Usually at the very beginning of the new year, I take some time to reflect on the previous year’s books. In the past, I have taken part in The Perpetual Page Turner’s questionnaire, but I didn’t even do that this year. 2022 definitely finished with a whimper and not a bang. And it all started so well, too.
The first book I read in 2022 was The Fire Keeper’s Daughter, and I was so sure that 2022 was going to be stellar based on that book. Book number two wasn’t quite so good, sadly, and the next few books were just so-so for me.
It wasn’t until February’s Migrations that things started to turn around. I really enjoyed this book, and chose it, based on recommendations from my Litsy friends, as my book club pick. Sadly, I won 2022’s “Book I Enjoyed Reading Least”. I was really starting to feel as though I had lost my reading mojo.
I also read Jennifer Niven’s YA novel Breathless in February and I really loved that one, so maybe things weren’t as dire as I thought they were. The first book of March was Saint X, which I also loved. Was I on a roll? The Kiss Quotient: naughty fun.
Then came Malibu Rising, a book I was sure I was going to love based on how much I loved Daisy Jones & the Six. Malibu Rising was just….awful. Luckily, Will Dean’s book The Last Thing to Burn was a total palate cleanser. I read it in pretty much one setting and immediately after I read Everything We Didn’t Say, which I also very much enjoyed. So just as the weather was starting to improve, I felt like things were on the uptick.
In Pieces made me crazy. And not in a good way. I knew that I needed to follow it up with something stellar, so I read some books by tried and true authors: Thomas H. Cook, Craig Davidson, Lucie Whitehouse.
May was saved by Stephanie Rosenbloom’s memoir Alone Time and Maryann Wolfe’s long essay on the importance of reading in a digital age: Reader, Come Home.
June is a busy month for a high school teacher, and I was preparing myself to read lots during the summer, so I read some schlock – nothing memorable.
By the first week of July I had finished Empire of the Vampire, a massive fantasy novel I enjoyed way more than I thought I would. Then, thinking it would be great to take another chunky book off my physical tbr pile, I tackled A Little Life. This is a book that really seems to divide people and I come squarely down on the side of “don’t waste your time.”
Usually in the summer I read a lot of thrillers, and I read my fair share last year, but they were mostly mediocre. The standout for me was Messiah.
October’s Sorrow and Bliss was probably the best book I read in the fall, but I also enjoyed The Nowhere Child and Never Look Back.
By the time early December arrived, I really felt miserable about my reading year and I spent more time playing some stupid Angry Birds bubblepop game than I did with my books. I read four books in December that I didn’t even get around to reviewing:
The Long Weekend by Gilly MacMillan (dear lord, just ridiculous)
Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed (a beautifully written, slow-moving book about a religious cult)
A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier (a YA novel about a girl during the flu epidemic in 1918 with remarkable parallels to Covid)
Goodnight Beautiful by Aimee Molloy (at which point I decided to give thrillers a rest for a while)
I came nowhere near hitting my Goodreads target of 75 books and I am determined to do better this year.
How was 2022 for you?