1/365 – A reading meme

I am popping the cork on a year of book-related posts and I have to say that I am pretty darn excited about it. I hope you’ll come along for the ride…

The Perpetual PageTurner wrote this great year end meme and so I am going to start my 365 days of book blogging by answering her questions.

Best Book You Read In 2011? 

The Book of Lost Things – John Connolly

Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?
Hamlet and Ophelia – John Marsden

This is a retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and I really, really wanted to like it because it would have been great to offer as a companion to a study of the play with my students. Sadly, this version was like really bad fanfiction.

Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?
The Mercy Killers – Lisa Reardon

I have been a Reardon fan since I read Billy Dead and The Mercy Killers has been on my tbr shelf for ages. I haven’t read it because, frankly, the plot didn’t sound interesting to me. Just goes to show you how really excellent writing can elevate anything. I ended up really liking this book.

Book you recommended to people most in 2011?
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly got a lot of love the first part of 2011 and I’ve been reccing the heck out of Patrick Ness’ novel The Knife of Never Letting Go for the last few weeks.

Best series you discovered in 2011?
The Knife of Never Letting Go, the first in the Chaos Walking series. I will definitely be reading the rest of these books.

Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?

Patrick Ness. John Connolly. I will  be reading more from these guys without a doubt. I was also impressed with Holly Luhning, author of Quiver.

Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
I don’t really have a comfort zone. Well, okay, I don’t read fantasy/sci fi under normal circumstances…but I can read it – I just choose not to.

Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?
The Knife of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness. I couldn’t put that book down. At all.

Book you most anticipated in 2011?
Unfortunately, I don’t have a “most anticipated” list because I have over 400 books on my tbr shelves. These are not virtual shelves, they are books that are actually physically in my house.  I add books to my tbr list all the time so I don’t anticipate books, because my list is too long and my memory is too short.

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?

The Town That Drowned  by Riel Nason.

A lovely book by a local author and someone I know personally. I loved the cover of her book.

Most memorable character in 2011? 

Hands down, Todd’s dog, Manchee, from The Knife of Never Letting Go.  It’s worth reading the book for that canine alone.

Most beautifully written book read in 2011?

Oh dear. I loved The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. It takes more of an effort to read the classics – the pace is slower, the writing is dense, but this is a beautiful book and well-worth the effort.

Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011? 
The Book of Lost Things. It made me cry.

The Knife of Never Letting Go. It made me want to buy a copy for every kid I teach.

Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read? 

Harry Potter and the Philospoher’s Stone – JK Rowling

I actually started to read this to my kids when they were really little and gave up. Of course I’ve seen the movies and loved them all…and then I decided to read this to my grade 9 class…and I really enjoyed it.

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

Oh dear. I’m not sure it’s possible to pick just one.

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

Nothing right away. I do re-read books, but I have to make a dent in this tbr pile, so it isn’t likely I’ll re-read any of my 2011 titles in the near future.

 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!

There was a moment in William Taylor’s novel Land of Milk and Honey that just made my stomach clench. No one I know has read it though, so it’s impossible to talk about it.

There was also a scene in The Knife of Never Letting Go which was so unbelievable that I was relieved when the student in my Writing class finally got there and rushed up to my desk to say: “Can you believe that happened?! ” I’d been dying to talk about it and now I could.

New favorite book blog you discovered in 2011? 

Bella’s Bookshelves

She’s smart and well-read and Canadian!

Favorite review that you wrote in 2010? 

I’m fond of my review for Allison Pearson’s book I Think I Love You because I had a personal connection to the book.

Best discussion you had on your blog? 

Sadly I don’t have many visitors…so discussions are generally between me, myself and I.

Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?

It’s one of the things I am hoping to be better at this year – forming some relationships with other bloggers.

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

Zip. I am a bad community member.

Best moment of book blogging in 2011?

Anytime an author comments on a review makes me happy.

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

Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
Well, I am hoping that my blog in general will see a little more traffic in 2012.

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

I am constantly amazed at how many terrific book-related sites there are on the Internet. But do I have a best of for 2011?  Not sure about that? I am finding Twitter to be endlessly interesting re: books.

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

I wanted to read 50 books this year – a goal I have set for myself the past couple years. I actually made it this year…and then some. I read  56 books!

Looking Ahead… 

One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2011 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2012?
S J Watson’s Before I Go To Sleep. It was my pick for book club and I am hosting in January, so I’d better get it read. From the sounds of things, I don’t think I’m going to have any trouble.

 Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2012?
Why We Broke Up – Daniel Handler

I don’t know why this book intrigues me, but it’s definitely one I’ll buy and read early in 2012.

 One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2012?
I am hoping to post 365 times in 2012.  365 book-related posts. Yay!