Since 2019, I have compiled an annual list of books that I have read throughout that year – excluding any academic or reference texts. Documenting things in this way has been both motivational and useful, but also humbling.
As somebody that has long considered myself an avid reader, it can be a bit of a shock to realise the number of books that you can or do actually ‘consume’ in reality. Reading is a commitment, and working your way through a book takes a significant amount of time and focus, both things which I feel I increasingly lack.
What I’ve discovered is that reading even what I would consider to be a relatively small number of books can be a challenge, particularly with the myriad of ways in which we can now fritter away our time, and I’ve come to appreciate the value of what we turn our attention towards. How many books can one person realistically enjoy over the course of a lifetime, and given that knowledge, how should we approach our selections? That perspective can be extrapolated and applied to other elements of our lives as well… and though I am not sure I want to meander too far down that particular path, reflecting upon what we wish to spend our limited time is perhaps something we should do more than we do.
This year, I was determined to read more than I did in 2021, where I completed what felt like an embarrassing total of just 13 books. 2022 started out slowly, but I found a rhythm while on holiday, sinking one after another. I must confess that a number of those at the end are short books, but they still count. If we get too far into the weeds of how long a book needs to be to be a book, then we’re probably over thinking things.
According to GoodReads, the total page count for 2022 was 8,110.
- Frank – Jon Ronson (2014)
- Dune Messiah (Dune #2) – Frank Herbert (1969)
- Blindness – Jose Saramango (1995)
- Seeing – Jose Saramango (2004)
- Binge: 60 stories to make your brain feel different – Douglas Coupland (2021)
- Exit Stage Left: The Curious Afterlife of Pop Stars – Nick Duerden (2022)
- The Every – Dave Eggers (2021)
- Oryx and Crake – Margaret Atwood (2003)
- The Year of the Flood – Margaret Atwood (2009)
- Sex with Lepers – Chris Dire (2022)
- Leading from Anywhere – David Burkus (2021)
- Meantime – Frankie Boyle (2022)
- The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned a Million Pounds – John Higgs (2013)
- How to Write One Song – Jeff Tweedy (2020)
- Sid Meier’s Memoir!: A Life in Computer Games (2020)
- What I do – Jon Ronson (2007)
- The Ultimate Introduction to NLP – Richard Bandler (2013)
- Let’s Go So We Can Get Back – Jeff Tweedy (2018)
- Bodies: Life and Death in Music – Ian Winwood (2022)
- NOFX: The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories – Jeff Alulis (2016)
- Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami (1987)
- Fake Law – the Secret Barrister (2020)
- Nothing But The Truth: A Memoir – The Secret Barrister (2022)
- Songs in the Key of Z – Irwin Chusid (2000)
- Upgrade – Blake Crouch (2022)
- Run – Blake Crouch (2011)
- Summer Frost – Blake Crouch (2019)
- You Have Arrived at Your Destination – Amor Towles (2019)
- The Last Conversation – Paul Tremblay (2019)
- Emergency Skin – NK Jemisin (2019)
- Randomize – Andy Weir (2019)
- Ark – Veronica Roth (2019)
The full list with commentary that I wrote immediately after completing each book can be found after the jump, but on reflection, some of my highlights were:
- Blindness – Jose Saramango (1995) – A particularly dark tale centred around a pandemic of blindness which felt chillingly prescient, particularly as I read it while we were still enduring COVID-19 restrictions here at the time. It speaks of humanity and hopelessness in a way that I would recommend anybody read, but which you should probably approach with caution. It can be graphic.
- Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami (1987) – I had tried to read Murakami books in the past and never quite managed to complete them. This particular novel came recommended by a colleague, and it found me at a particularly emotional time. Its themes spoke to me in a way that – while I’m not sure I would say that I enjoyed it – it definitely made me think, acting like a mirror to much of what I felt at the time.
- Upgrade – Blake Crouch (2022) – Crouch is steadily becoming one of my favourite authors. His dystopian novels are compelling, and I find myself flying through the pages. This is his latest, and worth a read for anybody who is a fan of that genre.
For 2023 I’m aiming for 50 books. We’ll see if I manage to get that far… You can find me over on Goodreads, if that’s a thing you do.Continue reading “Books 2022”