"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Saturday, December 29, 2018

2018 End of the Year Book Survey

2018 End-of-the-year book survey
  • Number of Books Read: 150
  • Number of Re-Reads: 9
  • Genre You Read the Most: Junior/Young Adult Nonfiction
Reading Survey:

1. Best Books You Read In 2018?
  • Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett Krosoczka (YA, Graphic memoir)
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (Adult fiction)
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love, But Didn’t?
  • An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read? 
  • Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders---the audiobook uses over 150 voices, it is amazing in this format.
4. Book You “Pushed” the Most People to Read (And They Did)?
  •  Educated by Tara Westover
5. Best series you started in 2018? The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, Winternight Trilogy #1; Best Sequel Prequel of 2018?  Rebound by Kwame Alexander, prequel to The Crossover; Best Series Ender of 2018? Goldenhand by Garth Nix, Abhorsen #5

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2018?
  •  Jon Meacham (The Soul of America: The Battle For Our Better Angels)
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
  •  Sports books: Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
  •  Chasing King's Killer: The Hunt for Martin Luther King, Jr's Assassin by James Swanson
9. Favorite Book Club Selection Based On the Discussion?
  •  Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett. Click the hyperlink for the questions I developed and my comments on why the discussion worked so well.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2018?
  •  The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian's Art Changed Science by Joyce Sidman
11. Most memorable character of 2018?
  •  Arthur Less in Less by Andrew Greer
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2018?
  •  All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (a re-read)
13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2018?
  • The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights From Super Soul Conversations by Oprah Winfrey (audiobook)
 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2018 to finally read? 
  •  True Grit by Charles Portis
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2018?
16. Shortest and Longest Book You Read In 2018?
  • The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco, 531 pages, longest
  • A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss 32 pages, shortest

17. Book Which Shocked You The Most
  • What Happened by Hillary Clinton.  The amount of sexism that she experienced during the campaign:  Shocking.
18. Best Audiobook I Listened To in 2018
  • Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
19. Favorite JH and SH Nonfiction Books I Read In My Role as a Cybils Judge
  • Junior High Nonfiction: Boots on the Ground: America's War in Vietnam by Elizabeth Partridge
  • Senior High Nonfiction: Just Mercy: A True Story of the Fight for Justice (Adapted for Young Adults) by Bryan Stevenson
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2018 from an Author You’ve Read Previously
  •  Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann (Previously read by the author: Lost City of Z. Both are nonfiction titles.)
21. Best Book You Read In 2018 Which Was Based SOLELY On a Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
  •  Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2018?
  •  Raymond from Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Everyone needs and deserves a friend like him.
23. Best 2018 debut you read?
  •  Children of Blood and Bone written by Tomi Adeyemi
24. Best World-building/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
  • Children of Blood and Bone written by Tomi Adeyemi, set in mythical Nigeria.
25. Book Which Put a Smile on Your Face/Was the Most FUN to Read?
  •  The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelli Barnhill
26. Book Which Made You Cry or Nearly Cry in 2018?
  •  What Happened by Hillary Clinton
27. Hidden Gem of the Year? There are several:
  • Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by JD Vance
  • The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
  • The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler by John Hendrix
28. Anything odd about this year's reading list? 
  •  Yes, I re-read nine books, which I rarely do. 
  • Also I read five political books, and have started two more which I hope to finish soon.
  • I dnf (did not finish) 27 books. Most of them were Cybils nominated books and I read enough to evaluate them but didn't have time to read them all completely.
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2018?
  •  Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked Their World by Pénélope Bagieu
30. Book Which Made You Angry (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
  • Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff
31. One Book You Didn’t Read In 2018 but Will Be a Top Priority in 2019?
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama...I've started the book but won't be able to finish it until next year.

Blogging survey:

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2018?
This is embarrassing to admit, but I am terrible about remembering site names of blogs I visit.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2018?
3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
 Judge for Cybils Award, Round 1 Junior High/Senior High Nonfiction 

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2018?
I really appreciate it when I hear from readers who say they enjoyed a book I recommended on my blog.  That is the best.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
I have battled periods of apathy about writing my blog, especially the book reviews since it feels like I am just writing them for myself.

7. Most Popular Post This Year on Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
  • Nonfiction November--- I read or previewed 26 books
  • Reading Pulitzer winners---
    • Less by Andrew Greer, winner of the 2018 award for literature
  • Reading Classics Club books---
    • The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
    • Suite Francaise by Irene Nimerovsky
    • Kindred by Octavia Butler
    • True Grit by Charles Portis
    • My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin


  1. You are not writing only for yourself! I love having your recommendations, and I read them and share them. And my friends share them . . . and so on. Thank you! (I would not have read Less without your recommendation . . . and I am reading Hillbilly Elegy now.)

  2. You amaze me. I have an amazing sister! I will check this blog for books to read in 2019.

  3. So many on your list that are on my TBR, and I know we have similar tastes. Lots of nonfiction. I seem to be reading more of those too. And, I always assume I’m writing reviews just for me - honestly, that’s mostly the reason I started my blog. I haven’t had time to complete my survey yet. Hopefully next week...Happy New Year!

  4. We had so many overlap books this year! Eleanor Oliphant really was wonderful, wasn't it?! I have Lincoln in the Bardo waiting for me on my shelf and hope to get to it in early 2019.

  5. I love your reviews, although I don't always comment. This is an excellent post, and I agree with you on most of your picks. Many of them we read and discussed together in Book Club. It's one of the most treasured times of my month! P.S. Raymond is a perfect crush; he's such a kind and loyal friend.

  6. I'm so glad you enjoyed "Eleanor". It is one of those books that snuck up on me. There is a long line to read "Becoming" so it might take a while to pick it up. Happy New Year!

  7. The Prince and the Dressmaker was brilliant - a total gem that deserves all the love it can get! :)

    Check out my End of Year Survey


I look forward to your comments and interactions! Join in the conversation.