Goodbye to 20 Books of Winter 2022

And just like that another season is over.

Sydney enjoyed endured one of the wettest winter’s we’ve had in a very long time, while according to all news reports, the Northern hemisphere has sweltered with record breaking heatwaves and droughts.

Thankfully I had Cathy @746 Books challenge to motivate me to get out of bed as yet another grey, rainy day greeted me. I swapped a few books in and out as is my want, but in the end I didn’t quite make it. I could blame Covid, except my dose was fairly mild after the first couple of days, so I was able to use the week off work at the end of June to finish off three books.

The good news – I read 19 books, started the final one yesterday and have completed 17 of the reviews so far. I also have seven other books on the go. If only I had been more focused…being a mood reader does have it’s drawbacks.

I should add that four of the books were 650+ pages each…but then nine of the books were novellas or poetry collections. Swings and roundabouts.

How did you fare this year?

  1. Grand Days | Frank Moorhouse (readalong) Finished 10th June 2022
  2. The Coast | Eleanor Limprecht Finished 14th June 2022
  3. Assembly | Natasha Brown Finished 15th June 2022
  4. The Book of Form and Emptiness | Ruth Ozeki Finished 23rd June 2022
  5. My Heart is a Little Wild Thing | Nigel Featherstone Finished 24th June 2022
  6. The Sign of the Four | Arthur Conan Doyle (CC spin book) Finished 26th June 2022
  7. Dark Palace | Frank Moorhouse (readalong) Finished 13th July 2022
  8. Maigret Goes to School | Georges Simenon (Paris in July) Finished 15th July 2022
  9. Maigret and the Minister | Georges Simenon (Paris in July) Finished 17th July 2022
  10. The Inseperables | Simone de Beauvoir (Paris in July) Finished 20th July 2022
  11. The Paris Bookseller | Kerri Maher (Book Club & Paris in July) Finished 23rd July 2022
  12. No Document | Anwen Crawford Finished 14th August 2022
  13. Cold Light  | Frank Moorhouse (readalong) Finished 15th August 2022
  14. how to make a basket | Jazz Money Finished 16th August 2022
  15. Marlo | Jay Carmichael Finished 17th August 2022
  16. The Jane Austen Remedy | Ruth Wilson (Austen in August) DNF/skimmed 20th August 2022
  17. Otherland: A Journey With My Daughter | Maria Tumarkin (Reading Ukraine) Finished 21st August 2022
  18. Chernobyl Prayer | Svetlana Alexievich (Reading Ukraine) Finished 26 August 2022
  19. The Last White Man | Mohsin Hamid Finished 28th August 2022
  20. Alone in West Africa | Mary Gaunt (Australian Women Writers challenge) (started but several weeks away from finishing)

In case you were wondering about the seven books I have on the go. They are:

  • The Sun Walks Down | Fiona McFarlane (October release – absolutely stunning so far, but I’m in a fiction slump right now, so saving it for when the mood is right again.)
  • Burning Questions | Margaret Atwood (my bathroom read)
  • Womerah Lane: Lives and Landscapes | Tom Carment (began during my Covid week, when I was desperate to leave the house but couldn’t.)
  • After Sappho | Selby Wynn Schwartz (Booker longlist – loving it – intelligent, gorgeous writing. I’m learning a lot.)
  • A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century | Barbara Tuchman (Plague read – slow and steady)
  • The Gates of Europe | Serhii Plokhy (Reading Ukraine – lives in my walking backpack, so only gets read 2-3 times a week.)
  • Nothing Bad Ever Happens Here | Heather Rose (November release – my lunch time read at work – completely blown away. Completely! Not what I was expecting at all.)
  • This post was written on the traditional land of the Wangal clan, one of the 29 clans of the Eora Nation within the Sydney basin. This Reading Life acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are this land’s first storytellers.

25 thoughts on “Goodbye to 20 Books of Winter 2022

  1. Congratulations on reading and reviewing so many books. Thanks for the tip off about new books by Heather Rose and Fiona MacFarlane. I will look out for both of them. I have fond memories of doing an author panel in with Fiona’ to mark the launch of her debut novel in London many years ago… it was a stressful debut for me too. 🙃

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    1. I started The Night Guest, but the topic (dementia) was too close to home and I couldn’t continue.
      The Sun Walks Down is set in the Flinders Ranges in the late 1800’s – a boy lost story. The descriptions of the area are stunning and the character development is enthralling. I can’t wait to be back in the mood for fiction to finish it – but it deserves to be savoured…I hope it ends as strongly as it has started!

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  2. I see congratulations are definitely in order, so well done! I can’t say I’ve covered myself in glory but I have enjoyed the books I actually got round to. I read a Simenon sometime this season and another one awaits, stalling my constant aim to finally get round to tackling A Distant Mirror which I had for at least a quarter of a century without getting past the first dozen pages, the shame of it!

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  3. Well done! I also read 19 of the books on my list and am currently reading the 20th but won’t finish it for a while. I read A Distant Mirror a few years ago and felt that I really learned a lot from it.

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    1. When Covid first came into all our lives, I decided to learn more about the previous plagues and pandemics that had swept around the world. I pulled out A Distant Mirror, but the size of the font (small) and the amount of pages (a lot!) meant I haven’t prioritised it….until now. I’m in a strong non-fiction phase, so figured I might as well make the most of it 🙂

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  4. We’ll done Brona. I always eye off this challenge but I know I’d just end up reading what I always do (ie reading group books, review books, and a couple of my own choice, which really isn’t a challenge at all!

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  5. Impressive list…and yes Moorhouse books count for 2 books each!
    Lists, did I hear lists? Time to collect a number of books for challenges during (our Fall/Winter) your Spring/Summer!
    PS We could use some of the rain…August it rained just 1 day! Rivers are drying up here in Europe!

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    1. Australia is used to droughts, and the terrible bushfires we had a few years back came at the end of a long period of dryness. Having so much rain these past two years after all of that should be a welcome relief, except it just keeps on coming and causes floods instead! It would be nice if the weather could be a little bit of both, in moderation…

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  6. Well done. I have not read any of them. I see you have A Distant Mirror on the go. I read this in my youth (that is; many years ago). It is a great book. I am thinking that I maybe should read it again, considering I know much more of history today than I did then. It is a challenge, a thick book, and at least my version, very small text.

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