2014 End of Year Book Survey

As per the last few years I’m doing the now 5th Annual End of Year Book Survey hosted by Jamie at the Perpetual Page Turner. You’ll see a few books here which I haven’t written reviews about, yet, they’re coming soon.

reading-stats-2014Number Of Books You Read:

50! Or 51 if we include the book I finished on the 1st but mainly read in 2014, which I will. But Goodreads tells me I read 21725 pages, which I’m very proud of.

Number of Re-Reads:

Zero! Surprisingly I had no re-reads at all.

Genre You Read The Most From:

I’m going to say Fantasy/Sci Fi considering I had Ender’s Saga, ASOFAI, plus a few others around.best-YA-books-2014I always find the following so difficult

1. Best Book You Read In 2014?

(If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)

Ugh this is so hard. I will say plain Ender’s Game (the first novel), I loved it immensely. A lot of others come close (and will pop up soon) but I’ll say this one.

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

I think Symbiont, because I was hoping it was going to be really good, but those hopes weren’t quite met. It was still good enough, but didn’t quite hit the spot like Newsflesh did.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014? 

I’ll say Frankenstein, it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, and it was pretty good, and was readable!

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?

Oh, I guess I did a bit for A Song of Fire and Ice, but I don’t think I pushed books on people too much (perhaps I better change that for 2015!)

 5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?

Well since I started The Song of Fire and Ice series, it’d have to be that one! Though Ender’s Game certainly comes close.

Best sequel: House of Hades. Still haven’t gotten my hands on Blood of Olympus…

I don’t think I had many series ender’s this year, so not sure.

 6. Favourite new author you discovered in 2014?

Oh well George R R Martin for sure.

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

I think Moby Dick was definitely different from what I usually read, and that was great. But the two biographies/autobiographies about Henrietta Lacks and Howard Dully, were also brilliant, and I haven’t really read many biographies before so that was great.

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

Perhaps Game of Thrones, but all the series are up there.

 9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Honestly I’m not sure I’ll re-read any next year. I’ll likely reread ASIOF in the future again though, doubt it’ll be next year though! Probably before the final book.

10. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2014?

The Ice Dragon by GRRM.

11. Most memorable character of 2014?

 

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane for sure!

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?

I think Henrietta Lack’s story, though again Howard Dully’s too because they were just so powerful and challenging to read about.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read? 

The A Song of Fire and Ice series!

 15. Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?

Every year I come to this without knowing what to do cause I don’t have any on hand. So for 2015 I want to make a note of these.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Longest: A Storm of Swords (A Dance with Dragons comes close – and perhaps beats it depending on the edition, which I’m not sure about) at 1193 pages! If you ignore ASoIaF then it’s Moby Dick.

Shortest: Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops – only 119 pages, but really Ocean at the End of the Lane takes the cake at 181 (since it’s a novel). Or The Ice Dragon, but it’s a short story with illustrations so I don’t know.

(in total I read 18793 pages according to Goodreads)

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)

Eek, maybe The Kite Runner, but others I’ve mentioned again are up there.

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

(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

Oh, I don’t think I’ve ever consciously shipped anyone. So I’ll pass on this one.

19. Favourite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Moby Dick and Ahab 😛

20. Favourite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

The Silmarillion by Tolkien, that was something else.

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

The House of God, a medical book, was recommended by a friend of mine who is a nurse. Who was recommended it by an anaesthetist!

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

Nope.

23. Best 2014 debut you read?

Well it’s either Reticulum by Marta Salek, or The Waking Engine by David Edison, and I’ll say it’s both because I liked them equally, and both we’re really inventive.

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

I want to say The Long Earth by Prachett and Baxter, simply because there’s so many worlds!

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

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, his books (excluding the death/cancer parts) are always fun.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?

I don’t recall, that makes me seem heartless, but I don’t actually remember any moment like it. Probably was one.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Sad to say too many of my books I read weren’t that hidden, I need to work on that in 2015.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

All of ASOFAI

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?

Um, All Quiet of the Western Front? This is too hard.

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

Tie between Divergent and The Shade of the Moon. And yes, it does mean I didn’t like it.book-blogging

 1. New favourite book blog you discovered in 2014? 

Opps, don’t think I discovered any. It’s hard enough to find time to write my own reviews let alone read everyone else’s, though I do try to read the ones I’ve already found. Plus it doesn’t help when you haven’t read what books they’re talking about!

2. Favourite review that you wrote in 2014? 

I have no idea.

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

Again not really sure.

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

The only thing I was involved in was a Book Tour for Reticulum by Marta Salek, so that was the best!

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?

Even though it probably, technically was last year, I forget, I’ll say meeting Markus Zusak!

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

That would be The Book Thief – Part One – Growing up a Saumensch, which is probably so high because of it’s Google position due to Saumensch. It was viewed over 3000 times!

For posts published this year it would be my post on Isobelle Carmody.

In terms of comments it would by my post on Top 10 authors

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Honestly all of them :P, can’t think of any in particular.

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

Can’t say I’ve had any of bookish discovery, though I have listened to a few audio books/stories, and enjoyed them more than I thought, so I’ll say that.

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

I did! I completed my goal of 50 books, which was great. Though 10 of those were in December, so I’ll try to read more consistently throughout the year, but with life that can be hard.

looking-ahead-books-2015

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?

Catch-22! I really want to get around to reading it finally.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?

Um well depends on whether The Red Queen or The Winds of Winter are coming out!

3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

I’m bad at this aren’t I? I don’t know any books coming out in 2015!

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?

Well that most certainly has to be The Red Queen by Isobelle Carmody to wrap up The Obernewtyn Chronicles! As long as it comes out in 2015 😛 Same goes with The Winds of Winter

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?

I certainly would like to pare back my To Read pile! And I think expanding my reading horizons into a few different areas (away from authors I have read and loved) might be a good idea too. And perhaps finding more book blogs to read, and keep up to date with new releases a little more. And keep a track of some quotes, I’ll try to post 1 quote per review!

6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

Haven’t read any unfortunately.

 

And there you have it! 2014 all wrapped up.

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11 thoughts on “2014 End of Year Book Survey

  1. ASOIAF also figured heavily on my survey … I actually chose The Catcher in the Rye for the “book that crushed your soul” question but it was a close call! This series is just far too much for me. The stress. I just finished (on Tuesday) A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow and I am emotionally exhausted! And traumatised by a certain pairing … not going to give spoilers as I see your sidebar note, but you know who I mean. ~curls into foetal position~ ~rocks back and forward~

    http://wishingiwasnorthern.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/2014-book-recap-survey.html

      1. It is a very controversial love-it-or-hate-it book. On A Mark Reads Q&A, Mark once responded to the question of what he thought of it by saying “Bleech.” It is one of my brother’s favorite books, though, and I own it on paperback ready to read someday.

        Oh, and Emily, I can certainly relate to the way I felt about A Song of Ice and Fire, having finished Catching Fire. I told Daniel this story already, but I was reading the chapter where Zntf qvrf spread out on the floor with my heart racing and I collapsed in bed and passed out for the next 5 hours after the greatest sentence in literary history: “The insane morphling from District 6 throws up her skeletal arms as if to embrace the monkey, and it sinks its fangs into her chest.”

  2. Number Of Books You Read:
    Goddamn it, this is embarrassing. Let’s just admit that I am a really fucking slow reader, but most of my time was taken up by reviewing The Book Thief. I tried not to get into too many books while I was reading that. In total I finished 7 books and read 3 from beginning to end: I finished Shutter Island, The Secret Garden, The Borrowers Avenged, and The Battle of the Labyrinth. I read The Last Olympian, Catching Fire, and re-read A Wrinkle in Time.

    Number of Re-Reads:
    2. I re-read A Wrinkle in Time, and I have just about finished my re-read of When You Reach Me. I appreciate both of them a lot more now, and a funny story is that my grandparents sent When You Reach Me to me for Christmas a few days ago, not knowing about the re-read or that I’d finished it 4 years ago. So naturally I gave the new copy to my sister.

    Genre You Read The Most From:
    Obviously YA fantasy. I will make no apologies.

    Best In Books

    1. Best Book You Read in 2014?

    I haven’t finished The Book Thief, so I’ll say A Wrinkle in Time.

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

    This was a hard one to answer. I probably did expect more from The Borrowers Avenged than I got, though.

    3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014?

    Definitely The Book Thief. I did not expect to enjoy it nearly as much as I have so far and I didn’t expect the writing to be half as amazing. But I also was amazed at how much more I enjoyed A Wrinkle in Time the second time around, because I really was underwhelmed when I listened to it on audio-tape the first time around.

    4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?

    I don’t push people to read books, not really. I encouraged a few people to watch Mad Men and 2001: A Space Odyssey, though. I’ll just tell this story, thus: I was visiting extended family when a young musician friend of their college-aged son showed up. He had not seen 2001 but was very enthused about it from what he had heard. Naturally we immediately got into a lengthy discussion of philosophy and 2001, which culminated in him existing I just had to read Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot and I existed he just had to watch every episode of Mad Men. I’ll get to I, Robot as soon as I can and we can only see if he follows his end of the bargain.

    The college-aged son recommended Ender’s Game to me, as well.

    5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?

    I’m not in the business of starting new series at the moment, but I could say A Wrinkle in Time because for the first time I am inspired to read the next books in that series.

    Best sequel: Catching Fire.

    The Last Olympian was a great conclusion to the series.

    6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?

    Markus Zusak!

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

    I don’t typically read books as idiosyncratic as The Book Thief. I find it almost unclassifiable.

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

    Catching Fire, no contest. A nightmarish roller-coaster of adrenaline and terror from beginning to the conclusion (which was regrettably spoiled for me).

    9. Book You Read in 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

    I don’t have the time to re-read any more books with The Book Thief. I want to get those grand finale books out and read Order of the Phoenix, Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm, too.

    10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?

    I like my edition of The Book Thief’s cover because it seems to be one of the only to follow the idea of Death not resembling the traditional Grim Reaper. But When You Reach Me’s is still very good in tone and craftsmanship. I even taped a 1978 penny to it (the book is set ’78-’79) to add something more, so it definitely gets this position.

    11. Most memorable character of 2014?

    Hans Hubermann or Johanna Mason. Though the latter is only in the running due to her epic call-out of Caesar Flickerman in the movie. I should admit that.

    12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

    I could insert SOOOOO many passages from The Book Thief here.

    13. Most Thought-Provoking/Life-Changing Book of 2014?

    A Wrinkle in Time, and I never got why the first time through.

    14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read?

    The Book Thief.

    15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?

    Every other paragraph qualifies, but this one in particular just due to how many times I’ve read it:
    “There must have been a good share of mixed feelings at that moment, for Hans Hubermann’s idea had not only sprung from Liesel, but from his son. Did he already fear he’d never see him again? On the other hand, he was also enjoying the ecstasy of an idea, not daring just yet to envision its complications, dangers, and vicious absurdities. For now, the idea was enough. It was indestructible. Transforming it into reality, well, that was something else altogether. For now, though, let’s let him enjoy it.
    We’ll give him seven months.
    Then we come for him.
    And oh, how we come.”

    16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

    When You Reach Me is the shortest at 197 pages. I am still reading 11/22/63, at 842 pages.

    17. Book That Shocked You The Most

    I get spoiled for nearly everything. Probably Catching Fire, though, because you can’t get spoiled for everything in that book, and there is always something worse.

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

    I don’t care much and authors always decide who ends up with who in the end, so I’ll just re-iterate Suzanne Collins’ quote that makes Katpee very obvious: “The sensation inside me grows warmer and spreads out from my chest, down through my body, out along my arms and legs, to the tips of my being. Instead of satisfying me, the kisses have the opposite effect, of making my need greater. I thought I was something of an expert on hunger, but this is an entirely new kind.”

    19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

    “At that moment, Hans Hubermann had just completed rolling a cigarette, having licked the paper and joined it all up. He looked over at Liesel and winked. She would have no trouble calling him Papa.”

    20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

    The Last Olympian.

    21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

    Who was it who told me I’d BETTER read The Book Thief and did he do it solely so I could answer this question? I’m turning the microphone back on you.

    22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

    Same-sex marriage is still illegal in Ohio. I am still 100% heterosexual. He’s a fictional character and if he doesn’t die at the end of the book, he would obviously be dead by now. The answer is still Hans Hubermann.

    23. Best 2014 debut you read?

    Interstellar is the only movie I saw in the theater this year. I did not read debuts and I’m sure I missed out plenty.

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

    I would say Catching Fire if people hadn’t torn her world-building to shreds and stomped on them, so A Wrinkle in Time. Tessering never seemed so real in the shitty-ass TV movie, that’s for sure.

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

    The Battle of the Labyrinth. By default!
    “‘New lesson, class,’ I announced. ‘Most monsters will vaporize when sliced with a celestial bronze sword. This change is completely normal, and will happen to you right now if you don’t BACK OFF!'”

    26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry In 2014?

    I only nearly cry except for the end of Anne of Green Gables, so I’ll say…. “What came to her then was the dustiness of the floor, the feeling that her clothes were more next to her than on her, and the sudden realization that this would all be for nothing.”

    27. Hidden Gem Of the Year?

    Lol. Same.

    28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

    If I was born in Panem, I’d be dead by now….. from suicide.

    29. Most Unique Book You Read in 2014?

    Tired of repeating myself. The author’s first name starts with an M. Do the math.

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

    Hitler and President Snow are both tied for evil despotic tyrants. Neither of their motivations make any actual sense and I haven’t read most of The Book Thief so Catching Fire gets the win.

    Your Blogging/Bookish Life

    1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2014?

    Ditto, ditto, and more ditto.

    2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2014?

    This could go to “Book Thief: Part 2, Chapters 1-4” or The Secret Garden 1949 review.

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

    This question is phrased strangely. I had the best discussions on The Secret Garden, probably.

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

    Lucky you.

    5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?

    Just having anyone read my Book Thief reviews at all. Forget meeting the author.

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

    For this year, that would be tied for The Book Thief – Part 1, 1-4 and 5-8.

    For all-time, my review of The Casual Vacancy-Sunday, which has gotten 908 views.

    My Secret Garden review and my review of The Casual Vacancy: Part 5, are both tied with 5 comments. (Only 2 and 1 of which are from me!)

    8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

    My review for The Big Bang Theory, only because it was intended as a spontaneous and wholly irrelevant exercise in self-deprecation, and I got relentlessly taunted by one asshole at the A.V. Club for linking to it in the comments to their review.

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

    I don’t know what this refers to. Perhaps discovering how more I can appreciate A Wrinkle in Time and When You Reach Me?

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

    I finished 2 series. I’ll get to the rest of Book Thief. Stop taunting me.

    Looking Ahead

    1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?

    I don’t feel comfortable starting new books, but also…. I’ve been dreaming about reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Vivid, passionate dreams. It’s only 38 chapters, I’ll work harder on The Book Thief, throw a guy a bone.

    2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?

    You said non-debut, so I’ll say Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, only if I can get around to it.

    3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

    Ditto with you.

    4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?

    Let’s change subjects from books. Mad Men is ending this year, and I am simultaneously excited and devastated by that.

    5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?

    All of your answers are good ideas. But also, finishing The Book Thief hopefully. Of course.

    6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

    ……………..

    1. What do you think makes you read so slow? Is it that you like to take your time, get distracted, get bored, or just sit there thinking about it? Or it could be because you don’t have enough time to read! But there is nothing wrong with being slow, I think you appreciate them more, and remember them more if you let them digest a little (I honestly am shocked at how little I remember of some books, even if I loved them). As always, thanks for commenting!

      1. Oh, I should have known that out of all that you would pick that to comment on!

        Well, no, it is not that I do not have enough time to read. January 6 marks the end of 2 weeks of holidays, after which I have 3 straight days out of the week of uninterrupted free time, and only 5 of my waking hours are occupied for each of the other 4.

        The real reason is like you said, I like to take my time and think about it. My brother has written that he believes most people prefer movies to books because they are being spoonfed information without having to work at it. But for me I control the experience in books, I can parcel out how long I am invested in it and care about it so much more deeply than a book (though it took me a while to finish Water for Elephants because I couldn’t stand reading more than a chapter a week). So I do, I try to make the experience last and enjoy it for a good amount of time. Also it takes a while to write up the review, so I put that off longer. I will soon have only 2 books to read, though, and I do want to become a good deal faster reader.

        Do you have any specific recommendations on how I could become a faster reader? I know most people read multiple chapters or the whole book in a day, but what about you? What is your standard procedure?

        1. I just read for as long as I can or what interests me. Since I’ve moved away from chapter by chapter reviews (due to time constraints) I just keep reading after a chapter. It really depends on how much I’m engaged by the book, what else I’m doing that day, etc.

  3. I might change a few of those answers, too, because I just realized Rick Riordan has a new novel about Norse mythology coming out.

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