Thursday, December 18, 2014

2014 End-Of-Year Book Survey

Hello, book friends! I'm super excited to participate, for the second year, in the end-of-year book survey hosted by one of my favorite book blogs, The Perpetual Page-Turner. The end of the year is kind of bittersweet -- I'm always left with a where-did-the-year-go?! kind of feeling -- but it's also fun to look back and reminisce about all the wonderful adventures I took, memories I made, and books I read over the past 12 months. So, without further ado, let's get started! (If you're curious, here's my survey from 2013).
Number Of Books You Read: 59 so far
Number of Re-Reads: 1, a childhood favorite, “Bunnicula” by James Howe
Genre You Read The Most From: adult fiction

1. Best book you read in 2014?
Oh my goodness. Put me on the spot right away, why don’t you?! I just made a list of the top 10 best books I read this year, and I had a six-way tie for first place. It was a toss-up between “I’ll Be Seeing You” by Suzanne Hayes and Loretta Nyhan, “The Martian” by Andy Weir, “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry” by Gabrielle Zevin, "The Poisonwood Bible" by Barbara Kingsolver, "The River of No Return" by Bee Ridgway and "The Book of Life" by Deborah Harkness.

2. Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more but didn’t?
I read a handful of disappointing over-hyped books this year. First up is “We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart. All I saw was twist, twist, twist… and the twist was really NOT that shocking or amazing. I was pretty much appalled to see this was voted best YA fiction of the year on Goodreads. Ugh!
I also really didn’t like Jennifer Weiner’s newest release, “All Fall Down.” It was a major departure from her normal writing. The subject matter irked me and the book just didn’t do it for me. And everyone talks about Colleen Hoover, but I wasn’t exactly blown away by “Ugly Love.” I definitely didn’t hate it, but it didn’t live up to my expectations. Same goes for “Landline” by Rainbow Rowell. It was decent, but I really don’t get what all the Rainbow Rowell fuss is about.
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014? 
“The Martian” by Andy Weir. I really didn’t know what I was getting into with this tale of an astronaut stranded on Mars, but it was a totally compelling, fascinating read. I loved it and can’t wait for the movie!
4. Book you “pushed” the most people to read (and they did) in 2014?
Probably “Gone Girl.” I read it back in 2012 but still recommend it to people all the time.
5. Best series you started in 2014? Best sequel of 2014? Best series ender of 2014?
Series started: I enjoyed “Midnight Riot” by Ben Aaronovitch as well as “Cinder” by Marissa Meyer. I’ve only read the first books in each series but look forward to getting caught up soon.
Sequel: “Mad About the Boy” by Helen Fielding (Bridget Jones #3)
Series ended: Deborah Harkness’s All Souls trilogy with “The Book of Life”
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?
 Bee Ridgway, author of “The River of No Return.”
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
“Wonder” by R. J. Palacio. I don’t read many middle-grade books but “Wonder” is a book for everyone!
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
“The Martian.” Or “The Book of Life.” “The Martian” was a spell-binding tale of survival and ingenuity, and “The Book of Life” was a fantastic conclusion to my favorite series ever.
9. Book you read in 2014 that you are most likely to re-read next year?
I don’t re-read books very often (other than Harry Potter), but I wouldn’t mind re-reading “The StoriedLife of A.J. Fikry” and “The Catcher in the Rye” at some point in the future.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?
“The River of No Return” by Bee Ridgway. It’s lovely, and it perfectly ties into the book. I’m also really drawn to the simple tree trunk cover of “Fourth of July Creek.” It has a cool texture to it, too.

11. Most memorable character of 2014?
Mark Watney, hero of “The Martian.”

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?
“The Poisonwood Bible” by Barbara Kingsolver.

13. Most thought-provoking/ life-changing book of 2014?
“The Poisonwood Bible.” Lots of thoughts on Africa, family, religion and more.
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read?
“The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger. I really need to read more classics!
15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2014?
I really should keep track of this stuff better! I rarely write down quotes from books, but I did just copy down a sentence from “A Sudden Light” by Garth Stein: “Oh, the whimsy of fate.”
16. Shortest & longest book you read in 2014?
Shortest: “Bunnicula” by James Howe, 78 pages.
Longest: “The Book of Life” by Deborah Harkness, 561 pages.
17. Book that shocked you the most?
“Sharp Objects” by Gillian Flynn. But after reading “Gone Girl,” I was prepared for something sick and twisted.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)
Huh? So out of the loop here… I’m assuming this means favorite romantic couple? If so, I’ll go with Julia Percy and Nicholas Falcott from “The River of No Return.”
19. Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year?
I listened to the first four Harry Potter novels on audiobook this year (they are fantastic and I plan to finish the audiobooks in 2015), and I’d have to say Harry Potter and Ron Weasley.

20. Favorite book you read in 2014 from an author you’ve read previously?
“One Plus One” by Jojo Moyes. I absolutely LOVED “Me Before You” and “One Plus One” is a more fun, charming love story. No tissues required.
21. Best book you read in 2014 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else?
“Midnight Riot” by Ben Aaronovitch. A friend told me it was like Harry Potter + detective novel. I’d never heard of the series before, but how could I resist that description?!

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?
Warner from the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi. Or maybe Holden Caulfield from “The Catcher in the Rye.” Or Nick from “The River of No Return.”
23. Best 2014 debut you read?
“The Girl With All the Gifts” by M.R. Carey. Zombies!
24. Best worldbuilding/most vivid setting you read this year?
This is a tie between two vastly different books. “Delicious!” by Ruth Reichl had an amazing charming atmosphere. Food, New York, quaint little restaurants and delis, a cool old mansion, a secret library… Barbara Kingsolver painted a totally different picture in “The Poisonwood Bible,” of the dark and dangerous Congo.

25. Book that put a smile on your face/was the most FUN to read?
“One Plus One” by Jojo Moyes. And "The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry" by Gabrielle Zevin.

26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2014?
None, that I recall. It takes a lot to get me to cry. Kill a dog or Dobby and you’ll get some waterworks, otherwise… not likely.
27. Hidden gem of the year?
“I’ll Be Seeing You” by Suzanne Hayes and Loretta Nyhan. I loved this touching WWII story told in letters between two women set up as penpals.
28. Book that crushed your soul?
Huh. I read a lot of happy books this year. “Elizabeth is Missing” didn’t exactly crush my soul, but it was painfully difficult at times to read a book written from the perspective of someone with Alzheimer’s.
29. Most unique book you read in 2014?
"Pen & Ink: Tattoos and the Stories Behind Them." I loved this short and sweet book, which is exactly what it says -- artistic renderings of tattoos and the owners' explanation of why they got them.
30. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2014?
I discovered quite a few new book blogs this year, but I particularly like Fourth Street Review and The Snail on the Wall.
31. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)? Perfect for browsing when I'm bored at work. And I absolutely WILL be buying this awesome Harry Potter t-shirt from the Book Riot store!!!
32. One book you didn’t get to in 2014 but will be your number 1 priority in 2015?
Oh, soooo many to choose from! I'll go with “The Rosie Project” by Graeme Simsion.
33. 2015 debut you are most anticipating?
“War of the Encyclopaedists" by Christopher Robinson and Gavin Kovite. The premise is totally intriguing!
34. Series ending/a sequel you are most anticipating in 2015?
“Wicked Charms” by Janet Evanovich. While I will read them 'til the end, the Stephanie Plum books are getting pretty tired. But I love Janet Evanovich's Wicked series and I've been anxiously awaiting the third book in this light and fun series. The Wicked books remind me of the earlier magic and humor of the Plum stories -- and any book that gets me to laugh out loud scores bonus points with me!
35. One thing you hope to accomplish in your reading/blogging life in 2015?
Read more of the books I already own instead of always checking out library books. (Which is hard when you work at a library!!!)


  1. I love the Poisonwood Bible. I had to do my senior thesis on it back in college and it was actually a lot of fun. It's just beautifully written, and it's such a unique story.

    Looks like you had an awesome reading year! I keep hearing great things about The Book of Life -- I might have to add that to my list. :)

    1. "The Book of Life" was awesome, but make sure you start with book 1, "A Discovery of Witches." That was actually my favorite book in the trilogy, too. I'm so glad I finally got around to reading "The Poisonwood Bible" this year. The writing was fantastic and the story was heartbreaking and thought-provoking.

  2. I feel like you might like Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline, based on the books you've liked so far. It made it to my Top Ten. It was very good! :)

    1. Thanks so much for the recommendation! I've added "Orphan Train" to my list. :)

  3. I enjoyed reading through your list of books. Some I've read and have enjoyed them also. Looking forward to another year of great reading. I'm going to try and keep a better list of the books I read.


Thanks for stopping by! Comments make my day, and I read and appreciate every single one!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...