I read 192 books this year in a split of: 54 ARCs (up from last year), 33 audiobooks (down from last year), 72 manga volumes (down from last year), 20 physical copies (up from last year), 8 light novels (up from last year), and 5 eBooks (down from last year). I want to share my favorites, so please enjoy my favorite 20 2022 books, favorite 10 books from before 2021, and my favorite 5 manga. I would have done a favorite 20 of backlist books, but, unfortunately, I did not prioritize this year, and I think that contributed to my exhaustion.
Overall, it’s not as many things as last year, and it did bring me dangerously close to burning out on reading. 2023 will be a year for resetting some of my priorities with regards to reading, which will focus on my backlog and reading a whole lot of light novels.
November might have been the month that took me out. Though I did not do NaNoWriMo, I wrote a lot and, more importantly for a post coming later this week, I read a lot. So much. So many things. I also wound up watching a lot of Japanese horror films (classics like Ringu and Ju-On, so if you have recommendations, I’d love them).
Weird Fishes by Rae Mariz is a work of oceanic fantasy that shows great veneration to the ocean and all its inhabitants, from tiny krill to clever octopi to the massive cetaceans. Ceph, a scientist from the deep sea, discovers that the time current is slowing down and hears of these new types of fish, humans, who are wreaking havoc on the environment. Iliokai, a whale rider like a selkie, has answers of her own and works with Ceph to prevent a different marine ecological disaster going too far in the other direction. The work is compassionate, enthusiastic, full of so much love for all things beneath the sea, and full of righteous rage for ongoing climate disasters.
I’m so excited to have Rae on the blog today to talk about the lightning-in-a-bottle experience of putting this novella together, how she went about selecting the narrators, what changed in revisions, and the joy of working with venues like Stelliform and khōréō who are open to experimental works.
Content Warnings: abandonment, animal cruelty and death of a loved one, child loss and grief, self-harm and suicide, near-drowning, state and police violence, rape and sexual abuse, genocide and cultural loss. Heavy shit, presented in a narrative that takes care to support the weight
Ceph and Iliokai are both weird fishes, one being more like an octopus and the other being a seadog. They notice that the currents have been slowing down as a result of the activities of those Above and it’s a race against other’s collective decisions to fix the problem. Enthusiasm and love for all things oceanic burst from the page along with an impotent rage over its destruction as a result of unregulated human waste. Clever and fantastical, I greatly enjoyed this journey.
An interview with the author will be going up on 12/1/2022.