Wednesday, December 7, 2011

2011 End of the Year Book Survey

This meme/questionnaire is hosted by The Perpetual Page Turner and I thought I'd take part this year!  So let the fun begin!

1. Best Book You Read In 2011?
Ahhh!  I just can't possibly pick one...waaay to many awesome books that I've read this year!  Sorry, I just have to cheat :)

YA: Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, and Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Adult Fiction: The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss, A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, and When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?
Shortcomings by Adrian Tome.  I know it's a critical darling but I really disliked this graphic novel centered around a whiny protagonist.

4. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?
Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion.  I wasn't sure how I'd like a zombie romance, but it was a subtle and unique story.  This is no Twilight with zombies instead of vampires...not that I'm dogging on Twilight, but did you see the movie poster for Warm Bodies?  I may have screeched in outrage - that is not at all what this story is about (R is wearing a hoodie???).

5. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?
Four-way tie between A Discovery of Witches, The Language of Flowers, The Knife of Never Letting Go (and series), and When She Woke.  All of them different and all fantastic!

6. Best series you discovered in 2011? 
The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness - holy guacamole is this a superb series!
Runner up: The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins - I think most would agree that this is a compelling series with wide appeal.

7. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?
Lauren Oliver, Patrick Rothfuss, John Green, Deborah Harkness, Sarah Addison Allen, Patrick Ness, and Diana Wynne Jones (I know, I know, I'm super late to the game with most of these authors).

8. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
In the Woods by Tana French.  It's not often that I read crime mysteries (despite loving them as a child) but I randomly picked up this novel and was rewarded with amazing writing and all sorts of twists and turns!

I mean, check out the opening of the prologue:
"Picture a summer stolen whole from some coming-of-age film set in small-town 1950s.  This is none of Ireland’s subtle seasons mixed for a connoisseur’s palate, watercolor nuances within a pinch-sized range of cloud and soft rain; this is summer full-throated and extravagant in hot pure silkscreen blue."

9. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?
Definitely Divergent by Veronica Roth...luckily for me I opened this one up on a weekend when I had nothing major planned so I was able to fly through this compelling book!

10. Book you most anticipated in 2011?
This absolutely had to be Patrick Rothfuss' The Wise Man's Fear and boy howdy it did not disappoint!  I can't get enough of this epic fantasy series!

11. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?

I mean, who isn't grabbed by the image of smoking shoes?  Also, it fits perfectly with the plot of the story...makes you curious, right?

12. Most memorable character in 2011?
This one's pretty easy, it has to be the flamboyant Tiny Cooper from Will Grayson, Will Grayson.  Who could forget this larger-than-life personality??

“Tiny Cooper is not the world's gayest person, and he is not the world's largest person, but I believe he may be the world's largest person who is really, really gay, and also the world's gayest person who is really, really large.”

13. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?
Just Kids by Patti Smith...hands down.  I seriously savored this book and the gorgeous imagery Smith created.

14. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?
I think the book that impacted me the most emotionally would have to be Still Alice by Lisa Genova - jeebus I cried my eyes out!

15. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read?
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon...I'm kinda peeved about it actually.  I think that the crazy hype surrounding this book just made my expectations impossibly high and if I had read it earlier (forgoing the hype) I probably would have enjoyed it much more.

16. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011?
I loved all of the descriptions of Prague from Laini Taylor's The Daughter of Smoke and Bone:

“The streets of Prague were a fantasia scarcely touched by the twenty-first century—or the twentieth or nineteenth, for that matter. It was a city of alchemists and dreamers, its medieval cobbles once trod by golems, mystics, invading armies. Tall houses glowed goldenrod and carmine and eggshell blue, embellished with Rococo plasterwork and capped in roofs of uniform red. Baroque cupolas were the soft green of antique copper, and Gothic steeples stood ready to impale fallen angels. The wind carried the memory of magic, revolution, violins, and the cobbled lanes meandered like creeks. Thugs wore Motzart wigs and pushed chamber music on street corners, and marionettes hung in windows, making the whole city seem like a theater with unseen puppeteers crouched behind velvet.”

Don't you want to visit immediately?

17. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012?
Pretty much anything by Sarah Addison Allen.  All of her books are lovely comfort reads.  Who doesn't adore a Southern romance with a magical realism twist?

18. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (OMG - the ending!!)
Delirium by Lauren Oliver (again - the ending!!)
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (all sorts of twists and turns!)


  1. I really liked Just Kids by Patti Smith too, it was a book I didn't want to put down.

    I love anything by Sarah Addison Allen too, I just read The Peach Keepers and loved it!

  2. I think it's really time for me to read Divergent :P I am planning on it about 2 months now. I should do it before new year :P

    And I should read A Discovery of Witches and The Knife Of Never Letting Go soon :) Thanks for the recomandation!! :)

  3. I loved this post, thank you so much for sharing your 2011 reading experiences.

  4. You just listed a bunch more books that I need to get to in 2012!

  5. I love the love that Divergent has been getting! It's just such a great novel. I can't wait for Insurgent!

  6. YES! SO MANY PEOPLE have said Divergent as their favourite book of 2011 - it's AWESOME :D I couldn't get into The Knife of Never Letting Go... The way in which is was written just annoyed the hell out of me ;) But I will try it again sometime, I hope! ;) I also really need to read Will Grayson, Will Grayson - I've had a copy for absolutely AGES and it looks hilarious but I just haven't got around to it!

    Hope your 2011 has been awesome and that you'll have a great 2012!

    Here's mine!

  7. I also loved Divergent! I can't wait for Insurgent this May. :)

  8. I'm so glad you got to discover The Chaos Walking trilogy in 2011! It's one of my favorites. I reread the first in the series this year and it totally held up to a reread.

    Happy New Year!

  9. The Language of Flowers was one of my favorites this year as well.

    I actually bought In The Woods for one of my Secret Santas this year and decided to add it to my to-read list as well in 2012.

    Happy Reading!

  10. great titles! here is my recap: