It’s that time of the year again when I share my love of reading by looking back at the awesome books I’ve read in the last 12 months.
I always enjoy putting together this list as it’s a nice reminder of all the books I read. Especially those ones read all the way at the start of the year.
- 1 Setting Myself A Goal For 2022
- 2 The Books I Read in 2022
- 2.1 Non Fiction – Biographies
- 2.2 Non Fiction – Memoirs
- 2.3 Non Fiction – Everest
- 2.4 Non Fiction – Feminism
- 2.5 Non Fiction – LGBTQ+
- 2.6 Non Fiction – Supernatural
- 2.7 Non Fiction – War and Crime
- 2.8 Non Fiction – Other
- 2.9 Fiction – Crime / Thriller
- 2.10 Fiction – Travel Fiction
- 2.11 Fiction – Supernatural / Sci-Fi
- 2.12 Fiction – Movies That Were Books
- 2.13 Fiction – TV Shows That Were Books
- 2.14 Fiction – Other
- 3 Setting My 2023 Goal
- 4 Reading Posts
Setting Myself A Goal For 2022
It was pointed out to me only a few weeks ago that I feel guilty when I’m not doing things that are a part of a ‘to do’ list. Whether that’s a life, work or blog to do list, there’s always something I’m working towards.
Even doing nothing but reading. Back in 2019 I realised that I wasn’t giving myself enough ‘me time’ so I started giving myself reading challenges. Yet it only dawned on me a few weeks ago that I was essentially giving myself a leisure to do list.
Whether this is a good or bad thing I’m not sure but either way I’m glad to be devoting more time to reading. For 2022 I set myself a bigger challenge of reading 50 books. A target that turned out to be an easy one to complete. Curious what those 50 books were? Read on…
The Books I Read in 2022
Doing this reading challenges and yearly reviews highlighted to me that I was pretty much reading the same style of books. While that’s not a bad thing as it’s a style of book I love to read, each year I’ve been making more of an effort to expand what I read. I was keen to add more non-fiction books to the mix and it looks like in 2022 I read more than I realised!
Non Fiction – Biographies
I do love a biography. I find it fascinating finding out more about a famous person’s life. How they got started, their early lives.
The Life of Lee by Lee Evans
Lee Evens is one of the best loved comedians in England who I’ve enjoyed watching for years. I was so sad when he announced his retirement from stand up so I was pleased to discover he had an autobiography. I must admit, here’s early life is not quite what I expected!
Home: A Memoir of My Early Years by Julie Andrews
As a young girl I grew up with Mary Poppins so I fell in love with Julie Andrews at a young age. She was graceful, elegant, beautiful and had one of the most impressive voices I had ever heard. It was fun learning that she spent some time living not too far away from my hometown.
Non Fiction – Memoirs
I think this list shows how obsessed I am with France and French culture. I love a memoir about moving to France.
Petite Anglaise by Catherine Sanderson
You would think being a blogger, I picked this book as it was written by another blogger. Actually that was a total coincidence! But I did enjoy reading about how Catherine’s blog, Petite Anglaise, came to be. As well as her adventures in France with ‘Mr Frog’ and their toddler ‘Tadpole’.
Flirting with French by William Alexander
This is a book I could definitely relate to! William is not just a Francophile, he wants to be French. Not only does he want to explore France and French food, but he wants to feel French on the inside. His big problem is that he can’t speak the language. This book is all about Williams’ hilarious attempts to conquer the French language.
My Grape Christmas by Laura Bradbury
I was hooked on this series from the first book, My Grape Year. While the books have been written out of order, this one was added to the series after what is now book 4 was written, I still love following the story of Laura and Franck. This book focuses on the pair returning to France for christmas after Franck has left his beloved France to live with Laura in Canada.
Paris Match by John von Sothen
This is one of those great books that has you laughing out loud. After John falls in love with a French waitress, the pair find themselves living in Paris with teenage kids. Paris Match is about John’s life as an American in France. While he may feel French, everyone still sees him as the silly American while he struggles with the correct way to cut Brie and wonders if he has accidentally been invited into a weird sex club.
Trouble Brewing in the Loire by Tommy Barnes
As a girl who loves beer and France you’re probably not surprised to see this one on my list. This is the second book Tommy has written about his struggles to brew beer in wine loving France. A difficult task especially when you have never brewed beer before! In this second book, the couple have a second baby on the way so Tommy plans to expand the business… Well maybe ‘plan’ is the wrong word when describing Tommy’s attempts!
My French Platter by Annemarie Rawson
Annemarie and her husband decide to leave their lives in New Zealand to run a 15th century farmhouse in France. While at first it sounds like a dream, they quickly start to get bad feelings about the owners. Deciding to ignore them, they make their way to France only to discover the dream life they had pictured was anything but.
Non Fiction – Everest
Having a boyfriend who loves all things Everest means that I suddenly have a collection of Everest books at my disposal. I read my first one last year and I quickly became fascinated with Everest’s history.
Left for Dead by Beck Weathers
If you’ve seen the film Everest or know about the 1996 disaster, you have no doubt heard of Beck Weathers. This is his account of those series of events that led to him being left for dead on top of Everest as well as some background info on his personal lives and how this tragic event has changed him for the better.
Everest 1953 by Mick Conefrey
Everest had been attempted several times before 1953 when the summit was finally reached by a British expedition. While the summit was reached, the journey was one filled with drama and despair. This book not only tells you about the ascent itself but the drama surrounding the expedition before and after the climb.
Non Fiction – Feminism
As a girl in today’s world, this is a subject that interests me and I’m always keen to explore new books tackling this issue.
Feminists Don’t Wear Pink by Scarlett Curtis
I would definitely say that this is a book every woman needs to read. A collection of essays from a diverse group of celebrities, activists and artists about what being feminist means to them. This is a powerful and inspirational book that encourages women to be who they want to be.
Girl Up by Laura Bates
As it turns out this book was written for a younger audience but definitely one I could still appreciate. If only I had this book when I was a young teenager trying to figure out what it meant to be a girl. This book is part manifesto and part agony column but completely hilarious. Definitely one you should buy for any relatives that are teenage girls.
Non Fiction – LGBTQ+
The world is a diverse place and I definitely want my reading habits to be more diverse too. Not everyone deals with the same issues but that’s no reason not to try to understand things from other people’s perspectives.
Gender Euphoria by Laura Kate Dale
Laura decided that too much focus on trans gender issues are about gender dysphoria, a feeling of deep discomfort with a person’s birth assigned gender. Gender Euphoria shares stories from trans, non-binary, gender-fluid and inter-sex writers who describe moments of their lives when they had pure gender euphoria. While the stories are all different, they share the same feelings of elation, pride, confidence and freedom.
The Gender Games by Juno Dawson
I love the tagline for this book. ‘The problem with men and women, from someone who has been both. Gender doesn’t just cause problems for trans people, but being born a certain gender apparently defines how you are supposed to behave and feel. From men being told they can’t cry to women being told they cry too much. This witty and powerful book is well worth a read.
Have Pride by Stella Caldwell
While this book might be aimed at a younger audience, it’s definitely still a handy read for adults wanting to know more about the history of the LGBTQ+ movement. Dealing with the struggles and successes of the movement as well as showcasing significant figures from history and modern times.
Conundrum by Jan Morris
Jan Morris, born James Morris, is a great travel writer who shares what might be one of the first books to discuss being trans so openly. Here Morris discusses a hidden life and a need to bring it out to the open.
What’s The T? by Juno Dawson
A great book for discovering what it’s like to be transgender or non-binary in the 21st century in a frank and witty guide. Not only is it informative, helpful and funny, it also has a good dose of reality. A great guide for those looking to understand the trans journey better.
Non Fiction – Supernatural
I don’t know if it was growing up in a house where horrors were encouraged but I have a complete fascination with the supernatural. From vampires, to ghosts, to witches, I can’t get enough of the stories.
The Hangman, The Hound and Other Hauntings by Thomas Corum Caldas
While visiting a friend in Wales we checked out one of the local Welsh castles not far from her house and in the gift shop I found this book and couldn’t resist getting a copy. In this book you’ll find a brief history on the haunted places of Wales. From castles, to pubs, to hotels, there’s plenty of spooky encounters happening in Wales.
Witchfinders by Malcolm Gaskill
While I must admit I found this book a struggle to get through as it seemed to be longer than needed, it was fascinating learning more about the famous witchfinders Matthew Hopkins and John Stearne. Their interrogation of women suspected of witchcraft triggered one of the most brutal witch hunts in English history.
Non Fiction – War and Crime
If I’m completely honest, the subjects of war and history bored me to tears when I was in school. However, as an adult I’m keen to learn more.
The Auschwitz Photographer by Luca Crippa
This is the true story of prisoner 3444, Wilhelm Brasse, whose photographs helped expose the atrocities of the Holocaust. As a trained photographer who has been deported to Auschwitz, it’s not long before he is forced to take identification photographs as they enter the camp.
The Book Collectors of Daraya by Delphine Minoui
Award winning journalist Delphine Minoui recounts the true story of a band of young rebels in a heavily bombed area of Syria, who find hope and connection making an underground library from the rubble of war. Bombs were falling daily, homes were being destroyed, food supplies cut off and yet forty young Syrian revolutionaries embarked on an extraordinary project.
True Crime UK by Adrian Langenschied
The UK has had some terrible cold-blooded murders, tragic kidnappings, cruel torture and devastasting family dramas. This is the third volume of True Crime International, Adrian Langschied reports truthfully and factually about some of the UK’s shocking crimes.
Non Fiction – Other
It would be too easy if everything I read fit into nice little categories, so here are some of the books that I didn’t want to put in stand alone categories.
Confessions of a GP by Benjamin Daniels
I do enjoy the confessions series and this one is a fun and witty insight into the life of a family GP. With stories of a 7 year old boy with tummy aches that don’t really exist, to an 80 year old man who can’t remember why he’s come to see the doctor, to a woman troubled by pornographic dreams about Tom Jones. These funny and moving stories will have you thinking differently about your local doctor.
House and Philosophy by Henry Jacoby
I love the Popular Culture and Philosophy series and I love watching House so this book just had to be read. This book takes a deeper look at the characters and issues raised in this Emmy Award-winning medical drama. Offering entertaining answers to fascinating ethical questions about House and his team, if you love philosophy and House you are going to want to check this book out.
Television Operations by Frederick M. Baumgartner
This is probably one that’s not really going to interest many, if anyone, reading this list but as someone working in the TV industry I like to get nerdy with my readings to help improve my knowledge of what’s happening around me at work. This book focuses on the technical side of being an MCR engineer and all the different aspects that need to be considered.
Fiction – Crime / Thriller
This is always going to be the biggest category. While I am trying to expand my reading, that doesn’t mean I’m going to give up on those stories or authors that I love.
Cop Town by Karin Slaughter
Set in 1974 in Atlanta and a brutal killing has shocked the city. It’s Kate Murphy’s first day on the police force, which has always been a boys club and she’s wondering if her first day could also be her last. But she’s not the only woman on the force finding things tough. Maggie Lawson joined the police like her uncle and brother to prove her worth in their cynical eyes. When Maggie and Kate become partners they are sidelined in the search for the killer, they must decide if this case is worth risking everything for.
Both of You by Adele Parks
Leigh Fletcher is a devoted wife and stepmum with an ordinary life. Then one day she goes to work and doesn’t return. That same week in a completely different world, Kai Jenssen leaves her penthouse and sexy, wealthy husband and just disappears into thin air. Both husbands are distraught and have no idea where their wives could have gone. It’s up to DC Clements to identify the shocking link between these two women.
Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh
For one killer, the murder isn’t the difficult part. It’s just part of the game. The hard part is getting away with it. What’s the easiest way to help get away with a murder you committed? Being on the jury of the murder you committed so you can help frame an innocent man. If you can get someone else to take the blame, the police will never think to look for you. But Kane better get the conviction to happen soon, as someone seems to be close on his tail.
The Greenland Party by Tom East
Harry Lanier was forced to retire from the British police so his wife took the opportunity to book a group tour to Greenland. All was going well until one day while Harry was out with tour guide Lars Erikssen they discovered the body of fellow tour group member Essie Smith. Suddenly Harry’s dream holiday becomes a nightmare as he’s asked to do the preliminary investigation. Harry’s own memory of the events are a drunken blur and he starts to worry he could have played a part in Essie’s murder.
Kept on Ice by Heather C. Myers
This is the second instalment in the Mika Chalmers hockey series. Private investigator Mika has just helped Eric, her ex-boyfriend and star hockey player, prove his innocence in a rape case but has no time to think if she wants to start dating him again before a murder case hits her desk. George Howie, Eric’s teammate, is the prime suspect in a murder investigation of hockey rival Dave Probst. With the help of the arrogant Alex Beech, can Mika help George while trying to start back up with Eric.
The Whole Truth by Cara Hunter
DI Adam Fawley’s team have been sent a case for sexual assault but it’s not what they expected. An Oxford student is accusing one of the university’s professors. But the student is a six foot male rugby player and the predator is a female professor and shining star of the department. At the same time, the ‘Roadside Rapist’ has now been realised and is looking for the main detective responsible for putting him away; DI Adam Fawley.
Find You First by Linwood Barclay
Miles Cookson is a tech billionaire with more money than he could ever spend. He has just been diagnosed with a terminal illness that has a fifty fifty chance of being passed on. When he was younger and struggling, Miles was a sperm donor and so has nine children he doesn’t know about. He needs to find them to warn them of the potential health risks but also to share his inheritance. But it seems like someone else is also looking for these heirs and killing them off one by one.
Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner
Helen seems to have it all. The perfect husband, the perfect brother and the perfect sister in law. She also has Rachel, the perfect nightmare. After years of trying, Helen finally gets pregnant and during a prenatal class meets Rachel who doesn’t seem very maternal. She drinks, she smokes and shows no interest in parenthood. All Rachel wants to do is be Helen’s friend. She wants to get to know her and her family. She wants to know everything about them. Every secret.
Night Film by Marisha Pessl
The body of Ashley Cordova is discovered in a Manhattan warehouse and believed to have committed suicide. But being the daughter of the elusive horror filmmaker, Stan Cordova, not everyone believes it is that simple. Scott McGraph is an investigative journalist who believes the dark rumours. The last time he came after Stan Cordova, Scott was discredited as a serious journalist. But he is determined to discover the truth even if it means risking his family and credibility once again.
False Witness by Karin Slaughter
Leigh Coulton has worked hard to build herself a normal life. She has a job as a defence attorney, a daughter doing well in school and is going through a very civil divorce. On the outside her life looks ordinary but she’s hiding a childhood tarnished by secrets. But suddenly her past is catching up with. She quickly realises the high profile case she was given isn’t a coincidence. She knows the wealthy man accused of rape and he knows her. More importantly, he knows the secret she’s been running away from.
The Chateau by Catherine Cooper
Aura and Nick have bought a chateau and moved to France to make a fresh start. They don’t talk about what happened in England. The expat community is welcoming to them and all seems to be going well until they are invited to a party where a neighbour gets murdered. It would seem like someone knows exactly why they came to the chateau. Suddenly Aura and Nick don’t know who to trust but someone wants to give them what they deserve.
Fiction – Travel Fiction
It really should come as no surprise that I love reading books about travel. The fun adventures people have when usually making a big life change brings me so much travel inspiration.
I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk
After catching her boyfriend cheating on her at a wedding and finding out all her friends knew about it, Angela makes a quick decision to get away. With just her bridesmaid dress, a pair of Louboutins and her passport she heads to New York. After meeting Jenny and having a New York makeover, her life completely changes. Suddenly she’s dating two sexy guys and writing about it in a blog that’s picked up by a fashion magazine.
A Greek Affair by Linn B. Halton
Leah was left in financial ruin where her ex and father of her daughter abandoned them. She’s spent years working hard to rebuild her life with the help of her friends and parents. She starts a travel blog and is quickly seen as an up and coming blogger. Before she knows it she’s being invited to exotic destinations. In Greece she meets archaeology professor Daniel and that’s when her life truly begins to change.
The Summer of Chasing Dreams by Holly Martin
Eva is the type of person who is happy with her life and her routine. She works from her home in cosy pyjamas and is happy to stay in this bubble she’s created. Her mum however was the exact opposite. She was a free spirit who was always up for an adventure. But when Eva discovers her mother’s bucket list she realises she stopped chasing her dreams when Eva was born. Feeling guilty, Eva, with the help of a travel agent, set out to complete her mothers bucket list.
Fiction – Supernatural / Sci-Fi
This is not a genre I have seeked out in the past but as I’m trying to read new things I gave some new books a go that were definitely worthwhile.
Whispers Underground by Ben Aaronvitch
This is the third book in the Rivers of London series and Peter Grant is learning magic fast. Something terrible is brewing underground in London’s sewers and tube system After an American international student is discovered dead in a tunnel, it’s up to Peter and Leslie, newly made apprentice, to figure out what’s been happening underground.
Tommy’s War by Tom East
It’s July 1914 and things seem to be turning around for Tommy Green’s. The family business he doesn’t have his heart in seems to be turning around and there could be a romance blossoming with a beautiful high society girl. But what most people don’t realise is that an assignation is about to kick start a war. Tommy receives an unusual message from the future and suddenly it’s up to him to alter history.
Oliver Twisted by J.D. Sharpe
A twisted take on the Dickens classic. It’s the same Oliver storyline, but with zombies, vampyres and more added to it. Oliver starts his life in an orphanage used as a food source for vampyres until he escapes. While heading to London he runs into Dodger and discovers he has powers. Fagin, a soul stealer, uses the boys to help him steal souls. Oliver is either the salvation to this twisted world or its downfall.
Fiction – Movies That Were Books
So many great movies have come from books and as much as I enjoy the films, I always want to check out the books too to compare them. Most of the time I do prefer the books but sometimes they aren’t as iconic as the films were.
Legally Blonde by Amanda Brown
A story made popular by the film with Reese Witherspoon, this is the story of Elle Woods. A southern California sorority president and jewellery design major who’s desperately in love with her college sweetheart, Warner. But her perfect life comes crashing down when Warner dumps her before heading to law school, looking for a more serious girl. Not taking no for an answer, Elle hatches a plan to follow Warner so that he will marry her like he’s supposed to. However, before she knows it, she finds herself as an intern on a murder case.
Holes by Louis Sachar
Stanley Yelnats’ family has a history of back luck, so he is not surprised when a miscarriage of justice sees him unfairly heading to juvenile detention camp. At ‘camp’ the inmates are told to dig holes 5 feet deep and 5 feet wide every day. They are told it’s character building but that’s just a lie. It’s up to Stanley to discover the truth and free his family of their constant bad luck.
Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie
This is actually the 17th book in the Hercule Poirot series. Porot is on a cruise of the Nile for a holiday but ends up in the middle of an exotic murder mystery. Linnet Ridgeway is a young, rich, beautiful girl enjoying her honeymoon. She’s a girl who has everything. That is until she gets shot in the head. Her ex-friend who is also her husband’s ex-girlfriend seems like the most likely suspect but also seems to be the only one with an alibi.
Fiction – TV Shows That Were Books
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that TV shows can also come from books. It’s always interesting to read the book and see how a whole series has been made from that story.
You by Caroline Kepnes
Did you know this hit Netflix show was first a book? Aspiring writer Guinevere Beck happens to walk into the bookstore Joe works at and he’s instantly smitten. But there’s more to Joe than she realises and his obsessive relationship quickly turns deadly.
The Night Manager by John Le Carre
As soon as I realised this series starring Hugh Laurie was a book I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it! While the book is set in a different period of history, the storyline is pretty much the same. Jonathan Pine is an exceptional night manager working at luxury hotels happily doing his job. One day there is an attempt to send information to British authorities about an international businessman staying at the hotel. Suddenly people close to Pine begin to die and he commits himself to battle against a man more powerful than he could have ever imagined.
Fiction – Other
This is the category for those fiction books that didn’t quite have a place to live in the other categories.
Oxford Wild by Laura Bradbury
Cedar Wild leaves her remote, off-grid family home in Canada to attend Oxford university.If she can grow up with bears surely she can handle the illustrious university? What she wasn’t expecting was to have to follow so many rules, for both school and social situations. Her personal advisory officer Alfred or Lord Invernay doesn’t know how to take Cedar. He’s a man who strictly follows rules and social procedures. The two are completely different but there’s a hint of romance blossoming that neither can ignore.
Girl A by Abigail Dean
After growing up in her parent’s house of horrors, Lex doesn’t want to think about her identity as ‘Girl A’. The girl who escaped and freed her siblings. But when her mother dies in prison, the family home is left to Lex and her siblings. Some of whom don’t talk anymore. Together with her sister Eevie, Lex wants to turn this house of horror into something good for the community. But first she has to come to terms with her siblings and deal with things she’d rather not deal with.
Drive By by Jim Carrington
Johnny and his friends have finished school for the summer and on one sweltering day they head to the park for a water fight. On the way home they go past an old woman they do not like for bursting their footballs. They cycle up to her parked car for a drive-by soaking before pedalling off as quickly as they can. But after finding out the old woman suffered a heart attack from the soaking Johnny starts believing he is being haunted.
Setting My 2023 Goal
I kind of just picked a random number when I set my 2022 goal of 50 books. For 2023 I decided to keep things similar so it’s still manageable. A much more common goal is 52 books, one for every week, so that’s what I’ve set myself this year. It’s only a couple of extra books from what I did in 2022 so it should be doable!
There you have it, the books I read in 2022. Do you have any recommendations for good books to read in 2023? Let me know in the comments below!
Are you a book lover like me? You might be interested in these posts!
- Books Read in 2021
- 35 Books Set in London
- 50 Books Set in Italy
- 40 Books Set in Spain
- 25 Books Set in Bali
- 40 Books Set in Ireland
- 50 Books Set in Scotland
- 35 Books Set in France
- 40 Books Set in New York
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