2022 End of Year Book Survey

I do this tag every year, so here I go again with it, looking back on all the books I read last year. It was created by Jamie, the Perpetual Page-Turner.


2022 READING STATS

Number of books read: 35

Physical: 25
E-books: 10
Audio: 0

Number of books reread: 2
(Which, wow! That’s super low for me since I OFTEN reread.)

Number of books I Did Not Finish: 4

Genre I read the most: Fantasy


Best book I read in 2022

Elder Race by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Elder Race is easily the best thing I read last year. It’s a sci-fi novella about a lonely scientist at a secluded outpost on a planet, where he’s supposed to only study the inhabitants and not interact much with them. And it’s also about a princess seeking help from a sorcerer to defeat a demon terrorizing her people. We read from both characters’ perspectives, one which seems to be telling a sci-fi story and another which seems firmly set in fantasy. I loved the structure of this story and the emotional depths it explores.

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“How to Fail at Flirting” by Denise Williams

In recent years whenever the winter holidays begin to roll around, I find myself turning to romance, watching those cheesy Christmas romances on the Hallmark channel and reading a bunch of romance novels (which for me usually means just two). That was the case in 2022. And because I’d been battling reading slumps throughout the year, I was more than happy to be reading, interested in, and completing the two romance books I picked up, How to Fail at Flirting being one of them.


GENRE

Contemporary Romance

SERIES

n/a

PUBBED

2020

Goodreads summary

When her flailing department lands on the university’s chopping block, Professor Naya Turner’s friends convince her to shed her frumpy cardigan for an evening on the town. For one night her focus will stray from her demanding job and she’ll tackle a new kind of to-do list. When she meets a charming stranger in town on business, he presents the perfect opportunity to check off the items on her list. Let the guy buy her a drink. Check. Try something new. Check. A no-strings-attached hookup. Check… almost.

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“Ring Shout” by P. Djèlí Clark

This novella received a lot of praise when it was published, and I can see why. However, I procrastinated on reading it myself until it popped up as a pick for my book club. I expected to love it — and normally I would — but unfortunately, the reading experience didn’t go as I’d hoped.


GENRE

Horror, Fantasy

SERIES

n/a

PUBBED

2020

Quick summary

Set in early-1920s Macon, Georgia, during the Prohibition era, Ring Shout is about a young woman named Maryse Boudreaux hunting demonic members of the Ku Klux Klan with her two friends.

The demons are attracted to the hatred that fills members of the Ku Klux Klan, and they were able to cross over to this world during a ritual that took place in November 1915, when The Birth of the Nation (a real and controversial film) was shown. Only a few people have the ability to see the demons, which disguise themselves as White men and are all members of the Ku Klux Klan.

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“Best Served Cold” by Joe Abercrombie

Emily of Embuhleeliest and I are working our way through Abercrombie’s First Law books; we completed buddy-reading this one in December. I liked the books in the First Law trilogy, but this one, a standalone novel set in the same world with some familiar characters, wasn’t as appealing.


GENRE

Grimdark Fantasy

SERIES

First Law

PUBBED

2009

Quick summary

As the title suggests, Best Served Cold is a story of revenge. The famous and talented female mercenary Monza Murcatto and her brother Benna were betrayed and murdered by their employer and close, somewhat trusted, associates. However, death didn’t take to Monza despite her being thrown down a cliff (or mountain, someplace high). Angry and bent on revenge, Monza gathers up a group of misfits — the Northman Shivers, self-important poisoner Morveer and his assistant, a former member of the Inquisition named Vitari, the once-famous mercenary and now drunkard Cosca, a killer with a love of numbers called Friendly — to hunt and kill the eight men (I think it’s eight… or was it seven?) responsible for her murder, which includes Duke Orso, father of the new queen of the Union.

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“Kissing Galileo” by Penny Reid

Once again the romance mood hit as the Christmas holiday rolled in, and I found myself watching and reading more romance stories than I usually do (like two books, lol!). One of the books I picked up was the second novel in Penny Reid’s Dear Professor duology, as Reid is shaping up to be one of my favorite romance authors.


GENRE

Contemporary Romance

SERIES

Dear Professor, book 2

PUBBED

2018

Quick summary

The second novel in the Dear Professor series focuses on Emily Von, a smart college student who works as a lingerie model. One day her research methods professor visits the shop where she works and sees Emily while she’s modelling a lingerie set; however, Victor Hanover did not realize that the model was his student.

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2023 Reading Plans

It’s a brand-new year and guess who’s feeling happy about it and refreshed and not slumpy at all (although, let me stop mentioning slumpiness so I don’t jinx myself).

Well, in addition to making “best of” lists and such, I enjoy making reading plans for the year, which is what this post is about. From my 2022 reading wrap up, I learned that making my reading goals manageable and not too ambitious is best. So I intend to repeat the goals I had last year, with a few tweaks thrown in.

Overall Reading Goals

Spend less.
Read more of my own books.

My plan is to read at least 10 of my own books before purchasing a new one (exceptions for series I’m reading and buddy-reads).

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Reflecting on 2022: Reading

2022 was quite a year. I suffered through several bouts of reading and blogging slumps that greatly affected my reading, resulting in me reading less books than I’d intended — even though my goal was to read 30 books (my intention is always to read much more than my intended my goal).

Having read a combination of 35 books, comics, and picture books in a year isn’t bad, but (ugh!) in some ways I feel a little dejected, especially since most of the things read were short, quick reads. I just want to one year read a whole bunch and have most of what I read be novels, preferably from my own shelves. Who knows, maybe 2023 will be that year.

Well, one of the great things about 2022 is that my reading slump lifted by the end of the year, so now I am in prime reading mode and have already completed a book! 😊 So since the reading excitement is still coursing through me, let’s quickly (sike, it won’t be quick) look back on my reading in the past year.

ALSO SEE

ZeZee’s Favorite Reads of 2022
ZeZee’s Most Memorable Reads of 2022
ZeZee’s Most Disappointing Reads of 2022

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Characters of the Year Book Tag | 2022

Hey, it’s Book Tag Thursday and this time I’m doing the Characters of the Year Book Tag, which I think was created by Amanda at A Brighter Shade of Hope, whose blog seems to no longer be around.


Favorite male character of the year

Sand Dan Glokta from the First Law trilogy
Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie

I don’t think there was a male character who stood out to me last year, except maybe Glokta, who I also chose as my favorite male character of 2021.

Glokta is a war hero and was once a master swordsman, but his experiences during a war with the Gurkish left him crippled and in constant pain. He’s a bitter man who works for the Inquisition, interrogating people via torture, but I like him for his sarcasm. I enjoyed reading from his perspective the most.

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ZeZee’s Disappointing Reads of 2022

In case you were wondering, the answer is yes, I’m making a list for everything, lol. J/k. But since my favorite and most memorable reads are out the way, it makes sense to share what disappointed me too.

I always feel like I have to include a disclaimer of some sort when posting lists like this about books I gave a low rating or that disappointed me since doing so is such a contentious issue these days. But as a reader, lists like this are helpful to me too, and I sometimes get recommendations from them as well. Plus I’m here to share my love of books and reading, which includes talking about what didn’t work.

I only have a few here because a) I didn’t read many books in 2022, and b) I enjoyed most of what I read.


Wytches, Vol. 0: Bad Egg Halloween Special by Scott Snyder, illus. by Jock ★★☆☆☆

This prequel to the Wytches horror comic book is probably the most disappointing thing I read in 2022. I enjoyed Wytches, which is about a girl seeing odd things in the woods after her family moves to a new town (and much more), and wanted more after completing it. When I learned of this prequel, I jumped at the chance to read it. It’s about a boy learning to hunt Wytches and how that affects his friendship with another boy. The story was a bore for me. I didn’t like the characters, especially the protagonist’s mom, and wasn’t feeling the dialogue either. I still liked the art, though. Jock’s style certainly works for this story. Despite my feelings here, I’m still looking forward to another volume of Wytches.

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ZeZee’s Most Memorable Reads of 2022

I can’t help it, y’all: I love doing these end-of-year lists and chatting about what I read and reading about what others read too. It’s such fun for me, which is why the book nerd in me is always excited around the end of December and beginning of January.

I already chatted about my favorites of last year, so now I’ll chat about books that didn’t make that list but that I can’t shake from my mind either. These are the books that stuck with me throughout the year, popping up from my memory in the oddest moments to remind me of a bit of the story or of a character or of a piece of exceptional writing or how much I admired an illustration. These are the most memorable books I read in 2022.


The Shadow Saint by Gareth Hanrahan (Black Iron Legacy, book 2) ★★★☆☆

I was so ambivalent about this series after completing the first book that I’m surprised it has made this list. This is all thanks to Aquavenatus, who convinced me to continue with the series. The Shadow Saint is the second novel in the Black Iron Legacy fantasy trilogy (which might become a longer series), which began with The Gutter Prayer. The first book focuses on a city called Guerdon where a girl is oddly connected to the city’s bells and has visions whenever they ring. In this fantasy world, the gods are said to be mad and are at war. All other countries are caught up in the war, except Guerdon, which is trying to stay out but profit by selling weapons. But in The Shadow Saint, which picks up some time after the first book, the godswar seems to be heading to Guerdon. We learn more about the gods in this and about other countries, which I was glad for. As with the first book, since reading Shadow Saint, I’ll randomly reflect on the story, remembering how much fun I had reading and how fascinated I was by the mad gods and wondering what caused the madness. I look forward to reading the third book in 2023.

Continue reading “ZeZee’s Most Memorable Reads of 2022”