December 19, 2011

End of Year Book Survey...Questions Quite Stolen

Stolen from The Literary Stew, who stole it from The Perpetual Page-Turner, here is an end of 2011 survey to reflect on this year's best and worst reads:

1. Best Book(s) You Read In 2011?

2. Most Disappointing Book?
  • I'd so looked forward to 1Q84. It was good. But, not what I'd hoped.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?
  • Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick. I enjoyed The Adventures of Hugo Cabret, and I'm looking forward to the film. But, Wonderstruck is far superior in my opinion. It's the first book I've ever read aloud to my class in which the children broke into spontaneous applause when the last page was turned.
4. Book(s) you recommended to people most in 2011?
5. Best series you discovered in 2011?

  • Eh, I don't read series.
6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?
  • Anne Enright
  • Ernest Hemingway (whose writing was completely lost to me in high school)
7. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?

8. Book you most anticipated in 2011?
  • again, 1Q84
9. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?

10. Most memorable character in 2011?
  • the unnamed hero of The Virginian
11. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?
12. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?
  • always the Bible
13. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read?

  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (and I'll wait another 50 years before I read it again)
14. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011?
  • "With my eyes closed I would touch a familiar book and draw its fragrance deep inside me. This was enough to make me happy." Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
15. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012?
  • A Movable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
16. 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!
  • Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Hemingway (what a bizarre ending!)
  • Little Boy Lost by Marghanita Laski (which made me cry, literally)


  1. "It's the first book I've ever read aloud to my class in which the children broke into spontaneous applause when the last page was turned." - You know, I think that's as fine an endorsement for a book as any. Another reason I should probably get around to reading Brian Selznick.

  2. A most excellent "borrowing" -- I saw this post on The Literary Stew and think I may do the same. I love your answers, and had to laugh because I absolutely HATED Hemingway in high school myself, and have avoided him ever since. But after reading The Paris Wife, I have A Moveable Feast on my TBR for next year. It was a lovely year of reading your reviews, as usual, and I look forward to your thoughts in 2012!

  3. I am thrilled that you enjoyed A Moveable Feast! Hemingway was too confusing in high school for me, however when I read A Moveable Feast a couple years ago, I fell madly in love with it. I don't think I've read another book since that I've thrust so many post-it notes into to track my favorite passages. It is a book I'll gladly re-read again very soon!

    Merry Christmas, Bellezza!

  4. Oh wow, I love that your class applauded at the end of Wonderstruck! I loved the book too and can understand their enthusiasm.

  5. Love this meme. Interesting choices, many of which I've never heard of. I'm now interested in Wonderstruck. Just read Hugo Cabret with my son and it was good but I wouldn't say it was great. Hemingway is wonderful. I read The Sun Also Rises at 18 and didn't like it. I read it again last year and loved it. It's on my list of favorites now.

  6. Great idea, that I may SteaBorrow for the new year.

  7. Great idea, that I may SteaBorrow for the new year.

  8. We both had the same answer for thrilling, unputdownable book. I listened to Before I Go To Sleep and was riveted!

    I've asked for 1Q84 for Christmas and look forward to it--I wonder if the hype might have been a little too high? Can't wait to read something by Selznick.

    I post my more "adult" answers to this survey this morning.

  9. This is a wonderful list! If I haven't posted my fave. list, I'd love to use this format here, and yes, I've read Mrs. B's post too. You know I'm with you about Hemingway and Paula McLain's, but I'm really excited you like Anne Enright. I haven't read her but since I've signed up for an Ireland Reading Challenge next year, this is definitely an author I'll explore. Also, are you aware that Before I Go To Sleep is now being made into a movie? I'll let you know when it comes out ;) Finally, how sweet it is that your class broke out in spontaneous applause upon your finishing Wonderstruck. I haven't read it but have seen Scholastic's wonderful video on this book. Maybe you've seen it already... just thought it'll be interesting to share with your class.

  10. LOVED reading this!!! Excellent choices, Bellezza. I see a lot here I'd like to add to my wishlist. :)

  11. Must have taken you a long time to think and came up with the list! Well done Bellezza, so many nice titles on your book. I would have to read Strangers by Taichi Yamada soon now. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  12. That's a lot of books.
    Moveable Feast is a special favorite.Paris is the feast. I thought writing is a moveable feast too.
    I've to look up your other choices.

  13. Bibliobio, I have to agree. It has really been exciting to me to think about the way the children responded to that work. They should know, they are totally unfettered by an adult's often biased opinion.

  14. A good survey to steal! It sounds like you had a good reading year.

    I've decided that I need to read The Adventures of Hugo Cabret as I saw the film and loved it. (Best movie I've seen all year!)

  15. I need to read A Moveable Feast. Unlike a lot of people, I actually like Hemingway about 75% of the time.

    Loved this post. I'm not quite ready to wrap up my reading year. it always baffles me when people write monthly wrap-ups before a month has ended and apparently I feel the same about yearly reports. What if I read something brilliant between now and December 31? LOL I have just started a book that I think is going to be a winner, actually: Time Was Soft There by Jeremy Mercer. Have you read it?

    So very, very cool about your class applauding at the end of Wonderstruck. That's really quite awe-inspiring.

  16. Such fun to see your overview and YAY.. you loved Strangers! *happy dance*

    Unlike you I did find 1Q84 unputdownable -- I really liked it: read all 3 volumes of the Dutch translation in just 2 weeks!!! That's quick for my current reading habits.

    I see lots of people giving 4 or 5 stars to Before I Go to Sleep. I liked it, but couldn't give it more than 3 out of 5. Well, it didn't get into your top-6 either. ;)

    Wishing you another good reading year in 2012!!!

  17. I love these type of lists! Time to start compiling mine, such that it is this year.

    I definitely need to read Wonderstruck. I enjoyed The Adventures of Huge Cabret, but haven't gotten around to reading this new book.

    The only book I've read from your list is Before I Go To Sleep. Yep. It was quite a thriller, wasn't it? I wonder if the movie will be as good.

    I still have 1Q84 on my iPad and hope to get back to it when I fly to Hawaii in March. I think a couple of long flights will be perfect for this chunkster, don't you?

    If I don't get a chance to pop back over here in the next few days, have a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones, my dear friend.

  18. Sad about 1Q84... I haven't actually read too much about it. I've avoided reading reviews so whilst I'm looking forward to it I'm going in with my only expectation being that it's a Murakami and I like where he takes me. It's been hyped up so much by everyone and everywhere which has got slightly on my nerves. It'll probably be the first book by Murakami many people read.

    Must read The Virginian, for some reason this year I've heard so much about it and all good. It's a favourite of my aunt's - which is quite funny as she doesn't read fiction and wouldn't expect her to like anything like a Western but she became stuck on that book completely so it must be good.

  19. I think 1Q84 was built up so much there was no way it could live up to the hype.

  20. It is great to see The Forgotten Waltz on your list - that is such a good book. I must read Before I go to Sleep soon - everyone seems to love it! Hope you have a wonderful 2012. :-)

  21. I so appreciate this list as you always seem to review books that I too might enjoy.

    You have one classy blog, which I love reading! Happy Holidays.

  22. Love reading your response - may just have to 'borrow' this survey for me to fill in.

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