End of year book survey

Happy New Year’s Eve! To wrap up 2016, I’ve filled out this year-end book survey I first discovered at Stephanie’s Book Reviews. It is hosted by The Perpetual Page Turner.


Number of books you read: 46
Number of re-reads: 1
Genre you read the most from: Historical fiction


1. Best book you read in 2016?


See my review here.

You guys already know I love this book, right? Right?!

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


See my review here.

I think I was expecting something completely different from this book. I’m not sure what, exactly.

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


See my review here.

This feels like one of those books you either love or hate. I was not a fan. I knew it was out there, but I found most of it to be really disturbing.

 4. Book you “pushed” the most people to read (and they did)?


See my review here.

Laura McHugh’s next book isn’t due for release until 2018 … *sob*

5. Best series you started in 2016? Best sequel of 2016? Best series ender of 2016?


See my review here (contains spoilers).

This is the first Goodreads giveaway I won, and it was excellent.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?


Emma Cline. See also my answer to Question No. 8.

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


I knew going in that Anne Lamott is pretty hippy-dippy, but I was still vastly annoyed by this book of essays about Lamott’s goofy experiences in parenting, spirituality, political activism, etc. I’ve decided I personally can’t stand her.

I gave this book 3 stars, and I’m not really sure why because it actually deserves 2. I think I’ve gotten a bit more ruthless in critiquing books over the past year.

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

Ew, the term “unputdownable” is so lame. Anyway.


See my review here.

If we’re going off of “unputdownability,” I guess I’d say “The Girls” by Emma Cline was pretty difficult to tear myself away from. I read it in two days … and I got a weird sunburn on my ankle from sitting on the porch with it for several hours. “The sun is scalding my flesh, but OMG, what is Evie doing now?!”

 9. Book you read in 2016 that you are most likely to re-read next year?


See my review here.

I first read this via inter-library loan, so I couldn’t mark up the pages as is my habit with books that make me go, “Hmmm.” My mom got me my very own copy … yay!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?


‘Cause it’s a BOOKSTORE, y’all.

11. Most memorable character of 2016?


See my review here.

The title character of this lovely novel (being released in January by St. Martin’s Press) is absolutely remarkable.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?


See my review here.

It seems odd to describe this one as “beautifully written,” but to me, its beauty lies in its honesty.

13. Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2016?


Read my review here.

This is another one I need to re-read.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited until 2016 to finally read? 


As a lover of classics, this just struck me as a book I needed to experience. I first read a few pages a while back from a collection of pocket-sized school books that belonged to my great-grandmother – but it’s too fragile to mess with, so I eventually found my own copy.

I did not write a review of this one, but I gave it 4 stars. Certain parts were more enjoyable than others. Some of the nature observations were interesting, while others bordered on tedious.

 15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2016?


See my review here.

“Life is going to give you just what you put in it. Put your whole heart in everything you do, and pray, then you can wait.”

– Maya Angelou, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”

I adore this woman, God rest her soul. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” ranks up there with “Walden” among books I should have read long ago.

16. Shortest & longest books you read in 2016?


Shortest: “Selected Poems” by T.S. Eliot (127 pages)


Longest: “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott (562 pages)

 17. Book that shocked you the most

“All the Ugly and Wonderful Things.” I just can’t with the cradle-robbing “romance”…

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)


See my review here.

As I’ve said before, I don’t focus much on romantic relationships in books. I don’t know why. OK, how about Liesel and Rudy from “The Book Thief.” I love how they start out despising each other, but they are pre-teens, after all. The opposite sex is a complex mystery at that age (and it doesn’t get much clearer with time).

19. Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year


See my review here.

Sisters Bean and Liz in “The Silver Star” by Jeannette Walls. The dynamics of their relationship were so realistic and complex.

20. Favorite book you read in 2016 from an author you’ve read previously

“The Silver Star.” (Side note: One of the first books I plan to read this coming year is “Half Broke Horses,” the story of Walls’ grandmother. She really needs to release another book soon … I love her writing!)

21. Best book you read in 2016 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else/peer pressure


See my review here.

Not my most memorable read of the year, but I certainly didn’t dislike it. A movie adaptation would be interesting (which makes sense, as Hawley is well known for his screenwriting talents).

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?


See my review here.

I don’t really get “book crushes,” per se (#bookwormfail), so how about a character I really admire? OK. I thought Professor Loomis from “Burning September” was pretty cool. He’s this gruff but sweet war veteran who teaches music and whose best friend is his dog. There wasn’t a whole lot I liked about “Burning September,” but Professor Loomis is a pretty great guy.

24. Best worldbuilding/most vivid setting you read this year?


See my review here.

Virginia Baily painted such a detail-rich picture of Rome in “Early One Morning.” I could almost taste the cuisine, hear the motorbikes in the alleys, etc. Breathtaking.

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

“Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk”

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?

“The Book Thief,” hands down. I rarely, if ever, cry over books.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

See my review here.

I received an ebook from the author in exchange for a review. I liked it a lot more than I’d anticipated.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Again with “The Book Thief.” Ugly crying like you can’t even believe.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?



See my review here.

“Second Forgetting: Remembering the Power of the Gospel During Alzheimer’s Disease” is a great science- and Bible-based resource, both for caregivers and patients.

30. Book that made you the most mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?


See my review here.

This poor woman, Rhoda Derry, was confined to a freaking box for 44 years because, basically, she had a broken heart. I can’t believe how far we’ve come in diagnosing and treating mental illness.


1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2016?

I can’t possibly choose!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2016?


“The Good Daughter” by Alexandra Burt

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

Hi, my name is Megan, and I’m addicted to entering Goodreads giveaways.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?


Well, I did attend my very first author signing

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2016?

I’d have to say starting my blog on Sept. 30 was a major highlight. I sure have learned a lot since then.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

I was in a major reading slump for the first several months of the year. So, I have one more reason to love “The Weight of Blood,” as it was just the kick in the pants I needed to get going again.

7. Most popular post this year on your blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

My Top Ten Tuesday post about new releases I’m looking forward to during the first half of 2017 got a ton of feedback.

8. Post you wished got a little more love?

I thought for certain that other book bloggers would want to chat about how they voted in the opening round of the Goodreads Choice Awards. That post got two likes and two views. Womp, womp.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

One of the gifts I got for Christmas is a mug with a pattern reminiscent of a bygone era. It came from Out of Print, which sells a variety of bookish swag. For every item they sell, they donate a book to a community in need. It’s a win-win situation!

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I surpassed my Goodreads goal of 30 books!



1. One book you didn’t get to in 2016 that will be your No. 1 priority in 2017?


I’m finally going to read one of the two books I got for Christmas last year – “The Gilded Hour” by Sara Donati. (“Early One Morning” was the other one.)

2. Book you are most anticipating for 2017 (non-debut)?


This looks pretty good.

3. 2017 debut you are most anticipating?


This one looks interesting …

 4. Series ending/a sequel you are most anticipating in 2017?

I’m not much into series, to be honest. And I’m not aware offhand of any sequels (yet).

5. One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life in 2017?


6. A 2017 release you’ve already read & recommend to everyone


See my review here.

If you like historical fiction, you absolutely must read “The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir.” For a debut novel, it is very impressive.

I’m linking up:


7 thoughts on “End of year book survey

  1. Pingback: Top 10 least favorite reads of 2016 | That Book Lady Blog

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