7 January 2014

End of Year Book Survey – 2013 Edition

In the spirit of the New Year, I couldn't resist this post when I spied it on Bailie's blog. As she's got such great taste I couldn't hold out from borrowing her version of the end of year book survey. Actually, it's partially her fault I have so many books...
 
 
PS: Amazon are doing LOADS of sale books, both kindle and proper, at the moment so if you enjoy reading, go nuts. I won't tell anyone if you don't tell my husband that I'm doing the same...

1. Best Book You Read In 2013?
I actually can't pick this. Call me a coward, but I read so many wonderful books that shared "...years of writing, experience and the author's deep desire to put a portion of themselves plus the aspects of humanity they admire, hate, aspire to, condemn, onto paper or a screen." +denise greenwood


2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Gone Girl. Pah.
 
3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?
The book that surprised me the most was The Language of Flowers: Vanessa Diffenbaugh because it struck a real chord in the romantic buried at the bottom of my soul. I've never looked at flowers the same way since.

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. This is all Bailie's lovely fault and initial recommendation; it's such a surprising tale - the history, the experiences of the people living there and the heartbreaking decisions they had to make.
 
 
5. Best series you discovered in 2013?
The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince & Clockwork Princess) again one of Bailie's recommendations. I was surprised that I got into this series as I tend to steer clear of 3 way love-tie books, but there are so many elements

6. Favourite new author you discovered in 2013?
Cassandra Claire - it was a total surprise how I delved into the series. There were a couple of 3am sessions to finish books because I physically couldn't put the book down.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
It's the new-to-me genre of Foodie stories and biographies, and the idea that our food history is as important in the idea of culture and family as any other. The Flavour Thesaurus: Niki Segnit / The Ginger Pig Meat Book: Tim Wilson & Fran Warde / Gumbo Tales - Sara Roahen / The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake all highly recommended.



8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?
Room: Emma Donoghue (not reviewed yet). It had me in tears.

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Everything by Terry Pratchett. No matter how bad a day I'm having, his writing always makes me smile. I adore his footnotes.
 
10. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2013?
A Street Cat Named Bob. How could you resist this little darling?

 
11. Most memorable character in 2013?
She's not a character, but a real person. Lady Emma Hamilton - she was Nelson's Mistress, friend to Marie Antoinette and from a small English mining town. Beloved Emma/Englands Mistress
 
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?
I think it has to be The Woman in White: Wilkie Collins It just drew me further and further into it's pages of slow burning Victorian mystery.
 
13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?
The Speed of Dark: Elizabeth Moon A moving sci-fi novel about Autism that kept me thinking about it months after I finished it.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?
The Kings Speech: The story of King George VI, his speech impediment and an Aussie called Lionel Logue.

15. Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?
Everything from Pratchett, and the from the Ben Aaronovitch London Rivers Series (Rivers of London / Moon over Soho / Whispers Underground / Broken homes)
'I think you'll find that I'm perfectly capable of using a radio' said Nightingale, 'And it that fails, I'm sure Peter here can be relied upon to blow something up.'

Mid-point Scone break

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?
Revenge of the Little Match Girl: Kevin Richey at 50 pages, and longest (certainly physically) will probably be Rangitaiki: Bob Lindsey at 726 pages.

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It?
Room: Emma Donoghue (not reviewed yet). It had me in tears.

18. Favourite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013
The story of King George VI, his speech impediment and an Aussie called Lionel Logue. The Kings Speech


19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Thud!: Terry Pratchett Thud! is a many-layered novel, funny, thoughtful and kinda crazy.

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else
No question - The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. 

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?
Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Classics probably in that order. Oh, and foodie books.



22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?
I have a serious heroins cruch on Clare from Glass Houses: Rachel Caine. I just want to be her in this seriously addictive book series of the Vampire persuasion.
23. Best 2013 debut you read?
It has to be The Night Circus: Erin Morgenstern Stunning debut novel.

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?
Room: Emma Donoghue (not reviewed yet). It had me in tears.

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?
All of them (except Gone Girl). No, probably The Name of the Wind: Patrick Rothfuss, a stirring tale of myth, wizardry and reinvention.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?
Room: Emma Donoghue (not reviewed yet). It had me in tears.


27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?
A beautifully written Vampire novel for Twilight fans A Hidden Fire (Elemental Mysteries 1): Elizabeth Hunter
 
28. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I joined a book club, I've well on the way to reading 60 of the BBC's top 100 books, and I've finished reading critically 5 foodie books, learning SO much on the journey.

29. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?
The Luminaries. It's half read on my lap as I type.

I think that took even longer than a normal review would. Ah, well.

What was your standout book or reading experience this past year?
What book are you reading right now?
Did you try any new genres?
 

8 comments :

  1. So excited that you did this and I was able to send you some good recommendations this year! Also thank you so much for also not liking Gone Girl I thought I was the only one out there that was not impressed!!!

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    1. Honestly, my book shelves & kindle are bulging! I think it was all the hype with Gone Girl that let it down in the end - if it hadn't been so bigged I probably would have had more reasonable expectations.

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  2. Thank you for quoting me and an excellent post - informative, enthusiastic and full of the energy of reading.

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    1. Thank you Denise - it's really kind of you!

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  3. Great round up Emma. I loved the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society too - I find myself quoting parts of it when Guernsey is mentioned in any war discussions! I've added a few of these to my "must reads" list - thanks. Vohn x
    P.S. I see you are sitting on the fence with your scone layering! ;-)

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    1. Cheers Vohn - it's such a great book isn't it! I'm glad I could recommend a few of my favourites. I was taught as a kid caring is sharing!
      For the most part yes, I think I teeter towards jam first though. I need to do some more research!

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  4. I'm a definite jam-first girl - any excuse to be able to pile more clotted cream on top! Perhaps I should do some more research too though! ;-)

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  5. Looks like I've got some books to put down on my list from here!

    Definitely know what you mean about Gone Girl, it was just so... meh.

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