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.
Somehow, September also saw me in New York City. We can thank the CDC for letting me reunite with my best friend from my childhood in Poland, along with several others who I haven’t seen in years even before the pandemic. This is also a reminder for folks to get the bivalent booster if you are 18 and haven’t had COVID within the last 3 months.
I finished my revision and resubmitted it, which is my big project completion that robbed me lots of reading time. Now, I’m resting an embarking on a reading adventure to learn how to write a horny goth book. Hopefully, I’ll be able recapping that in October’s post. But we’ll see.
Read an eARC from NetGalley Content warning: gore, references to main character deaths, dissociation, vomiting, gun violence, medical experimentation
The third entry of The Locked Tomb trilogy stars a character born literally six months before the beginning of the book, the eponymous Nona. Innocent and bursting with good will and curiosity, she’s a teacher’s aid at a school in a city on the verge of war against “zombies.” A birthday party gets ruined as a certain tomb is about to opened, and it’s a race against time and necromancy to figure out who, exactly, Nona is.
An entry into the quartet most interested in telling a story than stringing together memes and tropes, Nona by far is my favorite, because of the focus on characterization and literal ticking clock pacing. And the dog does not die (you’re welcome).
2022 will continue to slap as far as reading goes. So many old faves releasing new work, several new blog interviews to come. You are in for a year that will turn that to be read list into a to be read horde.
I hit my goal of reading 100 books in July! Which sounds absurd, but between Animal Crossing, unemployment, and ongoing lockdowns, there is so much reading to be done (television, for whatever reason, cannot hold my attention).
It is very hard to summarize this book without spoiling the ending of Gideon the Ninth. But it picks up right where that left off and goes into the adventures of Harrowhark the Ninth as she starts service as a Lyctor to the Emperor of the Nine Houses.
This book examines trauma through magic and science fiction in a way that I’ve never seen in any other kind of book. It is what grimdark wishes it could be. The prose shifts between third and second, never flinching from the grief of the and pain of the end of Gideon. There is sincerity, tough love, and the grossness you’d expect from necromancy (soup is cancelled), but there is a joke and a colorful insult thrown in from time to time to get some relief as part of that processing. There is a deep sense of loss of control, being lost, and constant violence, but the empathy radiates off the page. Such a unique reading experience, and then there is another perspective shift that had my heart and mouth screaming.
A surreal sequel that maintains the tone and aesthetic of the first book, definitely pick up Harrow if you loved Gideon. Give me Alecto, now.
Shelter-in-place continues through May in Illinois. Halfway through this month, I’m going to slowly start making a plan regarding employment and read these fine reads in the mean time. Things with a * are from last month’s TBR.
The Art of Fiction by John Gardner
Bent Heavens by Daniel Kraus*
The Never-Tilting World by Rin Chupeco*
Out of Body by Jeffrey Ford (ARC)
Scapegracers by H.A. Clarke (ARC)*
The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant (ARC)
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender (ARC)
Flotsam (Peridot Shift #1) by R.J. Theodore*
The Glass Magician by Caroline Stevermer (ARC)*
Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (ARC)*
The Fiery Crown by Jeffe Kennedy (ARC)
The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall (ARC)
The Unconquered City by K.A. Doore (ARC)
Steering the Craft: A Twenty-First-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story by Ursula K. Le Guin*
Blood Countess by Lana Popovic
The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White
Highfire by Eoin Colfer
Lady Hotspur by Tessa Gratton
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
My own novel is still with alpha readers, so I’m returning the favor and also doing some beta reading this month.