Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 End of Year Book Survey

Hi! It's been a little while but, as promised, I'm here to wrap up 2015! And that means I'll be back to posting regularly with the new year. It might not be six days a week, like I've sustained previously, but definitely several times a week. Woo 2016! I've missed you guys!

So, I've never done Jamie's End of Year Survey, but I thought it'd be a fun way to wrap up--and she does such a good job covering so many things! Without further ado, onward ho!

2015 Reading Stats

Number of books you read: 101 (though technically more since I read a lot of picture books for storytime at work!)
Number of re-reads: 2 (I'm not a re-reader, obviously.)
Genre you read the most from: Fantasy

Best in Books

Best book you read in 2015?

Rook by Sharon Cameron! There's a chance I'm mildly obsessed with this book... Illuminae is a close second, though. I've actually screamed at people about these two at work. I'm too intense, probably.

Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn't?

Red Queen. Sigh. And it's everywhere. I'll admit I'm still curious about the rest of the series, though.

Most surprising (in a good or bad way) book you read?

Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare! This is definitely in a good way! Surprising because I was surprised by how much I discovered I l like historical romance. After loving this, I read a bunch more. :)

Book you "pushed" the most people to read (and they did)?

Illuminae definitely wins this one! I'm in the process of a couple people currently, but I've pushed a few to buy it at work. 

Best series you started in 2015? Best sequel of 2015? Best series ender of 2015?

Does it count if I started and ended the series this year? I think so, so the best series I started was the Shadowfell series by Juliet Marillier. She always wins--including best sequel, which was the second in this series, Raven Flight. As for series ender, I have to choose Winter! I mean, how could I not?

Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?

Hmm. There are tons of authors who have been around a while but who I hadn't read till this year... And I don't feel like I discovered much of anyone this year, so I'll go with one of those. And that's Sharon Cameron! Clearly, I loved Rook, so I had to go back and read her previous series, The Dark Unwinding, which was also wonderful. Now she's definitely an auto-buy author for me. :)

Best book from a genre you don't typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

I don't think I read anything that was that out of my comfort zone? I got way into historical romance, read a couple of non-fiction titles, and a couple of literary fiction, aside from my normal YA. As I said before, I have read a lot of picture books for work, which is obviously not something I did much of previously... I really loved Bug in a Vacuum, so I'm going to say that. :D

Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

I mean, is there even a question? As I told people countless times, I read the second half of Illuminae in record time, without getting up, without speaking to anyone, just eyes glued to the book.

Book you read in 2015 that you are most likely to re-read next year?

I don't re-read much, so that's a hard one! I'm making a tradition of reading the first Harry Potter on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day (if it lasts that long...) so I guess that?

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?

Easy, since I think I picked it as my favorite cover of the year last year, but I didn't read it till last month! A Thousand Pieces of You, that beautiful, beautiful thing.

Most memorable character of 2015?

I'll have to say Cress from Winter! Dang, I love that girl. She was far and away my favorite character of the series from the moment she was introduced and Winter only solidified that even further.

Most beautifully written book read in 2015?

I've got a few books warring for precedence in this oneee. Juliet Marillier is always, always perfect, so she'd be a solid choice, but I think what Susan Fletcher did with A Little In Love was just wonderful. How she tells Eponine's story brings her so strongly off the page.

Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2015?

I don't think I read anything life-changing, but Brooklyn was definitely thought-provoking. I saw the movie, so I read the book too. Eilis is inscrutable, even on the page, so it's a task to figure her out.

Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?

The Girl of Fire and Thorns Stories! It's one of my favorite series, so I can't actually believe I didn't read the stories that went with it, even though I'm not big on the shorts that have become the fad. So it takes a special series to have me read them. :)

Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2015?

Let there be a time in the future, I prayed, when he laughs with his children, and plays on the shore with them, and spends all his nights in loving arms. Let us have that. To whom I was praying I did not know. The future was in our own hands. If we wanted a world where such things were possible, it was for us to make it.
            -- Juliet Marillier, Raven Flight

Shortest and longest book you read in 2015?

Shortest - The Golden Compass Graphic Novel, Vol. 1 at 80 pages (shortest non-novella!)
Longest - Winter at 824 pages

Book that shocked you the most?

Ooh, the end of The Winner's Crime! Oh my gosh. I should've expected it, but I totally didn't.


I've a lot of OTP, but the one I've not seen happen yet (but totally will or I'll cry) is Verity and Henry from Rebel Mechanics! They're just too perfect.

Favorite non-romanctic relationship of the year?

Kady and AIDAN. Hehehe.

Favorite book you read in 2015 from an author you've read previously?

To spread the love, Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson! Rae is queen. :)

Best book you read in 2015 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else/peer pressure?

I definitely read Romancing the Duke because of Cyn and Chantress because of Alyssa's love of the series!

Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?

I love, love, love Tony in Brooklyn. Maybe that's affected because of the movie, but that's the source! (SEE BROOKLYN, Y'ALL.)

Best worldbuilding/most vivid setting you read this year?

Uprooted wins in so many ways.

Book that put a smile on your face/was the most FUN to read?

The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic. Yes. So much fun to read all about the development of The Haunted Mansion and all of its iterations.

Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2015?

Practically every one? Winter or A Spark Unseen probably made me shed the most tears, though.

Hidden gem of the year?

I don't think I've seen enough about The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick. So interesting, so cool.

Book that crushed your soul?
Nothing hurt me too, too badly, but Winter is certainly a contender. Maybe The Winner's Crime too.

Most unique book you read in 2015?

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough. How could you not be intrigued by a game played by love and death? So cool.

Book that made you the most mad (doesn't necessarily mean you didn't like it)?

Lair of Dreams! Just because WHO KNOWS HOW MANY YEARS IT'LL BE BEFORE I GET THE NEXT ONE?!? Libba Bray is wonderful, but she takes tooo loooong.

Your Blogging/Bookish Life

New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?

Honestly, I haven't done the level of blog visiting I should have, so shamefully, I don't actually have an answer for this. A resolution for 2016!

Favorite review you wrote in 2015?

There are a bunch I could say are my favorite, but I recall being pretty proud of my review of Uprooted. :)

Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

If you were around at the beginning of this year, remember my Baking By the Book posts! I looooved those, but it was a lot of time, so I only did two, but I want to get back to them this year. 

Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

It's a toss up between the Libba Bray and Sarah J. Maas signings, but I'd have to say Libba Bray wins, just because she was wonderful and I've been a fan for SO long.

Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?

Is it cheating to say every time I got an ARC in the mail from a publisher? Even after almost five years, those packages are like little Christmases all year and they're absolutely my favorite.

Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Actually doing it! It's so easy to let things slide when you're busy, and I'm bad about holding myself accountable to the things I want to do. It's a matter of telling myself, "Oh, I'll make sure to do that tomorrow..." Over and over again. I'm resolving not to do that this year, because so many people are busier than I am and manage it, so I can do it too. 

Most popular post this year on your blog?

By page views, definitely my fourth blogoversary post, because of the giveaway, but aside from a strictly giveaway post, my blog tour stop for Hidden Huntress got the most views--which makes me happy, because it was a really fun guest post about some of the more under-the-radar inspirations for one of her characters. :)

Post you wished got a little more love?

Lots of reviews kind of flew under the radar, and my favorite among those that didn't get the love I wish it did was for Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry. Maybe that's because it's an adult book, which I so rarely review, but it was a great book and I want more people to hear about it!

Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I don't know if it counts as a bookish discovery, but I'm LOVING my job. I'm the children's lead at my Barnes & Noble, which means I'm in charge of the kids and teen departments of the store, and it's far and away the most fulfilling job I've had. Yes, there are annoyances in messy kids and uppity parents, but to spend all day surrounded by books and have people listen to my suggestions is the best. I especially love when I get someone who loves YA and we get to talking, I'll suggest something for them, they buy it and read it, and come back wanting more. That's the best feeling. Not a discovery, but switching from working the cafe full time to working on the book floor full time has been the best change this year.

Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Just my Goodreads goal (even though I had to lower that a few months ago when it was obvious it wasn't going to happen...). And haha, I failed so hard at challenging myself to watch the AFI's 25 best musicals... I think this is why I don't do many challenges.

Looking Ahead

One book you didn't get to in 2015 but will be your number 1 priority in 2016?

Truthwitch! Once I'm done with Harry Potter, this is the next thing on the list! I can't believe, even though I had an ARC, I've waited, effectively, till release day to read it.

Book you are most anticipating for 2016 (non-debut)?

I neeeeed me some The Winner's Kiss.

2016 debut you are most anticipating?

Probably The Crown's Game! (Aside, does anyone else kind of hate the cover??)

Series ending/a sequel you are most anticipating in 2016?

Siren's Song, the third Storm Siren book! Ooooh, cannot wait to see how that ends, y'all. Such a good series!

One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life in 2016?

Regularity! More visiting other blogs!

A 2016 release you've already read and recommend to everyone?

I've read The Love That Split the World, Passenger, Starflight, and Love, Lies, and Spies. One I disliked, two I enjoyed, and one I really enjoyed--much to my surprise, actually, since I disliked the only other book by her that I've read. That winner? Starflight!

And that's it! That's a marathon of a survey! But I like to have some kind of wrap-up, even if no one else reads it, so in years to come I can see what I liked and didn't like so much. :) I'd love to visit other people's surveys, so leave me links to yours if you've done it! Adios, y'all! See you next year!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Well hi there!

Hello! It's been a while, eh?

I dunno how it happened, exactly, but I lost some posting motivation there. I've been thinking that I'll wait either till after Christmas or the first of the year to resume. Be assured, I'm not gone, though! 

Everything's been ramping up at work for Christmas and it'll only get crazier as the holiday gets closer, so I've really only wanted to spend free time with family and friends and resting. I've been reading, albeit slowly, so I've got a backlog of reviews! 

I just wanted to pop in and say hi! See y'all soon! :D