Since I’ve really enjoyed reading other people’s responses to Jamie’s End-of-Year Book Survey, I’m cherry-picking some of her questions to use as a template for my own year-end wrap-up, and I gave the the first question–“Best Book(s) You Read In 2013?”–its own post. Book titles not linked in my survey responses were featured there.
Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
I Want My MTV, by Rob Tannenbaum and Craig Marks–It was fun, but not terribly insightful–it would probably work better as a TV documentary.
Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?
Then Again, by Diane Keaton–I never thought I’d be so charmed by the memoir of an actress (of whom I’m not a particular fan) reflecting on her mother’s life after losing her to Alzheimer’s.
Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?
Five Days at Memorial–I called it “The Most Important Book I Read This Year.”
Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?
I doubt she’s just mine; I think everyone’s favorite “discovery” this year was Rainbow Rowell.
Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?
Five Days at Memorial…although, as an audio, it’s probably more accurate to call it “Book That Actually Made You Want Your Commute to Last Longer.”
Most memorable character in 2013?
Franny Banks, from Someday, Someday, Maybe, by Lauren Graham
Most beautifully written book read in 2013?
It’s hard to choose between my two Fiction Books of the Year selections, Telegraph Avenue and Beautiful Ruins, so I just won’t.
Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?
Handling the Truth–it’s helped me be a more discerning reader, inspired me to work at being a better writer, and made me appreciate the privilege of calling Beth Kephart a friend more than ever.
Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?
We Need to Talk About Kevin–the best book I doubt I’ll ever read again.
Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Sisterland, by Curtis Sittenfeld, an audiobook that also put Rebecca Lowman on my favorite-narrators list
Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else
If you count “award recognition” as a “recommendation”–and I do–this has to be Society’s Child: My Autobiography, by Janis Ian.
Best 2013 debut you read?
The Age of Miracles, by Karen Thompson Walker (Nitpickers: Yes, this was a 2012 debut, but since I didn’t read it till 2013 I’m claiming it for last year.)
Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?
This has to be my audio re-read of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy. Those books will be the “most fun” reads of almost any year.
Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?
Again, this one goes to Eleanor & Park. Curse you, Rainbow Rowell!
On Blogging and the Reading Life:
Best discussion(s) you had on your blog?
- “An Open Letter to Restless (Book) Bloggers: Don’t Forget Who Makes the Rules”;
- a two-part consideration of fiction and nonfiction that touched on changing reading preferences and the Common Core
Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
Jeanne’s “Why I Blog” post
Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
Sheila’s Banned Books Week celebration
Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2013?
FINALLY getting my Book Review Archive spreadsheet built!
Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
Google Analytics says it’s still the all-time search-traffic leader, “Factors for a Successful Marriage–The Pew Survey,” from 2007. The most-viewed post from 2013 is my review of Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline, which I read with the She Reads Book Club.
Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I fell just short of my GoodReads Reading Challenge goal of 52 books. I didn’t think I’d hit my 5-book target for the Ebook Challenge, but when I crunched the numbers I saw I’d actually exceeded it by one. And I crushed the Audiobook Challenge–my target was 12, and I read 19. Clearly, I wouldn’t have gotten near the book-a-week average without the audios!
One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be A Priority in 2014?
The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer–I bought it as an ebook months ago, but I seem to have so much trouble getting around to reading ebooks!
(And two more, because…why not? The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell and Life After Life by Kate Atkinson)
One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2014?