Even though we’re now a couple of days in 2022, I can’t let the end of 2021 pass me by without acknowledging what a phenomenal year of reading it was! I read 200 books, 100 of which were audiobooks. This doesn’t surprise me at all because I basically stopped taking public transit for most of 2021 due to the pandemic & listened to audiobooks on my drive to work. I also spent hours walking our puppy and listening to audiobooks. All good!! 🙂 I’m sharing quite a few books in various categories. Some of these are favourites that I will come back to again in the future and others were just there at the right time. 🙂 Some made me cry, many made me laugh, and some were FANTASTIC to talk about with others. I hope to get to a smidge more non-fiction in 2022.
The Romances that made me swoon the most in 2021 were Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon (comes out next week), The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood (an excellent STEM debut) and People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry (loved it). I also enjoyed The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon. One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston was AMAZING and blew my mind a little bit.
For contemporary fiction, This Close to Okay by Leesa Cross Smith was more than okay for me though it isn’t universally loved, Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angelline Boulley is a book that I absolutely want everyone to read (it is marked YA but does not feel that way AT ALL), and Astra by Cedar Bowers which tells the story of a very fascinating woman’s entire life through 10 people who know her.
Fantasy books that really allowed me to escape into a world unlike my own included Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer and the entire Keeper of the Lost Cities books by Shannon Messenger.
Historical Fiction that made me cry or smile or learn something included Letters Across the Sea by Genevieve Graham, The Rose Code by Kate Quinn, Our Darkest Night by Jennifer Robson, Once Upon a Wardrobe by Patti Callahan (so good), The Riviera House by Natasha Lester, and A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus (middle grade that I cannot wait to read aloud to my girls).
Many books made me cry – particularly Come Away With Me by Karma Brown (CANNOT RECOMMEND ENOUGH), The Spoon Stealer by Lesley Crewe (intense sobbing but so worth it), and, surprisingly, a 30 page short story called The Houseplant by Jeremy Ray. Float Plan by Trish Doller brought on a few waterworks too and I expect the sequel to do the same this year.
The best surprise of my entire year is when I discovered the short story The Guy At the Wedding by Katherine Center, which is the story of how two of my favourite characters from Happiness for Beginners met. It was an amazing 45 minutes of audio joy.
Project Hail Mary was delightfully narrated and a strong story from Andy Weir (not quite the Martian but better than Artemis).
I was delighted when an ARC of July 2022 release The Bodyguard by Katherine Center landed in my inbox and binged it so fast I barely did anything else. It’s maybe taken my second favourite spot of her books under Happiness for Beginners and it was so delightful in every way.
I’m not sure that I will ever forget how I felt reading State of Terror by Louise Penny and Hillary Clinton – there were moments that felt so intense I was shaking. It was excellent. Louise Penny’s Madness of Crowds (#17 Gamache series) was wonderful too and the first book that I’ve read that was set mid-covid.
I read quite a few Christmas books and my favourite was a novella by Chloe Liese called The Mistletoe Motive. It was swoonworthy and amazing and I will never forget it.
I read aloud 13 books to my girls this year: notable highlights included Anne of Green Gables, Tilly and the Bookwanderers (all 4), and a few more Vanderbeeker books, one of which made all three of us sob uncontrollably and hug each other (Brian wasn’t home, lol). It was amazing sharing so many great stories with my children and having these memories forever. They also binged the Keeper of the Lost Cities books so we’ve been chatting about those constantly.
Can’t wait for more great reads in 2022!! Here’s to the first of 12 great chapters 🙂