The survey is pretty long though I’ve omitted a few questions.
Number of books read: 88
Audio books: 8
Comics/graphic novels: 23
Number of books reread: 14
Number of books I didn’t finish: 5
Genre I read the most: Fantasy
Best book you read in 2016.
It’s hard to decide between Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. The former is dystopian and the later is fantasy. Both are beautifully written and immersive and have stuck with me throughout the year.
The Arrival by Shaun Tan (illus.). I love everything about this book. The story is touching and easy to follow though there are no words. Actually, the lack of words makes the reader pay closer attention to how we communicate nonverbally. The illustrations are great and I love how the book is packaged.
Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love but didn’t.
Air Awakens by Elise Kova. I often see the cover on blogs and that made me want to read it. The synopsis sounds like the sort of story I would like, but unfortunately, I didn’t.
Most surprising (in a good way or bad way).
Lauren Redniss’s Thunder & Lightning is a book about the weather. I thought it would be a complete bore, but instead I was hooked on it. Even now I sometimes think back on facts I learned from it. I’d like to get myself a copy.
Book you “pushed” the most people to read (and they did).
Well, I didn’t push books on people this year. I did lend my uncle The Martian because he’s a tech dude and he read it and enjoyed it. I’ve also recommended Rat Queens and Monstress, both are comic books, to a bunch of folks, but I don’t know if they read them.
Oh! And I’ve mentioned The Neverending Story by Michael Ende on here a lot and the Orang-utan Librarian read it and loved it so yeahie! 😀
Best series you started in 2016. Best sequel of 2016. Best series ender of 2016.
The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb for all three questions. It’s the best series I started this year. Assassin’s Apprentice, the first book, was such fun to read and I immediately took a liking to Fitz and Burrich and the Fool. Royal Assassin, the second book, was a good follow up to the first. Now Fitz is a teen about to be a man and I love his new friend in this one, Nighteyes. And Assassin’s Quest was a great end to it all. It almost made me cry.
Favorite new author you discovered in 2016.
Oh my gosh. This is such a difficult question because about 70% or so of the books I read this year are by authors who’re new to me. Umm… I think I’ll break this down into favorite new writer and favorite new storyteller I discovered this year.
Favorite new writer
Muriel Barbery is my favorite new writer. I read The Life of Elves this year and though I was confused half the time, I didn’t mind it because I was in love with how Barbery writes. I’m even considering to get myself a copy of the book. I think I’ll try her Elegance of the Hedgehog next year to see if that one will be a bit more clear to me and to sample more of her beautiful writing.
Favorite new storyteller
Dan Simmons. Dan Simmons! This dude knows how to get you hooked to his story and keep you there as the story grows darker and grittier and more unsettling. I read Song of Kali earlier this year and…wow! It was not cool. Definitely a dark read. Definitely a good read.
Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone.
The Martian by Andy Weir because I hardly reach for science-fiction novels.
Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book.
The Velvet comics by Ed Brubaker, illus. by Steve Epting. I breezed through these. I finished the first volume on my way to work, bought the second volume after work, and completed it on my way home. I am so hooked on it and can’t wait to read the third, which I have and am procrastinating on because what am I to do after I complete it?
Book you read in 2016 that you are most likely to reread next year.
Don’t hold me to this because last year I answered this question with In Search of Lost Dragons by Élian Black’mor and Carine-M (illus.) but did I read it this year? Nope. I reread You by Caroline Kepnes instead by audio book. However, since I plan to continue with both the Fullmetal Alchemist and Velvet series, it’s highly likely that I’ll reread them next year.
Favorite cover of the books you read.
That would be Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater, the third book in the Raven Boys series. This cover is what convinced me to read the series, but it’s the characters and their quest that kept me hooked.
Most memorable character.
The Fool from Robin Hobb’s Farseer series. He’s such an interesting fellow. I’d like to know more about him.
Most beautifully written book.
Ah! I already answered this question by mentioning Muriel Barbery above. Well, here’s another well-written book I read this year:
When Breath Becomes Air is Paul Kalanithi’s first and only book. It’s such a great read. It’s one I can see myself rereading again and again.
Most thought-provoking/life-changing book.
Kalanithi’s book is also my answer for this one, but I chose to feature Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic instead because it is a self-help book written to motivate people to get started on their creative ventures.
Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I can’t remember why I waited so long to read it. I guess I wasn’t going to at first but then I saw it at the library and thought why not (which is usually my reasoning for borrowing library books).
Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2016.
“i bleed / every month. / but / do not die. / how am I / not / magic. / — the lie”
— from salt. by Nayyirah Waheed
Shortest and longest books you read in 2016.
Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb, the first in the Liveship Traders series, at 809 pages.
Pisces, #1 by Kurtis J. Wiebe, illus. by Johnnie Christmas, a sci-fi comic book series, at 30 pages.
Favorite book you read in 2016 from an author you’ve read previously.
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater. I think the first and last books are my favorites of the Raven Boys series.
Best book you read in 2016 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else/peer pressure.
Apart from Station Eleven, The Night Circus, When Breath Becomes Air, and a bunch of comics, I also think Superman: Red Son by Mark Millar, illus. by Dave Johnson and Kilian Plunkett, is also one of the best comics I read this year that was recommend to me by someone else. The artwork is good and the story is great. Y’all should go read it.
Best 2016 debut you read.
Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit, a YA historical novel published earlier this year. I fell in love with the story as soon as I started it. Like Robin Hobb’s Fool, the Swallow Man in this story is one of the most memorable characters I read about this year.
Best worldbuilding/most vivid setting.
Part of the reason why I loved Station Eleven is because of the setting. In this novel’s dystopian future, technology is no longer available, but its relics are still there and when people think back on the ease of technology in their past, it makes what we have now — light, Internet, airplanes — seem wondrous, magical, and even mythical.
Book that put a smile on your face/was the most fun to read.
Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant is a fun adventure comic that I enjoyed reading and the illustrations are great as well, and Rick Riordan’s books are always fun. I’m rereading the Percy Jackson series and am enjoying them too. I’ll also include the Fullmetal Alchemist books in this because those were fun to read. I gobbled them up quickly.
Book that made you cry or nearly cry.
There were a few pinpricks of tears by the end of Jojo Moyes’s Me Before You and so too for Kalanithi’s book, When Breath Becomes Air. The epilogue written by his wife made a tear roll down my cheek. And I also choked up at the end of Anna and the Swallow Man because… I can’t tell you why.
Hidden gem of the year.
I didn’t enjoy Scott McCloud’s The Sculptor much, but for me it’s a hidden gem because it’s a great story that I think everyone should read. It has a lot of depth and touches on a variety of topics like the value and meaning of art, what makes an artist, the meaning of life and how to value it.
Most unique book.
Ruth Ozeki’s memoir about her face, of course. Aptly titled A Time Code, the book is composed of thoughts Ozeki jotted down while staring at her face in a mirror for three hours straight. In between the time-stamped sections are brief essays about her family and beliefs and background. A really good read that I recommend and it’s pretty short too.
Book that made you the most mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it).
My expectations got in the way of me being fair to Stephanie Garber’s Caraval when I read. I kept expecting it to be very similar to The Night Circus but it’s not and I usually don’t like very naive protagonists.
Best book title.
This is a new category I added to the survey.
New favorite book blog you discovered.
Aww man! I discovered so many new blogs and booktubers this year. Let’s see:
Drew at The Tattooed Book Geek, he’s the dude who created the This Is My Genre, Tell Me Yours Book Tag. Apart from book reviews and other tag posts, he also writes poems, which I love though I’m not a huge fan of poetry. Drew’s poems tend to be dark and carry a lot of emotion, which is what draws me to them.
I also love the Green Onion Blog because of the variety of posts he publishes. Along with book reviews and tags, he also does a couple top ten lists, which are great sources for comic book and sci-fi/fantasy book recommendations, and pop culture history posts, which are always very interesting.
As for booktube, I highly recommend the guys at Stripped Cover Lit. They are hilarious! Also, if you are a Harry Potter fan with a sense of humor and can stand hard critiques of the books, I highly, HIGHLY recommend the Adrian Reads Harry Potter videos, which are hilarious and insightful. They also did one for the Lord of the Rings, if you’re interested in that.
Favorite review that you wrote.
That would be my review of Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air.
Best discussion/non-review post.
I have three discussion posts I’m proud of. The first two are based on Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, which I read earlier this year. In the first post, I talked about the reversal of husband/wife roles in Jane Eyre’s relationship with Mr. Rochester and how Mr. Rochester was disabled to make him docile. And in the second post I ranted about St. John being a control freak.
As for the third post I’m proud of, it’s on the treatment of Blacks in today’s society and the backlash against the police.
Best event that you participated in.
I was included in a Diversebookbloggers Feature on Whitney’s blog, Brown Books and Green Tea. The feature is a great way for finding more diverse bloggers to follow. I also recommend the Diverse Book Bloggers Directory as well.
Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2016.
For my blogging life, that would be hitting 800 subscribers this year. And that number keeps growing so I’m happy and appreciate that! 😀 Thanks y’all.
As for my bookish life, I’m happy for the two bookish events I attended this year and the huge book hauls I got as a result. See my BookCon haul and my hauls for the Small Press Expo, where I got a bunch of comics and posters.
Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year.
Blogging: Keeping up with posts on the blogs I follow.
Reading: Trying not to rush what I read to complete more and more books. That’s just greedy.
Most popular post this year on your blog.
According to the stats, my most popular post this year is one I published last year, Writing Myths #1: Why the sun rises and sets. As for the most popular post I published this year, it is the BookCon book haul I linked above.
Post you wished got a little more love.
None. I’m satisfied with the attention my posts are currently receiving.
Best bookish discovery.
Umm… that’s probably Free Comic Book Day and the comic book store by my job and my house because I didn’t know they existed. Oh! Also the Small Press Expo and a fantasy book conference in Baltimore someone told me about but I forgot the name of.
Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
Ha! Hahahahahaaaw!!! I set MANY reading challenges and goals for myself this year but of them all, I managed only to complete my Goodreads challenge, which I SMASHED!!
One book you didn’t get to in 2016 but will be your number 1 priority in 2017.
I reread Alison Goodman’s Eon this year so I could read Eona but somehow I forgot to continue with Eona when done. I refuse to let 2017 end without me reading it.
Book you are most anticipating for 2017 (non-debut).
Well, the only book I’m anticipating is a debut and that’s Katherine Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale.
Series ending/a sequel you are most anticipating in 2017.
The next two books in the Liveship Traders trilogy by Robin Hobb: Mad Ship and Ship of Destiny. I plan to start on them in March, maybe. I need a little break from Hobb.
One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life in 2017.
Reading: Read at my own, manageable pace and not rush it. Also, read more of my own books and don’t purchase too many.
Blogging: Umm…I don’t know yet.