Friday, December 30, 2011

End of Year Survey - 2011

So I saw this great survey on Alternate Readality and decided to fill it out for myself.  If you would like to join you can head over to 

1. Best Book You Read In 2011?
Gosh thats a hard pick, I loved books from each of the genres so I think I might cheat and pick a couple of different books and honestly how can I narrow the list down after reading so many books this year?!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins & Divergent by Veronica Roth were definitely towards the top of my list, both sucked me right in.
If I Stay by Gayle Forman was probably one of the most beautiful books, I loved the writing style.
Broken Chords Barbara Snow Gilbert was a great YA book this year
Aurelia by Anne Osterlund was a great twist on traditional princess stories, loved it.
Of course Fire by Kristin Cashore will always top my list every year I read it.
Dusty Britches by Marcia Lynn McClure was a great western romance.
Stone Cold Seduction by Jess Macallan was by far my favorite paranormal romance this year!

2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?

I hate to say it but Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins were real disappointing after reading Hunger Games.  I felt they were rushed and just thrown together without much development or thought.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?

 I generally don't read books unless I know I will enjoy it but I think I have to say the book that I ended up loving far more than I expected was Divergent or Christmas Jars by Jason Wright.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?

Oh goodness, another list I have to narrow down! If I Stay was definitely on that list and I of course push for Fire every chance I get!

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?

I have to say the Gray Court series by Dana Marie Bell has totally sucked me in, I love the fantasy of it all (not to mention the adult romance bits)

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?

This year was such a big year, I was introduced to a number of authors that have become my favorites! Gayle Forman, Larissa Ione, Barbara Samuel, Robin McKinley, Kailin Gow, and  Jess Macallan just to name a few.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

 I generally don't like SciFi but when it was suggested to read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, I gave it a shot.  It was surprisingly good, and didn't talk over my head with the time loops.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?

 I really could not put down Divergent! Thankfully I read it on a day when the boss was out of town so I could read it straight through to the end :D

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?

 I have to say Hit List by Laurell K. Hamilton, I am a huge Anita Blake fan (and Merry Gentry for that matter) and couldn't wait for this next book. It definitely wasn't a disappointment either!

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


11. Most memorable character in 2011? 

Probably Katniss from Hunger Games or Four from Divergent

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?

Definitely If I Stay and Where She Went, something about the pacing and rhythm.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011? 
Again, probably If I Stay or Christmas Jars, both were emotional books in different ways.

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

Hunger Games and The Notebook, why oh why did I wait so long?!

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

I generally don't note quotes but one that made me laugh hysterically was from Blood of a Maple by Dana Marie Bell -  "Your giving me the choice? I thought macho men made all the safety decisions when it came to the womenfolk. You know, grunt, grunt. Get in house Wo-man. Followed by the inevitable beating of hairy chests."

16. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012? 

I swear I re-read Fire every year. I will probably also re-read some of Dana Marie Bell's series as the new books come out, and Bitter Frost by Kailin Gow to get ready for the rest of the series.

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!

Again probably Divergent & Hunger Games, they were just that type of book.

 Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2011

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2011? 
They are all new to me this year but some of my favorite stops are Alternate Readality, Badass Book Reviews, Quill Cafe, Sunny Reads, The Write Obsession, and Thoughts at One in the Morning.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2010? 
Probably the Hunger Games trilogy review, I was kind of without words and didn't really stick to a review structure, but just rambled.
3. Best discussion you had on your blog? 

I don't really have too many discussions on my blog, mostly just reviews.

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else's blog?

I have to say my favorite post has to be from Thoughts at One in the Morning and the author guest post by Liz Reinhardt What My Little Ponies Taught Me About Life.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I didn't get out much this year, didn't even make it to the Boston Book Festival but I did start up a Book Club, hasn't been super successful but I have high hopes for 2012.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2011?

 Um probably winning two giveaways by Badass Book Reviews for Stone Cold Seduction by Jess Macallan and Dangerous Desires by Diane Escalera, I got introduced to two new great authors that I can't wait to read more books.  Isn't that the whole reason for book blogging, to find new books and authors?!

 7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

 Oddly enough the most popular (viewed) post by far with 71 views was the Bedtime Story featuring The Giving Tree, guess we are all just little kids inside :P

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

 I'm not sure, I just want everyone to enjoy the reviews and join in my love for these books.

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

 Finding out that some of my close friends who I have known for years actually love books! And finding new friends through books.

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

I didn't complete my 2011 Challenge (I blame it on all you book bloggers and bringing new books to my attention HAHAHA), but I did meet my goodreads challenge of 100 books by reading 136!

Looking Ahead...

1. One Book You Didn't Get To In 2011 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2012?

Gosh so many, I am really looking forward to reading the 3rd book in the Gray Court series, Artistic Vision by Dana Marie Bell, Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay, and Immortal Rider by Larissa Ione

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2012?

 Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore!!! Been waiting for a few years for this one and already have mine on pre-order!!

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

 I would like to meet all of my challenges this year and knock down that giant TBR pile of mine.  I also want to lessen the amount of books I actually purchase by reading the ones I already have waiting.

On my blog, I want to restart my Bedtime Stories and be more consistent with my posting of it. I also want to improve my review posts (I also need to get pictures for my rating system).  Small goals but ones I would like to achieve.

I wanted to add a little bit of my top books and biggest disappointments to this list so here you have it.

My Top Books for  2011
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Stone Cold Seduction by Jess Macallan
Fire by Kristin Cashore
Aurelia by Anne Osterlund
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
If I Stay & Where She Went by Gayle Forman
Broken Chords by Barbara Snow Gilbert
Pegasus by Robin McKinley
Dare to Believe & Noble Blood by Dana Marie Bell

My Biggest Disappointment Books of 2011
Knight Moves by Jamaica Layne
Two Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt
The A Circuit by Catherine Hapka
Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Wildwing by Emily Whitman
A Knight's Enchantment by Lindsay Townsend

So that's 2011, onward to 2012!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Wrap Up & 2012 Outlook

 I know its a few days early but I really really doubt I will get anymore reading done this year.  So here are all the books I read this year with a link to the review if I posted one ;)  I will add this to a page along with the 2010 books and put them in alphabetical order (at some point).

Dare to Believe by Dana Marie Bell
Bear Necessities by Dana Marie Bell
Eye of the Beholder by Dana Marie Bell
Very Much Alive by Dana Marie Bell
Pack Challenge by Shelly Laurenston
Go Fetch by Shelly Laurenston
Here Kitty Kitty by Shelly Laurenston
When He Was Bad by Shelly Laurenston
Tempestuous by Lesley Livingston
Dark Lover by JR Ward
Eternal Lover by JR Ward
Lover Awakened by JR Ward
Lover Revealed by JR Ward
Lover Unbound by JR Ward
Lover Enshrined by JR Ward
Black Dagger Brotherhood Insiders Edition by JR Ward
Lover Avenged by JR Ward
Lover Mine by JR Ward
The Border Vixen by Bertrice Small
Noble Blood by Dana Marie Bell
Highlander Master by Amanda Scott
Shadow Wolf by Dana Marie Bell
Rosamund by Bertrice Small
No One Noticed the Cat by Anne McCaffrey
Until You by Bertrice Small
Philippa by Bertrice Small
The Last Heiress by Bertrice Small
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
Morrigan's Cross by Nora Roberts
Dance of the Gods by Nora Roberts
Valley of Silence by Nora Roberts
A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin
Blood of the Maple by Dana Marie Bell
Strange Candy by Laurell K. Hamilton
Lover Unleashed by JR Ward
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Pegasus by Robin McKinley
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff
Knight Moves by Jamaica Layne
Broken Chords by Barbara Snow Gilbert
Overprotected by Jennifer Laurens
Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Where She Went by Gayle Forman
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Curious George by H.A. Rey
Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan
Warsworn by Elizabeth Vaughan
Warlord by Elizabeth Vaughan
Warcry by Elizabeth Vaughan
Two Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt
The A Circuit by Catherine Hapka
Corduroy by Don Freeman
A Tailor Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer
Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Hit List by Laurell K. Hamilton
Kade by Cheyenne McCray
What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
Huntress by Malinda Lo
Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
Wyoming Brides by Debbie Macomber
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
Aurelia by Anne Osterlund
Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Errant by Diana Peterfreund
Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Golden Healer Dark Enchantress by Christine E. Schulze
Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Leo the Lop by Stephen Cosgrove
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle
Bitter Frost by Kailin Gow
Leo the Lop, Tail Two by Stephen Cosgrove
Fire by Kristin Cashore
Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris
Flutterby by Stephen Cosgrove
Exile by Anne Osterlund
Tears of A Vampire Prince by Christine E. Schulze
Borrowed Light by Carla Kelly
Avalon High by Meg Cabot
Nobody's Princess by Esther M. Friesner
Nobody's Prize by Esther M. Friesner
Wyoming Wildfire by Elizabeth Lane
Little Mouse on the Prairie by Stephen Cosgrove
Grampa-Lop by Stephen Cosgrove
Night of Fire by Barbara Samuel
Wild Hearts by Susan Mallery
Virgin Slave, Barbarian King by Louise Allen
Hearts Aflame by Johanna Lindsey
Dusty Britches by Marcia Lynn McClure
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Dangerous Desire by Diane Escalera
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
Blood Maiden by Christine E. Schulze
Heart of A Knight by Barbara Samuel
Wildwing by Emily Whitman
Stone Cold Seduction by Jess Macallan
Falke's Peak by Madison Layle
Shattered Dreams by Laura Landon
The Mane Event by Shelly Laurenston
The Beast in Him by Shelly Laurenston
Dragon Actually by G.A. Aiken
About a Dragon by G.A. Aiken
Last Dragon Standing by G.A. Aiken
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Taste Me by Tamara Hogan
Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody
Fallen by Lauren Kate
Christmas Jars by Jason Wright
A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton
A Knight's Enchantment by Lindsay Townsend
Were She Belongs by Dixie Lynn Dwyer
A Caress of Twilight by Laurell K. Hamilton
The Last Cowboy by Lindsay McKenna

I am sure I even missed a few of the books from this year, but I nearly doubled the number of books from 2010 :)

Here is a little break down:
Historical & Other Romance - 22
Paranormal & Fantasy Romance - 47
Fantasy - 5
Young Adult - 36
Children's & Middle Readers - 22
Other - 1

Phew! What a 2011?!  So what's in store for 2012 you ask?  Well . . . a few Challenges . . .

Mount TBR Challenge - Goal of 50 books (already have them pulled out and set aside)
Classics Challenge - Goal of 5 books (and maybe a few re-reads)
Arthurian Legends Challenge - Goal of 15 books

For a total of 65 already planned.  I am setting a lighter goal for 2012 of 75 total books since looking at plans and schedules for the year its going to be a crazy crazy year!

So how did you do this year? Plans for next year?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Haul!!

So I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas surrounded by friends and family (and got a few books from your wishlist)!

So I thought I would share the books I got for Christmas with all of you . . .
Yup I got Inheritance so I can use it for my Mount TBR Challenge!

I am so excited, this one has been on my wishlist for years!! (Hubby's comment was, I don't know what you are going to do with that thing, its huge! LOL)

And then of course I got a bunch of Barnes and Noble Giftcards to get more books on my Nook! (I also received one other undisclosed book)

For my non-reader Hubby Valerie got him

Valerie decided she is too grown up for toys and opted to watch tv instead

And Niko was so excited for all his toys that he would stare at them all and whimper not knowing which to play with, but finally settled on Bully Dog as his favorite