It’s back again! Many thanks to Jamie from Perpetual Page Turner for once again posting her End of Year Survey. I love reading these, partially because I’m so nosy to see what others have been reading all year, but also because it often gives me new titles and ideas for the year ahead.
If you wish to complete this survey, please do! As Jamie says… “Feel to fill this out whenever you feel like it (please credit Jamie!)…whether that’s today or in January — I know everybody will want to reflect at different points. Feel free to link up and share your End of Year Book Survey and visit others on the list!”
Thank you to everyone who stopped by the blog in 2015, and all the best for wonderful reads that make you laugh, cry and think in 2016.
Number Of Books You Read
Goodreads is telling me I read 207 books this year, but I read for three different awards committees and could not post those books on Goodreads. I also don’t tend to post when I re-read favourite books or series, so I’d say that this stat is a little off. I’ll ballpark it at about 50 books per committee (there were some overlaps, and some were books I had already read), and about the same number of re-reads, so let’s say I read 405 books this year. That’s pretty consistent for me, as I’m usually about a book a day with more for vacation and long weekend.
Number of Re-Reads
Again, I don’t tend to track these, but I’ll ballpark this at about 100. This includes the Anne of Green Gables readalong (thank you, Reeder Reads!), and a few books that were skimmed over more than once for committee reads.
Genre You Read The Most From
This was a mix. I read a lot of YA, but I notice that my mystery and fantasy numbers are up from last year (yay!). I read more biographies, which makes me happy, and literary fiction remains high on my list, although not as high as last year. I started tracking more picture books this year as well, so while I’ve always read a fair number of them, I’m actually making notes about them. I read a lot more romance than was recorded on Goodreads; I’m not sold that it’s the best way for me to track what I read, especially since some of what I read has to be kept offline; there used to be privacy settings on Goodreads where I could hide my committee reads, but those seem to have disappeared, more’s the pity. I do need more non-fiction and history though. That’s a serious gap.
1. Best Book You Read In 2015?
I’m going to use the cheat option for this one.
- Nimona was a delight – totally not what I expected from a graphic novel, and one that I keep recommending again and again.
- This is Sadie, Sidewalk Flowers and Enormous Smallness made my keeper shelf for picture books, and I was so pleased to see that they received outside award recognition as well.
- Six of Crows, An Inheritance of Ashes and The Scorpion Rules left me gasping and changed how I look at non-contemporary YA fiction.
- All the Rage, Infandous, Every Last Word have raised the bar for YA contemporary fiction.
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Us by David Nicholls. I loved One Day so much, and was hoping that Us would give me the same feelings, but ultimately I felt that it went on too long and that it needed more editing.
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
I was a little surprised at how dark Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling) got – but I loved every dark minute of it.
Illuminae was a book I resisted for a while, but actually really enjoyed it once I started reading it. Boo was another book that I started not knowing what I was getting into, but ended up really enjoying.
4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
Owl and the Japanese Circus, Infandous, The Martian, Thirteen Days in September (older book, but fascinating), MINRS, Madly, An Inheritance of Ashes, The Nest, A Thousand Nights … so many! I recommend books for a living, so this list is endless.
5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?
Best series ender has to be Winter – sigh.
Best series I started? So many … but Erin Bow’s The Scorpion Rules has to rank right up there with Bardugo’s Six of Crows.
Best Sequel/Follow up book – Robert Galbraith’s Career of Evil was deliciously fun. Anything by Tessa Dare and Eloisa James automatically makes my best-of lists.
6. Favourite new author you discovered in 2015?
Kristi Charish – her books are delightful. Andre Alexis with Fifteen Dogs was a huge hit for me as well. Julie Murphy with Dumplin’ is also another person I’d wait hours to meet.
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
I moved back into some history reads (non-fiction) and I really enjoyed stimulating that part of my brain again. Thirteen Days in September was absolutely fascinating and it’s kick-started my love of history books.
I also started using the cookbooks I have (Kitchn!!) and I’ve gotten a lot from them.
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
Girl on A Train and Queen of Shadows. The Night Gardener was much more terrifying than I had anticipated, but I loved it (even if I did sleep with the light on afterwards).
9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up – I’m not sure I’m ready to take the steps yet, but hopefully soon.
10. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2015?
Too many beautiful covers to count – especially when you factor in the picture books I read. I’d suggest checking out Dan Wagstaff at The Casual Optimist because he is brilliant at highlighting gorgeous and unusual covers.
11. Most memorable characters of 2015?
Rowan from Queen of Shadows, Ian the goldfish from Fishbowl, Talis from The Scorpion Rules, Mark Watley from The Martian.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?
The Buried Giant, but also Infandous, The Night Gardener, The Nest, An Inheritance of Ashes, The Illegal.
13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?
I’ve only just started Big Magic, so perhaps that will hold this spot next year 🙂
Seriously, the Canning Kitchen made me into a preserves person. Who knew?
14. Book you can’t believe you waited until 2015 to finally read?
The Phryne Fisher mysteries by Kerry Greenwood. If it hadn’t been for the TV show, I might have missed out on these gems.
Jennifer Estep’s Gin Blanco series is also a huge find for me – I think I’ve blown through nine books now on audio?
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?
Most of the Green Gables readalong posts have favourite quotes, so I’ll leave those out.
“A story helps folks face the world, even when it frightens ’em. And a lie does the opposite. It helps you hide.” ~ The Night Gardener
“Read it like a motherfucker.” ~ Cheryl Strayed,
“He needed to tell her…what? That she was lovely and brave and better than anything he deserved. That he was twisted, crooked, wrong, but not so broken that he couldn’t pull himself together into some semblance of a man for her. That without meaning to, he’d begun to lean on her, to look for her, to need her near. He needed to thank her for his new hat.” ~ Leigh Bardugo,
“I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.” ~ V.E. Schwab,
“It is a curious thing to slowly discover that your landscape is loved by other people. It is even more curious, and a little unsettling, when you discover by stages that you as a native are not really part of the story and meaning they attach to that place.” ~ James Rebanks,
16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?
Goodreads counts my picture books, so I’m going to include them too!
Shortest book: This is Sadie by Sara O’Leary (32 pages)
Longest Book: Doctor Who: 12 Doctors, 12 Stories (876 pages)
17. Book That Shocked You The Most
I don’t know why, because I kind of saw it coming, but Girl on a Train totally got to me. Talk about being sucked in…
18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
Has to be Celaena Sardothien/Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen and Rowan. They are destined to be together -and he’s the only one who can survive being with her for eternity and beyond. #QueenofShadows #SarahJMassyouKILLme
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Either the Mark Watley/NASA relationship from The Martian, or Jenny Lawson and her stuffed raccoon, Rory. Love how he symbolizes so much for her determination to be happy in her life!
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Winter from Marissa Meyer was wonderful, and Queen of Shadows had me gasping with awe.
I will say that Under MajorDomo Minor by Patrick DeWitt was brililant, and The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguru resonated with me for days.
21. Best Book You Read In 2015That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
The Martian by Andy Weir and The Awesome by Eve Darrows. Both were TOTALLY WORTH IT.
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?
Don’t really have one, but Willowdean from Dumplin’ might be close.
23. Best debut you read?
Hmmm… The Pearl that Broke Its Shell for Brunch Book Club was definitely up there.
24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I loved being back with the Grishaverse!
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
I’ll say this was a tie between The Awesome by Eva Darrows and Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish – they were like movies in my head.
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?
The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguru and Rilla of Ingleside (Walter! Dog Monday!).
27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Not so hidden any more, but A Shepherd’s Life by James Rebanks is one of my favourite non-fiction reads of the year.
28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
All the Rage and Dumplin’ left me emotional and spent, but didn’t crush me. I connect with books too much to let them crush me, methinks…
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?
Bird Box by Josh Malerman
30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Red Rain – because reasons.
1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?
So many – I’m hooked on book podcasts right now, but it was a joy to meet Becca and Jody from KinderLit Canada at the Raincoast event. I have loved their blog for a while, but it’s a go-to spot for me now. We have very similar tastes and ideas, and I think they are wonderful people in addition to talented bloggers.
2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?
Strangely, I think it was my review for Red Rain. I so disliked that book, and felt so cheated by it that my outrage came through … it’s the first negative review I think I’ve ever posted, and while I don’t really want to ever have to write another, it was very freeing to be able to say exactly why I felt so betrayed by that book.
3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
The cover reveal for Exit, Pursued by a Bear was fantastic. EK (Kate) Johnston was so lovely and accommodating, and it was such fun to have so many people comment via Twitter and Facebook on how excited they were for her 2016 release!
4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I loved the Green Gables Readalong. It helped me to rediscover my love of Anne all over again, and I credit Lindsey at Reeder Reads for that one entirely. I laughed and cried as much as I did when I first read the series, and I’m so happy I did it.
I also LOVED being a part of the Raincoast preview event that I co-hosted with the lovely Vanessa from Raincoast/Ampersand. It was SO MUCH FUN and I had the chance to meet so many amazing local bloggers in real life. It was a great transition moment for me as well, and a step in a different direction for me.
BEA was a different beast for me this year, as I moved from Bookseller to Librarian and Reviewer. I was still in bookseller mode for many things, but I went to more sessions and gained a tonne of new knowledge that was so helpful in the second half of 2015.
5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?
‘Nuff said, for this long-time CanLit reader. #achievementunlocked
6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
Time. There just wasn’t enough of it this year, and I read far more books than I could write about.
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
The Exit, Pursued by a Bear cover reveal as mentioned above.
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
The Middle Grade Monday posts, especially the one for the Categorical Universe of Candice Phee. I’ve recommended and handsold that book to at least a dozen kids, all of whom have come back asking for more just like it, and I wish everyone could discover how lovely it is. Vikki VanSickle has a wonderful movement afoot to promote Middle Grade books; it’s one of my missions for 2016 to read and promote more middle grade.
9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
I loved the Heroine Questions from A.M. Dellamonica, and would love to set up something similar for my blog. Between the Proust Questionnaire and this, I’m on a mission to find a blend that works for me and for visiting authors.
There are always wonderful bookstores (especially indie) to discover; I started to explore Etsy more and to look at Litographs after I discovered them at BEA.
10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I finished my Green Gables Readalong!
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I have the paper version, and I’m determined to take my time to savour it.
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?
New work from Victoria Schwab, EK Johnston, and hopefully the next in the series from Erin Bow, If I Had a Gryphon by Vikki VanSickle, Flannery by Lisa Moore and Saving Montgomery Sole by Mariko Tamaki.
3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
No idea — I don’t tend to know if it’s a debut or not until I’m already in it!
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?
Hopefully a new Galbraith mystery as well as a new book in The Scorpion Rules. Also – Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo.
5. Something You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?
I’d love to be more consistent with theme days (example: Murderous Mondays for mysteries, a specific day for romance reviews, etc.) I still struggle to keep up, but I need to let go of the feeling of writing reviews for everything – I’d love to focus just on the books that I love best, as I spend my days recommending and purchasing books for libraries and in an indie bookstore.
As mentioned above, I’d also like to develop a set questionnaire to give authors who stop by.
6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone
Exit, Pursued by a Bear because it’s AMAZING. Lifeboat Clique because it’s really, really unusual. This is Where it Ends is compelling and unbelievably good. The High Mountains of Portugal, by Yann Martel will invite discussion for sure, while Sea Change by Frank Viva is visually stunning, as you would expect.
Join the fun! Go to Perpetual Page Turner and link your own blogging reflections.