Thursday, January 05, 2012

End of Year Book Survey (The Teensy Version)

Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner created a magnificent end-of-year book survey that has taken ze book bloggers by STORM! I see it popping up everywhere, and it really is so much fun, I had to participate.

However, mine is sort of a mini version of Jamie's original. I hope she doesn't mind!!! As I was reading through some of the questions, I figured I'd covered some of them here and thoroughly bored you with my answers to others already (YES, read THE NIGHT CIRCUS!). What I have here are 16 of the questions I wanted to answer most or figured I could write the most about. They cover books read in 2011, plans for blogging, and other cool bookish/bloggish topics.

Thanks, Jamie!

1. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?
I spent a good deal of time detailing the books I loved in 2011, but I didn't do a companion list of books that stunk it up. My answer might surprise you...

Stinkiest Book O'the Year goes to....A Visit from the Goon Squad! I wrote a more or less civil post about this book when I originally read it. About how I could appreciate it (if I had to), but with time I've figured out that I really disliked it. Except the PowerPoint chapter. So there!

2. Best series you discovered in 2011? series books at all. Weird. Just those partial re-reads of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Breaking Dawn.

3. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?

It happened at the end of the year, but this one wins. It's like...hehe....a vagina with gumballs coming out (in my best Beavis and Butthead voice). Not very mature, I realize, and God only knows how many weird Google searches that'll get me, but I'll take the chance. In all seriousness, I think this is the prettiest, happiest, most elegantly suggestive cover for a sex book.

4. Most memorable character in 2011?
THIS is a hard question. I've met a number of characters this year that I really loved. BUT, my final answer would be Joseph from Aimee Bender's The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake because he broke my heart. OR Celia Bowen from The Night Circus. While many have spoken ill of the character development in The Night Circus, Celia held me spellbound. She was a bit of a cold fish, but totally mysterious and lovely. I loved the sense of atmosphere surrounding her, and her tragic upbringing got me.

5. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read?
Without skipping a beat...Atonement. How on EARTH did I not read this book until now?!

6. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012?
And without skipping another beat...The Night Circus. I don't want to be one of those gushing bloggers (but I am), and I just had a feeling about this book that reminded me of when I was reading as a kid. I felt wonder while I was reading this book. It only happens occasionally, and I want to feel it again and again.

7. 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!
OMG, Everything Beautiful Began After. That THING! That EVENT!!!! That damned MONKEY WRENCH! Simon Van Booy certainly has writerly balls.

8. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2011?
This is another tough question since I'm always adding new blogs to my Google Reader and I LOVE YOU ALL. Right off the top of my head, I have to give a heads up and a shout out to Heather at Raging Bibliomania. She is just the sweetest most lovely person and her reviews ROCK! We have similar tastes, too, so her blog is enablerific.

9. Favorite review that you wrote in 2011?
Hands down, Sherry and Narcotics by Nina-Marie Gardner. I originally avoided the book because it has a heinous cover, but I fully admitted this in the review, apologized, and went on to explain that I wanted to kick one of the main characters in the crotch. LOVED the book!

10. Best discussion you had on your blog?
My "Motherhood Changes Reading" post seemed to touch a nerve with quite a few of my fellow bloggers and resulted in a good deal of comment and Twitter conversation. It was eventually syndicated over at BlogHer as well. I'm just glad that I could enter into such personally meaningful conversation with my fellow blogger lovelies. Thanks to all who expressed their thoughts on that post. :D

11. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
Consistently, my favorite blogger event is Carl's yearly RIP Challenge. I get so into that challenge and so many of my fellow bloggers get into that challenge. It creates a lot of wonderful conversation, I find great reviews, and this year's readalongs were fantastic!

12. Best moment of book blogging in 2011?
Round about Thanksgiving I was feeling stifled. I wasn't reading much, I didn't have much to say, and there was a moment there that I questioned my book blogging, y'all! I expressed my concerns and you all answered overwhelmingly that I should write about any topics I want to! I wrote some "stuff week" posts that really cleared out my angst and helped me get back to productively blogging. It's nice to know that you all care about the person behind the blog so much and actually enjoy personal posts and a variety of other topics. I will repeat "Stuff Week" as needed. :)

13. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Ooh! Oooh!!! If you're ever in the Dallas area, you need to make a trip out to the Allen/Fairview area and visit A Real Bookstore!!! I have always complained about a lack of indies in my general area, so I was THRILLED to find this big, beautiful, bountiful indie right down the road. They have a smashing cafe, impeccable customer service, and lots of fun events. I *heart* them.

14. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I personally challenged myself to read more literary fiction this year, and that was the best thing I ever did! I felt more "full" and satisfied by my reading this year than I have in a long time. I should also mention, my initial post on this matter, "Why Literary Fiction and What the Heckfire Is It" was another great conversation had on the blog this year. Many of you weighed in on the subject and tossed ideas around with me. Even though we didn't all agree, it was a smashing good time of a convo. And no one's eyes got scratched out. How's THAT for avoiding drama?!

15. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2012?
The Twelve by Justin Cronin. I am desperately afraid of Chunksters because I get antsy and stop reading them. But not The Passage, and I'm willing to bet not The Twelve! I inhaled The Passage on my maternity leave in 2010, and if it was enough to make me do that, I am totally psyched to read the next book.

16. One Two Things You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2012?
Blog passionately and read deliberately.

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