For several years now, I’ve done a categorized “Best Books of the Year” list — originally on Facebook, and on the blog last year. For 2014 I felt like trying something new, and The Perpetual Page-Turner’s End-of-Year Book Survey linkup is just the thing! It’s a little long, so I may have a lot of “no idea” answers, but the questions look fun. I can’t resist a survey!
As always, I love to compare book notes, so leave your thoughts in the comments — or do the survey yourself! I found the linkup on Brin’s Book Blog, along with some other lovely challenges-n-such you’ll hear about later. The cute little graphics are from PPT’s survey post. Links in book titles go to my reviews!
Number Of Books You Read: 156
Number of Re-Reads: 7
Genre You Read The Most From: Graphic novels/comics
1. Best Book You Read In 2014?
Toss-up between The Ashford Affair by Lauren Willig (a literary historical romance) and Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson (a fantasy novel about jinn and stuff). I predict they will be the answers to many questions!
Drift by M.K. Hutchins. It has the most incredible turtle cover, and I’m pretty sure I heard about it when it was featured on John Scalzi’s “Big Idea” series, but the writing was a little iffy and it had problematic gender assumptions.
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014?
The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker. It’s all about how people have become less violent over time, statistically speaking.
4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?
Probably The Ashford Affair, although none of the people who read it ever mentioned it again, so I assume they didn’t like it. 😉
5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?
Isn’t that three questions? Okay, I’m gonna go with Ms. Marvel as the best series of 2014. The best sequel/series ender was Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake, the second part of a duology.
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?
I’ve read something like four Lauren Willig books now and they were all awesome. Also G. Willow Wilson, found through Ms. Marvel and confirmed through Alif.
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
I’m tempted to say The Ashford Affair again, because it was the book that got me into romance this year, but it’s also kind of a literary/drama sort of book. I’ll say Season for Surrender by Theresa Romain, an excellent novel that’s incontestably a romance.
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
Antigoddess by Kendare Blake, a gory (in a good way!) take on modern Greek gods. Hawkeye Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon is up there, too.
9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
I don’t re-read very much unless I have some specific reason. I may re-read Rocket Girl Vol. 1 when the second volume starts next May.
I’m a sucker for dragon art… Frostborn by Lou Anders.
11. Most memorable character of 2014?
Mass award to all the alternate-universe characters from X-Men: Age of Apocalypse! Many of them were more fully-realized, and more emotionally compelling, than their main-universe versions.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?
I can’t deciiiiiide… So I’m giving this to Prince Puggly of Spud and the Kingdom of Spiff by Robert Paul Weston, because it’s a novel in verse and I love that.
13. Most Thought-Provoking/Life-Changing Book of 2014?
You Are Here by Thich Nhat Hanh. If you’re interested in meditation for anxiety and that kind of thing, he really makes it as simple as everyone else says it is.
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read?
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I’ve only been meaning to read that for YEARS AND YEARS… 😉
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?
I’m realizing now that I should keep track of this.
16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?
Shortest: I had a handful of unpaged picture books and graphic novels, but the shortest thing with page numbers on Goodreads was Red Fox Dances at 24 pages.
Longest: The Better Angels of Our Nature at 802 pages!
17. Book That Shocked You The Most
That Summer by Lauren Willig. I would’ve cried at the end if I hadn’t been so stunned. It’s a doozy, y’all.
18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
I don’t really ship people in books, that’s more of a TV thing for me. I guess I feel like book relationships are more fixed, somehow. But I’ll say Athena and Odysseus from Antigoddess and its sequel Mortal Gods. I also ship the three-person central relationship in The Summer Prince pretty hard.
Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvel, from the Ms. Marvel series. They haven’t technically met yet, but I live for the day when they do!
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Apparently I read a lot of new authors in 2014! I’ll say All My Road Before Me: The Diary of C.S. Lewis. Might be super boring for y’all, but I’m a Lewis nerd and reading his diary was really interesting for me.
21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?
The alternate-universe version of Nightcrawler from X-Men: Age of Apocalypse. So jaded. So intelligent. So badass.
23. Best 2014 debut you read?
Frostborn by Lou Anders. He’s been a notable sci-fi/fantasy editor for a while, but this is his first novel.
24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Picture book time! Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea. 😉
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?
I wept buckets at the end of Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake. I also cried about If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan, a YA novel about an Iranian girl considering gender-reassignment surgery so she can legally marry her girlfriend. Oh, and Daytripper by Fabio Moon. It’s a graphic novel about a Brazilian writer who dies at the end of every chapter.
27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Not really sure how to answer this… When I love a book, EVERYBODY knows about it! Perhaps you might enjoy the picture book Daddy’s Little Scout by Janet Bingham? I love picture books about foxes, and this is a rare book with a daddy fox and little fox, instead of just a mommy fox.
The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson. I literally said “It tore my soul into bloody little pieces” in my review. (We’re saying “crush your soul” as a good thing, right?)
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?
30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
I don’t remember being mad at any books this year. I’ll go with Animal Farm by George Orwell.
1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2014?
Oh gosh, I don’t want to leave anyone out… Romance Novels for Feminists and Diversity in YA are both must-reads for me. A Bit Behind on Books was the first book blog I followed. I probably take the most recommendations from Speculiction, though… Excellent taste in sci-fi.
2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2014?
I think my Loki: Agent of Asgard review series is actually the most fun to write, although you wouldn’t know it from how behind I am!
3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
This discussion post on strong female characters is the most popular post on my blog, by far, and probably the best discussion I’ve ever fomented.
I just mentioned the female characters post, which was part of a virtual discussion series… I also went to a couple of romance author events that were great (I got to meet Lauren Willig!) and I hosted a Banned Books Blog Party in September. I’m still surprised and thrilled by how many people attended that!
5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?
Well, I got asked to do two guest posts in the same week. That was pretty awesome, I’m gonna go with that. 😉
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
The aforementioned female characters post.
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
No idea. Instead, here are two posts that get a LOT of love for no clear reason, both reviews: A Grizzly in the Mail and Other Adventures in American History and the movie The Book of Life.
9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Nope, no idea.
10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I did Nerd in the Brain‘s summer reading challenge, and a romance-book summer reading program at the library…
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?
I’m several books behind on The Bubblebath Reader‘s Lauren Willig readalong, so I want to catch up!
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?
No idea, I’ve been out of the loop for a bit with school and stuff.
3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
Again, I’m way out of the loop.
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?
Ungodly by Kendare Blake in the Goddess Wars series, Nightborn by Lou Anders in the Thrones & Bones series, and Hawkeye Vol. 4, because I’m reading those in collected editions instead of monthly…
5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?
I’ve got a big book-reading, book-organizing project. More details next week!
6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
I’ve got a pile of ARCs, but I haven’t read them yet. (There’s no review agreement, I just have them…)
So, there you have it. My year in books. Leave thoughts below!