Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner has created this annual book survey, and this year I’m jumping in! At this time of year, I love reflecting on the past year, especially when it comes to all the books I’ve read. Some of these questions were very hard to answer, but I did my best. You too can answer the survey on your blog and link it up. Simply click on the Book Survey graphic above for more information! So, pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea and relax (there are a LOT of questions!)
Sure, let’s start with the absolute hardest question! I have two favorite books, which I love for different reasons:
Both books are by authors that I read for the first time this year, and obviously, they both blew me away!
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. I wanted to love this, but it just didn’t quite work for me.
Sea Change by S.M. Wheeler. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading this, but it turned out to be so much more than I thought!
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. I adored this book, and I blabbed about it all over Facebook. If you haven’t read it, well, what are you waiting for??
Splintered series by A.G. Howard. Howard’s writing brings the Alice in Wonderland story to life, but also grounds it in the everyday. I don’t know how she does it! Splintered was one of my favorite books of the year, and I’m about to start reading Unhinged.
Without a doubt, Chuck Wendig. Amazing writer, amazing blogger, he works harder than any other writer I know. If you are an aspiring writer, you should be reading his blog. If you love great stories, you should be reading his books.
Appalachian Undead and Mountain Dead, edited by Jason Sizemore. OK, horror is not out of my comfort zone, but zombie stories are. I just don’t read a lot of them, and these two books were filled with enough zombie stories to keep me satisfied for a long time!
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufmann & Meagan Spooner. Although published in 2012, I just got around to reading Gone Girl this year. Twists, turns, lies and misleads. This book has it all. And These Broken Stars? Have you read it yet? I inhaled it and I can’t wait for book two!
Well, I don’t reread books. There are just too many books on my TBR pile, and I don’t want to waste time rereading. But if I had to pick, it would probably be The Blue Blazes, if only to re-acquaint myself with the story before book two comes out.
Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis. Although I was disappointed in this book, I still love the cover.
This is hard for me, because there are at least ten books that could easily fit this category. But I’m going to pick just one: Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn.
I hate to sound like a broken record, but The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig had the greatest impact on me. Everything just came together perfectly for me in this book, we must share DNA or something. When I finished reading it, I was like, “WTF??? What did I just read?” It took a while to come back to reality.
I hate to admit it, but I can’t answer this question. Just about every book I read this year was released in 2013. It’s too bad, I just couldn’t find time to go back and read books that I’ve missed during my blogging years, and believe me, there are a lot of them! So hopefully for next year’s survey, I’ll have an answer.
The wind was a lonely, howling voice between teeth of stone, a thread-bare wail singing of death and the hunger of wolves. In it, he could hear the voices of his dying brothers. In her eyes, he could see an ending. The ending of all things. And he was afraid. – Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff
I really didn’t read long books this year! I didn’t have time to read Doctor Sleep or NOS4A2, both fairly long books, so my longest book: Black Feathers by Joseph D’Lacey (494 pages) & shortest: The Last Vampire by J.T. Geissinger (62 pages).
Pantomime by Laura Lam. No, I’m not going to reveal the twist to this story, but it was hard to keep to myself. I’m sure the word is out, but I didn’t talk about it in my review because it felt like a spoiler to me.
Ember and Christian from Edge of Darkness by J.T. Geissinger. This was a hard question, because I read lots of great relationships, but this one stands out for me because Ember is simply adorable, and Christian is one of J.T.’s hunkiest characters yet!
Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell. This short story collection was one of my Top Ten books of the year. If you haven’t read anything by Karen Russell, you should give her a try.
The Scroll of Years by Chris Willrich.
Another tough question, but I’ll have to go with In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters.
Are you kidding? I could no more choose one book for this category than pick my favorite child! All these are wonderful, as well as many others that won’t fit here:)
Roomies by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando. I hardly ever read contemporary, which is what I equate with “fun,” and this book definitely delivered!
I’m not sure this was overlooked, but I don’t remember very many bloggers reviewing and talking about Bruised by Sarah Skilton. It was amazing, and one of my favorite YA books of the year.
This was the year I really started reading lots of other blogs on a regular basis. I subscribe to many blogs via email, then I know I won’t miss anything. Some of my new favorites this year are: My Shelf Confessions, Cuddlebuggery, My Bookish Ways, Books for a Delicate Eternity and Fantasy Review Barn.
Under the Empyrean Sky by Chuck Wendig. This was the second Wendig book I read this year, and it was a blast to read. Because of that, it was also a blast to write the review!
My best discussion was on my post You Just Won a Giveaway: Now What? But I think a lot of people saw the email notification of this post and thought they’d won a giveaway, LOL! I feel bad, but it did draw lots of traffic to my blog that day! Other than that, I got a pretty good response to the post I wrote when Amazon broke the news that they had acquired Goodreads: Dear Amazon, Please Leave Goodreads Alone.
Wow, this is hard, especially since I don’t keep track of every post I read. I’ve read so many great posts this year. Jamie at the Perpetual Page Turner always has awesome discussion posts, one of them being Feeling a Lack of Balance & Other Blogging Thoughts. I feel that sometimes she blogs about the things that other bloggers are probably thinking, but don’t say out loud. I relate to this post in particular because I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this blog and where it’s going.
One of the most interesting posts I read this year came from Kelley at Another Novel Read. She wrote about what it’s like to see book covers in Book Covers Through the Eyes of a Synesthete. Wow, I learned so much and I actually felt jealous of Kelley’s ability to see things like that. Check out her post, you won’t be disappointed:)
Also, for sheer entertainment value, I adored Lyn @ Great Imaginations post Odin: The Reason for the Season, a very informative post about where some of our Christmas traditions came from.
Without a doubt, the most awesome event I’ve EVER participated in is San Diego Comic Con in July! I felt very lucky to finally score tickets this year, after trying for two or three years and failing. My daughter and I spent five wonderful days and nights, rubbing elbows with other geeks and soaking up all the pop culture we could! I was surprised at the author/publisher presence, and I met lots of authors and got tons of books! I’m crossing my fingers for tickets to SDCC 2014!
For me, it wasn’t just one moment, but some of my favorite moments in blogging this year have been author/publisher related. The author interviews I got to do. The new small publishers I discovered and the relationships I’ve formed with publicists. I feel so lucky to be able to tweet authors and publishers and have them not only see my tweets, but respond to them! Lots of bloggers blog for the relationships they form with other bloggers, and I do love the friendships I’ve made, don’t get me wrong. But I live for those moments when I read an amazing book and I’m able to share my excitement and gratitude with the author. And the author responds back!
Again, my post You Just Won a Giveaway: Now What? was the most popular.
I hate to use the same answer as lots of other bloggers, but it’s true: I feel like NO ONE cares at all about my reviews! And isn’t that the whole point of starting a book blog? To talk about the books you love and persuade others to read them too? That’s why I started blogging, but writing book reviews almost feels pointless for me lately, because I don’t get the sense that anyone would even miss them if I stopped. I leave comments on lots of bloggers’ reviews, but I rarely get any love back. I don’t understand it. Anyway, this is a discussion post for another time. Let’s move on to the next question:
Hmmmm…I’ll have to say that 2013 was the year I got my Kindle Fire, and I can’t imagine life without it. I’ve been able to download e-ARCs without fear of having them expire (I’m looking at you, Nook!!)
I started the year very optimistically by joining three reading challenges. About half way through the year, I completely forgot to update them. And as of right now, I haven’t checked to see if I’ve completed them or not! I plan on taking care of that soon, and will hopefully post a wrap-up about my progress.
As far as my Goodreads challenge, I exceeded my goal, (and the year isn’t over yet. I will hopefully squeeze in one more book!) My target was 85 books, and I’ve read 93. Not a huge difference, but I think for 2014 I’ll set my goal at 100 books.
Oh, there are at least twenty books I could list here, but I’ll go with my number one: NOS4A2 by Joe Hill. I’ve heard amazing things about it, and Hill is one of my favorite horror writers. It’s just so darn long, that I didn’t want to take time away from review books to read it. Stupid!!
Again, so many books I could list here! But I’m dying of excitement for Armada by Ernest Cline. I adored Ready Player One, which came out a couple of years ago. I’m more than ready to see what Cline does next.
Alienated by Melissa Landers. It seems like I’ve been waiting for this release FOREVER!! I don’t remember when it came to my attention, but it was probably a cover reveal. Luckily I have an e-ARC from Edelweiss that I’ll be reading soon.
Without a doubt, Book Three of Jay Kristoff’s The Lotus War series. There isn’t a cover yet, or a specific release date, but I do hope it’s 2014!
What a loaded question! I’ve been thinking a lot about where I want this blog to go in 2014, and I haven’t really come up with any answers. I’ve been vaguely unhappy about blogging for months, and it all boils down to whether or not people are actually reading this blog or not. Does anyone really care what I have to say? I’m not sure. I feel like the only reason a lot of people even come here is for my giveaways, and so I guess the one thing I’m changing in 2014 is this: I’m going to drastically reduce the number of giveaway hops I participate in, and giveaways in general, unless a publisher is providing the book. It’s just too expensive and I feel as if that’s all anyone cares about.
OK, I just realized I’ve ended this survey on a negative note! I really don’t want to do that, so here’s a positive thought for my blogging in 2014: My fervent wish is to read more books that I want to read, make time to read books that aren’t review books, and find that happy place in my life where reading didn’t used to be such a chore. Oh no, that doesn’t sound very positive either! If anyone’s actually made it to the end of this long long post, I want you to know that you are the people I’m blogging for. Readers that care, readers that read to the bitter end. I want to find more of you, I want to find more bloggers that love the same books I do. If I haven’t found you yet, please leave me a link in the comments and maybe we can be blogging buds!
Wasn’t this exhausting? If I were Catholic, I’d feel as if I’d gone to confession! Did you participate in the 2013 Book Survey? Link me up to your post and I’ll stop by!