End of Year Book Survey

Hosted by Jamie @ Perpetual Page Turner, I like how this survey delves into the specifics of books read. I did remove some of the questions that don’t apply to me, so be sure to visit the original post if you’d like to complete the survey. My annual overview will go live tomorrow.

2015 Reading Stats

    • Number of books read – 76 (a few shy of 80, this year’s goal)
    • Number of re-reads – Though I didn’t meet the goal I set at the end of last year (12 rereads), I did reread 9 books, which is quite a few more than last year! I didn’t fit in The Hobbit, which is a bit of a shock for me. I read it at the end of 2014, to coincide with the movie, and now the spacing between rereads has been thrown off. I shall read it twice next year to balance myself out ๐Ÿ˜‰
    • Genre you read the most from – I don’t keep track by genre, so here’s the fiction/non-fiction split: 51 (67%) fiction, 25 (33%) non-fiction. Not as heavily weighted towards fiction as I expected! Every year I pledge to read more non-fiction but I find my cravings tend towards good tales, not new knowledge.
  • Best in Books
    • I don’t read many books from a single genre (which is to say, these genres didn’t have a lot of contenders) but it lets me list more than one favourite so I’m doing it that way ๐Ÿ˜‰
      • Best YAChallenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
      • Best middle grade – The Nest by Kenneth Oppel 
      • Best spooky  The Nest by Kenneth Oppel
      • Best fantasyA Darker Shade of Magic (ADSOM) by V.E. Schwab 
      • Best scifi The Southern Reach trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer (likely the only scifi I read, but I wanted to make sure it got a mention on this best list!)
      • Best literary fiction – None really stood out this year.
      • Best non-fiction – I struggled to chose between three (The Rights of the Reader, The 1918 Pilgrimage of Takamure Itsue, In the Heart of the Sea). Takamure’s articles win out, though, because of the personal connection I found within her writing.
      • Overall best – For once I think I have a clear pick! The Nest trumps all because I’d been searching for a book like it for years.
    • Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn’tWelcome to Night Vale by Joseph Frink and Jeffrey Cranor. When you’re so accustomed to enjoying the podcast, it’s just not the same without Cecil. Perhaps the audiobook would have changed my opinion.
    • Most surprising book read –  The Nest. I didn’t expect to be so impressed, let alone by Kenneth Oppel (a good author, but not one I ever thought would give me the creepy MG read I longed for).
    • Book you ‘pushed’ the most people to read (and they did)A Darker Shade of Magic. My best friend loved it and I handsold the two copies my store had.
      • Favourite author discovered – Victoria Schwab. The Archived has been on my radar for a few years, but ADSOM finally had me picking up her work. Kendall Kulper and Maggie Mitchell are two more authors I’ll be watching in the future.
      • Best book from a genre you donโ€™t typically readThe Southern Reach trilogy. I never seek out scifi; there has to be something exceptional about a book in that genre for me to take note and even consider it. Vandermeer’s trilogy definitely impressed me.
      • Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book – I literally just finished Picking Cotton (told by Jennifer, a rape victim, and Ronald, a man who wrongly spent 11 years in prison due to Jennifer’s misidentification), a book I picked up to read in the New Year, but when I tried out the first pages I found myself caught in an ‘unputdownable’ story and read the whole thing in one sitting. One of those books that ignites you slowly with all the injustices contained within.
      • Most likely to reread next yearADSOM in preparation for the sequel coming out in February
      • Favourite cover – Love the purple in Salt & Storm; love the design and colours in Pretty Is.
        •  
      • Most memorable character – Johnny Truant from House of Leaves. He seemed intensely real to me.
      • Most beautifully written – Perhaps Half a Creature from the Sea
      • Most thought-provoking/life-changingThe Rights of the Reader, for reminding me of the pleasure of reading and that I’m in control of what I read
      • Book you canโ€™t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read The Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien
      • Shortest book – Not counting short storiesQuick and Easy Thai: 70 Everyday Recipes by Nancy McDermott (168 pages)
      • Longest bookHouse of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski (736 pages)
      • Most shocking bookThe Way of the 88 Temples by Robert Sibley. The ending made me shout and then cry.
      • OTP of the year (you will go down with this ship!) – Lila and Rhy from ADSOM. Not yet canon, but if it goes my way…!
      • Favourite non-romantic relationship – Maija and Frederika (mother-daughter) in Wolf Winter
      • Favourite book read by an author you read previously Challenger Deep by Neal ShustermanI love his Unwind and Everlost books, but this one is on a whole new level. 
      • Best book read based solely on a recommendation from somebody else/peer pressure –  ADSOM. Pretty sure I decided to read this after reading Louise’s review.
      • Best 2015 debut  Pretty Is by Maggie Mitchell. I only read two debuts this year…but I did really like this one!
      • Best world-building – Split between ADSOM and The Southern Reach trilogy. The magical Londons appeal more to my personal taste, but Area X was also elegantly presented.
      • Most fun to read – Scrolling through this year’s reads, I see I read a lot of darker books… The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry stands out as one that was a pleasant, easy read.
      • Book that made you cry – The Way of the 88 Temples
      • Hidden gemThe 1918 Pilgrimage of Takamure Itsue
      • Most unique bookHouse of Leaves
      • Book that made you most madPicking Cotton by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton. Documents a wealth of problems with the justice and incarceration systems.
    • Your Bookish Life
      • New favourite book blog discovered – Not totally sure which blogs I discovered in the past year, but I know I just started following Ms. Yingling Reads so I’ll go with that
      • Favourite review on your blog – I like my Anne of Green Gables review because I tackle a popular classic I’d never read before.
      • Best non-review post on your blog – Hmm, I’m going to say Family Reads doesn’t quite count and go with our discussion on Annihilation, which received kind words from Jeff Vandermeer.
      • A very kind and wide-ranging discussion of Annihilation. Very nice of them and interesting too. https://t.co/Yydosw4m4C

        โ€” Jeff VanderMeer (@jeffvandermeer) June 30, 2015

      • Best event that you participated in – I had a fun time with the spring Read-a-thon, when I hosted an hourly challenge for the first time.
      • Best moment of bookish/blogging life – Neil Gaiman retweeting the discussion my mom and I had about The Ocean at the End of Line. Can’t get much better than that! 
      • Most popular post – Hour 23 Mini-Challenge: Share A Song = 40 comments, 494 views. The most popular non-event post was Family Reads: The Ocean at the End of the Lane = 4 comments, 293 views.
      • Post you wished got a little more love – My posts on Eowyn (I do concede that they are very niche-y)
      • Best bookish discovery – Tokyo’s bookseller district, Jimbocho. Incredible place where I spent a few marvellous hours. Blocks and blocks of booksellers, including many English books and rare books. Paradise!!
      • Completion of challenges/goals – I don’t think I met any of my goals! Heh, but I came pretty close for most of them…more on that tomorrow.
    • Looking Ahead
      • One book you didn’t get to in 2015 but will make a priority in 2016 – I still haven’t read The Road to Middle-Earth! That, and Tolkien on Fairy Stories should be read in January. : <
      • Book you are most anticipating (non-debut)What Is Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi
        • Book you are most anticipating (debut) – No debuts on mylist, but Ian McGuire’s The North Water comes close, being is second novel 10 years after his first.
      • One goal for your reading/blogging life – *cough* …read The Silmarillion? 
      • 2016 release you’ve read and recommend – Alas, none ;_; A few of the books I’m excited about are on NetGalley, but not for Canadians.

    Finished! This survey made me realize I’ve read a solid variety of books the past year, some wonderful and thankfully none terrible. It seems I did inch closer to my goal of reading “more exceptional books and less mediocre ones”. Here’s to 2016 seeing an increasing in those exceptional reads! I’ll have four months of travel hampering my reading next year, so I’ll have to be more selective. Have you completed this survey? What were some of your best reads in 2015?