2016 End of the Year Book Survey

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


What a crazy year this has been! Adding a baby to our family made it trickier to sit down with a book, but I still read some great ones. I’m ready for 2017, but first it’s time to take a bookish survey. I love these because they make me think about all the books I've read over the past 12 months.  

Two trends I saw in the books I read. One was fantastic descriptions of food (Relish, Sweetbitter, and Kitchens of the Great Midwest). The other was rotating perspective (Underground Railroad, Commonwealth, Did You Ever Have a Familiy). It’s always interesting when you see trends, because those books become linked in your mind.

Any books I reread this year are not eligible for this list. It was fun to reread a few favorites this year, like The Night Circus and some of the Narnia series. I didn’t count the piles upon piles of children’s books I read in this list. I also don’t limit myself to one book per answer if there are two or three that really fit perfectly.

Number of Books You Read: 125
Number of Re-Reads: 10
1. Best Book You Read In 2016?
Classics — The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Germinal, Our Mutual Friend
Historical Fiction — The Underground Railroad
Mystery —The Trespasser 
Literary Fiction — Kitchens of the Great Midwest
Nonfiction — When Breath Becomes Air, The View from the Cheap Seats, Alexander Hamilton
Fantasy —The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear
Play — The Miracle Worker
Science Fiction — Dark Matter  
YA — Pippi Longstocking, The Selection series
Graphic Novel — Relish 

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? My Brilliant Friend, I think it was just way over-hyped. Lila by Marilynne Robinson, I really enjoyed Gilead and this is a parallel novel, but it didn’t work for me. 
 
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read? The Selection, I thought it would be total fluff (mainly because of the cover), but I really enjoyed it! I liked that it focused on the political structure more than just the reality-show-style competition. 

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read? The Kingkiller Chronicles 

5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016? The Name of the Wind / Thrice Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d / The One (Kiera Cass) 

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016? Noah Hawley (Before the Fall) 

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone? The Girls from Ames 

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
Dark Matter 

9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year? The Name of the Wind 
 
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016? Commonwealth 

11. Most memorable character of 2016?
 √Čtienne Lantier in Germinal and Kvothe from The Kingkiller Chronicles 

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016? Our Mutual Friend and Commonwealth 

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016? The More of Less and When Breath Becomes Air 

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read? Germinal, it’s been on my TBR for YEARS. I’m so thrilled I finally read it. 

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016?
“One can learn from a glance at a person’s library, not what they are, but what they wish to be.” – Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d 

“If you would have your son to walk honorably through the world, you must not attempt to clear the stones from his path, but teach him to walk firmly over them - not insist upon leading him by the hand, but let him learn to go alone.” – Tenant of Wildfell Hall 

“There's no royal road to learning; and what is life but learning!” –Our Mutual Friend

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016? We Should All Be Feminists: 65 pages / Our Mutual Friend: 880 pages 

17. Book That Shocked You The Most Before I Go to Sleep and Dark Matter 

18. One True Pairing (a couple that you ship)? Kvothe and Denna from the Kingkiller Chronicles

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship of the Year: Ove and his neighbor Parvaneh 

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From an Author You’ve Read Previously:  The Trespasser, What Alice Forgot

21. Book You Read Based SOLELY on a Recommendation from Somebody Else/Peer Pressure: The Lunar Chronicles and The Raven Boys Cycle 

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016? Stefan from Along the Infinite Sea (very Casablanca) 

23. Best 2016 debut you read? The Underground Railroad 

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year? The Name of the Wind and Kitchens of the Great Midwest (the best food scenes!)
 
25. Book That Put a Smile on Your Face/Was the Most FUN To Read? Notorious RBG 

26. Book That Made You Cry or Nearly Cry in 2016? A Man Called Ove, The Light Between Oceans, and The Boys in the Boat 

27. Hidden Gem of The Year? The Fox and the Star and Seven Women, I particularly loved reading about the lives of Rosa Parks and Maria Skobtsova. 

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul? When Breath Becomes Air and Did You Ever Have a Family 

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016? Tree of Codes 

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad? The Life We Bury


1. Best bookish event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)? Dewey read-a-thon in October, co-hosting the Germinal and The Fireman readalongs, and the Elizabeth Strout author reading I attended. 

2. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)? Litsy! It’s the best app for book lovers.

3. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year? Having a baby! Reading with a kiddo in the house is definitely harder, but it’s still doable. 

4.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year? I finished my Reading the States challenge for fiction books.

Thanks to Perpetual Page Turner for once again hosting this survey!

8 comments:

Aylee said...

I see that the Kingkiller Chronicle got a few mentions on your survey - I REALLY need to get to those because I just know the characters and world building would be memorable to me, too. Hopefully in 2017!

Kate Midnight Book Girl said...

Your books read is impressive as hell since you have a baby in the house (and I imagine the kids books would make that number huge).

You also read some great books, a few which are still on my TBR list like When Breath Becomes Air and Underground Railroad (although I did read Underground Airlines).

Love The Raven Cycle books, and Maggie made my list too. Also, everyone needs to read The Kingkiller Chronicles!

Litsy made my list for favorite discovery too!!!

Happy Holidays, and I hope 2017 is even better!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Aylee - They were recommended to me so many times and I kept putting them off because they were so long. They're amazing!

Kate - Audiobooks are definitely my friend when it comes to reading with a kiddo! I found so many great books on your list too.

Kailana said...

I have read The Name of the Wind twice but still have never read The Wise Man's Fear. I reread The Name of the Wind on audio a couple years ago and the narrator is awesome. The plan was then to read The Wise Man's Fear right after. That clearly didn't happen. lol

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Kailana - I'm thinking I will reread both in 2017, because I loved them that much! Maybe I will have to check out the audio.

chrissireads said...

Loved reading your answers to the survey! :-) Well done for reading so much despite having a baby!

Anne Bennett said...

I am currently listening to the audiobook of WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR. I am on disc 5 of 5 but have been warned to not drive and listen to that disc at the same time. So I shall carve out some time in the house to listen. I think it is going to end with tears. YES? We are reading COMMONWEALTH for book club in 2017. I am looking forward to it. I'd be honored if you would take a peek at my 2016 Book Survey. Thanks so much HeadFullofBooks Book Survey 2016

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

chrissireads - Thanks! I was worried about how hard it would be to find reading time, but really, you make time for what's important to you.

Anne - That was a heartbreaking, but inspiring book to read!