Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 End of Year Book Survey

Well, any more year end posts will end up in January because . . . I managed to catch about 3 different viruses between Christmas and New Year's Eve - even though I haven't been sick in 4 or so years! While this was bad for working and blogging, I did manage to squeeze in a few more books before midnight on the 31st!

In the meantime, I found this survey through Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction, who does a monthly wrap up I participate in (coming soon!). The Year End Survey is hosted by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner. Thanks Jamie for hosting, and you can join that link-up here.
(All gifs belong to respective copyright holders)

2015 Reading Stats

Number Of Books You Read: 127 according to Goodreads, but I forgot ( or just didn't add) quite a few. I tend to update Goodreads only when I remember :) I know I read a lot of research books as well.

Number of Re-Reads: 3! I reread The Perilous Gard, The Blue Sword, and The King of Attolia, three of my all-time favorite books.

Genre You Read The Most From: Easily Fantasy/Sci-Fi - with a whopping 69%. Nonfiction (20%) and Historical Fiction (8%) were next, and Contemporary Fiction was last at about 3%. Translated works made up about 50% of my total reading.

Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read In 2015?

I listed off my top 10 reads here, and that was hard enough.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Uprooted by Naomi Novik. I was really excited about this one, and prepped to love it. And I did love it until about 3/4's of the way through. From the awkward and uncomfortable (to me, anyhow) relationship developments on to the awkward finale (felt like I was reading a different book), it just didn't work for me.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?

The Silver Linings Playbook was absolutely charming - just the right amount of moving and funny. I am not a fan of most contemporaries, but I loved this book!

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Probably Thorn, by Intisar Khanani. I managed to convince friends on and offline that this book was worth the read. The ones who got back to me all agreed.

5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?

Best Series (novels): Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson (manga): Tokyo Ghoul
Best Sequel: Vision in Silver (the Others) by Anne Bishop
Best Series Ender (novels): Winter by Marissa Meyer (manga): NARUTO!

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

I read at least one book from basically every genre except Romance, and the closest thing I read to a romance was probably Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. I loved that book, even though it was entirely written around a romantic relationship.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

I'm going to have to mark this as a tie between Wolf by Wolf and Six of Crows. I read each of them in one sitting, and stayed up way too late to do so.

9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I don't reread many books (no time), so I'm not sure. But I will probably reread Jakob's Colors before I review it (since I read it in the summer, and it's only released here in January).

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?

I liked the cover for Wolf by Wolf, but I also loved this cover for Silver Swan by Elena Delbanco. While the book wasn't my favorite, the black and silver shades of this cover are beautiful and striking, and the overall composition is fabulous.

11. Most memorable character of 2015?

Another one I addressed elsewhere - you can see my favorite characters of 2015 list here.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?

Tie between Jakob's Colors and Where Women Are Kings by Christie Watson (also a contender for best cover).

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?

Between the World and Me was definitely one of the most thought-provoking books I read this year.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?

Ross Poldark (Poldark Saga #1) by Winston Graham. It just seems like a book I would have read about ten years ago.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?

“I've been thinking lately about immortality. What it means to be remembered, what I want to be remembered for, certain questions concerning memory and fame. I love watching old movies. I watch the faces of long-dead actors on the screen, and I think about how they'll never truly die. I know that's a cliché but it happens to be true. Not just the famous ones who everyone knows, the Clark Gables, the Ava Gardners, but the bit players, the maid carrying the tray, the butler, the cowboys in the bar, the third girl from the left in the nightclub. They're all immortal to me. First we only want to be seen, but once we're seen, that's not enough anymore. After that, we want to be remembered.”
Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven
There were many beautiful passages, but a lot of Station Eleven stood out for its prose.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?

Graphic courtesy of

17. Book That Shocked You The Most

-Probably more shocked by T.O.P's hair-
I can't remember the last book that shocked me. I don't really get shocked, I guess.


I didn't even know what an OTP was until early summer (2015). (Google is a magical place - but how can it be your one true pairing if you have multiples?). So many questions. And I don't really care about pairings in the first place, so I don't know that I even have one. *thinks hard for a minute* Nope. Still not thinking of one.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

On the other hand, I have a TON of these. From Kelsier and Vin in Mistborn, to Val and Hitomi in Sunbolt, I have way too many to list. But the ones that moved me the most were the epic brother-bonds formed between these two duos:

1. Joseph and Jack from Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt
2. Naruto and Sasuke from Naruto by Kishimoto Masashi

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Winter or Orbiting Jupiter. They're too different to pick between.

21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Despite my aversion to the cover (it's not a book I'd pick up based on the picture), The Winner's Curse came highly recommended by a lot of people I trust. I really did enjoy it (though the second cover is worse!).

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?

. . . . . . .

23. Best 2015 debut you read?

See #9. Also Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho. I read a couple more amazing debuts, but they aren't published at all until 2016, so I'll save them for later.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. Her worldbuilding and settings are top notch.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

The Silver Linings Playbook had me in stitches, but I also really enjoyed As You Wish, Cary Elwes' surprisingly charming memoir about making The Princess Bride.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?

Orbiting Jupiter, and, don't laugh, volumes #62 and #72 of Naruto. And I can name all the books that have made me cry in my entire life, and there are less than ten of them. So this is pretty impressive, Schmidt and Kishimoto.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

It's a novella, but Mourning Cloak is a fantasy gem with great worldbuilding and fascinating characters. And the author is really nice :) You can read my review here.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Orbiting Jupiter pulled my soul out, crushed it, shoved it back in, and then did it again. But it was a beautiful book all the same (read my review here).

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?

I still don't quite know what to make of The Nest, a strange little story by Kenneth Oppel. I definitely liked it, but still. (It's a contemporary mild fantasy a la Coraline, about a boy and his new baby brother). The themes were great - with the affirmation that all lives have value. But it was pretty weird, all the same.

30. Book That Made You The Angriest (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?*

*Rant Warning*

Gone Girl. I loathed it. I had the plot figured by chapter 3, and then spent the entire rest of the book with dreadfully unlikeable and foul characters just to find out that there really wasn't a shocker plot twist. I wanted to throw it off a cliff. Honestly, if I hadn't been supposed to read it for Book Club, I would have thrown it off a cliff before I finished it. *Thank you for letting me get that off my chest*

Your Blogging Life:

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?

Too many to choose from, and I'm bad at picking favorites.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?

See Above ^ But if I have to pick, the first review I posted on the blog was for an old favorite, The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley. It was fun to revisit a book I've always loved, and pick it apart in new ways.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

I am partial to my Tolkien Tribute here, and my Star Wars tribute from earlier this year.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

Book Expo America! And my favorite signing was Marissa Meyer's for Winter.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?

Getting the email from Neverland Publishing saying that they wanted to pick up my debut novel, Knight of the Blue Surcoat. I'll probably not believe it till I hold a printed copy in my hands!

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

TIME. Time is always a challenge. Between my job and other responsibilities, I am pretty busy. And I don't have internet, so that makes it complicated.

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

My book announcement had the most views. My Top Ten Tuesdays have the most comments :)

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I've never thought about it. Maybe book reviews, because if I review a book, it means that I really want to converse with someone about it!

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN is a gem. But so was Book Expo!

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

YES! I more than doubled my goal of 50 books on Goodreads, and revamped my blog with more spirit and discipline.

Looking Ahead:

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?

The Lone Samurai: The Life of Miyamoto Musashi by William Scott Wilson. I've had this biography sitting on my desk for a week, and I can't wait to get to it. (I felt that I needed to finish at least one of the 7 books I was reading first!)

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?

No idea. I already read Marked in Flesh, and I don't know if it's realistic to hope for a Wolf by Wolf sequel yet!

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

I am excited about promoting a lot of books - especially the 2016 debuts that I read earlier this year, such as The Mirror Thief and Born on a Tuesday. But I've already read them. As for new books . . .
Erm, is it bad if I say my own (assuming all things work as planned)?
But that aside, I am really intrigued by Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel. Giant robots and this review by author Sherwood Smith seal the deal.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?

I'm actually pretty excited about The Glass Sword. I'm intrigued to see where Victoria Aveyard takes the story. And I'm really looking forward to the Six of Crows sequel, Crooked Kingdom, but the projected date for that is in September, and I don't even want to think about September.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?

Read and review more ARCs. It's not only helpful for my job, it utilizes the generous and invaluable resources available to a bookseller and blogger. I'm still pretty new at that aspect of things (though I've been selling books for over three years), and I have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew.

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

Other than Jakob's Colors, I think Born on a Tuesday, the story of a Muslim Nigerian boy, was a powerful, thought-provoking read that is more important and relevant now than ever before. It wasn't an easy read by any means, but it's a compelling story that was unlike anything I've read this year.

Well folks, that's it for the questions. Have some virtual cake if you made it the whole way through!! Have you read/do you want to read any of these books? If you did a year end book review, make sure to leave a link in the comments so I can check it out!


*Normally I try to avoid ranting on the blog, but I had to get that one out.