This was a very strange reading year for me overall. I had so many books and series that I was super excited to pick up, but ended up being a little underwhelmed in general with my reading. It ended up being an especially busy/tiring year overall for me so I didn’t quite feel like I read as much as I expected, even though I still managed to finish a ton of books. I think I did very well working on many of my goals at the beginning of the year and again toward the end, but kind of fell off a bit toward the middle somehow even though I can’t quite put my finger on how or why. Like the past two years, I didn’t complete any of my reading challenges and didn’t even come close, but it was another challenge that I had designed as a two-year process. I’ll get into the details a little more specifically in my goals wrap-up next week, but I was especially frustrated that I didn’t do very well on prioritizing the Around the Year and PopSugar challenges like I had planned. Last year, I had noted that the year felt like it flew by and that definitely was not the case for 2022. In a way it felt like it went very fast, but there were also times where it felt like everything was moving very slowly. I definitely noticed that my reading in general was moving pretty slowly with each book taking me a little longer than expected to read, mostly because I often didn’t start reading until relatively late in the evening. I’m hoping to pick things back up a bit for 2023 and really put a focus on prioritizing my goals properly. I say that every year, but maybe this will be the time it actually happens! Either way, I was looking forward to my annual tradition of using this End of Year Book Survey, which I found a few years ago on PerpetualPageTurner, as a way to sum up my year. All credit for the questions and the graphics in this post go to her.
Number of Books You Read: 160, which is my lowest total overall since 2017! It’s still a ton of books for sure, but I was hoping to get closer to 200 in total.
Number of Re-reads: 2. I reread A Monster Calls and The Complete Maus this year. I guess in theory, you could make a case for The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter as a reread since I have read some of those stories before, but I didn’t count it because there were multiple stories in there that were still new-to-me.
Genre You Read the Most From: I’m taking this from Storygraph which I tried for the first time this year, so I’m not 100% familiar with how they keep their stats yet. According to their list, my most-read genres were YA (56 books), fantasy (42 books) and thrillers (32 books). However, as far as I can tell, some books get double-counted into more than one genre (ie. I noticed a few of the same books under YA and Fantasy) so I’m not sure how accurate these numbers are. It does feel about right though.
1. Best Book You Read In 2022?
As usual, I had trouble picking just one, so I’ve chosen one per genre, excluding re-reads:
Best YA Romance – Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee
Best YA (non-romance) – White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson
Best Fantasy (from a series) – A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown with These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong in a very close second
Best Fantasy (standalone) – The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
Best Graphic Novel – Hearstopper Vol. 4 by Alice Oseman
Best Fiction – Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult
Best Mystery – The Maid by Nita Prose
Best Thriller – 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard tied with Pretty Girls by Karin Slaugther
Best Horror – The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James (technically, White Smoke was the best, but since I already used it in another category, it only made sense to pick something else — although arguably, this is more thriller than horror)
Best Adult Contemporary Romance – The Love Hypothesis
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
This was another very weird year overall because I generally found a lot of books a bit underwhelming, although I think that had a lot more to do with my own mood/exhaustion than the books themselves. I mentioned this book recently in my Most Disappointing Books of the Year, but I think one of my biggest disappointments was probably What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo because I’d seen it pitched so many times as being similar to The Addams Family, and it just wasn’t.
Also, another book that I forgot to mention on that list was Yesterday is History by Kosoko Jackson. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a pretty solid book overall and I rated it 4 stars, but I has assumed this book would be an easy favourite and was disappointed when it wasn’t. I loved the premise, but thought the execution of it could have been stronger.
Another one that I think I’ve mentioned before as a book that I found disappointing was Recommended for You by Laura Silverman. I expected to love this one, but I had a really hard time getting into it because I didn’t like the main character and I found it annoying how she kept meddling in everyone else’s problems. I also found the romance very underwhelming since there wasn’t really much indication of why they even liked each other.
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
Probably the most surprising in a good way would have to be The Wives by Tarryn Fisher. I went into it with very low expectations because I had seen a ton of negative reviews, but I ended up loving it. I can definitely see why people found it problematic, but I had so much fun reading it and it definitely kept my attention the whole way through. I don’t think I had anything that really surprised me in a bad way.
4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
Definitely The House in the Cerulean Sea! I’ve been raving about that book since I read it all the way back in April, and I think if I had to choose just one favourite from the year overall, it would be this one. I have no idea if anyone actually picked it because I told them to read it though.
5. Best series you started in 2022? Best Sequel of 2022? Best Series Ender of 2022?
I still find this kind of question so difficult when I binge-read a series all in a row! The books all tend to blend together into one long one to me, and it’s hard to differentiate. Also, does the second book in a duology count as a sequel or a series ender?
I think if I had to choose, I would probably divide it this way:
Best series started – A Song of Wraiths and Ruins
Best sequel – Our Violent Ends
Best series ender – A Sky Beyond the Storm
5. Favourite new author you discovered in 2022
I love setting myself a priority list of new-to-me authors to try ever year, since that’s very often how I discover some of my new favourites, although I often find some favourites outside of those lists too!
This year, I would say my favourite new-to-me authors would have to be TJ Klune, Catherine Ryan Howard, Lucy Foley, Roseanne A. Brown, Chloe Gong, Wendy Walker, Nita Prose, and Ali Hazelwood.
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
I branched out a little bit to reading more horror this year, which is a genre that I do enjoy but rarely read because of how easily it scares me. The best horror book that I read all year was definitely White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson!
I think I also set a new record for myself in terms of how many non-fiction books I read, most of which were audiobooks that I listened to while doing some work from home. My highest-rated non-fiction was You Will Get Through This Night by Daniel Howell. I am a big fan of his Youtube channel and loved his narration and how he made the topic of mental health so accessible, even if I personally did not learn much new from the book. Aside from that, I would have to say the best non-fiction that I read this year would have to be Not That Bad by Roxane Gay because of the variety of perspectives it offered on sexual violence and rape culture.
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
I feel like all three of those descriptors really mean different things for me, in a way. I think the one book I could say encompasses all three is definitely White Smoke, but I would definitely describe The House in the Cerulean Sea as “unputdownable” too!
9. Book You Read In 2022 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
I generally don’t re-read a book so quickly after reading it for the first time unless I need a reminder before picking up the rest of the series. I think if I had to choose something that I might read again so soon, it would probably be Everything is OK by Debbie Tung. In hindsight, this probably should have been listed above as my favourite non-fiction since it’s technically a memoir. This book is about the author’s struggles with anxiety and depression, and I found a lot of it very relatable. I especially loved her focus on how managing anxiety and depression is an on-going process, and the importance of being kind to yourself.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2022?
Definitely this one:
11. Most memorable character of 2022?
This is always such a hard question since I have trouble remembering all of the characters overall, but I think I have to go with the entire cast of characters in The House in the Cerulean Sea, especially the absolutely adorable Chauncey!
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2022?
It’s a tie between Gallant by V.E. Schwab and An Arrow to the Moon by Emily X.R. Pan, which is no surprise considering both of those authors are known for their beautiful writing!
13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2022?
I think I have to go with Everything is OK again for this one because it offered such a strong look at mental health and how important it can be to change how we think about ourselves, especially highlighting how we often speak to ourselves in a negative way that we would never speak to anyone else. I found this book so impactful.
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2022 to finally read?
I had so many books that had been on my TBR forever that I was determined to finally read this year! I think the one that had been bugging me the most was How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon, which I finally read mid-December after including it on my reading challenge plans for literally years. I didn’t quite love it as much as I expected (4 stars overall), but I was very happy that I finally read it.
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2022?
I’m still terrible at keeping track of quotes that I like, but here are a few favourites that I had marked on Goodreads:
“People treat being sick in the body as fine, normal, empathy-worthy; they’ll bring you soup and medicine, and press the back of their hand to your forehead. But if they think you’re sick in the mind, it’s different. It’s mostly your fault — I say “mostly” because people have been told again and again that mental illness isn’t a choice — it’s chemical” — Tarryn Fisher, The Wives
“For the first time in my life, I think I understand what a true friend is. It isn’t just someone who likes you; it’s someone willing to take action on your behalf” — Nita Prose, The Maid
“It’s never enough, is it? Time. We always think we have so much of it, but when it really counts, we don’t have enough at all” — TJ Klune, Under the Whispering Door
“The pain you have endured does not justify the pain you inflict on others” — Roseanne A. Brown, A Song of Wraiths and Ruin
16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2022?
Shortest – My Art, My World by Rita Winkler (32 pages)
Longest – House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas (805 pages)
17. Book That Shocked You The Most
I would have to go with Pretty Girls. I definitely did not expect it to go quite as dark as it did, even though I know this author is known for being pretty graphic in general.
18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
I think I would have to give this one to Adam and Olive in The Love Hypothesis, and Linus and Arthur from The House in the Cerulean Sea.
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
I loved the friendship between Finlay and Vero in Finlay Donovan is Killing It!
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2022 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
This is so hard! A definite favourite would be The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang, and I also really loved Then She Was Gone and The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell. I think it goes without saying at this point that White Smoke was an obvious favourite, but it fits here since Tiffany D. Jackson is an author I’ve read before!
21. Best Book You Read In 2022 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
Definitely The House in the Cerulean Sea! It was to the point where this book was seeming incredibly overhyped and it was starting to put me off reading it at all. I’m so glad I listened to the hype!!
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2022?
I don’t really get fictional crushes, but I really loved Malik from A Song of Wraiths and Ruin and I also really liked Tunde from that series as well.
23. Best 2022 debut you read?
Hands-down, this would have to be The Maid! I’m not sure any of the other 2022 releases that I read this year were debuts, but even if they were, this was still by far my favourite.
24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Again, it’s a tie between A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown with These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong. Both of these had incredibly interesting and unique worlds!
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
In Love & Pajamas and You Are Home, both by Catana Chetwynd. This series is just so cute! They always make me smile.
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2022?
I actually have a real answer for this question for once since I reread one of the few books that has ever literally made me cry! I reread A Monster Calls and it was just as impactful this time around.
27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
I think I’d have to give this one to 56 Days and Reckless Girls. I can understand 56 Days not being for everyone because it is set during the early days of the pandemic, but if you are comfortable to read about that, then it’s worth it. I’ve seen some mixed reviews for Reckless Girls but I absolutely loved it! It was so much fun to read and I was genuinely convinced that the island they were on was real.
28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
I still don’t understand what this question means!! It bugs me every year that I have no idea what this is asking for, since it seems very similar to a book that made me cry. I think the closest would probably be You’ve Reached Sam because of the portrayal of grief (even though I didn’t quite love this book as much as I expected).
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2022?
I have to give a special mention to My Art, My World because I personally know the author! This book is by a young woman with Down Syndrome, and it features her own artwork and her perspectives on her daily life.
Aside from that, I think the most unique is probably My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite because it is one of the most unique thrillers I’ve ever read, and Horrortstor by Grady Hendrix because of the Ikea catalog format and the entire premise of being trapped inside a haunted furniture store.
30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
I guess the book that made me the most mad would probably be Light It Up, which is a sequel to How it Went Down. I was pretty surprised to see that it had been released before George Floyd’s murder, but that only highlights how relevant the topic unfortunately still is. This book is about a young teenage Black girl who was shot and killed by police while running home from school in the winter, when it had already gotten dark. Although the author mentioned that the girl had special needs as well, I personally didn’t find that came across very strongly nor was it really necessary since the situation was already horrific without adding an extra layer of why it was bad to shoot her. I was mad while reading this because of how it highlighted racism even in the response to the girl’s death (ie. blaming the child for her own murder) and the very real consequences of police bias.
1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2022?
I haven’t had much time to explore other blogs, but I did subscribe to several new channels on Youtube, including Ashley’s Little Library, GabbyReads, and OliviaReadsALatte
2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2022?
I don’t really write reviews in general at this point since I find it impossible to talk about books in any level of detail without risking spoilers, however I did have a lot of fun with a Top 10 Tuesday topic earlier this year that asked for 1-Word Reviews of the last 10 books I had read. I thought that was a creative idea, and I may need to do that again some time! The closest I come to reviews otherwise is my Recent Reads series, but I don’t have a specific favourite.
3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
I only wrote one post that was tagged as a Discussion this year, which was “It’s Not a DNF, It’s a BRB” so I guess by default, that is my favourite (although it probably would have been anyway). That post was about putting down a book temporarily when you’re not really in the mood for it, but with a plan in place to come back to it so it doesn’t get completely forgotten!
4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I don’t participate in these kinds of events, so I guess I’ll have to stick to my usual answer of enjoying being a part of the process of creating the list for the Goodreads Around the Year in 52 Books challenge.
5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2022?
This is not related to blogging, but some of my best bookish moments this year involved finally getting copies of books that I’d been waiting a long time to find! I managed to find a couple of books I’d been meaning to read for years on sites like BetterWorldBooks and AbeBooks, and even had a friend in the UK send me several books that are difficult to find here in Canada as a birthday gift. It was very exciting to finally have copies of books that I couldn’t find anywhere else!
6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
In terms of blogging, I would say keeping up with the blog in general has been a challenge. As I mentioned above, this year has been particularly busy and exhausting for some reason, and I often found it challenging to have the motivation to actually write posts. I generally pre-write my posts for the week over the weekend and schedule them, because I know that after work just won’t be realistic. However, the posts can be very time-consuming and eat into my actual reading time.
Similarly, I think the most challenging thing about my reading life in general this year is that my brain has somehow gone back into what I call “pandemic mode” where I waste a lot of time doing nothing or unable to focus on anything, until very late in the evening when suddenly I am able to hyperfocus and want to read a lot. It leaves me with very little time to actually read before I have to go to bed so I can be up on time for work, and then each book takes longer than I expect and I get frustrated that they’re taking so long. I definitely want to reset my reading habits a bit for next year.
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
I still have no idea how to check this! Every year, I end up playing around on WordPress trying to figure it out, and every time I just get confused. As far as I can tell, the 2022 posts that got the most views was a Top 10 Tuesday about 21st Century Books I Think Will Become Classics, followed pretty closely by my Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2022. I’m a little surprised the future classics post had the most views since it just contains images of the covers, but I guess that makes it quick and easy for people to look at.
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
I did a series of two posts with books that I loved that had low ratings on Goodreads (here), and books that had very high ratings on Goodreads that I didn’t like (here). It looks like these were viewed just one time each, which was a bit surprising given that it was kind of a trendy topic this year.
9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
I can’t think of anything completely brand new to me this year except for the Youtube channels that I already listed above. Potentially Storygraph, but I wish there was a way to sync it with my Goodreads so I didn’t have to update in two places every time I read something. The graphs and stats are pretty cool though!
And technically, I guess I have to mention Book of the Month even though I didn’t “discover” it in 2022. However, this was the year where they finally came to Canada so I was able to subscribe!
10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I have another post coming soon that will be a more detailed wrap-up of this year’s goals (most likely next weekend), but the short answer is that I only accomplished a few! I definitely lost steam on a lot of my goals this year, unfortunately.
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2022 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2023?
There are many! If I had to pick just one, it would definitely be Stay Awake! It was one of my most anticipated books for the year but I had a really hard time finding affordable copies. By the time I got one, it was already very late in the year and I decided to prioritize a couple of other books working toward different goals instead.
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2022 (non-debut)?
I have a ton of anticipated books for 2022! I think my top three most anticipated as of right now are Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo, Delicious Monsters by Liselle Sambury and In the Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune.
3. 2022 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
The Writing Retreat by Julia Bartz
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2022?
Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo!
5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2022?
Make a little more time for reading each day! I really want to get back into my pattern of reading as much as I can on evenings/weekends when I’m free, and not wasting quite so much time on random Youtube videos.
6. A 2023 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):
N/A. I don’t usually get ARCs although I did buy a copy of All the Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham from BOTM as an early release (due out in January)! Haven’t read it yet though.