2022 Book List Post
|December 31, 2022||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
I read a lot of books in 2022, and as is our tradition here on the blog, it’s time to share my favorites with you.
I rate every book I read on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/melnewton) in real time and you are welcome to follow me there if you want to see what I’m reading and recommending throughout the year.
Here’s ALL the books I read this year:
A reminder of how I rate books: A 5 star book isn’t a perfect book. It’s a book that kept me up way past my bedtime. A 4 star book was good but didn’t grab me quite the same way. Both 4 and 5 star books I can recommend without reservation.
My average rating for all books read in a year is usually around 3 stars and this year was no exception with a 3.3 star average rating. Only 4 and 5 star books that are pictured above are listed below! If you’ve been following these posts over the years then I think you will already know whether my tastes are a match for yours. Happy reading :).
Crossing the Line: A Fearless Team of Brothers and the Sport That Changed Their Lives Forever: by Kareem Rosser. For me, this is the standout book of 2022 and one of the very few that got 5 stars from me. It’s a story of how some black kids kicked some ass in polo but the themes of the book run deeper than that I truly believe that you should give it a chance even if you don’t know a thing about polo. I listened to the audio book version and the narrator was so good I had to look him up to make sure it wasn’t the author since I swear, the way he read the words made them sound like they were coming from his heart. I’m not the only one who read it and thought this book was the best – Goodreads informed me that of all the books I read this year, it was the highest rated by other readers as well.
The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World by Stephen Brusatte: Do yourself a favor and listen to this as an audio book (all those scientific names pronounced so perfectly!) and then go check out the ebook (in color) and flip through the pages to see the illustrations. I’ve always been fascinated with the ecology and biology of the dinosaurs and when I majored in ornithology and learned that is where all my dinosaurs went…I was absolutely tickled.
On This Day in History Sh!t Went Down by James Fell: Way more entertaining and funny than I thought it would be.
The Expanse series by James S.A. Corey: Leviathan Wakes (first book of the series). I also read books 2 and 3 this year. All were 4 star books for me. I listened to them as audio books – tried to read them as ebooks and just couldn’t get them to stick in my head as well. The narrator does such a good job with accents and pacing. In the mood for a space odessy? Try this series.
The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey: This is a weird book. Absolutely engrossing with a…weird and not altogether satisfying ending. The ending is the only thing that kept it from being a 5 star book. I.could.not.put.it.down. Or shut off the car. This was a book that I read and listened to simultaneously and I highly recommend the audio book.
Shades of Magic Series by V.E. Schwab : This is a three fantasy genre book series, the first one is linked. The books in order I rated as a 4 star, 3 star, 5 star (which means, if you enjoyed the first one, just keep going). t I don’t remember where I found this series but I did NOT connect the dots to VE Schwab as the author of one of my other favorite books from last year, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, until I was done with the series. At that point I started reading several of her others and while good, weren’t quite good enough to make this list. The Shades of Magic series is an undertaking and the third book counts as one of the longer books I read this year (although with several Adrian T books read, probably not THE longest? LOL).
Middlegame by Seanan McGuire: Where do I even start on this one. I tried reading it and just couldn’t track the story well enough, so then I listened to it as an audio book. Five stars. It’s horrible and wonderful and I didn’t know what was going on at first and I was really afraid that it wasn’t going to be at all alright, but I kept listening and O.M.G. the skill and creativity of this author is just incredible. Give it a try if you like a bit of weird and creepy with your fantasy and are willing to stick through a bit of confusion because I promise it does all come together in the end.
Smile, Sisters, and Guts (THREE separate books listed here) by Raina Telgemeier: Paige started reading books by Telgemeier this year and most of them were so good I ended up reading them by myself and giving them 4-5 stars. Start with “Smile,” which is the main story and read Sisters and Guts from there. All are auto-biographical, or at least heavily based in her childhood. I related to Guts so much. I get a vagal reaction when I vomit and I end up passing out most of the time and it’s awful and traumatic and as child, vomiting or feeling nauseous was something that was just really hard to deal with. I too dealt with really bad anxiety and had issues that stemmed from it, and although I didn’t get therapy until I was in grad school, the portrayal of this poor kid in the book from start to finish is beautiful and wonderful and I’m so glad my child read it. As an adult it was a sort of validation, especially “Guts”. If you want to try her fiction graphic novel, I recommend Drama.
The Poppy War by RF Kuang: I gave this 4 stars, but it was a difficult read, and I’m not sure I’ll finish the series (this is book 1). I’ve tried to both read and listen to book 2 and haven’t been in the mood yet. It’s not a light fantasy book. I didn’t realize that the battles and war crimes described in the book were modeled after historical events in Asia, and the author’s notes at the back of the book were almost as interesting as the story. I think it’s a book you will either hate or love so give it a try. If you do like it, and end up reading more of the series, let me know whether it’s worth the read?
Nettle & Bone by T.Kingfisher: Oh T. Kingfisher how I love thee!! Ever since I discovered Swordheart, a book my T. Kingfisher always makes me drop whatever else I’m reading and dive on in. Not every book she’s written ends up being a 4+ star book, but I love how she seems to always write the stories that are bursting from her heart and you never quite what you are going to get. She writes fantasy and sci fi, romance and horror….as far as I can tell, whatever she wants. If you too love T. Kingfisher and are looking for a good one, try this one.
The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow: Fantasy book, a story that centers around relationships and family and woman’s choices. I liked it but I recommended it to a friend that both loves Harry Potter and general fiction more than me and she ADORED it.
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate: A book that won’t leave you. Well written, based in historical fact but is fictional in the details. If you are looking for a break of all that fantasy above and want some historical fiction, here’s your book.
Paladin’s Strength (The Saint of Steel #2) and also book #3 by T. Kingfisher: I somehow skipped over this series after reading the first book (probably because I read it right after it was released) and went back and read these two and I’m glad I did because they were excellent!!!
Skyward by Brandon Sanderson: technically part of a series, I really enjoyed this book! But….I didn’t make it more than a few chapters through the second book. BUT! I feel like this book is a good stand alone. So give it a try?
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman: I haven’t read a good mystery book in a while, and this was an excellent one. I didn’t enjoy the second one in the series quite as much, but enough that I’ll read them as he writes them if he releases more!
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid: Another small break from the fantasy books above! If you haven’t read it, give it a try. Most people I’ve recommended it to have already read it and agree it’s fantastic.
Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky: I recommend that you listen to this one as an audio book. It’s strange and wonderful and incredibly engrossing. Technically this is a series (I guess?) but it absolutely stands alone. This is a sci-fi book I’ll be able to remember a decade from now.
Cote’s Clinical Veterinary Advisor: Dogs and Cats by Cohn and Cote: This year I updated my reference library. I pay for these reference books with my own money (no CE allowance) and so when I decide to buy one it’s an investment. After using different clinical advisors, the new edition of Cote’s is what I settled on. Turns out after I bought this one, most of my clinics agreed and go their own versions so I don’t lug this one around me now, but if I’m going to a new clinic where I’m not sure they will have it on the shelf, I bring it along.
Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Procedures by Hackett: Vet school does a poor job of teaching clinical skillz and while I have been able to do the medicine side of ER, I really needed a straightforward guide for the dumb shit that everyone assumes you can already do and doesn’t bother to explain in the protocols. This book isn’t without it’s draw backs, but when I’m not in a tech driven practice or I need a refresher of where the IO catheter goes, or how to place a an EG tube, this does exactly what I wanted it to do – a quick visual guide I could skim.
Whole Bowls: Complete GF and vegetarian Meals to Power Your Day by Allison Day: When I bought this book I didn’t read through the ENTIRE title and didn’t know it was vegetarian until I got it. Oops. It’s easy to add meat to the ones you want to eat meat on and I needed something to inspire me to cook after taking out gluten and dairy this year due to auto-immune stuff. There are some excellent keeper recipes in here, including some I have taken to potlucks and have been pestered for the recipes weeks later.
As always, we have some overlap (T. Kingfisher <3) and some disagreements (I often love Seanan McGuire but not this one) and some new titles for me to explore (polo!).
Happy new year!
I was thinking about you on the middlegame book!!! I also read several of her other books (as you can see from the photo I’m sure). Are you posting a list this year? Because now I wonder whether there’s some on your list I need to add to mine…