This is my fifth time taking part in Jamie’s End of Year survey! It can be easy to get to the end of the year and only remember a couple of stand out titles, so I love doing the survey because it gives me an excuse to go back and really think about everything I’ve read and loved throughout the year. The only downside is it always takes me forever to finalise my answers! We’ve still got a couple of days left of 2018, but I’m considering the two books I’m currently reading (Head On & The Hidden Oracle) as finished because they will be before 2019 starts.
**2018 READING STATS**
Number Of Books You Read: 130 (including the 2 I’m currently reading)
Number of Re-Reads: 3
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy
1. Best Book You Read In 2018?
The Long Way to A Small Angry Planet
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Ooh I’ve got a couple for this. 1984 – I thought for sure I’d love it, but I was so underwhelmed. IT was also disappointing: I’m a big wimp but didn’t find this particularly scary, just weird. Finally, Annihilation: secret government conspiracy, aliens etc, should have been all my favourite things and yet I found the writing style offputting and felt like little happened.
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir. To be totally honest, I wasn’t totally convinced by this series from the first book, but the audiobooks were on Scribd when I was a member earlier in the year so I decided to give them another go and ended up really enjoying A Reaper at the Gates! I was also really surprised by Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire, because I’m not much of a short story fan but loved it.
4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
Probably Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – it was a book of the month when I was still bookselling and I think it has a huge, broad appeal, so I’ve recommended it to absolutely loads of people this year.
5. Best series you started in 2018? Best Sequel of 2018? Best Series Ender of 2018?
Series starter: The Long way to a small Angry Planet or The Poppy War
Sequel: Nyxia Unleashed
Series ender: Queen of Air and Darkness
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2018?
It’s got to be Becky Chambers for this one!
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Out of my comfort zone, My Absolute Darling…. This was a Waterstones Book of the Month, had rave reviews and was like marmite: everyone I spoke to either loved or hated it. It was uncomfortable to read at times but it was completely impossible to put down and well worth reading.
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
I was completely and utterly hooked on The Hunting Party; it’s a crime ‘And Then There were None‘ style murder mystery set in a country lodge in Scotland and it was addictive!
9. Book You Read In 2018 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
While I’ve read some amazing books this year, there aren’t really any that are calling out for a re-read just yet, so I’d have to say The Bullet Journal Method, not because I’m likely to re-read it cover to cover necessarily but because I probably will refer back to it multiple times throughout the year.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2018?
These covers are pretty different I guess but I love all three. The Extinction Trials is a particulary unusual choice for me as I’m really not a yellow fan but I love how it’s so simple with just that dinosaur eye…I actually have this face out on my shelves at home! The cover for The Long Way to A Small Angry Planet is very simple, but I love how pretty it is – it’s the sort of thing I’d pick to have as a phone wallpaper. Finally, although I was a little underwhelmed by The Boneless Mercies in the end I absolutely love that cover still.
11. Most memorable character of 2018?
Honestly, I loved all of the cast of The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet. I also thought Monty in The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue was totally unforgettable.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2018?
Oh, I’ve read some beautifully written books this year, I can’t narrow it down to just one! Madeline Miller’s Circe, V.E. Schwab’s This Dark Duet, all of the Wayward Children books by Seanan McGuire and The Mermaid by Christina Henry all had beautiful, lyrical writing that was just enough to give me pause to admire without being too wordy or distracting.
13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2018?
Most thought-provoking/discussion inciting: My Absolute Darling AND Beneath the Surface
Most-used or referred to: The Bullet Journal Method
Most motivational: Eat, Drink, Run
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2018 to finally read?
The Goddess Test series: these have been on my kindle since 2013 and this year I finally got around to reading them on my honeymoon. They were enjoyable, easy reads that fitted perfectly in with my mythology mood!
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2018?
“Ninety percent of all problems are caused by people being assholes.”
“What causes the other ten percent?” asked Kizzy.
“Natural disasters,” said Nib.”
“Humans’ preoccupation with ‘being happy’ was something he had never been able to figure out. No sapient could sustain happiness all of the time, just as no one could live permanently within anger, or boredom, or grief.”
“Consider the fact that for 3.8 billion years, a period of time older than the Earth’s mountains and rivers and oceans, every one of your forebears on both sides has been attractive enough to find a mate, healthy enough to reproduce, and sufficiently blessed by fate and circumstances to live long enough to do so. Not one of your pertinent ancestors was squashed, devoured, drowned, starved, stranded, stuck fast, untimely wounded, or otherwise deflected from its life’s quest of delivering a tiny charge of genetic material to the right partner at the right moment in order to perpetuate the only possible sequence of hereditary combinations that could result — eventually, astoundingly, and all too briefly — in you.”
“If this book has a lesson, it is that we are awfully lucky to be here-and by ‘we’ I mean every living thing. To attain any kind of life in this universe of ours appears to be quite an achievement. As humans we are doubly lucky, of course: We enjoy not only the privilege of existence but also the singular ability to appreciate it and even, in a multitude of ways, to make it better. It is a talent we have only barely begun to grasp.”
16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2018?
Shortest: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #6 (40 pages)
Longest: IT (1156 pages)
17. Book That Shocked You The Most
(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)
18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
Albus & Scorpius (The Cursed Child)
Mark, Cristina & Kieran (Queen of Air and Darkness)
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Monty & Felicity (The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue/The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats & Piracy)
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2018 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Either Six of Crows (Leigh Bardugo) or Into The Drowning Deep (Mira Grant)
21. Best Book You Read In 2018 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:
Sleeping Giants and The Poppy War
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2018?
Haven’t got one!
23. Best 2018 debut you read?
The Poppy War and The Extinction Trials
24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet: although a lot of the worldbuilding is space ships, the background on different species, their cultures and histories etc made it all feel so complex and vivid.
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue: honestly this was just great fun to read, it made me genuinely laugh out loud. Bryony Gordon’s Eat, Drink, Run too: one of my top books this year, it was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster but it also made me smile, and laugh, and even cheer.
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2018?
The Assassin’s Blade – this was a re-read that I felt more emotional about this second time around! Also They Both Die at the End (see Q28).
27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Probably either Nyxia or The Extinction Trials – I loved both but haven’t seen much about them.
28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
They Both Die at the End…. I think there was probably actual sobbing.
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2018?
Sadie – loved the Serial-esque podcast type format, and it worked perfectly on audio.
30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
I think probably 1984, and sadly it WAS because I didn’t like it!
This year has been manic (exams, a promotion, starting teacher training, moving house, getting married) and I’ve had no laptop so my blogging has been depressingly infrequent!
1. New favorite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2018?
2. Favorite post you wrote in 2018?
Probably my most-popular post (see Q7) which actually isn’t even bookish at all….
3. Favorite bookish related photo you took in 2018:?
…. Will do better in 2019?!
4. Best bookish event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, etc.)?
5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2018?
I haven’t quite done it yet but I will by the end of the year so I’m going to count it: hitting 130 books in a year, my highest number so far!
6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
Balance, balance, balance. With everything that’s been going on I’ve managed to keep my reading up but the blog has been depressingly neglected.
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
So the most popular post on my blog this year didn’t actually have anything to do with books, it was a film post: The Greatest Showman, like P.T. Barnum’s circus, is a lie – and that’s okay.
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
Honestly, I’m thrilled people are still reading at all after how sporadic I’ve been this year!
9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
I placed my first Society 6 order this year and this may have been fatal for my wallet because I loved everything that arrived and now I’m just going to want more….
10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
Goodreads goal (originally set at 100) – Completed and exceeded. Haven’t looked into challenges in detail yet but I think I’ve done pretty well this year!
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2018 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2019?
Muse of Nightmares I think – I was hoping I might get a copy for Christmas so I think I’ll pick myself up a copy in the new year.
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2019 (non-debut)?
The Pioneer – space + secret conspiracies = I’m sold!
3. 2019 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
I think at the moment, House of Salt and Sorrows, a creepy-sounding Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling.
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2019?
So many! Top priorities though would be: Nyxia Uprising (Nyxia #3), Rebel (The Extinction Trials #3), The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War #2) and In An Absent Dream (Wayward Children #4)
5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2019?
Blogging: I’m so excited to blog more regularly and get back into commenting and the bookish community more.
Reading: I’m aiming to knock some series off my TBR with the Serial Reader challenge.