Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 End of Year Book Survey

I say this every single year but... THIS YEAR HAS GONE BY SO FAST! While the quick passing of time often freaks me out, I have to admit that I could not be happier that 2016 is almost over! While it has been an okay year for me personally, I feel like so much has happened around the world that has managed to make me anxious about the future.

I am happy to say though that books have been one of the main guiding lights I have had in my life this year (this probably comes as no surprise to any reader out there) and I am so looking forward to putting this post together and reading the surveys of fellow readers.

I am using the template from Jamie's blog like I did last year because it is a fun way to share your post within a wider reading community.

Number of books read: 87
Number of re-reads: 1
Most read genre: YA Contemporary

1. Best book read in 2016: I need to cheat a little and divide this into categories. My favorite novel of 2016 is The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner (my review), which not only made me sob uncontrollably but also gave me a sense of hope and promise and so much more.

I am quite proud of myself for reading much more non-fiction this year than I have done ever before. My favorite non-fiction book of 2016 is definitely the brilliantly researched and narrated Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge (my review) which discusses the gun deaths of children/young adults in the United States via stories about the victims of gun violence (Younge has randomly picked out a day to focuses on all the losses of young lives due to guns on that one particular day).

2. Book I was excited about & thought I was going to love more but didn't: The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt (my review). The synopsis for this one sounded like something I would love, but unfortunately I had hard time reading this one. 

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book I read: Probably The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (my review). I had been meaning to read this book for such a long time, probably since we went through Plath's poetry in high school back in 2010 or something like that. I had no idea what to expect from this book, and I was incredibly surprised to notice how this book was able to suck me in to the story. I remember reading this past midnight to like 2 AM on a night before an early class. I was tired the next day, but it was totally worth it!

4. Book I "pushed" the most people to read: Probably The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner. I read this book as an ARC and have been telling people how awesome it is since then.

5. Best series I started in 2016. Best sequel of 2016. Best series ender of 2016: I did not read a lot of series this year, mostly because I know myself and the fact that I have a hard time keeping up with series. Just a few days before the end of the year, I read the first book in Sarina Bowen's True North series called Bitter Sweet and I definitely want to read more of the books on that series.

For best sequel, I will go with The Mistake by Elle Kennedy (my review). I did not like this one as much as I did the first book, but still thoroughly enjoyed the romance and the hot hockey playing love interests. 

6. Favorite new author I discovered: I could mention several authors here, and that is what I will do. 

I am glad I picked up The Serpent King and discovered Jeff Zentner and I am now sure whatever he writes will be added to my to-read list.

I absolutely LOVED All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood (my review) and will definitely want to read anything else she has written/writes.

I also read my very first Alice Walker novel this year and can't wait to pick up more of her writing in the future!

7. Best book from a genre I don't typically read/a book that was out of my comfort zone: I very rarely read Finnish literature, but I read Maresi: Punaisen luostarin kronikoita (translated into English as Maresi) by Maria Turtschaninoff in late 2016 and really enjoyed it. In addition to being Finnish literature (it was originally published in Swedish, but the author is Finnish), it is also fantasy, which is definitely also out of my comfort zone.

8. Most unputdownable book of the year: All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood. I went into this book not knowing much about it and was instantly sucked into the story that spans a number of years in the lives of interesting and intriguing characters.

9. Book I read in 2016 that I am most likely to re-read next year: I think I am likely to pick up finished copies of some of the 2017 ARCs I read in 2016, especially Becky Albertalli's upcoming The Upside of Unrequited

10. Favorite cover of a book I read in 2016: Definitely the US cover for The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock (my review)

11. Most memorable character of 2016: Wavy from All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood. Also pretty much every single character from The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016: The Universe of Us by Lang Leav

13. Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2016: I have to go with Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge. 

14. Book I can't believe I waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read: The Color Purple by Alice Walker.

15. Favorite passage/quote from a book I read in 2016: 

“I liked learning things. How numbers worked together to explain the stars. How molecules made the world. All the ugly and wonderful things people had done in the last two thousand years.” (All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood)

16. Shortest & the longest book I read in 2016: The shortest book I read this year is Lumberjanes #6 by Noelle Stevenson. The longest book I read is The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson.

17. The book that shocked me the most: I am going with Another Day in the Death of America for this one as well because reading the stories of these people made me once again realize what a huge issue gun legislation is in America.

18. OTP of the year: Andie and Clark from The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson.

19. Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year: The female friendships in Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff

20. Favorite book I read in 2016 from an author I had read previously: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson.

21. Best book I read in 2016 that I read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else: Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book I read in 2016: Clark from The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson.

23. Best 2016 debut: The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

24. Best worldbuilding/most vivid setting I read this year: The Color Purple by Alice Walker and All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood share this spot! Both managed to build a setting so vivid and tangible that I actually felt like I was there while reading these books.

25. The book that put a smile on my face/was the most fun to read: The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You by Lily Anderson was such a fun book to read! 

26. The book that made me cry in 2016: The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner. A lot of books made me cry this year, but this is the one I remember most vividly.

27. The hidden gem of the year: I feel like a lot of people have not been talking about this, so I want to mention it here: All the Have Left by Wendy Mills.

28. Book that crushed by soul: The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner.

29. The most unique book I read in 2016: Ghostland by Colin Dickey. This one was a random pick for me, and I found it extremely interesting. I had so much fun while reading this book.

30. The book that made me the maddest: Crippled America: How To Make America Great Again by Donald Trump. I read this for a lecture series I attended and I still have a heard time believing this dumdum is going to be the President of the United States.

What were your favorite books of 2016? Let me know in the comments or let's talk about books at Twitter -- you can find me from @milkamilka!

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