The 2012 End of Year Book Survey is hosted by Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner. I posted my Top Ten Books of the Year recently, and this is a slightly more in-depth look at all the books I read. Be warned: I'm pretty much just going to fangirl the Chaos Walking trilogy. This is also likely to be my last post of the year as we head into Christmas and the New Year. Happy holidays to everyone.
Best in Books 2012
1. Best book you read in 2012? (You can break it down by genre if you want)
Young adult fiction - Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness (though this covers the whole trilogy)
Adult fiction - The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Also see my top ten books of the year, as linked above and here.
2. Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more but didn't?
It feels awful to say this, but The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. I knew it wouldn't be the same as Harry Potter but it was still a new book by JKR and I really wanted to like it more. I think I'd have been disappointed by it regardless of who wrote it, but it was somehow worse that it was her.
3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012?
Probably The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. For some reason I thought it would be a slog but it's really fun and as quick a read as a near-1300 page brick can ever be. It was also as mad as Revenge in terms of people not putting two and two together about what the Count was up to, which I found entertaining.
4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?
Pretty much whichever book I'd just read and loved. Though I really pushed John Green and Maureen Johnson on people, especially my flatmate who didn't know what she was in for when she asked to borrow a book ("here, have this stack of great young adult. I'm guessing you're more into contemporaries, so have Beauty Queens and Paper Towns and Girl At Sea. Oh, and Dash and Lily".)
5. Best series you discovered in 2012?
The Wardstone Chronicles by Joseph Delaney. I really wasn't expecting much but they are fun, scary children's books which make great use of British folklore. Need to finish reading in 2013.
6. Favourite new authors you discovered in 2012?
Christopher Isherwood (his prose is beautiful, I need to read everything he wrote); Lauren Oliver (why did I wait till 2012 to finish a book by her?); and Madeline Miller (she's only written one book but I love it. Want more from her).
7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
I'm not sure. I didn't really read any genres that were radically different for me this year. I think maybe Thirteen Reasons Why was out of my comfort zone just because it hit way too close to home (I was not a happy teenager) and it was a painful read.
8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?
Monsters of Men. I rushed through that one. It isn't one of the books I read in a day, but I really couldn't put it down.
9. Book you read in 2012 that you are most likely to re-read next year?
The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan, because I want to finish the series but can't remember all of the fine points of the plot. It isn't a chore at all, though, as that book is fab.
10. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2012?
This is surprisingly difficult! I'm looking at my books for 2012 in cover view on Goodreads and so many of them are pretty. But if it has to be one:
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. Partly because it is stunning - as are all the illustrations - but also because it feels nice. I like it when books feel like they're made of good things.
11. Most memorable character in 2012?
Viola Eade. Total badass.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?
Another tricky one, but going with Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver. Or My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher.
13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?
Either My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher or A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. Both deal with loss and death in deeply moving and powerful ways.
14. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read?
I can't believe I waited till 2012 to finish The Chaos Walking trilogy, so this is two: The Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men. Seriously, I could have read this last year and I didn't! Fool of a Took.
15. Favourite passage/quote from a book you read in 2012?
I don't keep track of quotes I love - I need to start doing that - so if it was a library book then I'm stuck, but here's the most recent one I could think of from a book I own:
"It's not that you should never love something so much it can control you.
It's that you need to love something that much so you can never be controlled." (The Ask and the Answer, p492).
16. Shortest & longest book you read in 2012?
Longest book - The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas at a mighty 1264 pages.
Shortest book - Prater Violet by Christopher Isherwood at 122 pages
17. Book that had a scene it 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 ending of The Ask and the Answer (argh, what? No!)
18. Favourite relationship from a book you read in 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
Viola and Todd in the Chaos Walking trilogy because the obvious romance doesn't get in the way of the plot (and because a love triangle is averted, thank the Lord) and Sunya and Jamie in My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece because they are so sweet.
19. Favourite book you read in 2012 from an author you read previously.
Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan. I love this almost as much as Nick & Norah, which is saying something.
20. Best book you read that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from someone else.
I didn't read a lot of books because of a recommendation, though I did buy a lot that I need to get to in 2013. If there is one, it's This Dark Endeavour by Kenneth Oppel. I actually read this because of April at Good Books and Good Wine's review of the second book in the series, Such Wicked Intent. That's still on order at the library, and I can't wait to get my hands on it, but I really enjoyed This Dark Endeavour though I think Such Wicked Intent is going to be better.
1. One book you didn't get to in 2012 but will be your number 1 priority in 2013?
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I bought this when it came out in January 2012 and haven't even touched it.
2. Book you are most anticipating for 2013?
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. I don't feel that needs any explanation.
3. One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging in 2013?
Reading - read more. Seems simple but I procrastinate too much and I really need to make a dent in my TBR pile because it is getting ridiculous.
Blogging - join in more. Linked to this is being less shy/scared of joining in, but I really want to do more and blog more and that means sucking it up and participating even when I'm a little scared of doing so.