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2022 Year in Books

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2022 Year in Books

Old 12-29-22, 09:29 AM
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2022 Year in Books

End of the year is here and I would like to share and get the thoughts of fellow DVDtalk readers on their year in reading. If you are on goodreads and keep track of your progress, please share your 2022 summary. I always find these helpful for adding to the TBR list. Anyway, some quick hits from what I read this year:

Goodreads 2022 Year in Books

Favorite book read in 2022 - Swan Song, Robert McCammon. After seeing this constantly being recommended, I finally read it this year, and it didnt disappoint. Often compared to The Stand, and rightfully so. Both are massive post apocolyptic tales, and I might have to give the edge to Swan Song. I think it sticks the landing better than the Stand, and it has some great action. The Stand probably wins on character development, but just slightly. If you like the Stand, you have to read Swan Song.

Best book read in 2022 - East of Eden, John Steinbeck. Dove in heavy to Steinbeck this year, and he is now one of my favorite authors. Read this, Grapes, Cannery Row and Mice of Men. All of them are great, but Eden stands out as the best for me.

Least Favorite Book read in 2022 - The Fervor, Alma Katsu. This popped on a lot of recommendations, but it did absolutely nothing for me. A historical fiction horror around the Japanese internment camps of WW2 sounded like a great premise, but the way it was told, and the turns it took made this one a dud for me.

Most disappointing book read in 2022 - Augustus, John Williams. After reading Stoner, which I adored, I was eager to read more Williams This one was tought to get through, but I will admit it is mainly my fault. For whatever reason, stories told through letters, diaries, news articles, etc. just do not click for my brain. This is a short book, but took me what felt like forever to finish. A fictionalized biography of Octavius Caeser as he inherits rule after Julius' assination, is expertly written, but I have come to terms that its delivery method doesnt work for me. I later read Butcher's Crossing and it was great.

Honorable Mentions/Easy Recommendations
  • Boys Life, Robert McCammon - Another epic tale from McCammon, this time a coming of age tale. Right up there with Swan Song, and an easy recommend for anyone that likes coming of age tales in the vein of Stephen King.
  • Carrion Comfort, Dan Simmons - Brick of a book, but moves swiftly and is packed with action, very fun read.
  • All About Me, Mel Brooks - Highly recommend the audio version. If you are a fan, its great listening to Mel take us through his life.
  • Five Decembers, James Kestrel - Maybe my #2 favorite book this year. Part of the Hard Case Crime collection, Murder mystery/thriller/historical fiction over 5 years during WW2. Just read it.
  • Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson - I always find Bryson to be a fun read and this story of his attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail didnt dissappoint.
  • The Ghost Map, Steven Johnson - True story of the cholera outbreak in London in the 1800s and how a doctor traced its origin to a well in the city. Dovetails into the rise of cities, sanitation, scientific investigation, and many other areas.
  • What if? 1 and 2, Randall Munroe - Scientific answers to silly and absurd hypothetical questions.
  • The Bullet that Missed, Richard Osman - Book 3 in Thursday Murder Club series. Senior citizens living in a retirement community in England solve cold cases. All 3 of these have been great.
  • The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins - Probably not for everyone, but I loved it.
  • Shadow Divers, Robert Kurson - True Story of two scuba divers who discover a german u-boat in the atlantic, and their quest to identify it.
  • Razorblad Tears, S.A. Cosby - An interacial gay couple are murdered. Their fathers, who both were less than supportive of their sons sexual orientation and life style, team up to find out and avenge their deaths. Strong John Wick vibes, fun as hell to read, but also hits hard into love and acceptance.
  • Needful Things & Revival, Stephen King - King is one of my all time favs, and these were a couple in his catalog that I hadnt read, loved them both
  • Dead Man's Walk, Larry McMurtry - Lonesome Dove is probably in my top 5 ever, and while the other books dont quite hit that level, they have all been great so far. Commanche Moon is on the list to wrap the series early next year
  • Stoner, John Willams - Life story of an unremarkable, boring professor. Such a straight forward book, about seemingly nothing but a down on his luck, dull man, but the writing manages to suck you in. Just a beautiful book.
Those are the standouts in a very good year of reading, but there were alot of other really good ones. For as many books as I read, there were very few duds, which is always nice. I tend to always default to horror/mystery, but I am very satisfied on how I was able to diversify my reading this year and discover alot of great stories.

Hopefully some of this is useful for others looking for what to read next.

Last edited by thematahara; 12-29-22 at 09:35 PM. Reason: add pic
Old 12-29-22, 01:47 PM
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Re: 2022 Year in Books

Is there a way to share our Goodreads summary on DVDTalk? Copying the link (like thematahara did) just shows me my own summary.

I've been keeping up with my books in the yearly thread here, with mini-reviews, so you're welcome to go back through that thread for my whole list. Going by my ratings, my favorite reads of 2022 were:

Krampus by Brom. I've read a couple other books by him, and I enjoy his twisted takes on fairy tales.
Revelator by Daryl Gregory. One of my favorite authors, who manages to make each book distinct from the others (this one was Southern Gothic cosmic horror).
The Fitz and the Fool trilogy by Robin Hobb. Certainly not where someone should start with her. But if this is how she ends her writing career, a high note to go out on.
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro. Low-key but powerful.
Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr. Literary sci-fi/fantasy. I'm a sucker for stories about the magic of reading and stories.
The Age of Madness trilogy by Joe Abercrombie. Like with Robin Hobb, readers should have read The First Law trilogy first.

But there were a lot of others I read that I enjoyed too. Since reading is so time-intensive, I'm very selective in reading things I'm pretty sure to like (my average Goodreads rating for the year was 3.9).

Most disappointing was John Scalzi's Kaiju Preservation Society. I've loved other books by him and it sounded like a can't-miss story. Frustrating how he almost seems to go out of his way to avoid describing any of the monsters. And too many characters sounded like variations of the same thing: snarky know-it-alls who were supposed to be endearing but just annoyed me.

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