Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 End of the Year Book Survey, Reading Challenges, Secret Santas and Looking Forward to 2012

This post is a combination of a whole lot of things - so I apologize in advance.  Happy New Year!

Secret Santas
I participated in three Secret Santa swaps this holiday season.  First was with the folks over at The Broke And The BookishJennifer at Jen Reads was my Secret Santa and sent me In The Shadow of Gotham by Stephanie Pintoff and some lovely chocolates.

Second was the Book Blogger Holiday Swap where Mary from Bookfan sent me the following

Finally, I participated in LibraryThing's Secret Santa.  Jennifer sent me The Love Goddess' Cooking School by Melissa Senate, The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton and The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn.

Challenge Wrap-up
Unfortunately I was a little too ambitious with my reading challenges last year and trying to plan a wedding and moving into a new house.  Here is a summary of where I ended up with my reading challenges last year.

Reading Challenges Status

Cannonball Read III: 52 of 52 complete plus 4 more books

Off the Shelf: 2 of 15 complete plus a few of the books got purged from my shelf in the multiple moves

Heroines Bookshelf: none

Outdo Yourself: 56 of 70 (Not sure why I thought I could read 70 books during a busy year)

2011 End of the Year Book Survey
Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner hosted an end of the year book survey again this year. Here are my answers to that survey.

1. Best Book You Read In 2011
I would say it was a three-way tie between:

2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did
The Paris Wife - Paula McLean because I wanted more.  I think the cover was really what attracted me to this book more than the plot.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011
I'd Know You Anywhere - Laura Lippman more because of a local author living up to the reviews I had heard about her. 

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011
The Tiger's Wife was the most recommended book.  

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?
I'm not a big series reader, but I did read One Was a Solider by Julia Spencer-Fleming which is part of series.
6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011
Taylor Stevens, Eleanor Brown, and Nicolle Wallace

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you
Too Big To Fail was definitely more of a financial non-fiction book than I would have read if it hadn't been on our book club list.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?
I did read multiple books in one day due to sports watching or being sick, but I would go with The Informationist for this question.

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011
The new Bill Bryson book Home which my husband read, but I haven't yet.  With the wedding planning and a huge project launching at work, I lost a little buzz of what the most anticipated books were in 2011.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011
My colleague's book All Facts Considered - just perfect!

11. Most memorable character in 2011
Mike Smith from The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011
The Language of Flowers - Vanessa Diffenbaugh because she captured the characters inner thoughts so well as well as moved the plot alot and captured the reader.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011
Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollen just because it made me stop and think more about what I'm eating.

14. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read
The Red Tent and The Lost Symbol are my two oldies this year.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011
Hmm.. this question is tough... I'm going to think about this question more and update the post.

16. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012
I'm not a big rereader, but probably a little of The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan since it is the my book selection for my book club.

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It
My husband is probably a better person to answer this question, since usually he was the person who got to hear my reaction to a book first.  

Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2011

I'm going to skip this part of the survey since my blogging was so sporadic and unpredictable.  Life became priority too many times and I missed some of my favorite read-a-thons and blogging events.  

Looking Ahead...

1. One Book You Didn't Get To In 2011 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2012
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2012
The Innocent by Taylor Stevens even though it just released at the end of December =)

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2012

Participate in more blogging meme's and continue to read and post comments on other book blogs.  I also would like to get my own posting of reviews and events on a more regular schedule.

Reading Goals in 2012
I signed up for the fourth round of Cannonball Read and I've set a goal of reading 70 books. I'm always looking for suggestions for historical fiction, mystery, and biographies.  


  1. Unbroken was one of the best books I read in 2011. It's an incredible story and Laura Hillenbrand is a great writer. I also really liked I'd Know You Anywhere. I didn't like Lippman's newest book, The Most Dangerous Thing, nearly as much though. Aside from Unbroken the book I read this year that I've been recommending to everyone is Don't Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon.

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed the tea and hope you like the books as much. My husband read Unbroken in Dec. 2010 and raved about it. I haven't read it - yet. I also picked up a copy of the cozy mystery for myself and hope to read it soon. Happy New Year!