2022 in Review

2022 ended up being a curious reading and blogging year. I lost my mojo a couple of times, but never both at once – there were some weeks I was lucky to publish one post, then other times I posted every second day.

I read a similar number of books to last year – 100 exactly in 2021 and 101 in 2022. The 2021 stats included a number of children’s picture books while 2022 only included children’s full-length novels in the number. 2022 also saw a significant increase in the number of individual short stories which I counted separately as well as featuring in their own posts.

2022 was the year I abandoned Goodreads after many months of dissatisfaction with the formatting changes, followed by Twitter later in the year. I haven’t missed either.

The Stats

This is my second full year on WordPress, so I have some comparisons for the first time. In 2021 I wrote 177 posts; in 2022 only 151 which reflects my blogging slump earlier in the year.

None of my 2022 posts made it into the top ten for the year, and only three posts from the top ten of 2021 returned. Books and poems that have connections to highschool or university subject matters have come out on top again, although The Labyrinth may simply be in the mix thanks to people searching for mazes!

Book Group

Last year the voting was a tie for first place, but in 2022 we had a clear winner. I was delighted as it was the book I selected for the group to read in November.

  1. This Devastating Fever | Sophie Cunningham
  2. The Promise | Damon Galgut
  3. The Unusual Adbuction of Avery Conifer | Ilsa Evans (no review as I did not read it)

On the Blog

In 2021 I had more blog visitors from Australia than anywhere else in the world. In 2022, Australia and the US were neck and neck. The following 4 positions are once again held by the UK, the Netherlands (thank you Nancy), India (thank you Jayanti) and Canada.

Our Community

I’m surprised to see how many people still arrive on my blog thanks to old blogspot links to my posts. The WordPress Reader comes in second place, followed by Twitter.

The rest of my referrers and clicks come from YOU.

Thank you to Lisa, Sue, Bill, Liz, Kim, Cathy, Nancy, The Classics Club, Jennifer, Simon, Karen, Kaye, Fanda and Tamara for your continued support in including my links in your posts and for hosting such community friendly events.

The Books

Since my earlier post about all the books I read during 2022, those that made a lasting impression have been mulling away in the back of my mind. I’ve also been wondering about those previous books mentioned in end of year posts and whether or not I still consider them memorable.

I sat myself down and made a list of most memorable books to compare what I remember and what I actually picked.

2023

With B22 successfully completing his uni degree and finding a permanent job almost straight away, we can expect that some time in 2023 he will start making louder noises about moving into his own place. We are in no hurry for him to go, but we know it is inevitable and the correct way of things. When he does Mr Books and I will be downsizing.

To assist in this process I desperately need to #ReadMyTBR with intent and purpose!

I have made a timeline in the sidebar of all the bookish events I usually join in every year. The aim is to ONLY read books from my TBR for these events. I plan to use my lunch-time reading at work to better effect so that I bring home fewer ARC’s.

Mood reading remains my preferred reading mode. I’ve tried not to lock in too many specific books, waiting to see which ones call to me at the time. Which is why I also find myself reading several books at once. At the moment I am reading Adam Bede a chapter-a-day, Banana Yoshimoto’s short story collection, Dead-end Memories as well as Tokyo Express, the Japanese classic detective novel by Seichō Matsumoto, picking up whichever one suits my mood.

Choosing a couple of books to #SlowRead each year is also something I enjoy – this year it is the two unread George Eliot books on my shelf (I’d love to reread Middlemarch too but I will wait and see how I feel closer to the time).

After much deliberating, I have decided to move AusReading Month forward to OCTOBER. It will free up November for the other reading events but also allow those of you who wish to combine books to still do so. I plan to #SlowRead another Australian classic from my TBR shelf during the month (Martin Boyd? Miles Franklin? Ada Cambridge? By October I may even be ready to tackle another Patrick White!)

Once again a big THANK YOU to all my dear readers, to those of you who take time to comment and to the quiet majority. You all help to make This Reading Life a vibrant, engaging place to hang out.

Here’s to another year of wonderful books, new discoveries, old favourites and bookish chats.

  • This post was written in the area we now call the Blue Mountains within the Ngurra [country] of the Dharug and Gundungurra peoples.

31 thoughts on “2022 in Review

  1. Congratulations to B22 and to you, his parents, for the support without which we all know these achievements could not happen!
    I think that moving AusReading Month is a good idea, November is just too, too crowded at the moment and a new month gives OzLit a chance to shine.
    That’s an interesting concept to compare your Best Books over the years with what seems memorable now. I have to confess that quite a few of those are on my TBR and … well… I could make promises but…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For the past few days, I’ve had this collection of most memorable books running through my head. After I wrote them down I wondered how many were my favourite picks from the year I read them. It went from there!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ditto what Lisa said about B22. And love that you are thinking of downsizing … good for you. What would you downsize to?

    Thanks for the thanks! I have stopped naming individual people – I did once – but I always forget someone! However you seem to have done a good thorough list. I do enjoy our community.

    Interesting having Aus and USA hits running neck and neck! Those two are way way ahead of the others but Australia is still significantly ahead of USA. Netherlands is not even in my top 10, but India always is. And The Philippines!

    Enjoyed your consideration of past favourite reads. Always an interesting exercise I think because I sometimes remember a book one way and go look at my post and see that I thought done different things!

    October sounds good to me!

    Have a good 2023!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sue ☺️

      Downsizing and how we do it is a conversation Mr Books and I have been having since both boys finished school! We have the option of moving to the mountains, but don’t feel ready to do that yet. We still have at least ten years of work life to go. We like being inner city so a lot will depend on what happens to housing prices & interest rates in the next year or so 🤷🏼‍♀️
      We’ve been looking at places sporadically for several years but haven’t find the right thing yet. Sydney prices make that a pretty impossible task though!

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      1. You are like us … we have discussed it for years too but our issues re timing was more related to aging parents. We’ll probably end up in Melbourne, eventually so this current downsizing is part off a staged plan! I retired at 55 and Mr Gums at 60. I was lucky having spent all my professional career in the public service. 🍀☺️

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, 2022 is done and dusted…all. the ups and downs, blog dips and blog triumphs.
    Thanks for sharing your personal experiences and the review of books read in years past.
    Firstly, thanks for moving #AusReadingMonth to October…what a relief b/c it reduces the “reading pressure” in November.
    Secondly, you don’t miss Twitter…but I miss you on Twitter. #JustSaying
    Thirdly, It is nice to read other people’s goals for 2023: reduce TBR, slow reading, mood reading and the new “side-bar” is very handy for a quick scan of your projects.
    Update: I’m going head first into Nobels, Pulitzers, Modern Library, and of course #ReadingIrelandMonth23, and French reading. Leaving a few monthly challenges (…just a question of too little time) but adding Fanda’s #ZolaAddiction Jay’s #DealMeIn and Anabel’s #NordicFinds23.
    Let’s remember in 2023…after reading enlightenment…there is always laundry.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good luck with downsizing, Bronwen – I think I’m managing really well until I realise I’ve picked up replacements … And congrats to B22 and good luck to him too!

    I’m still on Goodreads and Twitter, the former I can occasionally tweak by going to the laptop version via my phone app but like all hosts they do insist on ‘improving’ the user’s experience. I can’t say that applies to Twitter, but I haven’t yet switched entirely to Mastodon – still hedging my bets …

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    1. I only used Twitter sporadically so it was easy to give up. Goodreads was useful for keeping track of my reading, but I’ve discovered the joys of a progressive WP table so will continue to tweak how I use that.
      I’m thinking I will post one at the end of each month rather than the one big table I did at the end of 2022.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad you had a good time reading in 2022 even if there were slumps; my reading and blogging year was fairly bumpy as well. Wishing you a great reading year in 2023, and I look forward to AusReadingMonth which I couldn’t read in time for last year. Hope you bring back Rumer Godden Reading Week too. I enjoyed it the first time around.

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    1. Rumer Godden reading was too much to do after a big Nov last year. It was another reason why moving AusReading Month felt right.
      I’d love to do a reading week for Elizabeth von Armin too to help me read more of her books.

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  6. I also like how you compared favorites through the years. Like you, I merged to WordPress from blogger many years ago, longer than you I believe, and I am happy I made the move. I love the WordPress reader, and all the features it has, the look of the designs and the stats.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s funny now experiencing all the commenting issues re blogger from the other side. It has made me appreciate all those who made huge efforts to comment on my old blog.
      The WP reader certainly makes keeping up with comment threads much easier.

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    1. Book downsizing will be the biggest job. We’ve already worked out which furniture will be going (some B22 can take with him but a lot has passed it’s use by date & bear the marks of the boys younger days!) My wardrobe and kitchen cupboard also got a huge clean out during the lockdowns, so it’s just the books , oh and the half garage full of stuff we don’t know what to do with!!! 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a marvelous idea to take a look at previous years and see if your selections would be the same! I sympathize with your feelings about ditching GR and Twitter, I was relieved to get away from the latter this year too. Moved over to Mastodon which has been a much better experience. Best of luck with the downsizing…

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  8. Congratulations to your son, well done. Our son has finished his second Masters and have got a job in Norway. We are so happy for him. No changes for us since he moved away from home to study at 17.
    Thank you for interesting stats during the years and best books. It is always interesting to hear about these things. My stats are still to come up. I agree with you about the TBR, although we are not moving. It still feels like I want to get them out of this box, since I have had many of them for years. I include e-books and audio books now as well, so the number increases. I did read 88 books from my TBR this year, so very pleased with that. My aim also for 2023. Good luck for the new reading year and emptying the TBR shelves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! 88 books from your TBR – that’s a fanatstic effort! I’ve started the year with 3 books from my TBR, but two of them have only been on my TBR for a couple of months.

      It’s lovely seeing our young men move out into the world as young adults isn’t it? Do you get to visit with your son very often?

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      1. Well, I think it became so many books because I added my e-books and audiobooks. I am subscribing for Nextory now, and it is so easy to download a book when you want to read it, or read about it.
        It is lovely to see our young men go out into the world, and to see how they will form their lives. We have lived in different places since Hannes started university. We lived in Brussels and he studied in Sweden. Then we moved back to Sweden/Austria and Hannes’ last Masters was done in Delft, Zürich, Aachen and back to Delft for the thesis. Meaning we don’t see each other that often. However, with Skype/Facetime we keep in touch, and since we see each other, even if it is only on the screen, it feels sort of as we meet. It helps at least. Hannes wanted to work in Canada or Australia, so we are quite happy that he got a job in Oslo. It feels nearby.
        Will you son move away from you place, or he stays in the same city?

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        1. That’s a lot of moving around. And Oslo is much closer than Australia!!
          We live in Sydney, so B22 plans to stay around the inner suburbs too. However there is a dire rental crisis at his end of the market – way too many people for the properties available. With international workers finally coming back into the country the problem is only getting worse.

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          1. Yes, Oslo is much closer, and we are happy about that. I wonder why there always is a problem with housing in university cities. Of course, Sydney is more than just a university city, so must be more complicated as well.

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  9. Congrats to your son… and good luck with plans to downsize (something I don’t need to worry about as I have lived in poky little apartments my whole adult life; the one I bought in Freo in 2021 is actually an “upsize” as it’s the first one I’ve had with an extra bedroom, bathroom and balcony 😆)

    I’ve enjoyed following your blog this year… so much easier now that you are on WordPress! Best wishes for a book-filled New Year!

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    1. Thanks Kim, now that I’m on WP and trying to leave comments on Blogger, I appreciate the persistance many of you engaged in to leave any comments at all on my old blog!
      I’m looking forward to reading more William Trevor this year with you and Cathy – his short stories deserve to be savoured. I’ve read a few of his novels over the years, but currently only have his short story collections on my TBR, so I will stick to those and resist the urge to add anything new!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I do all my challenges from my TBR where I can, and it does help (I did ask for two 1940 books from one friend for my birthday, however, to fulfil Kaggsy and Simon’s 1940 club, and I have bought a book for Dewithon I’d forgotten I’d promised to read). Happy reading and blogging in 2023, I’m very fond of your blog even if I don’t always get to comment!

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    1. I had that as an ad hoc kind of rule for reading events too, but this year I’m determined to make it a requirement. No reading event unless I already have the book/s to hand!!
      (Let’s see how long I last 😀 )

      Like

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