Monday, December 26, 2011

End of Year Book Survey

This Year I am doing something different, for the fist time on my blog I am evaluating my reading habits, and books I have read for the year, on Seaside Book Corner. I would like to thank Perpetual Page Turner for hosting, 2011 End of Year Book Survey.
1. Best Book You Read In 2011?

Unfortunately, there are too many books that I have read this year, too really pick one. So, I am going to give you a few reads, that I think meant something, or inspired me, and was a book to shout about.

This is not in any order:
Saving Cee Cee Honeycut by Beth Hoffman
Butterfly's Daughter by Alice Monroe
The Kitchen's Daughter by Jael McHenry

The Ballad of Tom Dooley by Sharyn McCrumb was not totally out of my comfort zone. Because I love history, and new cultures. But, because of the setting, I never cared about the culture there. Most likely, because of the stereotyping from this area. It totally surprised me. It is rich in history, and culture. I am spreading my wings in new tastes of books. I will most likely read more of this author.

HOW do you pick a favorite!? 
I picked these top one's because they either inspired me, and did something to open my spirit. These books,  helped me explore my inner soul.

Also, these books were out of my comfort zone, and made me think another way of picking my books.

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

Has to be Lipstick in Afghanistan. It was about a nurse that decides she wants to work as a nurse in the military. It was more of a romance novel, than anything else. Very dissappointed. I thought because the author was a nurse in Afghanistan that it would be more realistic.  Very dissappointing.
3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?
Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry, I did not expect it be so well written. I just loved it.
4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?

Butterfly's Daughter again.  I recommended it on Facebook,  and passed it on by word of mouth,and wanted to read it for our book club discussion, which we did.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?

Jael McHenry, Kitchen Daughter, I loved her writing style, and the story with truism mixed with mysticm. I only recently started reading books like this. I actually enjoy reading them.

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

 Too my exicitement, lightbulbs, and fireworks ending for 2011,with the book by Sharyn McCrumb, The Ballad of Tom Dooley. I don't usually go out of my comfort zone. For some reason, I felt like I needed too. I am glad I did. I have never read her novels, and did not expect the book I did . I was expecting a mystery. 

Also, Kitchens Daughter by Jael McHenry was out of my comfort zone.
9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?

I would have to say, Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian. I have read most of his novels, even before Oprah. I discovered his first book, Midwives while on vacation to Martha's Vineyard in a small book store, called Bunches of Grapes.

The book, was not what I expected. You can go to my blog and read my review. All I will say, it was very different from Chris's other books, it was out of his comfort zone, and I still liked it.

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

11. Most memorable character in 2011? 
Cee Cee Honeycutt has to be my favorite character. A young girl, living with her schizophrenic mother. Has a hard time dealing with her mother's death. Then lives with her aunt in Georgia. She has the courage to move on.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?

The most beautifully written has to be Butterfly's Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe. How she described the butterfly's migration from the United States to the mountains in Mexico, was so beautiful, and poetic.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011? 
I have to say again Butterfly's Daughter really moved me, and loved the spiritualism and mysticm of the story of the migration that paralleled with the story of Abuel's grand daughter from Millaukee to Mexico.

14. Book you can't believe you waited to 2011
That is one, thing I want to do different. I want to start reading books that have been in back of my mind to read. That has been published in the last 10 years.  For example, Jane Smiley, 1000 Acres,  John Irving, Margaret Atwood-, and Bean Tree by Barbara Kingslover I am finally reading, now for my book club.

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody about?
Has to be the Ballad of Tom Dooley, to another person that loves the history and culture of the land of the United States.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

My best event that I had participated in, was when I went to see Mary Alice Monroe. She has to be the most generous person. I had sent a email to her asking her if she would like to donate to our temple auction. She sent me a couple books.  That had to be the most memorable thing. The other was, when I went to the Moveable Feast, She actually took the time, to shake everyone's hand and get to know them on a personal level. I have been to book signing, in NJ. I have never seen a author do that. I think that will stick out in my mind forever.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2011?

 I have always, wanted to go to BEA, but unfortunately, this year and since I have been blogging I most likely won't for quite a while. But, I did enjoy the virtual BEA from Armchair BEA. I enjoyed reading everyone's posts, and what was going on, and the authors, and books, and the publishers that I have met online through my email. Thanks to Armchair, I would not have gotten so close. I love reading and sometimes participating from the sidelines.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
I think I was so excited when Beth Hoffman commented on my blog. It was on my review about Saving Cee Cee, and had more reviews than I had in a long time.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.
I found several, but a few stick out in my mind, is Bookmovement,  and Edelweiss. Found out what books are coming out soon.

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

I set my goal at 20 books, on Goodreads. I did not want to set my goals too high. I finished the Southern Reading Challenge, and I did not realize I have read alot of southern fiction.  

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

                                        I want to read Gone With The Wind, in 2012. There is a readalong as well, in January. I hope I will be able to follow through.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2012?

  Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey, it is takes place in Alaska. One place I have not read.  I have been reading novels that have realism mixed with magic. Like Kitchen's Daughter. Which I loved.

 A couple creates a child out of snow. When she appears on their doorstep as a little girl, wild and secretive, their lives are changed forever.
Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for a couple who have never been able to conceive. Jack and Mabel are drifting apart—he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone, but they catch sight of an elusive, blonde-haired girl running through the trees.
This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and leaves blizzards in her wake. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who seems to have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in the Alaska wilderness, life and death are inextricable, and what they eventually learn about Faina changes their lives forever.

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2012?
I would like to read novels, that take place all over the country of the United States. I read mainly the east coast, New England, and the South. I would like to read books that take place in different places in the country, such as the middle west, and West coast. More books that are Jewish themed.  I also would like to attempt the Where are you reading challenge hosted by Reading Journey.

The other thing, I want to be more active in the book blogging community, with challenges, and memes. I will have to see.

I still want to thank one of my faithful readers, that always comments on my of my posts. Bermuda Onion. Even though I don't have a large following, I feel alone out there. I have thought about quitting my book blog. Then Bermuda comes along to write a comment.


Mary Alice Monroe said...

My goodness, thank you for all your recommendations for The Butterfly's Daughter! You're ending my year with a smile. You'll smile, too, when I tell you that even as I write this, a monarch butterfly is emerging from chrysalis. It has been such a warm fall I still have caterpillars!
Your review is lovely and I am grateful.
Warm regards and Happy New Year,
Mary Alice Monroe

Seaside Book Corner said...

Mary, I am tickled to death that you left such a beautiful note. Thank you, you are truly care about your readers.

Beth Hoffman said...

What a wonderful surprise! Thank you for your kind words about Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. I'm delighted that you enjoyed the book and thrilled it earned a place among your best reads. And, to have CeeCee be your favorite character ... well, that's made my day!

An author couldn't feel more honored.

Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy New Year! ~ Beth Hoffman

Carolina Gal's Literary Cafe said...

h Susan! I'm so incredibly honored. When I read through your post, I felt such gratitude; it's because of readers like you that I write! Thank you for your wonderful words.

Giant Southern-style hugs to you!

Lu @ Regular Rumination said...

I really enjoyed The Kitchen Daughter, too. I don't love the cover change... it doesn't match the feel of the novel at all. :(

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