Well, it is the end of another year. And what a year it has been. There have been many changes in my life personally this year, some exciting and new, some unexpected and challenging. But I have made it to the end with my head held high and a smile on my face.
As far as my Bookish year, 2013 has been a bit of a struggle. While I have been reading and reading this year, my blogging has taken a bit of a slack (okay, this is an understatement lol. But you know what I mean). As I talked about in my “Where I came from, Where I am going” post, this year has been difficult to manage all of the aspects of my life, and my blog has fallen by the wayside a bit. But that is okay. I have done what I can, and I will continue to update this blog as I need to. Because it is mine.
So, with all of that said, it is time for Jamie’s 4th Annual End of the Year Book Survey! I think this will be a nice round-up for such an all-over-the-place blogging year!
~Best in Books 2013~
1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)
Well, I narrowed it down to Ten last night in my Top Ten Tuesday Post. If I had to pick pick a couple that have really stayed with me, I would say The Bookstore, Two Boys Kissing, and Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library.
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Allegiant by Veronica Roth.
I listed this on my Most Disappointing Reads post yesterday. Honestly, the unexpected style deviation is what threw me. The dual perspective, the lack of developing these HUGE plot additions….I just felt like she rushed through this novel too much. I was more than halfway through it and thinking “How is there not a 4th book?” Because that is how much we still had to get through. But then it was rushed.
Sigh. It has nothing to do with WHAT happens in the book, and everything to do with HOW the book happens.
3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?
Joyland by Stephen King
I listened to this on audio, as I have all of the Stephen King books I have read. When I picked this up, I was expecting a spoof nod to the 1970s haunted carnival-type horror. I was NOT EXPECTING this novel to be so philosophical and character driven. Michael Kelly, the narrator, becomes Devin Jones, and I immediately connected with him and was drawn in to the story. This is not a typical Stephen King horror. This novel has a lot more depth and mystery and intrigue than I was expecting. Pleasantly surprised! My favorite audiobook of the year!
4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?
5. Best series you discovered in 2013?
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.
Because who can resist sexy vampire fighters?!
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?
She writes those stories that will stick with you long after you finish reading them. She writes characters that deal with real emotional problems, and she writes them realistically, in a way that makes the reader connect with them. Fangirl and Eleanor & Park were two of my favorite reads this year, hands down. I love her quirky writing style and her flawed characters. Love.
7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks
This may not be the “best” book in the new-to-me genre of graphic novels, but it was the first one I read. Ever. I randomly picked it up when I was shelving books over the summer because it just sounded really good. I had never read a graphic novel before, but I was curious.
And thus started my addiction with graphic novels. Over the last 6 months I have probably read over 20 graphic novels. And I will continue to read them. Because I am now obsessed.
And this graphic novel….This one is GREAT! Well developed, and a surprisingly emotional read.
8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?
9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Well, as I like to re-read the books preceding the newest book in a series to come out, any of the books belonging to a series that I have read this year I will be re-reading again next year, including Through the Ever Night, Scarlet, The Elite, Legend and Prodigy, Fragments, The Program, Asunder….the list goes on.
As for a standalone re-read, I would not be opposed to picking up Fangirl again. And I may have to re-read The Storyteller, as that is a book that I STILL think about, even though I read it in May.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?
Because how can you not love it!
11. Most memorable character in 2013?
My favorite cast of characters in a book was the cast of Fangirl. I love Cath and Levi and Reagan! And of course, Simon and Baz!
But I have to share some love to two of my favorite supporting characters this year. Sam from Song of Fire and Ice and Afa from Fragments. They are those cuddly characters you just fall in love with. They are the heart of those novels. LOVE.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?
13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?
“Maybe everyone loves differently. Maybe that’s all that matters.”
Shortest (that wasn’t a picture book) = Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows, 120 pages
Longest = A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin, 1031 pages (2340 minutes)
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!
These. If you have read them, you know why.
18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
I will showcase a relationship from one of my favorite series that I haven’t talked about yet. But the relationship between Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell is a whole bunch of dark and twisted, and I LOVE IT! I would recommend this series to anyone who loves the dark and gritty, the Gillian Flynn, those twisted television shows. Archie and Gretchen represent so many facets and depths of a relationship between two people, and to see how Chelsea Cain keeps coming back with more! It’s great!
19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, as recommended by Laura and Roof Beam Reader.
21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?
Not including picture books, which I read 33 of, I think my most popular genre was fantasy this year, including magical realism, paranormal fantasy, urban fantasy, and high fantasy.
Though Dimitri is totally sexy. 😉
23. Best 2013 debut you read?
I mean, I could mention The Bookstore or The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards again. But I’ll feature another debut that I really enjoyed, too! Reconstructing Amelia was a fantastic adult psychological thriller/mystery novel that debuted by Kimberly McCreight. I loved the development of the story, and the back and forth between past and present worked really well.
I don’t think I could get away with saying anything other than Cloud Atlas. While I had some mixed feelings about the writing style, the description of the world building and imagery and setting is so vivid.
25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?
Duh! It won my award for most fun on my TTT this week!
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?
Oh gosh, many books made me cry, actually. I read some pretty emotion-triggering books this year. Listening to the Harry Potter series evoked a lot of emotions out of me. I got really emotional when I read books like Just One Day, Ask the Passengers, The Book Thief…..But the two books that made me cry this year were Clockwork Princess and Bridge to Terabithia. Sigh.
Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
I don’t remember when this book came out, but I don’t think it has gotten as much attention as so many other contemporary/realistic fiction novels, especially those in LGBTQ. But this book is beautiful and emotional and powerful, just as much so as all those other books you have probably read.
~Book Blogging/Reading Life 2013~
1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2013?
Well, Book Riot is a blog that I love that has really fantastic articles every day about all things bookish.
As for a book blog, I found The Book Monsters during the last Bout of Books, and I LOVE THEM! They read a lot of MG and graphic novels and have introduced me to SO MANY BOOKS! You should check them out, too! They are super friendly and are always willing to chat!
2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2013?
I really slacking on reviewing books this year, so I don’t have many to choose from. However, I can limit it down to three.
3. Best discussion you had on your blog?
I am not a big blogger. I don’t get many comments or have many followers, so discussion is not something that ensues here all the time (though I will try and do more discussion posts in 2014!)
That being said, I think the post that I discussed things, mostly with myself, would be my Where I Came From, Where I am Going post.
4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
I don’t have specific posts to direct you to, but I will direct you to three different blogs. Stacked ALWAYS has fantastic discussions about the issues in the literature world, as discussed by librarians. Jamie @ Perpetual Page Turner has some of the most creative posts about everything, and I just love her blog! And Book Riot always posts some really great articles about bookish news and book reviews.
5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
Next year, me and Laura are planning to go to the YALSA conference (hopefully!). I am super stoked about that!
6. Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2013?
Listening to Harry Potter on audio. Seriously, it was like reading them for the first time all over again!!!
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
Sadly, all of them. But that is more on me, for not being more out there. Next year I plan on being more outgoing with my blog. So get ready. 😉
9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Edelweiss. Because now I know how to use it, and it is wonderful! 😉
10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I was so close to hitting 200 books, and I could have if I would have mad-rushed and checked out 9 children’s books to read today. But I didn’t. I did complete my goal of reading 150 non-picture book books, so that is something!
Unfortunately, I slacked on the reading challenges I joined. Though I did listen to 24 audio books this year!
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?
CODE NAME VERITY! I WILL READ IT THIS YEAR, I PROMISE!!!
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?
Yup, those! 😉
3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?
OH EM GEE!!!!!
5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?
To be more comfortable in my own little corner of the internet. To share myself more with my readers, including some other interests and things I love. I want to put myself out there a bit and see what happens. And I would like to make new friends, too. So if you want to be my friend, let me know 😉
Well, there it is, my bookish life in review. 2013 has been a successful year. Here’s to 2014 being even better!
Love and Connor Shaw,