I found this end of year reading survey over on Tasha’s blog (it was originally created by Jamie at perpetualpageturner.com) and I thought this year I would take part because it looks like fun. Also who else can’t believe that another year is almost over?
Oh and I still have posts about my favourite books of 2015 and my favourite sci-fi books of 2015 to come (yes they did have to be split into two because I felt sorry for all the amazing books I read this year that would be totally forgotten about because of the amazing sci-fi books I’ve read this year).
Number Of Books You Read: 114 (this may change as I have plans to do nothing but read over the Christmas holidays).
Number of Re-Reads: Probably like 7 or 8. But that was down to me listening to the Seveneves audiobook over and over again.
Genre You Read The Most From: Sci-fi. Obviously.
Best In Books
1. Best book you read in 2015?
People complained that this book did way too much explaining of the science-y stuff and I loved it for that reason. I mean I prefer it when an author ‘shows’ rather than ‘tells’ but I also love it when an author goes into the tiny minutia of how stuff like gravity and orbits and all the space stuff works.
2. Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more but didn’t?
I spent over two years waiting for this book, I’ve been excited about it ever since I finished reading Ready Player One. And maybe it was my own fault that I didn’t like it because I got all caught up in the hype. But I still think Ernest Cline tried to make another RP1 instead of writing an actual decent book.
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2015?
I went to see Patrick Ness at the Edinburgh Book Festival because I knew he was a popular YA author and because the ticket was £4. I bought his new book because that’s what you do with books and you could get it at the festival before the official release (which is a total lie because the Waterstones around the corner was selling it too but anyway).
I did not expect this book to be as good as it was. Like this book is super funny, like I was reading this on the train and had to stop because I didn’t want people to think I was a total loon laughing to myself (also it’s not another cliched YA book which is always good).
4. Book you “pushed” the most people to read (and they did) in 2015?
I don’t normally give people books as presents and I’ve given this book to three people this year and I know that two of them really enjoyed it (the third person hasn’t actually been given it yet). This book is so funny that even if you don’t really like sci-fi you can still enjoy it.
5. Best series you started in 2015?
I freaking love this series, it’s a brilliantly written fantasy series. The only problem is it’s 10 books long and only 2 have been released so far.
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?
I haven’t actually started Tom Toner’s book yet but this guy is so funny. I saw him talk at an event a few months ago and he was doing the exact opposite of what any new author should be doing. And by that I mean he was telling people they shouldn’t read his book (to the point where the publicists were getting annoyed at him). I ended up buying his book anyway so maybe he planned it that way?
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
I am not a fan of romance. I requested At The Water’s Edge because the premise, a bunch of americans searching for the Loch Ness monster during WW2, sounded hilarious. And despite the romance (which I admit I enjoyed) I really did like this book.
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
I wouldn’t say Station Eleven was ‘action packed’ but while reading it I was torn between reading it as quickly as possible and wanting to slow down so it wouldn’t end.
9. Book you read in 2015 that you are most likely to re-read next year?
This book is so full of good advice it is one I will almost certainly pick up again at some point.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?
I did not like this book, I have no idea how it managed to get longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. But the cover is really beautiful.
11. Most memorable character of 2015?
The main character in this was memorable but thats only because she was so annoying. Like she literally couldn’t think of anyone but herself. She didn’t care that everyone else was living in poverty because she had a relatively good life. And when she is given a chance to fix that she runs away.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?
This book is told in three parts, it’s a girl writing a diary, her grandmother, and the person who finds the diary washed up on a beach. It really is a fantastic book. I can’t say enough good things about it.
13. Most thought-provoking/ life-changing book of 2015?
I haven’t read any non-fiction books about anxiety/ depression and it was nice to read about a person who felt the same way I did, it was one of those you’re not alone moments.
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?
Okay the reason I can’t believe I waited till 2015 to read this book is because I bought the audiobook in the middle of 2014. Like I had that book sitting in my Audible account for almost a year, why didn’t I listen to it? Actually now that I think about it, between getting a free trial for Audible and getting the paperback from the publisher I did not pay anything for this book, in either format. Cool.
15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2015?
Advice for a human.
90. But know this. Men are not from Mars. Women are not from Venus. Do not fall for categories. Everyone is everything. Every ingredient inside a star is inside you, and every personality that ever existed competes in the theatre of your mind for the main role.
91. You are lucky to be alive. Inhale and take in life’s wonders. Never take so much as a single petal of a flower for granted.
16. Shortest & longest book you read in 2015?
17. Book that shocked you the most?
The last page in this book nearly killed me. I won’t give away any spoilers but if you’ve read it you know what I’m talking about.
18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
Mark Watney/ potatoes.
19. Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year?
20. Favorite book you read in 2015 from an author you’ve read previously?
Yes I am a gigantic nerd. Yes I did go out and buy this book on the day it was released. Yes I love Kirsten Beyer because she writes Star Trek Voyager books. No regrets #voyagerforever
21. Best book you read in 2015 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else?
This book was so bad it was actually kind of entertaining. Like really, mobile phone signals turn people into zombies and they magically get better because they remember what it means to be human (I totally just made that up, I can’t actually remember what happened in this book). But still, this book was really silly and I apologise to the person who recommended this to me.
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?
Nahadoth. He’s this mysterious guy who is being held prisoner in a palace on top of a giant spire. Oh and he also happens to be a god who created the universe. So there is that.
23. Best 2015 debut you read?
This is an episode of Star Trek in book form. It’s one of the best books I read this year and I was totally not expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. Seriously, if you’re going to take anything away from this post it’s that you need to read The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet.
24. Best worldbuilding/most vivid setting you read this year?
I love sci-fi but I’ve never really read any space opera before. Then I came across Pandora’s Star on the Kindle store for 99p and ohmygod why has it taken me so long to read space opera. Like the world is so full and fleshed out and there are so many interesting characters and just space opera. Read it.
25. Book that put a smile on your face/was the most FUN to read?
This book is hilarious. You start out with a main character who has just lost her memory, you go along with her as she learns that she works at what is basically the British version of MIB. It’s completely ridiculous and you have to read it.
26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2015?
This is basically a modern YA version of Deep Impact. I don’t want to give away any spoilers so I will just say the ending.
27. Hidden gem of the year?
This was a strange book in that I didn’t realise that I was falling in love with it. It started out okay and then there was a moment where I went ‘holy shit this book is amazing’. Like there was no in between. It went straight from ‘I have no idea what’s going on’ to ‘I love this book and I never want it to end’.
28. Book that crushed your soul?
This is another book where the ending kind of broke me.
29. Most unique book you read in 2015?
I love the idea behind this book. It’s a story within a story. You have the actual book then another story written in the margins by two people who have apparently taken this book out of the library. Oh and it has a bunch of stuff like postcards in amongst the pages. Super cool.
30. Book that made you the most mad?
So I can deal with the absent parents and the teenage girl who falls in love with someone she has only known for 12 hours before flying off to Egypt with him. The thing I hated about this book is the bad history. I love Ancient Egyptian mythology and the most disappointing thing was how this book managed to get so much stuff about Ancient Egypt wrong.
Your Blogging/ Bookish Life
1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?
I think my favourite was soobsessedwith.com. I spent so many hours looking through this blog. It’s the perfect mix of bookish posts and other stuff.
2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?
I think it has to be my review of The Killing Moon. I spent so long working on that review and it managed to get across all the reasons why I love that book without giving away any spoilers.
3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
I really enjoyed writing my Armada discussion post. But that was mainly because I hated that book to the point where it was fun to write down all the reasons why I hated it. My best non-review post has to be my Day In A Life post. I love learning about the really mundane stuff in a person’s day. It’s really the reason why I like watching smallish vloggers. They haven’t got to the point where they find interesting stuff to do just to vlog about it. You get to see a regular day. And I had fun doing my own version of that.
4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
This was the first year where I started going to book festivals. Despite living close to Edinburgh I’ve never been to the book festival before, it’s always a thing I think about doing then forget about it till the very last minute. So this year I changed that and made a decision very early on that I would do the festival this year. And it was good. The only problem is the Edinburgh Book Festival is really more of a literary festival, there really wasn’t any ‘genre fiction’ there. There was also the fact that it was far too busy. I literally just went there for a talk and left again.
But in October I went to Gollanczfest in London and I couldn’t believe how different the experience was. First of all I actually spoke to some of the other people attending, it was so nice being about to geek out over Brandon Sanderson with other people. I met some really lovely book bloggers and even saw people I watch on YouTube.
But I think the biggest change was the author signings. Because I am really not great at talking to people and getting an author to sign your book is this really awkward moment where you try and talk to them or stand in silence. And I find talking to people hard because I never know what to say (or in the case of authors never have anything I want to ask). But Gollanczfest was different because I got to actually speak to an author (Ian McDonald if you were wondering). And I mean have an actual conversation with him about his book because I enjoyed it so much (he also told me some of what happens in the next two books which was awesome). And that was such a huge moment for me personally because it’s something I find so difficult.
5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?
This isn’t really a specific moment, but the fact that out of everyone in the whole wide literary world, I am a person certain people think is trustworthy enough to give honest reviews of books. I never started out to be anything like that. I just like talking about books. I didn’t even intend for this blog to be about books in the way it has become in the last year. I just like books and wanted somewhere to express those feeling.
6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
You may not think this is a problem because I’ve read 114 books this year. But one of the things I’ve found really difficult because of my CFS is reading. There are still moments where I want to read and can’t because I am simply too tired. But I like knowing I’ve read 114 books this year because I can see how much better it is getting. It wasn’t too long ago where I literally couldn’t read at all, I was that person who gets a magazine to look at the pictures.
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
My Blogging Essentials. I totally did not expect that post to get as much love as it has. But it was fun to write and I need to do more posts like that.
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
Basically all of my reviews. To be honest I’m not that annoyed about it. I’ve known for a long time that my reviews are some of the least read posts on my blog. But there are still some who find them useful, I hope!
9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
That Waterstones offers a student version of their points card. Though that wasn’t the best discovery for my bank balance! Actually I’ve noticed that online Waterstones tends to price match (or almost match) Amazon and I really prefer to not use Amazon when I can. So that was a nice discovery (also I get my points on Waterstones which always helps!).
10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I completed my 52 books challenge in April so yes I managed that. I also planned on reading 25 classics this year and of today (20th of December) I have read exactly zero classics.
1. One book you didn’t get to in 2015 but will be your number 1 priority in 2016?
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?
I don’t know what it’s called and there isn’t a cover for it yet but the sequel to Luna by Ian McDonald.
3. 2016 debut you are most anticipating?
Yeah I couldn’t find a debut…
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?
Do I need to explain why?
5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?
Get back into some sort of blogging schedule. I’ve been constantly sick over the last few months and really haven’t been able to do that.
6. A 2016 release you’ve already read & recommend to everyone?
This book is about a couple who separates so their autistic son is able to get more help. It’s a story told from the father’s point of view and you see how much this disability affects everyone, not just the child. It’s so heartbreaking to see this father admit that though he loves his son, he isn’t able to cope with his needs. It’s just fantastic and everyone needs to read it.