Ambiguous Pieces: End of Year Book Survey 2019

Image Description: a picture of an open book with a red and yellow string in the shape of a heart

2019 Reading Stats
Number Of Books You Read: 48 out of 50
Number of Re-Reads: 3 books
Genre You Read The Most: Dystopian-SciFi, Urban Fantasy, and Contemporary Romance

Best In Books
01. Best Book You Read In 2019? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2019 release vs. backlist)
A Princess In Theory by Alyssa Cole – Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

02. Book You Were Excited About And Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
The Umbrella Academy series – I loved the TV show, so I picked up the graphic novels as soon as I’d finished watching it, however, I didn’t enjoy the novels as much as the show.

03. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
Check Please! Book 1: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu – Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

04. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
books written by Helen Hoang, such as The Kiss Quotient and The Bride Test

05. Best series you started in 2018? Best Sequel of 2018? Best Series Ender of 2019?
Best Series I Started – Battle Angel Alita by Yukito Kishiro
Best Series I Continued – Monstress by by Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda
Best Series I Finished – Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori

06. A favourite new author that you discovered in 2018?
Ngozi Ukazu and C.S. Pacat

07. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Young Adult novels with a focus on Sports (that’s a thing now)

08. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
The Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole – I know, I know, the series is trashy and kind of problematic, but it’s excellent escapism.

09. Book You Read In 2019 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Custom Reality and You by Peter Coffin – Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

It’s a dense read, so it may take some readers, including myself, a couple of goes before it all starts to make sense.

10. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2018?
The book covers for the Mortal Engines Quartet Series Box-Set by Phillip Reeve

11. The most memorable character/s of 2019?
This one is a tie: Shitty from Check Please! Book 1: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu and Shrike from The Mortal Engine series.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2019?
I predominately read graphic novels, so I’ll change this question slightly, the most beautifully drawn graphic novel series I read this year, which would be a tie between Natsume’s Book of Friends by Yuki Midorikawa and XXXHolic by CLAMP

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2019?
Emotional Vampires: Dealing with people who drain you dry by Albert J. Bernstein – Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

This was thought-provoking, however, I wouldn’t consider it radical or life changing. Albert J. Bernstein created character archtypes to discuss certain types of toxic behaviour patterns. I though this was a clever way of addressing the problem and I liked his “no nonsense” approach to strategy.

I was little underwhlemed, the character archtypes seemed obvious, and therefore the advice seemed (at times) obvious, however, I understand that sometimes the obvious needs to be said anyway. I also understand that it’s easy to say that these toxic behaviours are obvious when written down on paper

I guess I would have preferred a conversation that focused on the obvious and the more subtle signs of a toxic person/toxic relationship (romantic or otherwise).

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2019 to finally read?
Black by Fleur Ferris – Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

15. Favourite Passage/Bookish Quote You Discovered in 2019?
“In our deepest moments we say the most inadequate things.”
― Edna O’Brien, A Fanatic Heart

16. Shortest and Longest Book You Read In 2019?
Shortest: Fence – Volume 2 by C.S. Pacat at 112 pages
Longest: xxxHOLiC Omnibus 3 by CLAMP at 560 pages

17. Book That Shocked You The Most (Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)
Probably the Monstress series. Those books really should come with content warnings.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!) (OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)
Susan and McGraw from the Giant Days series by John Allison.

19. Favourite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Gertrude and Larry from the I Hate Fairyland series by Skottie Young

20. Favourite Book You Read in 2019 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
I predominately read Graphic Novels, so pretty much my entire “Read” list for 2019

21. Best Book You Read In 2019 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
Emotional Vampires: Dealing with People Who Drain You Dry by Albert J. Bernstein – Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2019?
I’m afraid this type of question doesn’t apply to me

23. Best 2019 debut you read?
Montress – Volume 4: The Chosen by Majorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda – Amazon | Book Depository

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
The XXXHolic series by CLAMP

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most Fun To Read?
Probably the Fence series by C.S. Pacat and the Giant Days series by John Allison

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2018?
Ms. Marvel, Vol. 6: Civil War II by G. Willow Wilson – Amazon | Book Depository

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
The Constantine series (The New 52) by Ray Fawkes – Amazon | Book Depository

I just happened to find the first volume in my local Library by accident.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
Battle Angel Alita by Yukito Kishiro – Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

The Battle Angel Alita series is considered a Science Fiction Classic and with good reason. Let’s just say it puts the Dys in Dystopian.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2018?
Custom Reality and You by Peter Coffin – Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan – Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

Your Blogging/Bookish Life
01. New favourite bookish blog you discovered in 2019?
I discovered a few, so I’ll list them down below
~Noveltea Corner
~Lisa Carroll Vlogs (more focused on Australian current events than books)

02. Favourite review that you wrote in 2019?
Book Review: Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits by David Wong

03. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
My Stim Stationery and Stationery Review posts. I just wish they had generated more interest as I put a lot of effort into those posts.

04. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I attended VidCon 2019.

05. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2018?
While at VidCon 2019, one of the sessions I attended was “Collaborative Creating with Hank Green”, and I consider it one my favourite sessions because not only is Hank Green brilliant at educating people about topics, he’s also great at keeping his audience entertained and engaged.

One of those moments was when he was discussing the practicalities of working in a team and one of those unavoidable practicalities is making content that you’re passionate about versus content that’s profitable. Hank was asking us the hypothetical question, “Shouldn’t it be enough that I’m passionate this idea?” (or the question was along those lines).

I responded to this question (out loud) with a no, which was loud enough to be heard not only by Hank Green but by the audience as well (I had not intended to say it out loud). The majority of the audience and Hank Green found my blunt response amusing (much to my relief).

Hank Green’s response was, “Get that Lady a job!” Considering the fact that Hank Green has a very good eye for talent, that’s a high ranking compliment :).

06. The most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
My biggest issue over the last two years has been trying to handle all the different elements of my life: blogging, work, long-term illness of two different family members. As a result, I have not been particularly social, and my blogging/creative projects have suffered because I just can’t balance all those elements together.

Unfortunately, something has to give. So, my only solution that I can think of is to write as many posts as I can when I have the time/energy and schedule them in advance. I’ll try to stick to a Tuesday and Thursday posting routine but I just don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep it up for.

07. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
Stim Toy Review: Nardia Narwhal – Squeezamals was the most popular blog-post of the year

08. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
I put a lot of effort into my blog-post “Thoughts and Feelings: The Australian Voting System.” and I had hoped it would get a better response.

09. Best bookish discover (book related sites, bookstores, etc.)?
I have discovered the existence of some stationery stores in Melbourne Central and Highpoint that I would like to write Stationery Quest blog-posts about.

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
Australian Women Writers Challenge: 4 out of 4 books read and reviewed
RMFAO Genre Challenge 2019: 7 out of 10 books read and reviewed
Diverse Books Challenge: 7 out of 10 read and reviewed

Looking Ahead
01. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2019 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2020?
I am super far behind in my TBR pile, there are many books I need to catch up on, I didn’t even manage to complete my Goodreads Challenge Goal of 50 books. I am contemplating setting up a new TBR system to potentially combat this (or this is just another way for me to procrastinate).

02. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2020 (non-debut)?
I believe the next book in the Check Please! series by Ngozi Ukazu is coming out and I think Kresley Cole will be releasing another book in her Immortal After Dark series (maybe?)

03. 2020 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
I don’t actively pursue new release books, so this question doesn’t apply to me.

04. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2020?
I’m looking forward to finishing a few graphic novel series I’ve started. Fruits Basket, XXXHolic, and Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles.

05. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2020?
Get better at Social Media interaction. I’m generally a Lurker on people’s book blogs or Booktube channels and I need to change that. This year I simply haven’t had the time or energy/motivation. I’m also going to shut down my current YouTube Channel and start over.

06. A 2020 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):
I don’t receive arc books or books in advance so this isn’t applicable.

~The Perpetual Page-Turner: 8th Annual End Of Year Survey – 2017 edition

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