The End Of Year Survey For 2016

I really love the End Of Year Survey that Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner does every year, and I figure this is a great time to do it!  You can check it out here.

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2016 Reading Stats:

Number Of Books I Read: 123

Number Of Re-Reads: I honestly have no idea- I’m pretty sure I re-read some stuff, but I don’t track it.  Unless you count the Welcome To Night Vale book, because I did read the print book and listen to the audio book because I couldn’t make up my mind about which format I wanted to read it in.  That’s only one I can remember off of the top of my head.

Genre I Read The Most From: Contemporary- with 38 books!

Best In Books:

1. Best Book You Read In 2016:

Contemporary: It’s a tie between George by Alex Gino and Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

Fantasy: A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas and The Beauty Of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson

General Fiction: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t: The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick.  I really liked it but not as much as I thought.  It just didn’t have the same appeal My Life Next Door Had.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read: All The Beautiful And Ugly Things by Bryn Greenwood.  This book was a good surprise, and I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I loved it.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did): I feel like I talked about George by Alex Gino a lot- I’m not sure how many people picked it up specifically because I mentioned it, but I think everyone should read it!

5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?

Best Series I Started: Court Of Fives by Kate Elliott

Best Sequel: A Court Of Mist And Fury

Best Series Ender: The Heart Of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016: Yaa Gyasi- Homegoing was amazing

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone: It’s a tie between Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi and Behold The Dreamers by Mbue Imbolo

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year:  I’m going with Harry Potter And The Cursed Child for this one, and that’s because I was excited to get my copy at midnight that I knew I couldn’t go to bed until I read the entire script.  It doesn’t exactly fit, but that’s the book I’m going with.

9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year: A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016: I love this one, and I don’t know why.  But it’s so pretty!

shiny-broken-pieces-cover

11. Most memorable character of 2016: Gabi, from A Girl In Pieces.  I loved her, and she has a really unique voice.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016: This is a hard one, but I think I’m going to go with All The Ugly And Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016: All-American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely.  There are no words to describe how much this book made me think, but it was such an eye-opener for me.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read: The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick.  I’ve wanted to read it for a while, but never got around to it until last year.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016:

“You look around at the people in your life, one by one, choosing to hold on to the ones who make you stronger and better, and letting go of the ones who don’t.”

From Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016:

Shortest: The House On Mango St by Sandra Cisneros (110 pages) and Perfect by Natasha Friend (4 hours, 30 minutes)

Longest: The Beauty Of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson (688 pages) and World War Z by Max Brooks (12 hours, 8 minutes)

17. Book That Shocked You The Most: Soldier by Julie Kagawa.  I was not expecting that ending at all.  I will be so glad when the next book comes out so I can find out what happens.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!): Valek and Yelena from Night Study

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year: Melissa and Kelly from George.  I love their friendship and how supportive Kelly was.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously: And I Darken by Kiersten White.  I swear, every book she does is so different than the last one, but it was such a great book!

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure: Court Of Fives by Kate Elliott.  I read it solely based on Gail Carriger’s recommendation.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016: Rhysand from A Court Of Thorns And Roses.  I don’t think an explanation is needed.

23. Best 2016 debut you read: In the interest of mixing up and NOT putting a book I’ve mentioned already, I’m going to go with False Illusions by A. Cramton!

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year: The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye is one of the more vivid settings- I loved the Night Circus feel that the book has!

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read: The BFG by Roald Dahl.  It definitely made me smile!

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone.  It’s the only one where I remember crying when I was reading it.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year: Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.  This book deserves more attention!

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul: This is another hard one, but I think I’m going to go with All The Ugly And Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood.  But I also think Missoula by Jon Krakauer would be either choice.  I wish I could make up my mind, because there are too many good choices.  These are my top 2 choices, though, so at least I was able to narrow it down.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016: I have to go with the Welcome To Night Vale book for this one- I highly recommend the audio book, if you do decide to pick it up!

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it): Take A Chance and One More Chance by Abbi Glines.  I read a couple of other books by Glines and really liked them, but these two were so frustrating to read.  Just thinking about them makes me angry!

My Book/Blogging Life:

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2016: Paper Fury!  Her blog was new to me last year, and I don’t know why I didn’t start reading it before!!!  Her blog is absolutely delightful and fun.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2016: The reviews I wrote for Take A Chance and One More Chance.  As much as I didn’t like those particular books, it was good to get my frustrations out.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog: I think I’m going to have to go with the posts I did about the Gilmore Girls revival: one with no spoilers, Part One (With Spoilers) and Part Two (With Spoilers).

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.): Going to the signing for the Welcome To Night Vale scripts.  It was so much fun to hear them talk about one of my favorite podcasts ever.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2016: I have to pick?  Probably the Welcome To Night Vale signing I went to.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year: Lack of motivation.  I had a hard time getting myself to write blog posts this year.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views): Top Ten Books For People Who Like The Iron Fey.  I published this post in July 2012, and it’s STILL my most popular post.  I’ve done a couple of updated posts, but the original one is still going strong, which is completely awesome.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love: I honestly don’t know.  I’m good with whatever people want to read, and I don’t know that there’s one particular post that needs a little more love.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.): Read Diverse Books.  It’s one of my new favorite blogs, and I’ve come across so many books I haven’t heard that I want to read.

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year: Close to half of the books I read last year were diverse/#ownvoices, and I definitely paid more attention to what I was reading.

Looking Ahead:

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017: My entire TBR pile?  I’m only half-joking here, but…I think I’m going to go with A Thousand Boy Wishes by Tillie Cole.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut): Red Hot Rain by Rachel Caine.  I was surprised to find out there was going to be another Weather Wardens book, but I’m really looking forward to it.

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.  I am looking forward to this book so much I pre-ordered it.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017: A Court Of Wings And Ruin by Sarah J. Maas.  After the way ACOMAF ended…I just need to read it.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017: There are so many things I could say, but if I have to pick one…listen to more audio books.  I’m going with one audio book a month this year.

6. A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone: I haven’t read any 2017 releases yet, but I know I have a couple ARC’s I need to read.

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2016: A Year In Books

Since I did a post looking back at everything I did last year, I figured I do a bookish recap too!  I figured I do a numbers/resolution post, but the 2016 End Of Year Survey is in the works too.  I should be posting that sometime this week, and that will be more focused on the books I read last year.

Some General Stats:

  1. Total Books Read: 123
  2. Shortest Book I Read: The House On Mango St. by Sandra Cisneros at 110 pages
  3. Longest Book I Read: The Beauty Of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson at 688 pages
  4. Total Pages Read: 38,445 for 115 e-books/print books
  5. Shortest Audio Book: Perfect by Natasha Friend at 4 hours, 30 minutes
  6. Longest Audio Book: World War Z by Max Brooks at 12 hours, 8 minutes
  7. Total Hours Listened To: 73 hours, 31 minutes

5 Most Read Genres:

  1. Contemporary: 38 books
  2. Fantasy: 29 books
  3. General Fiction: 10 books
  4. Historical Fiction: 9 books
  5. Re-Telling: 9 books

Some Random Stats:

  1. 11 books were from 2016 debut authors
  2. 70% of the books I read were YA, 21% were adult, and 9% were NA, middle grade and children’s.
  3. 74.9% were from the library, 21.9% were books I own, and the remaining 4% or so were ARC’s or borrowed.
  4. 54% were print books, 40% were e-books and 6% were audio books.
  5. 62% of the books I read were 3 stars or higher, and I ended up not finishing 39 books this year.  I’m not sure about how many books I re-read, but that might be something to track this year.

How I Did With Last Year’s Reading Goals:

  1. I read, on average, 5 diverse books every month, and overall, 48.9% of the books I read last year were diverse.  I was hoping I would reach 50%, but I got pretty close, and I am determined to have half of the books I read this year be diverse.
  2. Apparently, one of my goals last year was to get back into reading after a reading slump.  Even though I’m feeling sort of blah about a lot of the books I read this year, I did pay more attention to what I was read, and I did get out of my comfort zone a little bit.
  3. This brings me to not doing the Goodreads challenge last year.  It took a lot of pressure off, and I feel like I was able to focus more on WHAT I was reading, instead HOW MUCH I was reading.  It is a good challenge, and it definitely works for a lot of people- it worked for me for quite a few years, but at this point in my reading life, I have other things I want to focus on in terms of reading.  I may come back to the Goodreads challenge at some point, but not anytime soon.
  4. Not surprisingly, I didn’t read a lot of the books I own.  I did use the library a lot- around 74% of the books  I read were from the library, but I think it’s partially because the books I own weren’t too appealing last year? Maybe?  I’m not really sure.

My Reading Goals For This Year:

While we’re on the topic of goals, let’s talk about what I want to accomplish this year, in terms of reading.

  1. Not doing the Goodreads challenge.  I talked a little bit about it above, but it was a huge relief to NOT do it last year.  I have reading goals in mind, but not of the “how many books do I want to read this year” variety.  It’s just not a goal for me right now, but like I said, it’s something I may come back to in the future.
  2. Half of the books I read this year will be diverse/#ownvoices!  I was so close to that number last year, but more importantly, it’s really important to me that I keep reading books that are about and written by people from marginalized groups.
  3. I also want to read more translated books!  Shadow Of The Wind was really interesting, and I really liked The Vegetarian, so I am determined to find more translated books.  I’m always looking for suggestions!
  4. This year, I really want to listen to more audio books!  I feel like there isn’t enough time in the day for audio books and podcasts, but this year, I want to listen to at least one audio book a month.

I think that wraps it up.  Have a great week!

Book Talk: A Year In Books, The 2015 Edition

Book Talk is an occassional feature where I talk about bookish things that aren’t book reviews.

Book Talk

2015 has been quite the year in books!  I’ve had my ups and downs this year as far as reading goes (more than any other year put together), and while I wish that 2015 ended on a better note reading wise, I’m hoping that 2016 will be a little bit better.

I had a reading slump earlier in the year- it was definitely stress-related to the point that I couldn’t focus on much of anything except sitting on the couch and watching t.v./Netflix.  It got better for a few months, but around mid-August, I found myself in a non-reading mood.  I tried manga and audio books from August to October, read only a handful of books in November (but I was also doing NaNoWriMo in November), so that might be why I didn’t read a lot in November.  And for December, I haven’t read a single book.  I would mark books as currently reading on goodreads, only to not even start them- and the one or two I did start, I only read a few pages and never continued past that.  I don’t want to force it, and I’ve kind of liked this non-reading period, but at the same time, I want to read so much.  Maybe I’ll try audio books again, to see if that will work, because picking something up is really unappealing right now.

Still, I actually managed to stick to my bookish goals this year- for the most part, I tried not to buy a lot of books, and I feel like I did pretty well with that.  Trying not to feel any bookish guilt- I don’t remember feeling guilty, but I also don’t think it was something that came up a lot.

As for reading more diversely (in terms of characters and authors), I did a lot better than I thought I would!  I think my initial goal was 2-4 books a month, and on average, I was at 5.8 books (or 43% of the books I read were diverse).  I was definitely more aware of what I was reading, and I read some amazing books this year because I wanted to read about more diverse characters and read books by diverse authors.  I could definitely do better, but overall, I did really well with it, and it’s something that I’m going to keep doing.

As for stats…I read a lot more print books than normal (52 this year, compared to the 7 I read last year), and that’s probably because I used the library a lot more this year (98 versus the one I read last year).  Audio books stayed around the same, but for the most part, where I got books and the format of said books stayed around the same, or evened out a little more.

I also kept better track of genre this year (because I’m also curious about what I read the most but am far too lazy to figure it out from Goodreads), and YA contemporary was my most read genre with 40 books. Paranormal (20), mystery/thriller/suspense (17), fantasy (16), manga (13), re-tellings (13), and dystopic novels (11) were the other genres I read the most.  Also, most of the books I read this year were published in 2012 or later.  My overall rating was 3.1 stars, and I read 147 books this year.  I didn’t include December in my stats, because I didn’t feel like it was fair to include a non-reading month in my own stats.

I could go on with some of the stats I kept track of (I read 37,375 pages and listened to 146 hours, 53 minutes of audio books), but I think I’ll just keep it to what I’ve mentioned (especially since I want to do the end-of-year survey hosted by The Perpetual Page-Turner, and I’m sure I’ll go more into some of this stuff then).

As for other bookish things, I went to a few book signings, and had a blast at them.  It would be fun to go up to the West Coast version of YALLFest next year (I know that there is one, I just found out about it after it happened), and while I don’t think I can make it up to BEA in 2016, I hope I can make it up there in 2017.

I’m hoping that my reading will get back to normal next year, and I can’t wait to read some awesome books!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite New-To-Me Authors From 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely folks over at The Broke And The Bookish.  Every week, bloggers share their own bookish top ten lists based on the topic of the week.  You can check out Ten Tuesdays here.

Blog Graphic- Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Favorite New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2015

I can’t believe it’s December already!  It’s definitely that time of year for looking back at 2015, and this list (all about my new favorite authors) is a good way to kick-off all of the end-of-year stuff I want to talk to about!

  1. Nnedi Okorafor.  I’ve read a couple of her books (Akata Witch and Who Fears Death), and I can’t wait to read more books by her!
  2. Chimamanda Adichie.  I read Purple Hibiscus, which I loved, and I got a couple of her other books from Audible to listen to (soon, I hope, because Purple Hibiscus was awesome).
  3. Andy Weir.  The Martian was a lot of fun to listen to, and I hope anything else Weir writes will be just as fun!
  4. Atia Habawi.  I loved The Secret Sky, and I’m looking forward to see what else she writes!
  5. Anna Banks.  Joyride was another book I loved, and I know she has some other books out that I want to check out.
  6. Nicola Yoon.  I have super-mixed feelings about the end of Everything, Everything, but overall I felt for Maddy and her mom, and I liked it enough that I would read whatever Yoon writes next.
  7. I.W. Gregorio.  None Of The Above is one of my favorite books I’ve read this year (most of the authors on today’s list have written some of my favorite books I’ve read this year), and I want another book from Gregorio.
  8. Malinda Lo.  I’ve read several of her books, but I think Ash is my favorite of the 3 I’ve read.  It’s such a great take on Cinderella.
  9. Stacey Lee.  Under The Painted Sky was great (I really recommend it, especially if you like historical fiction), and I think she’s one of my new favorite authors.
  10. Sarah J. Maas.  I really need to finish her Throne Of Glass series.  And I need to read A Court Of Thorns And Roses.

Currently Obsessed With: The Final Look Back At 2014

Currently Obsessed With is a once-a-month but sometimes more feature where I talk about everything I’m into and everything going on in my life.

Instead doing a Currently Obsessed With post just for December, I thought it would be fun to do a year-end one!  It’s been quite a year for me.  Getting a new car is the biggest thing that happened this year (but getting it as a result of a totaled car was not fun) and finding out that my job went from temporary to permanent was also great.  Winning NaNo and realizing that I wanted to re-write was great, but spraining your ankle is not, especially when it means you don’t write anything.  You’d think not moving or being able to walk normally would be good for your word count, except for I kept getting distracted by Netflix and Hulu and the internet.

Nails & Beauty:

I’ve shared quite a few Julep Maven Boxes this year, and I really love getting them!  I’ve opted out for the last couple of months, because I haven’t been super interested in the colors they’ve had.  They’ve been colors I’m not interested in wearing because they’re not my style, and the ones I do like are way too similar to colors I already have, and I don’t need 3 variations of eggplant or navy blue.  I am really glad I upgraded to the customizable box, which is great when I don’t like a color, and want to switch to something I will wear. Obviously, it’s not helpful when I don’t like any of the colors.  But it’s still worth it.

Crochet:

I’ve crocheted quite a bit this year!  Like, I started a blanket that I would go on to abandon once it got crazy hot.  I did pick it back up again on Christmas, but it’s going to be put on hold while I finish up this one project- I believe I mentioned a super-secret crochet project that I will be finished with this month, and then I’ll actually be able to talk about it!

I crocheted a small bird, a Christmas ball coaster turned ornament, and a couple of scarves!  They were all Christmas presents- two for friends (the bird and one scarf, in plum), one for my grandma (the Christmas ball coaster ornament) and for a Secret Santa at work (the other scarf but in blue).

Crochet- December 2014 Collage

About that coaster ornament I came across this really cool pattern for Christmas coasters, and made one for my grandma.   I did feel like looking for cotton yarn, so I used some acrylic, and found that it would be a great ornament, since you have to make a chain so you can hang it on a hook.  It ended up being too big for an ornament, so if I decide to do it as an ornament again, I’ll definitely make it a round or two smaller.

Click here if you want the crochet bird pattern and here for the scarf pattern I used.

I also got a couple of really awesome crochet gifts, and they really are my favorite gifts that I got this year. Golden Snitch slippers and a Hufflepuff Ninja Scarf!  (My nickname is Snark Ninja, and since one end of the scarf had a lot of yellow, my one friend decided the other end needed a lot of black, which is quite ninja-like, hence a Hufflepuff Ninja scarf).

Books:

I have covered general year-end book stuff over the last few weeks: Top 10 New-To-Me Authors, Top 13 Favorite Books, Top 10 Resolutions, which is both bookish and non-bookish, I looked back at the resolutions I made a year ago, and the 2014 End-Of-Year Book Survey.

But there are still a few things I wanted to talk about!

I really want to read more diversely this year (I’ll totally be talking about that at some point in the next couple of weeks), and I used my audible credit to get 2 books- yay for 2 books for 1 credit sales!  I got Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Reading Lolita In Tehran by Azar Nafisi.  I have a couple of Adichie’s book on my TBR, and when I saw Americanah, during Audible’s 2-for-1 sale, I knew I had to get it.  Same thing for Reading Lolita In Tehran, which I’ve wanted to read for a while.  I’m actually glad I checked out the sale, because I found a couple of interesting books.

I got an Amazon gift card for Christmas, and that went towards some Kindle books!  I do have the Kindle app, but I don’t use it often.  Mostly for ARC’s, because for some reason, it’s a pain to get them onto the Nook tablet, and I’m way too lazy to figure it out.

Anyway, here’s what I got:

  • What If by Rebecca Donovan
  • Endangered by Eliot Schrefer
  • As Red As Blood by Salla Simukka
  • Out Of Shadows by Jason Wallace
  • Whatever Life Throws At You by Julie Cross.

And one final thing: Pottermore!  I was originally a beta tester when it first opened, but I went away from it for a really long time before coming back to it a few months ago.  I had quite a bit to get through, which was nice.  But I’ve been really disappointed with Order Of The Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince.  Given how big these 2 books are, there hasn’t been a lot of moments or new information, and it’s disappointing.

It does feel rushed to me, even though I know a lot of work has to go into illustrating the moments, and picking them, and adding in sound and the narration and everything.  I’m hoping that at some point, more things will be added to these two books, and that there are more moments in Deathly Hallows.  It seems unlikely but I’m still hopeful.

Book Stats:

I have yet to do a full break-down, but it’s always fun to do this.  I have some general numbers, plus it’s broken down by source, format and rating.

Basics:

Books Read: 140

Average Read Per Month: 11.67

Average Rating For All Books Read: 3.51

Source:

Own: 99

Borrowed: 3

Library: 1

ARC’s (through Netgalley or the publisher): 37 total (28 through netgalley, 9 directly from the publisher)

Format:

E-books: 117

Audio: 16

Print: 7

Rating:

0 Stars/DNF: 10

1 Star: 1

2 Stars: 12

3 Stars: 53

4 Stars: 58

5 Stars: 16

TV:

I’ve watched a lot of t.v. over the last year!  Once Upon A Time is a favorite, as is Gray’s Anatomy and Scandal. New favorites are The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, Heart Of Dixie, and The 100.  I’ve been watching Breaking Bad again, and I’m going to start up with Downton Abbey.  And hopefully, I’ll start doing my Gilmore Girls recaps again.  I am sad about the death of Edward Herrmann (and the others we’ve lost this year, like Maya Angelou, Joan Rivers and Robin Williams, amongst others).

Movies:

I’ve seen quite a few movies this year, and here are some of my favorites.

Animated:

  • Frozen
  • How To Train Your Dragon 2

Comics:

  • Captain America 2
  • Guardians Of The Galaxy

Movie adaptations:

  • Divergent made me love Four and Tris even more
  • Mockingjay, Part 1- I really liked that it focused on the characters
  • The Giver, which made me think of the book in a different way
  • If I Stay, which I liked but not as much as I thought
  • The Fault In Our Stars…it took me a good day to recover from all the crying

Also: I love that ABC Family has the occasional Harry Potter Marathon Weekend, which is what I did last weekend.  I watched Deathly Hallows, Part 2 for the first time since I saw it in theaters.  It’s so weird, because I can’t bring myself to watch it on DVD, because I feel like if I do, then the series is really, truly over.  I know it makes no sense whatsoever, since both books and movies have been over for several years now, but…that’s still my general feeling.  T.V. is perfectly fine for some reason, but I just can’t bring myself to watch it on DVD.

Around The Internet:

I’ve shared quite a few great articles throughout the year.  I’ve decided not to share any this month, but I did finally start a Pinterest board for all of them, which you can check out here.  I bookmark so many things, and I knew there had to be an easier way to keep everything in one place.  I don’t know why I didn’t think of it earlier.

My Favorite Things To Listen To:

Albums:

  • Frozen Soundtrack: I’m still listening to it.  A lot.
  • Guardians Of The Galaxy, Awesome Mix, Volume 1: It’s so much fun to listen to, and they did a great job with this soundtrack.
  • Divergent Soundtrack: Still listening to it months later.  It’s a favorite.
  • Shatter Me by Lindsay Stirling.  I am such a huge fan, and I can listen to Shatter Me over and over again.
  • Red by The Dallas String Quartet.  I love that it’s covers played on string instruments.  They are so good!

Songs:

  • Interception from Beautiful Creatures
  • Dark Horse by Katy Perry
  • Sleeping With A Friend by The Neon Trees
  • Ain’t It Fun by Paramore
  • I Will Be There by Odessa

One Podcast Recommendation:

  • Serial, which is now over.  I’m actually glad I started listening at what would be the last couple of episodes, since I got to listen to most of it at once.  But at the same time, I kind of wish I had more time with it.  At least I’ll get to listen to season 2 as it comes out.  Is anyone else listening to Serial?  If you haven’t, I seriously recommend it.

2014 End Of The Year Book Survey

Every year, Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner does an End Of The Year Book Survey, and I always look forward to doing it because it’s so much fun to think about the books I’ve read over the last year in a really cool way.  I’ve done it in 2012 and 2013, so it’ll be fun to do it again.  Just to let y’all know, this is going to be a long post.  Enjoy!

Book Stats

Number Of Books Read:

140 + 10 DNF’s

Number Of Re-Reads:

I have no idea, since I don’t keep track of my re-reads (but maybe I should).  I know I re-read a few books.

Genre You Read The Most From:

I read a lot of YA Paranormal, with 49 books, followed by YA Contemporary with 37.

Best In Books

1- Best Books I Read, by genre:

Paranormal: Sweet Reckoning by Wendy Higgins

Re-tellings: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Dystopic: Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

Contemporary: Isla And The Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

2- Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More, But Didn’t:

It’s a toss-up between Eleanor & Park and The Book Thief- the latter of which I didn’t finish.  Both books have a lot of rave reviews, and they seem right up my alley, but these 2 books just didn’t work for me.

3- Most Surprising, in a good or a bad way:

Stiff by Mary Roach- she made science really fun and interesting!

4- Book That I Pushed The Most People To Read (And They Did):

This is a hard one, because I don’t recommend books to people often, but I really think people should read Crow by Barbara Wright.  I had no idea the Wilmington Race Riots even happened, and now I want to learn more about it.  Also the Queen Of Hearts Saga by Colleen Oakes.

5- Best Series I Started/Best Sequel/Best Series Ender:

Best Series I Started: The Crown by Colleen Oakes.  I just love this Alice In Wonderland re-telling.

Best Sequel: Witchfall by Victoria Lamb.  I just love the combination of paranormal and magic and Tudor England. Everything is coming together so well, and this book wasn’t just filler, which is nice.

Best Series Ender: We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han.  It’s such a perfect end to the series, and I couldn’t ask for a better, more perfect ending.

6- Favorite New Author I Discovered In 2014:

Laura Weiss.  I just LOVED Me Since You, and now I want to read everything she writes.

7- Best Book from a genre I don’t typically read or was out of my comfort zone:

it’s a tie between The Autobiographies Of Maya Angelou, who had quite the life, and Tampa by Alyssa Nutting, which was uncomfortably disturbing but hard to put down literary fiction.

8- Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book I read this year:

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick.  It was hard to put down, and I wanted to know what would happen next, because the book was pretty unpredictable.

9- Book I Read In 2014 That I Am Most Likely To Re-Read In 2015:

Five Ways To Fall by K.A. Tucker.  I’ve already re-read it a couple of times, and I’m looking forward to re-reading it again.

10- Favorite Cover Of A Book I’ve Read In 2014: 

Teardrop Cover

11- Most Memorable Character Of 2014:

Jed from Dead Jed by Scott Craven.  He’s a kid who just happens to have a heart condition that makes him a zombie.  I really like seeing him trying to navigate middle school.

12- Most Beautifully Written Book Read In 2014:

Me Since You by Laura Weiss.  It’s such a beautiful book, and Rowan’s story was one I related to so well.

13- Most Thought-Provoking/Life-Changing Book Of 2014:

Pandemic by Yvonne Ventresca.  It’s a flu pandemic told by a girl who collects supplies and worries about things like pandemics to deal with a really horrible thing that happened with one of her teachers.

14- Book I Can’t Believe I Waited Until 2014 To Read:

The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight by Jennifer Smith.  It’s such a cute story, and I don’t know why it took me so long to read it.

15- Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book I Read In 2014:

“I believe some people are inherently evil.
I believe guilt is a powerful motivator.
I believe redemption is something you can strive for but never fully achieve.
I believe second chances exist only in dreams, never in reality.
I believe you don’t have years, or months, or weeks to impact a person’s life.
You have seconds.
Seconds to win them over, And seconds to lose them.”

-From Four Seconds To Lose by K.A. Tucker

16- Shortest & Longest Book I Read In 2014:

Shortest: Beauty by Nancy Ohlin at 118 pages

Longest: The Collected Autobiographies Of Maya Angelou at 1,186 pages

17- Book That Shocked Me The Most:

Tampa by Alyssa Nutting.  I was not actually expecting to actually read a teacher have sex with one of her 14-year-old students.

18- One True Pairing Of The Year:

I love Isla And Josh from Isla And The Happily Ever After.

19- Favorite Non-Romantic Pairing Of The Year:

I love the relationship that Charlie has with her brothers in On The Fence by Kasie West.

20- Favorite Book From An Author I’ve Read Previously:

Moonglass by Jessi Kirby.  I just love all of her books.

21- Best Book I Read Based Solely On A Recommendation/Peer Pressure:

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.  I didn’t love it like I thought I would, but so many people loved it that I knew I had to read it.  Plus, of the ones I’ve read thar were recommended or I read because everyone else has, it really was one of the better ones.

22- Newest Fictional Crush From A Book I Read:

Raphael from Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh.  He is one of my newest book boyfriends and I have no idea why.

23- Best 2014 Debut I Read:

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley.  It’s such a realistic look at how schools went through de-segregation, and it’s still hard to believe that it wasn’t that long ago that it happened.

24- Book That Put A Smile On My Face/Was The Most Fun To Read:

Wallbanger by Alice Clayton.  This book was absolutely hysterical and I couldn’t stop laughing.

25- Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting:

Out Of The Easy by Ruta Sepetys.  1950’s New Orleans came to life in this book.

26- Book That Made Me Cry Or Nearly Cry In 2014:

A bunch of them!  I really should have that as a category on goodreads…anyway, of the ones that made me cry, I think I have to go with Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, because I felt so connected to Cath and her story.

27- Hidden Gem Of The Year:

My Best Friend, Maybe by Caela Carter.  I was surprised by how much I liked this story of friendship.

28- Book That Crushed My Soul:

It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han.  I cried so much during this book, and it broke my heart.  It really did.

29- Most Unique Book:

Conversion by Katherine Howe.  It’s all about the stress that teens have to deal with in high school, and how that turned into physical symptoms.

30- Book That Made Me Most Mad:

Some Boys by Patty Blount.  Because of how everyone thought she was lying about being raped by the town golden boy, and that she deserved it, because everyone thought that he wasn’t capable of it.

Blogging & Reading Life

1- New Favorite Blog I Discovered In 2014:

I really don’t pay attention to when I start following blogs, but one I REMEMBER discovering this year is Diversity In YA.  It’ll be really helpful since reading more diversely is one of my goals for this year.

2- Favorite Review That I Wrote In 2014:

I think my favorite review from this year is the one I wrote for Isla And The Happily Ever After.  I acted like a total fangirl, but I’m okay with that, because it was a fun review to write.

3- Best Discussion/Non-Review Post I Wrote This Year:

I really like the two posts I did on a reading slump I was in.  I don’t know if they were my best posts, but they were definitely my favorites.  One post is just talking about it, and the other is just a follow-up.  Talking about it really helped me feel better about it.

4- Best Event I Participated In This Year:

The L.A. Festival Of Books was really fun, and I also had a great time at a book signing for The Kiss Of Deception.

5- Best Moment Of Book/Blogging Life:

I don’t know that I had a best moment- or even one that really stood out- but if I had to pick one, I think I’d pick being okay with having reading slumps, since they do happen sometimes.

6- Most Popular Post:

Top Ten Books For People Who Like The Iron Fey is my most popular post- 2.5-ish years after posting it!

7- Post I Wish Got A Little More Love:

I wrote a post talking about cookbooks, and my love of them.

8- Best Bookish Discovery:

9- Did I Complete Any Reading Challenges/Goals:

I did reach my goal of reading 140 books!

Looking Ahead

1- One Book I Didn’t Get To In 2014, But Will Be My #1 Priority In 2015:

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins.  I keep meaning to read but it never seems to happen.

2- A Non-Debut Book I Am Most Anticipating For 2015:

Prudence by Gail Carriger!  I am so glad she has a spin-off series about Prudence.

3- 2015 Debut I Am Most Excited About:

Skyscraping by Cordelia Jensen.  I’m really intrigued by a girl who has deal with a parent who has HIV.

4- Series Ending/Sequel I Am Looking Forward To The Most:

Winter by Marisssa Meyer.  I am so excited about seeing how it all ends.

5- One Thing I Hope To Accomplish Or Do In My Reading/Blogging Life In 2015:

I am going to read more diversely, and it’s my #1 priority for this year.

6- A 2015 Release I’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone

I have yet to read any 2015 releases.

That’s it for my take on the survey.  Have a very happy and completely amazing new year!