According to Goodreads (and my own records), I read 44 books in 2022. In my defense, I was working a full time job, teaching a class, and taking two classes in Urban Planning. My Goodreads stats:
Average rating I gave: 3.22*
Most shelved book I read: Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone (which wasn’t a surprise)
Least shelved book I read: Justine Manzano’s The Skeleton Key (which is too bad, since it was fun)
*A 3.22 out of 5 might seem a bit low as an average rating, but here’s my rating structure:
- 1 – Terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad. Probably was physically and emotionally unable finish it.
- 2 – Able to finish, but with some major problems. Maybe the writing was good, but the story was terrible. Maybe the story was good, but the writing was terrible.
- 3 – A good book.
- 4 – A REALLY good book! I’ll probably enthuse about this book to others.
- 5 – Holy shit, this book is amazing. It’s a top tier read. I’m going to keep my copy of it probably forever. I’m very stingy with my 5 star ratings.
Without further ado, here is a list of the books I read in 2022 in order of rating:
Black Cake – Charmaine Wilkerson ★★★★★
Poignant but also very charming.
Goodreads Choice 2022 Nominee for Best Historical Fiction AND Best Debut Novel
The Four Winds – Kristin Hannah ★★★★★
I didn’t read this book. I experienced it.
Book of the Month’s 2021 Book of the Year
Goodreads Choice 2021 Nominee for Best Historical Fiction
The Cartographers – Peng Shepherd ★★★★☆
A thriller with a mystery, fantasy elements, and plenty of quirk (but not in an annoying way).
USA Today Bestseller, national Independent Bookstores bestseller, and a Pick of the Month from Amazon, Apple, Goodreads, and many more.
The Verifiers – Jane Pek ★★★★☆
A debut novel featuring online dating + detective story!
Mystery, thriller, LGBTQ+
The Great Alone – Kristin Hannah ★★★★☆
I picked this book up after reading The Four Winds, and this novel about PTSD’s effects on a family in the 1970s was really good.
Goodreads Choice 2018 Winner for Best Historical Fiction
Other Birds – Sarah Addison Allen ★★★★☆
This was delightful and charming, and the characters were lovely. A mix of paranormal, magical realism, and romance.
Goodreads Choice 2022 Nominee for Best Fiction
Children of Virtue and Vengeance – Tomi Adeyemi ★★★★☆
The second book in the Legacy of Orïsha. Seldom do you see books set in a fantasy Africa. Excellent series.
Goodreads Choice 2020 Nominee for Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction
House of Sky and Breath – Sarah J. Maas ★★★★☆
Book 2 of the Crescent City series. Very fun (and steamy). More of a New Adult series than Maas’ usual Young Adult style.
New York Times bestseller, Goodreads Choice 2022 Winner for Best Fantasy
The Paris Apartment – Lucy Foley ★★★★☆
I love Lucy Foley’s mysteries – she turns the setting into its own character every time.
Goodreads Choice 2022 Nominee for Best Mystery & Thriller
The Martian – Andy Weir ★★★★☆
I knew people loved this book, but I didn’t realize how funny it would be! Now I need to watch the movie.
Goodreads Choice 2014 Winner for Best Science Fiction AND Nominee for Best Debut Goodreads Author
Things We Lost to the Water – Eric Nguyen ★★★☆☆
A debut novel featuring a Vietnamese family learning to adjust in America.
Literary historical fiction, LGBTQ+
A History of Wild Places – Shea Ernshaw ★★★☆☆
Mysterious disappearances and reclusive mountain communities? Sure!
Mystery, thriller, magical realism, and a touch of horror
Once There Were Wolves – Charlotte McConaghy ★★★☆☆
Scottish highlands, wolves, and murder. Obviously.
Goodreads Choice 2021 Nominee for Best Fiction
Under Different Stars – Amy A. Bartol ★★★☆☆
The first book in a series that was decent, but I wasn’t captured enough to continue in the series. It won four UtopYA Awards in 2014, though!
YA fantasy, paranormal, science fiction
There There – Tommy Orange ★★★☆☆
An interesting look at indigenous identity, especially for the urban Indian, all centered around a powwow in Oakland.
Goodreads Choice 2018 Nominee for Best Debut Author AND Nominee for Best Fiction
The Shadow and Bone Trilogy – Leigh Bardugo ★★★☆☆
The entire trilogy is very fun, and the Netflix show season 1 is great (season 2 isn’t out as of this posting). Fantasy Eastern Europe!
Fantasy, thriller, mystery, and a beautifully designed setting.
The Ex Hex – Erin Sterling ★★★☆☆
This was pretty cute as romances go, and I enjoyed Vivienne’s character and the university as a setting.
Goodreads Choice 2021 Nominee for Best Romance
The Last Thing He Told Me – Laura Dave ★★★☆☆
The story was exceedingly average. Bailey was a turd, but I liked Hannah.
Goodreads Choice 2021 Winner for Best Mystery & Thriller
The Keeper of Night – Kylie Lee Baker ★★★☆☆
The social intricacies of soul collecting! This book is part of a series, but I loved the ending so much that I don’t want to take the chance of ruining it with more stories.
YA fantasy, paranormal, historical elements
The Nightmare-Verse #1 and #2 – L. L. McKinney ★★★☆☆
A modern take on Wonderland and its strange characters. Looking forward to book 3 coming out in 2023!
YA fantasy, romance, and great dose of Black girl magic
Reckless Girls – Rachel Hawkins ★★★☆☆
Remote islands and secretive characters? This won’t be trouble at all!
Mystery, suspense, psychological thriller
Sharp Teeth – Tony Barlow ★★★☆☆
Set up like a poem, but I’m not sure why. Werewolves a-plenty.
Fantasy, graphic horror
Keys and Guardians Series #1 and #2 – Justine Manzano ★★★☆☆
These were fun reads that got much darker than expected – in a good way! I liked the character progressions, and I’m looking forward to book 3.
A River Enchanted – Rebecca Ross ★★★☆☆
The setting of Cadence is lovely, and there are some fun twists to this story. I love the magic system.
Goodreads Choice 2022 Nominee for Best Fantasy
The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho (Alan R. Clarke translation) ★★★☆☆
A charming read – I can see why it’s beloved. The story makes some interesting points about life.
Magical realism, fantasy, spirituality, philosophy
Safe – Dawn Husted ★★★☆☆
Full disclosure: this was written by a friend of a colleague. I enjoyed the concepts, but I think her beta readers did her dirty. With some polish, this would have easily been a 4 star book.
YA science fiction, dystopia
True Colors – Melissa Pearl ★★★☆☆
This was a freebie on Amazon for Kindle, so I didn’t have high expectations. I enjoyed it way more than I expected, but not quite enough to continue the series.
YA fantasy, mystery, romance
The Golden Couple – Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen ★★★☆☆
A couple that seems perfect, and a really weird therapist. I probably would have liked this more if I hadn’t read Gone Girl first.
Goodreads Choice 2022 Nominee for Best Mystery & Thriller
The Hacienda – Isabel Cañas ★★★☆☆
A lovely gothic horror story set in Mexico after the War of Independence. Very spooky!
Goodreads Choice 2022 Nominee for Best Debut Novel AND Nominee for Best Horror
Breathless – Amy McCulloch ★★★☆☆
This was a fun book but seemed a bit tooooo suspiciously neat in terms of connections. The mountain-climbing experience seems spot-on.
Thriller, mystery, suspense, adventure
You’re Invited – Amanda Jayatissa ★★★☆☆
Y’all need to stop trying to be civil to your horrible exes. Why would you go to their weddings?!
Thriller, mystery, suspense.
The Perishing – Natashia Deón ★★☆☆☆
I wanted to like this so much because the premise is intriguing, but ultimately I found the storytelling unsatisfying.
Historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy
Where the Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens ★★☆☆☆
Yes, I know everyone seems to love it, but I just… it was a snooze fest, okay? Maybe the movie is better, but I don’t plan to see it.
Goodreads Choice 2018 Nominee for Best Historical Fiction
Frenzied – Brandon Massey ★★☆☆☆
People in a nice town go all nuts and murder people, and the whole place gets quarantined. I barely remember it.
Horror, thriller, mystery probably.
Run Rose Run – Dolly Parton and James Patterson ★★☆☆☆
I love Dolly Parton. I did not like this book. There’s an associated album, but I haven’t listened to it.
Mystery, thriller, romance
Darling Girl: A Novel of Peter Pan – Liz Michalski ★★☆☆☆
Conceptually this was very interesting, but I was disappointed. The author could have done so much more with this.
Fantasy, magical realism, romance, a touch of horror
FERTS – Grace Hudson ★★☆☆☆
Tries very hard to be The Handmaid’s Tale. Fails. Frontloaded with entirely too much exposition.
Dystopian, science fiction.
Devil’s Divide – Jeffrey M. Anderson ★★☆☆☆
I don’t remember this book at all. The description on Goodreads says it’s witty, scary, and thought-provoking… but I guess I didn’t think so.
Postapocalyptic??? Satire?? Probably???
City of Stairs – Robert Jackson Bennett ★☆☆☆☆
I wanted to like this so much, and it has great reviews. But I despised the two main characters so much that I couldn’t finish because I gave absolutely no shits.
Goodreads Choice 2014 Nominee for Best Fantasy (somehow)
Daisy Darker – Alice Feeney ★☆☆☆☆
I don’t know why I did this to myself because I hated her last book so much, but I thought that, surely if everyone likes her writing so much, the last one was just a fluke? Nope.