2022 Book List

Here it is! New Year, New Book List! I’m actually trying to read less this year, so we’ll see how that all goes. I set my GoodReads goals for 50 and I’m guessing I’ll blow past that but I really do want to slow down the reading pace and not use books as much to tap out of real life this year.

That said, I came up with a wild hair for my 40th to ask for 40 nonfiction books that I’d like to own/read and my people came through BIG time by fulfilling all my book dreams so now I have nonfiction TBRs for approximately the next five years. Coolest birthday celebration ever!

A partial glimpse of the birthday book collection.
  1. This Is All Your Fault by Aminah Mae Safi — this book was such a weird way to start my year given that it is Empire Records set in a modern-day bookstore instead of music shop but is not billed or acknowledged as such until the author’s acknowledgments at the end of the book. I don’t like books to gaslight me, and somehow it feels extra painful that it was my initial read of 2022. At first I didn’t get what was happening but the second Imogen shaved her angsty head in the bathroom, I thought WTH?! and then from there it was just an onslaught of similarities and comparisons. Would I have enjoyed this more if I had known I was reading a retelling of ER? Probably because that movie was my go-to favorite in high school but instead this was just odd. That said, I’d still like to try another title from this author to see how that goes instead.
  2. Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally — I love to read romance/rom com type books before bed because it helps my brain stop thinking quite so much but this had the opposite effect as it was just so bad that it made my brain mad instead of calm and quiet. I had hoped this would be a cute series but nope. I only finished it because it was short and I had already read too much the first night to give up on completing the whole (terrible) thing.
  3. Sistersong by Lucy Holland — This book is incredible. It’s a bit fantasy based which isn’t my normal genre but it is so beautifully crafted and includes family stuff, gender stuff, magic stuff, love stuff, betrayal stuff, and being true to yourself stuff. In other words, it is all the things and the things are all phenomenal. (finished 1/13/22)
  4. Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley C. Ford — Ford’s first book is powerful and intense. She writes in such an open, honest way that puts you right there in her experience but also shows the universal struggles of families, abuse, rape, and more. This was a heavy read but one with multiple lines that took my breath away for their beauty and truth.
  5. The Lies That Bind by Emily Giffin — Not a huge fan of this one. The 2001 pop culture references felt so forced and even though I get that lying was part of the package given the title, the overall storyline was cringe-y with an odd 9/11 element that both was and was not relevant to the story at all.
  6. Last Chance Books by Kelsey Rodkey — How I ended up with a second book about teenagers and struggling indy bookstores this month is beyond me, but this one was OK. Nothing stands out about it but I’m one of those people who likes to read books about books, so it’s a win in that sense
  7. While We Were Dating by Jasmine Guillory — Love this series so much! May it continue forever! (finished 1/29/22)
  8. The Mermaid, The Witch, and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall — Another fantasy read with fascinating characters that include gender fluidity, queer relationships, and of course a little (or a lot) of magic. The switching perspective that not only moves between characters but that also includes the Sea as a character herself is well done here.
  9. Broken by Jenny Lawson — I love Jenny Lawson so much. She’s great in audio format but her stuff is just as funny when read in your own head, too. This one covers so much mental health and serious ground and yet it had me in near tears from laughing so hard more than once. (finished 2.13.22)
  10. Confessions of a Curious Bookseller by Elizabeth Green — I didn’t realize this would be all written as correspondence – mostly emails but also notes, texts, and Journal entries – nor did I know the main character would drive me nuts from start to finish either. I kept at it because a reader friend liked it so much but having read three books now about bookstores in the first two months of this year, I think this one found me at the wrong time when I just didn’t find it all that enjoyable or entertaining.
  11. No Judgment by Meg Cabot — Easy, breezy (I mean, literally – it is set in the midst of a hurricane on the Florida Keys), this was a fun little read with an animal lover twist to it as well.
  12. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson — Listened to this one and enjoyed it quite a bit. There’s a lot of good food for thought here but it would also be good to see this in hard copy, too, to remember all those tangibles and takeaways. I listened over a longer period of time than I would a fiction read and I noticed that I find myself asking, “Does this deserve giving a f*ck about?” more now which is probably a pretty good takeaway of its own. (Finished 3/9/22)
  13. Where It All Lands by Jennie Wexler — There’s a clever approach to the narrative style with this one that I really enjoyed and that added several unique twists and turns throughout the reading. At times it felt overly teenager-ly dramatic, but with all due fairness and respect to teenagers, that actually also felt fairly true to life.
  14. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins — Second read for me, first for my oldest. We love our read-aloud time together and this series is proving to be another hit for him (and a fun revisit for me).
  15. The Singles Table by Sarah Desai — Although I liked the first two in the series better, I still love Desai’s stories and relationships and way she weaves in work and family and friendship to each of her books, bringing together multiple sides of her characters and what makes them tick. (finished 3/24/22)
  16. West with Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge — This was such a different novel and one I really enjoyed, in part because it was well written historical fiction and also because giraffes are just my favorite animal ever. The unique story and the characterization of the narrator were fascinating and told in a way that was compelling and page turning. I don’t think I have ever read anything quite like it!
  17. Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown — I have never read a Brene Brown book that I didn’t love, nor one that didn’t challenge me. This was a slow go because even though it touches pretty briefly on each of the 87 emotions covered within it, it is dense as all get-out when it comes to the concepts and mental chewing that needs to take place after reading a section. This is definitely going to be a re-read because wow – so much depth and consideration involved in this book. (finished 4/23/22)
  18. Slingshot by Mercedes Helnwein — OK, the “for fans of Rainbow Rowell” with this one got me and I stuck with it the whole way through waiting to see that come to life on the page, but nope; never saw it. While it was probably fairly accurate to teenage life and angst, I just wasn’t feeling it.
  19. No Offense by Meg Cabot — Just like the first in the series, I found this fun, light, and a little less drama filled than some other romances which is often a welcome shift.
  20. Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai — My 10yo brought this home from school and I have always wanted to read it, so I did that today. It is so beautifully written and tells so much story with so few words on each page. This is a great read for kids and grownups alike.
  21. Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon — Like Yoon’s other books, I LVOED this one from the very start. There’s just enough mysticism woven in to make the story unique but not cloying and the writing style made me want to stay with these characters longer than the book allowed.
  22. The Story of You by Ian Morgan Chron — This was such a great read to learn about both myself and so many people in my life who have studied and discovered their Enneagram numbers. I was underlining like a fiend during it! I plan to revisit the ideas from this one often because they are such good reminders of that even though we can’t change the past, we don’t have to live stuck in it forever either.
  23. Oona out of Order by Margartia Montimore — This book surprised and delighted me even though there’s plenty of hard and challenging moments within it. I found myself wondering, even with less than 10% to go (that’s what happens when reading on a Kindle, I guess) how it was all going to resolve itself which is always a treat. Definitely worth a read!
  24. With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo — This is a great YA read that takes on some very adult concerns and transitions from high school to the world beyond, but also looks at family and listening to one’s own self. Love the title, the protagonist, and all the food descriptions sprinkled in the midst of this one.
  25. Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune — Klune is quickly becoming another favorite contemporary author of mine. This book captured me and delighted me and made my heart fit to burst at the notion of what love and trust and a new way of looking at the world can do for people. Also, gotta love a good, queer romance read.
  26. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig — Although it took me a bit to get into this book/protagonist, once I was there, I really appreciated the combination of story-telling and takeaways and just how human Nora was in the midst of her multiverse experience. Quite the unique book!
  27. If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy — Loved it. Loved the Cinderella spin and the modern take on the storyline and loved how fun and fast it was to read as well. Looking forward to what’s to follow with this series!
  28. Winter Ball by Amy Lane — Everything from the sentence structure to the characters themselves felt far too underdeveloped for me with this one. Plus, call me old fashioned, but I need a wee bit more story and content in my romance books before diving into the full-on, overly descriptive sex scenes, especially so early on in the book.
  29. Book Lovers by Emily Henry — As an avid reader, I’ve read my fair share of novels about reading and/or book stores, but this book-based novel hovers near the top of that list, not for the book store side of things but for the stories of sisters and transformation, family dynamics and romantic relationships, and a career in the publishing world. Plus, I just flat-out didn’t see some of the surprises coming throughout the book which always delights me (as does being right, which also happened a couple times with this book). I’ve read three Henry books now and this was definitely my favorite. Perfect summer read!
  30. The Inside of Out by Jenn Marie Thorne — I’m on the fence with this one. In some ways, the characters are so frustrating and flawed, but then this also turns out to be a decent read for what allyship really means and looks like, for teenagers especially.
  31. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen —
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