh, this person thinks I’m cool enough to follow? Who knew!” moments.

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


My IMM posts tend to get a lot of love. Otherwise my Top Ten Books I Resolve to Read In 2011 post got a lot of comments.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?


My post entitled “Black Swan Terrified Me Or Really, You Guys, I Swear This Is Relevant.” I swear, it actually is relevant!

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


Hmm, I didn’t really discover any new bookstores. Does the “Hey girl. I like the library too” Tumblr count as a book related site? Because I may or may not have spent a fair chunk of 2011 staring at it.

Otherwise, while I really wouldn’t call it a “discovery,” I met lots of awesome bloggers in person this year for the first time including Mariya of Mystifying Paranormal Reviews, Brittany of Looksie Lovitz

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


At the beginning of 2011, I set a goal to read 75 books this year. The day this post goes up, I have made it to 88 thus far. Heck yes! I’m hoping to hit 90 before the year is up, which I’d say is totally do-able.

I may have signed up for challenges hosted by other blogs, but of late I’ve decided that while I have nothing against them, they aren’t really my thing. More on that when I discuss my reading goals for 2012, though.

Looking Ahead...

1. One Book You Didn't Get To In 2011 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2012?

I was really hoping to get to Across the Universe by Beth Revis in 2011 (as in, as soon as I got the book in the mail) but it kept getting pushed aside. I’d like to try and read it sooner rather than later.

While it wasn't necessarily my number one priority in 2011, I'm bumping The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness up on my TBR pile, which is the first book in the Chaos Walking trilogy. It gets rave reviews on the blogosphere, and now all of my friends in graduate school are telling me how awesome it is. Clearly it's time for me to hurry up and read this series, especially since I met Patrick Ness in 2010 and got the whole series signed!


2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2012?

Well, I am pretty excited for a lot of books in 2012 and plan to do a Book Chat video (started by Misty) about some of those titles. But the one title I’ll name here is (drumroll please)...

Fever by Lauren DeStefano. WANT!

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2012?

In 2012, I will read 100 books. This is going to be difficult because I’ll still be in school until August and I’ll need to find a job. But hey, it could happen.

I’ve also been thinking about changing the look of my blog, maybe even switching to Wordpress? I’ll probably make a few small changes before I do anything that serious, though, if I even do it.

Lastly, I’ve been thinking of starting a Tumblr, just for posting random things that may not have a place on this blog. We’ll see if that actually happens or not.

And that, kids, is my bookish 2011 in summation. Now, who's ready for 2012?

3 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh! This post just makes me want to pick up the Giver all over again. I remember reading it twice all those years ago and tearing up quite a lot just because it is such a tear-jerker.

    Virtuosity doesn't sound like my kind of book but I admit that you have me curious about it now.

    I also can't wait to read THE GIRL WHO CIRCUMNAVIGATED FAIRYLAND. It's been on my shelf forever now and I just haven't found the time to squeeze it onto the TBR. Soon I hope.

    And OMG Vampire Academy! I just completed the series last year and I don't regret it at all. Seriously, the books just kept getting better and better!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ah! You haven't read The Knife of Never Letting Go yet??? SO GOOD. It's one of my favorite books. I reread it in 2011 and it was even better the second time around.

    ReplyDelete

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