Sunday, December 28, 2014
2014 End of Year Book Survey
Jamie over at the Perpetual Page Turner is once again hosting the End of Year Book Survey. I participated in the Survey last year, and it is my favourite of the various ways bloggers share thoughts on their favourite (or least favourite) books and characters of the year.
1. Best Book You Read In 2014?
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell. This was the first of Mitchell's books I've had the pleasure of reading. I loved the writing, the characters, and the story.
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion. I really enjoyed Simsion's first novel, The Rosie Project, and eagerly awaited its sequel. While The Rosie Effect had some funny moments, and Don Tillman remains a favourite fiction character of mine, it did not live up to my expectations.
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014?
Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel. I picked this one up based on all the buzz surrounding it. I, however, don't often get along with highly touted books. I was pleasantly surprised by this one, and it will definitely make my list of Top 10 Books I Read in 2014.
4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I didn't love this book as so many other readers seemed to, but it's definitely one that needs to be talked about. I successfully convinced a number of my co-workers to read it.
5. Best Series you Started in 2014?
Cinda Williams Chima's Seven Realms novels (I will read the final book in the series early in 2015).
6. Favorite New author you Discovered in 2014?
Sebastien de Castell, author of The Traitor's Blade, the first book in a new fantasy series.
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Bird Box by Josh Malerman. I don't generally read horror novels but this one sounded good and I wasn't disappointed.
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes. A smart thriller that was hard to put down during the final few hundred pages.
9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Maybe The Traitor's Blade by Sebastien de Castell.
10. Favorite Cover of a Book you Read in 2014?
Into the Blizzard: Walking the Field of the Newfoundland Dead by Michael Winter. Anyone familiar with the Newfoundland Regiment and the memorial to it at Beaumont-Hamel, France, will know this cover is perfect for the book.
11. Most Memorable Character of 2014?
Pax from Michael J. Sullivan's Hollow World.
12. Most Beautifully Written Book Read in 2014?
Non-fiction: A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett
Fiction: The Enchanted by Rene Denfield
13. Most Thought-Provoking Book of 2014?
A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett. Lindhout, an aspiring Canadian journalist, was kidnapped in Somalia and held for 15 months. The abuse she endured while in captivity was horrendous, but through it all she managed to hold on to the hope that she would gain her freedom. This is an extraordinary book by a remarkable woman. Amanda's story will stay with me for a long time to come.
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read?
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
15. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?
Shortest: Whisper of Jasmine by Deanna Raybourn (Novella - 53 pages)
Longest: The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker (640 pages)
16. Book That Shocked You The Most
(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)
Several things in Gone Girl by Gillan Flynn shocked me, but none more so than the ending.
17. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Definitely the friendship between Falcio, Kest, and Brasti from The Traitor's Blade.
18. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
The Lost Sisterhood by Anne Fortier. I previously read Fortier's novel Juliet, which is a great read, but The Lost Sisterhood is even better!
19. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
Bird Box by Josh Mallerman. When it was released it was promoted/recommended heavily on my Twitter feed so I thought I'd give it a try.
20. Newest Fictional Crush from a Book you Read in 2014?
William Darcy from The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick. Darcy has never been my favourite of Austen's heroes (that honour goes to Captain Wentworth from Persuasion), but I must say I developed a little crush on Su and Rorick's version of Darcy :-)
21. Best 2014 Debut you Read?
Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. Great debut fantasy novel that marks the start of a new series. I can't wait to read the next one.
22. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Hollow World by Michael J. Sullivan. Sullivan never disappoints.
23. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick (click on the title to read my mini-review). While this book, which is a modern-day retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, won't win any literary awards, it entertained me in a way very few books have lately. I smiled the whole time I was reading it, and was so sad that it had to come to an end.
24. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?
I admit to crying in the latest Bridget Jones' book, Mad About the Boy, by Helen Fielding.
25. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Grist by Linda Little (click on the book title to read my review). A beautifully written historical novel set in 19th century rural Nova Scotia.
26. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?
The Bees by Laline Paul. As the title suggests, this is a novel about a colony of bees. Sounds odd, doesn't it? But the book is one of the most original and engaging I've read in a long time.
27. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Gone Girl by Gillan Flynn -- that ending!!!