1. What was your overall favourite book this year? (Yes. Pick one.)
Aaaack. Um. Does this include rereads or new books? Sheesh. I'm going to go with new books, sooooo I'll say Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart. Unfortunately I only started keeping track of the books I've been reading in October of this year (on my own, that is-- before that Mom and I kept a list together, back in the dear old days gone by when I was Still In School :P) so I feel terribly as if I'd forgotten something. Oh, well, Nine Coaches Waiting was swellissimus, anyway.
2. Favourite debut(s)? (Author must have been first published in 2013.)
The Princess and the Sage by Annaliese Blakeney. Out-of-this-world hilarious, and sources close to the author say she's working on a sequel.
3. Which books did you reread this year?
Goodness. Okay, let's do our best with this thing. In not-order (random order is an oxymoron):
Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery
Anne of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery
The Story Girl by L.M. Montgomery
The Golden Road by L.M. Montgomery
Emily Climbs by L.M. Montgomery :P
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma by Trenton Lee Stewart
Calico Captive by Elizabeth George Speare
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Two are Better than One by Carol Ryrie Brink
Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Deibler Rose
Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss
Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie
Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Chasing Jupiter by Rachel Coker
Sister of the Bride by Beverly Cleary
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon
Christmas After All by Kathryn Lasky
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
I'm sure there were lots of others, but like I said, I've been rather bad at keeping track. (Even my book list from the end of my senior year only featured books that were new, so rereads are hard to locate. Ha.)
4. Favourite cover(s) this year!
This, from Better Book Titles. (Sorry, guys, I'm really not much of a cover girl-- pun not intended. I'm always much more interested in the way it looks inside-- or else I prefer antique copies. Heehee.)
5. Worst cover(s)?
Ummmmmmmm. I really don't notice covers all that much, to be honest. Ooooh, perhaps this one-- it didn't come out this year (but I'm not sure if the To Kill a Mockingbird one did either, so whatever) but I discovered it this year via the the Worst Cover Throwdown over at the P&P95Forever Club and... yeah.
6. What self-published books did you read this year?
The Princess and the Sage by Annaliese Blakeney, Annabeth's War by Jessica Greyson and a few beta-reads.
7. Which book(s) gave you a massive hangover?
I don't particularly like the word "hangover," but I'm assuming in this sense it means a book that stuck with you for a while and kind of kept you from enjoying other books because you were still in its world, am I right? Okay, then. I'm going to go with The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society because that one just held onto me for several days after I finished it. I didn't want it to end (see this). And I want a sequel really really badly, by the way.
8. Best standalone you read?
I'm shamelessly tweaking this question to make it what *I* want it to be, and so I'm going to answer it as if it's asking for the best short story I read. That would definitely be What Would Austen Do? by Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway. It appeared in the anthology Jane Austen Made Me Do It, which I wouldn't wholeheartedly recommend (some of the stories are pretty trashy) but it had some gems, and that one was the gemmiest of them all. It's about a teenage boy who accidentally signs up for English Country dancing and goes full-fledged Janeite. And it's awesome. (Why am I saying awesome? Whatever happened to cool? Nothing? Cool.)
9. Biggest book(s) you've read this year?
Les Miserables, by all means (my sister Anne put it well: "Victor Hugo did not know when to shut up.") but Dickens' Dombey and Son came close.
I don't really follow book-hype... heh. I walk by my wild lone and wave my wild tail where it pleases me (name the quotation, guys) where books are concerned. And this will make me sound like a hipster, but outside the small realm of self-publishing, I read very very few modern books when they first come out. *adjusts plastic-framed glasses* "It's Mumford and SONS, not Mumford and SON."
11. Most disappointing book(s) you read this year?
I was rather let down by Like Dandelion Dust by Karen Kingsbury. Apologies to all the Kingsbury fans out there (I know you are a great and strong army) but I just don't think much of her books. LDD had a good premise and all, which was what made me try it (I've read several of her other novels and wasn't impressed) but it left me feeling flat and blah and that-ending-was-too-convenient-and-predictable. I also read The Reluctant Heiress by Eva Ibbotson as a reluctant foray (heh, heh) into young adult romance, and it was... meh. I like her books for middle-grade readers SO much better.
12. Favourite leading-female character?
Jane Eyre, probably. Or Elizabeth Bennet. :D
13. Favourite leading-male character?
Um. Mr. Darcy. Hello. Also Atticus Finch.
14. Best romance(s)?
Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet are the obvious answer but I've already used each of them once so I'm going to go with Tommy and Tuppence from the novels about them by Agatha Christie... they're just so doggoned CUTE together! I would so, so love to see a really well-done TV series based on the books with Anthony Andrews and Jennifer Ehle (at the right ages-- hush, it's a dream casting) playing the Beresfords. Sigh.
15. What book(s) hit the DNF list? (Did not finish.)
I started to read The Postmistress by Sarah Blake because the synopsis on Goodreads looked so intriguing... didn't get past the second chapter. Ugh. Let's just say it was getting inappropriate really early on. Plus language. And ick.
16. What book(s) did you read out of your comfort-zone?
Great question, this. Ummmm... maybe Martin Luther: A Guided Tour of His Life and Thought by Stephen J. Nichols. I'll admit I've always shied away from theological books because I thought they would be over my head, but I tried this one since it was partially a biography (I like biographies) and wonder of wonders, it actually made sense and was enjoyable to read. Who'd-a-thunk it?
17. Which author did you read the most from?
According to my rereads list, I think that would be L.M. Montgomery.
18. Top 5 books you'd recommend from all the books you've read this year?
I chose to go with four new books and one old one, just for a change of pace, so...
~The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
~Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart
~The Princess and the Sage by Annaliese Blakeney
~The Last Sin Eater by Francene Rivers
~Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Deibler Rose
(I left out Jane Eyre and Les Mis and everything Jane Austen, because those are obvious choices. Heehee.)
19. How many books did you read this year all up?
I'm guessing around sixty, based on the list of re-reads above plus all the new books I've read this year plus the ones I'm sure I'm not recalling at the moment. :P
20. What's a book you're hugely excited for coming out in 2014?!
Fly Away Home by Rachel Heffington! I had the privilege of beta-reading one of the drafts for this delightful novel and I can't WAIT to get a print copy in my hands. I'm also tremendously looking forward to the new Penderwicks book-- good grief, the title hasn't even been released yet. I do love the Penderwicks. :D
All the secrets of the world are contained in books. Read at your own risk.