Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 End Of Year Book Survey

1. Best Book You Read In 2011? 

Yikes!  I’m going to have to break this one down into categories.

YA: Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Stay by Deb Caletti, Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Romance: The Spymaster's Lady by Joanna Bourne
General Fiction: Hunting and Gathering by Anna Gavalda
Nonfiction: Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches' Guide to Romance by Sarah Wendell and Cindy Tan

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

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin.  It had been built up a lot, and it did not live up to the expectations at all.  I loathed the hero and wanted the heroine to end up with another guy.  Suffice it to say, this should not happen in a romance.

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

 A Kiss at Midnight by Eloisa James.  I am not usually one for redone fairy tales, and Cinderella has never been a favorite of mine.  I got this solely because I was in the mood for Eloisa James, and this was the only one the store had that I had not read.  Lo and behold, it was fantastic!  Much better than I was expecting.

 Book you recommended to people most in 2011?

Probably Graceling.  I got two of my friends to read it, and I’m still working on my sister.

 Best series you discovered in 2011?

I am going to cheat and list two: The Chronicles of Narnia series and The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy. 

 Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?

This one is easy.  It is also a tie.  Deb Caletti and Stephanie Perkins!  They are both hands-down amazing.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
Precious and Fragile Things by Megan Hart.  Funnily enough, I did not think I was stretching out of my comfort zone when picking up this book.  I recognized the author as one a friend of mine loves, read the summary, thought it sounded good, and picked it up.  It was not what I was expecting at all!  Much more complex and disturbing and emotionally wrenching.

 Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?

 Probably Lola and the Boy Next Door.  I simply could not put that book down, even when I knew that sleeping would have been the wiser choice.

 Book you most anticipated in 2011?

 Bloodlines by Richelle Mead!

 Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?

Oh, this one is easy.


Honorable Mention:
Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)

 Most memorable character in 2011? 

 Probably Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games trilogy.

 Most beautifully written book read in 2011?

Ulysses by James Joyce.  This was not my favorite book ever, but to say that the writing was beautiful would be an understatement.
  Just look at this:

Braintipped, cheek touched with flame, they listened feeling that flow endearing flow over skin limbs human heart soul spine. 


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

 Emotionally speaking, Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma.  I have not felt so emotionally impacted and drained after finishing a book since I read Penelope Williamson’s Heart of the West last year, even though the two books as well as the ways they impacted me were completely different. 

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

 Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.  I had been meaning to read that book forever; I even owned it!  But it took the movie coming out to finally get me to read it, and I’m just sad it took so long.  It is a great book!

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

Oh, no.  No way I could narrow this down to one.  I adore quotes.  Love them with every fiber of my being.  Prepare yourself for a list. 

Top 5 (in no particular order)

Earrings are like orgasms.  You can never have too many.
-          Daring to Dream by Nora Roberts.  LOVE this quote.  One day, I am going to change “earrings” to “books” and make a shirt of it.  And a book bag.  And perhaps just adopt it as my life philosophy.

(WARNING: SPOILERS.  This is the last paragraph of the book.) I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.
-          Ulysses by James Joyce.  This is the paragraph that made me fall completely, irrevocably in love with Joyce’s writing.  It is what convinced me to read the book.

She fainted from reading.  What a great image.  We've become far too jaded.  I've been intrigued, bored, titillated, annoyed, amazed, but I've never even come close to fainting while reading any book.
-          The Know-it-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A.J. Jacobs.  I particularly enjoy quotes about reading, and I thought this one was true.  Also, I really love the word “titillated.”

The universe had been treating her with great sarcasm lately.
-          The Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne.  I just loved the truth of this line and how much it conveys in its simplicity.

(On their Top 5 Wishlist for romance plots never done before.) 3. Erotic inspirational romance: Oh God, oh God, oh God.  End of story.
-          Beyond Heaving Bosoms by Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan.  I was at the front desk of the library while reading this (Advice: Don’t read this book while attempting to be quiet.  You will fail.  Quite miserably.) and nearly fell out of my chair from laughing so hard.  Not sure if it will have the same effect out of context, but I still find it funny.

Honorable mention:

But don't you realize your resourcefulness excites my sexual hunger?  Suddenly I long to feel you in my arms and between my legs again.
-          The Playboy Sheik’s Virgin Stable-Girl by Sharon Kendrick.  If you are not snorting, dying of laughter, and/or staring in unbelief at these words, read it again.  In fact, read it again anyway.  Yeah.  This is far from the most eloquent of quotes, but I have simply derived entirely too much pleasure from it not to share.

 Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012? 

 Probably Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.  I already want to re-read it.

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!

There were several moments during The Summer I Turned Pretty series, particularly the end of the first one and a few strategic points during the second and third.  Also, Definitely Not Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos.  I immediately ran to my sister’s room, ensured that she did not want to read it, and ranted to her for probably a good five minutes.  I was dying to talk to someone at the end of Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally.  There was no one around, but I finally got to discuss it with a friend of mine after she read it (due to my prompting) a few days later.
 Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2011 (optional)

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2011? 

I’m new to the book-blogging scene, and there are just so many out there!  I haven’t had time to get to know everyone’s personality and review style.  I am following a few, though, and so far, I’d have to say Books and Sensibility is my favorite.  I will disclose that this may have to do with the both the name (I’m a huge Jane Austen fan, and it’s just adorable) and the gorgeous layout.

If you have any blog recs for me, leave a comment!  I would love to read more book blogs, but there are simply so many, I don’t know where to begin!

 Favorite review that you wrote in 2011? 

 Hm, that’s a tough one.  I would have to say Catching Jordan, though.  I think it is the most well-rounded of my reviews.

 Best discussion you had on your blog? 

 Not applicable at this point.  But hopefully it will be soon!

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

Also not applicable.  But again, link me if there’s one I should know about!

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

Right now, I’m excited about the Waiting on Wednesdays.  It seems like a great way to get together and anticipate books with like-minded people, which always makes it more fun.

 Best moment of book blogging in 2011?

Starting my blog!  I cannot wait to develop it.

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

 My first Waiting on Wednesday post is leading on both counts.  It has a whopping one comment!  But as I started the blog less than a week ago, I suppose I can forgive this. :)

 Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

My actual reviews, I guess?

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

I found the most AWESOME half-price book store today.  I was randomly in the mood for book shopping while on the way to my cousins' house, and I had some time.  So I searched for local book stores on my GPS.  I found one called Read It Again Book Store, and they were having a BOGO sale!  Best discovery ever.

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

Yes!  I actually did not set a specific goal for how many books I wanted to read this year, but I had it vaguely in the back of my mind that I wanted to pass 100, since I had for the past two years.  And I did!

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

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld!  I am in the middle of Uglies right now, and I am hooked!  You can pretty much guarantee that Pretties will be the first full book I will read in 2012.

 Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2012?

The Story of Us by Deb Caletti.  A close second would be So Pretty It Hurts by Kate White.  And the next Stephanie Perkins book!  SO EXCITED FOR ALL OF THEM. 

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

Honestly, I really just want to get into it.  I want to get involved with other book bloggers, read and review great books, get some followers and interact with them, and generally just immerse myself in the awesome world that is blogging about my favorite thing: books.

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Psst! I now reside over at The Book Barbies. I'd still love to hear your thoughts, though!