We owe it to each other to tell stories - Neil Gaiman

Saturday, 25 December 2010

End of 2010 Survey

Jamie at the Perpetual Page Turner came up with this great year in review survey to discuss some of our favorite (or least favorite) books that we have read this year. This is to discuss BOOKS WE HAVE READ in 2010, not necessarily books that were published in 2010.

1. Best Book of 2010?

The Best Book I read in 2010 would have to share this title - The first is I AM OZZY by Ozzy Osbourne - and the second is by his wife Sharon - her debut in fiction - Revenge. So I know that Ozzy is an unreliable narrator - much like Nick in the Great Gatsby, but the story of his life is just amazing!! And there has been some controversy around Revenge regarding ghost writers, but the story is great, is has all you would need and reminds me greatly of Footballer's Wives with so many elements to it. But just read my review to see why I thought Revenge was so great.

2. Worst Book of 2010?

I can't say that there was a worst book read in 2010. There were just books that were disappointing, which you will read about below...

3. Most Disappointing Book of 2010?

There are two books in this category for me - Sex and the City and Bridget Jones' Diary. I think the way these books were adapted for tv and movies is better to the original stories. And then of course there was the Stefan Diaries - which I will reread and write a more detailed post about.

4. Most Surprising (In A Good Way!) Book?

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. I am surprised at how clever Yates is in his writing and humour based on when the book was written. I thought that they had improvised on the script writing for the movie, but it is remarkable true to the story.

5. Book you recommended to People the Most?

This is a tough one, I tend to recommend authors and not really books. I think you should be familiar with the oeuvre of an author to truly appreciate them. Also, I recommend books that I have read, so it is an even playing field. But really thinking about it, I think the two books I most recommend are The Catcher in the Rye (or anything by Salinger really) and Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides.

6. Best Series You discovered?

I discovered many series this year - Twilight, Southern Vampire, Vampire Diaries, Harper Connelly, House of Night, Harry Potter (yes I know they have been around forever, I just never read them), Bewitching Mystery, Chronicles of Narnia and Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events.

7. Favorite new authors?

There are so many!!!! Charlaine Harris for one - she is amazing. Her characters are diverse and her story lines are splendid. Madelyn Alt - very original stories and fantastic characters. Dennis Lehane - Shutter Island was marvelous - I so did not see any of it coming. Richard Yates - Revolutionary Road is fantastic - and he has a great sense of humour and irony. Stephenie Meyer - need I say more? J.K. Rowling - she reminds me of Roald Dahl in the way she creates a world in the story that you can vividly see in your minds eye.

8. Most Hilarious Read?

I am Ozzy by Ozzy Osbourne. The stories that Ozzy tells are funny, and a lot of them are surreal.

9. Most Thrilling, Unputdownable Book?

The Southern Vampire Series, I just had to know what is going to happen next. So the entire series, I read so quickly because I had to know what is going to happen that I should actually reread them a bit slower.

10. Book You Most Anticipated?

This is very hard to answer, I started reading many series this year, so where I have read all that is available, I anticipate the next book. Such as Awakened from the House of Night, Midnight from Vampire Diaries, The next book in the Bewitching Mysteries Series. The list goes on. So there are not really books that I can say I most anticipated, because all the series that I read had all their current (2010) books out.

11. Favorite Cover?

I adore the original animated covers from the Southern Vampire series, so this would be my favourite cover from the series:

12. Most Memorable Character?

This is a very difficult question to answer, as most of the characters I have encountered this year have been spectacular. But if I had to choose, I would say Harper Connelly from the Harper Connelly series by Charlaine Harris. She is one of the most unique literary characters I have met this year, though I have met many. I actually think it is unfair to answer this question.

13. Most Beautifully Written?

Geisha of Gion, by Mineko Iwesaki. This is the person whose life Memoir's of a Geisha is modelled on. Reading it you see the parallels between the two stories, although looking at it like that and juxtaposing the two, you see that Memoirs of a Geisha, as amazing a book as it is, verges on sensationalism of the Geisha world. Geisha of Gion is an amazing memoir, which is beautifully written and so poignant. A definite must read, especially if you have read Memoirs of a Geisha.

14. Book That Had The Greatest Impact on You?

How to get Rich by Donald Trump. This book impacted me, but not in a financial sense - Donald Trump shares his wisdom gained through years of experience, and a lot of what he says is stuff that we should all take to heart. I paraphrase when I say that the Donald says that if you have not learnt something new today, you wasted your day. That is so true, it is actually profound. I also love the Donald's favourite quote by Abraham Lincoln, which says "I will study and prepare and perhaps my chance will come." Those words ring true for being excellent in life.

15. Book You Can't Believe You Waited Until 2010 To Read?

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - So I have known about this book for a while, and was supposed to read it last year for Modern Fiction, but got so confused by the first few chapters that I resorted to reading the summary on Sparknotes, but I think that was only because I had so much reading to do that everything just overwhelmed me. This year I picked it up and read it in about two weeks, digesting every part of the story, savoring the magical realism. So I can't believe that I only read it this year. It is magnificent, and truly something that everyone should read. But also Harry Potter, I really can't believe I waited this long to read them.

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