2022 | The Books

A book is a dream that you hold in your hand.

Neil Gaiman
Photo by Lacie Slezak on Unsplash

In an attempt at being more organised in 2022 I decided to keep a spreadsheet that I could update throughout the year with the books I read. This was working just fine until I recently realised I hadn’t added the URL links to my reviews.

2022 looked like this:

JANUARY: TitleAuthorCountryGenrePub Date
The Library of BabelJorge Luis BorgesArgentinaShort Story1941
Oh! WilliamElizabeth StroutUSAFiction2021
Pointed RoofsDorothy RichardsonEnglandHistorical Fiction1915
The Red-Haired WomanOrhan PamakTurkeyHistorical Fiction2016
The House of AsterionJorge Luis BorgesArgentinaShort Story1947
Story of the month: The House of Asterion

February: TitleAuthorCountryGenrePub Date
Let Me Tell You What I MeanJoan DidionUSAEssays2021
To ParadiseHanya YanagiharaUSAFiction2022
A Bush HoneymoonMary GauntAustraliaShort Story1904
MatrixLauren GroffUSAHistorical Fiction2021
Chai Time at Cinnamon GardensShankari Chandran AustraliaFiction2022
Orwell’s RosesRebecca SolnitUSANon-Fiction2021
Tell Me WhyArchie RoachAustraliaMemoir2019
Story of the month: a very hard choice this month, but I think the prize goes to Matrix

March: TitleAuthorCountryGenrePub Date
The Shortest History of the Soviet UnionShelia FitzpatrickAustraliaHistory2022
Trotting CobMary GauntAustraliaShort Story1895
LostMary GauntAustraliaShort Story1895
Fire FrontAlison WhittakerAustraliaPoetry2020
All Summer in a DayRay BradburyUSAScience Fiction1954
Four Letters of LoveNiall WilliamsIrelandFiction1997
The Loss of ‘The Vanity’Mary GauntAustraliaShort Story1895
IncantationsSubhash JairethAustraliaNon-Fiction2016
On Black HillBruce ChatwinEnglandHistorical Fiction1982
Goodnight, Vivienne, GoodnightSteven CarrollAustraliaHistorical Fiction2022
Bedtime StoryChloe HooperAustraliaNon-Fiction2022
The Daughter of TimeJosephine TeyEnglandFiction1951
In Cars: On DianaLeanne ShaptonCanadaNon-Fiction2022
Story of the month: Four Letters of Love

April: TitleAuthorCountryGenrePub Date
French BraidAnne TylerUSAFiction2022
Digging Up Richard IIIMike PittsEnglandNon-Fiction2015
Elizabeth FinchJulian BarnesEnglandFiction2022
The Space Between the StarsIndira NaidooAustraliaMemoir2022
To the Ends of the Earth: Mary GauntSusanna de VriesAustraliaBiography2010
The Tortoise and the HareElizabeth JenkinsEnglandFiction1954
Son Excellence Eugène RougonÉmile ZolaFranceHistorical Fiction1876
Pure ColourShelia HetiCanadaFiction2022
Story of the month: The Tortoise and the Hare

May: TitleAuthorCountryGenrePub Date
Dick Stanesby’s Hutkeeper Mary GauntAustraliaShort Story1895
Small Things Like TheseClaire KeeganIrelandNovella2020
Monte VeritaDaphne du MaurierEnglandShort Story1952
The Apple TreeDaphne du MaurierEnglandShort Story1952
The Little PhotographerDaphne du MaurierEnglandShort Story1952
Kiss Me Again, StrangerDaphne du MaurierEnglandShort Story1952
The Yanyilla SteeplechaseMary GauntAustraliaShort Story1895
The Old ManDaphne du MaurierEnglandShort Story1952
Queen MenopauseAlison DaddoAustraliaNon-Fiction2022
Blue PostcardsDouglas BrutonScotlandNovella2021
All the Lovers in the NightMieko KawakamiJapanFiction2022/2011
OctoberChina MiévilleEnglandNon-Fiction2017
A Short History of RussiaMark GaleottiEnglandNon-Fiction2021
Story of the month: Small Things Like These

June: TitleAuthorCountryGenrePub Date
AmericanahChimamanda Ngozi AdichieNigeria/USAFiction2013
Grand DaysFrank MoorhouseAustraliaHistorical Fiction1993
The CoastEleanor LimprechtAustraliaHistorical Fiction2022
AssemblyNatasha BrownEnglandNovella2021
The Book of Form and EmptinessRuth OzekiUSAFiction2021
The AlephJorge Luis BorgesArgentinaShort Story1945
My Heart is a Little Wild ThingNigel FeatherstoneAustraliaFiction2022
The Sign of the FourArthur Conan DoyleEnglandCrime Fiction1890
H is for HawkHelen MacdonaldEnglandMemoir2014
Story of the month: A toss up between The Coast and My Heart is a Little Wild Thing

July: TitleAuthorCountryGenrePub Date
Dark PalaceFrank MoorhouseAustraliaHistorical Fiction2000
Maigret Goes to SchoolGeorges SimenonFranceCrime Fiction1953
Maigret and the MinisterGeorges SimenonFranceCrime Fiction1954
The InseparablesSimone de BeauvoirFranceFiction2021
The Paris BooksellerKerri MaherUSAHistorical Fiction2022
Story of the month: The Inseparables

August: TitleAuthorCountryGenrePub Date
No DocumentAnwen CrawfordAustraliaMemoir2021
The CongressJorge Luis BorgesArgentinaShort Story1971
Cold LightFrank MoorhouseAustraliaHistorical Fiction2011
how to make a basketJazz MoneyAustraliaPoetry2021
MarloJay CarmichaelAustraliaNovella2022
OtherlandMaria TumarkinAustraliaMemoir2010
Chernobyl PrayerSvetlana AlexievichBelarusOral History1997
The Last White ManMohsin HamidPakistanNovella2022
Story of the month: Chernobyl Prayer

September: TitleAuthorCountryGenrePub Date
She and Her CatMakoto Shinkai & Naruki NagakawaJapanShort Story2013
A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th CenturyBarbara TuchmanUSAHistory1978
The Sun Walks DownFiona McFarlaneAustraliaHistorical Fiction2022
HavenEmma DonoghueIrelandHistorical Fiction2022
LimberlostRobbie ArnottAustraliaHistorical Fiction2022
After SapphoSelby Wynn SchwartzUSABiofiction2022
Heating & CoolingBeth Ann FennellyUSAMemoir2018
RuntCraig SilveyAustraliaChildren’s Fiction2022
Story of the month: The Sun Walks Down

October: TitleAuthorCountryGenrePub Date
The PromiseDamon GalgutSouth AfricaFiction2020
Nothing Bad Ever Happens HereHeather RoseAustraliaMemoir2022
This Devastating FeverSophie CunninghamAustraliaFiction2022
PassingNella LarsenUSANovella1929
Lucy By the SeaElizabeth StroutUSAFiction2022
The SwimmersJulie OtsukaUSANovella2022
The Jew’s BeechAnnette von Droste-HülshoffGermanyNovella1842
The Evening of the HolidayShirley HazzardAustralia/USANovella1966
Story of the month: This Devastating Fever

November: TitleAuthorCountryGenrePub Date
FosterClaire KeeganIrelandNovella2010
This Changes EverythingNiki BezzantNew ZealandHealth2022
The PigeonPatrick Süskind GermanyNovella1987
Me, Antman & FleabagGayle KennedyAustraliaShort Stories2007
VossPatrick WhiteAustraliaHistorical Fiction1957
Burning QuestionsMargaret AtwoodCanadaEssays2022
Salonika BurningGail JonesAustraliaHistorical Fiction2022
Story of the month: Foster

December: TitleAuthorCountryGenrePub Date
Different for Boys tb reviewedPatrick Ness & Tea BendixEnglandYA Graphic Novel2023
EuphoriaElin CullhedSwedenBioFiction2022
Lone Wolf: Albanese and the New PoliticsKatharine MurphyAustraliaEssay2022
Spam TomorrowVerily AndersonEnglandMemoir1956
Infidelity and other affairs tb reviewedKate LeggeAustraliaMemoir2023
Miss Carter and the IfritSusan Alice KirbyEnglandFiction1945
Another ChristmasWilliam TrevorIrelandShort Story1975
Teal RevolutionMargot SavilleAustraliaNon-Fiction2022
AlisonLizzy StewartEnglandGraphic Novel2022
Everything Feels Like the End of the WorldElse FitzgeraldAustraliaSpeculative Fiction2022
Story of the month: A close call between Spam Tomorrow & Miss Carter and the Ifrit

2022 saw me read 101 stories, although 11 of them were short stories read and reviewed as an individual post, 16 were novellas and 2 were children’s books. 34 books were published as new releases in 2022 while 2 are due to be published in early 2023. The oldest book, The Jew’s Beech, was published in 1842. Only two of my books were rereads from pre-blogging days (Grand Days and Dark Palace).

61% of my reading was by female authors, 14 books were in translation and 3 were written by First Nations writers. In the genre pie chart below, ‘other’ is made up of poetry (3), graphic novels (2), crime (2), speculative fiction (1) and science fiction (1).

37% of my reading was by Australian authors, followed by UK & USA (16% each), Ireland (5%), France & Argentina (4% each) and Canada (3%). Other countries with only 1 or 2 titles were Japan, Turkey, Pakistan, Russia, Germany, South Africa, Sweden, and New Zealand.

To pick a favourite title is almost impossible. I now prefer to use the phrase – which books read during 2022 have left a lasting impression?

Each month I picked the one (or two) that felt most memorable and it is fair to say that they have all stood the test of time (well at least months) and have left a lasting impression. The book I finished only two days ago (Everything Feels Like the End of the World) may also move into this exalted company.

If I had to make a list though, it might look a little like this:

  • My favourite short story of the year – Another Christmas
  • My favourite novella of the year – Small Things Like These
  • My favourite classic of the year – Passing
  • My favourite fiction of the year – And the Sun Walks Down
  • My favourite non-fiction of the year – Chernobyl Prayer

The problem of course with this list is what it fails to tell you – that is how much I also enjoyed and still think about Limberlost, This Devastating Fever, Matrix, Margaret Atwood’s essays, Lucy By the Sea, The Swimmers, Assembly, To Paradise….

Although Voss did not make any of my best of lists, it still made an impact and I’m so glad I finally finished the Frank Moorhouse Edith trilogy. Although Edith and I have grown apart, she will always be part of my reading history.

I have several half read book that will carry over into 2023 including Bournville by Jonathan Coe. My next task is to finalise my first book of the year selection.

Did we share any favourites this year? Have I tempted you to try anything new? Given my reading tastes, what can you recommend for 2023?

Early in the new year, I will (probably) do my annual blogging stats post, but for now, Happy New Year!

I hope 2023 is full of good books and bookish conversations.

  • 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 “2022 | The Books

  1. Awww, I love these tables and how you gave us some favorites or impacting titles and the stats were super cool.
    Looking forward to more posts on your readings.

    Like

    1. It’s so hard to pick a favourite, even picking a favourite for the month was difficult! Keeping a running table throughout the year certainly made putting this post together a much easier task than of old though. Will definitely run a progressive 2023 book list.
      I’m a huge fan of the free pie chart maker that I find every year too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Well happy new year to you!! We’re just waiting for our guests to arrive so we can begin our mini low-key spontaneous celebration. They’ve been home renovating & we’ve been cleaning & packing so the chances we all last until midnight is slim🥂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Marvelous! What a great eclectic collection of books. I really must get to the copy of The Inseparables I bought when I was in London. I didn’t know anything about it when I picked it up, but it is getting some great reviews.

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  3. What a neat summary!
    I admire the range of your readings, you have “travelled” around the world in a year. I almost wish to see Indonesia on your list. 😋

    Wishing you a Happy New Year, and a better reading journey in 2023!

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  4. I’ve posted my reading highlights this year, today, which includes my reading stats. My female/male proportion is similar to yours, but my Aus/non-Aus is the reverse. I can’t possibly name favourites JUST highlights!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I use the word favourite very loosely, but it really only means the book/s that stood out the most. The ones that immediately jump into my mind when I think 2022. The ones that I have talked about the most at work and with friends.

      I meant to go back and check what I wrote in previous years to see if those picks are still memorable or not.

      After a bigger night than anticipated and now a road trip ahead of us today, I may not get to many posts for a day or two, but I will!

      Like

    1. Happy New Year to you too Nancy!!

      We were there last night as it turned out, in our peninsula suburb behind the bridge. The one shrouded in smoke thanks to the easterly that blew all the firework smoke in our direction 🙂
      By the end we couldn’t see the bridge at all. Just as well they have those barges around the harbour sending up their own displays.

      I see you have 45 mins to go before 2023 arrives in the Netherlands. HNY!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 22 minutes left in 2022…cats are currently under the bed b/c people have started setting off fireworks already. Temp a very warm 15 c (58 F)…stormy winds ALL fireworks shows cancelled. SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!

        Like

  5. What a great range of books Brona. I loved Passing as well, so much more than what I expected it to be. Hoping to get to Limberlost soon. Wishing you a wonderful 2023 with lots of great reading!

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  6. Pingback: 2022 in Review
  7. Very happy to see your December favourites!! A lovely lot of reading. It’s so hard to chose the best books, isn’t it, which is how I ended up listing 26 out of my 187 read! Happy reading for 2023!

    Liked by 1 person

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