2016 End of Year Bookish Survey

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Yesterday, I shared to you guys my Top 10 Books of 2016… for this post, allow me to highlight other books I have read through this End of Year Bookish Survey. This is the third time I am doing this, and I am sure this is already an annual tradition, no matter what platform I use.

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  • Number of books read – 80, down 2 books from last year.
  • Number of re-reads – Technically, 1. “Bata, Bata, Pa’no Ka Ginawa” by Lualhati Bautista is a book I first read in college, but because it has been decades since I first read it, I made it count as a “new read” on my GoodReads page.
  • Most read genre – Contemporary / Realistic fiction

 

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  • Best book you read in 2016 – “Burial Rites” by Hannah Kent. For the last thrburialritesee years, my top favorite books has always been set during WW2. This is the first time a different kind of book topped the list, but it is still under historical fiction.
  • Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more but didn’t? – “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Jonathan Safran Foer. I will be the first to say that the writing style was beautiful, and I totally loved it. From the beginning, I already felt sure that I will love the book overall, but when I finished it, it left me dumbfounded. I seriously didn’t know what to say about my thoughts about it… I am not sure if I loved or hated it… I just don’t know.
  • Most surprising (in a good and bad way) book you read in 2016 – In a good way, it would be “The Serpent King” by Jeff Zentner. At the start of the novel, I already feared I won’t like it given the fact that I am totally disconnected with YA Contemporary this year, and I found the premise behind the serpent king a little corny. However, halfway through the novel, I started caring for the characters, I started liking the flow of the story, and in the end, I just found it to be a wonderful novel. On the other side of the spectrum, I would say “Beautiful Disaster” by Jamie McGuire was the book that surprised me in a bad way. Before buying and reading this book, I already heard of many raves about it – both the story and its characters. When I decided to read it, I just couldn’t understand what people saw in it that I didn’t see. The story was kinda meh, and the characters (and their relationship) was just problematic.
  • Book you “pushed” more people to read (and they did) – I am not sure if they did, but for this question, it would be “A Room of One’s Own” by Virginia Woolf. I read this during a readathon, and after it, I just raved so much aassassinsbout it that I just kept on telling to people on Instagram to read it.
  • Best series you started in 2016? Best sequel? Best series ender? – Best series starter and series ender would be “The Assassin’s Curse” and “The Pirate’s Wish” both by Cassandra Rose Clarke. This duology is so wonderful, the non-fantasy reader in me was just happy to have read it. As for the sequel, I am not sure if “Fairest” by Marissa Meyer would be counted as a “sequel” as it is a 0.5 in the series, but I read very few series this year that I just have to put this one in.
  • Favorite new author discovered in 2016 – Benjamin Alire Saenz. After I read this book “In Perfect Light,” I knew I want to read all his works.
  • Favorite book from a genre you don’t typically read / was out of your comfort zone? – Fantasy is a genre I don’t get to read much of this year, and my favorite piratesfantasy book in 2016 would be “The Pirate’s Wish” by Cassandra Rose Clarke. As a sequel and series ender, it just provided everything a reader wants, plus more and more extras. It was very fun to read, the ending was realistic, and the world building was just phenomenal!
  • Most action packed / thrilling / unputdownable book of the year – It’s not really action packed, but it sure is thrilling and unputdownable for me. The book was “The Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas. Though I felt it was more of “telling” and not “showing,” I just loved the time I spent reading this one.
  • Book you read in 2016 that you are most likely to re-read in 2017 – I am not a big re-rereader, but I guess I would re-read “Boy Meets Boy” by David Levithan soon. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t remember its story anymore! Once, while cleaning my shelves, I was looking at it and tried to remember the jist of the story, and nothing comes to mind. Ugh.
  • Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016 – “Don’t Look Back” by Jennifer L. lookbackArmentrout. It was simple, the images had connection to the story, and it was intriguing, without giving too much about it.
  • Most memorable character of 2016 – Yeoung-hye from “The Vegetarian” by Han Kang. Read the book, and she will be one character you won’t forget, too.
  • Most beautifully written book read in 2016 – “Burial Rites” by Hannah Kent. It won’t become my favorite book of the year if it was badly written.
  • Most thought provoking, life changing book of 2016 – It is not life changing, but “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes sure is one thought provoking book, whether you liked it or not. Personally, I am someone who liked the novel… I thought it was well rounded and something that I had to put down every once in a while to think about a character’s thoughts or actions, weighing it if I would do the same if I were in their shoes.
  • Book you can’t believe you waited ’til 2016 to read? – It was in 2013 when I first learned about “Between Shades of Gray” by Ruta Sepetys. It has been a book I wanted to own, but when a friend gifted me a copy, I didn’t actually get to read it ’til this year. I am silently angry at myself for waiting three years…but I am definitely happy to have read it finally.
  • Favorite passage / quote from a book you read in 2016 – Something from “Push” by Sapphire: “Listen baby, Muver loves you. Muver not dumb. Listen baby: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ. Twenty-six letter in all. Them letters make up words. Them words everything.” If you have read the book or watched the movie “Precious,” I think you will understand why this line meant a lot.
  • Shortest and longest book you read in 2016 – Shortest book would be “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson at 8 pages… longest book would be “Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders” by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry at 698 pages.
  • Book that shocked you the most – “It Ends With Us” by Colleen Hoover. Thejustkids novel itself is pretty shocking, but it is actually the author’s note at the end of the book that shocked me the most.
  • OTP of the year – Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe. No, they were not real life sweethearts, but their friendship is just so unique and so wonderful they are just my one true pair.
  • Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year – “Not Without My Sister” is a non-fiction book written by three sisters – Juliana, Celeste, and Kristina – and is about their life as children born into the infamous cult, Children of God. It is such a disturbing and horrifying book, and I just admired how these sisters (who are not full sisters – they have different mothers) just care and look out for one another even if they were separated at one or many points in their lives.
  • Best book you read in 2016 that is based solely on a recommendation from somebody else / peer pressure – Again, I will go for “The Pirate’s Wish” by Cassandra Rose Clarke, as it was a book us friends read together… and yes, we all raved about it. From it, we coined a new word – “Naji moves,” which is synonymous to “smooth moves” or anything similar to it. I hope in 2017, we could get to buddy read again.
  • Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016 – I think this is where I always struggle with every year, but okay… Naji. Hehehehe.
  • Best 2016 debut – “The Mothers” by Brit Bennett.
  • Best world building / most vivid setting – “The Narrow Road to the Deep North” by Richard Flanagan. Set in Thailand during WW2, this novel is about the prisoners of war building the bridge that connects Thailand to Burma. I don’t know what it is about Richard Flanagan’s writing, but whew, reading this novel felt as if I could see, hear, and oh my gosh smell everything he has written to the point that I nearly threw up while reading. Though I wasn’t a big fan of the novel overall, it is this vivid way of dangerousgirlsnarrating the story that made me love it.
  • Book that put a smile on your face / was the most fun to read – “Dangerous Girls” by Abigail Haas is not really a fun to read story, but I did love how the novel was presented. I had fun reading how the novel shaped it to distract the readers, and in the end, I was smiling because I knew I was right with my guesses.
  • Book that made you cry / nearly cry in 2016 – Three books that made me cry this year: “Just Kids” by Patti Smith, “Between Shades of Gray” by Ruta Sepetys, and “In Perfect Light” by Benjamin Alire Saenz.
  • Hidden Gem of the year – “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein. It wasn’t a popular book, so reading it felt as if I dug a diamond in the rough.
  • Book that crushed your soul – “Push” by Sapphire. I sincerely hope no human being could get to experience what Precious (the main character) had to go through in life. It is just too much for anybody to bear.
  • Most unique book – “Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness” by Susannah Cahalan. The way she delivered her story was not only concise, it was well delivered as well.
  • Book that made you the most mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you hated it) – “She’s Dating the Gangster” by Bianca B. Bernardino. It was problematic all the way, but what concerned me the most is that the author is a psychology graduate. I was expecting for her to write a well rounded novel, but it was one big “ugh.”

 

bookishlife

This section of the survey talks mainly about book blogging, but because I didn’t get to blog actively in 2016, I will change it to Bookstagram, as I am more into Instagram than blogging.

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  • Favorite Instagram page discovered in 2016 – @newleafwriter. I am very much into flatlays this year, and hers is the best I’ve seen.
  • Favorite review that you wrote in 2016 – I don’t know why I am so scared to put up book reviews, so I cannot think of anything that I could consider a favorite. I will work on this in 2017, I promise.
  • Best discussion/non-review post – Oh my gosh… that would be my post about “Me Before You.” For the longest time, I was able to dodge all spoilers about this and I even managed not to watch the movie trailer. Then on the day I watched the movie (I haven’t read the book yet when I watched it), I posted a picture of my movie ticket just less than an hour before the screening, and one person just spoiled the story. I know it was my fault posting a picture which allows people to respond however they wish and it sure was awful knowing the turning point of the story before even watching it, but what made this the “best” was that my friends totally looked out for me by calling the attention of the spoiler. It’s so touching having friends like that.
  • Best event that I participated in – The Book Stop Project in Ayala Triangle, Makati City. The Book Stop Project is a project where organizers place this cool book house in different locations. It’s first location was in Ayala Triangle, and upon donating three books, I took home two books in exchange. I wasn’t able to participate their organized games and activities, but just seeing it and exchanging books was more than enough to make me happy.
  • Best moment of your bookish life – Just like last year, it would be MIBF. I was upset that I didn’t get to roam around the SMX Hall for there were sooo many people, but I call this the best because this was the time that I got to spend a very wonderful time with my family and friends. I still haven’t shared pictures from that day here on the blog, but I will do so on the next post.
  • Most popular post – My “Sea of Blue Books” post, pictured above.
  • Post you wish got a little more love – Pictures with me in it. Hahahaha. I do get that my followers mainly followed me for book pictures, and I do get it that I am not gifted with good looks, but I just hope even the pictures with me in it would get as much love because other bookstagrammers would share pics of themselves and still get the same amount of love.
  • Best bookish discovery – When Elena told us about the flash sale Amazon had for “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” Illustrated edition. $8!!!
  • Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of the year? –No. Reading took a plunge this year, sadly. I didn’t hit any of the goals I set myself to do, and believe me I am angry at myself, but it’s time to move forward.

 

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  • One book you didn’t get to in 2016, but will be your number 1 priority in 2017 – “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett. It was part of my January 2016 TBR, and even if I include it in succeeding TBR lists, I wasn’t able to read it within that year.
  • Non-debut book you are most anticipating – The fourth book in the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith. No title yet, but there was a report that it might be published in 2017.
  • 2017 debut you are most anticipating – None, actually. I am not that knowledgeable about debuts and such.
  • One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading life – Lose the fear of writing book talks / reviews. Still. Hahahaha. And maybe reading 100 books, finally.
  • A 2017 release you’ve already read and recommend to everyone – None, really.

And oh my gosh this survey is done! Thank you so much if you read it all the way through here. I know this is a very long post, but I just love doing it. I hope your 2016 was a great reading year for you. If it wasn’t, then I hope 2017 will be a better year.

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