I’ve published a post like this for many years.
I did not publish one in 2020. Guess why? I did read books in 2020, but I was mostly in survival mode, and I wasn’t terribly successful. I didn’t have the heart to post anything about reading in 2020.
In 2021, my life was dominated by a few major life events that (thankfully) occur only seldom, and for some people (also thankfully), never. But I had more than one. I’m pretty sure I read some books in 2021, but they were mostly to distract me from Other Things, and not especially memorable.
And so we come to 2022, which appears to be the year in which I realize I have nearly forgotten how to read. I read some books, but somehow the total is dramatically lower than the other years I recorded above. Thirteen. I finished thirteen books. Now, I read more than thirteen books, because I did a good bit of partial re-reading in books I’ve read before, and some of the books (very plural) I’ve been reading simply can’t be counted because I’m not nearly finished with them.
That’s a really terrible number, and I feel bad about it, but I don’t feel bad because I can’t show off a big number like 30, or 40, or 50, or 60—and there have been years when I read more books than that. I feel bad about it because I like books and I want to read them more. I have noticed that sometimes I stop reading because my eyes aren’t working quite right, so I think I need new glasses.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that because it seems harder to read than it used to be, I won’t let myself read second-rate stuff. Can’t waste my finicky eyesight on that! So all the books I’ve read are good books. I will tell you about a few of them.
Jesus the Great Philosopher, by Jonathan Pennington.
I bought this book after reading this review by Patrick Egan, and I am glad I did. It was basically a round-about argument for Charlotte Mason’s philosophical insight that education is the science of relations.
Everything Sad is Untrue, by Daniel Nayeri
I missed the memo somewhere about this—that it was a memoir—and read the entire book thinking it was fiction. It was a shock to discover my error immediately upon finishing. If you read it (and I’ve seen it on any number of other people’s lists this year), please begin by knowing that it is a true story, in spite of the title.
Something to Hide, by Elizabeth George.
Do not rush out to buy this book, but if you like character-driven crime novels (ala Dorothy Sayers), and don’t mind some gritty modern reality, consider beginning with earlier Inspector Lynley novels. Elizabeth George takes at least two years to bring out a new book–sometimes longer. It’s the only thing I ever pre-order for my Kindle and devour instantly. Please let there be a next one, but I won’t be holding my breath in 2023.
A Town Called Solace, by Mary Lawson
If you haven’t ever read anything by Mary Lawson, I suggest you remedy that in 2023. Read Crow Lake first. Mary Lawson takes even longer than Elizabeth George to write a new book, and I have no idea when or if there will ever be another. But Betty Smith wrote less than five, and we remember her forever for A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Mary Lawson is that good, and is also Canadian, if you’re counting that sort of thing.
I have very, very eclectic reading tastes, and I want to read more in 2023 than 2022. That’s my only goal. More than thirteen. Tune in next year to see how I do. Maybe this will be the year I “discover” audiobooks.
(Links are affiliate links—you know the drill. No extra cost to you; a few pennies in the book budget for me. Hope you read some great books this next year!)
4 thoughts on “Books and Reading 2022”
I’ve never even heard of Mary Lawson. Thanks!
Thank you so much for sharing. I can relate to your statements as well. When life is going well, we feel like we can FLY (through books, too). And when life events happen to cause us strain, it’s all we can do to just take another step (or flip another page). I don’t know why that is because I know deep down that reading is such a remedy for those hard times. I have noticed that it helps my daughter immensely when she is down about a friendship, for example. I listen to her and comfort her the best I can and then ask her to read one chapter of the living book she is working on. Invariably, she comes back with a smile across her face. She can’t help but to smile. It’s such a great illustration to me too, if only I would heed my own advice. But, I would say 13 still sounds like a great accomplishment to me! (I am doing good just to keep up with Charlotte’s volumes for one or two groups, Charles Spurgeon’s The Treasury of David, and the family read-alouds.
How relatable, the same has happened to me. Almost no reads in 20 and 21, this year 13 or 14 finished books. I also used to read 50, some years 75 or more, and read well, but nowadays concentrating is difficult, I am also teaching full time and I am more selective too.
I have read Crow Lake as per your recommendation and have the other two in the saga, and I may read one of them this year.
I have published my skinny list too and I am hoping for a better year this 2023.
Happy New Year!
I’m glad to know someone else thought “Charlotte Mason!” with “Jesus the Great Philosopher” too! This was to be the first down a reading rabbit trail that didn’t happen this year. They’re ready for this year instead (hopefully)!