Happy new year! 2022 was a challenging year, but it also brought good things. A couple of the best things of the year were my vacation to Norway and starting a master. Bookwise I’m content. With 28 books I didn’t read as much as in 2021, but there are more 5 star-reads. Below are my favourites of the year, but first some reading statistics:
I read around 11719 pages during the year. On average a book had 418 pages and most books were between 300 and 400 pages. The shortest book I read was Witch Child by Celia Rees with only 210 pages. The biggest book I read was The Golden Tulip by Rosalind Laker; the Dutch edition has 719 pages.
As always most of the books I read were written by female authors. 22 books were written by women, 3 books by men and 3 books by a writing duo with a man and a woman.
I read less diverse than the year before. More than half of the books I read were written by authors from the UK or the US. Four books have a writer of colour. 25% of the books have a main character of colour and 21% a main character that falls in the LGBTQIA-spectrum.
Only two books I read were published in 2022: The Embroidered Book by Kate Heartfield and the Dutch book Het Werkstuk – of hoe ik verdween in de jungle by Simon van der Geest. As usual most books were published in the last ten years. The oldest book I read was A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin which was published in 1968.
I like how balanced the graph about the book genres looks. Most books I read were fantasy, historical fiction or a combination of the two. I also read a decent amount of science fiction, and more contemporary books than I expected.
I read a lot of stand-alones this year: 16 books were stand-alones. Not counting re-reads, seven books were the first part a series. I only want to continue one of these series. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel to Gracelin O’Malley by Ann Moore. Again apart from rereads, I only read one sequel: The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik.
Four books were rereads. I read The Illuminae Files and The Ghost Bride again. There were two books I started reading, but never finished: The Shadowed Sun by N.K. Jemisin and Mansfield Park by Jane Austen.
Best books of 2022
Six books got a five star-rating in 2022. I don’t want to leave out any of them, so here is my top six of the year:
Black Water Sister by Zen Cho
A lesbian woman is haunted by her sassy, dead grandmother. This book made me smile, but was also thrilling and a bit creepy. I loved the Malaysian setting and found the main character very relatable.
The Embroidered Book by Kate Heartfield
This is an altered and magical version of the lives of Marie Antoinette and her sister Charlotte. The story was perfect: there’s a well-thought-out magic system, all the non-magical things are true to history and I loved the characters. Marie Antoinette has quite a bad reputation in history, but this book made me really like her.
The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers
Bookholm is bookworm’s dream city: it smells of ink and paper, bookshops are everywhere and everyone’s life revolves around books. The story was so much fun to read! According to Goodreads it’s the fourth part of a series, but it actually reads as a stand-alone.
A Room Made of Leaves by Kate Grenville
This historical fiction is inspired by the real letters of Elizabeth Macarthur. I never heard about this English woman before, but the writer has turned her in a great protagonist. Elizabeth always stays hopeful, when her marriage turns out to be a mistake and even when her husband forces her to emigrate to Australia.
The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
This is a bittersweet fantasy about feeling different and accepting yourself. It’s a prequel to Practical Magic.
Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta
A tea master apprentice in a post-apocalyptic world where parts of the Earth are flooded and drink water is scarce. The story is beautifully written and made me feel melancholic and hopeful at the same time.
In the statistics I only counted fiction. I also read some non-fiction books. Some of my favourites were Urban Watercolor Sketching by Felix Scheinberger, Papyrus by Irene Vallejo and The Book of Hope by Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams.