Today, I'm answering the reading questions, since I still need to hunt down some snippets for the writing one. I'll try to have it up within a few days though!
1. What was your overall favourite book this year? (Yes. Pick one.)
I'm staring at all of the books I gave five stars on goodreads and I have to say that, out of all of them, no, not that one. Eep - that one was good ... oh, that one, too!
Eh, I think I'll go with Everburn. That was a really good book. Started slow, and I took forever to get into it, and there were rough spots, but in the end, it was such a beautiful story, and I loved all of the characters.
2. Favourite debut(s)? (Author must have been first published in 2013.)
The Foundlings, by J. Mark Miller. (I think he had a few short stories before that, but they seem to have disappeared from his amazon list)
The Princess and the Sage, by Anne-Girl.
Can I count Haphazardly Implausible, by Miss Jack and Annabeth's War, by Jessica Greyson? I know they were 2012, but it was November and December, so it was almost 2013.
3. Which books did you reread this year?
I don't reread books. I did pull the Lord of the Rings off my shelf and skim through it a few times, however. Oh, and I just picked up a free kindle version of The Nutcracker, and while I've read it before, I full intend to read it again somewhere over the hecticness of the holidays. It's not an intense book, and I love the story so much. (And I'm planning on writing some form of a sequel to it, so I need to brush up on the plot)
4. Favourite cover(s) this year!
Um ... All of them? Okay, Okay, I'll show you a few.
Delicious looking, aren't they? Actually, I love almost every cover of every book I've read. This is just a few.
5. Worst cover(s)?
As I said above, I've loved almost every cover I've read. But If I have to go with a worst cover, I'll go with The Soldier's Cross by Abigail Hartman. Not that it's a bad cover, but something about it strikes me as unprofessional, and it's a traditional publisher, so I can afford to be a bit less forgiving. (Though maybe if I were to see a physical copy, this opinion might change) This doesn't mean I didn't love the book, though! Once I got into it, I devoured it!
6. What self-published books did you read this year?
Um ... you really want a list? At least half of the books I read are self-published (me being a self-published author myself, I like to support my peers). And frankly, I can't, off the top of my head, say which ones were self-published, and which ones weren't. And just looking at the covers isn't any help. You see the great covers I have above? Eight of them I know for a fact to be self-published.
But since you want me to, I'll make a list ...
Destiny of a Few, and Destiny of a Galaxy, by Sarah Holman
Everburn by Robert Bunch (I think ... it looks and feels like a self published)
Red Rain by Aubrey Hansen
The Heart of Acrea and The Fate of Acrea by Nancy Sager
Duty, Wren, and Exchange by Rachel Rossano (that's three books there)
The Foundlings by J. Mark Miller
Annabeth's War by Jessica Greyson
Haphazardly Implausible, its short story collection and Abolished Impracticality, by Miss Jack Lewis Baillot
The Princess and the Sage by Anneliese Blackeney
Champion in the Darkness by Tyrean Martinson
Firmament: Radialloy by J. Grace Pennington
Supervillain of the Day by Katie Lynn Daniels
Snow White and Rose Red: The Curse of the Huntsman by Lilly Fang
The Storykeepers by Mir Foote
No Ordinary Hero by Joyce A. Scott
A School for Villians by Ardyth DeBruyn
Beauty and the Beast by Jenni James
Coralina by Anita Valle
King's Warrior by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt
Shortcuts by Stewart J.W. Reynolds
Living with Ogres by Mitt Ray
Egg Hunt by Pamela Daniels
Isabel by Karen Rosario
A few others are possible self published, but I think that's all of them!
7. Which book(s) gave you a massive hangover?
The Foundlings. (See above). I usually recover quickly, even from cliff-hangers, but this one had a cliff that was just plain evil. There was no warning at all, just a character being captured, two secrets being revealed (both of which I had been partially suspecting for a while) and no explanations. And yes, if a sequel is ever published.... I will be reading it. I hate the fact that it didn't have a proper climax, but I do want to know what happens next.
8. Best standalone you read?
Most of the books I read were series, but I really enjoyed What Came from the Stars, by Gary D. Schmidt. It was an interesting blend of Fantasy and Sci-fi, and the writing was almost poetical. I had to refer often to the index at the back at the book, but for the most part, it flowed well.
9. Biggest book(s) you've read this year?
I honestly have no idea. I read mostly on my kindle, so I don't always get a real feel for how long they are. I know Everburn was pretty thick, as was Eye of the Oracle, and I read Dune, by Frank Herbert.
10. Book(s) you followed the hype for and then loved!
I don't really follow hype, but I did keep half an eye on Mark of Athena, and quite enjoyed it when it got out.
11. Most disappointing book(s) you read this year?
Spirit Fighter, by Jerel Law. I found it on the shelf at the library, and from the description on the back, thought it might be a Christian version of Percy Jackson. And that's basically what it was. But without the snappy writing, great plot, and Percy's amazing voice. And I didn't quite like the theology, so it didn't sit well with me.
12. Favourite leading-female character?
Ela, the titular character from Prophet by R. J. Larson. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that I only just finished reading the book, but she was so well done. She was the first woman prophet in her world, but despite breaking gender roles, it didn't come off as feministic. She was so sweet and humble, and a lovely character to spend time with.
13. Favourite leading-male character?
Prince Moss from No Ordinary Hero. Yes, he was a frog, and yes he did more than his fair share of complaining. But he grew up so much, in the figurative sense. And he had an interesting sense of humor.
14. Best romance(s)?
I do not, as a rule like romances in my books, but either I've softened to the genre, or I've been running across some pretty good ones!
For instance, Brielle and Tomas in Duty were amazing. Theirs was a politically arranged marriage, but they made it work, and it was beautiful. I also loved Wren and her love interest (whose name I forgot) in Wren. It wasn't an arranged marriage, but I liked the way it played out.
And I loved Maria and her love interest (who, for spoiler reasons, will remain nameless) in the Destiny Trilogy. Very sweet, and while it may have disappointed a few readers, I was perfectly content with it.
And then there was Annabeth and Ransom in Annabeth's War. Again, very sweet.
Oh, and Renny and the main character (whose name I have also forgotten) in Heart of Acrea. Their "proposal" seen was epic. (Best way to sell me on a romance is to have an epic proposal, preferably in an unexpected setting such as a battle.)
Lord McDougal and Lady Mercy in Loresmen. Very sweet, and definitely not the most important part of the series, but definitely a crowing glory.
Billy and Bonnie, Ashley and Walter, Sapphira and Elam, and several others in Bryan Davis's series.
Oh, and there's a pair that I ship in the Haphazardly Implausible series ... but I'm not quite on speaking terms with them at the moment for ... reasons.
And there are others, but I can't call them off the top of my head.
15. What book(s) hit the DNF list? (Did not finish.)
There's quite a list of those ... but with most, I do intend to, at some point, get back to them. They were just too intense for my tired brain at the moment.
16. What book(s) did you read out of your comfort-zone?
I read a whole slew of sci-fi's in October, which, if you had told me that I would be reading them two years ago, I would have asked you to get your head checked. I didn't like it, you see, being a hard-core Fantasy and Historical Fiction fan. But I was introduced to non-alien sci-fi through the Destiny Trilogy and Red Rain. And my sister has become a Trekkie in the last two years, so I've slowly come over. I still love Fantasy more, but I can admit that I like it about as much as HiFi. (And truthfully, I don't mind aliens, since one of my favorite all-time series is Lewis's Space Trilogy)
I've also been slowly reading a Christian Contemporary Ninja novel ... It's an intriguing book, my only complaint is that the characterization and description such is a bit choppy.
17. Which author did you read the most from?
It's a tie between Bryan Davis and Suzanne Collins, from whom I've read five books each. Of these two authors, Bryan Davis is my favorite.
18. Top 5 books you'd recommend from all the books you've read this year?
Can I cheat and do series? Please?
I'm going to pretend that I can.
1. Acrean Conquest by Nicole Sager. I haven't read the last book yet, but the first two are breathtaking.
2. Destiny Trilogy by Sarah Holman. An king story in space.
3. Dragons in our Midst by Bryan Davis. Amazing spin on dragons. Also, it's sequel series, Oracles of Fire.
4. Annabeth's War by Jessica Greyson
5. The Princess and the Sage
19. How many books did you read this year all up?
My Outread Aubrey shelf on Goodreads says 75 books, but I happen to know of two or three more that I couldn't find on goodreads or just didn't want people to know I read.
20. What's a book you're hugely excited for coming out in 2014?!
Oh ... grr ... what is a book I'm looking forward to ...
How about a sequel to The Foundlings? I don't know that it'd be coming out in 2014, but I'd like it to. I'm dying to know if the girl gets rescued! And how she can possibly be that certain person's granddaughter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!