End of Year Book Survey

6722270391_bfa9d4daef_nAfter seeing this end of year survey over on Trish’s blog, I decided to play along. (This originally comes from The Perpetual Page Turner, and if you complete the survey and link up before January 10th, you’re in the running for a book of your choice from another blogger’s favorites list).

1. Best Book You Read In 2012? (You can break it down by genre if you want).

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. Amazing.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

I don’t know how excited I was about it, but I really wanted to like The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian. Unfortunately, I really didn’t, and it spelled disaster for my R.I.P. reading season.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012?

When It Happens to You by Molly Ringwald. Who knew Samantha could write so well? This is a well-done book of interconnected stories, definitely worth reading.

 4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?

The Knife of Never Letting Go, again. And I have no doubt I’ll keep recommending it, because WOW.

 5. Best series you discovered in 2012?

The Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne contemporary mystery series by Julia Spencer-Fleming. I really love these books, even though I’m not a big mystery reader. The characters are so original and interesting and real. I can’t wait for the next book, which is due to come out in June.

 6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?

Patrick Ness, Julia Spencer-Fleming, Cheryl Strayed, Lindsay Buroker.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

The Emperor’s Edge by Lindsay Buroker. I downloaded this one for free after reading a great review, and I was thoroughly surprised and pleased. It’s a mix of high fantasy and steampunk, definitely not my typical reading genres, but I really enjoyed it and hope to read more in the series.

 8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?

I’d have to include all three books from Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking trilogy in this answer, because it’s difficult to separate one from the other. Together, they create a remarkable reading experience.

 9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:

I honestly doubt I’ll have time for much re-reading in 2013, but I’d like to continue my new tradition of reading Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at Christmas time. That was a lot of fun.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?

Although I read an e-book galley and didn’t have the pretty cover to look at, I really like this cover of Mark Adam’s Turn Right at Machu Picchu.


11. Most memorable character in 2012?

There were lots of memorable characters in my 2012 books: Clare Fergusson from Julia Spencer-Fleming’s mystery series, A from David Levithan’s Every Day, Mayor Prentiss from the Chaos Walking trilogy, Amy from The PassageJohn Thornton from North and South…(sorry, I had to include him just to have an excuse to put up this photo).

Richard Armitage

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?

I have to agree with Trish on this one–Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Here’s one of my favorites passages:

That perhaps being amidst the undesecrated beauty of the wilderness meant I too could be undesecrated, regardless of what I’d lost or what had been taken from me, regardless of the regrettable things I’d done to others or myself or the regrettable things that had been done to me. Of all the things I’d been skeptical about, I didn’t feel skeptical about this: the wilderness had a clarity that included me.

I also really enjoyed the writing in The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?

Again (sorry!) The Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read?

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I should have read the original years ago.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012?

In addition to the quote from Wild above, I really liked:

It had only to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles for no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental. It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way. (from Wild by Cheryl Strayed)

Because, sitting on the curb in Memphis, Tennessee, she saw Amy too; her Amy, whom Lacey could not save, as she could not save herself. Amy, time-stilled and nameless, wandering the forgotten, lightless world forever, alone and voiceless, but for this: What I am, what I am, what I am. (from The Passage by Justin Cronin)

It is an awful thing to be betrayed by your body. And it’s lonely, because you feel you can’t talk about it. You feel it’s something between you and the body. You feel it’s a battle you will never win … and yet you fight it day after day, and it wears you down. Even if you try to ignore it, the energy it takes to ignore it will exhaust you. (from Every Day by David Levithan)

Your ‘Gloria’ lives within you. The greatest sin is not finding it, ignoring what God made possible in you. (from Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese)

Life, too, is like that. You live it forward, but understand it backward. (from Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese)

 16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012?

A Christmas Carol was the shortest, if it counts as a book. The Passage by Justin Cronin was the longest book I read, as I haven’t quite finished Bleak House.

 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!

Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness. I’m so glad that I had the chance to discuss this book (and the trilogy as a whole) with my friend Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

Clare and Russ from Julia Spencer-Fleming’s mystery series. Hands down my favorite relationship in a book this year, and maybe ever.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver. She’s a “valeur sûre“, as we say in French. I can count on being inspired and challenged by her writing.

20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

You know what I’m going to say here, right? Just to mix it up, I’ll surprise you–A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would probably never have picked it up without a recommendation. (Of course, that is true of The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness and The Emperor’s Edge by Lindsay Buroker, too).

Looking Ahead…

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?

I WILL finish Bleak House in 2013. Early 2013.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?

The new Julia Spencer-Fleming, but also Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. Love her books.

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?

Since I went well beyond my goal of reading 52 books this year (I finished 63), I’m going to set a new goal of reading 75 books in 2013. I’d also like to have finished at least 15 books on my Classics Club list.


18 thoughts on “End of Year Book Survey

  1. Amanda

    I really wish I had liked that Patrick Ness book, but I really just didn’t. I tried so hard, and then when I tried to pick up the second book, I just couldn’t make myself read it. 😦 I did recently pick up the audio of that other one he’s got (not part of the trilogy), I can’t remember the name at the moment, and I’m hoping I like that one better.

      1. Too Fond Post author

        I really want to read A Monster Calls.

        There’s no one book that speaks to every person in the same way–but this trilogy was really meaningful to me. I hope whatever you read in 2013 is the same for you. 🙂

  2. Brooke

    John Thornton is allowed in any posts no matter the topic! Also, I have The Knife of Never Letting Go on my shelves and can’t wait to get started!

    1. Too Fond Post author

      Thanks, Delia–a very happy 2013 to you as well! I really loved Prodigal Summer by Kingsolver, too. It’s in my top ten all-time favorites.

  3. kimbacaffeinate

    good luck with reach 75 books this year and congrats to blowing last years goal out of the park! I loved the quotes 🙂 Happy New Year Beth 🙂 so glad we became bookish friends {{hugs}}

  4. softdrink

    I’m afraid many of your favorites are my least. 😦 I never got into Patrick Ness (although I do remember the dog talking about poo), I loathed Wild, and I found The Buddha in the Attic to be a bit of a letdown.
    But evidently we’re of like minds when it comes to Bleak House! I just pulled it off of the shelf (again) with the intention of reading a few chapters tonight.
    Happy New Year!

  5. Trish

    UGH BLEAK HOUSE!!! Although I did get to the “crime” today so I feel like I’m chugging along.

    I’m glad you liked Knife of Never Letting Go. It was one that didn’t speak to me at all but I do want to read A Monster Calls sometime. And yay for Wild! I thought Strayed’s writing was just beautiful!

  6. Marg

    You would NEVER catch me including gratuitous Richard Armitage pictures in my posts. Oh well…actually… you might catch me doing it quite regularly, and on Facebook and on Twitter!

    Looks like a good reading year my friend! Hope this year is a good one too!


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