How is it that we’ve come to the end of 2015 already? Crazy how time flies…Well, it’s December now, which means Jamie @ Perpetual Page-Turner is hosting her End of the Year Book Survey! 🙂 This is my favourite end-of-year survey (see my previous years’ entries) as it’s a great way to reflect and recap a year in one’s reading 😀
Please note: I’m still reading through to the end of the year, so while all the sections will be answered, I may go back and revise a few answers right through to the 31st 😉 Not to mention I hope I added all of the links correctly; there was a lot of code involved in this post xD
Last update: 31 December 2015
2015 Reading Stats
Number Of Books You Read:
According to the personal list I’ve been keeping, I’ve read 302 books this year
Number of Re-Reads:
According to my personal list, 35 books (pretty good compared to last year! A bit more than double the number)
Genre You Read The Most From:
According to Goodreads (as of 17 December 2015):
Which is interesting compared to last year:
Best In Books
01. Best Book You Read In 2015? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2015 release vs. backlist)
As always, it is so difficult to list just one book, lol–
Fantasy: Deborah Harkness’ The Book of Life (review), Bee Ridgway’s The River of No Return (review)
Science Fiction: Rachel Bach’s Paradox books (see author tag)
Historical Fiction: Daphne Kalotay’s Russian Winter (review), Jess Walters’ Beautiful Ruins (review), Susanna Kearsley’s books (see author tag)
Classics: L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz (review)
Play: William Shakespeare’s Richard III (review), Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II (review)
Contemporary/Literary: Darragh McKeon’s All That Is Solid Melts Into Air (review), Julie Schumacher’s Dear Committee Members (review), Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven (review), Jane Gardam’s Old Filth (review to be posted in March 2016)
Mystery/Suspense/Thriller: Max Wirestone’s The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss (review), Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham’s Mr. Kiss and Tell (review)
Translated: Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels (review), Viola di Grado’s Hollow Heart (review)
Light/fun: Lindsey Kelk’s Always the Bridesmaid (review)
Romance: all the books by Julia Quinn 😛 (see author tag), Sarah MacLean’s Love by Numbers series (review to be posted in February 2016), Vivienne Lorret’s The Rakes of Fallow Hall series (review to be posted in February 2016)
Young Adult: Neil Gaiman’s Fortunately the Milk (to be posted in March 2016)
Short Story Collection: Alice Munro’s Runaway (review), Anthony Marra’s The Tsar of Love and Techno (review), Robert Shearman’s They Do The Same Things Differently There (review)
Non-fiction: Soren Kierkegaard’s The Present Age: On the Death of Rebellion (review), Philip Slayton’s Mayors Gone Bad (review)
02. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Eek, there were a few of these this year–Sean Michaels’ Us Conductors (review), Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 (review), and Olga Grushin’s The Concert Ticket (review to be posted in January) to name a few…
03. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
I guess it would be Jane Gardam’s Old Filth (review to be posted in March 2016 :3). I heard a lot of good things about the book but I had no idea what to expect going into it. I was pleasantly surprised and greatly engrossed by the book from the first page.
04. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
Good question…I was pushing for Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan books (see author tag) quite a bit this year (which, if you haven’t read yet, you really should. Like, right now). #FerranteFever is real.
05. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?
Best series enders: Deborah Harkness’ The Book of Life (review), Rachel Bach’s Heaven’s Queen (review), and Elena Ferrante’s The Story of the Lost Child (review)
06. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?
I’m just going to refer to this TTT list 😉
07. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
I plunged head-first into historical romance this year so aside from Julia Quinn, whom I did a read book from last year, I’d have to say Sarah MacLean’s Love by Numbers series.
08. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
Hmm, there were a lot of unputdownable books I’ve read this year, but I suppose I would say Andy Weir’s The Martian (review), Robert Galbraith’s The Cuckoo’s Calling (review), and Winston Graham’s Ross Poldark (review to be posted in March 2016), all for different reasons 🙂
09. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Probably of Julia Quinn’s books as I wait for the new editions of the remaining Bridgerton novels 😛 (review)
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?
I love the book cover of Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist (review):
I also love the book cover for Alexis M. Smith’s Glaciers (review):
Oh look, a theme of dresses involved here 😉
11. Most memorable character of 2015?
Sebastian Grey from Julia Quinn’s Bevelstoke series comes to mind (reviews to be posted next year)–he’s hilarious!
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?
Oooh, good question. Toss up between Viola di Grado’s Hollow Heart (review), Darragh McKeon’s All That Is Solid Melts Into Air (review), and Anthony Marra’s The Tsar of Love and Techno (review) (All very good books, I should add, if I didn’t already 😉 )
13. Most Thought-Provoking/Life-Changing Book of 2015?
Soren Kierkagaard never fails to have me thinking so this question goes to his book The Present Age: On the Death of Rebellion (review)
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?
Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair (review), Jess Walters’ Beautiful Ruins (review), and Susanna Kearsley’s The Winter Sea (review). Can’t believe it took me years to get around to those book…
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?
I have a few but I found myself really saving (and savouring) a lot of the passages from Anthony Marra’s The Tsar of Love and Techno (review). For example:
Toward the crest of the hill, nearing the horizon, you may notice what look to be the ascending figures of a woman and a boy. Pay them no mind, for they are memory, the failures of a novice restoration artist. They are no more than his shadows. They are not there.
George Eliot’s Middlemarch (review) was also a pretty astute read about life and adulthood and whathaveyou:
We mortals, men and women, devour many a disappointment between breakfast and dinnertime; keep back the tears and look a little pale about the lips, and in answer to inquire say, “Oh, nothing!” Pride helps us, and pride is not a bad thing when it only urges us to hide our own hurts–not to hurt others
Oh, and Jess Walters’ Beautiful Ruins (review) had a lot of stunning passages as well, tying with Marra’s The Tsar of Love and Techno for top spot in my mind 🙂
And if a moment exists only in one’s perception anyway, then perhaps the rush of feeling he has now is THE MOMENT, and not merely its shadow. Maybe every moment occurs at once, and they will always be twenty-two, their lives always before them.
Excuse me while I go to a corner and emote over this ;_;
16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?
According to GoodReads:
17. Book That Shocked You The Most (Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)
Oh gosh, did I have one of those this year…Ahh, yes! Julia Quinn’s Ten Things I Love About You (review to be posted in February 2016). Omg there was this on-going plot point in many of her books that was revealed here that had me dying of laughter because I found it so unexpected–delightfully unexpected, I should say 😀
Oh, and William Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus (review) left me wanting the scream and cry for most of the play.
18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
Sebastian St. Cyr and Hero Jarvis from C.S. Harris’ St. Cyr mysteries. I recently re-read the first few books in the series and picked up the subsequent volumes since and yeah, big fan of those two.
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Julia Quinn’s The Bridgerton family, haha. Sebastian St. Cyr and Sir Henry Lovejoy’s friendship/professional relationship from C.S. Harris’ Sebastian St. Cyr mysteries 🙂
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously:
Too many books to list! Brandson Sanderson, Rachel Bach, Deborah Harkness–
21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else
*thinks* I think I first found out about Alexis M. Smith’s Glaciers (review) from a review online and checked it out from there. Good choice on my part, lol.
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?
Sebastian Grey from Julia Quinn’s Ten Things I Love About You. He’s hilarious and absolutely endearing.
23. Best 2015 debut you read?
Hmm, I guess I would go with Darragh McKeon’s All That Is Solid Melts Into Air (review)
24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
I was impressed to see how Brandson Sanderson expanded the Mistborn world in The Alloy of Law (review)
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Again, Julia Quinn 😉 Lindsey Kelk’s Always the Bridesmaid (review) was very amusing though.
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?
Viola di Grado’s Hollow Heart (review) made me want to cry at times, the main character in Tessa Dare’s When a Scot Ties the Knot (review) had me close to crying at one point ;_;
27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
I mentioned many of them already: Viola di Grado’s Hollow Heart (review), Darragh McKeon’s All That Is Solid Melts Into Air (review), Anthony Marra’s The Tsar of Love and Techno (review), Alexis M. Smith’s Glaciers (review)…
28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
Viola di Grado’s Hollow Heart (review) was absolutely heartbreaking but also strangely life-affirming. It’s hard to explain unless you’ve read it, but I really felt for the character and just everything that was going on with her.
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?
Toss up between Julie Schumacher’s Dear Committee Members (review) with its epistolary form of storytelling (who knew you could formulate a story through academic correspondence and recommendation letters?) and Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair (review) (a hell of a mad romp through literature and mystery a la Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett). Oh, and also Paul Kingsnorth’s The Wake (review)! Almost forgot about that book…
30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Books featuring really crappy parents. Yeah, those made me mad, and there’s too many books I’ve read to list here.
As for books that made me mad but didn’t necessarily mean I didn’t like it, I’m sure this has happened to me at some point or another this year but I can’t think of a good example at the moment…
Your Blogging/Bookish Life
01. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?
Difficult question, I’m sure I started chatting and dropping by to a few new blogs (new to me, anyway) this year (and you all are awesome!) but I’m going to give a shoutout here to Paloma @ Pages and Pineapples who started blogging a while ago and who reads some really fantastic titles 🙂
02. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?
Hmm, very difficult to say, there were a lot of reviews that I enjoyed writing this year. I especially enjoyed revisiting Shakespeare’s Richard II (review) and then there was Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II (review)
03. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
I started a new feature on my blog this year, So You Want to Read… (see tag) in which I list out recommendations on which books to start with for certain authors if you’re looking to start reading their stuff. I’ve had a lot of fun sharing my recommendations and chatting with people about them; I hope my suggestions have helped thus far 🙂
04. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
Sci-Fi Month in November (see event tag) is always a lot of fun to participate in 🙂
05. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?
No particular moment comes to mind, really; I always enjoy chatting with readers and fellow bloggers and friends,
regardless of how slow it takes for me to get around to them :3 Hugs and cheers to all!
06. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
According to my WordPress stats (barring pages and my home page, lol):
- eclectictales.com’s blogoversary
- Birthday Month Giveaway!
1020 Favourite Authors of All Time (TTT)
- 10 Zany/Dysfunctional Families (TTT)
- 10 Books on my Autumn TBR Pile (TTT)
As an aside, my commentary re-read of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park (commentary) mustered a bit of discussion, which was a lot of fun 🙂
07. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
I suppose there are a few book reviews that I wish got more attention, like any of the reviews I mentioned above quite a bit (Elena Ferrante’s books, Hollow Heart, All That Is Solid Melts Into Air, The Tsar of Love and Techno, etc.) or any of my William Shakespeare reviews (see author tag) as I tend to get really in-depth there, or my Julia Quinn reviews (see author tag) where I flail quite a bit (or any of the historical romance reviews, really–recently got into the genre, need more flailings, lmao!)
08. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Well, that would be dangerous, now wouldn’t it? 😛 I honestly can’t think of one so I’m safe 😉
09. Did you complete any reading challenges or http://eclectictales.insanitysandwich.com/blog/2015/03/24/review-1q84/goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
No year-long formal challenges per se but I did finally read a few books off the TBR pile that have been sitting there for years, like finally reading Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 (review), David Mitchell’s The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (review to be posted in January) and Sarah Quigley’s The Conductor (review to be posted in January). I also finished reading all of William Shakespeare’s works earlier this year, which was a pretty happy achievement (followed by a big “Now what?” lol) (see author tag) 🙂
01. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?
Oh gosh, which book from my TBR list isn’t on my priority…but I’m going to say Patrick Rothfuss’ Wise Man’s Fear. It’s been on the TBR pile for years and I’m determined to read it this coming year…after I re-read The Name of the Wind first 😛
02. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?
Ehh, I don’t really have a particular book, a lot of the books I’m anticipating for next year are paperback releases to books that came out this year (Robert Galbraith’s Career of Evil, Sarah Addison Allen’s First Frost, etc.)
03. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
Once again I’m horrible when it comes to knowing debut novels in advance, so we’ll just wait and see 😉
04. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?
Brandon Sanderson’s Bands of Mourning comes to mind 🙂
05. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?
Mmm, I have a number of things sifting through my head regarding my reading and blogging for next year. On the blogging front, I am hoping to reshuffle a few things, clean things up, introduce a few things perhaps? We’ll see where the year goes 🙂
06. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
Nothing I can think of at the moment
And that’s more or less my book survey for 2015! Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Curious to check out a few? Be sure to link up, I’d love to see what books made it on your survey! 😉