2013 End of Year Book Survey

2013booksurveyI started Marvel at Words one year ago today. To celebrate my blog’s birthday, i’ve decided to complete The Perpetual Page-Turner’s end of year survey. I’m very happy with what i’ve done with this place so far, and look forward to reading more books and writing their reviews in 2014!

Best in Books 2013

1. Best Book You Read In 2013?
Being realistic here, The Book Thief by Mark Zusak is the only book i gave 5 out of 5 stars to in 2013. It was also the first book i read in 2013, and as much i remember loving it, i can’t remember exactly why it was better than all the books i’ve given 4 stars to…

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Most definitely The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories. I love horror, and was so excited for this book. Turns out H.P. Lovecraft is such a dull and uninspired writer. So disappointed.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?
I’ll have to go with American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but i was worried there would be too much religion for my taste. There was nothing of the sort and i enjoyed this book immensely!

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?
Hmm, i’m not sure there really has been any. When i recommend books, i don’t just recommend ones i have really loved, i like to personalise it by choosing books i think the person i am recommending to will like. This year i think i’ve warned people not to read books than i have recommending books…

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?
The only series i really read from this year has been Sherlock Holmes. So far i’ve only read A Study in Scarlet, but i look forward to reading more!

6. Favorited new author you discovered in 2013?
I definitely want to read more books by Neil Gaiman and Richard Matheson (after reading American Gods and I Am Legend, respectively).

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
This has to go to Notes on an Exhibition by Patrick Gale. It’s too close to the “normal” fiction genre to be in my comfort zone, but it was very well written and i did enjoy it.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?
I can’t not say The Book Thief by Mark Zusak, really. I thought it would take me so much longer to read, but i loved it so much and it was a much easier read than i expected that i just whizzed through it.

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
I have so many unread books, that i don’t actually want to re-read any, and certainly not any that i read only last year. But one i might randomly pick up and skim through is Apathy and Other Small Victories by Paul Neilan, because just glancing a page or two will have me giggling at any number of quotes.

10. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2013?
I have to go with The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin. It’s simple. I like it in relation to the book and in isolation.

dispossessed

11. Most memorable character in 2013?
Hmm, so many good characters. I’ll have to say Billy from Billy Christ by Michael Cameron. He was the character i most loved to hate. I was invested in him, but i didn’t like him. I love it when an author can make me care about a character i don’t like.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, hands down. This is a book to get lost in. Such a beautiful world with amazing descriptions.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?
I think i have to go with Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold. I can’t even describe how or why, but i was still living inside that book five or six books later. I fell into it head first and had a hard time getting out again.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?
Ha. Peter Pan and Wendy by J.M. Barrie. Having been called Wendy all my life, the fact that i hadn’t read this book was always an amusing thing to me. Even after a friend gifted me this beautiful centenary edition, it still took me several years to pick it up and read it.

15. Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?
Too many. Late in the year i actually started a Marvel at Words tumblr to post quotes from books while i was still reading them (when i remember). The one i will have to say right now, today is from The Spire by William Golding. This one quote stuck with me through the entire book and made me laugh several times over. Still does, in fact.

“Father Adam!”
But the little man said nothing, did nothing. He stood still holding the letter, and there was not even a change of expression in his face; and this might be, thought Jocelin, because he has no face at all. He is the same all round like the top of a clothespeg. He spoke, laughing down at the baldness with its fringe of nondescript hair.
“I ask your pardon, Father Adam. One forgets you are there so easily!” And then, laughing aloud in joy and love— “I shall call you Father Anonymous!”

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?
Shortest: The Thirty Nine Steps by John Buchan at 118 pages.
Longest: Weaveworld by Clive Barker at 722 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!
“Guts” in Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk. So gross it made me physically squirm. I LOVED IT.

18. Favourite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc)?
Mike and Phyllis Watson from The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham. A solid couple, lovely people, respectful of each other and just a brilliant duo. I adore them.

19. Favourite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously?
The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham. John Wyndham has yet to fail me.

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else?
Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold. I had no clue what it was about when i picked it up, and i think that was part of the reason i enjoyed it so much. I was having trouble choosing what book to read next, so my partner just told me to read Carter Beats the Devil. (Does an order count as a recommendation?)

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?
According to my tags, this would be “contemporary”, but as i use that for any recent/present-day book simply when it has a lack of other (“real”) genres, i’m not sure it counts. Second place is “classic” and third is “horror”. I feel they represent my tastes more accurately.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?
Oh FFS, what’s the obsession with having to have a crush? I don’t fancy fictional people, sorry.

23. Best 2013 debut you read?
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. If she wrote another fantasy book, i would want to read it.

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?
Because i don’t want to say The Night Circus again, i’m going to say I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. It describes such a desolate post-apocalyptic world–the kind of world i will always immediately imagine from the words “post-apocalyptic”.

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?
Tie between Apathy and Other Small Victories by Paul Neilan for the LOLs and Off the Map by Heb & Kika for the stories and personal nostalgia it evoked in me.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?
The Book Thief by Mark Zusak made me sob. It was terribly sad, but very beautiful.

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked When It Came Out?
Expo 58 by Jonathan Coe. Seriously, people, i have not heard enough about this book. It’s very good and hugely enjoyable.

Book Blogging/Reading Life

1. New favourite book blog you discovered in 2013?
I only started this year, so can i say all of them? I’m saying all of them.

2. Favourite review that you wrote in 2013?
To be honest, i enjoy writing the reviews for books i didn’t like much more than the books i loved. I never think i’ll do an awesome book justice, but i’m happy to ramble on about why i didn’t like a book! I think my favourite rant review is The Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?
I, er, didn’t really have any. I appreciate and reply to comments, but a discussion has never really come of them.

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
I’m not sure ‘thought-provoking’ is the right term, but Lynn’s Book Blog’s review of The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson has been my favourite. It made me remember why i loved it so much and (despite too many books to read) i was inspired to re-read it myself–as my last book of 2013, incidentally.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I… don’t do this, really. I just live in my own world, reading my books and writing their reviews. The most adventurous i get is memes like this. So wild.

6. Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2013?
I don’t know. I’ve enjoyed it all. Nothing really sticks out. Maybe when i was nominated for a liebster award by What Hannah Read… I’ll get around to making that post one of these days!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
Looking for Alaska, The Art of Fielding and The Kraken Wakes all got the most comments.
Billy Christ got the most views.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
Carter Beats the Devil, because i bloody loved it, but had no one to talk to about it!

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
I discovered i can put up shelves. Which has been useful for easing the strain of my bookcases.

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I challenged myself to read 25 books, with the specific aim to read longer books. I did well with this at first and read several long books. By the time i’d read 25 books, goodreads was bullying me into increasing my goal, so i did, and then completely gave up on the long books.

Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It’s been on my shelf for a long time, but recently i actually watched the film… having not yet read the book. Shame on me! So yes, that is my first book of 2014.

2. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?
My goal is still to read longer books. I want to read Swan Song by Robert McCammon because my nan bought it for for christmas 2012. I also want to read The Stand and Under the Dome by Stephen King… lots of long book goals for 2014.

About Wendleberry
I'm odd.

11 Responses to 2013 End of Year Book Survey

  1. lynnsbooks says:

    I love this post – and thanks for the mention btw! Would you be overwhelmingly angry if I stole the questions?
    Definitely want to read American Gods now – it’s literally been sat next to my bed for 12 months! I think I’m scared to read it. I’ve raised Neil Gaiman onto a ridiculously high pedestal and so I’m almost wary of reading this particular book because it seems out of characters with his other works somehow. I will read it this year – first resolution right there.
    Happy 2014 to you.
    Lynn 😀

  2. mshannahw says:

    Thank you for posting this, I really enjoying reading it! I’ve had The Book Thief sitting in my To Read pile for over a year now & you’ve persuaded me that I should prioritise it more.

    I like Patrick Gale but the only books of his I seem to come across in the library are te ones I’ve read or that Whole Day Through one that has zero appeal to me.

    I need to check out John Green, too. I may be nearly 30 but that’s no reason not to, right?

    I am going to do this survey too! 🙂

    • Wendleberry says:

      I really do recommend The Book Thief. It’s well written and is a pretty light read, which might sound strange considering the subject matter of death and world war two, but… Yes, read it.

      The only other Patrick Gale book i plan to read is Rough Music. It and Notes on an Exhibition were the two specifically recommended to me.

      John Green is worth a shot, i think, but i’m still ambivalent on him myself, currently.

      • mshannahw says:

        Ok, I will! Imagining it would be heavy-going is the main thing that’s put me off it, tbh!

        Rough Music is one of the ones I most want to read, & the main reason I haven’t is that they only have Notes… and The Whole Day Through in the library. His older work seems pretty much unknown. I did quite like Friendly Fire, too, though.

  3. Pingback: 2013 End Of Year Book Survey | What Hannah Read

  4. Pingback: 2014 End of Year Book Survey | Marvel At Words

  5. Pingback: 2016 End of Year Book Survey | Marvel At Words

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