Reading has always been my favorite hobby. Ever since the pandemic started in 2020, I’ve leaned into reading, hard, as the best form of self-care. According to Goodreads, I’ve read more new books during the last three years than I ever did before.
- 66 books (23,532 pages) in 2020
- 68 books (23,111 pages) in 2021
- 60 books (16,590 pages) in 2022
For comparison, my previous best year was 2012 with 51 books and 16,175 pages.
Most of this year’s books were in the first half of the year, before I started my new job in July. That has greatly reduced my available free time to read. With this understanding of my schedule, I’ve set a moderate goal of 26 books for 2023.
I haven’t recapped my books since 2019, so I thought it would be fun to share what I read in 2022!
Note: None of these stats are perfect, for two reasons. First, I don’t track rereads. Second, I buy a lot of “box sets” on Kindle, which Goodreads tracks as a single book. My longest book for 2022 was actually a trilogy that I read.
2022 Reading Stats
Note: This post includes Amazon affiliate links.
Number of New (to You) Books You Read: 60ish
Number of Re-Reads: 10ish
Genre You Read The Most From: Fairy tale retellings
Number of Fictional New Books: 53ish
Number of Non-Fictional New Books: 7
Shortest New Book: My Evil Mother by Margaret Atwood, 32 pages (technically a short story)
Longest New Book: The Becoming Beauty Trilogy by Brittany Fichter, 874 pages
Breakdown of New Books by Gender: Only 5 by men. Everything else written by women, which is typical for me.
Notable Diverse Authors: Honestly, I stuck with mostly comfort reads this year, which means I mostly read books by straight white women. However, I did read a few books by diverse authors.
- Farhad J. Dadyburjor, gay Indian man
- Aoko Matsuda, Japanese woman
- Mikki Kendall, black woman
- Austin Channing Brown, black woman
- Heather Walter, queer woman
- Sara Novic, deaf woman
2022 Belle Brita Book Awards
I’m never able to choose just a single book as my favorite, especially since I mostly read different series this year. Here are a few favorites based on category. I’ve also shared summaries copied from Amazon along with my own brief reviews.
Best Book Series You Read in 2022?
A Mage’s Influence by Melanie Cellier
Two sisters. Two seeds of power. One Mage’s Guild, and an unprecedented new power—but which sister does it belong to?
Cadence and her sister possess the seeds of glory and ruin—or so their father always insisted. Cadence never understood what he meant until Airlie’s seed of power is activated, turning her into the most powerful mage in generations. Despite knowing it must mean her own dormant seed is much more malevolent, Cadence is swept away to the distant Mage’s Guild in her sister’s wake. She’s used to living in Airlie’s shadow, but she can’t see a place for herself in this new world.
Nor can she believe in the apparent interest of the charming Zeke. No one has ever chosen her over her beautiful sister.
But leaving her new home isn’t an option. Plagued by questions from her isolated childhood, Cadence needs answers, and the Guild might hold them. But as the revelations grow, Cadence must find a way to conceal the truth from her new companions before the sisters’ secrets turn everyone against them.
And as word of Airlie’s power spreads, new danger emerges. Across the kingdom’s border, a threat is growing among the ruins of their former neighbor—enemies who will do anything to get their hands on the sisters and the seeds they contain. No longer able to shelter behind Airlie, Cadence must make a choice. Will she embrace her power—whatever it might be—or pursue a different path?
I first discovered Melanie Cellier in 2020. She’s quickly become one of my favorite authors. I literally own every single one of her books. While I first fell in love with her fairy tale retellings, I now enjoy her original series just as much. The four books in A Mage’s Influence include her trademark strong female characters, a magical academy, incredible world-building, and a satisfying friends-to-lovers (clean) romance.
Related: What I’ve Been Reading Lately // The Four Kingdoms by Melanie Cellier
Most Unique Book You Read in 2022?
True Biz: A Novel by Sara Novic
True biz (adj./exclamation; American Sign Language): really, seriously, definitely, real-talk
True biz? The students at the River Valley School for the Deaf just want to hook up, pass their history finals, and have politicians, doctors, and their parents stop telling them what to do with their bodies. This revelatory novel plunges readers into the halls of a residential school for the deaf, where they’ll meet Charlie, a rebellious transfer student who’s never met another deaf person before; Austin, the school’s golden boy, whose world is rocked when his baby sister is born hearing; and February, the hearing headmistress, a CODA (child of deaf adult(s)) who is fighting to keep her school open and her marriage intact, but might not be able to do both. As a series of crises both personal and political threaten to unravel each of them, Charlie, Austin, and February find their lives inextricable from one another—and changed forever.
This is a story of sign language and lip-reading, disability and civil rights, isolation and injustice, first love and loss, and, above all, great persistence, daring, and joy. Absorbing and assured, idiosyncratic and relatable, this is an unforgettable journey into the Deaf community and a universal celebration of human connection.
This book alternates between three POVs: Charlie and Austin (students) and February (headmistress). It’s a bit of a coming-of-age story for all of them, even February, as they each deal with challenges connected to their stage of life.
The style of this novel is different, with dialogue running together in italics. Both verbal communication and sign language are conveyed, but when the POV misses something, the reader misses it too. Throughout the book are lessons on sign language and the history of Deaf people.
Like the summary describes, this book really does address multiple intersections of identity and social justice, as well as the fraught debate around cochlear implants.
Most Life-Changing Book of 2022?
Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything by BJ Fogg
BJ FOGG is here to change your life—and revolutionize how we think about human behavior. Based on twenty years of research and Fogg’s experience coaching more than 40,000 people, Tiny Habits cracks the code of habit formation. With breakthrough discoveries in every chapter, you’ll learn the simplest proven ways to transform your life. Fogg shows you how to feel good about your successes instead of bad about your failures.
This proven, step-by-step guide will help you design habits and make them stick through positive emotion and celebrating small successes. Whether you want to lose weight, de-stress, sleep better, or be more productive each day, Tiny Habits makes it easy to achieve—by starting small.
This book has literally changed my life, albeit just in two small ways so far. First, I actually floss almost every single night now. Second, I’ve started doing counter pushups multiple times a day. While these are two very small habits I’ve added to my life, they are both healthy habits I hadn’t established before.
In 2023, I want to spend more time with this book, and find other small habits to add to my life.
Best Author Discovered in 2022?
Brittany Fichter is an amazing fantasy author who I just discovered this year. I absolutely loved reading through The Becoming Beauty Trilogy and other books in The Classical Kingdoms Collection. I still have more to read this year!
Her books contain some Christian allegory, but I think even non-Christians would appreciate the novels. The allegory is not overly preachy or direct.
I’ve set modest reading goals for 2023. This year, I want to:
- finish reading the nonfiction books I started in 2022
- diversify my reading
- work through my existing collection of books instead of chasing shiny new ones
What books did you read in 2022? Do you have any book recommendations for me? Drop your thoughts in the comments!