Reading Review – 2022

I like to look back over the previous year’s reading to see if any patterns have emerged. As ever, one or two, generally do….

Pattern no 1

There’s been a continuation in the slow down of the number of books read each year, with only 50 read out of the 52 I’ve aimed at for the past five years. Up till three years ago, I not only achieved that number, but easily outstripped it. Calls on my spare time have clearly increased – not entirely surprising, as I’ve been building a new business alongside my day job!

Nevertheless, reading is my retreat, my happy place and my joy – so it’ll always play a significant part in my life.

Pattern no 2

Out of a total of 19,254 pages read during the year, the shortest book read was 113 pages long (Santa Grint from Jodi Taylor – a regular provider of easy reading in the lighthearted history/time travel genre) with the longest coming in at a whopping 1,408 (The Ink Black Heart from Robert Galbraith – a guilty pleasure in the crime fiction genre).

I’m generally drawn to chunky big books, but see that I’ve read more shorter books this year. Mostly they come from the sorbet or palate cleansing category but, this year, a number of Booker longlisted books were also shorter than the norm. This resulted in my average book length coming in at 385 pages.

Pattern no 3

Of the 50 books read this year, The 7½ deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle from Stuart Turton was the most popular among readers using Goodreads (although was a long way from my favourite), having been selected by almost 850,000 others, with only under 80 others selecting Barra Boy from Iain Kelly. Despite those numbers, I commend the latter from friend and indie author, Iain, who has written a beautifully observed book.

What did surprise me was that the aforementioned shortest (easy reading) festive offering ended up as the highest rated by my fellow Goodreads users out of every book I read during 2022. As my reading contained all but one contender from this year’s Booker Prize longlist, clearly Goodreads users are more appreciative of easy reading than potential Bookers 🙂 This pattern has probably long been present, but I’ve only noticed it by actually reading that annual email I receive from Goodreads containing my detailed stats 😀

Pattern no 4

I read more 4-star reads this year than any other category which was downright unusual, as I’m usually awash in 3-star reads. The fact that I read most of the Booker longlist almost certainly boosted the top categories, and the fact that there were only three 5-star reads during the year, meant most got squeezed into the 4-star box.

The remainder of the Booker longlist contained three books to which I awarded only 3-stars, and one to which I gave an unusual 2. If I tell you I feared that 2-star book had a strong chance of becoming the eventual winner, you’ll understand that see I found it an unusual year.

Pattern no 5

I read three books from Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling, under a pen name) in the Cormoran Strike series this year. As each were over 1,000 pages long, they may well have contributed to my not quite making my aimed for annual total of 52 books 😉

Although somewhat late, I want to wish you all a healthy, happy and successful 2023. Finally, I apologise for boring the pants off the non-readers among you 😀

How do you select books to read? Have you any particular reading patterns – unexpected or otherwise?

15 thoughts on “Reading Review – 2022

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  1. I used to enjoy Jodi Taylor’s books, but I stopped reading when they veered from Sci-fi into Fantasy…and when the author/ main character did not do right by her fictional child. I get irritated when authors break the rules of their universe and I do not forgive main characters who do not protect their children. Now, if the main character has terrible parents and has to come to grips with that, that is fine. But watching/ reading bad parenting in real time is my idea of punishment, not escapism. So that’s my pattern–I won’t touch books with a child in jeopardy or bad parenting. I am clearly a Judgmental Reader.

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  2. If something sounds interesting I throw it in my tbr. When it comes to actually picking books, I’ve adopted these habits. On the first of the month I look at the book on my tbr the longest. I make the decision to read or take it off the list. When I need a fiction, I look at the list sorted by author. I’ll pick an a author, then a b, etc. if I don’t like the choices I decide if I have no interest in reading the book and I delete it, or if it’s just something I want to read but not now. I do the same thing with non fiction but sorted by title. Yeah…I know…

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  3. I select books to read on a whim. I tried having a plan– then doing challenges– then committing to a certain number of books to read per year– then I gave up. When I see something that interests me I buy it and read it– or read one of the books in my tbr pile that I already have at home. I am the poster child for random reading.

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  4. Autumn, agreed. And it’s especially odd as the fictional mother suffered from lousy parenting herself. In truth, Max has become tiring, although I’m still have a sneaky fondness for Markham. But I’m enjoying the Time Police stories with Max’s (now) adult son, and this was one of those.

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  5. Ally, and I have a suspicion that you rarely read a truly disappointing book that way 🙂

    A few of years ago, I was horrified to count up how many unread books there were on my Kindle, so tried various challenges to work my way through them. It didn’t work (quelle surprise eh?) Now I just have a go at them at the start of each year, which seems to work better. The other thing which worked better was going through the list and realising how many books I’d read but not click onto the “end” page, which meant they stayed lurking in the “unread” portion of my kindle for ever. Not a problem you get with real books! 😀

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  6. It all stemmed from an out of control tbr, and too much difficulty choosing a book from it. This streamlines the process

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  7. “Only” 50. Off year for you! I also enjoyed “The 7½ deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle,” though it was a rather dense read at times.

    I pay close attention to reviews when selecting books. I don’t get to read nearly as many as you, so I want to make sure the ones I do read are worthwhile. That means they must earn praise from multiple sources to even receive consideration.

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  8. Good call Mark. I remember when I could only read a really limited amount of fiction because I was studying, and it really hurt when my book club’s selection turned out to be a book I either didn’t enjoy or – in a couple of cases – actively loathed!

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  9. Yes, I discovered a couple of lengthy typed up lists containing books I wanted/planned to read. Honestly, I couldn’t remember why most of them made it on to the list, so I just ditched the lists! I’m never not going to find books to read, so I try to be more mindful of adding stuff to lists now.

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  10. I’m very quick to add something to the list because I’m open to books. But yeah…sometimes I read the description or a few pages and I know that there’s no way I’m reading the book!!

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  11. That was one of the best bits about the days when I still read real books. I could stand in bookshops and read a couple of pages and just know. It’s tougher with Kindles, even though a few people do offer a preview.

    Those old lists were weird as most of the books were just a complete mystery to me. I probably added them from one of those “books you must/should read” list. Utter madness! I’m enjoying being more buy it, and then read it either next or the one after. Non-fiction stuff still just gets bought when I see it, so I may have to work on that.

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  12. I try to limit what I buy unless I plan of reading it soon. Right now my daughter left me four paperbacks that she read so I’m slowly plowing through them

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  13. This year is the first year I didn’t get bought books for Christmas! So I had the pleasure of choosing my first reads of the read myself 🙂 But yeah, I should probably limit the non-fiction I buy because I always *plan* to read them soon, but know that doesn’t happen reliably often 😀

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