Blog page

Here we are at the end of another year! 2022 seemed to have whipped right on by us. We reached ends of months where I truly felt they didn’t even happen, they flew by at such speed.

One thing that did happen for me in 2022 was a return to more reading. 2022 was a great reading year for me. I did post a Best Books Read in 2022 (so far) at the half-way point in the year. My reading seemed to have turned out to be “just okay” after that post but there are plenty of honorable mentions however. So definitely nothing to be sad about this year.

On another note, I listened to a total of zero audiobooks this year. I would start and listen to maybe 20 minutes tops, and stop. And truly I only did that 2 or 3 times? I really do want to get back into listening to audiobooks, I even renewed my Audible subscription (for 3-months because it was at a great rate) and downloaded a pile of audiobooks.

Best of the Books Read in 2022

Here I’m going to list most of the books you’ve already seen in my half-way point post, but with a bit of a twist because I’m going to be breaking down books that would appear here into their own and separate categories below. It will make sense (hopefully) as we read along. So this section will list my Top Five:

  1. Horse by Geraldine Brooks
  2. Belle Greene by Alexandra Lapierre
  3. The Magician, Colm Toibin
  4. The Spoon Stealer by Lesley Crewe
  5. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmin

These five were definitely very special reads for me. All consuming, completely wonderful and ones I never wanted to stop reading.

Newly Discovered Author

This accolade goes to Fredrik Backman. Hands down. I picked up Beartown on a whim one day and subsequently lived in Beartown for most of 2022. I was consumed by the people in this book. I had to be there. Elizabeth read Beartown years ago and said she needed therapy and I spent chunks of time texting her with my own needs and thoughts all throughout my reading experience as well! I cannot say enough about the brilliance of his writing, how he was so deep into the minds of women and girls. Just his poignancy and dead-on observations were mind-blowing. I borrowed Beartown and Us Against You from the library but bought The Winners the moment it hit the shelves. I have pages and sentences and paragraphs highlighted. (It’s going to need its own post.) How did I know that Backman would close this trilogy he started in 2016 this year with the final book, The Winners? Serendipitous reading? All the while I was reading this trilogy, Hockey Canada was imploding and continued to spiral deep and uncontrollably into darkness and desperation. It was chilling and disturbing most of the time so deep was I into the parallel lives of those in Beartown and the unraveling going on within Hockey Canada. I’ve since discovered this is a series on HBO and I’m clearly going to have to watch it. It won’t touch the reading experience I fully know, but it will allow me just a little more time in Beartown won’t it?

Best Series Read in 2022

I read from three mystery series this year. All are beloved and none more so than Elizabeth George’s and Louise Penny’s. I did read the three remaining books from William Shaw‘s DS Alexandra Cupidi series and loved them all. It’s such a great series. I’m eager for more!

Elizabeth George knocked it right out of the park with her long-awaited return to the Lynley series and Something to Hide sits firmly on my best read this year with certainty. I whipped through this book, all 700+ pages of it and loved every single moment. It is one of her very best in my opinion and well worth the wait. I’m just anxious to know when another one is coming? Will we have to wait 4 long years again, or will she return to her every other year release? I’m obviously so hoping for the latter!

Louise Penny also knocked this latest instalment in the Gamache series out of the park too. In more serendipitous reading, I opened A World of Curiosities on the (33rd) anniversary of the 14 women murdered at
École Polytechnique de Montréal (the Montreal Massacre 1989) only to find that Penny had situated this anti-feminist mass shooting as a central issue in her book. I was also reading Because They Were Women simultaneously. Therefore, my reading year in 2022 was firmly occupied in stories of violence against women. Even Elizabeth George’s Something to Hide dealt with the intense issue of female genital mutilation (FGM).

Penny’s series is now a TV series called Three Pines. I watched episode 1 last night and I’m going to enjoy it! I do like the casting and I’m looking forward to settling into it over the holiday break.

Honourable Mentions

I cannot go without mentioning these books because they were very good reads. Once again my Fall reading was fully occupied with my Shadow Giller duties and the winner of the Giller Prize (and the Shadow Giller winner too) can be found on this list. Here we go:

  • The Sleeping Car Porter by Suzette Mayr (winner of the Giller Prize)
  • A Minor Chorus by Billy Ray Belcourt (why wasn’t this on the Shortlist for the Giller Prize??)
  • Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby (this needs to be a movie!)
  • The Vanished Days by Susanna Kearsley
  • No Stars in the Sky by Martha Batiz (loved this collection and it was even better to listen to her and to meet her at the Eden Mills Writers Festival)
  • Run Towards the Danger by Sarah Polley (so good!)
  • When We Lost Our Heads by Heather O’Neill

Canadian authors dominated my Honorable Mentions! Seriously, there is only one non-Canadian author on this list. Hurray for CanLit!

Reading Goals for 2023

My biggest reading goal for 2023 is something I’ve been talking about with Hoarder Elizabeth frequently this year. I (well we really) have been on a book-buying spree since the beginning of the pandemic and many and most of those purchases are very big and very chunky books. We’ve been continuously discussing how we’re planning on setting our Goodreads Reading Challenge to maybe 25 books for the year so that we can focus on reading the hefty chunkers on our shelves. There will be a separate post all about this challenge for 2023 going up soon! Some of these books are over 1,000 pages!

My other reading goal I mentioned briefly above at the beginning of this post, and that is to listen to audiobooks again. My most recent purchase was the 18-hour The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn, narrated by Olivia Vinall. Do I start with that one? Or the many, many others sitting in my Audible library?

I hope you’ve had a wonderful reading year and thank you for reading along with us here at Literary Hoarders! Many good blessings for a Happy New Year and one filled with excellent reading of course!

Merry Christmas and Happiest of Holidays!