At the beginning of every year, I look back at my records and reflect on the books I read the previous year.
This year I did a poor job of keeping Goodreads updated. I had somewhat stopped updating Goodreads, or at least caring if I did it accurately, because I thought they were killing the ability to export your data. Luckily, that feature hasn’t been removed so I’m going to continue using the service.
Last year I wrote:
I used to be pretty good at capturing some thoughts upon completion of a book. I haven’t been doing a great job of that. I’d like to do better this year.
We’ll see what that entails but it might take the form of having more discipline around sending out some thoughts in the newsletter.
I accomplished absolutely nothing related to the goals I wrote at the beginning of 2022.
I didn’t write down thoughts on books closer to when I finished them. I didn’t keep my Goodreads data updated. I didn’t send out updates to my newsletter.
Below are some highlights from 2022. The titles link to Goodreads.
I didn’t write many reviews on Goodreads this year and did not write detailed reviews in this article. I’d encourage you to click the links and read reviews on Goodreads.
Liberation Day: Stories by George Saunders
I love George Saunders' writing and especially enjoy his short stories. This collection delivered.
The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin
A science fiction classic that deserves to be read.
Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman
Gist of the book: Life is short and you won’t be able to accomplish everything you desire.
I enjoyed reading this and would benefit from reading it (or at least the Goodread’s reviews) again. This review on Goodreads is excellent.
Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor
I found this book fascinating and it made me interested in breathing. It was a nice mix of self-experimentation and reporting on studies. The history of the shape of our faces and how it affects breathing really hooked me into this book.
I enjoyed the book enough that I also listened to a significant portion of it while on a road trip so my partner could also consume it.
Mount Chicago: A Novel by Adam Levin
This probably could have been rated five stars. It is a ridiculous and long novel that rewards the reader for paying attention.
Probably the highlights for me were the chapters from the perspective of a pet.
I thought a couple sections dragged a bit and are what held me back from five stars.
Novelist as a Vocation by Haruki Murakami
To say I like Murakami’s writing would be an understatement, so reading a collection of essays by him about his writing was a pleasure. I learned a bunch about Murakami and his journey to becoming an internationally renowned author. At least as presented by Murakami, aspects of his life seem as surreal as some of his books.
This didn’t earn five stars because I found myself just not caring about some of the topics. But overall, solid book, especially for someone that enjoys Murakami and enjoys reading about writing.
Octavia Butler’s Patternmaster series.
Octavia Butler is one of my favorite authors and I devoured the first three books in this series. I enjoyed the first book, Wild Seed, the best.
I didn’t realize until writing this up that there is a fourth book in the series and I’ve immediately queued up reading it.
Compared to my usual number of books and pages read, this was a low reading year. I read 35 books in 2022.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Here is a breakdown of books finished by month. There were even a couple months where I allegedly didn’t finish a single book, though I wonder if that is actually true or of it is a data issue.
Electronic books continue to be the dominant format. Audio book could be 0.5 for how much I listened to Breath while on a road trip.
1 2 3 4 5 6
Fiction dominated this year.
1 2 3 4 5
Here is the star rating distribution.
1 2 3 4
I’d like to do a better job of keeping track of my reading. This should be pretty easy to do.
I don’t feel too bad about the reduction in reading but I’d like to read more this year. Some of my reading time has been replaced with worthwhile endeavors but not always.
Reading rejuvenates me. I need to keep it a regular part of my life.
Have any book recommendations? Please shoot me an email or leave a comment.