End of Year Book Survey 2012: The Fats Edition


We are three days into 2013. Yay! It’s my turn today to share my End of Year Book Survey as hosted by Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner.

Best in Books 2012

1. Best Book(s) You Read in 2012?

Like Myra, I would break down my list into genres.

Picture Books

photo 4

Stella, Star of the Sea by Mary-Louise Gay

photo 1

Rumpelstiltskin’s Daughter by Diane Stanley


How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers

We Are in a Book!

We Are in a Book! by Mo Willems


I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

falconer princesses

Olivia and the Fairy Princesses by Ian Falconer



BookSpeak! by Laura Purdie Salas

spider and the fly

The Spider and the Fly by Mary Howitt/Tony DiTerlizzi

YA Fiction/Novel-in-Verse


Love & Leftovers by Sarah Tregay



Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant that Ever Lived

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?


Looking for Alaska by John Green

Okay, people. Before you shoot me, let me just say that I have not finished this book yet. I started reading it late last year. I thought I might give it a go since I would always see it at Barnes & Noble. When I posted about this on my Facebook feed, a bunch of my friends said they liked it. That got me really excited to read the book, even though it’s a YA fiction. I couldn’t connect with the characters and thought that it had a slow progression. It must be me. It must be the cold, blasted weather. I have 2/3 of the book left to read. Maybe my opinion of it would change when I’m halfway through it? Hm?

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012?

I would say Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant that Ever Lived and Love & Leftovers. Really unexpected but so glad I read them!

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?

I didn’t really do a lot of recommendations last year, but there was nothing else that came out from my mouth than the Elephant & Piggie series by Mo Willems. I love them! I even got my boyfriend to like them! So so so adorable.

5. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Love & Leftovers. OHMYGOD. Haha! YA fiction is not new to me. We just happen to have a love-hate relationship. Anyway, when we were trying to catch up with our reading challenges, I bought this book thinking I would have time to review it. I didn’t have a chance to but I’m glad I read it – devoured even! – from cover to cover.

6. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?

how to catch a star

I love the art of Oliver Jeffers, so here’s my pick!

7. Most memorable character(s) in 2012?



Sounder from Sounder. Bud from Bud, Not Buddy. Marcie and Linus from Love & Leftovers.

8. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?

Modoc was truly a humbling and heartwarming read. The story itself is so incredible that if I try to read it again this year I still probably wouldn’t believe that it’s a true story. Love & Leftovers, on the other hand, is a gem. Even though it’s YA fiction, I enjoyed reading it because it’s a novel-in-verse. The lyrical storytelling make up for the elements of YA fiction found in the book.

9. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?

You must be tired of hearing me say this but it has to be Love & Leftovers again, and it’s for the simple fact that it deals with marital separation and long-distance relationship. The book is something close to my heart.

10. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read?

Sounder and Bud, Not Buddy. These books didn’t win the Newbery Medal for nothing. Not in my best list, but really good stories.

11. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012?

From The Crow-Girl

“You will find two kinds of people in the world. Some say that there are the bad and the good. But it isn’t like that. Since what is good for one may be bad for another. No, that doesn’t work. You have to depend on your intuition.

“There are those who make you feel inside as if you are drinking a good, warm soup – even if you are hungry and the two of you have nothing to eat. In spite of that they nourish you.

“And then there are those who cause you to freeze inside, even if you are sitting before a roaring fire and have eaten your fill. Those you should keep away from. They are not good for you, even though others might say that they are good people…” – Crow-Girl’s grandmother, pp. 8-9

From Bud, Not Buddy

And she’d say every single time, “And do you know what a bud is?”

I always answered, “Yes, Momma,” but it was like she didn’t hear me, she’d tell me anyway.

“A bud is a flower-to-be. A flower-in-waiting. Waiting for just the right warmth and care to open up. It’s a little fist of love waiting to unfold and be seen by the world. And that’s you.” pp. 41-42

From Love & Leftovers

My Mother Always Told Me

that women could be anything they wanted to be
mayor | governor | senator | president

But I guess it never occurred to her that I’d act like
a player | a frat boy | my father | Bill Clinton

Then again, I don’t think it was part of her plan to be
a thief | a kidnapper | addicted | depressed

She certainly thought I was above depending on boys for
doughnuts | coffee | companionship | acceptance

Instead I had turned to J.D. to make me feel
worthwhile | beautiful | sexy | happy

And hurt someone who loved me because I was
careless | insensitive | mean | self-centered

Now that I am man-free, Mom would probably say
that I have achieved some sort of feminist
Zen | pride | accomplishment | freedom

But no matter how hard I try, I still yearn for
hugs | kisses | smiles | a hand to hold. – pp. 374-375

12. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously?

How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers, and Olivia and the Fairy Princesses by Ian Falconer.

Book Blogging in 2012

1. Favorite review that you wrote in 2012?

We Are in a Book!

We Are in a Book! by Mo Willems

I simply love, love, love the man. He makes such lovable, adorable, memorable characters. This one has to be my favorite in the Elephant & Piggie series.

2. Best moment of book blogging in 2012?

Click on the image to be taken to the websource.
Click on the image to be taken to the websource.

It was when two wesbites linked back to our Poetry Friday post of Neil Gaiman’s The Day the Saucers Came. All of us here at Gathering Books – Myra, Iphigene, and I – are always humbled and grateful when other sites share our links to their posts. Both are fairly recent pingbacks: one in November, and one in December. Click on the post to view the two pingbacks.

3. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

God went to beauty school

For this one, I would say my post on Cynthia Rylant’s God Went to Beauty School. Cynthia Rylant was the most searched for subject in our website, and I wished that they shared their thoughts on this beautiful novel-in-verse. If you haven’t read this book, add it to your list this year. It’s charm and wit rolled into one.

4. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

OHMYGODYES! Hahaha. Excited to take on new challenges this year.

Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?

winter town

Winter Town by Stephen Emond

Funny because it’s another YA fiction. I bought it last week of December. I’m hoping to finish it before January ends. Perfect for the winter season, too.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?

Prequel to The Sandman series. Master storyteller Neil Gaiman tells the story of how Morpheus ended up being captured in The Sandman #1: Preludes and Nocturnes. OHMYGOD. As a treat, here is a short interview of Neil Gaiman as he talks about his latest project.

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?

I really want to finish all books in my TBR pile before I fly to South Carolina to be with the boyfriend, but it is next to impossible, especially with this cold, blasted weather (as I love to call it!). This year, I do hope to finish Alice I Have Been as well as all my Sherlock Holmes collections. I also hope to draft and post more reviews than I did last year. Oh dear. We shall see, we shall see. Happy 2013, everyone!!

Fats is the Assistant Manager for Circulation Services at the Wayne County Public Library in Wooster, Ohio. She considers herself a reader of all sorts, although she needs to work on her non-fiction reading. Fats likes a good mystery but is not too fond of thrillers. She takes book hoarding seriously and enjoys collecting bookmarks and tote bags. When she is not reading, Fats likes to shop pet apparel for her cat Penny (who absolutely loathes it).

12 comments on “End of Year Book Survey 2012: The Fats Edition

  1. Happy 2013! That’s a LOT of good books up there 🙂


  2. I loved Bud too. Such an unforgettable character.

    Is looking for Alaska your first John Green book?

    Are you familiar with Stephen Emond’s other book called Happyface? It’s like a journal and picture/comic book type. I haven’t read it but it seems pretty interesting.

    And you got me curious about Love and Leftovers. 😀

    Have a great 2013 Fats!


    • Fats Suela

      Hi Tin!! =)

      I almost forgot to put Bud, can you believe it? “No sir, I can’t.” There, hope that makes up for it. Haha.

      Yes, Looking for Alaska is my first John Green book. When I saw The Fault in Our Stars among the Monday Reading posts, it didn’t occur to me that he also wrote Looking for Alaska. I always see the book at B&N but I never paid much attention to it. When I finally did, and after all that talk among my friends about the book, it left me in the air, if you get what I mean.

      I just googled Happyface right now and it seems like an interesting story. I only found out about Stephen Emond right before I was about to walk out of B&N. The silly friendship between Evan and Lucy piqued my interests, and for only $9 for quite a thick book, I thought I might give it a try. I’m already on Chapter 2 and liking it so far.

      Love & Leftovers was the third to the last book I finished reading last year, so it’s still fresh from memory. Even so, I would never forget the story of Marcie months down the road. It had me at the two pairs of Chuck Taylors on the cover, and how Lauren Myracle (author of SHINE?) described it as the most delicious love story she’s read in ages. Because it was, and I savored every page.

      Thank you for stopping by Tin!! Happy 2013. Enjoy your reads this year!! =)


      • Oh it more than made up for it. Haha. 🙂

        I had a similar experience with Paper Towns. Everybody seems to really love it while I only like it. But I did love his short story called Cheertastic in Let it Snow. So I think I’m still up for trying his other books.

        Okay so now I really have to put Love and Leftovers on my list. If your not one for YA, and yet you loved this, speaks volumes about this book. And I agree, the cover with the chuck taylors is adorable. 😀


  3. I just added Love and Leftovers to my TBR list, Fats. You made it sound like one not to miss! I love Elephant & Piggie books, too, & think I’ve read them all! Happy New Year reading!


    • Fats Suela

      Hello Linda!! =)

      I’m not one to read YA novels, but Love & Leftovers truly captured my heart. I guess that’s what poetry does to me. It’s a thick read, but because it’s in verses you’ll be able to finish it in a day. I like it for its simplicity, for not being “overly-YA” if I may use that term, and for not being pretentious. It is what it is, and the thoughts and emotions that the characters portray – especially Marcie’s – are as honest as you can get. Moreover, for it to be shortlisted in the CYBILS already means something.

      I have just bought two new Elephant & Piggie books. Even though I always read the books in the store, I still want to purchase them and take them home with me. Such charm and humor.

      Happy New Year reading to you, too, Linda!! =)


  4. Happy 2013! Great job! 😀


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