The Best of 2012 Survey


1. Best Book You Read In 2012? (You can break it down by genre if you want)  Do I have to choose? Well, one of my favourites was Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami which I read not long before I started my blog.  I’ve read a lot of good books this year though.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? I was a little bit disappointed by The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides.  I liked it but I didn’t love it.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012?  The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera.  At least, I think it was surprising in a good way… I thought it would be too weird for my taste but I actually quite liked it.

 4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012? That would probably be Kafka on the Shore and Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami in response to those who didn’t like 1Q84 which is probably not the best of his novels to start with.

 5. Best series you discovered in 2012? I haven’t really read any series of books this year apart from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins which I was a bit disappointed by.

 6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012? It feels like absolutely ages ago but the first book I read by Jeffrey Eugenides was Middlesex in February before I started this blog.  I have now also read The Marriage Plot and The Virgin Suicides this year.  I wish he would write a little faster though as these are the only 3 novels he has published since 1993!

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you? I don’t think The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro can be put into a genre and I definitely don’t think it would be in anyone’s comfort zone – it certainly wasn’t in mine!

 8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012? I think Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides was the most compelling.  Considering I read it in the middle of term-time and that it’s about 550 pages long, I still managed to devour it in 2 days.

 9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:  Given that I didn’t re-read any books at all this year, I don’t think I will be re-reading anything next year either.  My TBR pile just keeps on growing!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012? I think the most striking was probably The Chemistry of Tears by Peter Carey – shame I didn’t like the contents that much!

11. Most memorable character in 2012? Humbert Humbert in Lolita is pretty memorable.  As is Grenouille in Perfume by Patrick Suskind.  It’s always the twisted characters who seem to stay in my mind.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012? The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is very pretty.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012? Room by Emma Donoghue and Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson definitely stayed with me mostly because of their intensity.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read? I’m very glad I have finally read The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.  I still can’t believe it took me so long to get round to it!

 15. Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012?  “Do you know why books such as this are so important?  Because they have quality.  And what does the word quality mean?  To me it means texture.  This book has pores.  It has features.  This book can go under the microscope.  You’d find life under the glass, streaming past in infinite profusion.” (Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, p. 83)

 16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012? Longest book was definitely 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami which I think is by far the longest book I have ever read.  The shortest I think might have been The Reader by Bernhard Schlink.  Or One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.  I also read The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes in one sitting.

 17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? I really can’t think of anything specific right now…

18. Favourite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).  Probably Tengo and Aomame in 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami.

19. Favourite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously  I really liked Fingersmith by Sarah Waters which I read earlier in the year before I started this blog.

20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else: I read Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick about everyday life in North Korea solely on a recommendation from my sister who was kind enough to lend me her Kindle so I could read it.  Also The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver was recommended to me by three different people.

 Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2012 (optional)

1. New favourite book blog you discovered in 2012? There are a lot of really good ones out there.  I particularly enjoy Savidge Reads.

2. Favourite review that you wrote in 2012? This isn’t a review but one of my favourite posts is Same Cover, Different Book.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?  I thought there were some really interesting comments on my Does My Blog Harm Literature? post which provoked a good discussion.

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog? I try and read a lot of blogs and I have read some really interesting posts this year.  Unfortunately, I can’t remember anything specific right now.  There is a lot of good stuff out there though.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)? I haven’t really participated in anything this year.  I am a very boring and solitary book blogger.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2012? Getting started and getting Freshly Pressed.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)? Undoubtedly, that was my The Rise of eBooks: evil or essential? post which was Freshly Pressed in August.  To date, it has had well over 3000 views and over 400 comments (including my replies).  I don’t think I will ever be able to top that! 

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love? My posts get quite a lot of love already!  My earlier posts didn’t get so many views when I had fewer followers though, like my review of How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)? I tried out an e-reader for the first time (and as of Tuesday, I should finally have one of my own…).  I also discovered Spine Poetry this year.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?    I aimed to read 100 books this year which I have just about managed to do with 102 books read this year!  I started my blog in March so not all of them have been reviewed here.

Looking Ahead…

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013? I really wanted to read 11.22.63 by Stephen King over my Christmas holiday but it looks like it is going to get pushed into the New Year as is Quiet by Susan Cain.  I have a lot of books at home which have been neglected for a very long time as I am trying to make the most out of my membership of university libraries while I still have it…

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013? I have heard that Sarah Waters is currently writing a new book set in the 1920s and I hope that gets published very soon.  I also really want to read The Dinner by Herman Koch and lots of other books on my TBR list!

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013? I have been receiving a few emails from unpublished or little-known authors asking me to review their books and I hope to do more of this next year.

Merry Christmas to you all wherever you are and whatever you’re doing…. here’s to a prosperous 2013!


Filed under Books

17 responses to “The Best of 2012 Survey

  1. An awesome reflection of the books you have read this year. Might have to pinch a few questions & do the same. Haven’t posted in forever. Sounds like you’re getting an ereader for Xmas? I just love the touch of books. Merry Christmas!


  2. All fiction. Some of what I enjoyed reading this year.

    1. The Sense of an Ending, by Julian Barnes, which you reviewed. A writer I will read more of.
    2. Painter of Silence by Georgina Harding.
    3. The News Where You Are by Catherine O’Flynn. Love the line “Our absence is what remains of us.”
    4. Our Burden’s Light by Patrick Thomas Casey. Hard to believe it is a debut novel.
    5. The Wandering Falcon by Jamil Ahmad. Should have been read by anyone deployed in Afghanistan.
    6. The Mistress of Abha by William Newton

    Some of these I wrote a short review about on my blog. I am also reading some other books that could make it onto this list, but I may not finish them before year-end.


  3. Pingback: Best of 2012 Survey « A Celebration of Reading

  4. My three best books of 2012: The sense of an ending by Julian Barnes, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstein, The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai. Kafka on the Shore was refreshing too. Most disappointing read this year was The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng.


  5. I’m not putting up my list. But I do agree with some of yours. And I took your advice and ordered ‘The Night Circus’ an hour back. 🙂


  6. Thoroughly enjoyed your year-end book report. Couldn’t agree more about ‘Room ‘ : what a brill book. & of course you’re a HM fan too. I can’t cope with Kazuo Ishiguro either. Will read yr post on ‘Is my Blog harming Literature?’ too busy today; jolly holly & all that. Ho for the Trifle!


  7. I loved the film “The Virgin Suicides” so maybe I’ll give the book a try.


  8. Pingback: 100 Book Challenge? – It Definitely Was! | Louise Radcliffe

  9. Haven’t read IQ84 and Dance3x. I read but didn’t like Kafka on the Shore. The Haruki Murakami novels I did enjoy were A Hard-Broiled Wonderland and the End of the World and The Wind Up Bird Chronicle. Some of his other stories and novels seems to read like rehashes of Norwegian Wood plus more surreal/fantastic moments. Curious about After Dark though.


  10. Ti

    Loved loved loved Dance Dance Dance. LOL. I am a huge Murakami fan. Love some of his books more than others but I seem to really like his older books the best.


  11. I think I am the only person in the world that hated Middlesex! I finished the book on a plane and was actually so disapointed I actually left the book in the back of the seat in front of me! I normally pass books on. For that reason only I have avoided The Marriage Plot.

    I think the best book I’ve read this year is “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.” If you haven’t read it – check it out. 🙂


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  13. I was interested in this but got a little tired of trying to answer your questions (too many). Here are the answers for the first few:
    1. Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
    2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
    3. The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones
    4. Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
    5. The Ibis trilogy (only two books written so far) by Amitav Ghosh
    6. Amitav Ghosh, Sadie Jones, Amor Towles, Richard Russo, Maj Sjowall
    7. Look At Me by Jennifer Egan
    8. The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
    9. Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
    10. Any work by Louise Penny (the most beautiful covers ever)

    I am very curious to read IQ84, but haven’t picked it up yet.


  14. Pingback: The Dinner by Herman Koch | A Little Blog of Books and Other Stuff

  15. Pingback: 100 Book Challenge? – It Definitely Was!

  16. Ti

    I already replied to this post but wanted to stop by to say Hi again 🙂 We’ve read a lot of the same books. I read Dance Dance Dance before Wild Sheep Chase, not knowing that Dance is sort of a sequel to Wild. Every time I go to buy Wild Sheep Chase though it’s not on the shelves. I just need to order it online, I think.


  17. My best read for 2012 was a travel narrative by an archetypal youngish global budget traveller – “Loves Kerbsides and Goodbyes” by David McNamara. While it’s a current version of the well-recognised “road” account of travel stripped to its essentials, the writing is of a style which both enlightens and entertains with its direct, clear observations of today’s life and times across many countries and cultures. Refreshing, rewarding and honest.


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