Thursday, December 30, 2010

End of 2010 Survey (via Perpetual Page-Turner)

Jamie over at Perpetual Page-Turner created a little survey for 2010 that we can fill out about our 2010 reading experience whenever we want until the beginning of January. Feel free to link up with Mr. Linky and share your "Best of What I Read 2010" lists and visit others on the list. 

1. Best book of 2010? I am not good at picking favorites, but I have managed to narrow it down to 3 books: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hosseini; Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa; and Sold by Patricia McCormick.

2. Worst book of 2010? I know I am going to get in trouble for this one: I could not finish Stieg Larson's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It just wasn't a book I enjoyed so I gave up on it. The one I finished but liked the least was Deogratias: A Tale of Rwanda by Jean-Philllippe Stassen. I had such high hopes for this book and it just didn't do it for me.

3. Most Disappointing Book of 2010? For me it is going to be Girls with the Dragon Tattoo. I had heard such great things about it and everyone else seemed to like it so much that I was hyped to read it. Then I just didn't like it. Very sad.

4. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2010? I am going to go with Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff for this question. I am embarrassed to say I hadn't heard of the author or the book so didn't really have high expectations when I finished it, but I really enjoyed it!

5. Book you recommended to people most in 2010? For YA, I have recommended Patricia McCormick's Sold, Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me, and the Hunger Games trilogy to a lot of people. For adult literature I've been recommending The Help by Kathryn Stockett, Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl Wu's Half the Sky as well as Kris Holloway's Monique and the Mango Rains.

6. Best series you discovered in 2010? This has got to be Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy.

7. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2010? Since this was my first complete year of blogging and reading book blogs, I would say that most of the authors I read were new to me. Some of my favorites are: Patricia McCormick, Lisa See, Mitali Perkins, and Michael Morpurgo.

8. Most hilarious read of 2010? OK. The saddest part about this question is that I realize I just didn't read funny books this year, most of my favorites were pretty heavy stuff. So, I am going to pick Bill Bryson's African Diary. He is just a funny guy, even when covering a serious subject!

9. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2010?  I read so many books that kept me up until late at night this year, what an awesome thing to be able to say. Here are some of my real page turners: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins; Room by Emma Donoghue; Out of My Mind by  Sharon Draper (I've just reread it with my 10 year old who also loved it) and Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo.

10. Book you most anticipated in 2010? I was flying by the seat of my pants for most of 2010, not knowing what book I would read next. I really, really wanted to read Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, so I guess I'll put that one as my most anticipated.


11. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2010? The two covers I liked the most were Jandy Nelson's The Sky is Everywhere (there is just something about that heart against the blue) and Barefoot in Baghdad by Manal Omar for the colors and the serenity of it.
12. Most memorable character in 2010? Who do I keep thinking about? I don't really have one character that has stuck with me. Places and situations from books have made a greater impact on me this year: struggles for peace and human dignity in Israel/Palestine; education and safety for child soldiers in Uganda and Sudan; and freedom from abuse, neglect, and oppression for women in Afghanistan and other nations around the world.

13. Most beautifully written book in 2010? Confession time. I am not a reader who notices amazing prose, a beautiful turn of phrase or if a book is way better written than others. I am all about character and plot. So, I don't have a good answer for this question.

14. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2010? I am going to pick two books for this question. The first one is Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl Wu's Half the Sky. After reading it I had a serious sit down with myself and my finances and thought about how I give money during the year and how it really wasn't making a huge impact by giving a tiny bit to a bunch of places that I didn't feel passionate about. So, my daughter and I decided to sponsor a girl's education and we chose Ashia in Uganda. I also read A Long Way Home, about child soldiers in Uganda. And now I've created the non-profit Turn the Page Uganda to bring books to students and teachers in northern Uganda.


15. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2010 to finally read? Although I read To Kill A Mockingbird in High School I haven't reread it until this year. What was I waiting for?! Actually, I listened to it and Sissy Spacek was a wonderful reader.





9 comments:

Amanda said...

Sold and Mornings in Jenin just BARELY missed being in my top books. I read way too many books this year! I didn't like Deogratis either. Actually, I didn't finish it. It got to be too gross for me and Jason finished it and told me I definitely didn't want to read further. That was enough for me. I loved Monique and the Mango Rains too! And I also need to reread To Kill a Mockingbird. I read it in middle school sometime and was way too young, so I didn't get anything out of it. I've heard from another blogger that the audio was good so I think I'll take that route.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Confession: I did finish Stieg Larson's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but didn't care for it and chose NOT to read the others by him. A friend asked why, and all I could say was that it just wasn't what I enjoy reading.

I loved both Sharon Draper's Out of My Mind and Patricia Reilly Giff's Pictures of Hollis Woods, as you know. I've read Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me, but haven't reviewed it. I agree that Half the Sky by Kristoff and Wu was excellent. I think it's funny that you chose the cover of Barefoot in Baghdad as one of your two favorites, and it may be the ONLY cover I think I mentioned this year because it's so beautiful.

Helen's Book Blog said...

Amanda--I would have been okay with not finishing Deogratias, it did get quite violent.

Bonnie--So glad to hear there is at least one other person out there who didn't like the Stieg Larson books. Every time I look at the Barefoot in Baghdad cover I feel peaceful, how ironic given the content of the book!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

i loved A Thousand Splendid Suns. You have several others on this list that I'd like to try as well; great list Helen.

Aarti said...

Looks like you had a Middle Eastern theme in your favorite reads of the year :-)

Amused said...

Great wrap up! I like your pick for faves. I know everyone is raving about the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books but they don't seem like they'd be for me either!

Helen's Book Blog said...

Diane--A Thousand Splendid Suns is one of those books I keep thinking about it long after I've read it

Aarti--Doing all these end of the year posts definitely made me realize that I have an international theme going with most taking place in India or the Middle East

Amused--So glad there are a few of us who are "Dragon" crazy :-)

christa @ mental foodie said...

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was just okay for me. I recently watched the movie, and actually like it better - it cuts out the fluff, eliminate a few things that happened in that book that aren't quite important, and just focus on the main mystery.

Helen's Book Blog said...

Christa--Ok, maybe I'll add the movie to my Netflix. At least then I'd know what everyone was talking about!