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8 In Book Reviews

2019 Book Survey: Examine Your Reading Life

This is my third year filling out Jamie’s (The Perpetual Page Turner) 2019 book survey. It’s a fun exercise that lets me examine my reading habits and various bookish favorites from the past year.  I’m also planning a more in depth analysis of my year in reading for later this month. I’ll be showcasing my new reading tracker that features stats and charts to help you analyze your reading. For now though, it’s all about the non-statistical data!

Jamie’s year-end 2019 book survey is more than just a “what was your favorite book, what was your favorite character” questionnaire! I love that her questions feature more unique topics like new authors, literary crushes, world building, and more. This year I added a few of my own questions too. I’m always interested in hearing more about book format preferences, great audiobook narrators, and the most reliable book recommendation sources.

Since I also love discovering other readers’ answers to these questions, make sure to share yours! Post a few answers in the comments or add the link to your own blog post. You can also head over to Jamie’s blog to join her linkup! Now, on to the 2019 book survey.

*Disclosure – I earn a small commission for any products purchased through the links below at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting my book blog!

2019 Book Survey

Reading Stats

Number Of Books You Read: 101 (as of Dec 4)
Number of Re-Reads: 6 (half were Harry Potter, naturally)
Genre You Read The Most From: Contemporary Romance / Fantasy

 

Best in Books

1.Best Book You Read In 2019?
It’s always an impossible task picking the best book, but the one I enjoyed the most is Tidelands by Philippa Gregory.

2.Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne – I absolutely adored The Hating Game, so I had high hopes for Thorne’s second book. Unfortunately, I couldn’t connect to the characters and wasn’t rooting for their relationship. 

3.Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
25 Days Til Christmas by Poppy Alexander – I won this from a Goodreads giveaway! I thought it would be a typical cute Christmas story and it is, but it also has a lot more depth than usual. A widowed mother is trying to make this season full of joy for her son, but she struggles to keep their little family afloat. She is full of grit and determination and finally receives a bit of good luck by Christmas. This is currently making it’s way through my coworkers!

4.Best series you started in 2019? Best Sequel of 2019? Best Series Ender of 2019?
The best series I started is A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer. It’s a YA fantasy Beauty and the Beast retelling. I was completely hooked and can hardly wait until Book #2 comes out in January! I also finally got around to reading The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden. This is the sequel to The Bear and the Nightingale. I honestly liked it just as much as the first! Now, on to Winter of the Witch.

5.Favorite new author you discovered in 2019?
My favorite debut author of 2019 is easily Beth O’Leary and her novel, The Flatshare. It’s a charming romance about two individuals in London who share a flat, but never live there at the same time. Their jobs force them to keep alternating hours, so they just communicate with little notes and slowly get to know each other by writing.

My favorite new-to-me author is Louise Penny. It’s been years now that I’ve had her Inspector Gamache series on my TBR. Well, I finally jumped in and now can’t stop. Their murder mysteries, definitely not my usual genre, but the characters and setting are the highlight of these stories. Start with Still Life.

6.Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Relish by Lucy Knisley – A graphic novel about how the author’s memories growing up were shaped by food.

7.Book You Read In 2019 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren – This was my first Christina Lauren and still my favorite. After reading two of theirs that weren’t great, I’m eager to get back to the one I loved from start to finish.

8.Favorite cover of a book you read in 2019?
I don’t think anything can top the cover of I’d Rather Be Reading for a book lover. It’s a watercolor of Anne’s personal library, complete with colorful bookshelves, a comfy reading chair, and an actual gliding ladder!

9.Most memorable character of 2019?
Alinor from Tidelands by Philippa Gregory. Alinor is the main character and a perfect example of a strong, independent woman before her time. She is admirable and interesting and flawed and I can’t wait to hear more about her story as the series (hopefully!) continues.

 

 

Let’s be bookstagram buddies! Find me here!

 

 

10.Most beautifully written book read in 2019?
Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – I completely connected with this book, even after lots of initial hesitation before reading. This story of a girl who learns to survive in the marshlands is compelling, but forces you to take your time reading.

11.Most Thought-Provoking Book of 2019?
The Problem of God by Mark Clark – After my pastor recommended this, Jay and I decided to buddy read it. I’m always interested in learning more about my faith and this book presents the rational, fact-based arguments for many of the difficult questions of Christianity. 

12.Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2019 to finally read?
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles – I always thought this story about a women living in NYC during the 1920’s would be boring. It’s not!

13.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2019?
Randomize by Andy Weir – Part of the Amazon Kindle Unlimited Audio Short Stories – 48 pages
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton – 648 pages

14.Book That Shocked You The Most
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah – It’s safe to say I knew nothing about apartheid in South Africa before reading this memoir. Hearing Trevor’s stories from his childhood was eye-opening. I finally understand why readers everywhere can’t stop recommending this as a must-read. I’d even go so far as to say it’s a must listen-to. I don’t think it would have been as impactful if I wasn’t hearing his voice and the various languages he speaks. His storytelling abilities are phenomenal!

15.Favorite Book You Read in 2019 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. My previous experience with Rowell was Eleanor and Park, another delight. Fangirl is even more fun! I couldn’t get over how much I loved her writing. Both the actual story and the snippets of fan fic are terrific. This is one of the books I snagged from BookOutlet on Black Friday! It’s still available for only $3.89.

16.Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2019?
Emery from The Paper Magician series. The cute, quirky nerd is hard to resist!

17.Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Worldbuilding is vital to my enjoyment of a book since I want to feel like I’m actually living out the story with the characters. Philippa Gregory is one of my favorite historical fiction authors for the way she brings these long ago time periods to life. She did it again with her newest release Tidelands, set in the mid 1600’s.

18.Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
This is so hard because I 100% read for fun this year. There were so many enjoyable books, but I actually was crying laughing at one point in Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella, so I’ll pick that one!

19.Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2019?
This year was all about lighter reads, so the only one I can remember bringing me to tears was The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. Actually, I’m pretty sure The Simple Wild tugged at my heart pretty hard as well by the end.

20.Hidden Gem Of The Year?
The Vine Witch by Luanne G Smith – I received a copy of this book from the publisher without specifically asking for it, but it turned out to be an excellent story! It’s set in turn of the century France and vine witches are responsible for producing unparalleled French wine. When a vine witch returns to her vineyard after being cursed, she discovers it’s been sold to a city man. To further add trouble, someone’s been performing dangerous blood magic in town. This one had me flipping pages quickly to find out what happened!

21.Most Unique Book You Read In 2019?
Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers – This tale of a magical nanny who takes care of the Banks children is familiar due to the enormous popularity of the original movie and recent sequel. Although some parts of the movie are recognizable in the book, the book contains many more imaginative tales to delight your senses. One of my favorites was from the perspective of the infant twins as they discussed starlight, adults, and growing up.

22.Best Audiobook Narrator
Since I already mentioned Trevor Noah, I’m going to pick Kristen Hensley and Jen Smedley for this one. Their stories from #IMomSoHard are downright hilarious!

 

 

Browse my 2018 book survey results!

 

 

Book Blogging / Book Life

1.New favorite book blog you discovered in 2019?
A toss up between Christine’s The Uncorked Librarian and Jenny and Rae’s new joint venture, Novels and Notions!

2.Best bookish event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
Does following along with everyone’s posts from BookExpo / BookCon count?? Someday I’ll actually make it there…

3.Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
Popular Books That Live Up to the Hype – For the second year in a row this one wins! It doubled the number of views in 2018. Since this is such a beloved topic, I’m thinking it’s time for another post along those lines…

4.Most reliable source of book recommendations in 2019
I finally created a dedicated bookstagram and I realized that platform is full of great recommendations. It’s honestly because of bookstagram that I delved into contemporary romance this year. The adorable drawn covers are too cute to resist.

5.Most helpful blogging discovery
Tailwind! This is the sole tool responsible for tripling my blog views this year. I had no idea Pinterest was such a powerful search engine – and full of readers looking for great books! Tailwind helps me manage my pins and ensures they’re going live at optimal times (usually when I’m in bed!)

6.New bookish discovery in 2019 (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
BookOutlet.com – I was blown away when I finally started looking through this site during their Black Friday sale. We ended up ordering 13 books for $45! Although their selection isn’t huge, the books are amazing prices. I’m planning to start listing any books available on their site at the bottom of my posts so others can take advantage of their deals!

 

Pin this post to save my book recommendations for later!

 

Books Available at BookOutlet.com From This Post:

A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Hardcover) – $6.50

The Flatshare (Hardcover) – $6.50

I’d Rather Be Reading (Hardcover) – $5.50

My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren (Paperback) – $4.89

8 Comments

  • Reply
    Rachael | Booklist Queen
    December 5, 2019 at 8:56 am

    Sounds like you’ve had a great year! Here’s to an even better one in 2020.

    • Reply
      Rachel Kamery
      December 5, 2019 at 9:43 am

      Same to you!

  • Reply
    Anne
    December 6, 2019 at 6:54 am

    What a fun way to recap a year of reading! Totally agree on listening to Trevor Noah’s audiobook – that also goes in the category of can’t believe I waited this long to get to it for me. Ooooh and your pick in that category is so good – love Rules of Civility! Making me think I should have that as a 2020 reread 🙂 I can’t get enough of Rainbow Rowell either. So good.

  • Reply
    Kristin Darhower
    December 8, 2019 at 9:29 am

    Totally agree about Crawdads. It was worth the hype. Rules of Civility was not to me lol. I listened to it in 2015? Not too long after it came out. It wasn’t bad enough for me to quit at all, but it was definitely somewhat pointless. Almost like a Gatsby something-or-other.

    I may grab this survey to do!

  • Reply
    Sunny
    December 18, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    It is a new discovery. I am lucky to come here for reading just this article. But found the bundle of useful books.

  • Reply
    Erica Metcalf
    December 26, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    I love this! Have a great 2020 reading year!!

  • Reply
    Literary Feline
    January 4, 2020 at 10:04 pm

    25 Days Til Christmas is a new to me title, but it does sound good. Thank you for the recommendation! I really must read Brigid Kemmerer and Katherine Arden. I’ve heard such great things about all of their books. I was just eyeing The Great Alone this weekend. It’s on my wish list. I cry a lot when I read, and so it’s something I expect, but some books do make me cry more than others. I’m sure that would be one. I hope you have a Happy New Year!

  • Reply
    Fern Chasida
    January 9, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    Loved reading your 2019 survey and definitely checking out some of the books you mention.

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