Here we are, at the end of another year. A lot has happened this year, and more than ever, I’ve found myself grateful for the opportunity to read and talk about so many great books. In my 2022 Reading Wrap-Up post, I’ll focus on some overall stats and list a few favorite books I read this year.
Wrap-up posts are something I struggle with in general, but I’m experimenting and hoping to develop a structure I like. I downloaded a book tracking spreadsheet from Kimberly at Addicted to Romance that I’m looking forward to trying out.
I discovered that I enjoy finding out reading stats of other bookish people and reviewers. Mara at Books Like Whoa on YouTube is probably my favorite for this. I love the way she breaks down and shares her reading stats. I’d like to work reading stats into my wrap-up posts. Not an overwhelming amount, just a few key things.
With all that in mind, let me share some of the high notes from this past year, including a breakdown of what I read, what I loved best, and what my faithful readers love best. Here’s my 2022 Reading Wrap-Up.
205 Books Read
That’s a lot of books. In 2021, I read 139 books, obviously I read a lot more than that this year. In fact, that’s the highest amount I’ve read since I’ve been tracking my reading habits on Goodreads. I made a few changes to my reading habits that I think contributed to me reading more. Here are the big ones:
- I read more e-books on my phone. Sometimes it was just a page or two at a time while I waited in a parking lot. Those minutes added up.
- I read more than one book at a time. This is tricky for me, but I can do it successfully if I’m reading different genres and/or age groups in different formats. For example, a nonfiction audiobook, a paperback middle grade historical, and an ebook young adult fantasy. Usually I only read two books at a time.
- I take more breaks from reading. This sounds counter-intuitive, but it has really worked for me. I’ve given myself a lot more permission this year to spend evenings in other ways besides reading. Sometimes I chat on the phone. Sometimes I watch TV or play a video game. I thought taking time away would leave me running way behind on reviews and super stressed, but I’ve found it to be the opposite. (Thanks due to THE GIFTS OF IMPERFECTION by Brené Brown.)
So I read 205 books. What kinds of books were they?
Breaking Down the Books By Age Range
Middle Grade: 67
Young Adult: 131
Other – mainly adult crossover or nonfiction: 7
2022 Reading Wrap-Up: My Favorites
Now, the good part: my favorites! Every time I read an amazing book, I try to decide if I think it’s the one that will top my list for the year. This year, I read my favorite young adult book really early. Despite lots of incredible books that came later in the year, this one remained my top favorite all year long. Other books were late arrivals to my reading list and immediately topped my list.
I’m including a favorite from middle grade, young adult, nonfiction, and backlist plus some other categories with standout books.
Favorite Middle Grade Book I Read in 2022
This book took me completely by surprise in all the best ways. I loved the sentient hotel. The cat-who-is-not-a-cat. The unpredictable magic. And the friendship between Annabella and Colin. It’s perfect and amazing, and I can’t wait to read more by Kalyn Josephson– I’ve already purchased her YA duology. Super excited about that!
Favorite Young Adult Book I Read in 2022
THE BONE SPINDLE is also one of my favorite books of 2022. It’s a gender-flipped retelling of Sleeping Beauty, and I’m so hooked on the story and characters. You’ve got Fi, the treasure hunter who accidentally forged a magical connection with a sleeping prince; Shane, the mercenary who carries a battle axe– don’t mess with her! And Briar Rose, the prince under a sleeping curse who hopes his magic combined with Fi’s wits can break the curse that’s kept him asleep for one hundred years. I cannot wait for the sequel, THE SEVERED THREAD, which comes out in February 2023.
Favorite Nonfiction Title I Read in 2022
I kept seeing this book all over Twitter, so I was super excited when a publicist offered me a review copy. Before reading this book, I had NO IDEA there were so many powerful pirate ladies. I loved the exploration of history surrounding each pirate leader and the context which allowed me to compare what they’d done to other pirate leaders of their time (or any time). Another great thing about the book is that it doesn’t glorify the pirate life. Many times the book calls attention to how these pirate fleets treated others and the harm they did.
Favorite Backlist Title I Read in 2022
CATTYWAMPUS was another book that I felt like I saw everywhere when it came out in 2021, but I hadn’t had a chance to read it until this year. I picked up a paperback copy in one of Barnes & Noble’s pre-order sales, and loved every single page. It’s a wild, fun story packed with magic, mayhem, and heart. A total must-read.
Favorite Novel in Verse I Read in 2022
THE GHOSTS OF ROSE HILL is a novel in verse about a biracial girl (Latine and Jewish) who meets a ghost boy in a graveyard in Prague. She vows to break the curse that holds him, though doing so may mean losing him forever. It’s haunting, romantic, and unforgettable. I love the writing. In fact, there’s currently a quote from the book on my fridge.
Favorite Graphic Novel I Read in 2022
I’ve been a fan of Ethan Aldridge since I read THE CHANGELING KING, and this book only further cemented my admiration for his work. His worldbuilding is fantastic. I love the expressions on his characters’ faces. While this color palette is a lot different than his other work, I loved the way the colors worked in support of the story. Also, a band of bards fighting with magical music?! YES. As soon as I saw that premise, I knew I had to have this book. It’s so much fun.
Favorite Book Outside My Comfort Zone
I don’t usually read horror, but this one had me completely hooked. It’s set in Antarctica in a research station, so kind of a closed environment. An alien or infection begins infiltrating the group of teens doing a volunteer project there. They have to stop it in order to survive. I loved the relationships between the characters and the way those relationships were challenged by the thing infiltrating their group. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.
2022 Reading Wrap-Up: Your Favorites
One of the most fascinating things about blogging this year has been watching my statistics and tracking what my readers are most interested in. Here is a sampling of some of the most interesting data.
Your Favorite Review
YOU’VE REACHED SAM is by far my most popular review with more than 6,500 views this year alone. I don’t quite know how that’s possible. It’s my top performing post almost every month, which is pretty wild. I enjoyed the book, but it wasn’t a favorite of mine, to be honest. I liked a lot of things about it, though, and I’m excited to see Dustin Thao’s next book. WHEN HARU WAS HERE is supposed to come out until December 2023.
Your Favorite List
26 Stories Inspired by Asian History, Folklore, or Mythology
Originally posted July 23, 2020
I’m a little bit embarrassed about this post? I wrote it before I learned of the controversy surrounding the filming of a live-action Disney movie, so my first version celebrated the movie coming out and offered a list of books by Asian authors, inspired by Asian history, folklore, or mythology to read while waiting for the movie’s release.
After learning more about the filming and some comments made by actors, I updated the post so that it focused on reading these books as perhaps an alternative to supporting the movie. I still think the original title is… weird? Awkward? It doesn’t quite say what the list truly is.
At any rate, it’s been a really popular post with more than 5K views since 2020, and about half of those from this year. I’ve started an updated list that includes more recent releases, but there are SO MANY BOOKS to include (yay!) that I haven’t finished it yet. Probably it’ll need to be a two-part list, too, with middle grade and young adult posted separately.
Most Discussed Post on The Story Sanctuary
Top Ten Tuesday
My Summer Reading List
(of backlist book titles)
Since I posted my list of anticipated summer releases a few weeks before the Top Ten Tuesday meme topic, I made this list of backlist titles that I wanted to read. At 25 comments, it’s the post that had the most discussion on my blog. I loved that people stopped to comment. It’s always fun to talk books with visitors and to see which books people have read and what their feelings about them are.
Most Discussed Post on Twitter
Best Middle Grade Books I Read in 2021
Over 9K Twitter Impressions.
9 Comments. 8 Retweets. 41 Likes.
I’m not very engaged on social media these days. It’s so much just keeping up with my blog, reading, and making sure reviews get posted when they should be. So these stats probably aren’t very impressive to someone with a regular Twitter plan, but they kind of blew me away. I have Middle Grade Twitter (my favorite twitter!) to thank for the love on this post.
2022 Reading Wrap-Up: Overall Stats and Goals for the Year
This past year was the best my blog has ever had. I more than doubled my visits and page views over my totals for 2021 with about 202K page views and 131K visitors for the year.
One of my goals was to post seasonal reading lists, which I did pretty consistently. Sometimes I posted one list with both YA and MG titles, and sometimes I posted separate lists, depending on how many books there were between both categories. This summer, I began doing recap posts, tracking how many books I read from my anticipated list and which books turned out to be my favorite. I loved doing that, so I’m definitely planning to continue that.
I’ll talk about my goals for 2023 in a Top Ten Tuesday post after the New Year, so more on that in the other post!
What’s in your 2022 Reading Wrap-Up?
Let’s talk about your favorites. Favorite book you read this year? Favorite post you read or wrote for your own blog?
Or feel free to tell me about your favorite part of my 2022 Reading Wrap-Up, too! I’m very much still experimenting with my recap format, so I’d love to know what parts you find the most interesting or things you wanted to know that I didn’t share.
Best wishes to you all as we head into the new year. May your bookshelves be full of fantastic chapters yet to be read. May you find the right book at exactly the right time. And may your journey be filled with great friends, both on the page and in your life.
I really liked Cattywampus and The Bone Spindler too. I’m impressed you read so many books in 2022. Happy New Year! Natalie @ Literary Rambles