Bookish Survey 2014

2014 End Of Year Book Survey

Although I read a substantially lower amount of books this year, opposed to any other year, the quality overrides the quantity. Only this year did I finally indulge –and grow to adore– classic literature, pick up lengthier and popular books, and forced myself to drop any book incapable of holding my interest (a habit I found empowering, as I usually trudge through loathed books, simply due to unnecessary perfectionism).

Only 65% of my reading challenge was completed, as merely 65 books were read from my yearly goal of 100, but it was definitely an accomplishment in the titles. Next year, I’ll definitely reach 100 books. (Fingers crossed) Thank you to Perpetual Page-Turner for this fantastic survey. 🙂

reading-stats-2014

Number Of Books You Read: 65
Number of Re-Reads: 0 (I don’t reread books)
Genre You Read The Most From: Classics

 best-YA-books-2014

1. Best Book You Read In 2014?

(If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Hands down my favourite novel of all-time; the intrigue, mystery and satire all wrapped in a bundle of paper… it’s perfection. Even the commentary of monsters and inhumanity, similar to that of Frankenstein (of which I have yet to read, although I’ve read a graphic novel adaptation) are skilfully executed.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Walking on Trampolines by Frances Whiting. Despite the flawless beginning weaved with nostalgia and promise, the latter half of the book depicted many faults in characterisation, plot development and depth. Disappointing.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014? 

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Previously, I had multiple failed attempts to read this book, but upon finally trudging through the beginning, the book quickly became one of my favourites. Furthermore, any bad impressions derived from reading the graphic novel quickly dissipated after reading the actual book. No adaptation will do The Great Gatsby justice.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?

Risking Exposure by Jeanne Moran. One of the most memorable books I’ve ever read; poignant, insightful and unique. Although I’ve pushed a lot of friends to read it, none of them (yet) have. The author kindly gifted me a paperback as a thank-you –an unexpected gesture that I will soon blog about– and I intend to lend it to all my bookish friends.

 5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?

The Poor Relations by M.C. Beaton (ones I read: Lady Fortescue Steps Out and Miss Tonks Turns to Crime). Upon discovering the beautiful book covers on Amazon and the $0 price-tag, I immediately grew fond of these lovable misfits, their misadventures and their light-hearted, warm journeys. Definitely looking forward to more books in this series.

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?

Miralee Ferrell, discovered via NetGalley, writes exquisite historical fiction that focus primarily on family and relationships while simultaneously combining religion and romance. Perhaps my favourite aspect of her books are how non-judgemental, accepting and peaceful the books are; always providing reasons behind every villain’s actions, and highlighting unsightly characteristics belonging to every hero. In my opinion, it provides astonishing character development.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

1984 by George Orwell is a critically-acclaimed science-fiction classic that haunts me. Thought-provoking, horrifying and confronting, I intend to read more speculative fiction with similar depth and strong philosophical/psychological themes.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. Utmost brilliance, kept me in suspense throughout the entire course of the novel, and a fantastic introduction to this famous mystery/crime-fiction writer. I need to read more of her novels.

 9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I don’t usually reread books, but possibly The Picture of Dorian Gray, which, as previously mentioned, became my favourite novel of the year.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?

The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted by Bridget Asher. The cover looked gorgeous on the bookshelf at St Vinnie’s; in fact, I immediately snatched this one due to its cover alone. #JudgingBooksByTheirCovers.

10342356

11. Most memorable character of 2014?

Erik from the Phantom of the Opera. Although the story in itself, in my opinion, was dull, lacking character development and presents characters with a substantial lack of maturity, the one character resonated with me throughout: the opera ghost himself, Erik. His unconditional love, obsession with Christie and broken self was the sole reason behind my completion of this novel –otherwise, I could’ve easily discarded it without a second thought.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

The Awkward Love Song of Abigail Archer by Monica Sanz. I originally discovered this writer on Wattpad, but fell in love with her writing style. It is simply gorgeous, rich, flowing, soothing and written precisely to express majestic vocabulary while simultaneously being down-to-Earth and easy to read. Beautiful.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?

Risking Exposure by Jeanne Moran was unique, life-changing (quite literally –upon reading this book, I found the courage to switch out of the dreaded maths C class and into modern history, where we studied Nazi Germany), unique, thought-provoking, multi-layered, complex… Risking Exposure is them all. They aren’t words one typically uses for middle-grade/young-adult fiction, but the exploration of themes is impeccable, constant contrasts between different classes of people and the protagonist’s thoughts and feelings –those words are incredibly fitting.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read? 

Lighthouse Nights by Jake Vander Ark. I’d also finally read his “The Accidental Siren” –another book I adored. Both extremely confronting young-adult novels, dealing with controversial and confronting topics such as suicide, obsession/infatuation, and written eloquently. Extremely in-depth character development, too.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?

Honestly, everything written by Oscar Wilde is quotable, providing the perfect blend of humour with philosophy.

One of my favourites:

“Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.”

(from The Picture of Dorian Gray)

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Longest book: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Shortest book: I’m not sure.

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)

Solomon and the Peacemaker by Hunter Welles. Unreliable narrator, controlling of minds and dystopia; similar to 1984, and the book that inspired me to pick that up. Fantastic science fiction book, extremely subtle in its messages, too.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

Owen and Annabel from Just Listen by Sarah Dessen. Just Listen dealt with darker issues, and I adored Owen and Annabel’s relationship because they helped each other heal. However, neither is quite aware of the other’s suffering; they found meaning in each other’s words and reflected upon them. In essence, they didn’t heal each other –they healed themselves. A lovely demonstration of romance, especially in YA fiction.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Mahalia and Matt from Mahalia by Joanne Horniman. Matt is a single father raising his daughter, Mahalia, alone. Their sweet relationship, Matt’s unconditional and growing love for Mahalia… it’s simply heartwarming.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Dare You by Sue Lawson. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as her previous one, Pan’s Whisper, which focuses on a young girl using defence mechanisms to forget her past, but uncovering these memories slowly –one of my favourite books of all-time, while also presenting an unreliable narrator.

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is possibly one of the most widely-read YA novels, due to its mysterious and intriguing nature. None of the reviewers, prior to me reading it, would reveal the events within the book; it’s something you needed to read yourself. Nevertheless, I found it quite predictable, but haunting –so the book’s effect was maximised, I suppose.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. An extremely popular choice. At the beginning of the book, I disliked Mr Darcy along with every other character; however, as Elizabeth falls in love with his true persona –which were revealed only after she dissolved prejudices– so does the reader. That said, I adored Mr Bingley as well, despite the contrast.

23. Best 2014 debut you read?

Penalty Kick by Terrance O’Leary. Fantastic YA novel with strong psychological themes, while avoiding easy melodrama to create complex, thought-provoking scenarios instead.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

3 a.m. by Nick Pirog revolves around a man awake for merely 1 hour everyday; a simple lifestyle. It never occurred to me how terrible this situation would be –while the rest of the world breezes through time mindlessly, every minute of his one hour is fully scheduled.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Minnie Chase Makes A Mistake by Helen MacArthur. Extremely cute book with great quirkiness and lovable characters. Although the plot is far-fetched at times, it’s still fantastic.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?

Sadly, I don’t recall the last time I cried in a book. However, I came close in Alice and the Fly.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

The Mastership Game by Scott McBain. A Google search alone shows how hidden this book is. The author uses a pen-name and his identity is, well, top secret. Furthermore, a very small amount of reviews are written… but you’ll notice that, nonetheless, they’re mostly positive. The book itself offers profound insight into power, leadership and morality –a fantastic read for anyone who loves philosophy.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

War Brothers is a graphic novel that surround the viral issue of KONY and child slavery in Africa. Full of intense emotion, innocence and gruesome images –this is where the format of a graphic novel excels, leaving permanent images to represent the cruelty enforced on children, in a world different from our own but not geographically distant.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?

The Jackie Chan Fan Club by Sharon Shant. With a wacky plot (that the title immediately indicates), adorable characters and subtle underlying messages, it’s a fantastic comedy with a philosophical backdrop.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Ramadan Sky by Nichola Hunter. Even now, I’m startled by the turnout of events in the book –no foreshadowing, little indication and a plot-twist (the ultimate one) is too unbelievable. Extremely mixed feelings. For some reason, I can’t forget about this book, despite the fact I didn’t exactly like it.

book-blogging

 

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2014? 

Paper Fury, previously known as The Notebook Sisters. Cait is adorable; from her GIF usages, her undying love for books, and passion for reading. 🙂

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2014? 

Didn’t write many reviews in 2014, but I suppose The Awkward Love Song of Abigail Archer received a fairly lengthy love letter review.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

Non-review posts compose the majority of this blog. As for discussions, the discussion on …These Qualities You Possess was lovely to read, especially since my mother’s words resonated with many other people.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

NetGalley in general would be my ultimate bookish favourite. Does that count? 😉

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?

Hmm. Perhaps the exhillaring feeling after completing The Picture of Dorian Gray, where I immediatley thought, “wow, that was incredible.” Actually, most of my books were 4-5 stars this year –something of rare occurrence, since I usually read books popular among my friends while disregarding my own taste. Although they are fantastic people, I find my Goodreads friends and differ in our book tastes –I suppose this is expected, as I read for a very specific reasons (something I’ll blog about later on).

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

I honestly have no idea. I’d imagine any from my Weekly Photo Challenges.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Definitely any post regarding Daughter, whom I feel are severely underrated; my general appreciation rave about them or interpretation of one of their songs.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

St. Vinnie’s from down the road (second-hand OP shop). For the first time, I began purchasing second-hand books. Most of them are in fantastically good condition, and books worth approximately $20-30 at retail stores are sold at $1-4, despite only being read once (!). Plus, since St Vinnie’s runs solely on donations, there are always copies of popular books/current bestsellers, since those are primarily purchased by the donators.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Honestly, I’m proud of the amount of classic literature I read; I intend this number to increase next year, especially since I’m picking up English Extension as a subject.

 

looking-ahead-books-2015

 

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?

Emma by Jane Austen. A lot of classics on my list, too. Othello by Shakespeare, an unsettlingly large amount of titles now placed on my bookshelf, and some NetGalley pickings.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?

Definitely can’t wait for Jeanne Moran’s next instalment after Risking Exposure, although I’m uncertain if it’ll happen next year. Also, Finvarra’s Circus by Monica Sanz, whenever that’s released.

3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

I have “The Two of Us” on my NetGallley to-read list, by a debut author. Perhaps that?

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?

I rarely read sequel books, unfortunately. But I suppose anything by James Rice.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?

Definitely complete a lot more classics. Likewise, I intend to review those classics, and generally increase the quantity of written thoughts regarding books. So many books. So little time. Getting 100% feedback ratio on NetGalley is another (currently at 85%), but I simply cannot help myself sometimes.

6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

Alice and the Fly by James Rice was incredible. I raved about how fantastically the book was explored; unconventional, thought-provoking and hauntingly beautiful, I have difficulty believing it’s a debut.

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29 thoughts on “Bookish Survey 2014

      • I think they are amazing not too mention you can find all the good classics like anne of green gables , jane austen collection , wuthering heights etc for free as an ebook or audiobook, its,amazing !

      • Oh the anne of green gables series by lucy maud montgomery is my favorite read each at least 5+ times in my life

      • Ahh, that makes me so happy. 😀
        A close friend of mine also adores this collection. She initially convinced me to read it last year, but I hadn’t grown used to classic literature and their wordiness yet, so I (sadly) didn’t finish it.
        2015 brings new challenges, I suppose. And thank you for your recommendation; I’ll definitely keep that in mind. ❤

      • I know i am overwhelmed and am so encouraged ! Loving this new community of people who love books as much as i do

      • I think this is one of the prime reasons blogging is fantastic –you meet so many like-minded individuals, broaden your literature tastes and discover new people. This, in real life, would be difficult. 😛

      • For reals though and i get sucked into the stories i read but nobody around me really reads so its hard to discuss books they arent interested and i know it , my old roommate and coworkers at my last jib were all avid readers , i miss talking about books ! Lol

      • Exactly!
        It’s terrible, because you want to discuss characters, plots, events, etc. in a fictional world, but nobody around you quite understands. 😥
        I’m so glad you’re finding a new home in the blogging community; welcome aboard, fellow book lover! 😀 Do you have a Goodreads account? 🙂

      • No but i got a new tablet for xmas so been on goodreads like every day to get ideas for what books i want to buy with my gift card gotten like 10 books off of ideas i got from goodreads , seems like every thing u search goodreads pops up lol i should make an account !

      • You definitely should! 😀
        Since you’re a book blogger, you’ll fit right in. When I first entered the blogging community, I used to link my blog to Goodreads and vice versa. As a result, my reviews would reach a larger audience. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to connect with other readers about that exact blog. 😀

      • I will first thing tomorrow , im about to go to bed , but you have no clue how helpful your advice is , will let you know when i have my account set up !! 🙂

  1. This looks like an amazing survey and round-up of the books you have read. I am adding Awkward Love Songs of Abigail Archer to my list of to-be-reads. Soon, very soon, I’ll have that book.

    Also, Emma is absolutely boring (as per me). It’s the slowest book I’ve ever read, so slate that for mid of year rather than in the beginning. The first book of the year shall be kind of awesome, no?

    • Thank you so much! ❤

      I'm so glad you've chosen to pick up The Awkward Love Song of Abigail Archer –I hope you enjoy it. 🙂 (And it's totally cool if you don't, either. No pressure)

      I see! Thank you for the pre-warning. I'm required to read it for an English Extension subject, so perhaps I have a little less flexibility. 😉 But I'll definitely pick up others to compensate for the slowness.

      Ahh, simply thinking about 2015 makes me excited. 🙂

  2. The only time I get to read is when I’m holiday, and I haven’t one of those since the single week taken in September, so I envy you 🙂 But I bet if I took a play reading survey, then I’d be up in the double figures. Maybe not quite 60, but close. Have a great new year!

    • Ahh, I see. 🙂
      But it makes for easy, comforting reading time when your holidays do arrive, yeah? Plays absolutely do count, in my opinion; I tend to count Shakespeare as “books.” 😉
      Have a fantastic new year yourself! 😀

  3. Great taste! I remember reading some of those a couple of years ago (1984, The Great Gatsby And Then There Were None, to name a few. The latter is easy one of my favorite books by Agatha Christie.), and I enjoyed them so, so much.
    I will definitely add some of them to my to-read list (like Risking Exposure and The Jackie Chan Fan Club -I don’t really like Jackie Chan himself but the title got me laughing and kind of intrigued, to be honest :P). Any you would strictly recommend me to begin with?

    • Thank you so much! We have very similar taste, and that makes me happy. 😀
      Risking Exposure –> Amazing novel.
      The Jackie Chen Club –> So quirky. Extremely cute. Light-hearted, but somehow touching.
      From those three classics you’ve read previously and loved, I also recommend The Picture of Dorian Gray –witty, philosophical, and horrific. It’s fantastic.
      If you list some of your favourite books, I’d be happy to suggest more based on them (and, if I haven’t read them already, add them to my to-read list) 😀

  4. among the books you listed here i read 1984 last year, George Orwell was a genius, way ahead of his time its sometimes hard to imagine that he wrote all that in the 40’s….. I plan to read his “Animal Farm” this year 🙂

    • I wholeheartedly agree! George Orwell is a fantastic writer with confronting views regarding society, politics and human nature. I read Animal Farm a couple of years back, and enjoyed it immensely –a creative fable that disguises the profound messages beneath. It was the first book introducing me to Orwell’s writing style.
      I hope you enjoy it, too! 😀

  5. Wow! I’m honored to see my novel here twice. And my as-yet-unfinished sequel was even included on your list:) Thank you for that, from the bottom of my keyboard-loving heart. There’s nothing more amazing to me as a writer than to learn my work empowered a reader, in this case, you.
    Interesting that you’ve been re-reading the classics. I’ve been doing that a lot as well. Many of them I haven’t touched since high school or college. Probably because of my own changes as I grow and develop as a person, I find them almost completely new now, and most of them are much more engaging than they were when I was younger. Exception? Ulysses. I still give up by page 15.

    • Jeanne,
      Oh my, I’m awfully insincere when replying to messages/emails/comments –please forgive me.
      You absolutely 1000% deserved every bit of recognition. Risking Exposure is sitting on my shelf, and I’m actually lending it (or rather, forcing it upon 😉 ) all my friends.
      Hahahaha! Ulysses –> some members of my English Extension class abhor that novel, although I myself have never picked it up. But I absolutely understand: The Great Gatsby comes to mind, where I started (and halted) multiple times before finally read it entirely at an older age. It became an instant favourite.

  6. Pingback: No Books Were Harmed. Or Read. | Laidig's Broadway

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