Hi hello long time no write. It’s been a busy year, but the truth is that I just haven’t made time for this blog. That’s going to change in 2023 though — I’m changing jobs, and at the job I’ve just left (as of today) I was writing three blog posts a week. I figure I should be able to translate into at least one post per week over here, and I’m going to stick to that resolution no matter what. And of course, I’ll start off with my favourite books I read last year.
One thing I’ll start by saying is that there are a few major faves missing from this list. It was such a good year for horror that I’m going to be doing a separate post on my favourite horror reads of the year next week or thereabouts. So stay tuned for that and some great spooky reads, and in the meantime read on for my favourite books from non-horror genres that I read in 2022.
You can always follow me on Goodreads to see what I’m reading throughout the year!
The best books I read in 2022 (published in 2022)
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel
I absolutely loved Station Eleven but then was a bit cold on The Glass Hotel, so when Emily St. John Mandel’s next book was released in 2022 I was incredibly curious but mildly hesitant. I needn’t have worried, because Sea of Tranquility turned out to be one of my favourite novels of the year. For a story with a vast setting, spanning galaxies and millennia, it is close and intimate, a thoughtful work of speculative fiction that offers a puzzle where, over the course of the story, each piece is put delicately, carefully, poetically into place.
Continue reading “My favourite books of 2022”
Due to a combination of things (lockdown, no social life, a really good to-read list), I completely obliterated my yearly goal of 52 books. I hit my goal by the end of May, and by the end of 2021 I had read (or listened to on audiobook, it was around a 70/30 split) 100 books. And folks, most of them were very good.
I’m pretty much a pro at only choosing books I’ll enjoy these days. This is good, because I hate to DNF (did not finish) a book. Luckily, I know whose reviews I trust, both among friends and pros, which tropes I love and hate, which authors I’ll follow to the end of the earth, and so on. That doesn’t mean I never pick up a dud, or that I never take a risk with something that may (or may not) surprise me, but when you look at my Goodreads and see heaps of 4- and 5-star reviews, it’s more because I know how to pick ’em than because I’m not discerning.
Speaking of Goodreads, I’m trying to transition to Storygraph this year, or at least use it in addition to GR, although I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. So if anyone’s on it, add me!
Anyway, my best books of the year. I couldn’t narrow it down further than 15 fiction and 10 nonfiction favourites, so here they are:
Continue reading “The Best Books I Read in 2021”
First of all, I managed another successful NaNoWriMo this November, writing 50111 words over the course of the month. Hopefully this will finally be the year I actually stick with the story and continue working on it. Because of NaNo, I didn’t do as much reading as I usually might, but I still managed to read a couple of the best books I’ve read all year. Plus, plenty of reading from October. Choosing my end-of-year best-ofs is going to be tough this year for sure.
I’ve split them between fiction and nonfiction and put them roughly in order of how much I liked them.
Continue reading “What I read in October and November”
Oops, I forgot to post this last month! So here’s a double-header of all the books I read in June and July. Some really fantastic ones in this batch, but there’s one that stands so far above the rest I’m putting it above the ‘read more’ line (also, it’s hard to categorise as either fiction or nonfiction). Read on…
A Ghost in the Throat by Doreann Ní Ghríofa
A novel about a woman who becomes obsessed with a poem by an 18th century noblewoman, what she sees as parallels in her own life, and her efforts to trace the woman’s history and descendants, in some ways it’s difficult to describe what makes this book so exquisite.. Is it the richness of the prose, by an author who is mainly a poet and who shows this through the lyricism of even mundane, minor moments? Is it the way it melds genres—it’s won awards in fiction and nonfiction categories, it’s part biography and part memoir and part translation and part novel and it plays with all these styles in a compelling and intriguing way? Is it the way the plot draws you in? Every time I picked up the book to begin reading again, I immediately felt as invested in the narrator’s search for evidence of Eibhlín in marriage records and death notices and the periphery of other people’s lives. Of course, it is all these things and more, and the result is an incredibly special book. Perhaps my favourite of the year so far, and one I will be thinking about it for a long, long time.
Continue reading “What I Read in June & July”
I always set myself a reading goal of 52 books for the year (so on average a book a week). Well, somehow (lockdown), I’ve hit that goal 5 months into 2021. Here are the top 10 fiction and top 5 nonfiction books I’ve read so far this year — what should I put on my to-read list for the rest of the year?
The Rain Heron by Robbie Arnott
Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin
The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox
No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood
Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez
Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas
The Yield by Tara June Winch
Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu
Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe
Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Can’t Even by Anne Helen Petersen
Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
Read on for reviews of the books I read in May:
Continue reading “What I read in May”
Okay, so after all my big talk last month about how I might have to split up this month post’s into two because of all the books I was going to read, I actually had a pretty slow reading month. I got a just a wee small little bit obsessively hooked on a podcast (The Magnus Archives) and so instead of listening to audiobooks I found myself listening to the podcast, and instead of reading… I also found myself listening to the podcast. 90 episodes in means it was a quieter reading month than the last couple (and I still have half the podcast to go so May might have fewer than usual books in it as well). That said, I still got through a good few excellent books; read on for my reviews or check them all out on Goodreads.
Continue reading “What I Read in April”