For the last couple of years I have been taking Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner‘s End of Year Bookish Survey. It’s always a lot of fun and you can surf around plenty of blogs and see what other people were enjoying and pick up at least a hundred new books for your TBR. Because we all need more of those!
So let’s get into it.
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 am going to break this down a little because I read a lot of books in 2013 and it’s pretty much impossible to choose just one.
Best Contemporary: The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion. What is not to love about this book? It’s so funny but yet beautifully heartwarming and serious underneath as Don, a Professor with some Asperger’s tendencies undertakes The Wife Project, to find the woman he will marry.
Best Young Adult: The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. I resisted reading these for so long and I finally caved this year and I became obsessed. Basically everything can be summed up by saying: Rose. Dimitri.
Best Literary: The Narrow Road to the Deep North, by Richard Flanagan. I think that this book is pretty well not a surprise to most fans of Australian novels. Flanagan is well known and his exploration of life on the Thai-Burma railway and love and loss is beautifully written. This book will win prizes.
Best Non-fiction: The People Smuggler, by Robin De Crespigny. Can someone give this book to Tony Abbott? Please?
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Hmmm. Okay I know I’m kind of out here alone, but I’m going to say Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. I was so excited to read this book, it was pumped up so much but I have to say, I didn’t really enjoy it anywhere near as much as I thought I would. There’s no denying it’s clever but I found myself getting bored in more than one scenario and it was repetitive.
3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?
Probably the Vampire Academy books. I really did not expect to fall in love with them that much.
4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?
5. Best series you discovered in 2013?
I’ll go with the Fever series, by Karen Marie Moning, given I’ve already said VA a couple times now.
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?
7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
On The Trail of Genghis Khan, by Tim Cope. I really don’t read a lot of non-fiction, memoir etc but I really enjoyed this one.
8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?
Dangerous Girls, by Abigail Haas
9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
The Firebird, by Susanna Kearsley
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?
The Wild Girl, by Kate Forsyth
11. Most memorable character in 2013?
Professor Don Tillman from The Rosie Project. Or Jericho Barrons from the Fever series. Orrrr….. Agnes Magnúsdóttir from Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?
The Narrow Road To The Deep North by Richard Flanagan and The Whole Of My World, by Nicole Hayes
13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?
Hate Is Such A Strong Word by Sarah Ayoub
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?
Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?
I never write down quotes I like. Oops.
16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?
The longest is definitely Command Authority by Tom Clancy at a pretty whopping 752p. The shortest was Chained by Ruthie Knox (40p), which was just part of a book really. So the shortest complete book was No Money Down by Julie Moffett at 90p.
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.)
18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc)
Romance: Nicola and Rob in The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley, Rose and Dimitri in the Vampire Academy books,
Friendships: Bill and Sticks/Lucas in The First Third by Will Kostakis,
19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley
20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else
Life In Outer Space by Melissa Keil
21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?
I read pretty widely but probably contemporary romance
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?
Good Lord, where do I start? Dimitri Belikov, Rob McMorran from The Firebird, Jericho Barrons, Shehadie Goldsmith (let’s ignore the fact that he’s 18, shall we?).
23. Best 2013 debut you read?
Going to go with something I haven’t already said – Roll With It by Nick Place
24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?
The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?
Chocolate Cake For Breakfast by Danielle Hawkins
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?
Um, I cry in pretty much everything. It would probably be quicker if I listed books that didn’t make me cry. But the one that surprised me the most when I cried was Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. I also did some serious sobbing in Paper Chains by Nicola Moriarty.
27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?
Often I see a few books that get plenty of love overseas but not so much around the Aussie blogs/sites like The Circle by Dave Eggers. I think Me & Rory Macbeath definitely needs more love and I’d love to see books like Life In Outer Space and Hate Is Such A Strong Word do well overseas.
I always enjoy doing these, it makes me go back and really examine the books I’ve read including ones that I read so long ago that I’ve almost forgotten them or it feels like much longer ago that I read them! I obviously found quite a few books in 2013 that I really loved because there’s several I mention many times! I hope my reading in 2014 brings about just as many wonderful books.