How many books did you read this year?
54! I’m not a bookworm. I’m a bookanaconda.
What was your number one top favorite of them?
Oh man… Oh jeez… *chews fingernails* WHY DO YOU ASK SUCH HARD QUESTIONS. You know what, no, I’m not playing by your rules. I’m picking more than one!
My top favoriteSSS were:
The Crane Wife (Patrick Ness)
The Book Thief (Marcus Zusak)
Station Eleven (Emily St. John Mandel)
Bird Box (Josh Malerman)
The Last Illusion (Porochista Khakpour)
The Enchanted (Rene Denfeld)
Okay okay, if you were to hold a gun to my head, first I’d ask why you care so much about this as to bring firearms into it, and secondly I’d probably say my top fave was… The Crane Wife. THERE, I PICKED.
Favorite new-to-you author that you discovered this year?
Patrick Ness! Lucky for me, he’s published a ton of books. My library card’s going to catch on fire.
I’m also happy to have discovered all the other authors in question 2, plus Lauren Beukes and Nick Hornby.
Best new-to-you book by an author you already liked?
This only just barely didn’t make it into my top faves, BUT IT’S STILL AMAZING. Foer was my favorite author-discovery of last year.
What book were you surprised to like?
None were surprises. But I was surprised by JUST HOW MUCH I liked The Possibility Dogs by Susanna Charleson, a memoir about service dogs. I like this author and that subject, but I didn’t know beforehand that it would center so much around PTSD and other forms of mental health, which are huge areas of interest to me. It described in detail various patients and the specific ways their dogs assist them. The whole book was so fascinating and emotionally moving.
What was the funniest book you read this year?
Mad About the Boy (Bridget Jones #3) by Helen Fielding
What book made you cry?
The Possibility Dogs. Also maybe The Enchanted, though I may have just sighed wistfully a lot, I can’t remember.
What was the most beautifully written?
GET READY FOR A LIST AGAIN… The Book Thief, The Crane Wife, The Last Illusion, The Enchanted, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, and Unrailed by Ruby Browne.
Most thought-provoking or life-changing?
The Boy Who was Raised as a Dog, by Bruce Perry – a riveting work about children who have endured trauma. This book taught me so much about trauma psychology, childhood psychology, and even adult psychology, because after all, troubled kids grow up. Thoroughly illuminating.
I read this almost entirely in one sitting. I started the first bit the night before, then the next day I read the other 90% in one go. Maybe I got up to use the bathroom or hastily grab food from the kitchen before racing back to the couch, but it was almost literally one sitting. THE SUSPEENNNSSSE!
Broken Monsters, by Lauren Beukes. The ending alone threw my head for a freakin’ loop!
Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn, a novel about what happens when more and more letters of the alphabet gradually get banned, including from the book itself. 😉
Who was the most memorable character of the year?
Hans, from The Book Thief. He’s wonderful. Bridget Jones is great too – enough that she made me want to read 3 books about her. 🙂
Most memorable friendship or romance?
Liesel and her foster father, Hans, from The Book Thief. She and Max, too, the Jew hiding in their basement. Both friendships were so poignant.
What genre or subject matter did you try that you normally don’t read?
I guess in a way The Book Thief was new for me, because I normally don’t read wartime fiction.
What book can you not believe you waited this long to get to?
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close – I bought it last year but was waiting for the perfect mood to start it.
Favorite quote from this year’s reads?
“The accordion’s scratched yet shiny black exterior came back and forth as his arms squeezed the dusty bellows, making it suck in air and throw it back out. In the kitchen on those mornings, Papa made the accordion live. I guess it makes sense, when you really think about it. How do you tell if something’s alive? You check for breathing.” – The Book Thief
What books did you read based solely on recommendation or peer pressure?
Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami. After hearing a million people sing his praises, I finally tried him. I wasn’t disappointed!
Which of your reads did you recommend most to others?
Bird Box came up in conversation a lot. Before they’d even finished saying “I like horr-” I was saying “BIRD BOX READ BIRD BOX.”
On that note, you guys should read Bird Box.
Did you start or finish a series?
The Gigantic Beard that was Evil, by Stephen Collins – a stand alone graphic novel. Very good!
Well, I didn’t end up finishing the 1100-page IT by Stephen King… (I need a break! That sucker is long!) So of books I completed: The Book Thief, 552 pages.
Favorite cover of the year?
What was your favorite reading spot?
In the winter we set up this giant cushion in front of the fireplace, next to the Christmas tree. I love reading by the light of the tree with the fire going. *sigh*
Did you read anything published within the year?
Yes! I read my friend Ruby Browne’s book Unrailed as soon as it was out in November. It is absolutely beautiful, please check it out.
Did you watch a movie based on a book you’d read?
Yup, watched The Book Thief right after reading it. It was pretty good, but… you know what I’m about to say here.
(……. The book was better.)
I also saw The Martian, which, conversely, I thought was better than the book! Very rare I say that. I liked the book a lot but the movie accomplished certain things better.
I also watched Room, which I read last year and loved. VERY well done adaptation.
Which books were re-reads?
What are you most excited to read next year?
SO MANY YOU GUYS, DON’T EVEN ASK UNLESS YOU WANT MY ENTIRE TO-READ LIST. ALL 363 OF THEM.
And lastly… THE LIST! All the books you read this year. Ready, go!
- Yes Please – Amy Poehler
- Super Sad True Love Story – Gary Shteyngart
- Girl Interrupted – Susanna Kaysen
- The Diving Bell and the Butterfly – Jean-Dominique Bauby
- Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
- Casting Shadows Everywhere – LT Vargus & Tim McBain
- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Jonathan Safran Foer
- I Was Told There’d Be Cake – Sloane Crosley
- A Long Way Down – Nick Hornby
- An Anthropologist on Mars – Oliver Sacks
- Ella Minnow Pea – Mark Dunn
- Fraud – David Rakoff
- A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius – Dave Eggers
- Will Grayson Will Grayson – John Green & David Levithan
- The Truth – Terry Pratchett
- My Real Children – Jo Walton
- F U, Penguin – Matthew Gasteier
- Huntress – Melinda Lo
- The Water and the Wild – KE Ormsbee
- The Gigantic Beard that was Evil – Stephen Collins
- Autobiography of Red – Anne Carson
- The Day My Brain Exploded – Ashok Rajamani
- How To Be Good – Nick Hornby
- Sanctuary – Paul Monette
- Kafka on the Shore – Haruki Murakami
- The Enchanted – Rene Denfeld
- The Shining Girls – Lauren Beukes
- The Eyre Affair – Jasper Fforde
- The Martian – Andy Weir
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey
- The Boy Who was Raised as a Dog – Bruce Perry
- Modern Romance – Aziz Ansari
- The Last Illusion – Porochista Khakpour
- Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass – Douglass
- Broken Monsters – Lauren Beukes
- Bad Unicorn – Platte Clark
- Bird Box – Josh Malerman
- Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel
- The Mountain Story – Lori Lansens
- Wonder – RJ Palacio
- The Boy Who Could See Demons – Carolyn Jess-Cooke
- Speak – Laurie Halse Anderson
- Vampires in the Lemon Grove – Karen Russell
- The Possibility Dogs – Susannah Charleson
- A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness
- Monkey Mind – Daniel Smith
- We Are All Completely Fine – Daryl Gregory
- Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy – Helen Fielding
- The Crane Wife – Patrick Ness
- Unrailed – Ruby Browne
- The Book Thief – Marcus Zusak
- Snow Child – Eowyn Ivey
- Blindness – Jose Saramago
- Possible Side Effects – Augusten Burroughs
If you enjoyed this survey, feel free to answer it on your own blog, and let me know so I can read it! 🙂