2021 End of Year Survey

My wrap up and then The Perpetual Page-Turner‘s survey.

Challenges in which I participated:

What’s in a Name? 6/6
Alphabet Soup 20/26
Book Bingo 2 bingos, 17/25
R.I.P. XVI 6 books
Goodreads Challenge 57/65

# of books read:

57

Previous years:
59 in 2020
53 in 2019
81 in 2018
61 in 2017
35 in 2016
52 in 2015
58 in 2014
60 in 2013
75 in 2012
39 in 2011
30 in 2010
28 in 2009
48 in 2008
81 in 2007

Favorites (in order read):

The Midnight Library by: Matt Haig
Lovecraft Country by: Matt Ruff
Piranesi by: Susanna Clarke
Project Hail Mary by: Andy Weir
The November Girl by: Lydia Kang
My Sister, the Serial Killer by: Oyinkan Braithwaite
Queens of the Wyrd by: Timandra Whitecastle
The Drowning Kind by: Jennifer McMahon
The House Next Door by: Anne Rivers Siddon
The Hollow Places by: T. Kingfisher
Come With Me by: Ronald Malfi
Thorn by: Intisar Khanani

Least favorite:

The Once and Future Witches by: Alix E. Harrow
(Sad, because my favorite last year was by the same author!)

# of non-fiction:

4

Repeated authors:

Maggie O’Farrell (2)
T. Kingfisher (2)

**2021 READING STATS** By The Perpetual Page-Turner

Number Of Books You Read: 57
Number of Re-Reads: 2
Genre You Read The Most From: Fiction

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1. Best Book You Read In 2021?
Project Hail Mary by: Andy Weir

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
The Once and Future Witches by: Alix E. Harrow

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  
Red Dog by: Louis de Bernieres – It was my son’s book club read and I read it out loud to him, but the whole family started listening and it was actually funny, adventurous, and emotional whereas I expected it to be hokey and something only a child would enjoy.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
I gave my copy of A Tangled Web by: Leslie Rule to a friend and maybe she read it?

 5. Best series you started in 2021? Best Sequel? Best Series Ender of 2021?
Started: Thorn, #1 in The Dauntless Path by: Intisar Khanani
Sequel: The Throne of Fire, #2 in The Kane Chronicles by: Rick Riordan

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2021?
T. Kingfisher

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Non-fiction is my least read genre, especially memoirs, but I really enjoyed Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by: Jenny Lawson.
I also discovered the book genre of true crime and was fascinated by A Tangled Web by: Leslie Rule.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
The House Next Door by: Anne Rivers Siddon

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2021?

11. Most memorable character of 2021?
Rocky from Project Hail Mary by: Andy Weir

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2021?
The House in the Cerulean Sea by: T.J. Klune

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2021?
The Midnight Library by: Matt Haig

 

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2021 to finally read? 
Dune by: Frank Herbert

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2021?

We don’t have to play every game to know what winning feels like. We don’t have to hear every piece of music in the world to understand music. We don’t have to have tried every variety of grape from every vineyard to know the pleasure of wine. Love and laughter and fear and pain are universal currencies. We just have to close our eyes and savour the taste of the drink in front of us and listen to the song as it plays. We are as completely and utterly alive as we are in any other life and have access to the same emotional spectrum.

The Midnight Library by: Matt Haig

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2021?
Shortest: Sarah, Plain and Tall by: Patricia MacLachlan (64 pages)
Longest: Dune by: Frank Herbert (890 pages)

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most:
A Head Full of Ghosts by: Paul Tremblay

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)
Alyrra & Kestrin in Thorn by: Intisar Khanani

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year:
Rocky and Ryland in Project Hail Mary by: Andy Weir

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2021 From An Author You’ve Read Previously:
The Throne of Fire by: Rick Riordan

21. Best Book You Read In 2021 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:
The House on the Cerulean Sea

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2021?
Lovis in Queens of the Wyrd by: Timandra Whitecastle
There isn’t any fan art that I can find, but she’s super badass, loyal, and strong.

23. Best 2021 debut you read?
I don’t think I read any 2021 debuts.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
This is a hard one! I think it would have to be The House on the Cerulean Sea.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by: Balli Kuar Jaswal

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2021?
The Midnight Library, maybe? I try to avoid books that make me cry!!!

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Thorn by: Intisar Khanani


28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
Apples Never Fall by: Liane Moriarty – the narrator being a mom who feels forgotten and left behind.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2021?
Klara and the Sun by: Kazuo Ishiguro

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
In Broad Daylight by: Harry N. MacLean – the American “justice” system repeatedly letting down basically an entire town of people.

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1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2021 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2022?
The next book in the Kane Chronicles. My son loves it that I read the Rick Riordan series, but I really slacked off in 2021 and I need to finish this series and read the Norse gods series in 2022.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2022 (non-debut)?

3. 2022 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
N/A

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2022?
I try not to start series that don’t have all the books published! Is Winds of Winter coming out this year!? Or the next Patrick Rothfuss book!? I just looked and the second book of the Shades of Grey series by Jasper Fforde is set to publish this year so if that happens I’d be happy!

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2022?
Blog more! Read more!

6. A 2022 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):
N/A


2019 End of Year Survey

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This is my annual wrap up!  The past few years I’ve also completed the survey created by The Perpetual Page-Turner, but this year has been crazy since I’m currently fostering a newborn and I don’t have the energy or time for more!

Challenges in which I participated:

What’s in a Name?
A to Z
Book Bingo
Monthly Motif
R.I.P. XIV

# of books read:

53

Previous years:

81 in 2018
61 in 2017
35 in 2016
52 in 2015
58 in 2014
60 in 2013
75 in 2012
39 in 2011
30 in 2010
28 in 2009
48 in 2008
81 in 2007

Favorites (in order read):

Where the Crawdads Sing  by: Delia Owens
The Witch Elm  by: Tana French
Red Dragon  by: Thomas Harris
The Dovekeepers  by: Alice Hoffman
Good Omens  by: Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
The Silence of the Lambs  by: Thomas Harris
Tree of Life  by: Sarah Joy Green-Hart
The Cabin at the End of the World  by: Paul Tremblay
No Exit  by: Taylor Adams
The Little Stranger  by: Sarah Waters
The Missing Years  by: Lexie Elliott

Least favorite:

The Amulet Thief  by: Luanne Bennett

# of non-fiction:

3

Repeated authors:

Thomas Harris (2) (Hannibal Lecter)
Katherine Arden (3) (Winternight Trilogy)
Sarah Crossan (2) (Breathe)
Ben Aaronovitch (3) (Rivers of London)
Rick Riordan (2) (Percy Jackson and the Olympians)

 

6. A 2020 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

 

 

If you could, I’d love you to leave some feedback for any questions you’d LIKE to see on this survey in the future that perhaps I don’t have on here!

 

2018 End of Year Survey

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Happy New Year!  This is my end of year review that includes my usual wrap up and then the annual survey created by The Perpetual Page-Turner.

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Challenges in which I participated:

A to Z (finished 21/26)
What’s in a Name? (finished 6/6)
Full House (finished
Monthly Motif (finished 12/12)
R.I.P. XIII (finished 4/4)

# of books read:

81

Previous years:
61 in 2017
35 in 2016
52 in 2015
58 in 2014
60 in 2013
75 in 2012
39 in 2011
30 in 2010
28 in 2009
48 in 2008
81 in 2007

Favorites (in order read):

Saga Vols. 5 & 6  by: Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
Beacon 23  by: Hugh Howey
Sunbolt  by: Intisar Khanani
Turtles All the Way Down  by: John Green
Mosquitoland  by: David Arnold
Educated: A Memoir  by: Tara Westover
The Song of Achilles  by: Madeline Miller
Nine Perfect Strangers  by: Liane Moriarty
Circe  by: Madeline Miller
The Good Daughter  by: Karin Slaughter

Least favorite:

Lincoln in the Bardo  by: George Saunders

# of non-fiction:

7

Repeated authors:

Brian K. Vaughan (7) (Saga)
Hugh Howey (2)
Sylvain Neuvel (2) (Themis Files)
Laura Thalassa (2) (The Bargainer)
Michelle Bryan (3) (Strain of Resistance)
Intisar Khanani (2) (The Sunbolt Chronicles)
Ruth Ware (3)
N.K. Jemisin (3) (The Broken Earth)
Stephen King (4) (Bill Hodges Trilogy)
Madeline Miller (2)
Gena Showalter (2) (Everlife)

**2018 READING STATS** Survey by The Perpetual Page-Turner

 

Number Of Books You Read: 81
Number of Re-Reads: 1
Genre You Read The Most From: Fiction, Sci-Fi

 

best-YA-books-2014

1. Best Book You Read In 2018?

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Circe  by: Madeline Miller

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

That Inevitable Victorian Thing  by: E.K. Johnson

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

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Mosquitoland  by: David Arnold – surprising in a good way!  I thought it would be more of a shallow young adult story, but I was pleasantly surprised and it ended up being one of my favorites of the whole year.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

The Song of Achilles  by: Madeline Miller

 5. Best series you started in 2018? Best Sequel of 2018? Best Series Ender of 2018?

Started: The Sunbolt Chronicles  by: Intisar Khanani
Ender: Obsidio  by: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (#3 of The Illuminae Files)

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2018?

Intisar Khanani

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

Saga Vol. 5 and Saga Vol. 6  by: Brian K. Vaughan (graphic novels)

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

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The Woman in the Window  
by: A.J. Finn

 9. Book You Read In 2018 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

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The Book of Strange New Things  
by: Michel Faber – it was incredibly deep and odd and made me want to talk to someone about it while reading it and after I finished.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2018?

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11. Most memorable character of 2018?

Circe from Circe  by: Madeline Miller
Bill Hodges from The Bill Hodges Trilogy  by: Stephen King

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2018?

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Salt to the Sea  
by: Ruta Sepetys

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2018?

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Nine Perfect Strangers  
by: Liane Moriarty – the discussion of depression/suicide really hit home.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2018 to finally read? 

Interview with the Vampire  by: Anne Rice

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2018?

“I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives.” –Wonder  by: R.J. Palacio

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2018?

Shortest: Woman, These Are Yours  by: A.C. O’Dell (28 pages)
Longest:  The Good Daughter  by: Karin Slaughter (656 pages)

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

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Before We Were Yours  
by: Lisa Wingate – The things that happened in this book were shocking enough, but then to find out it was based on a true story…

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Alanna & Marco in the Saga series ♥
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19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Melanie & Miss Justineau in The Girl with All the Gifts  by: M.R. Carey

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2018 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

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Beacon 23  
by: Hugh Howey

21. Best Book You Read In 2018 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:

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Educated: A Memoir  
by: Tara Westover – My mom told me a little about it so I checked it out from the library.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2018?

Val from The Sunbolt Chronicles  by: Intisar Khanani
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23. Best 2018 debut you read?

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The Woman in the Window  
by: A.J. Finn

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

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Obsidio  by: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Gracie: A Love Story  by: George Burns

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2018?

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Winter Garden  
by: Kristen Hannah

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Sunbolt  by: Intisar Khanani

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Winter Garden  by: Kristen Hannah

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2018?

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The Girl Who Drank the Moon  
by: Kelley Barnhill

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Before We Were Yours  by: Lisa Wingate

The Girls Who Went Away  by: Ann Fessler

 

book-blogging

1. New favorite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2018?

I don’t follow any Bookstagrams or YouTube channels and I don’t keep track of when I started following certain blogs, so I’ll choose a blog at random that I think I started following in the last year: A Lovely Book Affair

2. Favorite post you wrote in 2018?

Top Ten Titles With the Word “Girl”

3. Favorite bookish related photo you took in 2018?

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My oldest son reading in the lobby of the karate dojo while waiting for my younger son to finish his class.
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A book tree at the Imaginon library in downtown Charlotte.

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

All of the challenges, especially R.I.P. XIII!

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2018?

Finishing most of the challenges in which I participated, reading 81 books total, blogging more.

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

Homeschooling has made finding personal time a little more challenging, but at least I still read children’s and picture books to my sons and nephew.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Top Ten Favorite Fictional Couples

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

The Girls Who Went Away – It didn’t receive many views and I understand that it’s a non-fiction that hasn’t received much recognition, but I really think that people would find the subject interesting and perhaps even relevant to their family history.

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

100 Books Bucket List Poster
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10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I completed 4/5 challenges and exceeded my Goodreads challenge goal of 70 books by reading 81.

 

looking-ahead-books-2015

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2018 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2019?

Where the Crawdads Sing  by: Delia Owens

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2019 (non-debut)?

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Aurora Rising  
by: Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman – May 2019

3. 2019 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

I don’t keep up with debuts.

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2019?

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Darkdawn  
by: Jay Kristoff (The Nevernight Chronicle #3) – September 2019

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2019?

I hope to blog consistently instead of slacking off halfway through the year and I hope to read at least 75 books throughout the entire year.

 

Top Ten RED books

TTT #16

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week’s topic is 10 books that feature your favorite color.  My favorite color has been red for years and years.  Lately I’ve also been loving teal, but red holds a special place in my heart so here we go.  10 books that have red covers in no particular order.  In choosing from my favorites list, I noticed that most of these books are sci-fi and that isn’t my most read genre.  Just an interesting observation.

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Wool  by: Hugh Howey  (Silo #1)

This is an interesting and unique sci-fi read.  It was my introduction to Howey’s books, most of which I very much enjoy.

 

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Inkheart  by: Cornelia Funke  (Inkworld #1)

A great children’s fantasy that was made into an okay movie.

 

 

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Life of Pi  by: Yann Martel

An incredibly unique fantasy/magical realism.  It didn’t sound like something I’d usually enjoy, but I loved it.  I still haven’t seen the movie.

 

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The Martian  by: Andy Weir

Am I veering into orange?  This is a popular sci-fi for a reason.  Who would have thought that I’d enjoy it so much with all of the scientific jargon?  It was also a good movie.

 

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Ready Player One  by: Ernest Cline

Once again, a sci-fi that takes place in the future and includes an extensive virtual reality aspect.  It’s an awesome book and I’m hoping the movie will be good too, but I haven’t seen it yet.

 

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Doctor Sleep  by: Stephen King  (The Shining #2

This is the sequel to The Shining.  Read my review because I really connected with this book and thought it was a great sequel.  I was nervous about reading it, but it didn’t disappoint even though it was very different from The Shining.

 

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Dark Matter  by: Blake Crouch

Once again, I didn’t think I’d enjoy a sci-fi book that relies heavily on the theory of quantum mechanics, but this was an interesting, action-packed book.  Yes, I did read a few articles about quantum mechanics and yes, it’s still hard to wrap my head around.  My brain just doesn’t think that way.

 

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Illuminae  by: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff  (Illuminae Files #1)

The first in a very unique sci-fi series that isn’t complete yet.  So far only the first two books have been published and they were both great.

 

 

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Beneath a Scarlet Sky  by: Mark Sullivan

An historical fiction about the Italian resistance during WWII.  It was so well written and I was glad to read about a part of the war I wasn’t familiar with.

 

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11/22/63  by: Stephen King

I know I’m stretching with the red here, but the red really pops on this cover and it’s a great book.  Once again, it’s a sci-fi that deals with time travel back to 1963 and the assassination of JFK.

 

 

Beacon 23

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Beacon 23

By:  Hugh Howey
Published:  2015
# of pages:  245
Challenges:  A to Z, Full House (# in title)
Quote:  “Crying isn’t simply about opening the floodgates to some private trauma and letting it out – crying is just as much about letting those around you know you’re hurting.  Our tears are trying to serve a purpose, but we rarely let them.  I don’t know how we got started with subverting that purpose . . . I just know that it takes a bit of courage to unlearn that shame. . .”  -p. 201

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Goodreads description:

For centuries, men and women have manned lighthouses to ensure the safe passage of ships. It is a lonely job, and a thankless one for the most part. Until something goes wrong. Until a ship is in distress.

In the 23rd century, this job has moved into outer space. A network of beacons allows ships to travel across the Milky Way at many times the speed of light. These beacons are built to be robust. They never break down. They never fail.

At least, they aren’t supposed to.

My opinion:  Here’s another book I read on the Kindle.  It’s weird to say this, but the Kindle is growing on me!  I’m trying to use my free one month Kindle Unlimited subscription before it runs out, but after that I’ll be back to my old fashioned library books…or checking out Kindle books from the library.  Sometimes it’s nice having the Kindle…I can read in the dark and I can prop it up easier and not have to hold it open.  Just weird because I’ve never been into the idea of tablet books before.

I very much enjoyed this book by Hugh Howey.  I loved the Silo series and enjoyed Sand.  I’ve been meaning to read this for years, but it wasn’t available at my library.  I’m glad I finally read it, because it was amazing.  It was beautifully written and had a beautiful message.

The story is about a war hero who retired from the military and the endless war with an alien species called the Ryph.  He now runs a beacon (lighthouse) on the edge of the galaxy, which gives him plenty of time to wallow in grief and regret since he is completely alone with little contact with the rest of the galaxy.  He wants to be left in “peace,” but that’s not how his plan works out.

After a long series of bad luck turns his solitary life upside down, he realizes that he still has a purpose.  All of the months of thinking and remembering and the new encounters he’s had have changed him and his point of view.  What seems like a simple sci-fi at the beginning turns into a story of peace and forgiveness.  That sounds cliche, but as you will find out, the cost of peace is anything but easy and thoughtless.

I found myself highlighting several passages throughout the novel thanks to the highlight feature on Kindle.  I often related to the protagonist’s feelings.  Extreme depression has been a part of my life for years and I ached while reading about the main character’s similar feelings.  I also felt hope at the end of the book just as the character experiences the same thing, so I’d call this a successful story.

Why I gave this book 5/5 stars:  Beautifully written, a serious message delivered in both serious and humorous ways, interesting characters that are easy to relate to.

2017 End of Year Survey

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Happy New Year!  Here’s my annual end of year review, the first part is my typical wrap up and then a little farther down is the survey created by The Perpetual Page-Turner.

2017 Review.jpg

Challenges in which I participated:

Full House  (finished 23/25)
What’s in a Name?  (finished 5/6)
Monthly Motif  (finished 10/12)
R.I.P. XII  (finished 4/4)
# of books read:

61
Previous years:
35 in 2016
52 in 2015
58 in 2014
60 in 2013
75 in 2012
39 in 2011
30 in 2010
28 in 2009
48 in 2008
81 in 2007
Favorites (in order read):

Under a Painted Sky  by: Stacey Lee
The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy  by: Rachel Joyce
Lightning  by: Dean Koontz
The Bear and the Nightingale  by: Katherine Arden
Call the Midwife  by: Jennifer Worth
A Conjuring of Light  by: V.E. Schwab
To the Bright Edge of the World  by: Eowyn Ivey
Oryx and Crake  by: Margaret Atwood
Doctor Sleep  by: Stephen King
The Radium Girls  by: Kate Moore
Beneath a Scarlet Sky  by: Mark T. Sullivan
Elon Musk  by: Ashlee Vance


Least favorite:

The Invisible Library  by: Genevieve Cogman

# of non-fiction:

7
Repeated authors:

Jennifer McMahon (2)
Katherine Arden (2)(Winternight Trilogy)
Jennifer Worth (3)(Call the Midwife)
Jay Kristoff (2)(Nevernight Chronicle)
V.E. Schwab (3)(Shades of Magic)
Pierce Brown (3)(Red Rising)
Agatha Christie (3)

2017-book-survey

 

reading-stats-2017-1024x278-768x209

Number of books you read:  61
Number of re-reads:  1  (Sabriel  by: Garth Nix)
Genre you read the most from:  Fantasy

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1. Best book you read:  
The Radium Girls
  by: Kate Moore (non-fiction)
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The Bear and the Nightingale  by: Katherine Arden  (fantasy)
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2. Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love, but didn’t:  A Court of Thorns and Roses  by: Sarah J. Maas

3. Most surprising (good or bad way) book you read:  A Monster Calls  by: Patrick Ness
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I was surprised by how much it affected me.  I cried a lot and I thought it was an absolutely beautiful book.

 

 

4. Book you pushed the most people to read:  Wintersong  by: S. Jae-Jones (I recommended for my book club…which is 2 other people other than myself!)  I also recommended Nevernight  by: Jay Kristoff to my husband and he enjoyed it.

5. Best series you started:  Winternight Trilogy  by: Katherine Arden
Best sequel:  Doctor Sleep  by: Stephen King (The Shining #2)
Best series ender:  A Conjuring of Light  by: V.E. Schwab (Shades of Magic)

6. Favorite new author you discovered:  Katherine Arden

7.  Best book from a genre you don’t usually read/was out of your comfort zone:  Saga Vol. 1  by: Brian K. Vaughn (graphic novel)
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8.  Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book:  Lightning  by: Dean Koontz
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9.  Book you are most likely to re-read next year:  I don’t typically re-read books, but if I had to choose it would be The Bear and the Nightingale  by: Katherine Arden
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10.  Favorite book cover:  Wintersong  by: S. Jae-Jones
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11.  Most memorable character:  Mia from The Nevernight Chronicle by: Jay Kristoff

Shadow from American Gods  by: Neil Gaiman
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12.  Most beautifully written book:  To the Bright Edge of the World  by: Eowyn Ivey
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I wanted to go to the setting of this book so badly just from the amazing descriptions.  Also, I loved how Ivey weaved reality and Native beliefs together.

 


13.  Most thought-provoking/life-changing book:
A Monster Calls  by: Patrick Ness
The Radium Girls  by: Kate Moore

14.  Book you can’t believe you waited until 2017 to read:  Doctor Sleep  by: Stephen King

15.  Favorite passage/quote:   “And now – now there was some truth to it, even if it was only the truth of a story that, once heard, becomes history.  You might forget a story, but you can never unhear a story.” -p. 140 of Hiddensee  by: Gregory Maguire

16.  Shortest book:  The Lightning Tree  by: Patrick Rothfuss (58 pages…it’s actually a short story)
Longest book:  A Conjuring of Light  by: V.E. Schwab (624 pages)

17.  Book that shocked you the most:  The Serpent King  by: Jeff Zentner
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There was a part that I just couldn’t believe actually happened!

18.  One true pairing of the year:  Yeva & the Beast in Hunted  by: Meagan Spooner
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http://meaganspooner.tumblr.com/

19.  Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year:  Necco, Theo, & Pru in Burntown  by: Jennifer McMahon
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20.  Favorite book you read in 2017 from an author you’ve read before:  To the Bright Edge of the World  by: Eowyn Ivey

21.  Best book you read that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else/peer pressure:  And Then There Were None  by: Agatha Christie

22.  Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2017:  Stefan from Lightning  by: Dean Koontz
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https://www.deviantart.com/art/Guardian-Angel-Lightning-78541828

23.  Best 2017 debut you read:  The Bear and the Nightingale  by: Katherine Arden

24.  Best world building/most vivid setting:  Red Rising  by: Pierce Brown
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25.  Book that put a smile on your face/was the most fun to read:  Call the Midwife  by: Jennifer Worth
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I literally laughed out loud (very rare for me!) reading about Fred’s pig.  That said, there were several heart-breaking parts of this book as well.

 


26.  Book that made you cry or nearly cry:  

A Monster Calls  by: Patrick Ness
Call the Midwife: Shadows of the Workhouse  by: Jennifer Worth

27.  Hidden gem of the year:  Under a Painted Sky  by: Stacey Lee
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28.  Book that crushed your soul:  A Monster Calls  by: Patrick Ness

29.  Most unique book you read:  American Gods  by: Neil Gaiman

30.  Book that made you the most mad:  The Radium Girls  by: Kate Moore.  The horrors those women went through all so a company could make a profit.
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1.  New favorite book blog you discovered in 2017:  Too hard to answer!  I have an entire list of blogs I’ve discovered since I re-started my blog in August.

2.  Favorite review you wrote in 2017:  Doctor Sleep which surprises me because it was so personal and I usually don’t share my feelings.  But that’s why it felt so good to write it.

3.  Best discussion/non-review post you wrote:  TTT book settings

4.  Best event you participated in:  Top Ten Tuesday and the R.I.P. XII challenge.

5.  Best moment of your bookish/blogging life in 2017:  Moving my blog and re-starting it as Carolina Book Nook in August.

6.  Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year:  This year hasn’t been nearly as challenging as previous years, but I suppose just finding the time to blog and managing the guilt when I spend a lot of time blogging/reading (like completing this long post that’s taking hours!!)

7.  Most popular post this year on your blog:  TTT 2017 Favorites

8.  Post you wish got a little more love:  Elon Musk review

9.  Best bookish discovery:  Silent Book Club on Facebook

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals you set:  Yes!  I exceeded my goal of 50 books on Goodreads by reading 61 books.  And I completed 4/4 books for the R.I.P. XII challenge.

 

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1.  Book you didn’t get around to in 2017 but will be your top priority in 2018:  Saga Vol. 2  by: Brian K. Vaughn

2.  Book you are most anticipating (non-debut):  Obsidio  by: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

3.  2018 debut you are most anticipating:  I don’t keep up with upcoming debuts.

4.  Series ending/a sequel you are most anticipating in 2018:  Obsidio

5.  One thing you hope to accomplish in your reading/blogging life:  Read at least 60 books and finish more challenges.

 

Top Ten Tuesday – 2017 Favorites

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Here are 10 of my favorite books that I read this year, in the order I read them.

 

Under a Painted Sky  by: Stacey Lee
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The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy  by: Rachel Joyce
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Lightning  by: Dean Koontz
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The Bear and the Nightingale  by: Katherine Arden
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Call the Midwife  by: Jennifer Worth
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To the Bright Edge of the World  by: Eowyn Ivey
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Oryx and Crake  by: Margaret Atwood
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Doctor Sleep  by: Stephen King
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The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women  by: Kate Moore
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Beneath a Scarlet Sky  by: Mark T. Sullivan
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2016 Review

2016 was a pretty awful year for me, in both my personal and reading lives.  However, I did write a few review posts which was better than the previous year!  I’ll do the same thing I did last year and participate in the survey by The Perpetual Page-Turner as well as my general overview.

Challenges in which I particpated:
Full House Reading Challenge 2016  (finished 22 of 25)
Ultimate Reading Challenge 2016
What’s in a Name? 2016  (finished 2 of 6)
R.I.P. XI  (finished 4 of 4)

# of books read:
35
(down from 52 in 2015, 58 in 2014, 60 in 2013, 75 in 2012, 39 in 2011.  Up from 30 in 2010 & 28 in 2009.  Down from 48 in 2008 and 81 in 2007.)

Favorites (in order read):

The 100  by: Kass Morgan (young adult, sci-fi, #1 in series)
Illuminae  by: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff  (young adult, sci-fi, series)
Bone Gap  by: Laura Ruby  (young adult, magical realism)
Ready Player One  by: Ernest Cline  (young adult, sci-fi, post apocalyptic)
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry  by: Rachel Joyce  (adult fiction)
Black-Eyed Susans  by: Julia Heaberlin (adult fiction, mystery, suspense)
Crooked Kingdom  by: Leigh Bardugo  (young adult, fantasy, #2 in series)
Gemina  by: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff  (young adult, sci-fi, #2 in series)

Least favorite:
Nothing was awful this year, but my lowest rated were:
The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall  by: Katie Alender
The Zookeeper’s Wife  by: Diane Ackerman

# of non-fiction:
4

Repeated authors:
Patrick Rothfuss (2) (The Kingkiller Chronicle)
Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (2) (The Illuminae Files)

Number of books you read: 35
Number of re-reads: 0
Genre you read the most from: Adult fiction, young adult, fantasy
1. Best book you read in 2016: 
Young Adult: Illuminae  by: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Adult: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry  by: Rachel Joyce
2.  Book you were excited about and thought you would love more, but didn’t: 
The Wrath & the Dawn  by: Renee Ahdieh
3.  Most surprising (in a good or bad way) book you read:
The Wonder  by: Emma Donoghue – I didn’t expect it to be so engrossing.  It sounds like a fairly tame story, but I couldn’t put it down.  It was a great book!
4.  Book you “pushed” the most people to read (and they did):
Illuminae  by: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
5.  Best series you started in 2016? Best sequel of 2016? Best series ender of 2016?:
Best I started: The Illuminae Files  by: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Best sequel: Crooked Kingdom by: Leigh Bardugo (this could also be considered the end of the series since Bardugo called this “series” a “duology”.
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016:
This is a hard one since I read so many great things by authors I’d never read before.  But the two that were completely new to me (I had never even heard their names before) were Laura Ruby (Bone Gap) and Rachel Joyce (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry).
7.  Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone:
Shadows and Monsters  by: Grace A. Dow – short stories.  Books of short stories don’t normally hold my attention so I don’t read them very often.  I also tend to read them at the same time I’m reading novels so they are kind of squished between my regular reading.  Grace is a good friend of mine and so I read this for the annual R.I.P. Challenge.  There were a few stories in particular I loved and that have stuck with me, just like novels do.  
8.  Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year:
Illuminae  by: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
9.  Book you read in 2016 that you are most likely to re-read next year:
I don’t usually re-read, but if I did re-read one, it would probably be Bone Gap  by: Laura Ruby
10.  Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016:
11.  Most memorable character of 2016:
Harold Fry from The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

12.  Most beautifully written book read in 2016:
The Wonder  by: Emma Donoghue or Bone Gap  by: Laura Ruby

13.  Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2016:
Bone Gap

14.  Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read:
Ready Player One  by: Ernest Cline and The Name of the Wind  by: Patrick Rothfuss

15.  Favorite passage/quote:  
“She said, ‘Do you love me yet?’
He recoiled from her, from the look of her.  ‘You don’t love me because you can’t see me,’ she said.  ‘Look! Look! I am beautiful now. I am beautiful.'”  –Bone Gap  by: Laura Ruby

16.  Shortest & longest books you read:
Shortest: The Bears on Hemlock Mountain  by: Alice Dagliesh (64 pages)
Longest:  The Wise Man’s Fear  by: Patrick Rothfuss (994 pages)

17.  Book that shocked you the most:
There was a pretty shocking moment in Gemina  by: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff.

18.  OTP (one true pairing) of the year (you will go down with this ship!):
Nik & Hanna in Gemina

19.  Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year:
Parcival & Aech in Ready Player One  by: Ernest Cline

20.  Favorite book you reading 2016 by an author you’ve read previously:
Crooked Kingdom  by: Leigh Bardugo

21.  Best book you read in 2016 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from someone else/peer pressure:
Frozen Heat  by: Richard Castle

22.  Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016:
My crushes on Jamie from the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon and Kaz from the Six of Crows series by Leigh Bardugo were just further cemented in the second books I read this year.

23.  Best 2016 debut you read:
I don’t think I read any debuts.

24.  Best world building/most vivid setting you read this year:
Ready Player One or Crooked Kingdom

25.  Book that put a smile on your face/was the most FUN to read:
Bone Gap

26.  Book that made you cry or nearly cry:
The Nightingale  by: Kristen Hannah

27.  Hidden gem of the year:
Bone Gap

28.  Book that crushed your soul:
The Nightingale  by: Kristen Hannah
29.  Most unique book you read:
You  by: Caroline Kepnes

30.  Book that made you the most mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it):
The Nightingale by: Kristen Hannah just because it’s about the German occupation of France during WWII and how helpless the whole situation was.
1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2016:
none
2.  Favorite review you wrote:
3.  Best discussion/non-review post:
none
4.  Best event you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events. etc):
none
5.  Best moment of booking/blogging life in 2016:
I actually posted 4 reviews!
6.  Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year:
I went through a very hard time personally over the summer and it really stalled my reading for pleasure.  Also, I started (and then gave up) a lot of self-help books that really didn’t help at all.
7.  Most popular post this year on your blog (either comments or views):
8.  Post you wished got a little more love:
My Bone Gap review
9.  Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc):
10.  Did you complete any any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of the year?:
I completed one challenge (R.I.P. XI), and didn’t finish the others.  I definitely didn’t complete my overall goal of reading 60 books!
1.  One book you didn’t get to in 2016 that will be your number one priority in 2017:
Nothing in particular.
2.  Book you are most anticipating in 2017 (non-debut):
The third book in the Illuminae Files and The Thorn of Emberlain by: Scott Lynch (#4 in the Gentleman Bastard series)
3.  2017 debut you are most anticipating:
None
4.  Series ending/a sequel you are most anticipating:
I don’t know if one of my answers to question 2 will be a series ender.
5.  One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life in 2017:
Read more (my goal is 50 booiks) and blog more than 4 reviews.
6.  A 2017 release you’ve already read and recommend to everyone:
None

2015 Review

I’m going to do something a little different this year and participate in a survey by The Perpetual Page-Turner that looks like a lot of fun!  I’m not doing much blog-wise, but maybe 2016 will be different?  So the beginning of this post will be my usual end of year review questions that aren’t in the survey, and then I’ll include the survey answers.

Challenges in which I participated:
Full House Reading Challenge
What’s in a Name? (finished 6 of 6)
R.I.P. X  (finished 4 of 4)

# of books read: 
52
(down from 58 in 201460 in 2013, down from 75 in 2012, up from 39 in 2011, 30 in 2010, 28 in 2009, & up from 48 in 2008.  Down from 81 in 2007.)

Least favorite:
The Alphabet House  by: Jussi Adler-Olsen

# of non-fiction:
3

Repeated authors:
Stephen King (2)
Leigh Bardugo (4) (including The Grisha)
Sarah Addison Allen (2) (Waverly Family)

Number of books you read:  52
Number of re-reads:  1 (Cold Sassy Tree)
Genre you read the most:  Fantasy and Young Adult

1. Best book you read in 2015:  The Martian  by: Andy Weir

Followed by:
Bird Box  by: Josh Malerman
The Shining  by: Stephen King
Six of Crows  by: Leigh Bardugo

2. Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn’t: The Little Paris Bookshop  by: Nina George

I was looking forward to reading it because of the title and cover (I know, I know) and also the description, but it wasn’t nearly as great as I was hoping.  A second book that would fit in this category is Go Set a Watchman by: Harper Lee.
3. Most surprising (in a good or bad way) book you read: Life in Outer Space  by: Melissa Keil
Surprised in a good way because I expected it to be a silly contemporary young adult novel and I ended up really enjoying the way it was written and the story line.
4. Book you “pushed” the most people to read (and they did): The Martian  by: Andy Weir
My husband and mother-in-law read it after I recommended it and I gave a copy to my brother for Christmas, so he will probably read it soon as well.
5. Best series you started in 2015? Best sequel of 2015? Best series ender of 2015?: Best series was Six of Crows…I think!  I only read the first book in the series, but I enjoyed it most of all the series I started this year.  The best sequel was Siege and Storm from The Grisha series by the same author (Leigh Bardugo).  A new character was introduced in this book and I just loved him.  The only series ender I read was Ruin and Rising from The Grisha and it was a good ending!
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015: Leigh Bardugo
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone: The Devil in the White City  by: Erik Larson
I typically don’t read historical non-fiction/biography type books although I read two this year and enjoyed this title by Larson.  I had no idea that the first world’s fair in Chicago influenced our current society so much.
8. Most action packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year: Bird Box  by: Josh Malerman
9. Book in 2015 that you are most likely to re-read next year: The Shining  by: Stephen King is one that I would possibly re-read within a year.  It would be interesting to read it after knowing the entire story and how it ends.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015: Illusions of Fate  by: Kiersten White
11. Most memorable character of 2015: Mark in The Martian and Kaz in Six of Crows.

12. Most beautifully written book of 2015: The Buried Giant  by: Kazuo Ishiguro 
13. Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2015: House of Leaves  by: Mark Z. Danielewski
14. Book you can’t believe you waited until 2015 to finally read: The Shining

15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2015: “For some reason, I’ve been thinking more and more about my mother and the way her life failed her, humiliated her with impulses beyond her command, broke her with year after year of the same.” –House of Leaves  by: Mark Z. Danielewski
16. Shortest and longest book you read in 2015: A Dance with Dragons  by: George R.R. Martin (1,125 pages) and The Little Prince  by: Antoine de Saint Exupery (98 pages)
17. Book that shocked you the most: I can’t think of anything in particular, but probably something in A Dance with Dragons!
18. OTP (one true pairing) of the year: Hook & Stella in Alias Hook  by: Lisa Jensen or Nyx and Ignifex in Cruel Beauty  by: Rosamund Hodge (I know it said ONE, but oh well!)
19. Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year: Willow’s relationships with all of her friends in Counting by 7s  by: Holly Goldberg Sloan
20. Favorite book you read in 2015 from an author you’ve read previously: The Shining

21. Best book you read in 2015 that you read based solely on a recommendation from somebody else/peer pressure: Bel Canto  by: Ann Patchett (recommended by my mom)
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015: Nikolai from the second and third books in The Grisha.
23. Best 2015 debut novel you read: Serafina and the Black Cloak  by: Robert Beatty
This story took place in my home state of North Carolina in an amazing house I’ve visited a couple of times (The Biltmore) and I thought it was a fun book.  I’m not sure I’d recommend it for a child even though it’s a children’s book because it’s a little scary.
24. Best worldbuilding/most vivid setting you read this year: The Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo
25. Book that put a smile on your face/was the most FUN to read: Someday, Someday, Maybe  by: Lauren Graham
This is written by the actress who played Lorelai in the TV series Gilmore Girls.  It was such a fun book and I found myself laughing out loud a few times.
26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2015: The Buried Giant  by: Kazuo Ishiguro
27. Hidden gem of the year: Life in Outer Space  by: Melissa Keil
28. Book that crushed your soul: If I Stay  by: Gayle Forman
29. Most unique book you read in 2015: Sand  by: Hugh Howey was very unique and I really wish he had developed the story more for this reason.
30. Book that made you the most mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it): Probably Go Set a Watchman  by: Haper Lee.  I was frustrated with both Atticus and Scout at different times throughout the book.  I wish it had been different, but I understood where they were both coming from and am not letting this book taint my view of To Kill a Mockingbird.  I honestly don’t think that Watchman was meant to be published.
1. One book you didn’t get to in 2015 but will be your number one priority in 2016: The Wrath and the Dawn  by: Renee Ahdieh
2. Book you are most anticipating for 2016 (non-debut): The Thorn of Emberlain  by: Scott Lynch (#4 in the Gentleman Bastard series)
3. 2016 debut you are most anticipating: I don’t really keep up with debuting authors.
4. Series ending/a sequel you are most anticipating in 2016: The Thorn of Emberlain like I already mentioned and Crooked Kingdom  by: Leigh Bardugo (the second book in the Six of Crows series)

5. One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life in 2016: I hope I read more and blog more (I mean, even one review would be an improvement!)

6. A 2016 release you’ve already read and recommend to everyone: I haven’t read any ARCs! 

2014 Review

Challenges in which I participated:
Where Are You Reading?  My Map
What’s in a Name? (finished 1 of 5)
Dystopia Reading Challenge (finished 4 of 7)
R.I.P. IX (finished 3 of 4)
# of books read:
58
Down from 60 in 2013, down from 75 in 2012, up from 39 in 2011, 30 in 2010, 28 in 2009, & 48 in 2008.  Down from 81 in 2007.
My favorites (in the order I read them):
Trim Healthy Mama  by: Serene C. Allison
The Fault in Our Stars  by: John Green
Room  by: Emma Donoghue
Big Little Lies  by: Liane Moriarty
Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend  by: Matthew Dicks
All the Light We Cannot See  by: Anthony Doerr
Outlander  by: Diana Gabaldon
Most recommended:
Room  by: Emma Donoghue
Least favorite:
The Ocean at the End of the Lane  by: Neil Gaimon
# of non-fiction:
3

Repeated authors:
Cassandra Clare (6) (Mortal Instruments)
AnnaLisa Grant (3) (The Lake)
Maggie Steifvater (5) (including The Wolves of Mercy Falls)
Liane Moriarty (3)
Amanda Hocking (4) (Watersong)
Lauren Oliver (2)
Alice Hoffman (2)