2013: That’s a Wrap!

I think I’ve done a year wrap-up survey every year that I’ve been blogging, but I don’t know where I got it from. It’s similar to the one that goes around the book blogosphere every year, but it’s not the same. Since my usual survey has so much overlap, this year I decided to do the one everyone else is doing (and give credit to its longtime host, The Perpetual Page-Turner). My usual questions that are not part of this survey are at the end of the post.

1. Best Book You Read In 2013?

I discussed this throughout the week:

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

Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns by Lauren Weisberger (With a stupid name like Revenge Wears Prada, I know I should’ve know better? But it was dumber than I thought it would be.) And The Great Gatsby? OVERRATED.

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

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

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

Uhh…I haven’t actually read the series and this is going to sound kind of terrible? But when I saw Catching Fire, the trailer for Divergent also came on and now I want to read the books before I watch the movie.

6. Favourite new author you discovered in 2013?

David Rakoff, Manuel Gonzales, Meg Wolitzer, Jennifer Finney Boylan, Anthony Marra, Lucy Knisley, Claire Vaye Watkins, Rebecca Miller, David Levithan, and (seriously) Neil Gaiman.

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

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. It’s not so much that the book was out of my comfort zone per se, but the subject matter isn’t something I’m usually drawn to. I have a couple of his other books, but this audiobook was actually my first Gaiman experience (and he narrated it).

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013? 

I don’t know about thrilling, but I pretty much inhaled:

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

This is How You Lose Her notwithstanding, I never reread books the year after I initially read them. I almost never reread ever, but when I do, it’s usually a book I haven’t visited in years.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013? 

Favorite book covers of 2013

The This is How You Lose Her deluxe edition is absolutely gorgeous. Ditto on Rakoff’s book, which has cutouts on the cover. As for the others, I just love the imagery. There were a couple more that I loved: The Color Master has a cool texture thing going on (it looks and feels like serger thread), and the cover of Jennifer Haigh’s News from Heaven is printed on a shiny pearl stock. Both are very pretty, but since you can’t really capture the effect via photo, I left those out.

11. Most Memorable Character in 2013?

  • Jacob Cerf in Jacob’s Folly by Rebecca Miller
  • The regenerating cake in The Color Master by Aimee Bender

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?’

  • A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
  • Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
  • A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
  • Parts of Les Miserables contained some of the greatest writing I have ever encountered. (Unfortunately, other parts…did not.)

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?

Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss. (Why is it that my “biggest impact” choices are always the ones that either make me completely paranoid or scare the crap out of me?)

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

Beloved by Toni Morrison

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

From Beloved: “You your best thing, Sethe. You are.”

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013? 

  • Shortest: The Life of Edward the Hamster, 1990-1990 by Miriam and Ezra Elia
  • Longest: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

17. 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! 

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

The human and the ogre in The Color Master by Aimee Bender. They tried.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously. 

  • The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan
  • The Awesome Girl’s Guide to Dating Extraordinary Men by Ernessa T. Carter
  • The Color Master by Aimee Bender
  • The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

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

Jacob’s Folly by Rebecca Miller, which I picked up just off one of Marie‘s tweets!

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

Fiction/Literary fiction

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

Gabriel from The Bride Stripped Bare. Hel-lo.

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra

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

  • Ogre land in The Color Master by Aimee Bender (I loved the ogre story, a.k.a. “The Devourings,” okay? Deal with it.)
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
  • The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

The Awesome Girl’s Guide to Dating Extraordinary Men by Ernessa T. Carter

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013? 

I basically cried through the last 50-ish pages of Les Miserables. Like…a lot.

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

The Miniature Wife: And Other Stories by Manuel Gonzales


Questions from my old survey that weren’t in above survey:

Oldest book read: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (1862)

Most-read review: Manology: Secrets of Your Man’s Mind Revealed by Tyrese Gibson and Rev Run. Coincidentally, that was also my favorite review to write. Because LOL. (That book is SO. BAD, y’all. So bad.)

Favorite bookish moments:

Guiltiest pleasure: I don’t think I had any guilty pleasures this year a la 50 Shades of Grey (last year’s answer). I stand by my choices!

Worst read: The Wonder Bread Summer by Jessica Anya Blau. I’m still like:

THAT'S RACIST!

Biggest triumph: Making it through the Waterloo section of Les Miserables. Did the man not have an editor?!

Favorite reread: I’m sooooo biased, but This is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz. I listened to it on audiobook on during a trip because Junot narrates it. (And then the next week, the deluxe edition of the book came out. And I bought it. And now I have like four copies of the book.)

Most disturbing: The Feminist and the Cowboy by Alisa Valdes. And not in a good way.

So what made your hall of fame/shame in 2013? Do tell!

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7 comments

  1. alisonrose711

    Love this post, and bookmarking for future reference! BTW if you want to read more Gaiman, Neverwhere is not only my favorite of his books, but one of my favorites ever. Granted, tastes vary, but for me, it’s amazing 🙂

  2. zoratonimay

    Great wrap up. Never seen one like this before. I love it. Looking forward to doing something similar later this week.

  3. Lu

    That deluxe edition of This is How You Lose Her is so so so beautiful. I didn’t love Oscar Wao, so I haven’t really considered reading This is How You Lose Her (except for when you talk about it! you definitely make me want to read it) and so does that gorgeous edition. It sounds like you had a great 2013 for reading and I hope that 2014 is even better!

  4. mdbrady

    Great set of questions. I meant to come back and answer them myself, but that never happened. I will keep the list for wrapping up my 2014 books. Thanks.

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