Raynor’s reading round-up

It’s the final day of 2022 and I’m going to take a quick look back at my reading year.

This year I’ve been a little more organised about my reading by keeping a notebook with a list of all the books that I’ve read so I know I have consumed 177 books this year. There has been a mixture of fiction and non-fiction on about a 85/15 split and a combination of adult and children’s books. I have only read two books of poetry and no plays (must try harder next year).

I still have hundreds of books on my To Be Read shelves and I have certainly purchased more books than I have actually read. I’d like to say I will buy fewer next year but there’s no point because I’m not that disciplined and if I see something I wish to read any willpower I am in possession of will instantly evaporate. So, more bookshelves it is then!

I have enjoyed every single one of the books I have read this year because, as I have said before, life is too short to read something you are not enjoying so if I don’t like it, it goes to the charity shop. There are far too many books I will enjoy to waste time reading those I won’t.

This year I have read no books by authors whose surnames begin with either Q or U. I think perhaps something by American children’s author Robert Quackenbush, simply because it’s a fabulous name, and I must have a John Updike novel hidden around here somewhere.

I have two adult fiction books that top my list in the last 12 months – A Man Called Ove by Frederik Blackman (read what I thought of it here) and Sweet Bean Paste by Durian Sukigawa (my review is here). I could read both of them again tomorrow and still want to read them again next week.

I think the favourite children’s book read this year is The Windvale Sprites by Mackenzie Crook, with Booker prize shortlister The Treacle Walker by Alan Garner a close second. I seem to have read a huge number of Michael Morpurgo books this year too.

From what I can see I have only read two books of poetry in 2022 – Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T S Eliot and Nonsense Songs by Edward Lear. On balance I think I favour Edward Lear.

My most surprising read of the year goes to Percival Everett for Trees (reviewed here). I have no idea what I was expecting but it wasn’t this. It is irreverent, scary and hilariously funny all at the same time.

The ‘Why-did-it-take-me-57-years-to-get-around-to-reading-this?’ award goes to The Little Prince by Antoine de St-Exupery. Really, I have no idea why it took me so long.

Non-fiction read of the year is going to have to go to Yanis Varoufakis for Talking to my Daughter – a Brief History of Capitalism. It is so good it ought to be made essential reading in schools, but it won’t be because then there would be a revolution.

I have a few new-to-me authors that I read for the first time in 2022 and who could publish their shopping list and I’d be tempted to buy it. The top three are Yrsa Sigurdadottir, the queen of Scandi-noir, Rosamund Lupton, a British author whose book Three Hours had me gripped from beginning to end and Kate Mosse. I have read The Winter Ghosts, Labyrinth, Sepulchre, Citadel and The Burning Chambers this year and loved them and have been saving The City of Tears for a rainy day.

A list of all the books I read in 2022 can be found here. Where there are hyperlinks, I have reviewed the book but, as I only started this blog a couple of months ago, I haven’t reviewed many of them. I’ll do better next year. I’ll be starting a new page tomorrow with a 2023 booklist.

In the meantime, I wish you a very happy and healthy 2023. May it be full of love, laughter and, of course, books.

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