Each year that passes can be defined in a number of ways, not the least of which is by the books we’ve read. It could’ve been a good, bad, or unexpected sort of year, based solely on our reading choices. No matter the outcome, though, I always enjoy looking back at the stories that made up my year, and feel a sense of accomplishment when I see my completed list. Even if I didn’t get to as many books as I had hoped to; a few books is better than no books at all, right? The very first post I ever wrote on this blog was a year-end reading wrap-up way back in 2017, and this post will mark the fifth consecutive year of sharing my reading track-record. Let’s see how 2022 stacks up to the previous years, shall we?
Rating: 1-5 stars – favorites in bold
- A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens – 4 stars
- Jude the Obscure, by Thomas Hardy – 4 stars
- The God of the Garden, by Andrew Peterson – 5 stars
- Letters to a Young Poet, by Rainer Maria Rilke – 4 stars
- 5 Secrets of Story Structure, by K. M. Weiland – 5 stars
- Productivity for Authors, by Joanna Penn – 5 stars
- Hoopa Project, by David Paulides – 5 stars
- Creating Character Arcs, by K. M. Weiland – 4 stars
- Dear Me Before BTS, I Feel Sorry For You, by W. R. Kim – 4 stars
- Spin The Dawn, by Elizabeth Lim – 4 stars
- Unravel the Dusk, by Elizabeth Lim – 4 stars
- Calculated, by Nova McBee – 5 stars
- Simulated, by Nova McBee – 5 stars
- 100 Days of Sunlight, by Abbie Emmons – 4 stars
- What Lives in the Woods, by Lindsay Currie – 3 stars
- Every Bright and Broken Thing, by Brian McBride – 3 stars
- Mammoth, by Brian McBride – 5 stars
- The Will and the Wilds, by Charlie N. Holmberg -3 stars
- Northwind, by Gary Paulsen – 4 stars
- The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart – 4 stars
- The Summer We Forgot, by Caroline George – 5 stars
- The Maid, by Nita Prose – 3 stars
- The Guinevere Deception, by Kiersten White – 4 stars
- The Tale of Hilltop Farm, by Susan Wittig Albert – 4 stars
- Boneshaker, by Cheri Priest – 5 stars
- Cress, by Marissa Meyer (re-read) – 5 stars
- Shady Hollow, by Juneau Black – 4 stars
- Once Upon a River, by Diane Setterfield – 4 stars
- The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea, Axie Oh – 2 stars
- Secrets in the Mist, by Morgan L. Busse – 4 stars
- Wishtress, by Nadine Brandes – 3 stars
- Red Winter, by Annette Marie – 4 stars
- Pumpkin Everything, by Beth Labonte – 4 stars
- Soul as Cold as Frost, by Jennifer Kropf – 4 stars
Reading Q & A:
Question: How was your reading year in 2022?
Answer: 2022 was was just an “okay” reading year for me. I DNF’d (did not finish) more books than I would have liked, which left me a bit unmotivated. Over the years, I’ve become somewhat of a picky reader, much like a picky eater. I’ve gained a sharper sense of what I do and do not like in fiction, and many of the books I picked up last year ended up in the “dislike” category.
Question: What was the first book you read in 2022?
Answer: I kicked off 2022 with Spin the Dawn, by Elizabeth Lim, an Asian-inspired fantasy about a magical seamstress, and a powerful enchanter. It reminded me a little of the story of Mulan. (That is, if Mulan was tasked with designing beautiful dresses for an empress, instead of fighting a war.) It was a great read, and helped start the year on a high note.
Question: What was the last book you read in 2022?
Answer: After the craziness of Christmas, I wanted a gripping, and fast-paced story to sweep me away, so I decided to pick up Mammoth, by Brian Mcbride, and may have found a new favorite. It was a pleasant surprise, since I had read another of Mcbride’s books that I didn’t enjoy. I loved the elements of found-family, friendship, and Indiana Jones-esque adventure. There were also some heavier topics discussed, like domestic abuse, and difficult family relationships, so you should keep that in mind before picking up this book.
Question: What was your favorite reading-related memory in 2022?
Answer: In August, I went on a trip to California, and was able to check off “read on the beach” from my summer bucket list. I took the book, Once Upon a River, by Diane Setterfield. It might not have been the ideal beach read, as it was a bit unsettling, and eerie, but it was definitely a memorable story, and even more so to have taken it on vacation with me. Disclaimer: due to some of the more adult content in this book, it is not suitable for younger readers.
Question: What was the most disappointing book you read in 2022?
Answer: I read quite a few disappointing books in 2022, but I think it’s a tie between two of them. The first, The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea, by Axie Oh. I really wanted to love this story, and thought the cover was beautiful, but unfortunately, my hopes were dashed to the bottom of the ocean, (pun intended), simply because I couldn’t get passed the writing style. It fell prey to the telling, instead of showing, pitfall, and for me, ruined what could have been a great story.
Secondly, I was also disappointed in Wishtress, by Nadine Brandes. I tried so hard to like this book, and nearly gave up on it twice before officially declaring it a DNF. Again, I thought the story line was interesting, but I simply couldn’t connect with the characters. Normally, I appreciate the use of flawed characters in stories, but the main character in Wishtress came across as extremely unlikable, and I felt no sympathy towards her. After reading about 3/4 of the story, I decided to call it quits.
Question: What was a book you loved in 2022?
Answer: Calculated, by Nova McBee, was one of the few books that swept me away in 2022. A fast paced, action/adventure story, mixed in with a retelling of the Biblical account of Joseph, left my mind blown. It was fascinating to read about a young math prodigy living in the modern metropolis of Shanghai, while fighting against the untold atrocities that operate behind the scenes of society. I really admire the author for tackling such a huge, and important topic with this book, and handling it well. (I won’t tell you what it is to avoid spoilers.) I also read the second book, Simulated, which was also great, and I’m looking forward to continuing the series with the third installment, Activated.
Question: What book would you recommend to a friend?
Answer: I would like to challenge a friend to read Boneshaker, by Cheri Priest. Lately, I’ve been trying to explore some lesser known sub-genres like steampunk, so Boneshaker felt like a win to me. If you don’t mind reading about creepy zombies roaming around an abandoned city, then you might enjoy Boneshaker. (But zombies aren’t all this story is about.) What left the greatest impact, was reading about the relationship between a mother and son, and their journey to finding each other when all odds were stacked against them.
There you have it, my reading roundup, and recap of the year 2022. I hope you enjoyed this post, and maybe found a book or two to add to your own TBR for 2023. Now I want to hear about your reading year. Did you read any books that you absolutely loved, or maybe there was a book you hated? Tell me all about it.
Thanks for reading,