Saturday, 31 December 2011

End of Year Book Survey 2011

So, I've been looking around at everyone doing end of year stuff, and while I roll my eyes at thinking that a new year changes anything (other than, possibly, your blood alcohol level) I do enjoy taking stock and talking shit about books (no, really?!) so I'm going to do Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner's End of Year Survey, for which the only day for posting is clearly today because it's the actual end of the year. So there, everyone who's been doing stuff throughout the whole of December- shame on you! But not really. But still. Yeah.

Anyway, on with the survey!! (Actually, I've been basing this on O at Delaisse's survey, which is slightly different to Jamie's... but I've answered all the questions now so I'm not deleting them!)

How many books read in 2011?
96 (at least that I reviewed, I read a few more before I started my blog)

How many fiction/non-fiction books read?
Fiction: 68, Non-Fiction: 28

How many male/female authors?
Male: 61, Female: 34, 1 Abstaining (this is slightly skewed by all the Stephen King and George Orwell... Must read all the works of a woman next year!)

Oldest Book Read?
Hmmm... I think Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (published in 1811)

Newest Book Read?
Either The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides or The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (both published in 2011)

Longest Book Read?
The Stand by Stephen King (Over 1400 pages)

Shortest Book Read?
Probably A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde (about 90, teeny pages)

Any in translation?
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, and as far as I know that's it. Which is pretty lame, I'll admit.

Best Book Read in 2011?
ARGH! Don't make me choose! Or let me refer you to this list. But if I really had to choose, it's probably between The Perks of Being A Wallflower, Anna Karenina, Middlesex, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. (This is not including re-reads, because if it was, To Kill A Mockingbird would probably win everything...)

Most Disappointing Book in 2011?
Probably An Education by Lynn Barber, just because I really loved the film, but then absolutely hated the actual woman... And also The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake which was just awful. (Honourable mention for The Help, but I never expected much from that to begin with!)

Most beautifully written book read in 2011?
And this is not the same as my favourite book? I'd probably say The Perks of Being a Wallflower, or possibly The Marriage Plot or Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides.

Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?
I was surprised at how much I loved Julie and Julia, to the extent that I loved it even more than the film (which I love A LOT).

Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?
Hmm... well, it wasn't exactly thrilling in a conventional way, but I really really couldn't put down How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran, and I had other stuff to do that day! Seriously good.

Book that had the greatest impact on me in 2011?
Erm... all of my top ten? But I think the greatest was probably The Perks of Being a Wallflower (have I mentioned that enough yet?) or probably, How To Be A Woman, again.

Book that had a scene in it that had me reeling?
I guess The Hunger Games Trilogy- most of it, most of the time, like one big reeling after another... It's so awesome!

Book I most anticipated in 2011?
Probably The Marriage Plot, because after I read Middlesex, I was all about having more Eugenides in my life! I was also excited about 11/22/63, even though I'm probably not going to read it for about a zillion years... but still, more Stephen King= yay!

Most memorable character in 2011?
Hmm... It seems kind of obvious to say Katniss from The Hunger Games, but, you know, her, and I would say Charlie from The Perks of Being a Wallflower too. Honourable mention to Francie from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and Levin from Anna Karenina (LOVE HIM!)

How many re-reads in 2011?
22? Which actually, for me, is not so bad, since I normally just read the same things (the best things) over and over again. Although it is still bad considering the around 300 books I have that I haven't read yet...

Book I read in 2011 that I'd be most likely to read in 2012?
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and How To Be A Woman. Also The Marriage Plot, because I was so excited about it I just wolfed it down, so hopefully I can take it slower when I get the paperback...

Book I recommended to people most in 2011?
Well, I bought The Hunger Games for two people for Christmas... But I guess probably Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates, just by going on about it the absolute mostest!

A book I read this year that was recommended by a blogger.
Oh my gosh, so many! My favourites of which were The Perks of Being A Wallflower, continually recommended by Adam at Roof Beam Reader (which I love him for, a lot!) and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, although I still can't remember who recommended it (But I love them too, whoever they are!)

Favourite New Authors I discovered this year.
Clearly Jeffrey Eugenides! But also, Emma Donoghue, and Nora Ephron (I already knew who she was, of course, but I hadn't read any of her books!) Oh, and I also like Tom Perotta a fair bit now.

Most books read by one author this year?
Stephen King! Of course. Although George Orwell comes in at a close second.

Favourite cover of a book I read this year?

Favourite passage/quote from a book I read in 2011?
Oh GOD! Too hard. But I like this:

From A Tree Grows in Brooklyn:
"'Dear God,' [Francie] prayed, 'let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay, let me be sad, let me be cold, let me be hungry... have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well dressed. Let me be sincere- be deceitful. Let me be truthful, let me be a liar. Let me be honourable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost.'"

and this, from Oranges are not the Only Fruit:
"Going back after a long time will make you mad, because the people you left behind do not like to think of you as changed, will treat you as they always did, accuse you of being indifferent, when you are only different."

and SO much from Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, but especially:
"Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I'm not living." And
"You cannot protect yourself from unhappiness without protecting yourself from happiness."

and this, from The Perks of Being a Wallflower:
"I really think everyone should have watercolours, magnetic poetry, and a harmonica."

And really truly finally, this, also from Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, has honestly been the most helpful quote for getting me through this year:
"that no emotion is the final one."

Oh, and also, basically the entirety of To Kill A Mockingbird. Seriously.

Did I complete any reading challenges or goals that I set for myself at the beginning of the year?
Hells yes! See: the completed challenges tab. I also got a pretty good start on my Stephen King challenge thingy, and since I didn't at all intend to read all of his books in one year, I'm happy with that.

Book I can't believe I waited until 2011 to read?
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Middlesex, and especially Dracula (which I've had the longest and thought I'd probably never read!)

Blogging in Review

New Favourite Book Blog I discovered in 2011?
Oh my gawd, don't even get me started! But, since you insist, I'm going to say What Red Read, Reading Rambo, Nylon Admiral, BooksessedLiterary Musings, and Books Are My Boyfriends. And many many many more, I love everyone I follow!

Favourite Review I wrote in 2011:
I don't know! But I did enjoy fully taking the piss out of The Help, and I also enjoyed being angry about An Education by Lynn Barber.

Best discussion on my blog:
I find that the best discussions happen on Alice's blog, but the discussion on my last post on The Help was pretty freaking hilarious and amazing.

Most thought provoking review or discussion on someone else's blog:
Honestly? This discussion on the things that are wrong with Beauty and the Beast on What Red Red (don't say I'm not highbrow!)

Best event I participated in:
Clearly the Readalong of The Help, but also Dewey's Readathon was pretty freaking epic.

Best moment of book blogging in 2011:
Getting my 100th follower was pretty wonderful, as was every big milestone of visitors (1000, 5000, 10000...)

The most popular post this year on my blog:
Other than blog hops and stuff, it was actually this film review of Stand By Me. I literally have no idea why...

My biggest shortcoming as a book blogger:
Being a total stats whore. I'm getting better now, but I still get a kick out of counting visitors...

Blog Posts that I am most likely to read by other bloggers:
The funny ones! And general miscellany (see: the Beauty and the Beast post, above). AND reviews of books that I love to make sure they're being treated with the proper respect.

Looking Ahead to 2012

One book I didn't get to in 2011 that will be a priority in 2012:
Hmmm... I don't really have one, I don't think. I really want to read Great House by Nicole Kraus in the New Year though (I already have it out of the library) and I really want to read more Sarah Waters next year.

Book I'm most anticipating in 2012:
I of course don't know any books that are being released next year, but I'm excited/scared to read Crime and Punishment and Dangerous Liasons for the Back to the Classics challenge.

One thing I hope to accomplish or do in reading/blogging in 2012:
Is this trying to make me make a New Years Resolution..? I sure hope not! I am going to say that my main ambition is to finish my challenges and maybe (maybe) host a readalong. Maybe. Now would be a good time to comment and promise me that you'd take part in my readalong, because if no one did I would CRY.

If you made it through all that, you're a fucking trooper. Now go and drink yourself stupid, or read yourself into oblivion. Whatever your poison is.

Oh yeah. And, *big, reluctant sigh* Happy New Year.


  1. Wow, major props on the amount of non-fiction you read this year! I need to step my game up.

    And if you might host a readalong, I might join in... depending on my level of laziness at the time of sign-ups :-)

    Happy New Year and all that jazz...



    All your Best of books are awesome, so good job there. And FOR SERIOUS An Education sucked. I gave that away to someone with no compunction whatsoever, despite being a low-level hoarder.

    I still can't believe you stayed up for Dewey's Readathon. BOOK BLOGGING MEMORIES.

  3. @Sarah- I know right- I had no idea I was reading so much non-fiction, although to be fair it was mostly just memoirs and hilarious essays, so not too much effort required! Oooooh, I'll hold you to the joining in a potential readalong!

    @Reading Rambo- *HUGS* right back atcha! An Education is so so bad- I lent it to a friend (not because I hate her, but just so I could make her also go 'WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS WOMAN', and I'm tempted to just tell her to keep it/give it away somewhere. I've also given away some Winterson because I just can't deal with her! Oh joyous Dewey's memories! Memories of what it did to my HAIR! The next one's in April, I believe... :D