I found this fun survey on Fluffy Owl's Adventures and Words That Can Only Be Your Own and decided to (belatedly) give it a go. The original questions were thought up by Jamie and there's a whole pile and more here. I thought it was a bit of a shame that I pretty much gave up on my monthly book posts in the last part of the year, so this is a bumper version to make up for it...
Best book you read in 2014?
I loved loved loved the Song of Ice and Fire books by George RR Martin, but A Storm of Swords (book 3) was a particular highlight. I was reading it on the train when something pretty significant happened and I was bursting to tell someone but all I could do was sit and gawp while my brain processed what was going on.
On the other side of the genre scale, I also loved Emma by Jane Austen. I have no idea why it took me so long to read it but I savoured every delightful word.
Most surprising (in a good or bad way) book you read in 2014?
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons seems an obvious choice - I thought it was going to be stuffy and old fashioned in a bad way, but it was entertaining and old fashioned in a good way.
Conversely, from the way everyone raved about The Fault in our Stars by John Green, I thought it was going to be the ultimate weepy love story. It was a predictable cheese fest.
Book you can't believe you waited until 2014 to read?
I could repeat myself and say the Song of Ice and Fire series but... I'll have to go with a tie between Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild and Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton.
Shortest and longest books you read in 2014?
(totally just realised you could do this on Goodreads!) Not surprisingly, all seven Ice and Fire books are in the top eight! The other high number is The Misinterpretation of Tara Jupp by Eva Rice, a lovely book about a girl who becomes a singer in the 1960s (and is sort of related to her most awesome book, The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets.)
Three books claimed not to have a page number, but the lowest seems right anyway, a Shire book on Holiday Camps by Kathryn Ferry.
A Hundred Pieces of Me by Lucy Dillon looked a bit like fluffy nonsense at first glance, but the story of a girl recovering from cancer by purging her belongings actually held up through the many (many) pages. I was pootling along quite briskly with it, wanting to see how it ended, then in the last couple of chapters it became clear it was heading off in a completely ridiculous direction. And I got mad.
Best book from a genre you don't typically read?
I'm not a crime/thriller fan in the slightest but I got totally hooked on Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson. The film was typically a bit naff though...
Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love but didn't?
I was looking forward to reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell when I came across it in the library, but it just felt a bit predictable. And the names of the twins annoyed me. That's all I've got, but it's enough. I think I'm over Young Adult reading for the moment, it's been a bit of a touchy genre for me this year.
Favourite new author you discovered in 2014?
I got very into The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton and have kept her in mind for another easy read in the future. I also really liked The Shadow Year by Hannah Richell, an odd story about a group of friends who find a cottage in the woods and decide to live there for a year after finishing university. Unsurprisingly, things take a sinister turn...
In 2014 I aimed to read 50 books and I read... 50 books! It was a bit of a surprise to realise I was right on target! I've set the same goal for this year, although I don't take it too seriously. Reading is my fun time and I've always read a lot, but it doesn't matter to me if I hit a certain number, as long as I enjoy the journey.