2017 End Of Year Book Survey

2017 End Of Year Book Survey

Helllo 2018! The last few months have sucked, emotions running low and motivation non-existant but I’m back and the new year has brought with it my long-lost motivation! After a difficult January I’ll be posting about my word of the year, plans and a review of last year, however, first of all it’s time to start out with something bookish.

I was surprised to find that this was my first time doing one of Perpetual Pageturner’s End of Year book surveys. I thought I’d done it at least once before, but that was actually her A-Z book survey! You can find out more about the End of Book survey over at her blog! I’ve linked my answers to their respective goodreads pages so you can go add them to your TBR if they tickle your fancy 🙂

 

2017 Reading Stats

Number Of Books You Read: 371 – Most of these were comics as I started reading DC in a big way this year.
Number of Re-Reads: 0 – I don’t have time to re-read, too much new stuff to devour!
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy and Urban Fantasy.

 

 

Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read In 2017? Non-fiction has to be Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World. This book really did have a massive impact on my life and how I think. Fiction, wow that is a tough one. I guess it will have to be the Gilded Cage by Vic James.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? Probably The Green Arrow DC 52 series. I have been such a fan of Green Arrow in Smallville and Arrow, but the comics were just so bad. I had to give up.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read? Most of the DC comics I read. I started with the New 52 series and was surprised at how good they were, especially the Green Lantern series. I ended up reading the Red and Yellow Lantern series as well.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)? I’m not sure I pushed many, but I did recommend the Mindfulness book a lot. I doubt anyone actually listened though.

5. Best series you started in 2017? Best Sequel of 2017? Best Series Ender of 2017? Best series goes to the DC comics, namely the new 52 run of Batman and Batman and Robin. To be honest, all the Bat family storylines were fantastic and thoroughly enjoyable! Best sequel goes to Patricia Briggs’ Fire Touched, book 9 of the Mercy Thompson series. I read a couple of good enders last year as I made a point of catching up and finishing series as much as possible. I think Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare is the winner though. The previous book in the series was such a let down that I left it years before picking up Heavenly Fire, which I devoured, then devoured the Infernal Devices and the next series and finally two seasons of Shadowhunters!

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2017? I didn’t read many new authors  last year, but it was a pleasure to be able to finally read some of the work of my friend Leah Chiasson. I absolutely loved her novella Bound by Blood, and can’t wait to get my hands on more of her work!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone? Again, DC comics. I’ve been around the fandom and enjoyed the film and tv verses, however, getting into the comics properly was quite scary and intimidating at times.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?  I’ve named several of them already so to throw a new name into the hat; Rick Riordan. I caught up with Magnus Chase, started the Apollo series and finished off the Kane Chronicles. I literally have to pick up several of his books from the library at a time so I can read them back to back!

9. Book You Read In 2017 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year? I’m not a big re-reader, as I said, so it will probably just be Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World  because it has so content that is always going to be relevant to what I’m going through.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2017? I’m a major sucker for pretty covers, and have picked up quite a few amazing books just by cover, so this is a really hard question! I think it has to be the Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. The cover is as mysterious as the book, however, once you’ve read the book the cover takes on a whole different meaning. It’s like a puzzle all on it’s own.

11. Most memorable character of 2017? Oh wow, another difficult one! I always become very emotionally involved in books and their characters. I fully immerse myself in anything I read, and if I can’t then it’s a sure sign that the book isn’t enjoyable for me. I would answer every character because every one has left an imprint on my mind and heart. Two came to mind immediately; Apollo from the Trials of Apollo series and Jem from the Infernal Devices series. Apollo, to put it bluntly, is a complete ass. He’s a god that has been dumped on earth and has trouble adjusting. But then you begin to see things from (some of) his side of things, including what it must be like to have Zeus as a father. His character gave me a lot to think. Jem was memorable for a complicated life that transcended time, and his story was particularly poignant to me.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2017? The Night Circus – This book came highly recommended and I can see why; it is a work of art, as intricately created and connected as each part of the circus within. I found it very reminiscent of Victorian Horror stories, a genre that I really enjoy and admire. However, that being said it is a genre and writing style that I appreciate more from an academic standpoint rather than as a reader. The story is enjoyable, but it is the construct of the novel that makes it truly remarkable and while it intrigued me, it just didn’t hit all the spots for me.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2017? Again, Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2017 to finally read? So so many!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2017? It would take me hours to find one, so I’m going to pick one from the Mindfulness book that had such an effect on me;

“Mindfulness meditation teaches you to recognise memories and damaging thoughts as they arise. It reminds you that they are memories. They are like propaganda, they are not real. They are not you. You can learn to observe negative thoughts as they arise, let them stay a while and then simply watch them evaporate before your eyes. And when this occurs, an extraordinary thing can happen: a profound sense of happiness and peace fills the void.”

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2017? Shortest (not including comics) – Bound by Blood and Longest – City of Heavenly Fire.

17. Book That Shocked You The Most: Lord of Shadows, I did not see that ending coming and ohmygoodness I need the next book like NOW.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR: Jem/Theresa/Will from the Infernal Devices.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year: Apollo and Meg from Trials of Apollo, their relationship is so serious and so hilarious at the same time.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2017 From An Author You’ve Read Previously: Betrayals, book 4 in the Cainsville series by Kelley Armstrong. I have loved every single one of these books and will be pretty bummed when the series ends.

21. Best Book You Read In 2017 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure: Wonder Woman comics.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2017? I wasn’t sure, and then I remembered; Diana aka Wonder Woman. With the new movie coming I decided to start with her various comic arcs and fell in love with her. Until then I’d never seen the appeal, I wasn’t really interested in her compared to other female superheroes. Tying with her is Dick Drake aka Robin/Nightwing. I love his character, but have to be honest; the art work in his 52 series is seriously swoonworthy!

23. Best 2017 debut you read? I only read one this year, and it was Gilded Cage by Vic James. Fantastic series set in a contemporary British setting – pick it up!

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year? The Night Circus  for the same reasons listed in #12.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read? Any of Rick Riordan’s books, with a special shout out to Magnus Chase because his take on Norse mythology is hilarious.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2017? Every Cassandra Clare book I read this year? Yep seems about right!

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year? The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare. It’s a set of short stories and they are amazing. Usually I find additional short stories are ok, great sources of additional information but Clare really out did herself with these.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul? Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare; the whole plot is just urgh! It’s so heartbreaking to watch the characters go through everything.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2017? Gilded Cage by Vic James.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)? Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare; I just wanted to scream at everything happening, at all the mess and heartache.

 

Your Blogging/Bookish Life

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2017? I don’t read many book blogs, but I’ve really enjoyed Epicfied’s blog in 2017!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2017? Nada.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog? It was actually my last entry about my struggles with my ME diagnosis and why I’ve been so quiet. The comments really helped me realise I had nothing to be ashamed with and I’m planning to talk a lot more about it this year.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)? I only went to one, so it was the Sci Fi Weekender which we’re heading back to this year!

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2017? No idea.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year? Realising that I need to change how I do things, and having to cut back on some of my blog series because I don’t have the energy for the upkeep. Likewise, accepting this was not an easy thing to do.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)? N/A.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love? My birthstone series.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)? I don’t think there were many this year.

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year? I completed my goodreads goal twice and upped it, but failed the third one.

 

Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2017 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2018? The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness. I’ve been trying to get around to reading this and finishing the series all year, and now that there’s a TV series due I really want this finished.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2018 (non-debut)? Tempests and Slaughter the first book in the Numair Chronicles by Tamora Pierce. It has been a very long time coming and so long since we had a new Tortall book!

3. 2018 Debut You Are Most Anticipating? My book list is so huge that I am way behind on new releases, and very rarely get hold of debut authors the year they actually debut.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2018? It’s a toss up between the Queen of Air and Darkness, the next book in Cassandra Clare’s Dark Artifices series (December! 🙁 ) and the next book (Burn Bright) in Patricia Briggs’ Alpha and Omega series.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2018? I want to get back into the ease of reading. Due to a difficult January that’s not happened, and I’ve read a handful of comics this year and that’s it – which really isn’t like me at all.

6. A 2018 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable): None I’m afraid!

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this survey, as late as it is, and get some great book recommendations from it!

5 Fictional Creatures I’d Like To Adopt [5 Fandom Friday]

5 Creatures I want to adopt - 5 Fandom Friday

As there aren’t any new 5 Fandom Friday prompts up for April just yet I decided to revisit a topic I’ve been wanting to cover for sooo long! I am notorious for watching movies and tv shows, and asking my fiancé ‘Can I have one?!’ whenever a cute or majestic  creature comes along. I do it with books too, of course, but unless Chris has read them I can’t really squee too much out loud. There are so many more that could be added to this list, however, my brain went blank. Doh! So here are the ones that left such a mark on me that even brain fog couldn’t erase them from my memory!

 

 

 

Guild Wars 2 - Aurene

Aurene

Guild Wars 2

I’m going to be kinda vague on this one because I don’t want to spoil this for anyone else who plays/wants to play Guild Wars 2. Aurene is adorable, playful and so much fun and I don’t know how anyone wouldn’t want adopt this gorgeous baby dragon!

 

 

Percy Jackson - Blackjack

Blackjack

Percy Jackson series

It’s not a surprise that Pegasi feature in Rick Riordan’s greek mythology series, however, Blackjack is not what you’d expect for a Pegasus. He’s got an attitude and personality that is totally his own, and regularly uses slang rather than formal titles. He’s a fantastic friend to the gang, and who wouldn’t want a winged horse to ride?!

 

 

Disney, Pocahontas - Meeko

Meeko

Pocahontas

 

There are so many companions in Disney that I love, but it was Meeko that stole my heart. I had a Meeko plushie and he was my pride and joy for ages. If I had to pick just one Disney companion/side kick to adopt then Meeko would be it!

 

 

Star Wars - Varactyl

Varactyl

Star Wars

I remember the first moment I saw Obi-Wan’s Varactyl in Attack of the Clones. Then he started leaping off of cliffs with it! Every leap and bound made my heart soar. The Varactyl is such a majestic creature, and I was so happy when it got included in the MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic. While I can’t adopt it for real I can at least adopt it virtually!

 

 

World of Warcraft - Hippogryphs

 

Hippogryphs

World of Warcraft

I’d always admired the beautiful creatures, however, it wasn’t until Wrath of the Lich King that I fell totally in love with them. It started with the cute baby hippogryphs and grew even more when I spotted this mount, the Silver Covenant hippogryph. Since then I’ve collected every mount, every pet I can get my hands on.

 

How about you? Would you quite happily have a zoo of creatures from fandoms like me? Or are there just a few that fell in love with?  Let me know! <3  ((Video Game screenshots from my own collection, Varactyl image from Star Wars Wiki, Meeko from Disney Screencaps, Percy Jackson cover from Amazon.))

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My To Be Read Pile [5 Fandom Friday]

5 Fandom Friday - My TBR pile

My TBR pile is massive and has multiple parts. If you head over to my goodreads profile you can see my many bookshelves. I even have my TBR pile divided by whether they’re available at my two local libraries. So, yeah, this prompt was a pest! Narrowing it down to just 5 books was difficult, so I decided to add a sub-category to the prompt. First I considered new releases, new authors, indie books and comics (my local library just got an awesome subscription to Comics Plus so yey access to free digital comics!). In the end, I settled for this; 5 books in ongoing series that I am desperate to read.

 

Cainsville

The next book in Kelley Armstrong’s Cainsville series, and I am desperate to get my hands on it. It’s at my local library so I just need to wait until I’m well enough to pick up books again! I’ve gobbled down every book in this series so far and can’t wait to find out what happens next. This series has been a mixture of several genres, there’s a definite supernatural/urban fantasy element but it fits into the categories of thriller and mystery too.

 

All Souls

The final book in Deborah Harkness’ All Souls trilogy, and I have mixed feelings about it, as I have with the whole series. On the one hand I absolutely love it, on the other the books are so long and complex at times that the thought of picking up the next one hurts my head. It’s not the length, it’s the way it is written which is both a blessing and a curse. I want to know what happens next, how it all ends, and yet knowing how much text there is to get to that point – if there are even any straight answers – can be a bit off putting!

 

Bloodlines

Book 4 in the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead, this series continues on from her original Vampire Academy series with some familar and some new characters. I’m quite behind in it because it took me a while to get hold of one of the books, so I’m still playing catch up. This is one of those series where I’ve loved every book, but the incoming pain and danger for characters makes me put off reading it!

 

Mercy Thompson

I completely devoured Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson series a few years ago, and the last few books I’ve hit the ‘must wait for it to be published’ wall. Gah! It’s so totally worth the wait every time, and again, health is the only thing stopping me from grabbing this from the library.

 

Magnus Chase

Occasionally I watch a film/tv series before I’ve read the books, and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series was one of those. I quickly made my way through all of those, the next series and onto his other series based on Egyptian mythology. So when I heard he was writing about Norse mythology I was super excited and loved the first Magnus Chase book! Again, I’ve had to wait for the next book to be published so I’ve yet to get my hands on the next book and can’t wait to read where the story goes next!

 

What’s on your To Be Read pile? Do you have a short, specific one, or an ever growing never ending one like me? Do you prioritise certain authors/series? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you 🙂

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5 OTP’s I Ship [5 Fandom Friday]

5 Fandom Friday - OTPs

OTP stands for One True Pairing; your favourite pairing in a fandom. Or in my case, one of many. I often ship more than one couple in a fandom, and even more than one partner for a character. I’ve got a full list of my ‘ships over at my website but here are my top five. You should also totally check out the wonderful OTP clique Dearest to show your love for your OTP.

 

lukemara

Luke Skywalker & Mara Jade

Star Wars Expanded Universe

 

Luke: “Patience is a virtue.”

Mara: “Never had much use for it myself.”

Luke: “Yes, I’ve noticed.”


 

Luke: “Is there something you want to tell me?

Mara: “If I wanted to tell you, I would, wouldn’t I?

Luke: “Not if you thought it might upset me.

Mara: “You’ve got me. I hate that shirt. In fact, I think you’re a crummy dresser, period.

Luke: “You bought me this shirt.

Even though it is no longer canon, this is and will always be my top OTP. Honestly I could probably do a whole post on my OTPs from the Star Wars universe. For most of the Star Wars Expanded Universe (EU) Luke wandered around having a few relationships here and there until Timothy Zahn created Mara Jade, the Emperor’s Hand. Ok, fair enough their relationship didn’t start off great – she tried to kill him to avenge her Master’s death – but there was that spark. You know, that one which grabs your attention and continues to keep you hooked. They are two people who fit together, and the witty dialogue between them is fantastic. For example, when pregnant Mara’s reaction was to tell Luke; Darling. I love you, you are my life and my light. If you ever do this to me again I will vape you where you stand. They’ll never give up on one another or their loved one, and they kick ass while they do it.

 

alannageorge[Artwork by Minuiko]

Alanna the Lioness & George Cooper

Tortall novels by Tamora Pierce

 

“There’s plenty more fish in the sea than Prince Jonathan,” he told her softly. “And this particular fish loves you with all his crooked heart.”
– George to Alanna

 

The lady knight should fall in love with the prince she grew up with. Right? Nope, not this one. The first lady knight in hundreds of years (or ever, it’s been a while since I read these books), and she finds her soulmate in the king of thieves. As much as I liked Jon as a character he just wasn’t suited for Alanna, and George was the rougish rake who loved her for who she was.

 

robinmarianMarian and Robin Hood

Maid Marian: You came for me… you’re alive…
Robin of Locksley: I would die for you.

 

I ship Marian and Robin in pretty much every incarnation, with Once Upon a Time being the only exception (Regina/Robin!). It is my favourite fairytale and I’m not even sure how to put into words how much they mean to me. I chose the quote from Robin Hood Prince of Thieves because that epitomises their relationship for me. It is the forever ever after love, the love so strong that you would do anything for that person, even die for them.

 

phedre_and_joscelin_by_jankolas-d4lnhn3[Artwork by Jankolas]

Phédre/Joscelin

Kushiel Legacy by Jacqueline Carey

“Phédre, I’m used to it…your wandering around with the Name of God in your head is just one more damned thing to get used to.!

“Am I that hard to live with?” I asked.

“Yes.” His arms tightened around me. “But it’s worth it.”

 

 

Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel legacy means a lot to me in many ways, and so it was natural for this pair to make this list. Phédre is a courtesan, a daughter of Naamah, and Joscelin is her guard and a member of the Cassiline Brotherhood. To understand their relationship you need to understand exactly what a Cassiline is; it is a guardian sworn to protect their charge, every part of their fighting style is designed to protect their ward and they only drawn their sword to kill. They are dedicated to the point that they train in a move called the Terminus, an act in which a Cassiline throws their dagger to kill their ward and then uses their other dagger to slit their own throat. It may sound morbid, but the point is that even in death they have saved their ward from harm.

Joscelin goes through literal hell to find and save Phédre at one point. As a member of the brotherhood he swore a vow of chastity, one which he eventually breaks after falling in love with Phédre. Despite all the pain, suffering and degradation he has to suffer, he goes through it all to save his love. He is utterly devoted to her, accepts her for who she is and what she does. I honestly cannot think of a love that is as pure and as strong as these two. Even in the darkest moments their devotion wins through.

 

i_love_you__by_yorinarpati-d6tu7bi[Art by Yori Narpati]

Annabeth/Percy

Percy Jackson and the Olympians novels by Rick Riordan

 

“It’s okay,” he said. “We’re together.” He didn’t say you’re okay, or we’re alive. After all they’d been through over the last year, he knew that the most important thing was that they were together. She loved him for saying that.


Annabeth put her knee on Percy’s chest. She pushed her forearm against his throat. She didn’t care what the Romans thought. A white-hot lump of anger expanded in her chest—a tumor of worry and bitterness that she’d been carrying around since last autumn.
“If you ever leave me again,” she said, her eyes stinging, “I swear to all the gods—”
Percy had the nerve to laugh. Suddenly the lump of heated emotions melted inside Annabeth.
“Consider me warned,” Percy said. “I missed you, too.”

The newest addition to this list, and they make it because of the huge amount of difficulties they have faced. I don’t want to give away spoilers, so lets just put it this way; they’ve been to hell and back, and had everything including a godly kitchen sink thrown at them. They have been at deaths door, they have almost seen the world end and they still stick together. He’s her seaweed brain and she’s his wise girl, and they are just super cute together. I think what makes me love this couple so much is that when Percy’s being an idiot, Annabeth is the first person to call him on it and slap him for it.

 

Honourable mentions

Narrowing it down to just 5 was tough and the final two especially had to fight with a few others. Buffy/Angel was probably one of my first OTPs but didn’t make the cut because I’m not sure that I could argue for it any more. I love their relationship, but could I say it was my OTP or that I believed they belonged together? Possibly not. Then there’s the World of Warcraft universe; I have several OTPs from this fandom and I wanted desperately to feature one – but I couldn’t choose one over the others! I couldn’t decide between Jaina/Kalecgos, Alexstraza/Krasus, Rhonin/Vereesa or Alleria/Turaylon!

 

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