Hey ya’ll! So I know there’s been a ton of these posts lately, but I’m a little crazy and couldn’t bring myself to do a post like this until the year was ACTUALLY ending. And so since today is New Year’s Eve, let the nostalgic look back at my 2011 reading year begin! Feel free to steal the questions and/or little graphic thingy up top, and leave me links in the comments so that I can come check out your answers!
Some preliminary questions…
How many books did you read in 2011?
116, and about 44,168 pages.
Did you accomplish your reading goals?
Nope – my goal was 130, and I didn’t quite focus on re-reading as much as I’d hoped.
Did you successfully complete any reading challenges?
I didn’t really do any challenges this year, except to read 130 books and over 44,225 pages (which would have at least beat last year’s stats). I did not succeed
OK let’s get to the good stuff now!
1. Ten favorite reads of 2011?
- The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
- Wicked by Gregory Maguire
- The Postmortal by Drew Magary
- Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
- Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
- Practical Jean by Trevor Cole
- Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman
- A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin
- Inheritance trilogy by N.K. Jemisin (AKA The 100K trilogy)
- Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
with notable mentions to the The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon, Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde, Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson, Emma by Jane Austen, and The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss.
2. Ten worst reads of 2011?
- A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
- The Magicians by Lev Grossman
- The Summer Garden by Paullina Simons
- The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
- The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan
- A Reliable Wife by Richard Goolrick
- The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn
- The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
- Shopgirl by Steve Martin
- The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
3. Favorite authors that you read for the first time this past year?
Jasper Fforde is definitely an exciting new author for me. I really like the Thursday Next series, and I’m looking forward to his other series as well. I’m also quite excited to read more of Libba Bray, Rainbow Rowell, Gregory Maguire, etc… basically every author I mentioned under my favorite reads for last year. A good chunk of them were debut or recently really publicized authors and I’m looking forward to more from them.
4. Worst authors that you read for the first time this past year?
Lev Grossman. The Magicians was a huge disappointment. Also Jennifer Egan. I’ll probably be avoiding both of them like the plague.
5. Favorite releases of 2011?
The Scottish Prisoner! I love the Outlander series, as well as the Lord John series, and the fact that Diana Gabaldon really meshed them together in this one was awesome. Flip This Zombie and Eat Slay Love by Jesse Petersen were quite exciting. Also The Kingdom of Gods by N.K. Jemisin. As well as some of the newer authors I mentioned above.
6. Favorite re-reads of 2011?
Hmmm… I loved re-reading the Harry Potter books in the beginning of the year. They’re just awesome. I might even re-read them late next year, if the honeyman wants to read them with me And Outlander! I love Outlander and I looooove re-reading them. Sadly I only re-read the first half of the series this year because I was trying to focus on other stuff too, so I’m going to re-read the rest of them in 2012.
7. Funniest book you read this year?
Domestic Violets had me cracking up, in a BIG way. Also the Cyanide and Happiness books, but since those are books of comic strips that’s kind of a given. ALSO Beauty Queens!!! It was hysterical and sarcastic and witty and awesome.
8. Saddest book you read this year?
I cried the most I think during my Outlander re-reads. I ALWAYS cry during at least the first three books. I also cried a lot during The Bronze Horseman and Tatiana and Alexander by Paullina Simons.
9. Book that made you want to throw it across the room?
The Summer Garden by Paullina Simons. She RUINED the end of Tatiana and Alexander’s epic love story.
10. Favorite non-fiction read this year?
I don’t think I have one… The only non-fiction books I read were memoirs. It would be a tie between Bossypants by Tina Fey and A Little Bit Wicked by Krisitin Chenoweth.
11. Favorite quotes of passages from books you read this year?
I can’t really remember at the moment… I really need to start writing them all down in one place!
12. Any new favorite bookish apps / websites / trends?
Yes! I am really enjoying the new bookish website Book Riot, although I can never see comments, nor do I see anywhere to comment on the articles. (Is this just me?)
Also, since I am now the proud owner of a Droid 3 I can actually talk about apps! LOL. I like the Goodreads app, although I can’t figure out how to see just the newest comments in a discussion thread, so that’s disappointing. I love the Book Catalogue app, and totally plan on spending a few days in January physically scanning ALL of the books I own into it. I’m also finding the Inkpad app really useful, for notating which books I want to look for next time I’m at the library, want to buy, and making other random lists as well..
(I also play a lot of Words With Friends… my username is SarahMay227 if you wanna play!)
13. Any regrets over “read” or “to-read” lists?
Yeah, I definitely didn’t get to read as many of the books on my to-read list as I wanted to. I let the blogging-pressure get to me, and I started to feel guilty for re-reading so much – especially when some of those re-reads are quite long and would take me like a week to read.
14. Favorite challenges or goals in 2011?
I didn’t do any challenges, or reach my own little goals. Maybe I need the challenges to keep me motivated! LOL.
15. How do you feel about your 2011 reading year?
For some reason, kind of disappointed. It may have been the focus on re-reads. It meant that I had less time to read other books, plus I always felt guilty for re-reading because it would mean less new reviews to post. AND I didn’t even get to finish all of the re-reads I wanted to do. I also didn’t read many classics this year, which bums me out but I’m totally excited to rectify that this coming year. And I didn’t read more than I did last year, which is surprising. I’ve been having a hard time concentrating on reading when I have free time, especially at work. It’s either too busy, or so slow that I start to feel sleepy.
Okay, now some bloggy-questions…
16. Favorite blogs you discovered this year?
I discovered so many great blogs this year, and made some great blogger friends I’m sure I’m accidentally leaving some awesome people out on here, mainly because I know I have a horrible memory and can’t remember exactly how long I’ve been following people’s blogs, lol. But to list a couple…
What Red Read
17. Did you attend any real-life bookish events? (signings, BEA, National Book Fest, etc.)
Sadly, I did not. The only real bookish event I get to attend is the annual huge-ass book sale my local library has in the mall once a year. Hopefully I’ll be going to some more bookish / bloggish events this year!
18. Did you participate in any online bookish events? (readathons, readalongs, etc.)
Of course! I love love love readathons – the 24-hour ones, my own mini 12-hour ones (go sign up!), the week-long ones, etc.
19. Blogging highlights of this year?
Definitely my author interview with Bob Eckstein, whose book The History of the Snowman was one of the most enjoyable winter-time reads I read this year. I also had several exciting Twitter moments, when authors such as Diana Gabaldon, Trevor Cole, and Jesse Petersen interacted with me. YAY!
I’m also glad that I made the switch to WordPress. Sure, some stuff is a little harder to figure out than on Blogger, but overall the experience is much more enjoyable.
20. What didn’t work for your blog this year?
Not sure. Sometimes I feel all ambitious and want to do Big Things to get my traffic up, but I’ve also kind of accepted that my blog is just never going to be one where I get like over 100 views every day. Partly because I don’t really do ARC reviews, and partly because I’m a laid back blogger – the reason I never go through one of those “OMGbloggingistoohardI’mgoingtogiveitupforever” moments is because I read and blog what and when I want. If I made it stressful it would be less fun.
Besides, I’d rather have a handful of readers who comment and interact with me than hundreds of readers who just skim by me but never participate in discussions, polls, readathons, etc.
Looking ahead to 2012…
21. Do you have any reading goals in mind for 2012?
I do… I’m going to aim for 130 books read OR 45,000 pages read next year. Obviously if I read a bunch of chunky books that are like 1000 pages long, the number of books I read would be slightly less.
22. Are you participating in any 2012 reading challenges?
Yes! I am super excited to start them too. I’m doing the Back to the Classics Challenge, the Mixing It Up Challenge, the Neil Gaiman Challenge, and The League of Extraordinary Gentleman Challenge. You can see all my progress and the book reviews here.
23. What 2012 new releases are you looking forward to?
Ooooo a bunch already! Christopher Moore is coming out with a new book in April called Sacre Bleu. The Pioneer Woman is coming out with a new cookbook in March. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore will FINALLY be out in May! And there’s several others as well.
24. What are some of your 2012 blogging goals or things you want to focus on?
Well I’m going to talk about this more in tomorrow’s Sarah Sunday post, but there are a few things I’m going to change or tweak as far as blogging goes. I think it will all be good changes though, and I’m really looking forward to starting off 2012 with a clean slate and excited energy.
25. Are you ready to get 2012 started?
OK, so that’s pretty much my bookish wrap-up survey of the year! Here’s to another happy year filled with love, laughter, and reading!