2013 has been one of the most incredible years of my life so far. While it’s true it hasn’t been all sunshine and roses and lolly pops, it’s been a year that since some pretty incredibly highs (like my trip to Europe, the creation of this blog AND all the wonderful authors I’ve met), and one that I’m going to try and top next year in 2014, but have no idea how to go about it yet!
Since Christmas I’ve discovered a lot of blog blogger’s carry out an End Of Year Book Survey that was started by Jamie over at The Perpetual Page-Turner back in 2010, and I thought this year I might give it a go 🙂
1.) Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)
I’m breaking things up by Genre here because I couldn’t choose one sole title. That said, I also couldn’t choose one sole title in a couple of genre’s either, so meh. If it helps, making decisions like that, not my strong suit – my star sign is Libra if you couldn’t already tell :p Click on the title to see each book’s Goodreads entry.
Historical Fiction: The French Promise by Fiona McIntosh
Fantasy: Finnikin Of The Rock by Melina Marchetta
Paranormal: Between The Lives by Jessica Shirvington
Rural Fiction: Ryders Ridge by Charlotte Nash
Thriller: Dark Horse by Honey Brown
2.) Book You Were Excited About and Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Goddess by Josphine Angelini. Don’t get me wrong I still love this book, but It wasn’t what I was expecting. I fell head over heels for the other two books and this one, just wasn’t that kind of book….
3.) Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?
Between The Lives by Jessica Shirvington. I unpacked this book at work and there was just something that caught me eye about it. Every time I walked past it, I kept thinking I really want to read this book but I never did anything about it for months. Eventually I hired the book from the Library and I read it in two days only to go to work and buy my own copy. While the cover and blurb originally got my attention, the writing and plot kept me mesmerised. I couldn’t put the novel down and I definitely didn’t expect so many emotions! – I cried reading this!
4.) Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?
The French Promise by Fiona McIntosh. I think I told everyone I saw for a month that they needed to read it.
5.) Best series you discovered in 2013?
Saving Wishes by G. J. Walker-Smith. I was invited to be part of a blog tour for the release of the first book Saving Wishes earlier this year. I was running this blog via a different server back then and it went a bit mental and locked everyone out for about a month or so, which was just long enough for me to miss the entire blog tour! (I’m still incredibly embarrassed and upset about that). BUT since then G.J. Walker-Smith has been an author on my watch list! I’ve read all four of her currently released books and love them so much that I not only have them on my Kindle, and now my iPad, but also in paperback 🙂
6.) Favourite new author you discovered in 2013?
I discovered a lot of new authors this year, in fact of the 83 books I’ve read so far, the majority of them (bar say about ten) were authors I had never read until this year! I’ve already mentioned many above (Fiona McIntosh, G.J. Walker-Smith, Bronwyn Parry, Charlotte Nash, Jessica SHirvington etc) so I’m going to go with a couple of Authors I havent mentioned so far. Cathryn Hein, Rachael Johns and lee Christine.
7.) Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
2013 was the year of new to me books and authors. For the first time every I participated in the Australian Women’s Writers Challenge that saw me reading habits do pretty much a 360 and read predominately home grown female authors books. It’s because of this I stumbled headlong into my love affair with Rural Fiction, I also explored Romantic Suspense more fully and found it to be one of my favourite genres as well.
And yet with all that said and done, the book that was probably most out of my comfort zone this year was by Matthew Reilly, an author I love and usually devour all of his fast paced action style books. This year Matthew Reilly put out a novel titled The Tournament that was set in 1546 in Constantinople and revolved around the idea of religion and the game of chess and politics. While it must be said that I love Reilly’s work and books centred around politics and history, I know very little about Chess. In fact, I know nothing. I’ve never played the game! That said I did quite enjoy this book.
8.) Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?
Dark Horse by Honey Brown. Psychological thriller at its best.
Dead Heat by Bronwyn Parry deserves an honourable mention here too. There’s good reason it’s my favourite and most talked about book by her 🙂
9.) Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
The French Promise by Fiona McIntosh. When I started this book I wasn’t aware that it was a sequel to The Lavender Keeper. I still haven’t read the Lavender Keeper and despite knowing that I loved the French Promise as a stand alone, I think I want to see how it works as a series, in order this time 🙂
10.) Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?
11.) Most memorable character in 2013?
Charli from The Wishes Series. She’s such a crack up and so random that I can relate to her.
12.) Most beautifully written book read in 2013?
Between The Lives by Jessica Shirvington.
13.) Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?
Oh God. Now that’s a hard quesiton. A lot of books challenge my thinking in different ways this year. Take Rules of Conception for example, it positioned the reader to look at an unconventional method of getting pregnant and remove any preconceived prejudices. What’s better is it did it without being biased, as Angela Lawrence made sure to look at the act of getting pregnant from every angle.
Just On Year and Just One Day by Gayle Forman led me to the conclusion that I need to act more and think later. I’m an over thinker, who is content usually to watch things develop from the sidelines. If there’s one thing these books taught me its that life is better lived by part taking, and there’s things that are better experienced without any thought process of planning.
14.) Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?
On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. Everyone talks about this book, and I’ve owned it for years but hadn’t picked it up. Biggest regret is not reading it sooner.
15.) Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?
This one is from Seconds Hearts by G.J. Walker-Smith and its more funny and astoundingly obvious in a way I’ve never thought of before.
I bumped my shoulder against his arm. “Don’t sell yourself short, Adam. Pizza is a very complex meal.”
He twisted his upper body to look at me. “How do you figure that?”
I dropped my half-eaten slice back in the box. “Well, it’s a round meal, cut into triangles and served in a square box. You’d need to be a Columbia law student to understand that level of complexity.” (Page 155)
16.) Shortest and Longest Book You Read In 2013?
The longest book I read was Gabrielle Lord’s Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing and was 532 pages long. The Shortest is a bit of cheart, but it was by Monica McInerney and it consisted of two short stories and was The Christmas Gift coming to a grand total of 32 pages .
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!
The French Promise by Fiona McIntosh. It’s not the ending, but rather an event that takes place some two-thirds into the book. I was distraught and couldn’t sleep and finished the book at some ridiculous hour in the morning, only to facebook the author thanking her for the book and telling her about my strong emotional reaction to a certain event.
I may have guessed the big reveal in Saving Wishes, but it still caused a major emotional reaction and one that I was dying to talk to someone else about (sadly I didn’t know anyone who had read it at the time). I also would have been mighty pissed off with the ending of Seconds Hearts too if I didn’t know Storm Shells was already out!
18.) Favourite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
Charli and Adam, and furthermore Charli’s relationship with her father Alex. (Wishes series by G.J. Walker-Smith)
20.) Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else
Jillaroo by Rachael Treasure. My sister has been recommending this to me for years.
21.) Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?
ContemporaryFiction and Romance
22.) Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?
Lachie Cambridge from Heart Of The Valley By Cathryn Hein.
23.) Best 2013 debut you read?
Ryders Ridge by Charlotte Nash
24.) Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta.
25.) Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?
Chocolate Cake for Breakfast by Danielle Hawkins. Over the Edge by Suzanne Carroll. Enamoured by Shannon Curtis
26.) Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?
Between The Lives by Jessica Shirvington
27.) Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?
Burnt by Karly Lane.There’s barely any reviews or ratings on Goodreads for this one, and although I know a few people have read it, not many people talk about it. Which is a huge shame, as Burnt is an amazing book. I think alot of people were turned off because when it was initially released it was only released in eformat. But it’s avaliable in paper format now.
Over the Edge by Suzanne Carroll.Like Burnt, this book is highly underrated, but its a perfect short but sweet summer read that I hope more people pick up. It’s a romance, but a bit more of a rom-com than anything else. Overall a lot of fun.
Rules of Conception by Angela Lawrence. I’m not ovely surprised with this last one (but I am disappointed), as books that are considered contrevisal are either extremely popular (aka Harry Potter) or negelexted and unheard of (which I think this one falls into place).
1.) New favorite book blog you discovered in 2013?
Monique @ Write Note Reviews
Amy @ Lost In A Good Book
Megan & Estelle @ Rather Be Reading
Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner
Shelleyrae @ Book’d out
2.) Favourite review that you wrote in 2013?
There’s a couple I’m especially happy with:
3.) Best discussion you had on your blog?
I haven’t had too many discussions so far, but I’m trying to boost readership next year and have a few things in mind to do so. Probably my best post in terms of discussion though was the post I did regarding the French Promise giveaway and the concept of books that make you cry. Dr. Karl’s post was another big one too, but wasn’t so much of a discussion really.
4.) Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
Just this past week Elizabeth Lunde posted an article titled What gets reviewed and why? 2013 AWW wrap up post. I particular loved this post as it dealt with the issue of difficult reviews, an issue I sometimes have a lot of trouble with and the reason many of my reviews sit for so long, go up late or never make it anywhere at all. I aim to review everything I read, but in reality I fell way short this year.
I quite enjoyed Monique’s Most Underated Book AWards 2013 – Anna Soldings View because I’d never heard of this award before.
5.) Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I’ve gone to a lot of author events this year, and I’ve even helped host a fair few at work. My favourite book signing that I helped host was Dr. Karl’s visit the week before Christmas, where the line was HUGE but the readers were so nice and polite, despite the time they waited in line.
I really loved attending the Romance Reader’s Convention in Brisbane earlier this year, and because of the fantastic experience I had there, I will be trying tenfold to attend conferences in the future. I also quite enjoyed attending Bronwyn Parry’s book launch for Darkening Skies, and the local library event that I helped to organise back home. A highlight this year was meeting Fiona McIntosh on the Central Coast early on in the year, and then meeting George R.R. Martin at a Dymocks Literary Lunch in Sydney. As always the Sydney writer’s event was another great experience, but I have to admit I was blown away and astounded by the inaugural Newcastle Writer’s Festival this year and can’t wait for April 2014 to be able to attend the next one 🙂
6.) Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2013?
Twice this year I’ve been quoted in the Australian Women Writer’s wrap up post at the end of the month. Each time I was extremely surprised to have been picked because of the calibre of other reviews posted and the wide range of books reviewed and listed each month.
I was also extremely lucky to part in a couple of author interviews this year which has been amazing. What’s more authors have started approaching me to do reviews for some of their books, as have publisher’s which is probably one of the biggest compliments I have ever received because it means people like what you have to say and are reading what you are writing. My most Favourite aspect of logging on to my blog is seeing the comments and likes from people I don’t know. It’s really humbling and touching that someone has taken the time to read and appreciate what you’ve written. I know it’s the point of a book blog and all, but its something entirely else in practise.
7.) Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
Definitely my Dr. Karl giveaway. The response I received from that was astounding.
8.) Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
Some of my give-away posts. Barely anyone saw my Christmas giveaway post, and since I was having such a hard time at that stage, I decided to save the books for early next year to celebrate my one year blogging anniversary.
9.) Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Goodreads is still one of my favourite book sites on the web. There’s just something about the community there that is hard to find elsewhere. I’ve recently joined Library Thing and the Reading Room, but sadly these two sites are taking me longer to work out. Netgalley was recommended to me earlier this year by a dear Friend and I’ve never looked back since joining.
10.) Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
Yes! It’s so exciting to be able to say that because for a long time it didn’t look like I would make it! Although I try and read a 100 books a year, it doesn’t usually turn out that way (last year was the first time I’d tried to record them all and succeeded reaching the 100 book milestone). This year for example I knew I was going To Europe for two and half months, and although I knew I would read over there, I knew it would be no where near the amount of books I usually did. Thus I set my self a goal of 80 books this year, and I’m proud to say as of Dec 27 I’ve read 83 books 🙂
I also participated this year in The Australian Women Writers Challenge for 2013 where I challenged myself to read at least ten books and review six of those ten (Franklin level). I am proud to say as well that for this challenge I’ve read a grand total of 57 books this year. To date I’ve review at least 17 of these, with a massive push being made in the next couple of days to have done most of them if not all of them!
1.) One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?
I really desperately want and need to read The Book Thief. It’s been on my MUST READ list for years, and with the movie coming out in a matter of days it’s gone from a MUST READ SOMETIME book to a MUST READ IMMEDIATELY book. Especially considering that I’ve agreed to see the movie sometime before the 13th Jan. Doesn’t leave me much time to not read it 🙂
2.) Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?
I’ve been reading a lot of blogs at the moment dealing with what bloggers desperately wanted for Christmas in terms of books. So far my must read list compiled of from those lists includes: Attachements by Rainbow Rowell, Winger by Andrew Smith, Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell, This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales. How To Love by Katie Cotugno.
My back list at home includes: Breathe by Abbi Glines, Right As Rain by Tricia Stringer, Antigoddess by Kendare Blake.
3.) 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
I’m quite excited to read The Girl In The Yellow Vest by Loretta Hill and Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham. Both of which I already own for review thanks to netgalley.
4.) Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?
All the series Im currently reading are wrapped up as far as endings go at the moment. I am lloking forward to G.J. Walker-smiths new release though, but as far as I’m aware (and fingers crossed I’m right) that won’t be her last book in the series.
5.) One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?
As cliché as it sounds, I’m looking forward to reviewing a lot more books in hopefully a wider range of genres and authors. Like this year I’m participating in the Australian Women Writer’s challenger 2014 and also in the Eccentric Challenge 2014 that is run by Shelleyrae over at Book’d out.
I’m really looking forward to my first year anniversary early next year and I’m also hoping to cover a lot more of the author events I attend. But most of all, I’m excited to see what 2014 might become and hopeful that it will be as good as this year if not better 🙂
The End 🙂
And after what seems like a life time, I’ve finally reached the end of this survey. I hope you enjoyed reading my answers – if you made it the whole way through, and I totally don’t blame you if you didn’t, there’s a lot of questions there! I hope to see, and possibly hear from you next year. Until then, happy holidays 🙂