The Best of 2012 Survey

With this the final day of 2012 I decided to look back on the year, and get involved in an annual survey hosted by Perpetual Page Turner. I’ve never gotten involved in this sort of thing in the blog-o-sphere, so I’m excited to try my hand at this event. So enjoy, Happy New Year, and see you all in 2013!

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

 Hmm such a tough question. But I’d have to say that Green Monkey Dreams by Isobelle Camrody was right up there, as was The Serpent’s Shadow by Rick Riordan. I really liked a whole pile of books, but I guess these were ‘the best’.

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

Thankfully I really don’t have ‘bad book experiences’. I guess I don’t quite read as many books as I think I do, and when I do, I don’t really go too out of my comfort zone. Usually I pick up books I know I want to read, loved the author’s other works, or it was a book that was recommended to me. But I guess I would say Mein Kampf simply because I was excited about it, and I knew I wouldn’t ‘love it’, but I thought I would be able to get through it. And that was a mistake!

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

Good Omens by Terry Prachet and Neil Gaiman. Wow what a book (It will make a few more appearances on this list), so funny, and I don’t usually read such humorous books, so that was really surprising. I knew pretty much nothing about the book, just it was about the end of the world. And I ended up loving it!

 4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?

I could repeat Good Omens or any of the others mentioned, but I guess this list is about giving titles to different books. So I guess the book I would insist people read, that I read this year, would have to be To Kill a Mockingbird. Seriously, everyone has to read it, it is a classic, I’ve read it twice now, and loved it. A literary great!

 5. Best series you discovered in 2012?

I don’t think I discovered any new series this year, though I do have one lined up for next year, which I’ll talk about later. But I guess the best series I read would have to be a tie between Rick Riodan’s Kane Chronicles and Heroes of Olympus (still haven’t got the third book in the series, because the library hasn’t gotten it to me yet!!!) as well as Morris Gleitzman’s Once, Then, Now and After. They are really good reads about the Holocaust, and a Jewish boy trying to survive in Poland. Short and sweet.

 6. Favourite new authors you discovered in 2012?

Terry Prachett! I only read Good Omens but I didn’t know of him previously, but I so want to read more of his works. But there are like a hundred of his books, so that’s a huge mountain to climb!

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

Diary of a Young Girl: Anne Frank was definitely the book for this question. It was a whole new genre, I haven’t read much auto-biographies, so this was something new. And I’d have to recommend people to read it, it is worth is!

 8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?

Rick Riordan always fits this section, but I don’t want to repeat myself, so I’ll say Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress. That was a thriller, and even though it wasn’t a fine piece of literature, and was just like his other works, it’s hard to put down! Or Da Vinci Code, both are pretty similar in their unputdownableness.

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

Even though I really don’t want to reread too much because there are so many books I haven’t discovered, I tend to do rereading before getting my hands on the latest book in a series. So I’ll probably do some sort of re-reading, but nothing that I’ve read this year, in terms of a series. But I’ll probably look back on Green Monkey Dreams and read a couple of the stories again, because they were so perfect.

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

I did like The Casual Vacancy‘s cover, but I’m going to sound like a broken record, it keeps popping up, Green Monkey Dreams!!  I really think the reprint cover is fantastic.

11. Most memorable character in 2012? 

Wow, there have been a lot of characters, so I don’t know who to choose. But Krystal Weedon from The Casual Vacancy is definitely memorable!

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?

Green Monkey Dreams is one of the most beautiful book I’ve read. But, I want to say that The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is exceedingly beautiful, and I adore him, and I adore the book.

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

Green Monkey Dreams had a great impact on me, and it made me think a lot, and it really shocked me. But I’ve named that book enough, so I’ll say Sarah Thornhill by Kate Grenville, because it was very emotional and being about the history of Australia, it was  personal.

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

Diary of a Young Girl (Anne Frank) comes to mind, but I think if I read it sooner, I wouldn’t have gotten much out of it. But I’ll also add The Hobbit but I did read that years ago, so it was basically as if I had never read it, so I would say The Hobbit because it was such a long time before I decided to pick it up again and reread it.

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

Oh my! I have no idea, I don’t keep a list of them. But for humours quotes check out Good Omens. And for beautiful imagery that is superb, check out The Book Thief, Markus Zusak writes wonderfully, and the passages are just the best.

 16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012? 

Shortest book would by Once by Morris Gleitzman, the first in the series about a boy named Felix in Poland during World War 2.

Longest book would be The Keeping Place by Isobelle Carmody, though both The Stone Key again by Isobelle Carmody and Lord of the Rings by Tolkein are longer, right now they aren’t finished, and won’t be for a while.

According to goodreads I’ve read over 12,000 pages. That’s The Stone Key read 12 times!

 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 have no idea. I don’t recall this happening, but I just like talking about books in general, but again Green Monkey Dreams blew me away, and I needed to talk about it!

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

Uhhhhh! I’ll say Anne Frank and ‘Peter’, whose relationship got them through their time in hiding, but it took a long time to develop, and sadly could never leave the secret annexe.

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

I’d have to say The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling, something completely different from the famous author, and it was a favourite of mine!

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

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett! Only read it because I saw that Mark Reads was reading it, and he only reads things that people highly recommend him to, so I decided to take a look.

 Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2012 (optional)

1. New favourite book blog you discovered in 2012? 

I will say that I really enjoyed witnessing Kirk’s journey through The Casual Vacancy. Even though he was only around for this one book, he did a fantastic job and I loved his reviews of the sections, they were detailed, enjoyable and very professional. Check out his posts here!

2. Favourite review that you wrote in 2012? 

Well, I really did like my recent The Hobbit posts, and my final The Casual Vacancy would probably be my favourites. I really like when I change it up (not that I don’t like my review format, I love it, but doing something different is refreshing) so all of my short book reviews, and posts about other things, are right up there!

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

There hasn’t been a whole lot of discussion! But my comments with Kirk about The Casual Vacancy were the best and I really enjoyed them.

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

Even though it was written in 2011, I’d have to say I found Ann Morgan’s post about Translation very interesting. It was around the time I was having a go at Mein Kampf and translation was everything, and it really made me think about language and whether changing the language changed the story. You can find the post here: Translation: what does it all mean? Her blog is fantastic as she chronicles reading around the world through 196 different countries, and their stories.

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

I would have to say the Great E-book Debate, which was hosted by Isobelle Carmody, and featured daily posts by authors on the future of books, and what impact ebooks would have on the industry. The site was only open for just over a month, during July, but you can check out the archive of it here. I commented on a few of the posts, and managed to score a couple of free books (one was thankfully Green Monkey Dreams!!!), bookmarks and an audio book! So that was amazing!

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2012?

That would have to be when I was reviewing The Casual Vacancy, and that would be because I got a substantial increase in traffic. And I finally started to get comments (mainly from Kirk), and it was amazing to get recognised, and reblogged by two different parties for my final post.

That and when I saw that my review of Green Monkey Dreams was promoted on Isobelle Carmody’s own site!

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

Based on views, and it comes as a great shock it was my post made about a year ago on one of the short stories, The Devil and Daniel Webster. I don’t even remember the story, which is appalling. Rereading the post, it kinda comes back to me, but I’m really surprised that this was the most popular, with 328 views! Clearly people are forced into reading this at High School or College or something, and try their hand finding information for their essays online, if that isn’t it, I have no explanation for it! I was pretty critical on the story, sometimes calling it garbage, which makes me wonder if I reread it, what would I think….

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

There isn’t an individual post that I’d like to get more attention, but I would love if people read more of my Isobelle Carmody Obernewtyn Chronicles posts. I guess the books aren’t as big as the rest of those covered, so it doesn’t get too much love, it gets a bit, but I’d like some more.

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

I didn’t discover Goodreads this year, but I certainly discovered just how brilliant it is at chronicling and keeping track of the books you read. Seriously, go and get yourself an account, so you can remember all the books you read over your life, and what you thought of them. Plus there are giveaways for free books, which is good!

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

Well I put up on Goodreads that I wanted to read 30 books this year, and I surpassed that by a few! This was the first year I had properly used Goodreads to keep track of the books I had read, so it was good to see just how many books I was able to finish, and to give a review of them all, without having to make a post here (though I did for a majority of them anyway)

Looking Ahead…

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

Well it’s more of a series that I mentioned above that I found. It is Michael Grant’s Gone series. And I just have to read it, so I can get some more dystopia, after The Hunger Games. I know only a little about it (well really I know the main theme of the story) but I know no details, and I already have the first two books in the series just sitting there. It may be a series I blog about.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?

I must be a terrible ‘book blogger’ because I don’t actually know what books are coming out next year! I am looking forward to Markus Zusak’s next book, Bridge of Clay but that may or may not be coming out! And The Red Queen, the final in the Obernewtyn Chronicles by Isobelle Carmody, is HIGHLY ANTICIPATED, but again may or may not be coming out in 2013 (could be early 2014). Both will make their appearances on this blog. I’m sure Rick Riordan will publish some more stories, which I eagerly await. And maybe JK Rowling will too, and I want her to!

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

Well at some point I know I’ll crack 500 posts, and that is less than 100 away!

I’d really, really love to read some of ‘The Classics’ I have a whole pile just sitting there, tempting me, and it is my plan at some point to start reviewing them on here, because I haven’t read the ‘big names of literature’, so they will be a great experience.

I’d like to eventually reach 50 followers/subscribers, so far I have 20 of them, and that is great, but I’d like to get more discussion on here, which is why I’ve thrown in a few different posts the last few days, and have gotten involved in this blogging event. And getting to 10,000 views is something I’d like to reach in 2013, that is about 2,500 views away!

But I would really like, following on from more subscribers, is to get to know a few other bloggers. I really enjoyed Kirk’s journey through The Casual Vacancy and his thoughts were really appreciated on my blog, so it was good to have a ‘loyal reader’. I’d really like a community here, so that is something I’d like to create in 2013.

And maybe I’ll be able to top my 30 books that I’ve read this year, and make it to 40 or even 50. I clearly need to do more reading!

Oh well, thanks for taking a look at my review of the year! If you’ve got a book blog, get involved and add your name to the list on the original post! I think I need to expand my literary horizons in 2013, and I certainly intend on doing a lot of reading, and plenty of blogging. It will be a busy year, but I can’t wait! Happy New Year, and I hope to see you in 2013!


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