2014: That’s a Wrap!

The first part of the survey, hosted by The Perpetual Page-Turner, is one that a lot of other book bloggers do; I started doing it last year. I’ve been doing the second part of this survey ever since I started book blogging, but I tinker with it every year.

1. Best book you read in 2014?

I discussed this over the past few days:

2. Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more but didn’t?

On Such a Full Sea by Chang-Rae Lee and Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2014? 

The Heart Does Not Grow Back by Fred Venturini

4. Book you read in 2014 that you recommended to people most?

Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me by Ellen Forney

5. Best series you discovered in 2014?

I don’t really read series, but I did start Divergent and The Giver last year and plan to finish out the series. I also read Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend, and I plan to finish the rest of her Neapolitan trilogy this year. (I know. Super late to the party on all of those!)

6. Favourite new author you discovered in 2014?

Four of these people have been around for ages, but: Sigrid Undset, Graham Greene, Elena Ferrante, Milan Kundera, Celeste Ng

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

Gunnar’s Daughter by Sigrid Undset. I don’t really do historical epics set in the Middle Ages? But Unset was fabulous. I’ve already bought her Nobel-winning trilogy, Kristin Lavransdatter and will be reading it soon.

8. Most unputdownable book in 2014? 

  • Gunnar’s Daughter by Sigrid Undset (drama, drama, drama)
  • Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (powerful)

9. Book you read in 2014 that you are most likely to re-read next year?

Probably none. I don’t re-read books so soon after I finish them.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014? 

2014covers

11. Most memorable character in 2014?

Flora 717 in The Bees by Laline Paull

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

  • Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
  • The End of the Affair by Graham Greene

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2014?

This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen by Tadeusz Borowski, which I read because of my plans to visit Auschwitz last summer. That book added a whole new level to that trip.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read? 

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, which has been recommended to me several times over the past decade.

15. Favorite passage/quote for a book you read in 2014?

I did not keep track of quotes this year. Sadness.

16. Shortest & longest book you read in 2014? 

  • Shortest: Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
  • Longest: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

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.) 

Jerusalem: A Family Portrait by Boaz Yakin

18. Favorite relationship from a book you read In 2014 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

Charlie, Patrick, and Sam in The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

19. Favorite book you read in 2014 from an author you’ve read previously. 

The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar and Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang

20. Best book you read In 2014 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else: 

I don’t think I read anything this year that was solely based off someone’s recommendation. I have a few lined up for this year, though!

21. Genre you read the most from in 2014?

Literary fiction

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

No one.

23. Best 2014 debut you read?

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng and The Bees by Laline Paull

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2014?

The battle sequences in Boxers by Gene Luen Yang

25. Book that was the most fun to read in 2014?

Flirting with French by William Alexander and El Deafo by Cece Bell

26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2014? 

I don’t think any books made me cry, but if anything came close, it was Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala.

27. Book you read in 2014 that you think got overlooked this year or when it came out?

Jerusalem: A Family Portrait by Boaz Yakin


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

Oldest book read: Thérèse Raquin by Émile Zola

Most-read review: On Divergent, Sex, and Assault

Favorite bookish moments: Reading for a couple of hours at a park in Krakow (with two sprained ankles, there wasn’t much else I could manage to do!)

Guiltiest pleasure: ???

Worst read: In the Body of the World by Eve Ensler. I’m gonna just keep last year’s gif right here:

THAT'S RACIST!

Biggest triumph: Actually reading 85 books in 2014; I had to read 15 books during the last 15 days of December in order to accomplish that goal!

Favorite reread: I think the only book I re-read last year was Mockingjay. I listened to it on audiobook.

Most disturbing: Subject-wise? Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala, This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen by Tadeusz Borowski, and The Devil’s Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea.

So what made your hall of fame/shame in 2014? Leave your links in the comments!

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4 comments

  1. Julianne - Outlandish Lit

    Maybe it’s weird for a newcomer to your blog to comment on a wrap up post, but your taste in books is right up my alley! Sad that On Such a Full Sea and Dept of Speculation were disappointing, because those are two books that seem like perfect for me that I just haven’t gotten around to yet. Though I have heard of other people not liking On Such a Full Sea that much. I’ll just stare at the cover instead of reading it.

    Congrats on reading 85 books! That’s great.

  2. Lu

    I had a complicated relationship with On Such A Full Sea. On the one had, I didn’t connect with it completely and it wasn’t necessarily an engaging read. BUT it was one of the first books I read in 2014 and it has really stuck with me, which is a lot more than I can say for other books I read last year. It was memorable. So excited to read The Bees this year! I love the covers you pulled out. They were some of my favorites for the year, too.

  3. texerinsydney

    I just added Marbles, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and Wave to my “to read” list based on this post. Thanks!

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