I have continued to read a lot of books this past year. I’ve enjoyed it. Though I will also admit it’s kind of become a habit, now. Last year, I was really excited to have read so many books, as I’d kind of stopped reading a lot. This year, it’s just something I do, all the time.
I had thought that I’d read more books in 2021 than I did in 2022. I just went back and checked the post I’d done on it, and surprised myself to learn that I read about the same amount of books, 30 this year compared to 33 the previous year.
This next year, 2023, I may be reading more books. My intention is to spend less time playing games on my phone and more time reading. We’ll see if I can hold onto that shift or not.
Anyway, here are the books that I recommend from my reading in 2022!
Dear Writer, Are You Intuitive? by Becca Syme and Susan Bischoff
This book was awesome for me in terms of giving me a better handle on not only my own writing process but on my business as well. For me, the first half of the book wasn’t as good as the second half, because I already knew I was an intuitive writer. I just didn’t have a handle on how to work with that. Having those parts spelled out for me has given me a much better understanding of my writing process. I’d recommend it for most intuitive writers. I don’t think it’ll break your system.
I’m good at building habits. Turns out, I’d intuitively figured out the various pieces of what makes a good habit. However, having a label for each part also then helped me figure out why some of the habits I wanted to form never “stuck” as it were. The biggest revelations for me were giving each habit a good “anchor” as well as truly making things small enough to start a habit. This book talks about how giving yourself praise for your accomplishments helps you break the habit of always accusing yourself of never doing enough. I’m still working on that part, but I can see that I’ve made progress.
A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark
I loved this story. I loved this story so much that I went out and bought it in hardback so that Blaze could read it. I love the setting, the magic, and the characters, but most of all, I love how it made me think at the end of it. Not going to spoil any of you for it, but I ran hard into some of my white privilege without being preached to, and that’s a big part of what makes this book special.
The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin
I loved the world-building in this, as well as the “magic.” I also really liked the literary nature of it. I know that some people get put off by the second-person point of view. It was so well done it didn’t bother me for the most part. I wouldn’t recommend this book without some warnings. There’s that literary stuff, which some will find off-putting. It’s a dark book. You’re kind of thrown into things and have to figure stuff out on the fly. I still loved it enough to go on and read the second one in the series and will read the third one sometime this year.
The Many Half-Lived Lives of Sam Sylvester by Maya MacGregor
I made an effort this year to read more YA books. This one was superb. It’s a mystery, but also something of a coming of age. There isn’t fantasy in it so much as possible ghosts and stuff. The main character has some trauma to deal with, but everything works out in the end.
Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree
This was one of a few books of low stakes that I read this year. I seem to still be in a mood to read things that aren’t high-pressure, Oh My God We Need To Save The World In The Next 16 Seconds! This was a lovely relaxing take on a D&D-type fantasy where the main concern is how an orc opens up her coffee shop.
A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher
I loved this book, in part, because while it was YA, it was also really well done YA. It was about important things, but the author didn’t beat you over the head with those themes. They were well woven into the rest of the story. I loved the magic and the main character. There were a couple of times I almost put the story down because the main character did something stupid, but it all worked out in the end.
Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth
I read this book in part for research, because I was writing about a chosen one (though in a much different setting and genre). The start is a bit slow, but it builds nicely. There were a couple of times when I thought the main character did something stupid and nearly put the book down, but I kept reading anyway. The choices were deliberate, not accidental. The ending of this book was so very satisfying, that I keep thinking about it, and wondering how I can do something similar sometime.
This was a perfect Regency romance with dragons. Only it wasn’t about people at court, but about a spinster and a vicar, in the countryside. I loved how deliberate the author was with her words and her story. I wasn’t always thrilled with how the writer broke the fourth wall, but I didn’t mind it too much. Overall, just a delightful tale.
The Wizard’s Butler by Nathan Lowell
This was another low-stakes fantasy book, though it’s set in the modern day. Reading it felt like curling up with a warm blanket and a cup of cocoa. Seriously. An instant comfort read. I think it’s funny that when I type “The Wizard’s Butler” into the Amazon search bar, the next hit is, “The Wizard’s Butler Book 2.” Yes, it’s that good. And according to a friend of mine who consumes a lot of her books via audio, the audiobook is also delightful.
Me, by Elton John
I loved this autobiography. Then again, I’m a huge Elton John fan. That’s why this book gets a special mention, as I’m not sure that people who don’t love Elton would like this book as much as I did. Honestly, a lot of this book sounds like Elton talking. I know that it’s ghostwritten—Elton even mentions that toward the end. But I would swear that so much of it was just him, talking into a microphone, then having it exactly transcribed. It was a wonderful, heart-warming book. I’m glad that he survived all his drugs and craziness.
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