2022 Reading Challenge – summary

Wow – I did it! The goal was 37 books, and I did it and then some. As in the past, book selections later in the year had to be more strategic to get through all the categories, which led to some interesting choices. I’m looking forward to a fresh slate for 2023 and an even longer and more complex list of categories. Here’s the final book list for 2022:

1 – Book with a murder in it It Begins in Betrayal, by Iona Whishaw
2 – A body part in the title The Feather Thief, by Kirk Wallace Johnson
3 – Published before 1939 Triumph and Disaster, Genius and Discovery, by Stefan Zweig
4 – Published in 2021/2 Elizabeth Finch, by Julian Barnes
5 – Book about language We, Me, Them & It, by John Simmons
6 – Book about travel (non-fiction) The Missing of The Somme, by Geoff Dyer
7 – Author’s debut book The Growing Season, by Nelson Boschman
8 – Female author Larry’s Party, by Carol Shields
9 – Book that is or will be a film/TV show All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
10 – Non-fiction essays What They Forgot to Teach You at School, by The School of Life
11 – Referral from book-clubber We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, by Karen Joy Fowler
12 – Book you think you ought to read Play It As It Lays, by Joan Didion
13 – Set somewhere you’ve never been On the Beach, by Nevil Shute
14 – Person’s name in title Broadsword Calling Danny Boy, by Geoff Dyer
15 – A number in the title A Thousand Ships, by Natalie Haynes
16 – A colour in the title At Night All Blood is Black, by David Diop
17 – A place name in the title The Cellist of Sarajevo, by Steven Galloway
18 – Short stories How to Pronounce Knife, by Souvankham Thammavongsa
19 – Chosen for you by the other reader Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout
20 – One-word title Corvus, by Harold Johnson
21 – A translation into English The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery
22 – Poetry or play Rosary Made of Air, by Joseph Massey
23 – Memoir, journal, book of letter And a Dog Called Fig, by Helen Humphreys
24 – Book about food or cooking The Plum Review, ed. Aaron Kent
25 – New author to me The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
26 – Science (non-fiction) When We Cease to Understand the World, by Benjamin Labatut
27 – Received as a gift Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro
28 – Old favourite Sad Cypress, by Agatha Christie
29 – Previously left unfinished Island of the Lost, by Joan Druett
30 – Philosophy/religion Everything is F*cked, by Mark Manson
31 – History/politics Fallout, by MM Blume
32 – Book studied in school Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell
33 – Canadian author River Thieves, by Michael Crummey
34 – Book or author that’s won a prize The Childhood of Jesus, by JM Coetzee
35 – Book or author that has been banned By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept, by Elizabeth Smart
36 – Utter drivel The Overstory, by Richard Powers
37 – Wild card The Children of Men, by PD James

The 2022 List

There were seven extra books this year, plus a few not recorded so 45+ in total. Not bad for me, considering that some of these were quite long and, erm, challenging to finish.

Dominant category this year was “new author to me”(21), but also many in the female author (16) and book set somewhere I’ve never been (16). The list for 2023 is longer again (up to 40 categories – yikes!), and I’m looking forward with novelust to new books from Barbara Kingsolver and Amor Towles (from 2021) and to revisiting more old favourites to see if they stood the test of time.

Thanks for following along on my journey through books. I’m not at the level of this avid reader, but I’m definitely better than I was at the start of the club in 2017, when more than 20 per year was a stretch. Bring on the books of 2023!

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