2012 End Of Year Book Survey

Saturday, December 8, 2012

I knew when I saw the survey from Perpetual Page Turner that my post would be huge. I can’t seem to help listing multiple books for each question. So I apologize in advance for the massive post, but I promise this will be my only year end summary post. I may update it if I read something incredible this month.

Number of Books read in 2012: 149

I don’t include re-reads in my top books list for each year. Since this year I made re-reading a priority quite a few of my favorites would have been re-reads. I think it’s only fair that a single book isn’t my favorite 3 years in a row or something. Also, the books included in this post are all the books I read this year, so they are not limited to books published in 2012.

1. Best Book You Read In 2012? 
Here’s my top ten (with links to my reviews), because really, who can pick only one?

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

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

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012? 

5. Best series you discovered in 2012? 
The Underdog trilogy by Markus Zusak

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012? 

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you? 
The Master and the Margarita and Mindless Eating; the first is a crazy Russian classic and the second is a nonfiction book dealing with food. Neither is one that’s would normally appeal to me.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012? 
In the Woods and The Likeness

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

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

11. Most memorable character in 2012? 
Edmund Dantes from The Count of Monte Cristo; the patience, the heartbreak, the sheer brilliance in planning, I won’t be forgetting him anytime soon.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012? 

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012? 
Cloud Atlas, because it was the first read-along I hosted and also because the book was so complex. It had a huge message, you really had to work for it, but it was very powerful. Also, having the movie come out in the same year gave me the chance to compare the two and think about the details of the book all over again. It’s a book that has stayed with me and my appreciation for it has grown deeper the more I mull it over. Here’s one bit that stuck with me…

“Belief is both a prize & battlefield, within the mind & in the mind’s mirror, the world. If we believe humanity is a ladder of tribes, a colosseum of confrontation, exploitation & bestiality, such a humanity is surely brought into being, & history’s Horroxes, Boerhaaves & Gooses shall prevail…. One fine day, a purely predatory world shall consume itself… In an individual, selfishness uglifies the soul; for the human species, selfishness is extinction.”

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read? 
The Sign of Four and Hannah Coulter; the first is now my favorite Sherlock Holmes book. The second is by Wendell Berry and I can’t believe I’ve never read anything by him before now!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012?  
Just one, sorry I can’t pick just one!

“Reading, I had learned, was as creative a process as writing, sometimes more so." – Jasper Fforde

“There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, Morrel, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of living.” – The Count of Monte Cristo

“When angry count four, when very angry swear.” – Mark Twain

"Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you." – The Fault in Our Stars

“Be generous in your dealings, but always have something saved for rainy weather.” – Life is So Good

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012? 
Lysistrata – 80 pages and The Count of Monte Cristo - 1,276 pages

17. Book That Had a Scene In It That Had You Reeling and Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? 
Both the end of Gone Girl the end of The Count of Monte Cristo fall into this category.

18. Favorite Relationship from a Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc). 
The friendship between Fermín and Daniel in The Prisoner of Heaven; I loved getting to see those two grow as friends and learn the true history behind how they met. Also the relationship between Hazel and Augustus (sob*) in The Fault in Our Stars.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 from an Author You Read Previously: 

20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY on a Recommendation from Somebody Else: 

21. Biggest new book blogging thing you did this year. 
I hosted my very first read-along (with Care’s Online Book Club) and it was really wonderful. Also, I joined the team of moderators at the Classics Club Blog and have really enjoyed working on that.

22. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year? Yes! I completed the following challenges …
Rereading Challenge – I gave this one to myself. I wanted to re-read at least 12 books this year. It was one of my favorite things I did and I think it really made me appreciation the joy of rereading.

“And there lay the essential differences between reading and rereading. The former had more velocity; the latter had more depth. The former shut out the world in order to focus on the story; the latter dragged in the world in order to assess the story. The former was more fun; the latter was more cynical. But what was remarkable about the latter was that it contained the former.” – Anne Fadiman

23. Best bookish thing you did or event you attended.
The Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series at Butler University, talks by both Margaret Atwood and Jhumpa LahiriAlso, visiting Sinclair Lewis’ boyhood home in Minnesota and Fitzgerald’s birthplace in St. Paul during a road trip with the Huz!

How was your 2012 reading guys?

Photo from here.


Melissa @ Confessions of an Avid Reader said...

Great responses. It looks like you have a great reading year! I have a couple of the books you mention on my TBR pile, so I'm glad to see you enjoyed them.

I posted my responses to this survey yesterday. It was a fun way to look back at my reading year.

annieb said...

I had a grand reading year mostly thanks to you. Yours was the first book blog I found and I can't remember how--through Library Thing I believe. Now I have about 20 on my favorites list and am constantly writing down books I must read. Since I am not new to reading, I also have many books of my own, both read and not read, and I try to use my public library as much as possible. I participated in the Cloud Atlas readalong (my first) and enjoyed it very much. As a result I have read and enjoyed a great variety and number of books (210) in 2012. For the first half of 2013 I will be working full-time and no long retired so I suspect my reading will be seriously curtailed, but I will still keep plugging away and reading books and blogs about books. You have greatly increased my joy of reading with your reviews, challenges, and just general discussion of a variety of books. Thanks.

Joanne said...

What a wonderful post! I loved reading all of your reading highlights. My son had to read The Count of Monte Cristo for school and told me I should add it to my list, so perhaps I'll get to it in the new year. Happy reading in 2013!

Mabel said...

I love rereading!! Hm, maybe I should try The Fault in Our Stars. Love the Count of Monte Cristo & Clou Atlas quotes!

Lemon Tree said...

Oh dear, answer of question number 11 makes me gasp. Monte Cristo is definitely a wonderful character. I've been a fan for several years now. He's so complex, isn't he?

And you completed so many challenges! Amazing! And 142 books in a year? You must be capable of reading in light speed.


Kristi said...

I love these end of year surveys. I'm halfway through Count of Monte Cristo and I'm loving it. It's a slow build and I'm curious to where it's all going. It's amazing how intricate his plan seems to be. Things that at first seem coincidence seem to be part of the plan. I can't wait to see how it ends.

Ana S. said...

I haven't done my top yet because I'm always hoping an awesome book will come along in the last few weeks of the year and become an instant favourite :P But I can say for sure we're going to have The Fault in Our Stars in common. It still makes me smile to think of the pictures of the park you e-mailed me after you read it :)

Anonymous said...

Margaret Atwood was at Butler this year and I missed it? HOW did I miss that? Geez I hate myself... :-)

Jenners said...

Great wrap-up … though it feels too early. I guess I'm still hoping for another 5 star book and I feel I have to wait until I'm sure I'm not getting a gem before I write mine up.

Carl V. Anderson said...

I'm so glad I finally got back to Ready Player One and finished it up recently. It is one of a handful of books I started earlier this year and hadn't gotten back to and it turned out to be such a great book that I'm disappointed it took me so long to enjoy it.

Nikki Steele said...

Love the questions for this survey -- may use for my own later this month.

I too think The Stand and FIOS were two of my favorites this year. The Stand was amazing and, like you, completely caught me off guard, having never read Stephen King.

Alex (The Sleepless Reader) said...

It was a busy year! After this year's reading on War & Peace I was looking forward to making The Count of Montecristo my 2013 project, but with the baby coming I can't make any plans!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Melissa - Looks like you had a great reading year too!

annieb - I am so glad! I love hearing about your reading adventures and I'm jealous of the time you've had to read, 210 books is incredible! It'll be hard to go back to working full-time. I'm sure you'll still find some wonderful reads next year though!

Joanne - You definitely should, it's so good!

Mabel - The Fault in Our Stars is beautiful. Ignore the hype, enjoy the book.

Lemon Tree - I know that Edmund will be a character I love returning to in the future. He was really an amazing creation.

Kristi - The build is slow, but it's so very, very worth it. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on the Count when you're done!

Ana - I'm absolutely allowing myself to update this post with any incredible books I discover in the next couple weeks. Your review of Fault was the first I read and it said so much of what I felt about the book.

bibliophilica - I missed Richard Russo giving a talk in Indy a year or so ago because I didn't know about it and I'm still kicking myself! We'll just have to let the other one know if we hear of bookish Indy events!

Jenners - It is early, but I was worried I wouldn't get one up once the holiday madness started. I have given myself permission to update the list this month as needed. I actually just added The Likeness in after finishing it on Sunday!

Carl - I'm so glad you finished it, it's so much fun!

Nikki - I know! It made me see King in such a different light.

Alex - The Count of Monte Cristo will be wonderful if you get to it, but if you don't that baby of your's will keep you busy!

Kat @ NoPageLeftBehind said...

Yay for Cloud Atlas! I'm so glad that we both read and were greatly impacted by this book.

Also, I'm so glad you enjoyed In The Woods - I really liked it too...it makes me want to read some more Tana French!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Kat - I just finished the second book in French's series, The Likeness, and it was so good! Read it immediately.