2013 End of the Year Book Survey

Friday, December 20, 2013

It’s time for an end of the year survey! I love doing one of these each year because it makes me really reflect on the books I read over the past 12 months. I love remembering favorites from January and February that I may have forgotten. Any books I re-read this year are not eligible for this list. Otherwise my favorite books and characters each year would probably be ones from previous years.

Number of books read in 2013: 161

1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (you can break it down by genre if you want back)

Classics – Cold Sassy Tree and The Brothers Karamozov
Contemporary YA – Eleanor & Park
Dystopian – Divergent
Historical Fiction – True Grit
Play — Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Three Sisters
Mystery — The Beekeeper’s Apprentice
Literary Fiction — Song of Achilles and State of Wonder
Nonfiction — In Harm’s Way and Thomas Jefferson
Fantasy — A Song of Fire and Ice (Game of Thrones Books 1) and The
Night Circus and The Green Mile
Science Fiction — The October Country

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? 
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins, I loved The Woman in White, but honestly I’ve been trying to read this one for 3 months and I just can’t get into it.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?
Where'd you go, Bernadette, I thought this one would be a quick fluff read and I ended up loving it. It was funny but it also had a depth I wasn’t expecting.

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?
The Night Circus and Song of Achilles

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?
Game of Thrones, I’m two books in and loving it.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013? 
Laurie R. King (The Beekeeper’s Apprentice) and Italo Calvino, I can’t wait to read more by both of these authors.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
A Good Man Is Hard to Find, I’ve never been a huge fan of short stories, but this one was so good!

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?
Divergent, I read it in one night and started the second one immediately.

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
The Night Circus, hands down I will definitely be re-reading it.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?
The Ocean at the End of the Lane and The October Country

11. Most memorable character in 2013?
Mattie Ross from True Grit; there are others but Mattie immediately came to mind.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?
State of Wonder and The Brother Karamozov

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?
Native Son; I thought about this one for weeks after finishing it. It’s a heart wrenching look at the racial divide in America and it was written in the 1940s, when those issues were often taboo.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?
Cold Sassy Tree, such a wonderful classic!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?
“A written word is the choicest of relics. It is something at once more intimate with us and more universal than any other work of art. It is the work of art nearest to life itself. It may be translated into every language, and not only be read but actually breathed from all human lips; -- not be represented on canvas or in marble only, but be carved out of the breath of life itself.” –Walden by Henry David Thoreau

“Are not there little chapters in everybody’s life that seem to be nothing, and yet affect all the rest of their history.” – Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

“That's the secret. If you always make sure you're exactly the person you hoped to be, if you always make sure you know only the very best people, then you won't care if you die tomorrow.” – Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

“For the secret of man's being is not only to live but to have something to live for.” – The Brothers Karamozov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

16.Shortest and Longest Book You Read In 2013?
Under the Dome 1,074
Three Sisters by Anton Chekov 64 pages

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? 
The Game of Thrones series, I keep wanting to discuss the differences between the books and the show with people.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
Barney and Valancy from The Blue Castle and the title characters from Eleanor and Park 

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof  by Tennessee Williams

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY on a Recommendation From Somebody Else:
Tell the Wolves I’m Home, great recommendation!

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?
Four from the Divergent series.

23. Best debut book you read?
The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean (nonfiction, but it’s his first book)

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?
The Night Circus; oh my gosh how incredible was the circus!

25. Book That Was the Most Fun To Read in 2013?
I’m going to break my own rule here and say that re-reading the Harry Potter series with a friend was so much fun!

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?
The Green Mile; seriously John Coffey and Mr. Jingles, lots of tears. I loved this book.

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?
The Poisoner's Handbook; it’s a nonfiction book about forensic medicine during the jazz age. I thought it was fascinating!

28. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I finished the TBR Pile Challenge, the Back to the Classics Challenge and the Let’s Read Plays Challenge. I also put a big dent in my Classics Club list!

29. Bookish Events on your blog in 2013?
I co-hosted or hosted 4 readalongs: Birdsong, Vanity Fair, Mansfield Park, and If On a Winter's Night a Traveler 

30. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?
Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens; this was the first time I haven’t read a new Dickens book. I’m disappointed I didn’t get to it, but I definitely will in 2014.

31. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)? 
Landline by Rainbow Rowell (July 8, 2014 release), can’t wait!

32. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?
I’m finally having a profession redesign my blog done. I am planning to launch the new site whenever it’s ready in 2014!


Sandy Nawrot said...

Man you had a STELLAR reading year! I haven't added up how many books I read but I doubt I got to a hundred. It was just one of those years. Our book club read Cold Sassy Tree (don't remember if it was last year or early this year) and it was really good. Lots of others mentioned here that I would totally agree with. I think the theme for this year for me was Rainbow Rowell. I adored all of her books (I read all three in the last quarter of the year), and need more.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

What a great year Melissa. I enjoyed this survey. I didn't know Rainbow Rowell had a new book coming in 2014. I loved Eleanor & Park.

JoAnn said...

Wow, Melissa, you had a great year… SO many books and such great variety! Can't wait to see your blog redesign :)

Kailana said...

This is great! I really really need to get to Tell the Wolves I'm Home. I got it for Christmas last year and it just didn't happen... I reread The Night Circus by audio this year and it was really well done. Just saying. :) I don't think I would have wanted to read it the first time by audio, the time flips around too much, but since I remembered that was going to happen I didn't get lost. It looks like you had a good reading year!

Anonymous said...

You really had a fantastic year - and I am so glad to see Laurie King and The Beekeeper's Apprentice on your list. I adore that series.

Can't wait to see your blog's new look!

Andi said...

I loved reading this! You had such a wonderfully diverse bunch of reading!

Laura said...

Oh my gosh, you read so so many books that I love this year! The Green Mile! Tell The Wolves I'm Home! RAINBOW ROWELL (ok, I know she's not a book. But STILL!) oh man, I approve so much of your answers hehehe

Anonymous said...

I love Barney and Valancy! I wish L. M. Montgomery had written a whole series about them.

Diane Challenor said...

Thank you for your really wonderful year end list. I'm looking forward to your ongoing generous posts.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Sandy - Love Rainbow Rowell! I read Attachments last year, so she couldn't be a favorite new author, but Eleanor & Park blew me away.

Diane - She must be a really fast writer! I haven't even had a chance to read Fangirl yet.

JoAnn - Thanks, I'm excited too!

Kailana - I think I'm definitely going to re-read The Night Circus on audio in 2014. Everyone says it's really excellent that way.

Carrie - I enjoyed The Beekeeper's Apprentice so much I suggested it for the mystery slot for my book club : )

Andi - I do love a weird variety of books!

Laura - I know! So many great books/authors in one year! I had such a hard time answering the questions because there were so many books that came to mind in each category (one favorite book of the year... hahahaha, yeah right).

Selah - I was used to Montgomery's style with the Ann series, but The Blue Castle has a very different feel!

Diane - Thanks! It was a great year for reading.

Kat @ NoPageLeftBehind said...

Yay for The Blue Castle, Song of Achilles, Tell the Wolves I'm Home, and Eleanor & Park. So many fantastic titles on your list!

My book club is reading The Night Circus next and I'm super excited...especially now that I see you loved it so much you're already planning on re-reading it!

thecuecard said...

I need to go back and read Cold Sassy Tree and have added it to my TBR for 2014. Thanks to you & your list! cheers.


Sarah said...

I'm having the opposite reaction with Wilkie - really enjoyed The Moonstone, but I've been reading The Woman in White since October or November. Weird!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Lu @ Regular Rumination: The Night Circus! The Green Mile! E&P! What a great reading year. Happy New Year!!

(Sorry I accidentally deleted this comment!)

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Kat - My book club read it at my suggestion. One member absolutely loved it, but the rest weren't big fans. It's always hard to suggest a book you love.

thecuecard - It's a great one!

Sarah - That is too funny! Maybe there's one perfect Wilkie book for everyone and that's it.

Lu - Happy New Year to you too! I can't wait to see what great books 2014 holds.

Charnell @ Reviews from a Bookworm said...

I read Divergent in one night too, such a great series starter. I love the Song of Ice and Fire series, it's amazing. I can't believe I haven't read any Rainbow Rowell yet, I've got to do this soon. I've heard nothing but good things.

Great answers. My End of Year Survey.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Reviews from a Bookworm - Rowell is great! The Game of Thrones and Divergent series are both so addictive.