Friday, December 28, 2012

Twenty Questions: A Year-End Book Survey

1. What is the best book you read in 2012?
I listed my ten favorites in yesterday's post.

2. Most disappointing book?
Ragtime  by E.L. Doctorow

3. Most surprising (in a good way) book of 2012?
This is How You Lose Her  by Junot Diaz (audio)

4. Book(s) you recommended most in 2012?
Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake  by Anna Quindlen
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry  by Rachel Joyce

5. Best series you discovered in 2012?
I avoided series this year.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?
Amor Towles
Elizabeth Gaskell
See my full list of ten here.

7. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?
The Homecoming of Samuel Lake  by Jenny Wingfield

8. Book you most anticipated in 2012?
The Uninvited Guests  by Sadie Jones

9. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?

10. Most memorable character in 2012?
Swan Lake, The Homecoming of Samuel Lake

11. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?
Rules of Civility  by Amor Towles

12. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?
Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen

13. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read?
North and South  by Elizabeth Gaskell

14. Favorite passage/quote from a book read in 2012?

"In out twenties, when there is still so much time ahead of us, time that seems ample for a hundred indecisions, for a hundred visions and revisions - we draw a card, and we must decide right then and there whether to keep that card and discard the next, or discard the first and keep the second. And before we know it, the deck has been played out and the decisions we have just made will shape our lives for decades to come."
― Amor Towles, Rules of Civility

“The thing about old friends is not that they love you, but that they know you. They remember that disastrous New Year's Eve when you mixed White Russians and champagne, and how you wore that red maternity dress until everyone was sick of seeing the blaze of it in the office, and the uncomfortable couch in your first apartment and the smoky stove in your beach rental. They look at you and don't really think you look older because they've grown old along with you, and, like the faded paint in a beloved room, they're used to the look. And then one of them is gone, and you've lost a chunk of yourself. The stories of the terrorist attacks of 2001, the tsunami, the Japanese earthquake always used numbers, the deaths of thousands a measure of how great the disaster. Catastrophe is numerical. Loss is singular, one beloved at a time.”
― Anna Quindlen, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake

15. Book read in 2012 that you would be most likely to reread in 2013?
Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake  by Anna Quindlen

16. Best classic(s) read in 2012?
North and South  by Elizabeth Gaskell
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall  by Anne Bronte

17. Best translated work you read in 2012?
The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki

18. Any titles abandoned in 2012 you might read in 2013?
NW  by Zadie Smith on audio - I may try it in print

19. Any challenges completed in 2012?
2012 was a challenge-free year.

20. Any read-alongs completed in 2012?
No, I failed miserably with my own year-long group read of Clarissa by Samuel Richardson.

Survey adapted from The Perpetual Page-Turner. Let me know if you decide to play along.


  1. Great survey -- I like your avoidances: series, challenges ...

  2. Ah, North and South... Wonderful book. :)

  3. Great answers! I really enjoyed The Homecoming of Samuel Lake as well...great read :)

  4. I'm definitely going to get Anna Quindlen's book because of your rave reviews! I haven't found a book in a long time that I really liked....but I think I haven't been searching very well, either! Happy New Year, JoAnn!

  5. I think I did this survey last year and plan to do it again. I liked the quotes you selected JoAnn.

  6. I love that Sadie Jones cover too, it's so striking.
    And I'm glad to see you thought Rules of Civility was beautifully written - I've been looking forward to reading it but didn't realise the writing was that good.

  7. A woman after my own heart: I've given up oc challenges, I'm not starting any new series, and I love Elizabeth Gaskell.

    Oh, and I failed with Clarissa, but I'll pick it up again with the same plan in mind another year.

  8. I loved this post and reading your answers to these great questions!!!

  9. THe Quindlen book is showing up on so many lists! That passage you shared is so true!

  10. You know, I checked out Samuel Lake THREE times between two different years and STILL did not get to it

    Love the survey! Happy New Year!

  11. I'm glad to hear you liked This is How You Lose Her because I've been hearing some negative things about it on Twitter. Really looking forward to Rules of Civility! Now just have to find some non-King time to read it. ;)

    Hoping that from your last post and the picture that you're somewhere warm like Sanibel. Either way...enjoy the blogging break.

  12. So glad you discovered Gaskell this year--I love N&S, and now you need to carve out time in your reading schedule for Wives and Daughters, which I consider her masterpiece.

    Enjoyed your list--fun to read how some of my favorites struck others!

    1. JaneGS - Just downloaded Wives and Daughters to my kindle. Now all I need is the time ;-)


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