Tuesday 13 December 2011

2011 End of Year Book Survey!

I know I've been going on about it lots, but I am so intensely little kid excited about coming to the end of my first year of blogging! I've read such awesome stuff this year and added to my already disgustingly giant TBR pile, and a huge amount is due to blogger recommendations. Mostly to try to get all the awesome I've read straight in my head, I'm completing Jamie's End of 2011 book survey. Feel free to read on or not, as the mood takes you!

1. Best Book You Read In 2011? 
I think this is the first time I have ever been able to answer this question straight away, without even thinking about the answer. I did add another couple of titles to my answer about two seconds later, but still, result!
Immediate answer - The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Totally lived up to the hype and made me want to read it again, immediately after finishing it.
The two I added two seconds later - Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi, and Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (my first foray into non - fantasy graphic novels - totally opened my eyes)

2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?

Franny and Zooey by J.D Salinger. I've been a giant fan of The Catcher in the Rye since I was about fourteen, and this book has been on my TBR literally forever, but when I did get around to reading it, I just couldn't love it like I wanted to...

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?

An Abundance of Katherines by John Greene
East of Eden by John Steinbeck

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?

How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran. This is still the most hilarious book I've read all year and just so entertaining. I get the giggles just thinking about sage and onion stuffing now.

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?

Probably the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, or Case Histories by Kate Atkinson. I love Percy Jackson despite it being slightly childish in tone, the books are just brilliantly quick entertaining reads. Thank you
Hanna for sending me the first one!

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?

Sarah Addison Allen, Erin Morgenstern, Carolyn Turgeon, Marjane Satrapi (all women... :-/)

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
Before this year I hardly ever read any YA. If I'm honest the snobby 'I have an English LIterature Degree' part of me still dislikes admitting that I do, but my stats for the year beg to differ so... Having said that, The Hunger Games trilogy earlier this year was a total revelation for me. I absolutely adored the series and I go between extreme excitement and apprehension about the upcoming film!
8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern again! If you haven't read this book, you really really must, it is so incredibly beautiful and captivating. Also Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants which I keep forgetting about but completely adored for being so suspense building and darkly gorgeous.

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?

The Night Circus or The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Browne (which was good, but not as great as I was expecting...)

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?

In Your Face by one of my most favourite authors ever, Scarlett Thomas

11. Most memorable character in 2011? 

I know she was only in it for like a really little while, but Rue from The Hunger Games. I loved her, she was so brave she broke my heart.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Lost at Sea by Bryan Lee O'Malley

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011? 

Reading Lolita in Tehran made me rant at people about women's rights and feminism a LOT. I felt strongly enough about it to do a giveaway (rare occurrence!) just to be able to pass the awesomeness on!

14. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read? 

East of Eden and Tender is the Night. Both amazing, brilliantly written and much more engrossing reads than I expected.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011? 
From How to Be a Woman - sorry if it's not to people's taste, but I find it HILARIOUS:(in reference to periods)

"As part of being a hippy, my mother doesn't 'belive' in painkillers and urges us to research herbal remedies. We read that sage is supposed to help and sit in bed eating handfuls of sage and onion stuffing, crying. Neither of us can believe that we're going to have to put up with this for the next 30 years.
"I don't want children anyway,' Caz says, 'So I am getting nothing out of this whatsoever. I want my entire reproductive system taken out, and replaced with spare lungs, for when I start smoking'"
16. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012? How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran (because I want to re-read it just from going through trying to find the above quote)
The Night Circus because, as previously mentioned, it is entire bucketloads of awesome.

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!

It's probably kinda bad that I can't really think of one...There were some scenes in The NIght Circus (surprise surprise), and a few in The Last Werewolf I think but nothing specific springs to mind..

I shall be doing more talking about 2011 before the end of the year, including some stats that I find interesting but probably nobody else will....


  1. Anybody would think you liked The Night Circus or something. Weird, right? :p

    I was going to do this tonight but I'm reading a book right now that I want to use for one of the categories, so I'll finish it first!

    I'm 100% with you on How To Be A Woman though - I can't wait to reread it already. And you've made me want to read The Night Circus more than I already did (which is a lot)!

  2. Do you have The Night Circus already? It's so amazing! I hear myself talking about it and I know I sound a bit mental but I can't stop!

  3. How to be a Woman is going straight onto my list now!

  4. I THINK I'm getting it for Christmas. I really, really, really, really hope so! I saw it in Waterstones today and flicked through it and I want it even more just down to the format!

  5. Haha, I've just used your posts to copy the questions from, and God - you really DO like The Night Circus, don't you? :p

  6. Yep. Actually it's been a long time since I liked a book that much. I'm ridiculously annoying about it, but husband liked it (if possible) more than I did, so I'm in good company! :-p

  7. Haha, it doesn't matter that Rue was only in The Hunger Games for a little while, she was AWESOME! The film is going to CRUSH me. *cries* ;) I can't wait either though - it's going to be AMAZING :D I really need to get around to An Abundance of Katherines... I LOVE John Green's vlogs and I enjoyed Looking For Alaska so I'll have to give it a try very soon!

    Hope your 2011 will end awesomely and that 2012 will be amazing!

    Here's mine!

  8. Rue is such a great character! Excellent choice!

  9. I absolutely loved reading your survey! I now have six more books added to my list from your postings lol. I have Night Circus waiting on my bookcase and that one is now next-I can't wait. Which Scarlett Thomas book would you recommend?



  10. Allison- most of Scarlett Thomas' novels are great but my personal favourites are The End of Mr Y and Our Tragic Universe

  11. Scarlett Thomas has written an incredibly swiftly paced mystery novel.