Jamie is hosting the End of Year Book Survey again and I thought I would have a go this year, as it seemed a good way of reflecting on all the amazing books I have read in 2012. My own quick wrap-up and goals for next year will follow shortly, I expect, but for now….
Best In Books 2012
1. Best Book You Read In 2012?
I read several books in 2012 that I awarded 5/5 to but my absolute best book of 2012 has to be To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Yes, it was a re-read, but it is my favourite book of all time and was amazing this year as well!
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
I read The Great Gatsby back in January before I started book blogging and was expecting great things from it – so many people study it, I thought it must be really good. However, I couldn’t get into it and I was relieved that it was so short! I did put it on my re-read list though, as I assume I missed something.
3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012?
I was very surprised (in a good way) with Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell: I didn’t know what to expect from this book but it was so amazingly intricate and imaginative that it quickly became a firm favourite of mine.
4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?
I am going to split this one: the book I recommended most to book bloggers, I think is a tie between To Kill a Mockingbird and Cloud Atlas. Secondly, the book I recommended most to non-bookish people was The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, as I thought them a great series for non-readers to enjoy reading with.
5. Best series you discovered in 2012?
I didn’t really discover many new series, which is a shame; 2012 seems to be a year where I read a lot more standalones and classics compared to normal where I really enjoy reading series. I hope in 2013 I will read more of the series I have already started over the past few years.
I did discover The Hunger Games for the first time and also I enjoyed re-reading Stieg Larsson’s The Girl who Played with Fire and The Girl who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest.
6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?
Well, I could ramble on this one! I definitely enjoyed my first Jane Austen (Emma) and my first Stella Gibbons (Cold Comfort Farm). I also discovered that I love Simon Singh‘s way of writing about maths/science too when I read Fermat’s Last Theorem in October.
7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
I wouldn’t say this is out of my comfort zone, but in 2012 I did start reading science/maths novels for the firs time so I guess that counts (again Singh’s Fermat’s Last Theorem and E=mc² by David Bodanis). Also I read my first books in French – Harry Potter 1 and Fantastic Mr Fox, which was totally new but great.
8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?
I could say either book 1 0r 2 but I will go for book 2: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins – I just couldn’t put it down at all.
9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:
I try not to re-read books within 18 months of their first reading so here are the 2012 books that I put straight on my re-read list: The Great Gatsby, David Copperfield, Wuthering Heights, To Kill a Mockingbird, Dracula, Cloud Atlas.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?
Well a lot of the books I read had really nice covers but here are my favourites:
11. Most memorable character in 2012?
I think this would have to be Lisbeth Salander from Larsson’s books; who is more unique and interesting than Lisbeth?
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?
13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?
I will say To Kill a Mockingbird again, as I just loved it and liked all the characters and felt as though I really knew them.
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read?
This is one is definitely The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown: everyone went crazy about this book a couple of years ago, so when I saw it in a charity shop in summer 2011 I bought it…then it took me until summer 2012 to read it! Although, I do quite like the tradition I seem to have developed of Dan Brown as summer reading…
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012?
“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” 16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012?” Scout Finch – To Kill a Mockingbird
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” Atticus Finch – To Kill a Mockingbird
16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012?
The longest was David Copperfield at a whopping 1263 pages!! The shortest was Fatastique Maître Renard at only 118 pages. Numerically, my average book length was about 400 pages, which is pretty good, I think.
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!
There were definitely lots of gruesome and upsetting scenes in The Kite Runner, which was the first book I read this year (before I started book blogging).
18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
I think that the relationship between Clare and Henry in The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger is very unique and also very touching and changes and develops throughout the book.
19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously
The Kalahari Typing School For Men by Alexander McCall Smith was definitely the highlight of January 2012: I adore those books and I am very sad that I haven’t read one since then (I have all the way up to book 10 on my TBR shelf, they just haven’t come around yet). Watch out for lots more of AMcCS in 2013!
20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
Lots of the classics I’ve read this year have been due to various bloggers and lists on websites, but there are some books that I was bought by my friends: And This is True by Emily Mackie, The Shadow of the Wind by Carol Ruiz Zafón, Submarine by Joe Dunthorne and The Crow Road by Iain Banks.
Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2012
1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2012?
Well, I only started book blogging this year so any book blogs are new to me! I love them all and I am going to try and be a bit more proactive and discover some more in 2013.
2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2012?
Oh um maybe my review of Great Expectations where I rave about re-reading as well.
3. Best discussion you had on your blog?
Some of my non-bookish posts had lots of discussions – notably my posts about my exams, results and holidays; I think it’s important to share other parts of our lives too.
4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
I can remember discussing why books in translation or books in other languages aren’t as popular over at Amanda’s blog.
5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I don’t think there are many book blogger events in England? And probably none outside of London so I haven’t been to any, however The Classics Club is definitely a main feature of the book blogging world that I am proud to be a member of.
6. Best moment of book blogging in 2012?
For me, it would have to be the 1st March 2012 – the day I wrote my first post on adamsbibliomania!
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
My most popular posts by views are often those that people come across when searching on the internet, for example The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. My most popular post in terms of comments and activity was my original sign-up to The Classics Club.
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
Actually my Reading Habits post didn’t seem to get read much…maybe it was a bit text-dense or something.
9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Definitely the new Penguin English Library books this year – very addictive and attractive!
10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I wanted to read a classic a month after signing up to The Classics Club in March and in 10 months I have read 8. That’s not too bad and it’s only November and December that I didn’t manage.
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?
Oh so many! But I am halfway through Villette so I am determined to finish that in 2013. Also I really need to read The Hobbit.
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?
I’m really looking forward to loads of books in 2013: Pride and Prejudice, more AMcCS…
3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?
I really just want to improve – so that means do better than last year! Who knows if this is a possibility or not with my heavier workload in sixth form etc but I think 35 books in the year is a good target to have :)