(questions from The Perpetual Page-Turner – everyone can join in the fun!)
1. Best Book You Read In 2012?
I can’t choose just one, here are my top ten – I didn’t review everything I read this year, that’s why only some titles have links.
84 Charring Cross Road by Helene Hanff
Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos
Molly Make-Believe by Eleanor Hallowell Abbott
Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz
White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons – I know that loads of bloggers are fans of Gibbons’ writing and even the saleswoman in the store I bought it from said the book was hilarious and her favorite, but I couldn’t even finish it… One of the problems, I think, is that I don’t like books written in dialect, it takes me too long to figure out what’s being said. Ah well, you can’t love them all. And maybe there is another book by Stella Gibbons that’s worth reading?
I was also disappointed by The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender, Bossypants by Tina Fey, Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisa Peshl and Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. Wow, that’s a whole lot of disappointing books!
3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012?
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins – a classic, but I thought I’d find it long and boring since I’m not much of a classics person. I loved it though, it’s one of my favorites of the year.
Molly Make Believe by Eleanor Hallowell Abbott – I was wary of it for the same reason, I’m not that into classics, but I thought this book was absolutely charming. Seriously, read it!
4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?
The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz because it’s so much fun and White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi, because it’s so different to anything else I’ve read for a long time.
5. Best series you discovered in 2012?
The Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness – I finally read The Knife of Never Letting Go and am looking forward to the next books.
6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?
Marisa de los Santos, Maggie O’Farrell, Eva Ibbotson, Wilkie Collins
7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi – I don’t read much by African-born authors and don’t read many books as strange as this one was. Definitely out of my comfort zone, but definitely worth reading!
Also, How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran – I didn’t think this would be my kind of thing but I ended up loving it. It touched on some important issues and really made me think. I didn’t get most of the British cultural references but that didn’t take away from my enjoyment.
8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?
All the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris are pretty unputdownable. And I remember losing sleep while reading Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson too.
9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:
84 Charring Cross Road by Helene Hanff – it was so beautiful. I still think about the book often.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?
I didn’t really pay attention to the covers this year and don’t have time right now to look online. Something to rectify next year?
11. Most memorable character in 2012?
Helene Hanff in 84, Charring Cross Road. I would have loved to meet her.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?
Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos. I didn’t get around to reviewing the book, but I remember thinking that the writing was incredible. And White is for Witchingby Helen Oyeyemi should also be mentioned here, the use of language there was so original.
13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?
How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran because it really got me thinking about being a woman, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, I’m still thinking about the injustice of it all.
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read?
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien – it took me so long to try it, I didn’t think I’d like it that much, but I loved it!
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012?
Oh so many! Here are some of the passages I noted down:
“Sitting upright in her living room, in a hundred-year-old chair, Clare trembled in the face of this truth she’d discovered all on her own, and she felt ancient and part of life.” (from Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos)
“I wanted to hug her, but I held back. I know when a moment doesn’t belong to me.” (from Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos)
“His face was smooth; he was old enough to shave but young enough to still be excited about shaving and thus meticulous.” (from White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi)
“The Noise is a man unfiltered, and without a filter, a man is just chaos walking.” (from The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness)
16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012?
The shortest was A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (also a book I surprisingly loved) and the longest was The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
17. 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!
I kept wanting to call my best girlfriends as I read How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran, to talk about girl stuff!
18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
The relationships between all the characters in A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks. Their lives were so intertwined, each affecting the others, yet most of them felt so lonely.
And the Dash/Lily relationship in Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan.
And also the relationship between blogger Julie and chef Julia Child in Julie and Julia by Julie Powell. As a blogger I can totally relate to how real that relationship was to Julie.
19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously
20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else
21. My fun stats:
Total books read: 48
6 of them were audiobooks, 3 were read on my kindle, I didn’t finish 4 of them.
36 were written by women… no gender equality here!
Contemporary Fiction: 13
Historical Fiction: 2
Graphic novels: 1
Lessons learned: I should read more classics, I was surprised by how good the ones I read this year were! And I need to read more historical fiction and graphic novels. A separate post about goals for 2013 will come in January.
Happy New Year everyone!