"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 21, 2019

End-of-the-Year Book Survey 2019

2019 End-of-the-year
book survey
  • Number of Books Read: 100
  • Number of Re-Reads: 3
  • Genre You Read the Most: Literary fiction
Reading Survey:
(Click on book title if you want to read my review of it.

1. Best Book You Read In 2019?
  • Literary fiction: The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai---I read a lot of wonderful books in 2019 but this one rises to the top of the pile because of the deep connection I developed with the characters and the way it drew the whole AIDS epidemic into a complete story from the start to current day.
  • Best YA: With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo 
  • Best graphic novel: Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by
    Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O'Connell
  • Nonfiction: The Library Book by Susan Orlean
2. Book You Were Excited About and Thought You Were Going To Love, But Didn’t?
  • Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys---I would go so far to say I hated this book and only finished it because it was a Classics Club spin book selection.
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read? 
  • Beartown by Fredrik Backman---I didn't think I would like it since it was about hockey, but I thought it was really well-written and a good story.
4. Book You “Pushed” the Most People to Read (And They Did)?
5. Best series you started in 2019? Akata Witch ,a series by the same name, by Nnedi Okorafor ;

Best Only Sequel of 2019? The Girl in the Spider's Web, the fourth book in the Millennium series 

Best Series Ender of 2019? None

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2019?

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
  •  Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins---middle-grade fiction
 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
9. Favorite Book Club Selection Based On the Discussion?
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2019?
11. Most memorable character of 2019?
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2019? (Tie)
13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2019?
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2019 to finally read? 
  •  The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2019?
  • “His dad had told him many times that the definition of a real man is one who cries without shame, reads poetry with his heart, feels opera in his soul, and does what’s necessary to defend a woman.”
    Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing
16. Shortest and Longest Book You Read In 2018?
17. Book Which Shocked You The Most
  • Inland by Tea Obreht---the ending. I still want to talk to someone about the ending.
18. Best Audiobook I Listened To in 2019
  • On the Come Up by Angie Thomas---because of all the rapping
  • Circe by Madeline Miller---because of all the Greek names and characters
  • The Dutch House---Tom Hanks was the narrator.
19. Favorite JH and SH Nonfiction Books I Read In My Role as a Cybils Judge
  • I switched my role this year from first-round to second-round judge so I won't get to work on Cybils reading until January 1st.
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2019 from an Author You’ve Read Previously
  •  The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead---By the way, this book was the book which showed up on the most on the best-books-of-2019 lists.
21. Best Book You Read In 2019 Which Was Based SOLELY On a Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
  •  Ask Again,Yes by Mary Beth Keane---recommendation from the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2019?
23. Best 2019 debut you read?
24. Best World-building/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
  • Burial Rites by Hannah Kent---Iceland in the 1800s
25. Book Which Put a Smile on Your Face/Was the Most FUN to Read?
26. Book Which Made You Cry or Nearly Cry in 2019?
27. Hidden Gem of the Year? There are several:
28. Anything odd about this year's reading list? 
  •  Many fewer YA titles than in years past, though I still am attempting to discern the book which will win the Printz Award in January.
  • I DNF (did not finish) 5 books in a row in the months of October and November.
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2019?
  •  The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka---the narrators formed a chorus of "us", "we", "many of us". It was a story about the Japanese "picture" brides and what happened to them when they came to America before WWII.
30. Book Which Made You Angry (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates---a black father writes letters to his black son. The racism in this world is despicable.
31. Favorite poetry or short story collection: 
  • Devotions by Mary Oliver---my favorite poet died this year so it is proper to honor her by reading her poems.
31. One Book You Didn’t Read In 2019 but Will Be a Top Priority in 2020?
  • Fiction---Testaments by Margaret Atwood---the sequel to The Handmaid's Tale
  • Nonfiction---Blowout by Rachel Maddow 
  • Graphic novel---Watchmen by Alan Moore
  • Classic--- East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Blogging survey:

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2019?
This is embarrassing to admit, but I am terrible about remembering site names of blogs I visit.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2019?
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.)?
 My mom, one of my sisters, my daughter, a friend, and I went to see Michelle Obama in the Tacoma Dome talk about her book BECOMING. She was interviewed by Jimmy Kimmel. We had a wonderful and inspiring time.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2019?
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 got really bogged down with my reading this Fall and found myself setting aside book after book. I usually finish books but I just couldn't make myself read them. It was really tough to get out of the slump.

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 discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

This beautiful library in a monastery in Prague. Photo credit: D. Bennett
 10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
  •  I've read 100 of my reading goal of 100 books this year.
  • My Own Personal National Book Award Challenge---to read at least two of the winners for the past ten years.  Completed. Now I have to stay current with each upcoming year.
  • Read the Pulitzer Prize winner: The Overstory by Richard Powers. Done!
  • Read all the 2019 Printz winners, the award book and the honor books. Read 3 of 4.
    • The Poet X---read
    • Damsel---read
    • A Heart in a Body in the World---read
    • I, Claudia---not read
  • Classics Club Spins. I completed two or the three books I started:
    • The Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
    • Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson.
    • East of Eden by John Steinbeck---not completed.
  • To read books from my own shelf: 29! I made a concerted effort to read and pass on my own books this year.
I tried my best to scrunch as many book onto this list as I could. It really was a great year full of wonderful books.

-Turning the page over on 2019.


    1. I agree with you completely about "Virgil Wander," "Circe" and "The Great Believers." I still can't get "Disappearing Earth" and its themes out of my mind. I wasn't as crazy about Crawdads though. I'm about half way through both "Burial Rites" and "The Dutch House" and am enjoying both of them.

    2. I've been slowly working on my own wrap up post and need to get it published soon. I love seeing people's year in review and know you'll make it to 100. The book I regret not reading this year is Where the Crawdads Sing; I am afraid that all the hype has set my expectations too high.

    3. What a fun way to do your end of the year post! Mine won't be nearly as creative. :)

    4. Interesting re: On the Come-up - I wonder if I should read it that way. Let's see if I unwrap it on Wednesday first: I have several book-shaped parcels! And a great review all found - no way could I go into that much detail!

    5. Beloved...by Michelle Obama? Or Becoming? Just checking....

      I'm working on my own end-of-the-year post. This one is quite extensive.

      I keep hearing about Daisy Jones---raves, all---but it just doesn't sound like a book for me.

      Merry Christmas!

      1. BECOMING> Good catch. Thank you. I've made the change.

    6. Virgil Wander is the only one I haven't heard of before. Crawdads is by far the book that was recommend to me the most this year and why I avoided it. I also would like to read the Library Book.


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