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A Year in Books 2012

It’s 2012 and time again for the 3rd Annual End of Year Book Survey, created and hosted by Jamie of The Perpetual Page-Turner. I like having a chance to step back and consider everything I’ve read this year. I have adjusted the questions slightly, because I didn’t feel like answering every single one. So without further adieu, here are my answers for this year’s survey:

1. Best Book You Read In 2012?
I wrote about my “best of 2012″ list before Christmas, but in case you missed it, I’ll repeat: this year, Deborah Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night tied as the best books I read.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
I really liked the premise of Megan Mulry’s A Royal Pain, but when I started reading, I couldn’t get past my dislike of the main characters and it ended up being a “did not finish” book for me. That was disappointing. I also really wanted to love The Cinderella Deal by Jennifer Crusie, because it was Jennifer Crusie, but I didn’t.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012?
I think I was surprised by how much more was contained in Sophie Kinsella’s I’ve Got Your Number and Marquita Valentine’s Third Time’s a Charm. I started reading both those books thinking I knew what I was going to get and I was surprised when I found more.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?
Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. I feel like an evangelist for this book and for introverts everywhere. I even marched my mother into a bookstore, picked up a copy, bought it, and then placed it in her hands and said “Read this. Now.” So, yeah….

5. Best series you discovered in 2012?
Well, definitely Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy, but I also finally started Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series after hearing so many good things about it.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?
Deborah Harkness, Susan Cain, and Julie Kagawa all come to mind.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
I don’t normally read nonfiction, so I was surprised by how much I loved Quiet: The Power of Introverts as well as Peggy Orenstein’s Cinderella Ate My Daughter.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?
A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night, hands down. I could not get these books out of my head and while reading, my heart kept pounding as I tried to figure out what would happen next.

9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:
Ooh, I’m a big re-reader, so theoretically, everything on my list is a candidate for re-reading, but the most likely books are Ally Carter’s Out of Sight, Out of Time and any of the historical romances I read.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?
Meg Cabot’s Underworld – it’s simply gorgeous.

11. Most memorable character in 2012?
Diana Bishop, from Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy has undergone a remarkable journey in just the first two books, so I can only anticipate what might happen in the third and final book. And, of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t include Tyrion Lannister from A Game of Thrones.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?
Even though it wasn’t one of my favorites, Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder was written in such a rich and visual way. Additionally, Courtney Milan continues to impress with her words – Unraveled and The Governess Affair were such a thrill to read.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?
Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts gave me the confidence to own and embrace my introversion and to use it to my advantage, especially in situations when other people may want me to be more outgoing.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read?
George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones – I know, I know. I watch the HBO series, I should have read the books before. I’m reading them now, okay?

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012?
“It wasn’t that she thought highly of herself, of course. It was that she thought highly of the promise of more.” A Rogue By Any Other Name, Sarah MacLean

“It’s always been private occasions that make me feel connected to the joys and sorrows of the world, often in the form of communion with writers and musicians I’ll never meet in person. Proust called these moments of unity between writer and read ‘that fruitful miracle of a communication in the midst of solitude.'” Quiet, Susan Cain

“Persistence isn’t very glamorous. If genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, then as a culture, we tend to lionize the one percent. We love its flash and dazzle. But great power lies in the other ninety-nine percent. “It’s not that I’m so smart,” said Einstein, who was a consummate introvert. “It’s that I stay with problems longer.” Quiet, Susan Cain

“There, in the same room with the same furniture and the same fire and her hand floating in the air between them, curling out into space like a misguided vine, yearning desperately for him to reach across the distance and touch her again.” For Darkness Shows the Stars, Diana Peterfreund

16. 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 end of Shadow of Night had me really surprised with some of the choices Deborah Harkness made and I really wanted to discuss what could possibly happen in book three, especially since there’s no known publication date (yet) for book three.

17. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
Kate and Thorne’s romance in Tessa Dare’s A Lady By Midnight was one of my favorite romances this year. I also really loved Eloisa James’ true and hilarious stories about her family in her memoir Paris in Love. She doesn’t shy away from showing the bad with the good.

18. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?
Froi of the Exiles – absolutely, without a doubt, I will be reading this book. I just need to clear a few days from my schedule first.

19. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?
I’m really looking forward to Gayle Forman’s Just One Day and, with any luck, the release (finally!) of Stephanie Perkins’ Isla and the Happily Ever After. There’s also the second book in Maureen Johnson’s Shades of London series and the third Heist Society book, Perfect Scoundrels.

[Photo Credit: The Perpetual Page-Turner]

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