Monday, 21 December 2015

2015 End of Year Survey!

Wonderful Jamie of The Perpetual Page Turner has created another brilliant End of Year Survey, complete with fantastic graphics that I will be stealing (full credit to her, obviously!) in order to analyse my 2015 reading to within an inch of its life! I am so excited to be able to properly talk about what I've read this year because I've actually tracked it, rather than having huge gaps in my memory. This is the best!

I've probably talked a bit about some of this in my posts for #amonthoffaves but I thought it made sense to collate it all in one place, so here it is.


Number of Books You Read: 92. I thought I'd hit 100 but I obviously haven't so apologies to all the people I inadvertently lied to on twitter!
Number of Re-Reads: 8
Genre you read most from: Really, really surprisingly the answer to this is YA with 21 books. This has never happened to me before, not even close. Obviously my A Way into YA series from earlier in the year had an effect!

1. Best Book You Read in 2015?
There are a few. I think it will have to be narrowed down by category...

Best Short Story Collection
Drown by Junot Diaz
Best Series
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Best Fiction 
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Best Nonfiction 
It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario

2. Book You Were Excited About and Thought You Were Going to Love More But Didn't?

The Unwritten: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity by Mike Carey and Peter Gross was a series I'd been excited to start for a long time, but once I actually got to it it was...underwhelming. I didn't hate it, but we own the second volume and I read volume one back in August and I've still not bothered to pick it up. I probably will at some point, but I just found it a little bit less well developed than I thought it would be I guess. 

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

Moby Dick, in the worst way. I don't know what I expected from this but I know a few people who really love it and it's a pretty highly respected classics and I just hated it. If you like, you can see my extremely ranty post on my feelings about it. 

4. Book You "Pushed" Most People To Read? (And They Did)

I'm still pushing The Night Circus on people. Of stuff I've read this year I don't know that anybody's actually read anything, although I have been shouting about It's What I Do and The Gracekeepers to everyone I see. 

5. Best Series You Started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?

Any other year The Lunar Chronicles would probably have won this, except this was the year I read Throne of Glass. I haven't read Winter yet and Queen of Shadows is obviously not the end so I can't answer the series ender question, but I think although best series is Throne of Glass, best sequel may well be Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, which I really enjoyed. I love the way that the fairytales are twisted in all three that I've read, but Scarlet in particular I thought was reworked very well and was full of characters I loved. 

6. Favourite New Author you Discovered in 2015?

I'm going to say Kirsty Logan, just because The Gracekeepers was such a gorgeous book. 

7. Best Book from a genre you don't typically read?

Has to be The Diviners. As I said, I really don't read creepy books but this was just too good to miss. 

8. Most action packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi was unexpectedly page-turning for me. I had no expectations and towards the end of the book I was actually trying to read without pausing for breathe so I could find out how it was going to end. Also Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins was pretty fantastic - I read it in one sitting and totally adored it. 

9. Book You read in 2015 that you're most likely to reread next year?

Moby Dick. (ha. That's a lie). No, honestly there are several contenders for this. Probably Carry On, because Rainbow wrote it. Also probably The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin because of my One Little Word for 2016 is going to be mindful and I think it has a lot to offer when I'm thinking about that (The Winter of Our Disconnect by Susan Maushart would also tie in well with a screen free project I'm planning). And maybe The Seed Collectors by Scarlett Thomas since I still haven't formulated my thoughts enough to actually be able to write about it. Oh, and probably Throne of Glass etc. Hey, there'll be at least one re-read-athon to fit it all in!

10. Favourite Cover of a Book you Read in 2015?

11. Most Memorable Character of 2015?

Probably Celaena Sardothien of the Throne of Glass trilogy. I love how many facets her personality has, and how kick-ass she is but also how young. It helps that her story arc is so well developed and that Sarah J Maas keeps putting her together with all these awesome (and super hot) men.

12. Most Beautifully Written Book read in 2015?

Those previously mentioned, but also Drown by Junot Diaz. It's a collection of short stories featuring the character he always writes about, Yunior, throughout his life and they're often fairly brutal and bleak but just so beautiful. Love.

13. Most thought-provoking/Life Changing Book of 2015?

It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario was just absolutely incredible. It made me think about things in so many uncomfortable ways (like, imagining what it would be like to be a Taliban wife. I never really wanted to think about that, but it probably did me some good) but it made me really think about them. Such an important book about so many of the things probably most of us heard about in the media and have purposefully avoided ever really thinking about too deeply, and so well written. Not easy, but so highly recommended.

14. Book You Can't Believe You Waited UNTIL 2015 To Finally Read?

Blankets by Craig Thompson has been on my wishlist for yeeeears, probably since I started blogging, and I never read it despite the library having a copy, just because it's pretty big for a graphic novel I guess. I finally did this year and it was fabulous.

Skipping a few because I don't have the data!

17. Book that Shocked you the Most

I think this is probably The Seed Collectors by Scarlett Thomas who is honestly the queen of the unexpected in novels. I never know what to expect, but in this case it's more for one scene in it which I can't go into detail about cos spoilers but omg it has stuck in my head so vividly and was extremely unexpected.

18. OTP of the year

I never expected to be saying this, but Aelin/Rowan. I couldn't see it until I read Queen of Shadows but once it was a thing I was totally behind it. It made me squee with the awesome at times, and I can't wait for the next book!

Also I can't miss out Lola and Cricket from Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. They were so cute and I was happy when they finally got it together!

19. Favourite non romantic relationship of the year

This is a difficult one, but maybe Will and Jonah from If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie. I liked that they were such an awkward fit in the beginning - like they were totally accidental friends, but in the end they taught each other so much and totally had each others backs and I loved it.

20. Favourite Book You Read in 2015 From an Author You've Read Previously?

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. I was kind of surprised because although I love and adore everything else she's written, I, like many other people, was unsure about an entire book of Simon and Baz, but it really, really worked. Actually they'd get a vote for OTP of the year too. Loved them.

21. Best Book You Read in 2015 That You Read Based Solely on a Recommendation from Somebody else?

It's What I Do by Lynsey Addario (recommended by Kim) or Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh (Katie, Laura and the entire blogosphere, it felt like).

22. Newest Fictional Crush from a Book You Read in 2015?

I don't usually do a huge amount of fictional crushing, but I do have a bit of a thing for Chaol from the Throne of Glass series (hence why I didn't expect to like the Rowan thing, but I do). Also Bigby Wolf from the Fables series, although he's not new as I've been reading the series since about 2012. *sighs and gazes off into the distance*

23. Best 2015 Debut You Read?

The Disobedient Wife by Annika Milisic - Stanley, hands down. I just finished it and absolutely loved it. I can't recommend it highly enough.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read this Year?

Actually this would probably have to be Naomi Novik's Uprooted which I really enjoyed a few months back. The forest was so alive and malevolent and the descriptions of her surroundings were just incredible. I felt like I was there.

25. Book That Put a Smile on Your Face/Was the Most Fun to Read?

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell is just hilarious and even though I don't sell books, a lot of the things sounded familiar to my retailers ears! It's such a quick read I'd really recommend it for something to make you giggle.

26. Book That Made You Cry or Nearly Cry in 2015?

It's been a pretty long time since I've read anything besides Good Wives which made me cry (and I didn't read that this year), but I was pretty tearful during the Terry Pratchett Readathon to commemorate his passing earlier this year. I haven't felt the loss of an author as personally since David Gemmell died years ago.

27. Hidden Gem of the Year?

I guess worldwide this probably doesn't count as it was longlisted for a major award but here I've heard nothing about If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie and I should have!

29. Most Unique Book You Read in 2015?

Stylistically definintely The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton. I loved the way it was written and how it kept me guessing about what had really happened and what hadn't the whole way through. Fantastic storytelling.

30. Book That Made You the Most Mad?

Probably Finding Home: Real Stories of Migrant Britain by Emily Dugan. I was so mad at all the governments throughout this book for just being so badly managed, and so so mad at so many other people for being so dickish. Hey everyone, let's just not be a dick, OK?

Books I Want to Have Mentioned in this Survey but Didnt (OK I added this)

Every Day by David Levithan, Saga Volume 1 & 2 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, When it Happens to You by Molly Ringwald, All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenting by Jennifer Senior.


1. New favourite book blog you discovered in 2015?

It's a tie. I was vaguely aware of Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity but I've only really started reading regularly this year. If you've not visited yet you definitely should - Trish is brilliant and shares a lot of my interests! I love that her posts are bookish, crafty and sometimes just about life. My other favourite of this year is Outlandish Lit. Julianne loves quirky books and I always discover stuff I've never heard of before on her blog.  

2. Favourite review you wrote this year? 

I don't really write reviews as such very often anymore, but I did enjoy my recent one of We Were Liars. That book is incredible. 

4. Best event that you participated in? 

This has to be meeting Scarlet Thomas earlier in the year. It was amazing, it took weeks to get over it!

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life this year?

Has to be all the time I've spent with blogging friends. I'm sad that meeting up with Hanna, Ellie and Charlotte again didn't work out for this year, but I met Katie for the first time in February and have hung out with her twice since, and spent lots of time with Laura, both book shopping and not. We've reached a point where I think we're just friends now, rather than blogging friends, and I like it :-) 

9. Best bookish discover?

I am absolutely addicted to Book Riot's All the Books podcast. So many books on my wishlist are there because of this show and it's perfectly timed so I can listen to it on the bus on the way to work. If you've not checked it out yet, please do!

I also love and adore Wordery as an Amazon alternative. They are a UK based independent online bookshop and they offer free worldwide shipping and the opportunity to include gift notes. Yes please. 

That's pretty much it from me for 2015, although I suspect I may finish another book or two before year's end. I'm currently reading Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot and loving it, and also Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford in preparation for my One Little Word for next year, for more about which watch this space!

What have you loved this year? 


  1. Wow. You obviously put a lot of thought into this. I am anxious to read more of Rowell. I adored Eleanor & Park. Haven't read most of those you list here. Must investigate! :) Ordered my Little House set today! Am sooooo excited to receive it and Pioneer Girl next week!

  2. I also absolutely loved We Were Liars! I'm pretty sure that I used it as my answer for so many of the questions.
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  3. Hi! Thanks for your mention of my debut at no. 23 on your list. I really appreciate and value your opinion so you have no idea how happy I am that you loved my novel. Happy New Year 2016, and happy reading...