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Karsyn's Kickass Jocoserious, Kooky, Jannock book blog: End of the Year Bookish Survey 2015

Thursday, January 7, 2016

End of the Year Bookish Survey 2015

2015 Reading Stats

Number Of Books You Read:

My initial goal was 250, then I raised it to 300 at some point during the summer. As I approached 300 in the fall, I decided to raise it again to 333, as with the time in the year that was left, I figured I'd be able to reach it before year end.

Number of Re-Reads:

My re-reads were: The Night Circus (my all time favorite book), The Great Zoo of China, The Martian, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, The Bad Beginning and Zoo.

Genre You Read The Most From:

Mystery / Suspense

I read almost everything now, my tastes have become very wide, but Mystery / Suspense will always be my fall back genre.

Best in Books 2015

*** New to me Books only, no re-reads as answers ***
All Covers link back to GoodReads

1 Best Book You Read In 2015?

The Best Book I Read in 2015 was definitely The Martian. I don't remember what it was that made me decide to try it, back in April, but I was sooooo glad that I did. I listened to the audiobook and RC Bray was AMAZING. It really brought the book to life, and I ended up staying up all night to listen to it, then insisted my Hubby read it right away as well. He loved it too. It was an early favorite, but stayed an easy favorite through the year. We finally watched the movie on Christmas and I've seen it 4-5 times since. :) I think it was MOSTLY well done, though I wish they had kept the initial scene with Mindy faithful to the book and I most definitely wish they hadn't changed the one big thing, and made it pretty lame. If you've seen the movie, you know what I mean.

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

Definitely Armada. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy the book, but after Ready Player One, I thought that I was going to LOOOOOVE it, and it very much did NOT live up to RPO in any sense. Though I thought it was a solid 4 star book, it's just lacking the magic that RPO had, and I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I thought that I would.

3 Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2015?

The Game. The book blurb doesn't do this book or series justice. I was on a virtual reality / gaming kick and decided to give it a try, despite the lack of blurb. I as really really surprised by how good it was and how it sucked me in. It's actually VERY complicated and I'm still not sure I understand exactly everything that happened, but it was very enjoyable to read, and I was very glad I gave it a try, after not being blown away by the blurb.

4 Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2015?

The Martian, of course. It's just soooooo well done and soooo enjoyable. The movie, while good, is really missing so much from the book, the book is just sooooo much better! I loved everything about the book, I thought it was perfect and it's landed in one of my top 6 of all time. For time travel fans, I also recommended The Drafter, as I thought it was one of the more enjoyable time travel books I've read, and even though the author is well known, I guess not many people are trying The Drafter out, which is a shame because it's really great!

5 Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015?  
Best Series Ender of 2015?

Best series I started, that's a hard one because I read a LOT of series. Most of what I read is series. I can think of 3 off the top of my head that I could say were the best. I dunno how to choose between them, so I'm just going to say that the best one that I read the earliest in the year is The Inventor's Secret. I LOVED this Middle Grade series about a futuristic school in which they learn history by experiencing it in virtual reality, and learn about animals by operating a virtual one. It was a ton of fun and I enjoyed it a lot. I hope there's another (4th) book.

Best sequel I read was probably Crown of Midnight. It took me a really long time to get into the first one, I was actually bored with the first part of it. I did end up really liking it, just took me a while. I enjoyed Crown of Midnight more, as it just jumped right in, we didn't need the world building, and it took off from where the first had ended. It made me more interested in the series and I do look forward to reading more.

Best series ender was Winter. It was a great story and it wrapped up everything really well I thought. I'm always worried that authors won't give enough of a "what happened next" and many times we never know. With Winter, I felt she did a great job with showing us a little down the line and wrapping everything up in a neat bow. I am looking forward to the novella coming out though to see what else happened.

6 Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?

That's a hard one as well, because there are quite a few. So, I'm going to go with the one that I actually read the most of, in 2015, because reading many of their books means I really like them. So, going by that, I'd say my favorite new author I discovered is Jeremy Robinson. I read 10 of his novels and 11 of his novellas. He's the most like Matthew Reilly (one of my favorite authors) that I've read, and I really enjoy his books.

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

I don't have a comfort zone anymore. I really expanded my reading in the past few years and I'll try pretty much anything, if it sounds good to me. I suppose Throne of Glass could count, as I don't read a lot of High Fantasy. Other than that, I just read such a variety.

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

I'm gonna go with Solarversia for this one. Solarversia is pretty unknown but QUITE an enjoyable book. It's about a year-long game being played out in virtual reality. I loved the book, I thought it was great from start to finish. Though there were some things that I wish had been different, overall, I loved it. What is even better is that the author plans on trying to make the game a reality. I don't know if it will ever happen, but if it did, I'd be getting it!

9 Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Well, I already re-read The Martian in 2015. I first read it in April and then I read it again in the 2 days before we saw the movie. I'm not much of a re-reader, as you can tell by my only 6 books. I'd say none of them really stand out to me that I'd re-read except for 2 that were already re-reads for me ~ my most favorite book ever, The Night Circus (first read in 2011, have re-read 4 times now) & The Great Zoo of China (first read Nov 2014 and re-read twice now).

10 Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?

My favorite cover of a book that I read was definitely Crimson Bound. Too bad it wasn't NEARLY as good of a book as Cruel Beauty (even better cover) was. I was really disappointed with it. My favorite cover of a book that I absolutely LOVED was Qualify.

11 Most memorable character of 2015?

Mark Watney. Nothing else needs to be said with that. LOL! If you've read it, you know why. He's AWESOME. One of my small gripes about the movie was that they PG-13'd the crap outta him. :( You only hear him say "Fuck" once, which really really sucks. I wish they hadn't made it so family friendly and just kept him as is, because he is awesome, just the way he is!! "Look - ( . Y . )" LOL!

12 Most beautifully written book read in 2015?

Hmmmmm, hard one. The most beautifully written book (to me) I have ever read, was The Night Circus, and nothing I've read since has compared when it comes to my interpretation of beautiful. I guess I would have to go with The Martian again, as it was the one book I can say "OMG that was absolutely fantastic" about.

13 Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?

I read for entertainment, almost exclusively. I don't read to get enlightened or to think. I read books I will enjoy for the fun of it. So, there were no true thought-provoking / life changing books that I read. I suppose the only non-fiction I read could be considered (to others) as thought-provoking, but since I pretty much agreed with practically the whole book, it didn't require much thought. Still ~ Keep Moving was quite enjoyable as I ADORE Dick Van Dyke.

14 Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?

What a long list! There are quite a few that I haven't gotten to yet, and I don't know why! Just haven't read 'em yet and I really wanna. I think mainly cuz I wanna enjoy them, and right now, I'm still doing a team challenge where it's all about reading a ton of books. Team that reads to a set point amount first, "wins" (and my team is in 1st). But back to the question, I'd say the ones I most want to read are Complete (the 2nd in the Atlantis Grail series) and Final Empire (the 3rd in the Arena Mode series).

15 Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?

Besides the above Watney quote, I have to go with the paraphrased (took out a bit that didn't apply to me, but the rest does) ~ “Now I know grief is a whetstone that sharpens all your love, all your happiest memories, into blades that tear you apart from within. Something has been torn out from inside me that will never be filled up, not ever, no matter how long I live. They say "time heals," but.... I know that's a lie. What people really mean is that eventually you'll get used to the pain. You'll forget who you were without it; you'll forget what you looked like without your scars.”
― Claudia Gray, A Thousand Pieces of You

16 Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?

YAY for GoodReads and their handy "See Your 2015 in Books". Because of that, I easily and quickly know that the shortest book I read as Allies at 47 pages. It was a novella in the amazing Insignia series. The longest book I read was Winter at 824 pages. And just to round things out, my average page count was 304.

17 Book That Shocked You The Most

I have one in mind, but it was my least favorite book of the year, so I don't wanna talk about it. It's a book most people like too. Stupid book. So beyond that, nothing really SHOCKED me, I don't think. Oh no, that's not true. Dying for Christmas was definitely shocking. I knew SOMETHING was going on, but I didn't know exactly what it was, and that shit was crazy! It was definitely shocking!

18 Favorite Romantic Relationship of the Year

I read very little romance just for the sake of romance. BLEGH!! I read the new Robyn Carr books, and another author or two, but it's the rare author. I prefer my romance to have anything else, but just the romance. Romance on it's own pretty much bores me. I do read a lot of romantic suspense. My favorite romantic relationship I guess would be Ty & Zane from the Cut & Run series. I hadn't read any pure M/M prior to starting the series, and I actually don't LOVE them, because I don't like people who can't talk and share their feelings with each other, but looking through all the books, no one else stands out either, perhaps Fiona and Cookie from the SEAL of Protection series, but that's really all I can think of that I really loved. As I said, the romances in books isn't what I'm after most.

19 Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

This one is easier, I definitely LOVED Abbey and Derek from the Cragbridge Hall series. They are fun and adorable twins and I just loved everything about them, their relationships with their friends and teachers, the school, just everything. What a cute series!! Runners up would be all of the Chess Team from the Chess Team series by Jeremy Robinson.

20 Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

For this one, I'm going to go with Troll Mountain by Matthew Reilly. It wasn't one of my absolute FAVORITES of the year, but I adore Matt Reilly, and Troll Mountain was the last book of his that I had left to read. I had left it for last because I didn't think I'd like it, or another one of his books ~ The Tournament. I love MR books, these two were just VERY VERY different from his normal style of guns blazing, end of the world stuff and neither sounded like something I would enjoy. I DID end up liking both though, and liked Troll Mountain most of the two. Everything he writes (with the exception of maybe his first book) is golden! :)

21 Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Definitely not peer pressure (no one pushes me towards books, I read more than most people I know) but on recommendations, I did finally try the Cut & Run series. I had had a conversation about why M/M is so popular. I've read plenty of erotica, and plenty of three(or more)somes, but never just M/M before. I'm glad I tried it with Cut & Run, as the books have other elements than just the romance in it.

22 Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?

I have GOT to remember to change this question for next year. UGH!! I am in my late 30s, I do not have fictional crushes. I HATE HATE HATE the term "book boyfriend". I'm married and it's just not something that has ever applied to me. And further more, why isn't it "book girlfriend" as well? So, if I HAVE to pick (UGH) I'll go with the obvious choice and say Mark Watney. Chicks I'd go for Lexy Cooper from the Lexy Cooper series. She's messed up, but she's sexy! :D

23 Best 2015 debut you read?

I'd have to go with Red Queen, which I actually just read 12/27. It had sat on my TBR for a while, but hadn't grabbed my attention. For a challenge, I needed to read a book that a teammate had read, so I decided to give it a try. I ended up giving it a 4 and liked it a lot more than I was expecting to. I look forward to reading more.

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

I'm going to say Cragbridge Hall. It was such a fun place. If I had gone to that school, I would have actually enjoyed it and enjoyed learning. It's so much fun and every corner showed something new. If you want something more grown up, I'm going to say the "The Game is Life" series just for the sheer volume of what was done in those books. I'm still not certain I have all the places / worlds correct. It was pretty mindblowing. :)

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

I'm going to not mention ones I've already mentioned in favor of something new (because I loved so many of those, and Martian may top the list) but I really adored the "Gamehouse" series. It was definitely unique and though the first book was my clear favorite, the concept for all of them was amazing. I really wish there was more, and that the books weren't novella. They were really really great and enjoyable fun books.

26 Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?

I know people love this question, which is why I keep it. I know there are people out there who specifically read tearjerkers, and I don't know WHY. For me, life is miserable enough, without making myself read a book that will make me cry. I won't do it, ever. Probably the most emotional scene I read was the first scene with Mindy Park. THAT was amazing. I didn't cry, but it was emotional and so well done. Other than that, Protecting Jessyka had a few of my triggers in it and I wasn't expecting that, so it was hard to read at times.

27 Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Every book I rated a 5? :) I don't read a lot of the books that everyone else is. I don't read what is popular, for the most part, and if I do it's usually a while later (like The Martian). So, many of the books I read are pretty unknown for the most part. In fact, 97 of the books that I read have 500 or fewer ratings. Compare that with the over 300k that The Martian has ~ I read a lot of unknowns. So, the best of that 97 (that I already haven't mentioned) is The Persona Protocol.

28 Book That Crushed Your Soul?

What does that even mean? I gotta change some of these! I suppose I gotta finally bring up my least favorite book, and most hated book of the year, since it truly pissed me off. That book is (I hate even mentioning it, which is why I won't link it or show the cover) The Giver.

29 Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?

Besides The Martian? :) I'm going to say Future Shock. I love time traveling books and it's one of the few books that I've read that actually is about going to the future. I was pleasantly surprised by it, and really enjoyed it a ton. The Gamehouse series is a close runner up. The concept for those books was very unique and they were a ton of fun to read.

30 Book That Made You The Most Mad?

Besides the book that shall not be named (in Q #28)? I'm going to go in to directions with this one. First is Storm Glass. I LOVED the Study series. They were such great books with such a great character. Then, Storm Glass. I never understood how that character could get her own series, and she should have. It was soooooo bad. I hated it and I was so mad that it ruined the series/universe for me that I won't go back to even Yelena in Shadow Study. Maybe someday, but I'm still ticked about it, and I read it back in June. Then there's any book that puts BDSM into a bad light ~ which is a LOT of them. That 50 crap is NOT BDSM, but authors are using it as a springboard to create other non-BDSM that those who don't know better think is BDSM. There was too many examples of that in what I read this year, and I HATE it. Pisses me off, every time!

Looking Ahead to 2016

1 One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?

Well, considering the first book that I started and finished in 2016 was Bravo, does that make it my #1 Priority? I suppose it was, at the time, since I had to read it for a challenge. It definitely wasn't a book I was dying to read. Ohhhh, ohhh, I know. Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics JUST came out. I have GOT to read that. LOVED that first book. Love everything Grabenstein does. That's my priority.

2 Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?

Besides Lemoncello? I'd probably have to say of the ones that have release dates, definitely Paper & Fire or Nil on Fire (there's also Written in Fire coming out this year, what's with the fire?). I'm also looking forward to Head On, the 2nd book in the Lock In series, but there isn't a release date yet.

3 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Most of the 2016 books I am looking forward to are part of a seriess that I have started, or are by authors that I read. The debuts I'm looking forward to are A Crown's Game and Arena. I love anything having to do with competitions or gaming, so both sound right up my alley. Hopefully they will both be enjoyable for me. We'll see! :)

4 Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?

A bunch! :) All of the first 3 that I mentioned, really looking forward most to those. Also looking forward to The Rule of Mirrors, though I think I'll have to do a rare re-read with The Vault of Dreamers, because I remember the end taking a bit of a turn and I don't want to be lost with the 2nd one. As always, I'm also looking forward to the newest In Death book ~ Brotherhood in Death. It's one (of many) series that I am current on, so I always look forward to when a new one is coming out.

5 One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?

I've been neglecting my blog. I need to get back to it more. Other than that, I just want to help out a lot at NBRC, a big GoodReads Group of which I am a new moderator for! Being asked to be a mod came out of the blue, I wasn't expecting it and was so surprised!! I wanna do more there, make some challenges, just help out, and help the group grow and be active. When it comes to reading, I've set my goal low (FOR ME) again. Last year, I set it at the same count, a goal of 250 books. I raised my goals twice this year, first to 300 then when I was near that, I raised it to 333 because I thought I could hit that number at the time, and I ended the year with 335. :) Keeping my goal lower will allow me to have time for other things, such as gaming, writing to my pals, and doing stuff with Swap-Bot and the GoodReads Group. If I get close to my reading goal, I'll just up it again. Mainly I just wanna read what I wanna read and enjoy every book. :)

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