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 #53- King & King

Welcome to this month’s edition of Banned Books. This month, Beth and I read King & King by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland.

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Synopsis:

Once there lived a lovelorn prince whose mother decreed that he must marry by the end of the summer. So began the search to find the prince’s perfect match and lo and behold……his name was Lee. You are cordially invited to join the merriest, most unexpected wedding of the year. KING & KING is a contemporary tale about finding true love and living happily ever after, sure to woo readers of any age.

First published: 2000
In the Top Ten most frequently challenged books in 2003 (source)
Reasons: homosexuality

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

BETH: I was surprised to see there was only a single reason for this book being banned. Not because I think there should be multiple reasons for challenging it but because they normally come up with a few reasons, no matter how ridiculous to back up why it should be removed from a certain surrounding, like a library or a school. Now I could POSSIBLY imagine why homosexuality could be used as a reason one hundred years ago (not that I agree with it!) but to use that as a reason in the year 2000. We certainly do not live in the age of enlightenment.

CHRISSI: Like Beth, I can see why this book may have banned possibly way back when…but not 2000. That’s only 18 years ago. Why? It actually makes me really cross that this book is challenged. It’s nothing explicit. Just a gentle love story. The fact that it is challenged gives the impression that there’s something wrong with having homosexual characters. No, just no. That’s telling young children that a homosexual relationship is wrong. What if their parents are homosexual? Argh. It just makes me cross.

How about now?

BETH: Sigh. First of all, why are people challenging picture books for children? Like another of the picture books that we have read in our Banned Books series – And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson, books set in this format for the younger reader are often hugely helpful in bringing an important message to younger ears in a way they can understand and find fun. So no, I don’t agree with challenging/banning it because of homosexuality either eighteen years ago or right now. Why should sexuality be a reason to ban a book, no matter what age it is aimed at? Surely that’s more likely to enforce prejudices rather than accept the diversity of people?

CHRISSI: Definitely not. I feel so strongly about this book being challenged. 😦 I think it’s sad that in 2018, this book can’t be accepted by all. There’s nothing vulgar or explicit in this story. It’s such a gentle love story. I would have absolutely no problems reading this to young children. I think it explains that love is love no matter who you end up loving.

What did you think of this book?:

BETH: As with other picture books I have read, King & King was quick and easy to read and I really appreciated the message it was trying to get across. The art was gorgeous and I found there was so much to look at, I could imagine children staring at the pages for a while, enjoying all the bright colours on offer. It felt for me like a quirky style where you could almost imagine you were seeing different fabrics – newspaper, cotton, silk etc and I can imagine this would be an interesting experience for youngsters too.

CHRISSI: It’s a gorgeous picture book with a wonderful, heart-warming message. I think it’s a lovely book to read to any child.

Would you recommend it?:

BETH: But of course!

CHRISSI: Of course!

Looking Ahead-This Month’s TBR- (November)

Welcome to my Looking Ahead post for November. In October, I managed to read most of the books on my TBR. The only one that I didn’t manage to read will be read this month.

Here are this month’s books! Thanks to Tina over at Reading Between The Pages for hosting! As ever, click on the book image, if you want to add it to your Goodreads TBR!

Love Songs & Other Lies- Jessica Pennington

Love Songs & Other Lies

Goodreads Synopsis

Two years after rock-song-worthy heartbreak, Virginia Miller is looking forward to a fun, carefree summer. Her friends just landed a spot on a battling bands reality show, and Vee is joining them for her dream internship on tour. Three months with future rockstars seems like an epic summer plan. Until she learns she’ll also be sharing the bus with Cam. Her first love, and her first heartbreak. Now Vee has more than just cameras to dodge, and Cam’s determination to win her forgiveness is causing TMZ-worthy problems for both of them. With cameras rolling, she’ll have to decide if her favorite breakup anthem deserves a new ending. And if she’s brave enough to expose her own secrets to keep Cam’s under wraps. 

I meant to read this book last month but too many others got in the way! I’ve heard some great things about this book, so I’m going to try and make it a priority.

King and King- Linda de Haan

King and King

Goodreads Synopsis

Once there lived a lovelorn prince whose mother decreed that he must marry by the end of the summer. So began the search to find the prince’s perfect match and lo and behold……his name was Lee. You are cordially invited to join the merriest, most unexpected wedding of the year. KING & KING is a contemporary tale about finding true love and living happily ever after, sure to woo readers of any age. A great gift. 

This is November’s Banned Book that I’m reading for my feature with Beth. An LGBT picture book that’s on the banned books list! 😦

Number The Stars- Lois Lowry

Number the Stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think of life before the war. It’s now 1943 and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching through town. When the Jews of Denmark are “relocated,” Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be one of the family. Soon Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission to save Ellen’s life.

I’m really looking forward to this book that I’m reading for the Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit Challenge. It’s a middle grade read and the synopsis has me very intrigued.

Anatomy Of A Scandal- Sarah Vaughan

Anatomy of a Scandal

Goodreads Synopsis

Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart.

Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes.

Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience? Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy.

Most people would prefer not to try to understand what passes between a man and a woman when they are alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in an elevator… Or alone in the moonlit courtyard of an Oxford college, where a girl once stood before a boy, heart pounding with excitement, then fear. Sophie never understood why her tutorial partner Holly left Oxford so abruptly. What would she think, if she knew the truth?

I love thrillers and I’ve heard great things about this book!

Have you read any of these books? What are you reading in November? Let me know!

Banned Books 2018…REVEALED

Banner made by Luna @ Lunaslittlelibrary

Here are 2018’s books that Beth and I will be reading for our Banned Books feature that has been running since July 2014!

JANUARY: Summer Of My German SoldierBette Greene
FEBRUARY: TwilightStephenie Meyer
MARCH: Fallen AngelsWalter Dean Myers
APRIL: Saga Volume 3Brian K.Vaughan and Fiona Staples
MAY: Blood And ChocolateAnnette Curtis Klause
JUNE: Brave New WorldAldous Huxley
JULY: Julie Of The WolvesJean Craighead George
AUGUST: I Am JazzJessica Herthel
SEPTEMBER: Taming The Star RunnerS.E. Hinton
OCTOBER: BelovedToni Morrison
NOVEMBER: King & KingLinda de Haan
DECEMBER: Flashcards Of My LifeCharise Mericle Harper
I’m looking forward to seeing if I agree with the reasons for these books being banned. If you want to have a look at the previous books (42 of them!) that Beth and I have read for this feature, check out the page for Banned Books here on my blog!