2022 Reading Round-Up
I aimed to post regularly in 2022 and... I didn't follow through. There's no changing the past, but I'm going to try to do better this year. Life is crazy, but this project makes me happy and I promise to at least attempt to incorporate it into my routine. This being said, I thought I'd start off the year with a 2022 Reading Round-Up.
30 books: 1 poetry, 8 science fiction, 2 fantasy, 4 romance, 2 mystery/thriller, 1 horror, 1 memoir, 1 graphic novel, 7 general/literary fiction, and 3 children's.
(Obviously books fit into multiple genres, but for the purpose of these stats I just labeled them each with one main genre).
23 different authors: 8 men, 6 MOC (men of color), 14 women, 5 WOC (women of color), 1 non-binary person, 3 openly queer people (based on what I could find about the authors' sexuality/gender identity without being invasive).
Now, without further ado, here are some of my favorite books from this year:
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
This Pulitzer Prize winning novel follows the life of a Dominican man, his mother, and their ancestors. It has a ton of nerdy references in it and Díaz is excellent at incorporating Spanish into the text in an accessible way.
Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
This book is unlike any fantasy novel I've ever read. The plot is completely original, the magic system is fully developed, and, best of all, it doesn't take place in a fantasy version of Medieval Europe! Ifueko's world is inspired by West African cultures and folklore. There's also a brief reference to a character being potentially asexual which is something I hope is explored later in the series. I have the second book and look forward to reading it in 2023.
Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth
I don't know what to say other than, I loved this book. It's got ghosts, multiple lesbian romances, a New England all girls boarding school, and the shenanigans of Hollywood actors. What more could you ask for?
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
It took me most of the summer to finish this book, but it was so worth it. A warning: if this is your first time reading Murakami, DO NOT start with this one. I'd recommend starting with something shorter like Norwegian Wood which is excellent, and then work your way up to this mammoth text. It can be slow-moving at times but Murakami is a stellar author and it's well worth the read.
Crunden is a self-published author who I discovered a few years ago and I absolutely fell in love with her writing. This year I finally finished The Outland Pentalogy, her five book series that takes place a thousand years in the future. I won't go too far into the plot because I'd like to do a longer post on Crunden's works (I read These Violent Nights in 2021 and loved it too). Crunden also has a great book review blog. You can check it out here and find links to buy her books. (Pictured: the first book in the series).
My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris
I also plan on doing a full post on this graphic novel (probably after the sequel comes out in May), but for now, let me just say that I have never before seen art that is so equally beautiful and haunting.
The Worlds Within You by Shreya Ramachandran
This book was written by a friend of my roommates and it's a quick but meaningful read. I wrote a long (for me) Goodreads review which you can find here, but in summary, this book really resonated with me. Ramachandran writes about mental illness with brutal honesty and captured so many of my own experiences and emotions with an accuracy that made me feel truly seen.
There There by Tommy Orange
Orange tells the stories of a cast of Native Americans attending the Big Oakland Powwow. He manages to capture the multitude of experiences of indigenous peoples, the heartbreaking difficulties and the beauty and joy. To be honest, I was a little disappointed in the ending of the book, but I still think it's worth the read.
I ended my year by embracing my love of romance novels. I've always been a somewhat quiet fan of rom-com movies, but, despite all my talk about openly loving what you love and the importance of romance as a genre, I didn't really follow my own advice. But that's changing, starting with Alexandria Bellefleur's books: Written in the Stars, Hang the Moon, and Count Your Lucky Stars. They can each be read as a stand-alone novel but the stories feature the same characters and setting. I'd highly recommend reading all of them because they are such a joy.
So ends my 2022 Reading Round-Up. Last but not least, here are some of the books on my TBR list for this year:
The City We Became and The World We Make by N.K. Jemisin
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
The Fiancée Farce by Alexandria Bellefleur (released April 18!)
The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
There's quite a bit of fantasy and science-fiction on the docket so feel free to leave suggestions for books in other genres, your own reading round-up, or your TBR for 2023 in the comments!
Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year!