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Smugglivus 2010 Guest Author (& Giveaway): Sarah Rees Brennan

Welcome to Smugglivus 2010: Day 2

Throughout this month, we will have daily guests – authors, bloggers and publishers alike – looking back at their favorite reads of 2010, and looking forward to events and upcoming books in 2011.

Who: Sarah Rees Brennan, author of YA books, currently preparing the third book in her trilogy of brothers-fighting-evil which started with The Demon’s Lexicon (one of Ana’s top 10 books of 2009) for publication in 2011. You can find Sarah blogging from her livejournal and occasionally writing a guest post for us (because we are stalkers), like this excellent one on Why YA.

Recent Work: The middle book in the trilogy, The Demon’s Covenant (reviewed by Ana HERE). Also a story (“The Spy Who Never Grew Up “) in the Kiss Me Deadly anthology (about Peter Pan working as a spy for Her Majesty. Plus, Ninja Fairies).

Ladies and gentlemen, please give it up for Sarah and her best of 2010, a Demon’s Surrender‘s cookie and a giveaway:

2010, Baby, You’ve Been Good To Me

The year started out with my first book The Demon’s Lexicon being named as one of the Top Ten ALA Best Books of 2010, so I think it started out excellently on the media front. In fact the media has been so great this year, I felt I couldn’t pick favourites. Since I couldn’t pick favourites, I decided to go with the book, movie and TV show that surprised me most with its awesomeness this year.

2011 Book I Can’t Wait For Everyone Else To Read

The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

Picture the best of Gossip Girl. Set in historical Baltimore. With super powers. A lady who can tell the future. A rake. CRAVATS AND FORTUNE TELLING Y’ALL. Deaths seen in the sunset, and love in the wind.

I can’t wait for people to be awed by it.

My 2010 Book Sensation

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff.

I heard good things about this book. But you know, faeries. I’ve been known to love them (In Holly Black’s Valiant, for instance) but they are the hardest supernatural sell for me: I’m not really sure why. Maybe just the fact I’m Irish, and that means a Long and Troubled and Painful Past with the fey. (No! No more books about dancing with faerie princes on the hill of Tara! The hill of Tara is covered in sheep poop and beer cans.)

But then – an inhuman hero trying to be good! A loving family trying to understand! Sibling bonds, and a heroine who is on a mission! Plus the prettiest cover ever, a small town with secrets, and beautiful writing.

Why hello Ms Yovanoff. Let’s see what you have up your sleeve next.

My 2010 Movie Sensation

EASY A.

I love a good teen romcom. Mean Girls, Ten Things I Hate About You, Clueless, Saved! But I hadn’t seen one in a good long while. I thought their day might have passed.

I’ve been to see Easy A twice in the cinema, and the second time it was because I was having a terrible day, and I knew this movie would turn it right around.

Loosely based on the Scarlet Letter the same way Clueless is loosely based on Jane Austen’s Emma – oh, well, the heroine addresses that herself. ‘Isn’t it funny the way the book you’re studying in English class often reflects your life? I guess we never study Huckleberry Finn because none of the guys I know have flouted society to run off with an older black guy.’

… Except then, one of her friends does just that. ‘My apologies to Mr Mark Twain,’ she muses.

It’s a movie about life being painful, weird and hilarious all at once. And it stars an amazing heroine, who is allowed to be cleverer than almost everyone else and be seen as awesome for it. And her extremely cool, extremely supportive and nontraditional family. (At one point the heroine discusses the false rumours about her sex life with her mother. Her mother says ‘They talked about me, too.’ ‘People spread lies about you?’ asks Olive. ‘No, I slept with a lot of people’ says her mom. And her mom is fine, it wasn’t a big deal: she’s happy, she’s in a loving marriage, she’s beautiful. So’s Olive.)

Easy A, people. It was clever and funny and lovely, and you felt it liked and sympathised with almost all the characters in the movie. And in the end, so did I.

My 2010 Television Sensation

The Vampire Diaries. The show. The promotional picture I can’t believe they got away with.

I watched the (truly awful) premiere at Comic Con in 2009. I have mocked the first two episodes somewhat extensively in my journal.

A few episodes in, and I loved it with an unholy passion.

Of course I did. There’s vampire, witch and werewolf shenanigans.

There are two brothers with a troubled past. (1864, SCENE OF TWO BROTHERS, ONE GIRLFRIEND, NO WAITING. Stefan: We should tell our vampire hating daddy how much we LOVE our vampire girlfriend! Damon: Well, on the up side, he might actually pass out from horror before we even get to the vampire bit?)

There’s a heroine who’s sensible, loving and active. (ELENA: One day I’m going to get to write sadly in my diary again. But since I have to drug my boyfriend with a huge dart, rescue my boyfriend from a well, and throw a grenade into an enemy vampire’s face, today is not that day. Anyone got more grenades?)

And there has been – and this is a miracle – a season two just as excellent as the season one. Shows don’t DO that! Think about Veronica Mars. (No… don’t think about it. Veronica Mars only had one season. Any memories I have of other seasons, clearly a nightmare.)

There are evil doppelgangers, brothers learning to work with each other, torture scenes, and best of all, my favourite character Caroline (a sassy blond cheerleader keenly aware that she isn’t the protagonist of the show – ‘She doesn’t even have to try. And I try so hard!’) has got an amazing storyline. I won’t spoil it for you. But if you’ve ever loved a minor character, and got to see them have an awesome moment or twenty, you know how I feel. Caroline, laughing in the face of evil vampires and pushy werewolves!

2010: A Summary and a Present

… So Smugglivus is about wrapping up a year, and looking forward to a new one, both as regards media and Our Lives Generally. Well, my 2010 was a complicated one! I spent a lot of it weeping, tearing out my hair, planning a career as a sherpa herder (apparently that… isn’t a job. As sherpas are mountain guides, and not mountain goat/llama crossbreeds. I don’t know where I got that idea from).

Because the Demon’s Lexicon series, well, critics have been lovely about it! Those who pick it up seem to like it! But in the US at least, not a lot of people picked it up. Serves me right for writing a family drama in a romance-focused time, maybe? Who can say! So I spent the year writing The Demon’s Surrender, the last book of the series, and being scared brainless (long nights full of not much thought, but lots of fear and trembling, ice-cold under the covers) it was the last book I’d ever get to publish. The only thing I’ve ever wanted to be was a writer: and it’s hard to know where to go when you got your dream and it didn’t work out. Especially as it’s still all I want to do.

And then in November 2010, I got some awesome news. And now I’m looking forward to 2011, and The Demon’s Surrender coming out – the last book in my first series, which I love and am really proud of. And I’m looking forward to other things, too. πŸ˜‰

So, for a signed copy of Demon’s Lexicon and Demon’s Covenant (so you’ll be all set for Demon’s Surrender) tell me about a good surprise you got this year. A book, a movie, a TV show, something in your life. Anything!

And here is a snippet of The Demon’s Surrender as a present for y’all this Smugglivus!

β€œSo I heard you tried to kill a guy with a paintbrush.”

β€œDon’t try to stifle my artistic self-expression,” Nick said.

Sin laughed. She saw a few heads on the playground turn, and realized with a sinking sensation that they would remember this, when her goal was always to avoid too much attention, any questions about the Market, any focus on her or the kids.

But she did feel like she owed Nick more than a dismissal now.

β€œHey,” she said. β€œI’m sorry about the way I acted yesterday. I was just surprised to see you here. At school.”

Nick shrugged.

β€œIt wouldn’t have killed your brother to have given us a heads-up,” Sin added.

Nick stared at her with even more murderous coldness than usual.

There was a sudden chill wind in the air, striking Sin’s face and sending cold fingers crawling tip by freezing tip down her back. She looked into Nick’s blank face and thought: possessed, and did not know why she had not seen it years ago, why everyone didn’t see it when they looked at him. There was no human being behind that face, only a creature who owned but could not animate it.

Alan had lived with this for most of his life, knowing exactly what it was. The wave of sympathy that washed over Sin at the thought shocked her with its intensity.

She couldn’t work out what kind of man he was, good or evil, terrifying or terrifyingly misguided. She couldn’t imagine what it would take to bring up a demon.

All she knew was that she’d had him all wrong.

β€œShut up about my brother,” Nick said.

Thank you Sarah, for the post, the cookie and the giveaway.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

For a signed copy of Demon’s Lexicon AND Demon’s Covenant tell us about a good surprise you got this year. A book, a movie, a TV show, something in your life. Anything! The contest is open to ALL and will run until Saturday, December 4 at 11:59pm (PST). To enter, simply leave a comment here. ONE entry per person, please! Duplicate and/or multiple entries will be disqualified. Good luck!

131 Comments

  • Carol Thompson
    December 2, 2010 at 2:19 am

    I have just received confirmation that a non-fiction book I wrote about my daughters death has been accepted for publication.

    This was a big surprise after so many rejections but is helping me reach closure.

    Thank you.

    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

  • Tina
    December 2, 2010 at 2:27 am

    Biggest surprise of a book: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. I was really pleasantly surprised by this one. πŸ™‚

    Biggest surprise in general: the latest one I can remember is how surprised I was able to write a fantasy novel this year for NaNoWriMo. I thought I wouldn’t be able to finish, but I was still able to. πŸ˜€

  • Memory
    December 2, 2010 at 2:41 am

    I think my best surprise was How I Met Your Mother. I resisted it for years and years and years because I’m stupid about laugh tracks. I tend to shy away from sitcoms that use them.

    Big mistake. HIMYM may have a laugh track, but it’s still wicked funny and heartwarming and heartbreaking and the characters believe in ghosts and are obsessed with architecture and think up stupid catch phrases and perform interventions at the drop of a hat and talk about sandwiches when they mean pot. I love them dearly and am glad I took a chance on them.

  • noodles
    December 2, 2010 at 2:46 am

    Biggest surprise goes to The Magicians for me. I didn’t know what it was about, but wow, I got hooked after reading and really hope the sqeuel is released soon.

  • Megan
    December 2, 2010 at 3:15 am

    Well, gee, thanks. I’d just managed to put Demon’s Surrender to the back of my mind, and now I’m reminded of how badly I want to read right now! I hope you’re proud of yourself!

    My biggest surprise of the year? I’d been dismissing Naomi Novik’s Temeraire books for years for some lame reason, and this year I discovered how awesome they are! Is there a better feeling then discovering a new book to love, and then realising you have five more ahead of you?

  • Ceilidh
    December 2, 2010 at 3:25 am

    biggest surprise of the year for me was Sherlock. Okay, I’m a massive Mark Gatiss fan and have had a thing for Benedict Cumberbatch for ages but despite my optimism I was worried that a modern day adaptation of Holmes just wouldn’t work. Oh how wrong was I?! Bring on season 2 damnit!

  • Ashley
    December 2, 2010 at 3:52 am

    Hmm…I was all set to say my biggest happy surprise this year was the series starting with Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty (I love it when I pick up a book because I am bored, find that I LOVE it and then discover that there is a WHOLE SERIES to adore), but then as I was scrolling down I saw the poster above me mention the new Sherlock adaptation on the BBC, and now I want to say that too (I am fickle ~_~). I’m not even much of a Sherlock Holmes fan, and wasn’t really particularly looking forward to it, but I watched it after a lot of cajoling by friends and found that I love that TV show with an unholy passion. So, um, one of those! I am so indecisive ~_~.

  • Jenni
    December 2, 2010 at 4:16 am

    The biggest surprise for me was definitely the movie Get him to the Greek. I went in expecting to fall asleep from all the stupid (but not stupidly funny- there’s a difference) jokes. But no! It was hilarious!Russell Brand is actually a brilliant actor! Thats money well spent πŸ˜€

  • David
    December 2, 2010 at 5:07 am

    My big surprises were the TV show Nikita and the book Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel! Both of which I didn’t have high expectations for but was blown away after watching/reading.

    Awesome contest! =]

  • Gilliene
    December 2, 2010 at 5:07 am

    The Vampire Diaries, DEFINITELY, is one of the best TV Shows I’ve watched during my lifetime! Oh, and Easy A was a really great, funny film and it was full of lessons we all should learn! Love this post!

  • Karen
    December 2, 2010 at 5:39 am

    Hmm. Biggest media surprise this year was the awesome audiobook for The Demon King – I’m usually fairly indifferent toward audiobooks but picked it up because I have a longish commute and have a lot of books I want to read – no wasting time while driving!

    I’m now reading the newly released sequel, and I actually miss the audiobook reader! I can hear her character voices in my head and wish my library had the sequel in audiobook NOW.

    But I can’t wait to read the book, they are really excellent YA High Fantasy. Thumbs up!

  • Ginny
    December 2, 2010 at 5:43 am

    Biggest surprise in books this year for me was Prospero Lost. I love Shakespeare & the Tempest has always been one of my favourite plays & I was worried the book wouldn’t do the play justice, but it was wonderful & I’m definitely getting the next books.

  • Mel S
    December 2, 2010 at 5:43 am

    My biggest suprise this year is actually getting my own place at last! So much stuff has got in the way it was the biggest suprise to find that I actually owned a place at last and could move in! I@m still supirsed everyday…

  • Maidenveil
    December 2, 2010 at 5:44 am

    One biggest surprise for me this year was reading Graceling. I so loved it! And another was surviving my book-buying-ban last November. I never thought I could do it. But I did!

  • Maryam H
    December 2, 2010 at 5:50 am

    I can’t wait to see EasyA it looks like such a great film.
    I think my biggest surprise was when my Mum bought me an ereader out of the blue. I really needed one so it was great when she surprised me with it πŸ˜€

  • tigerist
    December 2, 2010 at 6:00 am

    what surprised me this year? White Collar series. I started watching in while sick [at the point when I didn’t have anything else to read and watch] and it helped a lot in lightening my mood and getting through it. I still tend to re-watch single episodes when I need something to cheer me up; they never fail me πŸ™‚

  • April X
    December 2, 2010 at 6:14 am

    I think one of the biggest book surprised was White Cat by Holly Black. I picked it up because I was like, what the heck, I stalk her on twitter, might as well read her book. I LOVED it. Stayed up to 3 in the morning reading it.
    May I just say picking up Demon’s Lexicon also surprised me? I didn’t really have any expectations, I was just promised there would be a hot guy. Well I LOVED it πŸ™‚ I almost cried when I had to return DL and DC. Personally, I LOVED the family drama, makes it very unique from recent YA fantasy. πŸ˜€ And Nick. I liked Nick a lot πŸ˜‰

  • Laura
    December 2, 2010 at 6:18 am

    The biggest surprise for me was Hero by Perry Moore. I was just expecting to like it, and it was really just pure awesomeness. One of my favorite reads of 2010 πŸ˜€

  • Erin Leigh
    December 2, 2010 at 6:29 am

    Biggest surprise for me this year was Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves. I started it and I couldn’t stand it in the beginning but as I pushed through it (for some reason I have to finish every book I start no matter how I feel about it.)I fell in love with it. It’s different and unpredictable and this was one time I was really glad I forced myself to finish.

  • Lisa
    December 2, 2010 at 6:31 am

    My surprise would have to be WWW: Wake by Robert J. Sawyer. Never thought I would like scifi like that!

    statmetaloak(at)gmail(dot)com

  • Maurissa Guibord
    December 2, 2010 at 6:40 am

    I’ve got to try Vampire Diaries again- I watched the first episode and was definitely not impressed- but it gets better? So I’ll try :-))
    And Sherlock was a lovely surprise for me this year!!

  • Marg K.
    December 2, 2010 at 6:42 am

    In regards to books, my biggest surprise was just how much I ended up loving the Downside Ghosts series by Stacia Kane. When I first heard about the fact that the protagonist was a drug addict and her love interest essentially a thug for a drug dealer, I was majorly turned off. But after some nudging form a friend, I gave the first book a try and ended up devouring all 3 books. Now, I can honestly say it’s one of my favorite urban fantasy series.

  • Liz
    December 2, 2010 at 7:00 am

    My biggest surprise this year would have to be The Big Bang Theory. I didn’t think I could fall in love with a TV show so much. It is absolutely hysterical and I can’t wait for the next season to come out on DVD.

    elizabeth.harkinson[at]gmail[dot]com

  • Sandy G
    December 2, 2010 at 7:08 am

    I’d resisted watching Monsters Vs Aliens because the comercials didn’t make me want to watch it. A friend at work talked me into seeing it. My boyfriend and I loved it. We watched it three times before it had to go back to the libraray.

  • Cait H.
    December 2, 2010 at 7:22 am

    A good surprise I got this year? Being excepted into a Bachelor of Education program! Just like you’ve always wanted to be a writer, Sarah, I’ve always wanted to be a teacher! =D

  • C.G.
    December 2, 2010 at 7:25 am

    My biggest surprise this year was falling in love with Pushing Daises. I don’t know how I missed watching it was on the air but it was an amazing show, I watched it all in about a month. My second big surprise was Covert Affairs on USA…Great show for us former ALIAS fans!

    Thanks for the great contest…I don’t know how I ever read books before I read this blog!

  • Olga K
    December 2, 2010 at 7:26 am

    the bigest surprise for me was the book 13 to life….at first I was not sure about it but it ended up being one of my favorite books for this year!!oh and also the tv series Hellcats!!a refreshing fun show for me:)

    olgara18@hotmail.com

  • Olga K
    December 2, 2010 at 7:27 am

    I am so sorry for the spelling mistake above:PI meant biggest:P

  • Sandy Williams
    December 2, 2010 at 7:30 am

    OMG! I can’t believe they got away with that VD promo either! Wow. But I 100% completely love the series. It’s the best thing on TV. Loved the books when I was a kid, but I have to say, I think the TV writers made it even better.

    I haven’t heard of Easy A. Must be living under a rock or something. But now I’m dying to see it. Thanks for the movie rec! πŸ˜‰

  • Sarah
    December 2, 2010 at 7:33 am

    Ahhhh, The Replacement was so awesome, and I am hopelessly addicted to The Vampire Diaries. My revelation of the year, though, was probably Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz, which I will buy a copy of the moment it comes out. Also read Melina Marchetta for the first time this year – whoa.

  • Liyana
    December 2, 2010 at 7:44 am

    Biggest surprise this year: that the overseas trip I took alone was a life changing experience. Sure, I kind of expected it too, but it surprised me how much I’ve changed.

  • Tina
    December 2, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Gah the more snippets I read of The Demon’s Surrender, the more I want to read it! What a cruel yet effective marketing tactic.
    I think my biggest surprise this year was probably Georgette Heyer. I was studying for exams last year, completely stressed out when I decided I needed to take a break to read, lest I end up in a straight jacket. I tend to be a bit judgmental towards romance books (the covers generally don’t help me to overcome this bias). I picked up Cotillion… and it ended up being a horrible idea. I loved it so much that I completely forgot about my exams for a few days and worked my way through Venetia, Frederica, The Grand Sophy, Arabella… until I didn’t have any new Georgette Heyer books left to read. Now I press her books onto friends and family members, somewhat manically. Now whenever I’m stressed out, I pick up one of her books. Limiting myself to just the one book, even after I’ve read all of them through at least once already, is surprisingly difficult.

  • Kelsey M
    December 2, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Biggest surprise of late, my obsession with the yet-to-be-picked-up-for-a-second-season Terriers on FX. That show blows my mind weekly and I love it. Donal Logue is fantastic as the lead!

    Love the Demon’s Lexicon series, The Demon’s Surrender is one of the books I’m most looking forward to in 2011!

  • Jessica Noel
    December 2, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Biggest surprise: getting an internship, and liking it! πŸ˜€

    Also must agree with Liz about The Big Bang Theory. I have NEVER been a tv person, but I now own the first two seasons of the show, even though I only learned about it a month and a half ago. Biggest Surprise Number 2: Dr. Sheldon Cooper making me laugh til I cry.

    I can’t wait for the third book, Sarah! Eek! πŸ˜€

  • Alison
    December 2, 2010 at 8:19 am

    I would have to ay my biggest surprise was Nikita. The previews had looked decent but one can never know with that sort of show. Now it is one of my favorite shows on TV.

  • Su
    December 2, 2010 at 8:21 am

    I think my biggest surprise this year was how deeply I fell in love with my eReader. I’d always been resistant to the idea of electronic books. Books should be a tactile experience! Smell the glue! Feel the slight roughness of the paper! Yet all my prejudices burned away when my husband got one and I tried it out. I got my own a week later.

    However, this still hasn’t curbed my urge to smuggle physical books into the house. πŸ™„

  • Robin K
    December 2, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Getting to go to my first book convention was my BIG surprise this year!

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

  • ndaro
    December 2, 2010 at 8:28 am

    The best surprise I’ve had in the year 2010 is when I watched Glee. I never expected Glee to turn out good since I didn’t like American TV series back then and the idea of a bunch of highschoolers singing in a group failed me. Like, I don’t want to see more of High School Musical, please.
    But from the first episode, I was hooked.
    I love the diversity, the complexity, how the plot develops the way I didn’t think of. I love the superb acting and wonderful yet unique voice that each of the casts own. I love how this series can make me laugh, cry, hate, love.
    Until now, I’m still in love with Glee. I’m crazily and madly in love. I own the DVDs, the CDs, I downloaded all of the songs and listen to my favorite everyday. On my facebook and twitter I often rant about Glee and post videos. Yes, I can be this obsessed.
    Whoever is behind Glee is a god. Or just freaking genius.

  • tait
    December 2, 2010 at 8:34 am

    My biggest (recent) surprise was the video game Deadly Premonitions.

    Two friends and I played it every week (well, I didn’t play it–I’m hopeless at video games. They played, I watched ^_^) for a few months, and it was amazing. We heard it was a “so bad it’s amazing” game, and in some ways it was, but for the most part? All wonderful. The main character is a psychic FBI agent who breaks off conversations to talk to some guy no one can see. He’s come to a small town to investigate a serial killer, and their unschooled police force is all the back-up he has. …Not that they’re terribly helpful against the zombies, since only the psychic agent can see them.

    So yes. Deadly Premonitions is an amazing, amazing game. It surprised me how deeply I got into it, and how much I cared for everyone. I laughed, screamed, and cried. It was great! ^__^

  • Theresa A
    December 2, 2010 at 8:35 am

    My biggest surprise this year…the AMC series The Walking Dead. LOVE it. I’m so glad my husband and I stumbled upon it.

  • Janette
    December 2, 2010 at 8:37 am

    So many surprises big & little for 2010, so which to choose… I will have to pick TWO TV surprises.
    #1: Neil Patrick Harris can sing. And sing WELL. Loved his duet with Matthew Morrison on Glee, a favorite show to watch. Who doesn’t love exploited teen angst?
    #2: Alex Skarsgard as Eric Northman in True Blood can wear ANYTHING or be covered in ANYTHING and still look good. Some vampires should get more air time. πŸ˜‰

    Here’s to a fabulous 2011!

  • Stacy
    December 2, 2010 at 8:37 am

    My biggest surprise was Glee. I didn’t watch the first season because it just sounded stupid to me. But I gave in, caught it on DVD and now I can’t get enough!

  • Maryann
    December 2, 2010 at 8:40 am

    The biggest surprise this year was my puppy. I’ve wanted a puppy ever since I was little.. And for my 21st birthday I was surprised with a little beagle named Madison!! πŸ™‚

    Can’t wait for demons surrender!!!

  • Ashleigh
    December 2, 2010 at 8:43 am

    I think my greatest surprise of the year was the movie Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. I hadn’t planned to go see it, but my best friend got ten tickets for a sneak preview and since she offered me one, I went with her. I enjoyed every second of that movie when I didn’t expect to and I have both the movie and the graphic novels the movie was based off of on my Christmas wish list.

  • Betsy
    December 2, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Well, talking RL surprises, definitely my dad’s heart attack.

    Talking happy surprise, the sheer awesome Nikita has been so far. Out of eight regulars, four are women. Out of three mains, two are women! Women on MISSIONS, being hardcore! Hand to hand combat as a method of flirting! A really intense storyline that is going all kinds of places! I am particularly thrilled by how though the main characters are all hardcore fighting types, there are also guest stars both male and female who are awesome while being terrified of violence. πŸ˜€ It is all pretty thrilling.

  • Courtney Milan
    December 2, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Wait, wait, you throw that thing in there about good news in November, but you don’t tell us the good news?!

    We want to know about your new, exciting job herding sherpas. Also, my dog would love to help you herd sherpas. He likes herding everything: sheep, cats (contrary to popular opinion, they can be herded), little bits of paper…

  • dana
    December 2, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Lots of surprises for me but one of the best literary surprises was Ilona Andrews and her awesome Kate Daniels series. I know I know- should have read these ages ago but I have this thing about 1st person narrative. I’m so glad I gave it a go. It’s AMAZING. Went and borrowed all the books in the series from my library, abandoned my husband and daughter and read them all. Now can’t wait for the next one…

  • Breda
    December 2, 2010 at 9:23 am

    I own both books, but these covers are so much nicer and I actually thought of a surprise, so now I have to answer!

    My surprise? Publishing. At this time last year, I was a terrified, confused college senior with no idea what she wanted to do with her life (beyond some vague ideas about maybe grad school in a couple of years). Now, well, I’m still terrified and confused and jobless, but I’ve had an internship at a literary agency and I’ve realized that what I want to do (for now, at least) is bring books into the world and talk about them all the time. So I’m job-hunting in an industry that I’d never considered before but now love, and no one can convince me that it’s a dying industry. (I’ve worked in radio, people. You’ve got to do a LOT to convince me an industry is dying!) So that was a fun surprise for me. πŸ˜€

  • heather
    December 2, 2010 at 9:27 am

    the biggest surprise for me, literary-wise, this year, was “guardian of the dead” by karen healey. i just loved ellie and was so pleased to see she wasn’t the cookie-cutter heroine that most books portray.

  • Victoria Sloboda
    December 2, 2010 at 9:34 am

    My biggest surprise this year was the Kindle hubby got me for my birthday. We normally have a $45 limit on b-day gifts so when I got a $189 Kindle I was shocked. I love it too.
    I also was surprised by how many REALLY good YA’s are out there that adults can enjoy. Lots of very good writing.

  • Marie
    December 2, 2010 at 9:42 am

    I was surprised how much I enjoyed the ‘Scott Pilgrim’ movie. I may just get the dvd. And LOVING AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’ series.

  • Breanne M.
    December 2, 2010 at 9:48 am

    My biggest suprise was actually being hired and paid! (as opposed to interning) to do a job that I love.

  • Carolyn
    December 2, 2010 at 9:52 am

    My biggest surprise this book was Julie James. I picked up Practice Makes Perfect on a whim, and loved it so much that I bought her other two books that same night. Thanks for the contest, I can’t wait for Demon’s Surrender!

  • Linda Henderson
    December 2, 2010 at 9:53 am

    A good surprise for me this year was my sister financing a new computer for me so I didn’t have to wait until I had saved up all the money. Sams had a special 18 months with no interest so she said, lets get your computer now, I was very surprised and grateful to her. My old computer was Windows 98 old.

  • alana
    December 2, 2010 at 9:56 am

    My biggest surprise was someone wanting to pay me for a painting. I’m still shocked.

    In regards to books, I was completely surprised by how good the Chaos Walking Series was. I had put off reading them for some reason, but wow.

  • MaryK
    December 2, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Uh oh, is this where I admit I bought the UK version of DC because I liked that cover better? Sorry!

    Well, I took a college course in an effort to change careers and found that I really love the field. Yay to 5 years for a masters degree. :S More on topic, I watched Mrs. Pedigrew lives for a Day and loved it. And it’s a classic novel! I’d never heard of it before.

  • Van P.
    December 2, 2010 at 9:58 am

    The biggest surprise for me was CW’s Nikita, the show is great and full of action…never a dull moment.

  • jen
    December 2, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Ok, this is a little long, sorry about that. This will sound crazy to a lot of you, but I think my biggest surprise of the year (in terms of books) was the revelation that I love YA fiction.

    So, I’m 26, and I have two sisters, 14, and 18. And the 18 year old grew up with Harry Potter books as they were coming out, and LOVES them. And I always refused to read them, and got bored listening to her talk about them incessantly, and couldn’t believe the way she would relate EVERYTHING back to Harry Potter. And then last year, my sisters and mom were in a car accident, and we spent lots of time at the hospital, and wanted a good way to pass the time. And while my youngest sister recovered, I read her HP & the Sorcerer’s Stone, and we both loved it. And eventually they were all healthy enough for me to head back to my neck of the woods, get back to grad school and my life, etc. BUT a seed had been planted — I read all the HP books over the next few weeks, and realized “holy crap, these are amazing”. And I started getting book recommendations from my 14 year old sister, and a whole new world opened up to me.

    I’m a book addict, always have been, but it was only this past year that I discovered that YA books can be not only addictive and fun to read, but deep and moving and unique. And this was a pretty big revelation. I still read lots of other things, but when a new YA book comes along with rave reviews, I’m totally there, in a way that I simply would not have been a year ago. So its been a pretty wonderful surprise, I’d say. πŸ™‚

  • Lindsay Elizabeth
    December 2, 2010 at 10:04 am

    My biggest surprise of the year… That would have to be The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. I picked it up this year thinking it would be good, but not realizing how much I would love it.

    My god… If I won these copies… I might die of happiness.

    I love you, SRB. Come to Atlanta so I can squeal in fan-girly happiness.

  • Tatum
    December 2, 2010 at 10:13 am

    My biggest literary surprise this year was Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. I had enjoyed her The Mortal Instruments series, but CA was on a completely different level. I finished it in a single day and then stared reading it again!

  • Berenice Hernandez
    December 2, 2010 at 10:23 am

    My surprise this year was watching Doctor Who, I never thought that I would be that awesome. When it was described to me, it didn’t sound appealing, but once I was watching it, I realized it was indescribable, words just don’t make it justice. Now I’m waiting for the new season and the Christmas special. πŸ˜€

  • RK Charron
    December 2, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Hi πŸ™‚
    What a wonderful post by Sarah.
    I was pleasantly surprised by the movie Scott Pilgrim vs The World. I’d heard negative reviews/opinions but I loved it.
    All the best,
    RKCharron

  • Chelsea
    December 2, 2010 at 10:39 am

    I’ve had a couple surprises in 2010, but the big one was that I actually flew across country by myself. I went to Oregon for vacation, and it was my first time flying. Very exciting and fun. And a big surprise that I had the courage to do it alone.

    Also, in picking up Demon’s Lexicon, I was surprised (true story) I don’t usually like anything to do with demons, but I absolutely fell in love with Nick, and read Demon’s Covenant in one day. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for posting the cookie, Sarah! And…as a Vampire Diaries fan since the first episode….season 2 is BETTER than season 1. 😯

  • Kaethe
    December 2, 2010 at 10:41 am

    My biggest happy surprise this year was finding out that an old friend was getting published. I didn’t even know she’d written a book. So, yay for Keri’s Stone Kissed.

  • Savanna
    December 2, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Biggest Book Surprise: Heist Society by Ally Carter
    I read the publisher’s summary and thought it was going to be cookie-cutter, but I ended up really loving it. I think Kat is an ideal strong heroine (she calls the shots 85% of the time) and I loved the details of the heist’s execution (it was kind of like reading Ocean’s 11, except I was way more involved with the characters)

  • JenP
    December 2, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Liking the Scott Pilgrim movie so much

  • Etta
    December 2, 2010 at 11:29 am

    My biggest TV surprise of the year was Vampire Diaries too. I picked up the DVD on a whim, not expecting much, and now I’m totally hooked. (It’s also a surprise that for once I prefer the good guy.) My biggest book surprise was Jaclyn Moriarty (thanks to Ana).

    The Demon’s Lexicon was one of the best books I read this year, and I’ve actually been holding off on reading The Demon’s Covenant, because I want to stretch things out a bit so I won’t have too long a wait for the third book. I am not sure how much longer I can hold out though. I gave a copy of The Demon’s Lexicon to my best friend, and I am spreading the word.

  • nikoline
    December 2, 2010 at 11:39 am

    How I love THe Vampire Diaries TV show. It’s so great!

    The Demon’s Lexicon is also on my to-read list. I’ve been longing to read it.

  • Iffath
    December 2, 2010 at 11:43 am

    I’d have to say The Vampire Diaries because, well, *SQUEEEE* πŸ˜€ Oh and the Vampire Academy series! I read all six books in a week and I totally VA-obsessed now! I swear my whole mind is being taken over by thoughts that revolve around Vampire Academy!!

  • R. Rowe
    December 2, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    I think the biggest surprise this year was somehow managing to try to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, somehow actually making the deadline, finding out that I want to keep writing what I’m writing, and most importantly, that I love writing just as much as I love reading.

  • Sarah Olson
    December 2, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    A huge surprise just happened a couple days ago, when I managed to “win” NaNoWriMo this year even though I was sick for most of the month, worked a full-time job, kept up with my slush reading for the zine, and still managed to find time to spend with my family (especially during Thanksgiving.) I honestly don’t know how I did it, but I’m so glad I did.

  • elaing8
    December 2, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    I love The Vampire Diaries too.
    The big surprise for our family was my niece having a baby. It was such a shock but when he came,he’s the greatest joy.I just love him to pieces πŸ™‚

  • Janelle
    December 2, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    My biggest suprise this year was returning to school after a miserable time last year in which I lost a lot of friends, and then meeting a new girl who moved to my school. We became best friends, which was a really awesome suprise. The way we bonded was suprising too–someone mentioned PostSecrets, and she told everyone what her favorite secret that she’d ever read on the site was. It was my secret. We’ve been inseperable ever since!

  • Rachel Glass
    December 2, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I was surprised by Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. I love her other books so I knew I would love it too, especially since it’s set in Victorian London which I have always been kind of fascinated by. However, I didn’t know that I would love it as much as I do. I think everything about it is completely amazing and the wait for the next one is so long.

  • Rachel
    December 2, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    I have to agree with the others who said that The Big Bang Theory was their biggest media surprise of the year– it was an even bigger surprise that my 12-year-old brother introduced it to me! We watched the entire series thus far in an incredibly short span of time, and I was amazed to find out that I could enjoy a sitcom so much with a child eight years my junior! It’s a wonderful, hilarious show that will speak to both nerds and the people who love them.

  • danielleeloko78@aol.com
    December 2, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    WALKING DEAD
    WALKING DEAD
    WALKING DEAD
    walking dead.
    yeah.
    not a surprise.
    but you know.

  • pscott
    December 2, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    I bought a ticket to see Tangled (which I had planned on skipping) on a whim when Harry Potter was sold out. Wow! Best Disney movie in quite some time. Sometimes having no expectations when watching a movie or reading a book makes for a better experience.

  • Sara
    December 2, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    My biggest surprise this year? Probably EVERY FREAKIN’ EPISODE of Dr. Who, which I just started watching. Seriously, how does a show continue to make you emotional and take you by surprise with every episode?

  • John
    December 2, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Ugh. Difficult question. That’s like taking a bunch of random kittens and asking me to pick the cutest one. THAT IS NOT A GOOD THING TO DO.

    Best book surprise was probably The Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John, or Dangerous Neighbors by Beth Kephart. I honestly had no idea how much I would enjoy either of them. I had those premonitions about Matched and Anna and the French Kiss, but TFFOD and DN were total surprises.

    On an unrelated note, I was surprised by how much fun blogging has become, how awesome some authors are, and how the not-awesome ones can sometimes be, um, mean jerk faces that make me want to reverse the Glee smoothie.

    Also opossums. I just read a Darlene Marshall book, and I have finally come to terms through its humor that I am worth an opossum.

  • Laura
    December 2, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Biggest surprise this year? Moving away from small town nowhere because my husband got a great! new! job! w00t!

    I am so excited! πŸ˜€

  • Jasmine A S
    December 2, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    AUGH I NEED TO KNOW THE SURPRISE!!!!!!!! 😯

    Ahem. One moment while I assert my maturity again. *takes a moment* πŸ™„ Very good.

    While it’s hideously not the surprise I would have picked, I would say that finding that I was one of the best ranked persons in my district at work, instead of failing terribly, was a big surprise. πŸ˜€ I would have rather won the lottery, but hey! This was nice too. :mrgreen:

  • Germaine Dulac
    December 2, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Biggest surprise: moving into my own apartment! I thought it would be hard, living on my own, having a roommate, *gasp* cooking for myself. But it’s been awesome, and my roommate is the loveliest, funniest person I know! I still suck at cooking, but I love, love, love our tiny apartment. I even love our noisy neighbors. πŸ™‚

  • Ashley
    December 2, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    The biggest surprise I got this year was being accepted to AMDA for university. I was in Austria at the time and I live in Canada, so to learn that I would be moving to an entirely new country a few short months later was both awesome and terrifying.

  • jessica
    December 2, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    I loved Easy A too–what a cute movie! And the Huckleberry Finn reference was hilarious.

  • Nikki
    December 2, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Vampire Diaries was my great surprise. Who knew, especially after the first half dozen episodes, that they would succeed in making a series that I love so much as I loved the books when I was 15?

  • Maureen
    December 2, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    The biggest surprise I got was that I could figure out how to bake bread.

  • Michelle
    December 2, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    Coolest author ever! So much awesomeness in this post I can’t possibly comment on it all. I’m excited to have downloaded The Vespertine galley, now I’m even more anxious to read it than ever.

  • Victoria Zumbrum
    December 2, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    My biggest surprise was the Vampire Diaries. It is really good. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

  • Kat
    December 2, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    There’s this show called Castle which a few people tried to get me to watch. I put it off few awhile before I watched it… I was hooked on the first episode.

  • Margaret
    December 2, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    My awesome surprise was the introduction to the books of Jim Butcher, thanks to my brother. They’re great reads and I love how funny and real the characters are.

  • Sara
    December 2, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Horatio Hornblower. Not exactly new books, but new to me. Sweet Jesus, how awesome is this man? And don’t even get me started on the TV series . . . .

  • brit
    December 2, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Found out there was roller derby in my area, now I am working on joining! I have wanted to do this for years.

  • Re
    December 2, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Hm…I got to graduate school, and found out that most people here are as nerdy and introverted as I am. πŸ™‚ I am aware that it in no way prepares me adequately for the real world, but it is quite nice to be normal for once!

  • Chachic
    December 2, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Sarah Rees Brennan is hilarious! Love her books, her blog, her tweets. Can’t wait to find out what happens in the last book.

    One book that surprised me this year was Fairy Tale Fail by Mina V. Esguerra, which is a local chick lit book. I didn’t expect to like it so much.

    A surprising gift was when I received a box of books from my friends during my 25th birthday last March. πŸ™‚

  • mara
    December 2, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    My biggest surprise this year was finding a part-time job (I’m a full-time university student)after nearly giving up hope. It’s perfect and I love it, although now I have to organize my time better… πŸ™‚

    One of the bigger surprises this year was steampunk becoming a hot trend, I never saw that one coming.

    A not-so-big-but-awesome surprise was how much I liked My Neighbor Totoro! I watched it with my little nephew recently, and it blew me away with cuteness. πŸ˜€

  • ThisViewOfMine
    December 2, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    Enjoyed your post. πŸ™‚

    Um. Finding Steven Erkison’s Fallen series has had to be the best thing this year. Really helped me escape real life.

    I’ve been looking forward to getting my hands on these books. I LOVE dark humor and it seems that there might be a bit in this series.

  • SaraC
    December 2, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    My biggest surprise this year was discovering the drake’s “sunny doodles.” Yum!

  • Stephanie K.
    December 2, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    My biggest surprise was discovering the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. It blew me away.

  • Tiffany M.
    December 3, 2010 at 12:25 am

    Books: Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves is my favorite of the year. Reading Teresa Medieros also made me happy. OOoo! And Heist Society was fun!

    Movies: I also enjoyed Easy A. Ramona and Beezus was cheesy cuteness. Also, I did thoroughly enjoy R.E.D.

    Next year is looking to be very good, too. Right now I’m eagerly anticipating Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves and the next book by Sarah Addison Allen.

  • Stella (Ex Libris)
    December 3, 2010 at 3:06 am

    Thanks for the fun post Sarah! πŸ™‚ I agree, at the beginning I found Vampire Diaries too cheesy and thought this would be such a horrible show, but I love season 2 even better! πŸ™‚

    The big surprttise of this year was a book: Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch. I was pleasantly surprised because I’ve never read any scifi novels but TBAA blew me away: it was witty, incredibly hilarious, romantic and exciting! It became one of my favourite books ever! πŸ˜€

    Thank you for the giveaway, friends have praised this series so much, I would love to read it! πŸ™‚

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

  • Elyane
    December 3, 2010 at 6:13 am

    A big surprise for me was Toni McGee Causey’s Bobbie Fay series. That series made me laugh.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Lisa B.
    December 3, 2010 at 7:29 am

    My biggest book surprise this year would have to be The Hunger Games. I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to attempt reading another book with so much hype attached, but eventually I crumbled. And devoured all three books. What a wonderfully unexpected series.

  • Llehn
    December 3, 2010 at 7:31 am

    My biggest surprise this year was Before I Fall. I’ve heard good things about it but I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did.

  • Lori T
    December 3, 2010 at 8:29 am

    A great surprise for me this year was Easy A, also. I thought that it looked cute and my daughter really wanted to see it! I have to say that I loved it more than she did and so did my sister. It was one of my favorite movies of the year….I loved it!

    TV wise…I would have to say Walking Dead is a new favorite. Although, it can be a little icky from time to time.

    Book wise…there are just so many great ones out there!

    Happy Holidays!

  • JenM
    December 3, 2010 at 8:31 am

    My biggest good surprise this year was my iPhone. My hubby wanted it and of course, if he was getting one I had to also, but I was pretty neutral about it. Once I got it, however, I was shocked at how wonderful it was. I thought I’d hate reading books on it, but now I do it all the time (and I can read on it inconspicuously at work). All my Kindle books transfer seamlessly and I have access to B&N and Kobo specials now also without having to buy their readers. All in all, a wonderful surprise that has made it easier to read even more books (cuz, after all, that’s all that really matters LOL).

  • NatalieD
    December 3, 2010 at 8:49 am

    My biggest surprise this year was Downton Abbey.
    I thought it might be ok, and be one of the few programs my mother and I would both watch, but not something I’m excited about every week. After the first episode I couldn’t wait until the next one!

  • LiseO
    December 3, 2010 at 9:36 am

    I actually had two big surprises this year, one movie and one TV- show. both of whom I thought would be one of those over- hyped things that everyone liked for every other reason than the fact that it was something of good quality.
    the first was the movie “Inception” – OMG! I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a well done movie before! it left me speechless and wanting more.
    the other thing was the TV- show, “Dexter” – When a friend introduced me to this, I simply couldn’t stop watching, and ended up bying the seasons for money I was actually supposed to save… but it was worth it! totally!
    I can’t wait until they’re both released in my country, so that I can watch them again (Edit: season 4 of Dexter)
    oh, yeah! I was also pleasantly surprised by The Hungergames trilogy! believe it or not, this was a bookseries I only picked up because a friend sugested it, and I had NOTHING else to read. hahah, I’ve been prooved wrong a few times this year! xD

  • Amanda
    December 3, 2010 at 9:45 am

    My biggest surprise this year was Jaclyn Moriarty. I had never heard of her, but when you guys reviewed “The Ghosts of Ashbury High,” and loved it so much, I checked out all of her books. And LOVED THEM. So now I have a new author I adore, and it’s all thanks to you lot. πŸ™‚

  • Kate
    December 3, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    My biggest surprise this year was the show Fringe. I picked the first season up at Target super cheap, on a whim, and I watched it all in a week. Yep, I’ve never looked back!

  • Hann1bal
    December 3, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    I have to say that I was surprised by Inception. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, going in, but it really blew me away with how excellent it was. Characters I cared about, a fascinating world to learn about, and all of it wrapped up in thrilling action. It was simply wonderful.

  • Kate A
    December 3, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    One good surprise this year was that I got my first job! It was really new for me and I enjoyed it a lot.

    Another surprise for me this year is the TV show Lost Girl. I wasn’t sure to expect from it to be honest. But so far I’ve really loved the story and the characters.

  • jmspettoli
    December 3, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Hmm a big surprise… I know there have been a lot of books but authors new to me that have been a pleasant surprise but unfortunately I can’t think of anything in particular. However my Birthday is next week so here’s hoping for a big surprise then!

  • Kimberly B.
    December 3, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    I think my best pop culture surprise, at least, was the unfortunately short-lived “Huge.” It was such a fun show that dealt with so much more than weight loss. I’m very sad to see it go!
    Thanks for the great giveaway!

  • Pebble
    December 3, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    My good surprise of the year was Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief. It’s been a very long time since a book has moved me so much that I didn’t think it was possible anymore. Then I finally picked up The Book Thief and the story and the characters all moved me to tears.

  • Eva SB
    December 4, 2010 at 12:53 am

    My greatest surprise this year has been discovering book blogs. They are such fun and have helped me discover some great new fiction including great books like ‘Incarceron’

  • A'lina
    December 4, 2010 at 1:48 am

    Best surprise this year: My sister in law is having a GIRL! Yay! My brother is super excited to be a new daddy!

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  • Elle
    December 4, 2010 at 3:34 am

    I was really surprised by how good the tv show Terriers is. Everything about it from the acting to the writing is brilliant.

  • Sparkles
    December 4, 2010 at 8:11 am

    My biggest surprise this year was the Artemis Fowl series. I finally decided to read them because of all the hype and I actually found myself really enjoying them πŸ˜€

  • Subette
    December 4, 2010 at 11:57 am

    My biggest surprise this year has been how much I have enjoyed YA books, especially the Hunger Games Trilogy. Thanks to this website, have found a whole new genre to enjoy.

  • Amy
    December 4, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    I have these books, too; my friend buys them for my birthday… Yet those UK covers are so much lovelier than the US ones I have. I have always liked them more…

    A surprise in my life: Horror scares me! As a child, horror was one of my favorite genres: I devoured horror books and spent days hiding under the covers with the delicious shivers. One day, I finally put my horror books away, thinking I would return to them soon… Yet a few months ago, while waiting for Inception to begin, I endured a three-minute trailer of The Last Exorcism. Then promptly had nightmares two days after about possessed uncles, the backwoods, and Satan. In desperation, I returned to my childhood horror books… and garnered yet even more nightmares in the following days. Alas. πŸ™

  • Anna
    December 6, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Awesome thing about my year: I got emails back from almost everyone I asked to work with for my PhD saying “I’d love to work with you! Your topic sounds great! Let’s talk!”

    And maybe winning books from Sarah? That would be nice too!

  • wandering-dreamer
    December 6, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Well, it’s a bit of an odd surprise but I discovered a new genera this year I really love. It’s called josei (it’s for Japanese comics/cartoons sadly, I want an English equivalent of this ASAP) and it’s stories aimed at women from 18 to 40 and I’m loving everything in it I try. More realistic romances? Awesome! The trials and tribulations of college life/young adult worker life? EVEN BETTER! Over the past year I’ve felt more and more unhappy with YA as it relates less and less to my life (and I am literally a young adult, just not a high school young adult) so I was thrilled to find that stories for me do exist, they just need a bit of translating first.

  • sophia_sol
    December 6, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    The biggest book-surprise for me this year was not exactly a new book. It was Candide, by Voltaire, which I’d always vaguely assumed was one of the rather more stuffy variety of classics that they always make you read for school. And then it turned out it was burst-out-laughing HILARIOUS.

    In terms of tv shows, the biggest surprise to me was how amazing Highlander is (…er, sometimes is, I mean. It’s not exactly consistent). I was not expecting to fall for that show nearly so hard when I decided to watch an episode for a lark.

  • Susie
    December 6, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    A good surprise I got…hm. I guess I’m surprised with myself this year, because I didn’t realize how much work I could do and/or how much I could accomplish when I try!

  • Alison O'C.
    December 6, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    One of my many awesome 2010 surprises was Sherlock Holmes.

    Not the fact that such a character exists; that would be silly. But it’s the first time I’ve read all of the short stories and novels.

    AND it brought me to Sherlock, one of the most amazing shows I’ve ever seen. I can’t wait for more of them.

  • Kathleen
    December 6, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    OH MAN. *makes grabby hands at* Oh, Nick. I dislike you so much sometimes, because you are frankly quite scary, and yet I love you, because you love Alan and I also love Alan. Alan is so easy to love. *schoogles him*

    Also, Ms. Brennan? I love family dramas. Can’t get enough of ’em. Bring it on.

  • Kathleen
    December 6, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Um, because my computer is a spaz and takes me at my word when I, for example, hit post without actually completing a post, this is my actual entry for the contest, not the earlier one. I am sorry for the double!

    There were a number of big surprises this year, but my two favorites were finding out that Stephanie Barron is publishing another Jane Austen mystery and meeting my kitty for the very first time.

  • Eva
    December 7, 2010 at 3:10 am

    I made it to Ireland! A place I’ve wanted to visit since I was 14, and I get to stay till sometime in January! It is Awesome!
    I love the intensity in the scene… Nick is still totally bound into his brother, While Sin is struggling with the fact that the brother she could get along with isn’t even human and the one she can barely stand to be around has enough complexity and has done so much, both heroic and dangerous, that she should probably revise her opinion.

  • Jo B
    December 7, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Best good surprise would be a mimmoth-necklace from the bf, which combines two things I kept saying I wanted but never expected: a) a mimmoth (a miniature mammoth because it would be as cute as a mini elephant but fluffier) and b) something shiny (bcos said bf’s mum makes jewellery for a living he always says he feels like jewellery isn’t valuable)

  • Lana B
    December 9, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    biggest surprise this year was reading my first attempt at a film script in class and people laughed at all the right parts and my teacher called it “masterful”

  • Rose Lerner
    December 24, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    I guess I need to get ahold of ALL these things! I was already interested in Easy A because I hear Penn Badgley is in it, being good-looking, and this clinches it. Also The Vespertine sounds amazing–GOSSIP GIRL, NOW WITH MORE CRAVATS. Chuck Bass would approve.

    A good surprise this year–original Battlestar Galactica is SO FANTASTIC! Amazing uniforms and a robot dog, and lady Viper pilots, and incredibly charming heroes, and wacky fun adventures on planets with unicorns and space Westerns and people who built their whole society around being a tiny prison planet two hundred years ago! I did not see this coming from everyone saying, “Oh the original was so cheesy but the new one’s pretty good.” FOOLS!

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