I think it’s safe to say that everyone likes to sit back at the end of the year and have a look back at what they have achieved over the previous 12 months, reading and blogging are no different. So, last year when I was perusing Perpetual Page Turner, Jamie’s wonderful blog, I stumbled across this fantastic bookish survey of her own invention that was in its 8th year and decided to fill in the survey! It’s a great post, with lots of reflective questions, and the bonus is that she has put a link on her original post so that you can have a looksie and a nosey through everybody else’s posts, and increase your 2019 TBR pile. You’ve probably guessed already, but, I’ve decided to do it again this year!
So, before I dive on in, please look at her original post, and maybe think about joining in too (don’t forget to credit her)! I would also like to point out that I repeatedly mention Emma. She is one of my good friends, who also happens to put up with me by living in the same house, and is someone I credit for telling me about a lot of the books that I have read and enjoyed. Her blog can also be found @ The Terror of Knowing!
*All stats are correct at the point of writing, but we have a week to go so some things might change!
2018 Reading Stats
Number Of Books You Read: 96
Number of Re-Reads: 0
Genre You Read The Most From:
1. Best Book You Read In 2018?
I mean this is a tough one to start off with, am I right? I have read some exceptional books this year that I have fallen in love with, but I think the book that I remember loving most was City of Ghosts by V E Schwab. I love her writing anyway, but this really stuck in my mind after waiting for it to be released and I adored it.
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
I am going to have to throw it back to the beginning of the year. The Hazel Wood was being repped everywhere and I was lucky enough to be granted an e-ARC of it. I read it pretty quickly as I had really high hopes for it, and, well it fell short. I wrote a full review of it here, so I won’t go into too much detail here, but it was such a good premise that I was really gutted when it fell short.
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
Good: Lots of books surprised me in the best way this year, but none more than Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch. I knew nothing about it going in, and I mean NOTHING so it was a wonderful surprise and an unbelievable audiobook! (Read a review here)
Bad: I have seen reviews all over the Internet for Spellslinger and even though I wasn’t sure it was my jam, the positive review suggested it would be good, so when I read it and thought it was rubbish, I was definitely surprised. (Read a review here)
4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
I don’t really push that many books if I am honest. I review them, but I am bad for actually giving recommendations. I have pushed Christina Lauren a little bit to the point where Emma finally read one and liked it, and then probably City of Ghosts and The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee.
5. Best series you started in 2018? Best Sequel of 2018? Best Series Ender of 2018?
I think that this year has been the year of new series beginning. There has been some brilliant new books released that are the first in a series, and choosing between Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi and City of Ghosts is too hard! As for sequel, I think that has to go to The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy. It doesn’t quite follow the same characters exactly, but it’s definitely a sequel and is spectacular. I don’t think I have read many series enders this year, so I am going to have to say Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo, because the Grishaverse was awesome and that completed the series well! (Read a review of Children of Blood and Bone here)
6. Favourite new author you discovered in 2018?
Why are all of these questions so hard? Stop it! OK, fine then, if last year belonged to V E Schwab and Leigh Bardugo, then this year’s discoveries belongs to Tomi Adeyemi and Mackenzi Lee with a healthy dose of Ben Aaronovitch.
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
This one is easy, because I don’t read non-fiction that much, and when I do it is 98% memoirs, so I was pleasantly shocked to really enjoy Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens. It was entertaining and educative and really interesting and far out of my comfort zone.
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
I mean, it doesn’t classify as thrilling or action packed, but I read Jeevani Charika’s Christmas at the Palace in 4 hours so that has to be my most unputdownable book of the year. Most thrilling probably goes to Daniel Cole for his thrillers Ragdoll and Hangman, they were both intense, full of action and suspense, and a real find. Oh no, should I have put him in the author’s of 2018? (Read a review of Christmas at the Palace, Ragdoll, or Hangman)
9. Book You Read In 2018 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
I am really trying not to re-read books at the moment, which is one of the reasons I am so pleased that I haven’t re-read anything this year. That said, I am likely to re-read Eve of Man and Children of Blood and Bone when the sequels come out so I am fresh in those worlds.
10. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2018?
There have been a lot of really pretty covers this year, but it has to be the illustrated editions of Harry Potter I think. They’re stunning and magical and I have loved them so much this year.
11. Most memorable character of 2018?
Oooooh this is a toughie. I mean, there have been a lot of great characters that I have read about this year, but I think it’s Pirate Queen and all round badass Alosa (from Daughter of the Pirate King/Daughter of the Siren Queen) that has been the most memorable. She is fierce and formidable and has all the power (shamelessly) in a man’s world and I loved her.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2018?
Erm, it took me a moment to think about this, but when I remembered reading The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley (review here) I couldn’t really choose anything else. It traverses a complicated concept easily, and weaves in added extras such as accent changes and emotional connections effortlessly.
13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2018?
D’you know what, I really don’t think there has been a life-changing book this year, but Dom Joly’s The Dark Tourist certainly made me think about different places I have visited and places that I would like to go to! (Read a review here)
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2018 to finally read?
Emma has spoken fondly about Saga for the entire time I’ve lived with her, I’ve seen the bind ups around bookstores, and for some reason I’d never actually picked them up or borrowed them until this year. I really liked them too!
15. Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2018?
I am sure I’ve read better quotes from books this year, but I remember this from Tricia Levenseller’s The Daughter of the Pirate King so I’ll go with this:
“I am me because I choose to be me. I am what I want. Some people say you have to find yourself. Not I. I believe we create ourselves to be what we want.”
16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2018?
Longest: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas – 1055 pages!
Shortest: A Study in Emerald Neil Gaiman – Just 33 pages!
17. Book That Shocked You The Most
I mean, the most shocking ending of all came in Saga Vol. 9 when I had to bite my tongue and not throw the graphic novel across the room because Emma hadn’t read it yet. I was quite shocked by Vicious by V E Schwab too, as you can probably tell in my review. Another book that really surprised me this year was The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James. Well done, that got me well and truly and I don’t say that often!
18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)
Eve of Man is a typical YA book that has a typical two perspective narrative and I absolutely lived for the two kids in that book getting together, and then there is Macy and Elliott in Christina Lauren’s Love and Other Words. They’re complicated romance and enduring friendship is something that literally fuels the story. But really it could only be the troublesome adorable babies that are Monty and Percy from The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue because they constantly made me want to smush their faces together and I lived for their innuendo laced flirting.
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
There were lots of great friendships in the books I read this year but none were more heart warming and genuine than that between Zélie and Amari in Children of Blood and Bone.They literally traverse lands and grow up together and I love them.
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2018 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Literally everything I have read by V E Schwab this year has blown my mind, from her comics to This Savage Song, to Vicious, to City of Ghosts. I know I have mentioned her a lot already in this survey, but she is making her mark on my reading habits and fast becoming my favourite author.
21. Best Book You Read In 2018 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
I mean, take a look at the books mentioned above realistically, but I think the ones solely read from this kinda pressure/recommendation was the Grisha Trilogy (well the last two in the trilogy). I wanted more from the Grishaverse and I kept being told about Nikolai so I gave in.
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2018?
I haven’t experienced Alucard levels of crushing this year, and if I am honest most of my crushes have come from books where I am told who to like, so I am going to pick my two faves: Calvin McLoughlin – struggling Irish Musician turned Broadway star from Roomies by Christina Lauren, and Danny Whittaker – Heartthrob and husband to be , entrepreneur and children’s dance guru from If We’re Not Married By Thirty Anna Bell (which I review here).
23. Best 2018 debut you read?
I think we all have to take our hats off and hand them to Tomi Adeyemi on this one, because that was one hell of a debut! I bloody loved Children of Blood and Bone and think I am still surprised that it is actually a debut novel!
24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
While we’re on the subject of Tomi Adeyemi and her masterpiece, she can have this accolade too because their is a seriously impressive amount of groundwork laid, setting’ described and world building done in her novel. The Fletcher’s Eve of Man deserves a little mention here too.
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
I genuinely found The Dark Tourist amusing, but I’d expect that from a comedian’s travel memoir. Roomies by Christina Lauren has me literally laughing out loud at points and was a joy to read.
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2018?
I hate to tell you this guys, but I don’t think I have an answer for this because I’m really not a crier, especially when it comes to books!
27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
I know it was mentioned and seen around bookstores, but I really feel like Lauren James’s The Loneliest Girl in the Universe hasn’t shone as brightly or been repped as much as it deserves to be. The same can be said for Tricia Levenseller’s The Daughter of the Pirate king and The Daughter of the Siren Queen which are both amazing stories and a lesson in female empowerment.
28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
I mean Saga Vol. 9 did it’s best to crush me until the end of my days!
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2018?
I’ve read a little bit of poetry, but I have never read a book written entirely in verse, so I have to say that reading and reviewing Sarah Crossan’s Moonrise was a fairly unique experience.
30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
This is just the easiest choice in the world. I hated and got angry at and wanted to DNF but also wanted to withstand the diabolical book that is American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. It made me mad on so many levels, I mean, read my review and you’ll feel the rage!
1. New favorite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2018?
I think this definitely goes to Gi of The Book Roast because her videos are wonderful and I enjoy them immensely, but also because she has created the simply wonderful Magical Readathon which so many have enjoyed this year.
2. Favourite post that you wrote in 2018?
I really struggle when it comes to writing posts and then choosing my favourites. I have had a full year of posts and think I have gotten to grips with my blog a little more, so choosing is hard. Bookish posts have been a little repetitive at times, so I have really enjoyed Down the TBR Hole that I have started recently. I think though, when I look back at the year, my Fat Friday posts are the ones that I am most proud of and something I am looking to restart in the new year.
3. Favorite bookish related photo you took in 2018:?
I think my favourite bookish photo that I took this year was this one that I put up on Instagram:
View this post on Instagram
Today's #BoB23IGphoto challenge is published in 2018, and, well, for someone who isn't usually up on the latest releases, I have quite a few (Vicious aside, but this edition was releases this year and it's awesome so…). I couldn't pick a favourite so here they are. . . I also took receipt of another @lacunacandleco #candle delivery because I have no self control when it comes to this shop. I wish you had smellvision, because this picture smells (And looks) amazing. . . What books are you #currentlyreading for #BoutofBooks and #NEWTSReadathon2018? I'm flying through This Savage Song and Shadowblack! . . #books #reading #booksofinstagram #bookstagram #booklover #bibliophile #candles #soycandles #igreads #igbooks #readathon #amreading #newrelease #bookspine #igchallenge #photooftheday #lacunacandleco
4. Best bookish event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, etc.)?
Hands down the best thing I’ve participated in has been the Magical Readathon. It’s so nice to combine my love of Harry Potter and reading and Gi has put so much effort into creating a great ongoing readathon.
Once again, TBTB Santa was pretty amazing and something that I enjoyed taking part in immensely. I unboxed my crate last week here.
5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2018?
It wasn’t strictly a bookish or blogging moment, but I think the blog and bookstagram community naturally played a part. I was named as part of the Lacuna Candle Co street team which was incredible as I love candles and especially their products!
6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
Managing my time is always something I find difficult, and this year I have struggled to find a balance that works. At the beginning of the year I found that blogging everyday was good for my blog but not for my patience, but the biggest challenge was NaNoWriMo. I completed NaNo, which was amazing, but it came at a cost in terms of reading (I finished 1 book in the month of November) and blogging (I was only just posting 1 post a week).
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
Views: The most viewed post on my blog this year was: Fat Friday Week 42
Likes: The most liked post on my blog this year was: Fat Friday Week 21
Comments: The most commented on post on my blog this year was: The Classics Club
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
D’you know what, if I am being honest, all of them. I know that sounds like I am desperate and searching, but we’d all be lying if we said we didn’t want a bit more love. I’d really like my reviews to get a bit more love though especially, whether it’s of a book or a destination, because they take thought and time and are the most in depth posts I write.
9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I finished my goodreads goal of reading 52, then 75 books. I am hoping to hit triple figures by the end of the year. I think it’s doable. I had to abandon Book Riot Read Harder after realising I wasn’t reading things to enjoy them but to cross them off. Around the Year in 52 Books is still in the pipeline. I don’t think I am quite going to get there, but I am going to get pretty close!
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2018 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2019?
Despite eagerly anticipating it’s release for months and then ordering a special edition crate with a limited edition signed version inside, I didn’t actually get to Vengeful by V E Schwab so that is definitely top of the 2019 list.
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2019 (non-debut)?
I have already pre-ordered a signed edition of King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo because I cannot wait for the next instalment in the Grishaverse/Nikolai story. Thankfully this comes out in January.
3. 2019 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
I don’t read a lot of new releases, and if I read a new release by a debut author, it is usually because Emma has heard about it and read it, so I pick it up by osmosis.
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2019?
I believe the next instalment in the Orïsha series is due out this year: Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi, so if this is true then I am eagerly awaiting this book.
5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2019?
I want to try and widen the reach that my blog has. I have increased my follower base a lot this year, but I still don’t engage with a lot of the blogs that I read and follow, so I’d like to continue blogging and reviewing regularly, gain more followers, and interact with more people in the blogging community. I think 1000 WordPress followers might be a bit high to strive for but I am going to aim for it anyway! I would also like to achieve a manageable balance between times I blog, the content I post, and the enjoyment v effort ratio that blogging comes with.
6. A 2019 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):
I haven’t read anything that is supposed to come out in 2019, all the ARC’s I received were for 2018 releases so I am going to be looking to you for answers and recommendations on this one!
Wow, that was a comprehensive survey! That really made me think about the different books I have actually read this year; I really enjoyed looking back over all of the books that I have read. I know that the reading stats could change a little, so I’ll update them if they do, but that is my year in books!
What have you read and loved? Have you read any of the books I have listed, and what did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please comment below, or tag me in your survey somehow so I can have a nosey through your answers!