What a delightful year for books!
I found a great indie bookstore in my town that always carries a good stock of poetry. Now the owner recognizes me and recommends poetry collections. Yay!
Once I started working full time, I didn’t have as much time to read, so I’ve had to adapt. That is, I stopped reading books if I wasn’t interested in. *gasp* I have so many I didn’t finish… But that’s okay. Life’s too short to force myself to read something I don’t enjoy.
As for those I did enjoy—here they are!
Goal: 1 Book 700+ pages
The Well of Ascension and The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson—I didn’t realize how long these books were until I started rereading them. They were delightful, of course. There’s talk of one of Sanderson’s books getting a show or movie adaptation, and I hope it’s this series! I’d like to share it with my non-reader friends.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas—I found the longest book on my TBR and started listening it to it because I was bored. No, seriously. Turns out, I really enjoyed it! Instead of simply listening to during my commute to and from work, I listened to it a bunch at home too. (Not done yet…)
Goal: 2 Writing Books
The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maass—I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a writing book this much before! Not only is it instructional, but it has some great examples. Since I listened to the audio book while I driving, I may have to reread it to actually apply it to my own novels. Writing emotion into my stories is something I’ve struggled with, but now I’m inspired! (Not done yet. I intend to finish before the end of the year.)
Goal: 3 Books Published in 2022
Squire by Sara Alfageeh and Nadia Shammas—this graphic novel is gold. The cover drew me in at first. I thought the story would be okay. I was wrong. It was great! I devoured it in one sitting, then went out and bought a copy and have since reread it.
An Arrow to the Moon by Emily X. R. Pan—I was disappointed by this one, unfortunately. While I enjoyed the magical-realism-contemporary-mix, the ending felt too confused and rushed. It didn’t make sense to me.
I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys—I’ve found my new favorite historical fiction author! Seriously, I’ve read all her books now. I devoured this in a day. Sepetys’ writing style continues to be stunning. As a teacher I always appreciate her perspective on often untold stories across Europe. This particular story was heartbreaking.
Family of Liars by E. Lockhart—If you don’t mind a book that’s depressing and a story that revisits a setting that you may have visited before, then this book is for you. Sequel to We Were Liars (see below). I didn’t quite enjoy this one as much as the first because it lacked the connection between the characters that I enjoyed in the first.
Goal: 3 Rereads
Light at the Bottom of the World (Light of the Abyss, book 1) by London Shah—Wow, I enjoyed this book more the second time than the first! It hit differently than the first time too. The first time I read it was pre-pandemic. After the pandemic, wow, this society seems a lot like our own. I particularly enjoyed the underwater sci-fi elements, and the themes are spectacular too! (See the sequel in the category below.)
The Mistborn Saga by Brandon Sanderson—the final book of the second arc, came out this year, so of course, I had to reread the entire series. I told myself I was going to wait until June to start the books, but then I started in May. Whoops! The world building, the magic system, the characters, the themes! Though I prefer the first arc, I enjoyed the second arc as well. I’m still waiting for the final book though. Right now, I’m fourth in the hold line at my library…
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart—Picked this one up when I started getting tired of fantasy. This contemporary was just what I needed. A beautiful yet heartbreaking read. Now I want to write an inspirational quote on my hands to better remember it.
Goal: 5 Books I Own (not rereads)
I need to categorize these better next year. There’s quite a bit of overlap.
Journey to the Heart of the Abyss (Light of the Abyss, book 2) by London Shah—First of all, can we take a moment to appreciate how Shah names the duology after both books instead of just the first book. Thank you, Shah. Thank you! As for the story itself, I didn’t care for the sequel as much as the first one. Oh, well.
A Silent Voice (books 1-7) by Yoshitoki Ōima—Technically, I’ve read the first three books before, but not the final four! Yes, I watched the anime first. I like both for different reasons. Heartbreaking yet beautiful and powerful.
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne—see category below.
Collected Haiku of Yosa Buson—see category below.
Timely: A Phoenix Fiction Writers Anthology—see final category.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens—see category below.
The Moon Before Morning by W.S. Merwin—another poetry collection. Not as much imagery or as enthralling as the haiku collection but enjoyable nonetheless.
Goal: 5 Books by 5 Different Non-American Authors
The Cat Who Saved Books by Sōsuke Natsukawa—Translated from Japanese. This one was fun and the themes were interesting, though the writing style was a little dull. I’m going to blame it on translation. Would recommend if you like cats and labyrinths and books.
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke—British fiction. Hey, look! Another book about labyrinths! I’m sensing a theme… I really enjoyed this one. It’s got a nice, meandering pace that certainly isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but it certainly was mine. A portal fantasy about another world with an unreliable narrator who is incredibly smart but also a little crazy. It’s got a similar feel as The Slow Regard of Silent Things.
Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan—Technically this one was also a 2022 release, but I put it here because why not? This book is actually the second one I’ve read this year that focuses on the Chinese legend of the moon goddess, and I definitely enjoyed this one more! It was a little slow and meandering, so it took me a bit to finish. Definitely worth the read.
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne—Translated from French. A classic for a reason. I enjoyed this one way more than I thought I would. I’ve heard Verne’s work described as “boring” before, but I quite enjoyed this one. My eyes did glaze over a bit during the paragraphs with all the fish, though. I was first introduced to the story when I was a kid, but I’d never read the original before now. Definitely recommend!
Collected Haiku of Yosa Buson—Translated from Japanese with the original Japanese transcribed on the left. What a delightful collection! I picked up this beauty during a book sale at a local bookstore and enjoyed it far more than I thought I would. I think I might be a haiku person. Some are complex, some are simple. All are short and quick reads. The book is broken up into seasons, starting with spring, ending with winter. What’s more, there’s even a whole mini-section on frogs. This is the kind of content I’m here for!
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens—British fiction. I actually read this one twice. Once for lesson planning, and again with my class. While the language was a bit dense for my lower-level readers, many of them enjoyed the story and getting the chance to watch the movie at the end of the year.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas—Unabridged and translated from French. See first category.
Goal: 1 Short Story Collection
Timely: A Phoenix Fiction Writers Anthology—Another enjoyable collection by the Phoenix Fiction Writers! I took my grand time with this one, but that’s part of the fun of anthologies like this one. You don’t have to read it all in one sitting. A story at a time will do. My favorites were probably “Adamant” by Beth Wangler and “Daughter” by E.B. Dawson.
Total books: 19/20
Other Notable Books
Alone by Megan E. Freeman
The Way of the House Husband by Kousuke Oono
The Expanse series by James S.A. Cory
Year of the Reaper by Makiia Lucier
The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
Squire by Sara Alfageeh and Nadia Shammas
No Beauties or Monsters by Tara Goedjen
Himawari House by Harmony Becker
Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar
The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling by Wai Chim
Visual Learning: Physics by Kurt Baker
You can check out the full list of books I read on my Year in Books page on Goodreads.
If you’ve made it this far, I’m taking a step back from blogging. I still intend to post my reading resolutions, end of the year reviews, and writing-news. But for the most part, I’ll be positing on Instagram instead. Thank you for following me along this crazy blogging journey.
Let’s chat! Have you read any of these? What are some of your favorite books from 2022?