My Reading Year in 2022

Courtesy of Goodreads

In 2022, I read 66 books and 20,460 pages, or an average of 310 pages per book. In comparison to 2021, my reading decreased by 10 books and 3,104 pages, and the average number of pages per book remained exactly the same.

The shortest book I read in 2022 is We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. I did not enjoy this novel as much as Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, although it is a well-known and renowned story and is so for a reason. As someone who aspires to writing, myself, I do find it commendable that Jackson is able to accomplish so much through the novella, and think it is can be a lesson for all writers out there that writing shorter works does not mean writing lesser works.

The longest book I read is The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn. This book featured great writing and good characterization… but I didn’t enjoy it was much as I was hoping. This book is well written, but sad. Read when you’re in the mood for a sad book.

In comparison to 2021, Jackson’s work is 44 pages longer than Hannah Lee Kidder’s Starlight, and Quinn’s work is 48 pages longer than Tana French’s The Witch Elm.

The most popular novel I read is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. In my opinion, worth the hype. Flynn is a great writer, her characters are fascinating and terrible and purposefully unreliable. I devoured this novel, and would recommend it to anyone and everyone. The movie is also decent – Rosamund Pike is an excellent Amy, Ben Stiller is a meh Nick, but Carrie Coon does an impeccable job as his sister. Plus, Missi Pyle is in it, and y’all know I like Missi Pyle. Like many works, however, the book is better.

The least popular novel I read is The Wake and the Manuscript by Ansgar Allen. This one was an ARC I received through Netgalley, and I think it is well done for what it is, but it’s not for me. It’s very stream-of-consciousness, philosophical, unreliable narrator. If you don’t mind meandering through the inner workings of someone else’s mentally unhinged mind, this one may be for you, though! Of the people who have read it, most who have rated it on Goodreads have enjoyed (this book actually has the highest rating on Goodreads of everything I read in 2022).

My average rating for 2022 is 3.4 stars. So I liked the shit I read this year .1 stars more than last year.

The first book I reviewed in 2022 was Marion Meade’s biography on Dorothy Parker, titled Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell is This? I really enjoyed this one.

The last book I reviewed in 2022 is Carrie Adams’ The Godmother. I didn’t much care for it.

Overall, I read a lot more than I should have, wrote a lot less than I wanted to, and feel pretty mediocre about 2022. Let’s hope 2023 is better.

Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

5-Star Reads from 2021

While analyzing my 2021 year in reading, I was bummed to realize that I didn’t really have a great year. So on a more positive note, here are the books that I read in 2021 that I really liked in a year that was, overall, fairly mediocre. That’s right, bitches: these are, in my opinion, five-star reads. And since my opinion is the right opinion, if you haven’t read any of these, you should probably add them to your TBR, so that you can have a better reading year in 2022 than I had last year.

  1. The Memory Thief by Jodi Lynn Anderson

2. Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata and translated into English by Ginny Tapley Takemori

3. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

4. Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

5. Not Your Average Hot Guy by Gwenda Bond

6. Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

Thinking about the content structure of these books, I do not really see a lot in common. There are varying genres, intended audiences, etc. I think I just like good writing…

So – what did you read in 2021 or recently that had great writing?

My Reading Year in 2021

Courtesy of Goodreads

In 2021, I read 76 books and 23,564 pages, or an average of 310 pages per book. In comparison to 2020, my reading increased by 9 books and 1,078 pages, but the average number of pages per book decreased by 25 pages per book.

The shortest book I read in 2021 is Hannah Lee Kidder’s short story collection Starlight. I did not much care for the collection, which I rated 3 stars and found a bit of a mixed bag. Here is my review:

The longest book I read was Tana French’s The Witch Elm, which had interesting ideas but which I did not much care for. Here is my review:

In comparison to 2020, the short story collection Starlight is 35 pages longer than Gillian Flynn’s short story The Stranger, and The Witch Elm is 95 pages shorter than Plain Bad Heroines.

The most popular novel I read is another Jane Austen (what can I say? Austen’s one of my comfort reads) – this time, Sense & Sensibility. The lease popular novel I read does not have a cover, and Goodreads would not let me upload one, but it is The Fetish Murders by Avon Curry. The Fetish Murders is a pulp fiction thriller from the 1970s that is not very good, but is very fun if you like pulp fiction and are okay with the concept of reading fiction with very outdated cultural norms. The very purpose of The Fetish Murders is to shock and titillate by bringing up the idea of cross-dressing and homosexuality, which a lot of people (myself included) have absolutely no problem with anymore… So if you’re cool with reading it as a sort of historical/anthropological study of Americana, it’s kind of interesting. If you’re looking for legitimately good literature, or something that current educated cultural norms would not consider offensive… I would recommend steering clear.

Here’s the book – please ignore my fat thumb and the silhouette of my jeans.

My average rating for 2021 is 3.3 stars. A bit higher than average, but… not great. Much lower than 2020’s average rating of 3.8.

The first book I reviewed on Goodreads in 2021 was for the ARC Why She Wrote. I also wrote a blog post about this one, so won’t bore you by going into further detail here other than to say that for what it is, I thought it was pretty good.

I have a fascination and enjoyment with reading pulp fiction. At the end of the day, the books are generally all middle-of-the-road, average 3-star reads. But they’re fun and so much occurs in these novels and I derive a sort of comfort from them. I will continue reading them, and giving uninformative, likely one-sentence reviews on Goodreads.

Overall, I had a pretty disappointing reading year in 2021. How about you? Any great reads? I think I desperately need a better year in 2022, so would greatly appreciate any and all recommendations!