It’s the last day of the year! That means I’m just in time with my end of year survey (created by Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner). I had a great reading year, so it will be fun to look back on it with this survey. Let’s get started!
2015 Reading Stats
Number Of Books You Read: 50! I managed to reach my Goodreads reading challenge goal earlier this week with a reread of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Number of Re-Reads: 4
Genre You Read The Most From: Contemporary (I think)
Best in Books
1. Best Book You Read In 2015?
Oh man, I can’t choose just one! It’s too hard! Without counting rereads, I think I’m going to choose Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. It is an absolutely beautiful contemporary novel and it just had me enchanted all the way through.
Well, that was actually pretty easy.
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
At the start of the year I read Love Hurts, which is a collection of stories by all kinds of awesome authors, so of course it had me excited. It was rather disappointing to me, though, because many of the “stories” were actually excerpts from novels instead of short stories, which was just annoying. Oh well, should have read the blurb more carefully!
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
That would be The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion. I absolutely loved The Rosie Project, so I figured this sequel would be just as amazing. It wasn’t. I really really didn’t enjoy it…
4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
Hmm. I don’t really push people to read certain books (and when I do they don’t listen to me). I do tell a lot of people they should read The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster, though, and at least one of them did. Same person who read We Were Liars after I told her it was good, and The Rosie Project and Throne of Glass (hi Esmé!).
5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?
The best series I started this year is the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, and the second book, Crown of Midnight, is also my favourite sequel. I’m currently reading Heir of Fire, the third book, and loving it already!
I don’t think I read any series enders this year, so I’ll have to pass on that question!
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?
Rainbow Rowell! I read Fangirl, Eleanor & Park and Attachments this year and adored them all. Next year, I want to read the rest of her books because I’m pretty sure I love everything she does.
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
My plan for 2015 was to read more books outside of the contemporary fiction genre, which is my comfort zone. That’s why I started reading The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, which is a sci-fi series based on fairy tales. I still have to read the last book in the series, but so far my favourite is probably Cress.
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
They’re not exactly action-packed, but they were definitely unputdownable: Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. I’m still not sure what it is about those books, but I just had to keep reading.
9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
I really want to reread Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell as well as Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, because it was just amazing. Fangirl was a really comforting novel for me, so I definitely see myself curling up with it under a blanket on the couch.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?
Oh, that’s so difficult! I really like the new covers of the Anna and the French Kiss books, but I think my favourite is the cover of The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith. The entire series has such beautiful covers! Another one I really love as well is the cover of Aristotle and Dante (that book is just perfect in each and every way).
11. Most memorable character of 2015?
The first one to come to mind is Celaena Sardothien from the Throne of Glass series, so I guess I should go with her! She’s a badass assassin who has a really dark side, but somehow does have her heart in the right place. She’s witty and girly and loves to eat, and I love her!
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?
Hmm. I thought All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr was written absolutely beautifully. The writing is just phenomenal and had me captivated from beginning to end. I also loved the writing in We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, because I could just feel the pain radiating from the pages, and the short sentences Lockhart uses work really well for the story.
(Oh, and also Aristotle and Dante, but that’s getting quite boring.)
13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver was perhaps not life-changing for me, but definitely thought-provoking. I didn’t write a review about it because I don’t really know how. The book is about a school shooting, written from the perspective of the mother of the boy who did it, and it’s absolutely harrowing to read at times, but (I think) very important and very well-written.
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?
That would be To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It’s a classic, and I can definitely see why. I really loved it and gave it 5 stars on Goodreads, parly because it struck me how the story is still extremely relevant today.
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?
This reminds me that I should like quotes on Goodreads more often, because I have no idea what would be my favourite… Resolution for 2016: like quotes I love!
One passage that really struck me was the following, from Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan:
i think the idea of a ‘mental health day’ is something completely invented by people who have no clue what it’s like to have bad mental health. the idea that your mind can be aired out in twenty-four hours is kind of like saying heart disease can be cured if you eat the right breakfast cereal. mental health days only exist for people who have the luxury of saying ‘i don’t want to deal with things today’ and then can take the whole day off, while the rest of us are stuck fighting the fights we always fight, with no one really caring one way or another, unless we choose to bring a gun to school or ruin the morning announcements with a suicide.
16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?
I’m going to count novels here, and not novellas or poetry collections. The longest book I read was The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, which is 848 pages long. The shortest one is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, which has 156 pages, according to Goodreads (my copy had even less).
17. Book That Shocked You The Most
That would be We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, which is also one of my favourite books of the year. Everybody had told me that the ending would be a complete shock and that I would never see it coming, and they were right. It hit me like a brick, and it made me love the story even more.
18. OTP (One True Pairing) OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
I don’t really do OTPs, but I think I would have to go with Celaena and Chaol, from the Throne of Glass series. They make me feel the feels. So do Cath and Levi from Fangirl, though… So, yeah, one of those two.
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Hmm, that would be Cinder and Thorne, from The Lunar Chronicles, I think! I love all of the relationships in those books, but I especially like how Cinder interacts with Thorne.
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
I’m slowly making my way through all of the books in the Inspector Lynley series by Elizabeth George (and there are a lot of them), and this year I read Playing for the Ashes and I was once again impressed by George’s abilities as a mystery writer. This series is really good.
21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure
I don’t think I read any books solely based on what somebody else has said… The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton comes closest, I think. Some people had recommended to me, and I have to hand it to them, it was really good.
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?
My fictional crushes mostly only last until I’ve finished the book, but I think my biggest crush this year was on Levi from Fangirl. He’s just adorable.
23. Best 2015 debut you read?
I didn’t read a lot of debuts this year because I’m always behind. My favourite would be Muse by Jonathan Galassi, though, even though I only gave it 3 stars on Goodreads. I read it in Dutch, which always makes me love books less, so perhaps that had something to do with it.
24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
The most vivid setting would be the setting in All the Light We Cannot See, I think. The story is partly set in St Malo, which is a beautiful, old coastal city in France which I have visited a couple of years ago. I loved Doerr’s descriptions of the town which really made feel as if I was there.
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
I read Kiss Kiss by Roald Dahl in the summer. I adore Roald Dahl’s work, and loved these short stories. His way of writing will always put a smile on my face, I expect.
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?
The first and last time I cried because of a book was when I was 10, and I can’t really think of a book that almost made me cry, either… So, yeah, I really don’t know.
27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Most of the books I read this year were ones I really wanted to read because of the book blogging community raving about them. So, no real hidden gems, I’m afraid. Strangely, most of the more unknown books I read ended up getting 3-star ratings.
28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
Pfft, do you have a minute? We Were Liars, Crown of Midnight, Eleanor & Park, All the Light We Cannot See, Aristotle and Dante, If I Stay… Most of the books I read crushed at least some part of me, really.
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?
I’m not sure if I read any truly unique books this year, in terms of structure or format or anything. I think We Were Liars is the most unique, because of the story and the amazing writing style.
30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood pissed my off for two reasons. Firstly, I was annoyed for most of the book because I had no idea what was going on and didn’t like the story progression, but then at the end the story started to take off all of a sudden and became really amazing and cool. So, that pissed me off. The second thing that made me mad was the way some people were treated in the book, which was of course part of the story, and actually just made me like the book more since it meant I was invested in the story.
Your Blogging/Bookish Life
1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?
I really like The Quiet People, which is a wonderful book blog by Beth. She has a really witty and enthusiastic way of writing, and I love that! I also really like Sarah’s Chapter, another book blog. Besides writing fun posts, Sarah also takes beautiful pictures!
2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?
Wow, that’s difficult. I don’t really have favourite reviews, because it’s basically always the same structure, isn’t it. You know, I’m just not going to pick one, because it would be random review anyway. I like all of them! (I do think I’ve gotten better over time, though).
3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
I find it pretty hard to come up with discussion posts, but I did write a couple of them this year! My favourite is a post called Why I Love YA. I had loads of fun writing it and got quite a few fun comments on it too!
4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I participated in the Bout of Books read-a-thon twice this year, which was tons of fun! It was my first time doing a read-a-thon and I had the best time, so I’ll definitely do it again. I also participated in the Secret Santa event by The Broke and the Bookish again this year, which was also wonderful.
5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?
Hmm, I don’t really have a favourite moment, I think. All of it was great!
6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
I had some trouble finding enough time to read and blog this year. Sometimes I just wanted to watch Netflix, or hang out with friends, which is also fine, of course, because I’m doing this for fun, after all! It did mean I didn’t always post when I planned to, and I went through a little blogging slump a few months ago.
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
The post that got the most views this year was 20 Desserts Inspired by Literature, according to the WordPress’ annual report.
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
All of my reviews, basically. They tend to get a lot less love than my recipes or Top Ten Tuesdays or other posts like that. I get it though, I don’t read all that many reviews either.
9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
I don’t think I made any bookish discoveries this year!
10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
Yes! I read 50 books this year, which is 19 more than I did last year! I also read books out of my comfort zone and love them, so I’m a happy camper.
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?
Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith! I bought it back in October (I think) because I couldn’t wait any longer, and I still haven’t read it.
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?
I’m really out of the loop when it comes to 2016 releases, so I have NO idea…
3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?
And again, see above!
5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?
I’d like to write more discussion posts! They’re so much fun to write, but the problem is I find it hard to think of interesting topics. That must change in 2016!
6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone
I’ve only read one 2016 release, namely The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald. I quite enjoyed it, but there were some things I definitely didn’t like, so I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone per se. Review will be up in January!
Phew, and that’s it! I kind of rushed through the last couple of questions because I’m running out of time. Didn’t expect this to take this long! I really liked looking back on my reading year, though. I hope you liked this too! What’s the best book you read this year? And the worst?
Anyway, I hope you all had a wonderful 2015, and will have an even better 2016! Happy New Year!