Annual End of Year Book Survey 2018

I absolutely love taking part in Jamie’s End Of Year Book Survey. It can be a little time consuming, but I adore thinking about my reading in the year.

2018 Reading Stats

Number Of Books You Read: 138 (thus far… writing on 8th December!)
Number of Re-Reads: 4
Genre You Read The Most From: Thriller

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1. Best Book You Read In 2018?

Tough one. I really enjoyed Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke.

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

Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?

This Is Not A Love Letter by Kim Purcell. I liked it much more than I thought I would.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

The Creakers by Tom Fletcher

5. Best series you started in 2018 ? Best Sequel of 2018? Best Series Ender of 2018?

Cheating because it’s a re-read but Harry Potter and The Chamber Of Secrets by J.K. Rowling. It wasn’t released this year but it was still the best sequel I’ve read this year.

6. Favourite new author you discovered in 2018?

Cara Hunter! She’s awesome

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Eek! I can’t say I’ve read outside my comfort zone this year.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews

9. Book You Read In 2018 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I’m not a massive re-reader. I don’t think I’ll re-read a book from this year.

10. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2018?

The Surface Breaks

11. Most memorable character of 2018?

Zach from Only Child

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2018?

Number The Stars by Lois Lowry

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2018?

Not life changing, but thought-provoking… Anatomy of Scandal by Sarah Vaughan.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2018 to finally read?

A List Of Cages by Robin Roe. Not an old book but I wish I had read it last year.

15. Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2018?

“Getting smacked in the face with a Harry Potter book does not qualify as a fight,” Charlie says.
“First of all, it wasn’t just any Harry Potter book. It was Order of the Phoenix.”
Matt gasps. He knows that Order of the Phoenix is the longest and most potentially dangerous of all the Harry Potter books when used as a weapon.”

A List Of Cages by Robin Roe

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2018?

King & King by Linda De Haan and I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jenningd- both 32 pages (as part of a banned books feature)

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne- 736 pages

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.

17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios. A beautiful book, but so tough to read.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

Mateo and Rufus- They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera

19. Favourite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Stevie and Hafiz from Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow by Siobhan Curham

20. Favourite Book You Read in 2018 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios!

21. Best Book You Read In 2018 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green. I’m not a fan of Mr Green, but I wanted to read it because it was recommended so highly.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2018?

I don’t have one this year!

23. Best 2018 debut you read?

You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Soloman

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

The Showstopper series by Hayley Barker.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

The Creakers by Tom Fletcher

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2018?

They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

A List Of Cages by Robin Roe

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2018?

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R Pan

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings- the fact that this gentle picture book is challenged really makes me mad.

book-blogging

1. New favourite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2018?

That’s far too hard. I have loads of favourites. Check out some of them here.

2. Favourite post you wrote in 2018?

A Week In The Life Of A Primary School Teacher- Girls, girls, girls

I loved the support I got for this post.

3. Favourite bookish related photo you took in 2018?

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

Ooh I haven’t. I must participate next year.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2018?

Seeing my statistics grow more. I’m not focused on them, but it’s nice to see improvement year by year rather than a drop.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

My reading has slowed considerably due to the busy nature of my job.

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

Top Ten Shows/Movies To Binge Watch

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

They Both Die At The End

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

I haven’t discovered anything new.

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

Yes! I have saved £1 for every book I’ve read.

I’ve also read over 12 British books… my current total being 65 books. Check them out here. 

I also think I’ll finish my Goodreads target of 150 books.

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1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2018 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2019?

The Dangerous Art Of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2019 (non-debut)?

Fame, Fate and The First Kiss by Kasie West- I love Kasie’s books!

3. 2019 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Wilder Girls– Rory Power

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2019?

I don’t have one!

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2019?

Step outside my comfort zone with genre!

6. A 2019 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

I haven’t read one at the time of writing this, but I have an ARC for The Flower Girls by Alice Clark-Platts that I’m really looking forward to.

Please leave me a link if you do this survey. I LOVE reading people’s answers.

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Banned Books #50- I Am Jazz

Welcome to this month’s Banned Books feature. This month we read I am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings.

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I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel, Jazz Jennings and Shelagh McNicholas (illustrator)
First published: 2014
In the Top Ten most frequently challenged books in 2015 (source)
Reasons: inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint and unsuited for age group.

Do you understand or agree with any of the reasons for the book being challenged when it was originally published?

BETH: I Am Jazz is quite a new release compared to the books we often discuss, being first published in 2014 a mere four years ago as I write this post. Now I like to think we live in enlightened times and as a result, there will be far fewer recent releases that will be challenged/banned but unfortunately I Am Jazz seems to have the censors all fired up. The reasons as you can see above, make my blood boil. I can’t imagine what it’s like personally to go through the transgender experience but just because you don’t have much personal knowledge on it doesn’t mean you can’t educate yourself and that’s what I’ve been doing over the past few years whenever possible i.e. watching documentaries, reading memoirs, discussing the issue with open-minded friends. There ARE individuals out there who feel as if they have been born in the wrong body which quite frankly, must be terrifying and horribly confusing and to have this book challenged/banned is just fanning the flames and the self-righteous attitude of those other people who don’t believe that being transgender is “a thing.” This is particularly true when I consider the reasons – inaccurate and homosexuality. At what point does this book scream inaccurate can I just ask?! That’s a person’s LIFE you’re talking about there. Also, homosexuality which I’ve covered in other banned books posts, which makes me roll my eyes and get a bit cross is NEVER a reason to ban a book. Plus, I don’t believe there was even any mention of homosexuality in this picture book for children anyway. It’s about a little girl who was born in the body of a boy and who is telling us her story of how she longed to be a girl so much, including how there are some people that don’t really understand but how she has super duper supportive parents. Sacrilege! (*in my best sarcastic voice.*)

CHRISSI: The fact that this book is banned is absolutely ridiculous. It really is. I think the most offensive reason for me is inaccurate. INACCURATE? How on Earth can Jazz’s feelings be inaccurate. Only she knows how she feels! As for religious viewpoint? Well… I understand that some religions may not ‘believe’ in people being transgender, but guess what? Some people are. Even if you don’t agree with it, I strongly believe that we need to be more tolerant. There are some parts of other religions that I strongly disagree with, but I’d never slate them for it, because it’s THEIR belief and they’re entitled to it. Much like I Am Jazz deserves a place in the library, in schools and in homes.

How about now?

BETH: As the book was only published about four years ago, I’m sad to say I don’t think attitudes will have changed too much from those who wanted to challenge/ban this book but hopefully we can still encourage people in the community to talk and to better inform those of us who are interested and willing to listen, including myself. As for the final reasons, sex education, religious viewpoint and unsuited for age group – well, I’m sure you can imagine what I think of those! Firstly, this PICTURE book is written in such a way that makes it suitable for children of any age and it’s certainly very scant on details which make it “sex education” in my eyes. Where was the religious viewpoint? I must have missed that but even if there was, I’ve already gone into detail on other banned books posts about my views on religion and how I enjoy reading about other people’s viewpoints on this, even if they don’t match my own.

CHRISSI: Sadly, I think some people would still have an issue with this book which is worrying. It is certainly not a book offensive to the age in which it is intended for. It’s a picture book with a gentle story that definitely needs to be explored. As a teacher, I would certainly use this in the classroom. I know that there’s a girl that comes to mind that I taught in my first year of teaching that would have loved this book. I’m not saying she’s transgender, but it wouldn’t surprise me if she was in the future.  NOTE- This book has been challenged again in 2016… reasons:  because it portrays a transgender child and because of language, sex education, and offensive viewpoints and 2017: This autobiographical picture book co-written by the 13-year-old protagonist was challenged because it addresses gender identity.

Urgh. 😦

What did you think of this book?:

BETH: This was a very quick, sweet and hopeful read that I think will be very informative for curious children but especially transgender children who it might finally help to realise that they’re not completely alone. I was also thinking it might be a great tool to use for parents at home if children have a transgender member of their class at school to help them understand what their classmate might be going through and to hopefully, iron out those prejudices before they have a chance to develop.

CHRISSI: I thought it was an adorable read. I think it’s important that there are picture books out there aimed at this subject. It’s an educative tool to use in the classroom to help other children to understand. I think this book is needed and the fact that it is challenged upsets me.

Would you recommend it?:

BETH: But of course!

CHRISSI: Of course!

This Week In Books #120

I am joining in with the lovely Lipsy from Lipsy’s Lost and Found’s feature which highlights our week in books. I shall be sharing what I’m reading now, then and next! I won’t be showcasing my new books as I do that on a Saturday. I’m really excited by this feature as I loved sharing my recent reads. My book reviews published on my blog are often WAY behind what I’m actually reading, so this is a good feature to keep you up to date!

Book images go to Goodreads!

Lucky in Love I Let Him Go: From the mother of James Bulger 18763344

NOWLucky In LoveKasie West- I’m currently reading this very light, contemporary YA read about a girl who wins the lottery. It’s easy to read but not ground-breaking. I needed something like this after my previous read!

THENI Let Him GoDenise Fergus– This was the book that I needed some light relief from. This book is about the murder of James Bulger. It focuses on the aftermath on the terrible crime. It is utterly heart-breaking but I found it to be a compulsive read.

NEXTI Am JazzJessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings– This is the book that Beth and I are reading for our Banned Books feature this month. Our discussion will be out on Monday!

What are you reading this week? Let me know!

Looking Ahead- This Month’s TBR List (August)

I read some fabulous books in July. I managed to read all of the books on my TBR list and some. Yay for school (work) holidays!

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Here’s my TBR for August! Thanks to Tina over at Reading Between The Pages for hosting!

As ever, click on the book image to get to the Goodreads page, if you want to add it to your TBR!

No Place Like Home

Goodreads Synopsis

What would you do if you came home to find someone in your house?

This is the predicament Polly Cooke faces when she returns to her new home.The first weeks in the house had been idyllic, but soon Jacob, a local man, is watching her.

What does he want and why is he so obsessed with Polly?

In a situation where nothing is what it seems, you might end up regretting letting some people in. 

I’m looking forward to reading this book after seeing some good reviews about. My review will be out in a few days!

The Liar's Room

Goodreads Synopsis

Susanna Fenton has a secret. Fourteen years ago she left her identity behind, reinventing herself as a counsellor and starting a new life. It was the only way to keep her daughter safe.

But everything changes when Adam Geraghty walks into her office. She’s never met this young man before – so why does she feel like she knows him?

Adam starts to tell her about a girl. A girl he wants to hurt. And that’s when Susanna realises she was wrong.

She doesn’t know him. 
He knows her. 
And the girl he plans to hurt is her daughter.

I’m so excited to read this one. I’ve had it on my Kindle for ages but I’ve been waiting until nearer release date to read it.

The Creakers

Goodreads Synopsis

What silently waits in the shadows at night? What’s under your bed, keeping just out of sight?

Do you ever hear strange, creaking noises at night? Ever wonder what makes those noises? 

Lucy Dungston always did.

Until, one morning, Lucy discovers that all the grown-ups have disappeared – as if into thin air. Chaos descends as the children in Lucy’s town run riot. It’s mayhem. It’s madness. To most kids, it’s amazing!

But Lucy wants to find out the truth. Lucy lost her dad not long ago, and she’s determined not to lose her mum too. She’s going to get her back – and nothing is going to stop her… except maybe the Creakers.

This is the kid-lit choice for this month and I can’t wait to check it out. I haven’t read anything by Tom Fletcher other than this picture books.

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Goodreads Synopsis

The story of a transgender child based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings, who has become a spokesperson for transkids everywhere.

From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl’s brain in a boy’s body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn’t feel like herself in boys’ clothing. This confused her family, until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born that way. Jazz’s story is based on her real-life experience and she tells it in a simple, clear way that will be appreciated by picture book readers, their parents, and teachers.

This is the Banned Book for August. Yes, banned. My mind boggles. Can’t wait to discuss it in the Banned Books feature later this month.

Have you read any of these books? What did you make of them? Let me know!