lunes, 13 de enero de 2014

2013 End of Year Book Survey

It's my first time participating in Jamie's End of the Year Book Survey! Every year, Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner posts a series of question to help us reflect on our reading year. I think this is a really cool idea, so here are my answers!

1. Best book you read in 2013?
The indisputable winner is The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman. This resonated with me in a way no other read has this year. Aside from being personally moved by the book, it is well-written, imaginative and engrossing.

The runner-ups are Maus and Mrs. Dalloway.

2. Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more but didn't?
There were several books this year I didn't love as much as I thought I would. Boo! None of them were bad books, though. They simply were books I thought I was going to LOVE, so my sky-high expectations weren't met. In no particular order: The Map of the Sky (the sequel to The Map of Time, which I loved), The Forgotten Garden, Zone One and The Monuments Men.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?
The Messenger, by Markus Zusak (he also wrote The Book Thief). I thought it was going to be a lot cornier than it was. It was beautifully-written, moving and intelligent. Really intelligent.

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?
I'm not sure of this one. I recommended lots of books, but from previous years!

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?
Locke and Key, by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez, hands down. This horror graphic novel series has stolen my heart.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?
Maggie O'Farrell. I've read two of her books this year and both got 4+ stars. I have her new book, Instructions for a Heatwave, in my TBR list.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
I have not read outside of my comfort zone this year. Shame on me! Thankfully, I've joined the Reading Outside the Box challenge to help me discover new genres.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?
Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline. I read it for my first read-a-thon and it was a blast. I was glued to the pages and read it one sitting!

9. Book you read in 2013 that you are most likely to re-read next year?
Either Ready Player One, for the sheer fun factor and because I would like to pick up more details about the Oasis, or The Ocean at the End of the Lane, as a comfort book.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

11. Most memorable character in 2013?
So many! The Hempstocks, from The Ocean at the End of the Lane, or the Locke family, from Locke and Key. And Wade Watts from Ready Player One, and Ed Kennedy from The Messenger. I can't decide.

not my gif

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?
Swann's Way and Within a Budding Grove. Proust is a genius with words.
Runner-ups: Mrs. Dalloway, Ever After and Tales of the Jazz Age.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?

again, not my gif

Gah! This question is too hard! As a reader, both Proust books have had a great impact on me. They have forced me to read harder and better. They are long, they play with the reader and with the reader's patience, but the reward is beautiful. They have made me think a lot and about a lot of things. But I can't say for sure that Proust had the greatest impact on me. I've read many books which have helped me shape my worldview as a reader, as a woman and as a person. I really can't choose just one.

14. Book you can't believe you waited until 2013 to finally read?
My first Agatha Christie book! The Mysterious Affair at Styles. If the rest are like this one, reading them is going to be a very fun ride.

15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2013?
“I went away in my head, into a book. That was where I went whenever real life was too hard or too inflexible.” 
“You don't pass or fail at being a person, dear.”
“Monsters come in all shapes and sizes, Some of them are things people are scared of. Some of them are things that look like things people used to be scared of a long time ago. Sometimes monsters are things people should be scared of, but they aren't.” 
“Grown-ups don't look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they're big and thoughtless and they always know what they're doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. Truth is, there aren't any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.”
“Nobody looks like what they really are on the inside. You don’t. I don’t. People are much more complicated than that. It’s true of everybody.” 
All these are from Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and I could go on quoting until I had the whole book written here. It is that good.

“When her hands reached out and poured the tea, it was as if she also poured something into me while I sat there sweating in my cab. It was like she held a string and pulled on it just slightly to open me up. She got in, put a piece of herself inside me, and left again.” 
“Only in today's sick society can a man be persecuted for reading too many books.” 
These two are from Markus Zusak's The Messenger.

“We are all, Esme decides, just vessels through which identities pass: we are lent features, gestures, habits, then we hand them on. Nothing is our own. We begin in the world as anagrams of our antecedents.” 
This one is from Maggie O'Farrell's The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox.

“A girl expecting rescue never learns to save herself.”
“Mother didn't understand that children aren't frightened by stories; that their lives are full of far more frightening things than those contained in fairy tales.”
And these two jewels are from Kate Morton's The Forgotten Garden.

16. Shortest & longest book you read in 2013?
Shortest: Welcome to Lovecraft (Locke & Key #1) - 168 pages.
Longest: À la recherche du temps perdu vol. 1, which includes Swann's Way and Within a Budding Grove - 1003 pages.

17. Book that had a scene in it that had you reeling and dying to talk to somebody about it?
The double ending of the first novella in The Map of the Sky made me do a double take. Fortunately, my boyfriend had already read the book, so I could fangirl almost immediately.

18. Favorite relationship from a book you read in 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
Every relationship in The Messenger gets the prize. Runner-ups:
  • Romantic: Lexie Sinclair and Innes Kent from The Hand that First Held Mine.
  • Friendship: Parzival and Aech from Ready Player One.
  • Family: the Hempstocks from The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
19. Favorite book you read in 2013 from an author you've read previously.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

20. Best book you read in 2013 that you read based solely on a recommendation from somebody else.
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, by Maggie O'Farrell.

21. Genre you read the most from in 2013?

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?
No clear crush this year. If I had to say something, it would be Ed Kennedy from The Messenger.

23. Best 2013 debut you read?
I haven't read enough debuts, but I would choose Vaclav and Lena, by Haley Tanner.

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?
Again, The Ocean at the End of the Lane and Ready Player One.

25. Book that was the most fun to read in 2013?
Ready Player One.

26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2013?
I don't cry easily when reading. The Messenger moved me a lot, though.

27. Book you read in 2013 that you think got overlooked this year or when it came out?
Ever After, by Graham Swift. It's a slim volume that packs a punch, and it's beautifully written. I think it should get more attention.

1. One book you didn't get to in 2013 but will be your number 1 priority in 2014?
A Dance with Dragons! I've been following A Song of Ice and Fire for years, but what I heard about the fifth book made me procrastinate reading it. However, if I don't catch up soon, I'm going to suffer spoilers from the HBO series!

2. Book you are most anticipating for 2014 (non-debut)?
The third book of The Kingkiller Chronicles, although I'm not sure if Patrick Rothfuss has decided on a release date yet. But I hope it will be soon because I need to know what happens next!

3. 2014 debut you are most anticipating?
I usually know about debuts once they are published, so I can't really answer this question.

4. Series ending you are most anticipating in 2014?
See answer to question 2 above!

5. One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging in 2014?
I hope to devote more time to reading and blogging. I want to complete a few reading challenges and I know I must get better at commenting and answering comments from other bloggers. Blogging is, after all, a community!

2 comentarios:

  1. Great answers, I enjoyed reading them :) The Ocean at the End of the Lane was a great read, the quote you mentioned is one of my favourites off it <3

    I've been meaning to get around to Zusak's The Messenger. Glad to hear you liked it :)

    1. Thanks! I really loved that book - it's easy to gather that much fron my answers, no? :)

      Do read The Messenger! It's quite different from The Book Thief, but I like both in their own way.