The book review of 2022

Even though I barely read this year last year (I was hoping to post this before December ended but alas, Goodreads kept logging me out on the 31st so I couldn’t finish it in time), I still wanted to do this post. The original is by The Perpetual Page Turner – although i don’t know whether she still does it – but I got this version from Kezzie.

Best book you read in 2022

Not many stand out to be honest. but I did enjoy The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin so we’ll go with that.

Best children’s fiction:

I didn’t actually read many children’s books this year. We’ll go with Rise of the World Eater, book 3 in the Frostheart series. It was a worthy ending to the trilogy and I genuinely enjoyed it.

Best crime fiction:

I think this may be the least crime fiction I’ve ever read in one year! Magpie Lane by Lucy Atkins was very suspenseful and enjoyable overall, although I found the ending very predictable.

Best classic:

None because I didn’t read any…

Best non-fiction:

The only non-fiction book I read in 2022 was Bonkers: My Life in Laughs by Jennifer Saunders (her autobiography). It was entertaining enough but felt like loads was missing and I didn’t enjoy it anywhere near as much as Dawn French’s autobiography (Dear Fatty).

Best dystopian fiction:

I think City of Rust by Gemma Fowler counts as (children’s) dystopian, although Goodreads only has it tagged as Science Fiction and Adventure. In any case I didn’t read anything else that could be considered even vaguely dystopian. I felt like some of the characters could have been fleshed out better and would just generally have liked more but I gave it 3.5 stars.

Best YA:

Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine. Again, I felt some of the characters could have been fleshed out more, but I really enjoyed reading this book.

Most surprising (in a good way) book read in 2021:

Thirteen Hours by Deon Meyer. I picked this up from a free bookcase and had no idea what to expect from it, but I ended up really enjoying it. It’s set in South Africa and was originally written in Afrikaans, and I found all the politics and tension between the different cultures – Zulus, Xhosa, and Coloreds (mixed race and South Asian) slightly confusing at times, but overall this was a thrilling story with great characters.

Book You Read In 2021 That You Recommended Most To Others:

I don’t think I have recommended any books this year.

Best series you discovered in 2022:

The Rockton series by Kelley Armstrong (starting with City of the Lost). I’ve only read two books so far but I’m loving the unusual setting. (Plus this is the only new series I’ve read more than 1 book from so it kind of wins by default).

Favourite new to you author you discovered in 2022.

Usually I reserve this question for a new author I’ve read more than one book by, but that only leaves Kelley Armstrong again, so I’m going to say Candice Carty-Williams. I loved Queenie!

Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love But Didn’t:

I was really excited about Holy Island by LJ Ross because it’s set in Northumberland (specifically Lindesfarne) but unfortunately it wasn’t great. It was part detective novel and part romance, with the result that it was neither properly one nor the author.

Best Book That Was Out Of Your Comfort Zone Or Was A New Genre To You

The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross. This is an urban fantasy with a magic system that’s based on maths. The story itself was surprisingly enjoyable but the maths/computery parts went way over my head!

Book You Read In 2022 That You’re Most Likely To Read Again In The Future:

The original question was “that you’re likely to read again next year” but I changed it last year since I never re-read books that soon. However, if I was including my daughter’s books in my list I would definitely have to say one of them… I think I read Owl Babies every single day in November! As for my own books, I read Death in the Spotlight by Robin Stevens in 2022 and I will definitely read the whole of the Murder Most Unladylike series again someday!

Favourite Book You Read in 2022 by an Author You’ve Read Previously:

Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh. I didn’t love it as much as Hyperbole and a Half but I did still really enjoy it.

Best Book You Read In 2022 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

I read Landline by Rainbow Rowell because Kezzie sent it to me, so that’s kind of a recommendation.

Favourite Cover of a Book You Read in 2022:

It has to be A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars by Yaba Badoe. I didn’t love the book itself as much as I expected to – it was a little confusing and had too many themes for its fairly short length – but the cover is gorgeous!

Book That Had The Greatest Impact On You In 2022:

I don’t actually know. Maybe Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds, although I felt like I didn’t get to know the main character enough to actually be affected by his story. It was certainly though-provoking though.

Book You Can’t BELIEVE You Waited Until 2022 To Read:

Honestly, there aren’t any.

Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

I can’t actually think of anything for this one. Wow, what a boring survey this is turning out to be…

Favourite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2021 (be it romantic, friendship, etc):

I think it was the relationship between Lynet and her step-mother Mina in Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust. I loved that the step mother wasn’t a caricature of evil and selfishness despite the fact that this book is based on Snow White.

Most Memorable Character In A Book You Read In 2022:

Leigh in The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan. Although I could have done with slightly fewer colour metaphors for everything!

Genre You Read The Most From in 2022:

Adult contemporary with 11 books, most of those being romance or so-called “chick-lit”. It’s the first time in ages that my most-read genre hasn’t been either crime/thrillers or (children’s) fantasy!

Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2022:

I remember The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman being a lot of fun to read, although I’m struggling to remember much of the plot. I know it involved pub quizzes and books though – two of my favourite things!

Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2022:

I usually I hate to repeat books, but I definitely shed a tear at the end of The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot.

Book You Read in 2022 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out:

The Cat Who Saved Books by Sōsuke Natsukawa. I mean, maybe it wasn’t overlooked in Japan where it was originally published but I hadn’t heard of it. It’s quirky and fun – if a little bizarre – and I think fellow book-lovers would enjoy it.

Total books finished in 2022: A mere 38 (plus a gazillion repetitions of various board books!)

The longest book I read in 2022 was Solutions and Other Problems with 528 pages, although that isn’t exactly an achievement given that those pages mostly consist of pictures. The shortest, at 192 pages, was Absent in the Spring by Mary Westmacott – a pseudonym Agatha Christie used for her non-crime books.

The first book I read in 2022 was Holy Island by LJ Ross – not the best start to the year – and the last book was Absent in the Spring.

One last thing before I go. In 2022 I read 7 books by BAME/BIPOC authors, which is not great and something I really do need to work on in 2023!

Happy New Year everyone. Here’s to a year of great reading!


3 thoughts on “The book review of 2022

  1. You read so many books I’ve ever even heard of… This is such a fun way of looking back at the books you’ve read though. I keep saying I’m going to sum up my books this way one year instead of just listing my favorites but I never do.

  2. I’ve got 2 L J Ross books I’m getting rid of- would you like them to see if any of the other ones are better? I’ve got Cuthbert’s way and Ryan’s Christmas (I did have The Infirmary but left it in France!)
    It’s amazing you still managed to read this much despite having a baby!
    Im intrigued by your Jigsaw of Stars one.

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