Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 Book Survey

Hello 2012!  The New Year seems to be a time of reflection for many, and as an avid reader, what better 2011 activity to reflect on than reading!  I am a little behind on completing this survey at The Perpetual Page Turner, but I wanted to include everything I read in 2011, which meant waiting until the official end of the year. 

1. Best book you read in 2011?
2011 was a challenging year for me.  I read a lot of mediocre books, but I read some really great ones too.  I don't think I can possibly choose the BEST, so I am going to go with the most interesting and original piece I read this year, Megan McCafferty's Bumped.

2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?
As stated previously, I read a lot of books that I wanted to love more than I did this year.  Unfortunately, two of those were by one of my favorite authors, Ellen Hopkins.  Her newest young adult novel, Perfect, dealt with some of the same characters from my favorite of her novels, Impulse.  I continue to recommend Hopkins' novels to my students because the issues she tackles really resonates with them; however, her plots are beginning to feel trite to me.  Maybe it is because I am getting older.  Therefore, I was looking forward to her first adult novel, Triangles, which was published this fall.  While I read it quickly, I again felt like Hopkins was trying to tackle too many issues in the confines of one novel.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?
Great House by Nicole Krauss: Krauss is my favorite author of all time; I loved The History of Love, and I was sooooo excited that she was finally publishing a new novel (after 5 years!).  While this book was incredibly challenging and very different from The History of Love in many ways, it has a conclusion that blew my mind and had me shouting, "She's a genius!" fifteen minutes after I finished it.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?
Bumped Megan McCafferty: This was my favorite book of 2011.  It's only fitting it would also be my most recommended.

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?
I didn't begin any new series in 2011, but I did continue to read Rick Riordan's The Kane Chronicles and The Lost Hero series.  Fans of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman mythology should pick these up.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?
Nina LaCour author of Hold Still

7.  Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
I read a lot of short stories and memoir this year (with mixed results), which was unusual for me.  My favorites were Going Away Shoes by Jill McCorkle and Perfection by Julie Metz.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?
Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares: I would not call this book "thrilling," but I could not stop reading it.  I read right through a beach music concert.  A lot of reviewers had mixed feelings about this novel, but I think it is the perfect conclusion to the Sisterhood series - especially after a lackluster fourth book.

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?
Here is the list I constructed at the beginning of 2011 of the books I HAD to have the day they came out.

The Lover’s Dictionary
By David Levithan (Jan. 25, 2011)

Darkest Mercy
By Melissa Marr (February 5/22, 2011)

Where She Went
By Gayle Forman (April 5, 2011)

By Megan McCafferty (April 26, 2011)

The Throne of Fire (2nd book in Kane Chronicles)
By Rick Riordan (May 3, 2011)

What Happened to Goodbye
By Sarah Dessen (May 10, 2011)

By Maggie Stiefvater (last in Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy July 12, 2011)

The Son of Neptune (2nd book in The Lost Hero series)
By Rick Riordan (Fall 2011)

By Ellen Hopkins (September 13, 2011)

By Ellen Hopkins (October 18, 2011)

The Future of Us
By Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler (November 2011)

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?
Perfect by Ellen Hopkins

11. Most memorable character in 2011?
Adam from Gayle Forman's Where She Went: sensitive and artistic, what's not to love? 

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?
Where She Went by Gayle Forman: I was blown away by If I Stay and was excited to get Adam's perspective on Mia's near death experience.  I wish Shooting Star was a real band because I would totally buy its CD.
13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?
How It Ends by Laura Wiess: a hauntingly beautiful book

14. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read?
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: I know! I know!  I am interested in Holocaust literature, so it is very odd that I waited this long to read it, but now I've read it, and it shook me to the core. 

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011?
Too many to type, but here are some books I folded multiple corners down in:

Where She Went by Gayle Forman (have you read the lyrics Adam wrote?!)
Going Away Shoes by Jill McCorkle
Triangles by Ellen Hopkins
Hold Still by Nina LaCour 

16. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012?
The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan: I sped-read through it at the beginning of 2011, so I would like to read it again more slowly, so I can absorb the nuances of Levithan's use of language. 

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!
The conclusion of How It Ends by Laura Wiess = absolutely heart-wrenching

Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2011

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2011?
The Book Lady's Blog: Rebecca is genuinely funny and a tough, but fair, critic.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2011?
The Bride Stripped Bare by Nikki Gemmell

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?
My Peace College posts spawned a discussion that continued on Facebook, on the phone, and in the homes of some of my dear friends and fellow Peace girls

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else's blog?
Anything from For the Love of YA.  She deals deftly with authors and issues that are often censored in schools.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
The Broke and the Bookish's "Top Ten Tuesdays" provided me with a quick and easy way to keep my blog updated.  I also attended two author readings this summer at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh where I met Maggie Stiefvater and Sarah Dessen.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2011?
Finally getting my blog started!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
In Memory of Peace

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
Recommendation: Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty 

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Goodreads: easy way to keep track of what I read and what I want to read.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I started this blog!

Looking forward...

1. One Book You Didn't Get To In 2011 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2012?
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2012?
Thumped by Megan McCafferty (sequel to Bumped)

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2012?
  • Get on a more consistent blog schedule
  • Read everything I own
  • Update my Writer's Guide to Social Networking book
  • Read more about censorship and book banning
Happy Reading and Blogging in 2012!

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