2013 End of Year Book Survey

Melissa at Avid Reader always posts a fascinating End of the Year Book Survey. I hope she doesn’t mind that I’m borrowing it!

Number of books read in 2013: 157

1. Best Book You Read In 2013?
I’m going to link to my favorites lists for each genre, rather than trying to pick:

Historical fiction and classics
Contemporary fiction
YA fiction
Speculative fiction

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. This was picked for the challenge, and I had always thought it was a book I would love. Turns out I thought it was just okay.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?
Middlemarch by George Eliot. I tried to read it years ago and never made it past chapter two. This time I devoured it, and loved it.

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?
Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?
The Agatha Raisin series by M.C. Beaton. Love these cozy mysteries.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?
Rainbow Rowell – I will definitely be reading everything she’s ever written!

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
Night Film by Marisha Pessl – This was definitely much scarier than what I usually read, and it really affected my thoughts and dreams.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?
Someone Else’s Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
The Twelve by Justin Cronin – I’ll probably listen to this on audio again before the third book comes out.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?
I did a whole post on my favorite covers, but if I had to choose one, it would be The Writing Class by Jincy Willett.


11. Most memorable character in 2013?
Bernadette from Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith – I don’t know how I missed reading this one when I was growing up.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?
“We have all seized the white perimeter as our own
and reached for a pen if only to show
we did not just laze in an armchair turning pages;
we pressed a thought into the wayside,
planted an impression along the verge.”
From the poem “Marginalia” by Billy Collins

16.Shortest and Longest Book You Read In 2013?
Bleak House by Dickens (989 pages)
Blood Binding by Helen Stringer (72 pages)

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It?
Defending Jacob by William Landay

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
Fin and Lady (brother and sister) from Fin and Lady by Cathleen Schine

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY on a Recommendation From Somebody Else:
The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty – recommended by pretty much everyone who read it.

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?
Historical fiction

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?
Cormoran Strike from The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

23. Best debut book you read?
The Curiosity by Stephen P. Kiernan

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?
The Map of the Sky by Felix J. Palma

25. Book That Was the Most Fun To Read in 2013?
City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – I absolutely bawled.

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?
Temple of a Thousand Faces by John Shors – I wish more bloggers read his books and talked about how wonderful his writing is.

28. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
The one I’m most proud of completing is the Chunkster Challenge. In the past, my goal to read more books than the year before caused me to avoid long books, but I gave up that goal, and am so glad I did.

29. Bookish Events on your blog in 2013?
I hosted (badly) the Ireland Challenge and the Essay Challenge, but I seem to have lost interest in them. The one I enjoyed the most was The “I’ve Always Meant to Read That Book!” Challenge, which I’ll be hosting again in 2014.

30. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?
The Complete Stories by Flannery O’Connor

31. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?
Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon – the next book in the Outlander series, coming in June.

32. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?
In 2012, I did really well with accepting fewer review copies, but then in 2013, I got sloppy again and ended the year with a backlog. I plan to reduce those numbers again.

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20 Responses to 2013 End of Year Book Survey

  1. I think Bernadette was my most recommended book also. Not because it was necessarily the “best” but because I thought the most varied bunch of people would love it! And yes, ***bawling*** over Me Before You! LOL

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Rhapsody – that is the hard thing about recommending books – titles I adored don’t necessarily match with the person asking for a recommendation!

  2. Heather
    Twitter: BookAddictHeath

    You know, I read a John Shors book a few years ago and liked it a whole lot, but haven’t read another one since. I should definitely put him on my TBR for next year.

  3. Beth F
    Twitter: BethFishReads

    Loved this post! I also loved Bernadette! My most anticipated book and TV series are related to Outlander. 🙂

    And so funny about your own challenges … I too lost interest in my own.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Candace – I can’t wait for the Outlander series, too, though knowing Starz’ track record for nudity, I’ll have to watch it on my husband’s computer in our bedroom, as my folks will not appreciate it! lol

  4. Kailana says:

    I plan to do this survey, too. I started it last night, but didn’t make it the whole way…

  5. Melissa
    Twitter: avidreader12

    Yay! So glad you took the survey! I didn’t end up liking Cold Comfort Farm either, but I loved A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. So glad you had such an excellent reading year!

  6. M Light says:

    I have you to thank for The Writing Class! I loved that one – and had everyone else read it too. I’m doing the survey, but only the first part tonight. It’s long!

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Laura – So cool that you read The Writing Class! I’m really hoping to read something else by her in 2014.

  7. So with you on Bernadette. She was one of my favorite characters too this year…and the book, I loved too, although I know not everyone was enamored of.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Bryan – I want to read Semple’s other book, though I can’t right now recall what the title is.

  8. I enjoyed reading your survey answers, Carrie. Night Film affected my dreams too. I can’t wait to read Someone Else’s Love Story. It’s getting such good reviews. And I can see Rainbow Lowell is an author I need to check out. Everyone seems to love her. That ending in Defending Jacob…

    I hope you have a happy New Year, Carrie!

  9. Susan says:

    Wow you read a lot of great books in 2013! Just reading over your answers — made me realize these are great. cheers