Friday, January 13, 2023

End-of-Year Book Celebration 2022!

Hello, everyone! I'm aware that I'm posting my 2022 reading recap long after everyone else has done theirs, but you know what? That's ok. I would much rather be a little behind the trend and not have killed myself trying to get everything done on time than be timely and not have slept in three days. Or, at least, if I'm going to not have slept, I'd rather it be because I was enjoying my reread of the City Between series. But we're getting away from the point, which is: End-of-Year Book Celebration! As always, if you want the short-and-sweet top five list, you can head over to Light and Shadows, or you can stick around here for all the different categories.

2022 End of Year Book Celebration

Before we get into the categories, though, let's do some statistics! In total, I read 120 books — Goodreads says 119, but I have decided that the Alice books count as two even if they're in the same volume — and 28,895 pages. So, I've roughly doubled my book count from my Mid-Year Book Celebration, which is pretty appropriate, and I've surpassed my overall reading goal for the year by 21 books. My average book length has been about 242 pages, which is the lowest it's been in a while, but that's not really surprising. I haven't been reading many, if any, epics this year. My average book rating is 4.4 stars, which is about where it normally lands. For more statistics or a full list of everything I've read, you can check out my Goodreads Year in Books or my tracking form results.

As for my specific reading goals:

  • I exactly met my goal of 12 books published before 1975. Two of these reads, A Christmas Carol and Dracula, I enjoyed via email subscription service, which was an absolute delight — one that I will continue enjoy, as I'm currently receiving Moby Dick, Carmilla, various Sherlock Holmes stories, assorted works of Edgar Allan Poe, and eventually some other stories as well by installment in this method. My classic reads did skew a bit more towards children's fantasy and rereads than I intended (with the Alice books, George MacDonald's Curdie books, and several of the Chronicles of Narnia making up about half of the reads that fall into this goal), but it's fine.
  • Towards my goal of 15 non-speculative fiction books, I've definitely read 11 books, with another few that could count if you squint at them. I thought I was doing better at this, and then I realized that the fact that I didn't have a good superhero genre category and the fact that several of my reads listed as things like "classic" or "poetry" are also speculative fiction threw off my numbers a bit. Oh well. I still managed about ten percent reading-outside-my-usual-genre, so I'm satisfied.
  • I entirely failed at catching up with the Wheel of Time reading series. Eventually, I will read all the way through the Wheel of Time series. Eventually is not, however, now. The problem is mostly that I need to reread the first several books, but I simply cannot with Rand in the first few books, and the general distrust among all the characters grates. A lot.
  • Finally, when it comes to reading more poetry, I did pretty well. I think I probably averaged a few poems every week, though my method shifted through the year. Initially, I was working my way through books of poetry, which I'm still doing to some degree, but I've since supplemented with the aforementioned Edgar Allan Poe email subscription (which switches between poetry and prose works) and other poems shared in my circles on the internet. I am still being more deliberate about reading poetry, though, so I count this goal as met.

That's it for the statistics. Now, let's talk about some specific books that I particularly want to celebrate from the last six-ish months.

1. Best book you've read in the second half of 2022:

I'm cheating a little bit here, but my best new-to-me read this half of the year has definitely been H.L. Burke's Supervillain Rehabilitation Project series and its spinoffs. I haven't quite finished all the books, but they're a brilliant blend of relational and character-based drama with superhero action-adventure — and you know I love that family relationships get just as much weight as romantic ones in most cases.

2. Best sequel you've read in the second half of 2022:

This category features a tie between two fairy tale retellings. W.R. Gingell's Castle and Key is a Gothic-esque take on Bluebeard, with a story-based curse, a healthy dose of mystery, and a heroine who has no intention of being drawn into nonsense. And Kendra E. Ardnek's Emmazel blends Rapunzel with Emma in a delightful tale that gets all the points for actually making me like Emma (the character).

3. Best book you've reread second half of 2022 (or all of 2022):

This is a new category I'm adding because I tend to reread a lot. But my best reread of 2022 was definitely my return to The Tales of Goldstone Wood. I didn't get all the way through the series (just up to Dragonwitch), but I loved revisiting these familiar friends and beautiful stories, especially as I was able to appreciate aspects of the stories that I couldn't the first time around.

4. New release you haven't read yet but want to:

Can you believe I still haven't read Moira's Pen or The Lost Metal? This is what happens when you get so busy at the end of the year that you forget to check on new releases or request them from the library. I do have them out now, though, so hopefully I'll get to them before my next Book Celebration post.

5. Most anticipated release for next year:

You're probably expecting me to say something like the Sanderson Secret Projects or Margaret Rogerson's Mysteries of Thorn Manor . . . but the actual answer is the World Behind series by W.R. Gingell, which is a City Between spinoff focusing on everyone's favorite questionably-reformed fae steward. All five books release in 2023, beginning with A Whisker Behind in February, and I am so hyped.

5. Biggest disappointment:

This was definitely The Blue Salt Road by Joanne M. Harris. I went into it excited for selkies, but I wasn't expecting a tragedy in the end, and it just wasn't what I hoped it would be.

6. Biggest surprise:

Probably the fact that Emmazel ended up being one of my favorite books this year. I didn't think I'd dislike it, to be clear, but I definitely enjoyed it a lot more than I expected!

7. A book that made you cry:

I very rarely cry over books, but surprisingly, I think the book that came closest was actually Dracula, as it's a bit different to lose a character you've grown attached to over months and months instead of one you just met, at most, a week or two ago.

8. A book that made you happy:

Quite a few, but specifically Between Friends, which is the City Between anthology that released in December. I enjoyed revisiting all the short stories I've read in the past, but I also got quite a bit of delight out of the new short stories, especially "Pins and Needles."

9. Favorite post you've done this half of the year:

My absolute favorite post of the year (either half) was definitely my Silmaril Awards Ceremony, in which I got to write a character I've been cheering on for YEARS finally get her Silmaril. I also had fun with my New Year's Eve short story and my Thoughts from a Reluctant (Possible) Plotter post.

10. Most beautiful book you've bought/received this half of the year:

I had quite the book haul from Realm Makers (the prospect of getting books signed is an excellent motivator to buy things, and book trades are another very convenient way of expanding my library), but probably the prettiest books I acquired this year are the new editions of Spindle and Wolfskin. I ordered them through the audiobook Kickstarter, so I got them early, and the new paperbacks are very pretty and shiny.

Well, that's my celebration! How about you? What were the highs and lows of your last six months, reading-wise? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!


  1. Loved this post! You read a lot of good books this year, and a lot that are on my TBR. Oh my goodness I am so behind on all of Kendra's books! I have been trying so hard to keep up with HL Burke's superhero series that I've gotten behind on several others. All these authors writing and publishing faster than I can read is very distressing... but also awesome... so... torn.

    Ahhh, I've been hankering for a Goldstone Wood re-read. I should do that. Need to fill the holes in that collection, as well, as I am missing a few from my collection.

    I am sooooo ridiculously excited about The World Behind series!!!!

    Fun getting to peek into your 2022 reading times! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh, mood. It's so hard to keep up with everyone and everything, especially when so many authors are pushing out multiple books a year.

      I highly recommend a Goldstone Wood reread!

      Glad you enjoyed the post!


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