Performancing Metrics

There's A Book

One of my favorite bloggers ever, Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner and The Broke and The Bookish, has put together this fabulous End of Year Survey that’s perfect for folks like me! See, I’m terrible about narrowing things down to a “Top Ten” and Jamie’s survey makes it much easier for me. So, thanks Jamie! Now, without much more hesitation no my part I will attempt to summarize my year of reading in a few questions. Sit back, relax and enjoy!

1. Best Book You Read In 2011?
Ummm…hello hard question! How do I narrow this down? I’ll just follow Jamie’s lead and base it on categories…
Book App:

Cinderella by Nosy Crow

Picture Book/Children’s Book (One for each of my kiddos and myself):

Pink Me Up by Charise Mericle Harper – Littlebug’s Pick
Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems – Turkeybird’s Pick
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen – My Pick

Middle Grade (Again, I couldn’t pick just one):

The Fourth Stall by Chris Rylander
Sally’s Bones by MacKenzie Cadenhead and Illustrated by T.S. Spookytooth
Juniper Berry by M.P. Kozlowsky and Illustrated by Erwin Madrid
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Trauma Queen by Barbara Dee

Young Adult:

You Are My Only by Beth Kephart
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
What Comes After by Steve Watkins
Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber

Women’s Fiction:

Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington
The Bird Sisters by Rebecca Rasmussen
The Bungalow by Sarah Jio
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?
The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta – So so so many friends of mine absolutely adored this book, but for one reason or another I just could not connect with the characters. I tried and tried and tried, but it just didn’t happen and I was really kind of upset about it actually.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?
Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington – I’ll get to my reasons a bit more later, but for the moment I’ll say this was an amazingly powerful read. I’ve never cried so much through a book, but been so completely in love with everything about it. Simply marvelous!

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?
Picturebook – I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
Young Adult book – You Are My Only by Beth Kephart and The Naming by Alison Croggon
Women’s Fiction – Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?
The Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness – specifically the audiobook version. If you haven’t listened to this book series on audio you simply have not lived. I’m now the unofficial co-president of the Nick Podehl fan club (he’s the narrator, in case you missed that). His narration of this series is phenomenal and I’d recommend it to anyone without question. Brilliant writing coupled with outstanding narration, perfection.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?
Without a doubt Patrick Ness, Jonathan Maberry and Laura Harrington. All had books that blew me away! There are so many more to add to the list though including a huge list of women’s fiction authors that includes Sarah Jio and Rebecca Rasmussen, but also picture book authors/illustrators including Craig Frazier and Jon Klassen. It’s been an amazing year for discovering new authors and this is by no means a full summary of all the wonderfully talented individuals I’ve discovered this year.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington – I have a feeling you may get tired of me talking about this book, but it was such a slice of perfection for me. As I state in my review of Alice Bliss, I’m not someone who enjoys reading books with war related subject material or settings, but there’s always an exception to the rule. Right? The beauty of the struggle the characters go through is what shines and also rips your heart to pieces. After connecting with these amazing people I simply couldn’t stop reading no matter how out of my comfort zone the setting was. Quite possibly my favorite read this year.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?
Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber – I’m not sure what it was, but this was a wild ride that I simply couldn’t stop reading. I loved every bit of this book and I can’t wait for the sequel!

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?

Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry – Totally creepy I know, but it’s perfect for the book and absolutely grabs you. I love this series too. I cannot wait to keep reading it!

11. Most memorable character in 2011?
Silly: Kitten from The Fourth Stall by Chris Rylander – Because every good “mobster” middle grade novel needs a crazy bully guy named Kitten. This is a character I won’t soon forget.
Serious: Conor from A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness – For his courage, his choices and his heartbreak.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?
You Are My Only by Beth Kephart – It’s almost worth saying, did you really need to ask this question? Beth Kephart has changed my life. The words in her books flow like water down a peaceful brook and yet they have a way of drawing you in so that you’re consumed with the characters until long after the book is completed. You Are My Only was no exception to this and I was grateful to have had the opportunity to have read it.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?
You Are My Only by Beth Kephart – Again, I know I just answered the last question with this spectacular book, but it’s true. Perhaps it wasn’t the book so much as the experience I had surrounding the book and the way the book community rallied together in support of Beth. It was a profound experience for me. It showed me the true kindness of others and the ability we all have to make a difference. So thank you!

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read?

A Tilly and Friends Library by Polly Dunbar – This series is one I don’t know how we ever lived without. Not only do my kiddos read it on a daily basis, but I do as well. It’s hilarious and pertinent. And hello! Look at those illustrations! Adorable. Everyone should have this set of picture books in their home!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011?

“Excuse me, have you seen a rabbit wearing a hat?” – Squirrel

“No. Why are you asking me.
I haven’t seen him.
I haven’t seen any rabbits anywhere.
I would not eat a rabbit.
Don’t ask me anymore questions.” – Bear

“OK. Thank you anyway.” – Squirrel

– From I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

16. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012?
Is it cheating if I list a dozen or more picture books? Because that would be the easiest answer so far!

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.) Be careful of spoilers!
The last 50 pages or so of Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness. I’m still reeling from all that happened and wishing there was more (though I know that’s not going to happen).

Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2011 (optional)

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2011?
Reading Everywhere – I found Allison’s blog while judging for BBAW and fell in love with her choice of books and the way she wrote about them. Ever since then I can’t help buying the books she recommends and crying over her personal experiences of being a librarian that she shares with her readers. She’s an absolute delight to read and I’d highly recommend her blog to anyone looking for great books!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2010?
Ladder to the Moon by Maya Soetoro-Ng – This was the picture book that had me in tears at one in the morning (yes, I read picture books in the middle of the night…by myself). It’s gorgeous. Not only in the text but through the illustrations as well. I loved it.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?
It’s a tie between these two posts, which actually proved to me that I can ask questions and have great discussions! I need to do this more often!
Book Buying Q?s: Are You Too Old for Picture Books?
Hodge Podge: Book Buying Q?s – Publishers

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
Basically any post Pam writes at Bookalicious is worthy of a good discussion. She’s always on the mark and I love the topics she brings up. My favorite in the past few months was in regards to a ridiculous pitch she received. It’s definitely worth reading and commenting! – This is not the way to suss out a review

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
Hands down, Armchair BEA. I’m not sure how we’ll top it in 2012, because 2011 was incredible. It was only it’s second year and we had over 600 participants! We also won The Best Book Blogging Event during Book Blogger Appreciation Week which meant a great deal to me since it was voted on by other book bloggers. I can’t wait for this year!

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2011?
The support I received while waiting on test results about whether I had cancer or not. It blew me away. I had so many friends and supporters who emailed and even called that I’m certain lifted my spirits. Most I’ve never even had the privilege of meeting in real life. The kindness I was shown made a huge impact on me and I know I wouldn’t have gotten through it all without everyone. Thank you! (Oh, and for those that don’t know already…I did finally find out I do not have cancer!)

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
Without a doubt my Picture Book Reading Challenge which makes me more thrilled than you can know. Love that!

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
I honestly think I post too much stuff because I simply don’t know. That’s terrible, I know. Which is also why it’s a goal of mine this year to write more discussion posts and reviews. Hopefully you’ll love them so much that I won’t have any for this question again next year! *fingers crossed*

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Overdrive. Let me just say this, I’m not a fan of my local library. I know, I should run and hide. We went there a couple of weeks ago and the Turkeybird promptly exclaimed loudly enough for all to hear, “Mom, we don’t need to come here we have just as many books at home! I want to go home and read!” So yes, I’m thrilled he’s happy to read so much at home, but that doesn’t exactly make a trip to the library much fun with kiddos in tow. Besides that my library also charges any time you place a hold on a book regardless of whether it’s in the library or not. So it can get pricey and I feel like I might as well buy the book at that rate. So when I discovered Overdrive I was thrilled! I can download audiobooks and eBooks using my library card…for free!!! I love it! And I use it all the time. Best thing ever!

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
Oh my goodness…I’m terrible. I even hosted a reading challenge and did terrible at that. I feel like I need to work on better tracking for reading challenges because otherwise they just seem to get away from me.

Looking Ahead…

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2011 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2012?
You are all going to kill me for this, but I have to read it before the movie comes out… Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. I know! I’m the only one who hasn’t read it, still. I even know how it ends and my husband has even finished it already! I’ll be reading it before the movie for sure.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2012?
Picturebook:

House Held Up by Trees by Ted Kooser and Jon Klassen

Middle Grade:

The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy

Young Adult:

Fever by Lauren DeStefano
This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

Women’s Fiction:

Small Damages by Beth Kephart

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2012?
Review more! I know it may seem like I review quite a bit, but looking back over the year I can see so many instances where I read books and still haven’t posted reviews for them. It really bothers me because I’d love to talk about them more. So that’s a huge goal for me.

Also, going to BEA this year! Yep, you heard it…I’m going in 2012! It’s a done deal in fact and I can’t wait to finally go!

So, did you make it through all of that? What did you think? Do you have a favorite read or bookish moment this year? I’d love to hear about it!

12 Responses to 2011 End Of Year Book Survey

  1. Fun lists! I’m anticipating Fever as well – I love the covers of those books! For most memorable character, I would add Manchee to your list! :–)

  2. Raquel says:

    Am I the other co-president of the Nick Podehl fan club? I hope I am!!!

    This is a great retrospective. You’ve had such a busy year. I hope 2012 brings you lots of great books and a fantastic trip to BEA/BBC.

    • You absolutely are!!! 🙂

      And thank you! I had a lot of fun with it. Probably could have rambled on quite a bit more, but I really did have a great year. A lot of that had to do with you! Thank you!

  3. Awesome list.
    I need to check out Reading Everywhere and I’ve been itching to try Ladder to the Moon.

    Review more?
    You are a reviewing machine 😉

    Happy New Year my friend!

  4. Great year in review. I’ll have to check out the Polly Dunbar books. My library only has Where is Tumpty? so I just requested it.

  5. Hi Danielle! We’re also participating in this blog meme. We’re probably posting it sometime on the 7th or 8th of January. So cute!!! I love looking at your list of books – will check out the ones I haven’t read yet. I just got Patrick Ness’ A Monster Calls. Can’t wait to read it. Been hearing rave reviews about it, and flipping through the book pages make me just go … whoa.

  6. Happy New Year Danielle honey! Thank you so much for everything! XOOXXO

  7. Katie says:

    Ok lady, I hope you are/become friends with Beth Kephart in real life, because you are basically her unofficial ambassador. I’m so excited to add all of your picture book favs to our own growing baby library. We for sure need the Tilly and Friends library and I Want My Hat Back!

  8. Allison says:

    Oh my goodness, Danielle, thank you for the shoutout! I am touched by your kind words about my blog. My first year blogging has been fantastic, in large part because of the fantastic book blogging community. I feel like I have so much to learn from bloggers like yourself, and am glad to have gotten to know you this year. Looking forward to 2012!

    Oh, and I’m cracking up all over again about I Want My Hat Back because of this post. Love it!

  9. robynski says:

    What a great wrap up of 2011 reading. I knew that Should I Share My Ice Cream would be the Turkeybird’s pick! You have had a great year. Now build and add some advertising here. I for one don’t want to see you leave because it’s just too much. Not that you’ve said that but wow! Look at all the work you’ve done.

    I wish you much success in 2012!

  10. serena says:

    I LOVED Alice Bliss and You Are My Only! Both excellent selections, and I cannot wait to read Small Damages.

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