End of Year Book Survey 2013

Click on the image to get to Jamie's blog!

Click on the image to get to Jamie’s blog!

I am linking up with Jamie from the fantastic blog The Perpetual Page Turner to fill in this bookish survey for 2013.

BEST IN BOOKS 2013

Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist -)

YA – Ooh this is a tough one. I’ll go for Undone by Cat Clarke!

Dystopian – This is so hard. I love dystopian reads. I think it has to be Divergent by Veronica Roth though. I read all of the Divergent series this year as I was so late to it. Divergent was by far the best!

Historical Fiction – It has to be Cross My Heart (And Hope to Live) by Carmen Reid.

ParanormalPivot Point by Kasie West.

Science FictionThese Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner.

Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Gutted by this answer, but it is definitely Requiem by Lauren Oliver. I couldn’t finish it. I was just so disappointed!

Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?

And For Your Information by Denise Deegan. I loved The Butterfly Novels, (which I wasn’t expecting to love as much as I did) but the second book in the series nearly made me cry, and completely changed my opinion of a character I had previously disliked.

Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida. I’ve got most people at my work to read it. It’s about autism from the point of view of a young boy with autism. It really opened my eyes.

Best series you discovered in 2013?

I’ve discovered so many new series this year, but I haven’t finished all of them yet. So I’ll go with one I have finished. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand. I loved Unearthly and Boundless, but I think Hallowed suffered from middle book syndrome. Other than that, I really enjoyed the series!

Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

Katie McGarry.

Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner.

Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.

Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I don’t often re-read books any more, but I could possibly re-read Divergent by Veronica Roth.

Favourite cover of a book you read in 2013?

I hate to mention it again, as I want to try and mix things up, but this cover is absolutely stunning…

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Most memorable character in 2013?

There could be SO many answers to this question. I think I’m going to have to say Tris from Divergent. I LOVE her.

Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

Another hard question. I’ve read so many beautifully written books this year. I think it might have to be Stay Where You Are and Then Leave by John Boyne.

Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?

So many books have had an impact on me this year. But I guess, it’s one I’ve already mentioned, The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida. Purely because I could relate to it so much and it had an impact on my working life.

Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?

Divergent by Veronica Roth.

Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

From The Reason I Jump:

“True compassion is about not bruising the other person’s self-respect. That’s what I think, anyway.”

Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

(How I did this: Went to my read books on Goodreads and sorted by page number and just looked for what I knew I read this year that was the shortest and longest.)

Shortest– Confession of A Chalet Girl by Lorraine Wilson (80 pages- novella)
Longest — Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese (541 pages)

Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas. I’m just waiting for my sister to read it so we can discuss it! Hurry up, Beth 😉

Favourite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

Would it be completely pathetic to say Todd and Manchee from The Knife of Never Letting Go? Yes, I’m totally going with a friendship between man and dog!

Favourite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier! (Review to follow!)

Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else

A lot of my books are recommended by awesome people but I’d go for The Quietness by Alison Rattle. Recommended by the ever so lovely Luna from Luna’s Little Library.

Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

Young Adult!

Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

Holder from Hopeless/Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover.

Best 2013 debut you read?

There could be so many answers for this, but I’ll go for The Name on Your Wrist by Helen Hiorns.

Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

Divergent or These Broken Stars.

Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

Adorkable by Sarra Manning.

Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

And For Your Information by Denise Deegan and Hurt by Tabitha Suzuma.

Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

I wish that OCD, The Dude and Me by Lauren Roedy Vaughn was wider read!

READING LIFE 2013

(optional)

New favourite book blog you discovered in 2013?

I can’t really highlight a particular favourite as I love so many book blogs. The blogger that inspires me the most is Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner/The Broke and The Bookish.

Favourite review that you wrote in 2013?

Hmmm… I quite like my Losing Hope review, but I often have issues of thinking my reviews are crap as I don’t have confidence in my writing! I just love to read and share my thoughts!

Best discussion you had on your blog?

By far… Is Reading An Admission of Defeat?

Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?

I loved Jamie’s post about her experience of working with a life coach.

Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

I loved going to Hay Festival with my sister Bibliobeth!

Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2013?

Meeting some brilliant book bloggers in person!

Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Boys In Books Are Better– Carrie Hope Fletcher

Review: Billy and Me– Giovanna Fletcher

(Side note- a bit weird that these girls are related! Sister-in-laws!)

Watch the brilliant video of Boys In Books Are Better:

Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Sometimes (quite rarely 😉 ) I’m quite proud of reviews I write and they don’t seem to get as much love as I want them too.

Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I really love Ashley’s new book blogging community website. Check it out HERE!

Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I completed the British Book Challenge. I was supposed to read 12 British Books and I smashed that challenge. See how many I’ve read so far HERE. I didn’t quite complete my Classics Challenge. I’ve read some classics this year, but not all that I’d hoped I would.

LOOKING AHEAD TO 2014

One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?

There are so many books that I need to get to, it’s insane! I really want to read Trish Doller though. So I’m going to start with Something Like Normal.

Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?

The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.

2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy. I’ve seen it on so many Top Ten lists that I’m very intrigued…

Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?

Either Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi or again.. I’m sorry.. I’m a big fan.. The Retribution of Mara Dyer.

One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?

I want to keep book blogging, continue to read awesome books and blogs and hopefully connect and meet with many more bloggers.

If you have filled out this survey, please feel free to link me to your posts. I love this sort of thing! I’ll be sure to stop by and check out your posts.

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WWW Wednesday #40

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

 

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday post!

To join in with WWW Wednesday you need to answer 3 questions..

•What are you currently reading?
•What did you recently finish reading?
•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book cover to get to the Goodreads page for the book!

What are you currently reading?

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I’m about half way through this very easy to read book. I’m not a massive Austen fan, but I’m finding this very intriguing to read. I’ll probably finish it today, so a review will be up later this week.

What did you recently finish reading?

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This book took me a while to read, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it! It was quite a heavy read, but I thought the writing was beautiful.

What do you think you’ll read next?

16130211I seem to be reading a lot of historical fiction at the moment. That’s okay by me! This book sounds intriguing and I’m interested to see if this book is as good as lots of people say it is!

That’s it from me, please feel free to leave your links to your WWW Wednesday posts in the comments below! I love having a look at what other people are reading!

Cutting For Stone

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How did I get it?
I borrowed it from Beth.

Synopsis:

Transporting the reader from the 1940s to the present, from a convent in India to a cargo ship bound for the Yemen, from a tiny operating theatre in Ethiopia to a hospital in the Bronx, Cutting for Stone is a thrilling epic of conjoined twins, doctors and patients, temptation and redemption, home and exile – and a riveting family story, irresistibly charged with strange happenings, humour and pathos, that grabs you from its harrowing opening and never lets go. Marion and Shiva Stone, half-Indian and half-British, are twin sons of a secret union at ‘Missing’, a hospital run by nuns in Addis Ababa. Born in extraordinary circumstances, the brothers couldn’t be more different – Marion, introspective and eager to please, Shiva, a loner with fewer scruples and a photographic memory – but are bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared passion for medicine, and cricket. They come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. The Italians have left behind in Addis cappuccino machines and Campari umbrellas. But they’ve also left a nation crippled by poverty, hunger, and authoritarian rule: Ethiopia in the 1960s and 1970s is both bolstered and trapped by its emperor, Haile Selassie. Yet it will be love, not politics – their passion for the same woman – that tears the twins apart and forces Marion to flee his homeland. He makes his way to America, finding refuge in his work as a surgical intern at an underfunded, overcrowded hospital.When the past catches up with him, in a stunning twist, Marion must trust his life to the two men he thought he trusted least in the world. Cutting for Stone is both an unforgettable story of lives cut in half and a gripping evocation of the power, intimacy, danger and curious beauty of the art of medicine. A masterly debut novel, it is visceral in its power, heartbreaking in its tenderness.

Thoughts:

This book has been on my Kindle for so long. I was pleased when I picked its title out of my TBR box for my October challenge. It is such a long book compared to what I’m used to (675 pages), so it took me a lot longer to read than usual. I think Cutting For Stone is a good read, but you have to be prepared to invest the time with it. It’s certainly not a simple read.

I could certainly tell that Abraham Verghese is a doctor. There’s quite a lot of surgeries in the plot, which are explained in quite some detail. So, if you’re super squeamish beware. I think the fact that there were so many surgeries is what made me give this book three stars instead of four. I felt like the book began to feel like a medical textbook. The story became a bit disjointed for me, it began to feel more factual than fiction.

The story is based on two twins, born in Ethiopia. They are close until an incident tears them apart. They begin separate journeys through life. My version was 675 pages long, I thought this would mean that their journeys would be in depth, but I found that some aspects of their lives were rushed over, and others were pulled apart.

The pace may be slow in this book, but I think the writing is rich and really quite deep. I think I would’ve liked it to have been shorter, but I didn’t feel frustrated or bored by the length of the book. I don’t think this book is for every reader, but I think it’s one that you’re going to have to try to see if you like it!

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

Reading next:
The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen- Lindsay Ashford

WWW Wednesday #39

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday post!

To join in with WWW Wednesday you need to answer 3 questions..

•What are you currently reading?

•What did you recently finish reading?

•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book cover to get to the Goodreads page for the book!

What are you currently reading?

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00007]I’m just about to begin Saving Wishes. I’ve heard mixed opinions about this book, so I’m looking forward to seeing what I think of the book!

What did you recently finish reading?

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I’ve just finished this book. It took me a while to get through, not because it was bad, but because it’s quite heavy going compared to the usual stuff I read. It’s historical, so if you’re interested in the historical fiction genre that I’d definitely recommend it. My review should be up tomorrow, if you’re interested.

What do you think you’ll read next?

3591262I have wanted to read this book for a while. It has finally come up the TBR list. It’s described as ‘an enthralling family saga of Africa and America, doctors and patients, exile and home.’

 

October Challenge: Read more books on my Kindle

I have an alarming amount of books on my Kindle left unread. I really need to start getting through them, so in the month of October, I have decided to ONLY read books on my Kindle. This is a big thing for me to do, as I love my ‘real’ books so much. However, I figure that if I dedicate a month to my e-reader, I’ll start to slowly get through the overwhelming amount of books on there.

I picked ten books to start with out of my TBR box.

Here are the first ten books I aim to read-

  1. The Return- Victoria Hislop
  2. Cutting For Stone- Abraham Verghese
  3. The Mystery Death of Miss Austen- Lindsay Ashford
  4. Code Name Verity- Elizabeth Wein
  5. Courtiers: The Secret History of Kensington Palace- Lucy Worsley
  6. The Apple: Crimson Petal Stories- Michel Faber
  7. Corrag- Susan Fletcher
  8. Dollhouse- Anya Allyn
  9. The Personal History of Rachel Dupree- Ann Weisgarber
  10. In Search Of Adam- Caroline Smailes

I shall round up how many books I managed to read at the end of October. With a week off work, I’m pretty hopeful that I’ll have lots of reading time.