End Of The Year Reading Survey

Monday 30 December 2019

How many books did you read? Did you meet your goal?

My goal this year was to read 60 books and I read 79 as of December 26th. I want to finish one more book to make it an even 80. Let's see if I can.

Most read genre?

My most read genre is fantasy. Big shock there. What did shock me is that my second most read genre was non-fiction. I'm normally not a non-fiction guy. I would have guessed that my second most read genre would be sci-fi. 

Longest and shortest books you read.

The shortest book I read was The Night Before Christmas. I found the poem online but the book version is 32 pages. I'm guessing it's just a line or two per page with illustrations.

As for the longest book I read, this one is difficult because the longest book was an audio book that has 2202 pages, but the thing is a didn't "read" it in the normal sense. It was the seventh book in the Chaos Seeds series by Aleron Kong called The Land: Predators. It was also the longest audio book I've ever listened to as it clocked in at 46 hours and 56 minutes.

The longest book that I physically read was The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher. It was 640 pages.

Favorite book published in 2019?

This was an easy one for two reasons. The first is that I only read three books that came out in 2019. One of them I wouldn't even consider as a favorite. So that only left two books. It came down between Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse and Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

I thought long and hard about this one and my favorite would have to be Storm of Locusts because not only was it my favorite genre, but it was a female forward urban fantasy that never felt contrived. It never once felt like it was soapboxing. Roanhorse had her story and let the characters speak for themselves.

Favorite debut book in 2019?

Another easy question. I didn't actually read any debut books.

Favorite book not published this year?

This year brought a lot of books that are now on my top books of all time list. But my hands down favorite is Less by Andrew Sean Greer

A book that lived up to the hype.

You know that book I just talked about? Less? It won the Pulitzer prize in 2017. That seems pretty hyped up to me. And I loved it, so I would say that it did live up to they hype.

But I want to try how many books I use for more than one answer. So instead I'll say Kindred. I've heard so much about this book for years before I ever picked it up. The good news is that I loved it. 

A book that did NOT live up to the hype.

The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty didn't live up to the hype. It wasn't a huge book, but a good friend of mine highly recommended it and even Stephen King liked it. Usually that's all I need to know. But this book was awful.

Book that felt like the biggest accomplishment?

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. This was my Everest this year. It came recommended by my wife, who knows me and my tastes quite well. But I couldn't escape the fact that it just isn't the type of book I normally read. It's an artsy piece of "literature." I usually find literature boring and tryhard. The Goldfinch just barely escaped falling into the standard "literature" tropes.

Favorite character.

This is a tie between Nana the cat from The Traveling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa and Ove from A Man Called Ove by Fredril Backman. Both were very well written characters who I felt like I really knew by the end of their books. Thanks to Nana, my wife and I now call our cat's food “crunchies.” Thanks to Ove I now have a life goal. To become a crotchety old man.

Least favorite character.

I don't even have to think about that one. Quienten Coldwater from Lev Grossman's The Magicians. He's a horrible character. He's entirely unlikable and does nothing to ever redeem himself. The book should have been about Alice. I would still be reading the series if it was.

Most shocking book/moment.

The death of one of my favorite characters in The Land series by Aleron Kong. This book series does have death in it, but for a while a lot of the important characters semed to have plot armor. But the time came for my favorite character, and in an awful way too.

Favorite couple/OTP.

Ove and Anita from A Man Called Ove. I love how crotchety Ove is and how she can just roll with it. How you can tell she was the brightest star in his sky.

The best written book you read this year.

This one is a tie as well. For two reasons. The first best written book is The Outsider by Stephen King. I know he's not everyone's favorite, but he is a master storyteller. His stories are so well written and plotted that he can be used as an example of how to write, even if you don't like his books.

The second best written book is The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. This story spanned the war years in France from 1940 to 1945 and the story never felt rushed nor did it ever drag. Hannah was able to tell two complete stories side by side without the book ever feeling too long or getting too confusing. It's not an easy feat.

Book that you pushed the most people to read in 2019.

Favorite book cover of the year.

Favorite book adaptation.

What book made you cry the most?

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. I ugly cried. It didn't help that I was alone at the time because my wife was in the UK after suffering a loss in her family AND we're newly married. So yeah, I died of dehydration.

Fun fact out of all the books I read, 9 made me cry.

What book made you laugh the most?

A new favorite author you discovered this year.

Rebecca Roanhorse is

Guilty pleasure read of the year.

Favorite book you re-read this year.

What is the best non-fiction book you read this year?

Were you happy with your reading year?

I was very happy with my reading this year. 2019 was the year I found some of my most hated books, but it also introduced me to some of my new favorites. The great books I read far outweigh the bad books so this ended up being one of my best reading years ever.

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