So, 2015 is only three days away. This one’s been a weird one for me, in many different ways and in a few different postcodes. But it’s basically over now and 2015 will bring with it a few extra challenges that I’ve decided to give myself. If all goes well, however, I’ll be setting myself up for 2016 and my future after graduation, however many years away that may be.
We all get a little reflective and nostalgic this time of year and what better way to put those feelings to use than a little bookish summary of 2014? I first found this survey on Happy Indulgence, and Jeann’s answers quickly lead me to the creator of the survey, Jamie, who blogs over at Perpetual Page Turner. If you’re in the mood to see what bookish accomplishments you’ve reached this year, have a go at this survey yourself!
So, here goes nothing!
(All of the pretty titles and the badge for this survey were originally found on Perpetual Page Turner. I take no credit for these images. I don’t have the talent for it!)
Number Of Books You Read: 61 (or 1.7 per week!)
Number of Re-Reads: 10. The last book in the Mortal Instruments cycle and the latest Bloodlines book were both released this year and so, naturally, I had to reread the entire series before embarking on the newest instalments.
Genre From Which You Read The Most: YA. Though I did read a little more widely this year than I have in a while. So yay me!
1. Best Book You Read In 2014?
There were so many I could list here, but the one that had the longest lasting impact would have to be Stoner by John Williams. One of the only books that I can honestly say changed my life.
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
I was incredibly excited for A Fatal Tide by Steve Sailah. A murder mystery in the midst of Gallipoli, arguably Australia’s most well-known military battle (and for damned good reason!), how could I possibly refuse? But I never finished this book. I couldn’t do it. And I’ve read my fair share of terrible books. I was so disappointed. The premise was amazing!
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014?
I guess that this would have to be Run by Gregg Olsen. It was short and grisly, two things I usually avoid like the plague, but this book was incredible and I really want to read the next one!
4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?
I pushed a lot of people into reading most of the books that I did this year. Not many people took up the challenge. When people do read the books I recommend they are usually completely different stories. Because people have very different tastes. But I did manage to get a friend of mine to read Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. He’s struggling (how can anyone struggle with Neil Gaiman???) but he’s still doing it. I have to watch a movie of his choosing, but I feel like it’s worth it.
5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?
I guess the best series I started for the first time this year would have to be Candice Fox‘s Hades and Eden. I don’t think the series has a name, but those are the first two books in the series.
The best sequel would have to be Eden. Every Word by Ellie Marney ran an incredibly close second, though.
The best series ender would have to be City of Heavenly Fire. Duh.
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?
Candice Fox. Australian crime writer who won the Ned Kelly award for her first novel. ‘Nuff said. Next question.
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
NOS4R2 by Joe Hill. BUT This may have more to do with the fact that it had elements of my favourite genre (fantasy) in it than the fact that this story was gothic horror.
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
I read Thirteen Reasons Why in a day. There were a few books like that this year, but this one was special. It’s subject matter plus the way it was told just made this book absolutely addictive and I really wish that everyone would read it.
9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
All of Bloodlines. The last book, The Ruby Circle, comes out in a few months and so I will reread all of them before the last one comes out. I want to reread most everything that I read this year, but I just don’t know if I’ll have the time.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?
More Than This by Patrick Ness. Once you’re about a third of the way through the book, the cover makes sense. The cover’s not only impressive but meaningful and that is an accomplishment. Seriously, if you haven’t read More Than This already, give it a go and have your mind blown.
11. Most memorable character of 2014?
This is a hard one! I guess that this would have to be Brother Zachariah in The Mortal Instruments. He’s one of the very few genuinely good characters that exist. Plus, he’s wonderfully complex, both in personality and backstory.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?
Dear God, this hurts! I’ve read a lot of beautiful words this year. I don’t know whether to go with Neil Gaiman’s Fragile Things or Darren Groth’s Are You Seeing Me? or More Than This again or The Messenger by Markus Zusak! I think all of them tie for first.
13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?
I’ve already said Stoner and I don’t want to use it as an answer for everything so I’ll go with my second most life-changing book of 2014: Being Jade by Kate Belle. People have so many preconceived ideas about what a relationship should be that they never stop to think that a “conventional” relationship may not be for them. Being Jade definitely opens your eyes to this issue, that you may not even realise is an issue!
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read?
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. I’d heard about it for years, but only read it this year. Everything about this book is perfection. Nothing was over or under done, and the progression of the eponymous relationship is so natural that you don’t really notice it happening. Gorgeous, gorgeous book.
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?
He’s uncertain what’s going to happen next.
But he is certain that that’s actually the point.
If this is all a story, then that’s what the story means.
If it isn’t a story, then the exact same is true.
More Than This – Patrick Ness
16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?
Run by Gregg Olsen was definitely the shortest but I have a feeling that NOS4R2 was the longest.
17. Book That Shocked You The Most
A tie between More Than This and Hades. More Than This because of the complexity of the story and how the story totally just blew my mind at every turn. And Hades because I felt the grotesqueness of this book more strongly than I ever have in any book that I have ever read.
18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
That has to be Olicity. I know it’s not a bookish OTP, but I started watching Arrow this year and I think Felicity and Oliver are made for each other. They are so adorable together! We all just need Oliver to stop acting like a martyr in his personal life and maybe those two crazy kids will have a chance of making it.
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Hannah and Aaron from Trouble! It was an amazing relationship based on trust and support and shared secrets. I loved these two and I loved that they [SEMI-SPOILER] never got together. They kissed, but I didn’t read that as anything more than a friend kiss. Like a kiss between Will and Grace: totally platonic.
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Um, they’ve all been mentioned! Take your pick:
Eden by Candice Fox
Every Word by Ellie Marney
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead
Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman
21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
I read Trouble on a recommendation from Becky over at Blogs-of-a-Bookaholic. And I am so glad I did! Most of the other books I read were ones that I recommended to myself. Or GoodReads did!
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?
I’ve been ruined for all other two dimensional men by Will Herondale of The Infernal Devices. However, I do have a bit of a crush on Oliver Queen from Arrow. Does that count?
23. Best 2014 debut you read?
The only book I read that I knew for sure was a debut was Hades, but if you guys notice any of the other books I read that were debuts as well, let me know and I’ll update this question ASAP!
24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Oh, definitely More Than This. The world in this book was just impeccably built. Every aspect of it too, not just the place itself. The politics and everything were so well done I found myself forming opinions on fictional politics!
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
I read for fun, so most of the books I read are fun! The only ones that aren’t are the crappy ones or the ones that purposely make you uncomfortable. I laughed out loud at a few of the books I read, so I can’t really definitively answer this question.
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?
The Fault In Our Stars. Parts of it may have been overwritten, and I will never not hate hipsters, but the feels in this one would not be denied.
27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
I really don’t know how to answer this question. Some of the books I read, sure, aren’t that well known, but people still know about them. And I find books on GoodReads so they can’t be that hidden.
28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby. I thought his approach to the complex and heartbreaking topic of mental health and suicide was a little too glib. And when people can write casual books about this subject, it just makes me angry. Too many people in my life struggle with mental illness for me to be OK with a book that essentially makes light of the issue.
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?
Fragile Things in that it was a collection of short stories and poems. More Than This because of the genre shift mid-story.
30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Murder In Mississippi by John Safran. This is a book set in modern day Jackson, Mississippi (like, 2013 modern) and people are still advocating for segregation. Like, what?! I cannot stand humanity sometimes. People are people, and we are all human under our differently coloured skin. People just suck.
1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2014?
That would most definitely be Paper Fury, formerly Notebook Sisters. The way these guys tackle their reviews and other bookish posts is just so quirky and engaging that I could spend all day on their site! Go check them out if you haven’t already.
2. Favourite review that you wrote in 2014?
Oh wow, I’ve never really thought about it! I guess I would have to say City of Heavenly Fire just because I was writing about the last book in one of the series that dominated my period of transition after high school. Kind of like how Harry Potter dominated primary and high school
3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
Oh, this is an easy one. Me and C.J. from thebookboozer did some discussions of each of the books in the Mortal Instruments cycle before CoHF was released. But we both got a little too busy to finish the last two of the series! Maybe we’ll finish them soon.
4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
This would definitely be the NBBF back in May. A book blogging forum that happened at Random House in Sydney. We met authors, got free books, learnt how to optimise our blogs, and I realised that I could get around Sydney all by myself without getting lost!
5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?
That would definitely be when I had the privilege of interviewing Darren Groth, author of Are You Seeing Me?. It was such an amazing, surreal experience and I found that maybe my journalism subjects had some use after all.
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
By the looks of it, my most popular post this year was my review of City of Heavenly Fire. Technically, my home page got about 300 more views, but I don’t count the home page.
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
All of my posts about Aussie authors. Australian authors are grossly underrepresented on the international literary scene and every time I post about these authors, I want my stats to explode. But this never seems to happen, unfortunately.
9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
craftedvan on Etsy. I’ve bought so many bookmarks from these guys, and I’ve only known about them for a few months! You know that tiny little Belle that’s been lying on top of my books lately? Yeah, that’s from craftedvan. Here’s their Instagram account as well!
10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I did not. Maybe I should’ve, and I would’ve read more books as a result, but I felt like completing a challenge would have made me resent the books that I was reading and so I skipped it. Maybe I’ll join a book club next year? We’ll see.
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?
Whichever is next on my TBR. I’m trying to empty it so that I can read Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon next year. I think my first book of 2015 will be Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz, but we’ll see what happens!
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?
All of them! I’m always excited to see which stories I can find in the new year. Who knows what the bookshops of the world will have for me next year???
3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
Absolutely no idea. I feel like this is something that I should know! Maybe I should read more publishing houses’ websites next year so I can actually know these things. Another bookish resolution.
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?
Every Move by Ellie Marney! I have loved this series totally and completely and it ends next year.
5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?
I really want to reread Harry Potter. Really, really, really. I haven’t done it in a few years and I feel like a failure of a fangirl.
6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
I don’t read ARCs. I hate reading on my kindle app and so I avoid it at all costs. So I haven’t yet read anything from next year.
Have a go at this one, guys! It’s fun!