2014 End of the Year Book Survey

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

I can't believe it's almost 2015! Of course that means it's the perfect 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. It makes me really consider which ones I loved and why. I love remembering favorites from the beginning of the year that I may have forgotten. Any books I re-read this year are not eligible for this list. I also don’t limit myself to one book per answer if there’s two or three that really fit perfectly.   

Number of books read in 2014: 151 

1. Best Book You Read In 2014? (by genre)  
Classics The Painted Veil, An American Tragedy, and Doctor Thorne 
Historical Fiction Doc 
Mystery — Big Little Lies, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Strong Poison 
Literary Fiction — The Lotus Eaters, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, The Dinner, and The Interestings 
Nonfiction — At Home, By the Book, and This is the Story of a Happy Marriage 
Fantasy — Tooth and Claw 
Science Fiction — William Shakespeare's Star Wars 
YA Emily of New Moon and The Witch of Blackbird Pond
Graphic Novel — Blankets and Wonderstruck 

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?  
Life After  Life by Kate Atkinson, I loved her novel Case Histories and there was a lot of hype around this one, but it just didn’t work for me. 

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2014? 
The Husband's Secret, I thought it was going to be chick lit fluff but it was fantastic!  

4. Book you read in 2014 that you recommended to people most in 2014? 
Big Little Lies and This is the Story of a Happy Marriage 

5. Best series you discovered in 2014? 
Fables by Bill Willingham, a brilliant graphic novel series! 

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?  
Liane Moriarty 

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you? 
Lean In, it falls in the self-help category in my mind, which is a genre I don’t read, but I got a lot out of it.  

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2014? 
The Husband’s Secret 

9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read? 
This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, as soon as I finished my library copy I knew it was one I would need to own. There were so many essays I know I’ll reference in the future. 

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014? (Left)

11. Most memorable character in 2014? 
Don Quixote 

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014? 
Doc and The Lotus Eaters were both gorgeous! 

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2014? 
American Tragedy, such a haunting story about the double-edged sword of the American Dream. 

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read? It, King's epic coming-of-age story is just as scary as everyone told me it would be.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014? 

“Don’t you think this is why education in the arts is so powerful? Rhythm and harmony find their way to the inner part of the soul and establish themselves there, bringing grace to the well-educated.” - Plato’s Republic 

“These people who can see right through you never quite do you justice, because they never give you credit for the effort you're making to be better than you actually are, which is difficult and well meant and deserving of some little notice.” – Gilead 

“Home," he said softly. "If there is a more beautiful word in any language, I do not know it.” – Doc 

“Sometimes love does not have the most honorable beginnings, and the endings, the endings will break you in half. It’s everything in between we live for." – This is the Story of a Happy Marriage 

“The possibility of time going on, her memories growing dim, the photographs of the battles turning from life into history, terrified her.” – The Lotus Eaters 

“America has been erased like a blackboard, only to be rebuilt and then erased again." – Shoeless Joe 

16.Shortest and Longest Book You Read In 2014? 
The Last Chronicle of Barset: 1,003 pages (or really the whole Chronicles of Barsetshire: 3,875 pages!)
Six Characters in Search of an Author (a play): 64 pages 

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It?   
Big Little Lies, that ending!!! 

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2014 (be it romantic, friendship, etc). 
Frank and Mary’s romance from Doctor Thorne in the romance category and Edgar and his dog Almondine had one of the sweetest friendships I’ve ever read in The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously?
The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley, the sixth book in the Flavia de Luce series. 

20. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY on a Recommendation From Somebody Else: 
Dune, my Dad has been recommending it for years and I finally read it. It wasn't my favorite new book, but I felt like I got to know his interests better through reading it.

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2014? 
Classics and Literary Fiction 

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014? 
It was a re-read but Henry Tilney from Northanger Abbey 

23. Best debut book you read? 
The Invisible Bridge, the author had published short story collections but this was her first novel. 

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2014? 
Tooth and Claw, Victorian era dragons, I loved it! 

25. Book That Was the Most Fun To Read in 2014? 
William Shakespeare’s Star Wars and The Empire Striketh Back 

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, geez that one had me reeling. Also the final scene in 11/22/63 had me a bit teared up.

27. Book You Read in 2014 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out? 
A Week in Winter, it’s nothing earth shattering, but it was the very last book published by Maeve Binchy (posthumously) and it was lovely. 

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 also put a big dent in my Classics Club list! 

29. Bookish Events on your blog in 2014? 
I co-hosted a massive readalong of all six books in the Chronicles of Barsetshire by Anthony Trollope. I started the Shakespeare Project where I keep track of the Shakespeare books I read, plays I see, and movies I watch. I updated all of my Reading the States posts with new books. I also continue to be one of the moderators of the Classics Club blog and update their site weekly. 

30. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?
Germinal by Zola (*hangs head in shame*) 

31. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?  
I can’t wait to read Neil Gaiman’s The Sleeper and The Spindle and Erik Larson’s new one, Dead Wake. 

32. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014? 
This year I FINALLY created an alphabetized review index, perhaps the most monstrous undertaking thus far for this blog. I really want to finish adding in all of those book reviews and I have a couple years worth to go still. 


Belle Wong said...

I'm intrigued by so many of the titles in your post! Definitely going to have to check out The Husband's Secret. Happy holidays!

Ruth @ with freedom and books said...

Germinal blew me away! Hope you enjoy it.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Belle - I hope you enjoy it!

Ruth - I keep hearing that. I just have to read it in 2014.

Leslie @ This is the Refrain said...

It sounds like you had a great reading year! I definitely need to read Doc.

Bryan G. Robinson said...

I've thought about Lean In, but wasn't sure...maybe now I'll have to try it.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Lu - Seriously, so beautiful!

Bryan - It was helpful to me. I like seeing different views on the work vs. motherhood and gender issues in the workplace subjects.

Anonymous said...

oh yay! Germinal will be for me this year, too!
I don't think I read your IT review - will be off to read that once I comment here. OK, you have me curious to get back to Little Big Lies (put it down cuz I was just not ready for 'school' and parents-behaving-badly) and I'm kicking myself for not buying The Husband's Secret when I saw the Book Cafe had it for $2. shame, shame.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

bkclubcare - We should definitely do a readalong! I think Big Little Lies starts off intentionally catty, but quickly improves.