My year in books 2022, according to Goodreads

My average rating for 2022 according to Goodreads: 3.7 (all-time average is 3.47)
I read 121 books in 2022, including 12 DNF. The statistics from Goodreads diverge a little from the StoryGraph version. I am not too bothered. You know what they say: Never believe a statistic that you didn‘t fake yourself! It‘s close enough.

My 5-star ratings in 2022, including the most-used genre tags:

Even The Wingless Fantasy / SF / LGBT
The Iron Duke Steampunk / Romance / Fantasy
*Little Fuzzy SF / Fantasy / Aliens
*Wolfsong Fantasy / Romance / Paranormal
*Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders) Fantasy / High Fantasy / Epic Fantasy
*The Mad Ship (Liveship Traders) Fantasy / High Fantasy / Epic Fantasy
Taken (Alex Verus) Urban Fantasy / Fantasy / Magic
Sinew and Steel and What They Told Short Story / SF / LGBT
*Under Fortunate Stars SF / Space Opera / Time Travel
Chosen (Alex Verus) UF / Fantasy / Magic
*A Psalm for the Wild-Built SF / Fantasy / Novella
*Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden’s Syndrome SF / Short Story / Novella 
Thistlefoot Fantasy / Horror / Retellings
*Soul Taken (Mercy Thompson) UF / Fantasy / Paranormal
Into the Riverlands Fantasy / Novella / LGBT
*Explorer (Foreigner) SF / Space Opera / Aliens
*Children of Memory SF / Space Opera / Space

Little Fuzzy was a very positive surprise. I usually don‘t do well with Classics / older books. This was utterly charming and readable.

Wolfsong was another feel-good offering by T.J. Klune. The MC was a delight and these were the nicest werewolves ever. Yes, yes, I do need to get to that author backlog.

I am so happy that I gave Robin Hobb another chance with the Liveship Traders! Slow, but fun. I am still slowly moving through the third book of that sub-trilogy.

Another unexpected delight was A Psalm for the Wild-BuiltBecky Chambers is another author that I need to catch up with.

Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden’s Syndrome showed me that I might like John Scalzi after all.

And the Mercy Thompson books are still worth reading, although Soul Taken is already #13 and I rarely read Urban Fantasy anymore.

I will continue to slowly work my way through the Foreigner books by C.J. Cherryh. It was love at second sight. But so good, if you can relax enough to go with the flow.

Children of Memory was a great third addition to the Zoo that is Children of Time. Adrian Tchaikovsky delivered again.

Under Fortunate Stars stands out, because it was a debut novel. But there was no novel that outpaced the others. And I am sure that within my 4-star novels could be some that would be worth 5 stars as well, if I took a look.

Graphic Novels / Comics
The Walking Dead, Vol. 17: Something to Fear Horror / Zombies 
March to War (Walking Dead Vol. 19) Horror / Zombies
We Stand On Guard SF / War / Dystopia
Ham Helsing #1: Vampire Hunter Middle Grade / Humour / Fantasy
The Adoption: CE Bande Dessinée / France
Saga #56 Fantasy /SF
Saga #60 Fantasy /SF
Shadecraft #1 Horror / YA
Lunatic (Moon Knight) Marvel / Superheroes
The Bottom (Moon Knight) Marvel / Superheroes

The Walking Dead is still good, but so long — it‘s a lot of work. Those two Moon Knight comics were great fun, although I am not really into superheroes that much anymore. Saga is back, YAY! We Stand On Guard was a totally unexpected find. And Ham Helsing #1: Vampire Hunter was so cute! I have to check again, I should really get the sequel if there is one…

My year in book, 2022 StoryGraph Statistics

I finished reading 103 books, across 19,979 pages and 338.83 hours. Goodreads claims that I read 29,918 pages. Which might or might not fit, if you convert the hours into pages. 🤷‍♀️

First book:

Cursed by Benedict Jacka


Last book:

To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

To Be Taught, If Fortunate

I explored new worlds, went to dark places, and got wrapped up in intrigue.

Longest book with 915 pages:

The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb

The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb

The average length of the books I read was 275 pages and it took me around 10 days to finish each book.

I explored the works of 55 new authors, including James A. Moore, Molly Harper, and Ryan North.

Alien: Sea of Sorrows by James A. Moore

71 of the books I read were part of a series.

Nerilka's Story & The Coelura by Anne McCaffrey

I revisited a total of 2 books, decided not to finish 15 of the books picked up, read 77 books from my own shelves.

Compared to 2021

Number of books: Decreased by 21%

Number of pages: Decreased by 26%

Number of hours: Increased by 31%

The discrepancy of pages and hours in the last graph: I think here Storygraph only counted the finished books. The overall figure at the top also counts the DNFs. Anyway, so much for the statistics…

My Reading Goals for 2022 revisited

I wanted to concentrate on my TBR shelf, specifically my owned books, in 2021. That failed spectacularly, as I committed to a lot of buddy reads. So …

My Reading Goals for 2022

Wow, well that did not go well at all. I had a look at that post and I did not read a single book mentioned in that post! Instead I read a lot of buddy reads with my favourite Goodreads group. And I finished 2022 with more owned books than I started out with. To top it off, I already bought 3 more books… 😂

Anyway, those famous New Year resolutions… Less buddy reads, more mood reads, concentration on my owned books. I want to concentrate on my physical bookshelf, but I think that would be a futile commitment. I have more ebooks and many of those have been lingering for a while now as well. Plus there is that pesky Netgalley backlog. And I want to finally get back to re-reading and then catching up with unread books of the Dragonriders of Pern. We‘ll see how that goes!

A wrap-up of my reading year of 2022 will follow soon… Happy New Year! To a better 2023!

Housekeeping 2022

The end of the year is nigh. I am having a look at my want-to-read shelf, aka books that I want to reads, but do not own yet. Every now and then I kick some books off that shelf, because I am not that interested anymore. I am very, very stingy with adding titles to that list, because I do not want to be overwhelmed and I want to stand a chance to actually read those books at some point in time. So I only have 170 titles on that shelf. I own another 240 unread books, so I am not running out of reading material anytime soon. Anyway, I am currently filling my virtual shopping basket at a secondhand bookstore at the moment and going through that want-to-read, looking for some low-priced bargains… Here it goes…

Lone Wolf and Cub, Vol. 1: The Assassin’s Road (Lone Wolf and Cub, #1)

Lone Wolf and Cub (Kozure Okami in Japan) is acknowledged worldwide for the brilliant writing of series creator Kazuo Koike and the groundbreaking cinematic visuals of the late Goseki Kojima. Creating unforgettable imagery of stark beauty, kinetic fury, and visceral thematic power, the epic samurai adventure has influenced a generation of visual storytellers both in Japan and in the West.

I‘ve had this on my shelf for a while. I do not read a lot of Manga, I am not a huge fan of the black-and-white medium. But reviews for this are consistently good, so… bought!

Raising Stony Mayhall
by Daryl Gregory

In 1968, after the first zombie outbreak, Wanda Mayhall and her three young daughters discover the body of a teenage mother during a snowstorm. Wrapped in the woman’s arms is a baby, stone-cold, not breathing, and without a pulse. But then his eyes open and look up at Wanda — and he begins to move.

This sounded really good at the time I added it. Plus I really liked Afterparty and the short story NIne Last Days on Planet Earth by the author. But I am a little oversaturated with zombies… Deleted!

Marriage of Inconvenience (Knitting in the City, #7)
by Penny Reid

Marriage of Convenience is one of my favourite romance tropes, which is why I added this to my shelf. However, I recently read the first book of that series and was utterly underwhelmed. It was ok, but generally not interesting enough to continue with the series. Deleted!

Made to Order: Robots and Revolution
by Jonathan Strahan and others

They are often among the least privileged, most unfairly used of us, and the more robots are like humans, the more interesting they become. This collection of stories is where robots stand in for us, where both we and they are disadvantaged, and where hope and optimism shines through.

I have too many short story anthologies on my shelves and robots are another topic where I reached saturation… deleted!

The Loch
by Steve Alten

Marine biologist Zachary Wallace once suffered a near-drowning experience in legendary Loch Ness, and now, long-forgotten memories of that experience have begun haunting him. The truth surrounding these memories lies with Zachary’s estranged father, Angus Wallace, a wily Highlander on trial for murder. Together the two plunge into a world where the legend of Loch Ness shows its true face.

Ugh, I think I am done with Steve Alten. Delete! And if I should find any more Meg novels on my shelf, I will boot those off as well…

Terms of Enlistment (Frontlines, #1)
by Marko Kloos

With the colony lottery a pipe dream, Andrew chooses to enlist in the armed forces for a shot at real food, a retirement bonus, and maybe a ticket off Earth. But as he starts a career of supposed privilege, he soon learns that the good food and decent health care come at a steep price…and that the settled galaxy holds far greater dangers than military bureaucrats or the gangs that rule the slums.

I guess I added this because I saw some good reviews and it‘s on Kindle Unlimited. But to be honest, it sounds depressing and I am not a massive MilSF fan anyway. Deleted.

The Survival of Molly Southbourne (Molly Southbourne, #2)
by Tade Thompson

I did like the first Molly Southbourne book quite a bit, but it also made me very uncomfortable. So, delete…

Ok then, besides those 7 books above (of which I only bought one and deleted 6), I also deleted a ton on KU additions and other stuff that I remembered nothing about. I am now down to only 130 books left on that shelf. Quite a nice clean-up.

New year, new opportunities…

So, I spent most of today sorting my reading shelves and looking through possible challenges and whatnot. This is what I came up with…

Planned reading for January:
– Buddy Read Cursed, Alex Verus #2, ebook, started today and made it to chapter 2.
– Buddy Read Black Powder War, Temeraire #3, ebook. I will pick this up after the above. More dragons!
– Saga #55, eComic, pre-ordered, pub date Jan 26. I can‘t possibly wait for the collected volume, after waiting for this since they went into their extended hiatus in 2018!

Also reading / ongoing:
– Life on Earth, audio, narrated by David Attenborough. I made it to chapter 9, all about birds of paradise. Fun chapter, but even so I feel a bit bored by this book.

I settled on a TBR Challenge for 2022 for the 217 owned books currently on my physical and digital shelves:

This reading challenge is for folks who have an obnoxiously large TBR (over 100 books) and need a kick in the pants to get it whittled down. These prompts will help you randomly select 24 books (2 for each month) from your TBR in the hopes that you pick up books you keep forgetting about or putting off. 

1. You must start AND finish each book in 2022.  
2. A DNF still counts! The purpose of the challenge is to get you to at least try reading some books you might not otherwise pick up.
3.  Audiobooks count!
4. You must use a random number generator for each prompt. Here is an example of one you can use, but you can use any random number generator of your choice. 
5. You must use the first number that is generated every time you select a book for a prompt. 

Here is what I got from that numbers generator and my owned-books-shelf over at Goodreads:

1. January: Book 1 
Using the default order of the books on your spreadsheet (or my sorted-by-numbers GR list…), generate a random number from 1 to the number of books on your TBR. Use this number to find the book on the corresponding row in your spreadsheet.

– January #1 The Sweet Rowan

2. January: Book 2 (126 books added)
Sort your TBR by date added in ASCENDING order. Generate a random number from 1 to 100 and choose the book on the corresponding row. 

– January #2 The Marrow Thieves

I just realized that I didn‘t just pick between 1 and 100, but between 1 and all of my owned books. Never mind, not doing it again. So, we‘ll see how long I can keep up with this challenge!

And then there is my Pern Re-read:
I am deleting, as I progress through my re-reads. I made a nice dent in my list in December. Here is what‘s left! I probably won‘t get to the next one until February though, looking at my above plans.

Publication Order
* 1983 – Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern — part of On Dragonwings
* 1984 – Nerilka’s Story
* 1989 – The Renegades of Pern
* 1991 – All The Weyrs of Pern
* 1994 – The Dolphins of Pern
* 1998 – The Masterharper of Pern
* 2001 – The Skies of Pern
* 2003 – Dragon’s Kin
* 2005 – Dragonsblood
* 2006 – Dragon’s Fire
* 2007 – Dragon Harper
* 2008 – Dragonheart
* 2010 – Dragongirl
* 2011 – Dragon’s Time
* 2012 – Sky Dragons

I should not run out of ideas of what to read next, what do you think?

December 2021 Wrap-Up

Here is my December 2021:

The Quantum Magician ★★★☆☆ ebook + audio, Ocean‘s 11 in space with post-humans. Not as fun as it sounds.
Leviathan Falls ★★★★★ Expanse #9, audiobook, a fitting ending!
Silent Blade ★★★★¼ Kinsmen #1, ebook, novelette, romantic SF, enhanced humans, precursor to Hidden Legacy
Silver Shark ★★★★★ Kinsmen #2, ebook, The Matrix as a PNR novelette.
A Mere Formality ★★★★☆ Kinsmen short
Fated Blades ★★½☆☆ Kinsmen #3, ebook
– Dragonsong ★★★★★ Dragonriders of Pern #3, Harperhall Trilogy #1, re-read, YA, fun!
– Dragonsinger: Harper Of Pern ★★★★★ Dragonriders of Pern #4, Harperhall Trilogy #2, re-read, YA, fun as well! Dragonsong and Dragonsinger should be read back-to-back.
– Dragondrums ★★★★☆ Dragonriders of Pern #6, Harperhall Trilogy #3, re-read, YA, the coming-of-age story of Piemur.
– Dragonsdawn ★★★★☆ Dragonriders of Pern #9, chronologically #1, the colony ships arrive on Pern, it all begins here.
– Dragonseye ★★★★☆ Dragonriders of Pern #14, chronologically #3, set just before the Second Pass, this was a new one for me and I enjoyed it!

I will eventually continue with Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern next year and then switch back to reading in publication order, I‘ll see. But first I will tackle my planned January buddy reads. Too many already! But I tried very hard not to plan too many other books and to leave space for mood reading and to catch up with my TBR and NetGalley piles.

Currently reading:
– Life on Earth, audio, TBR pile — I am about halfway, I think. I love listening to David Attenborough, although the narrative isn‘t terribly exciting. This probably works better as an illustrated book or a TV documentary.

Specfic Movies & TV watched:
– The Witcher, Season 2 finished ★★★★★ — Now the waiting! When will the 3rd season start? 
– The Expanse, S6, Ep. 1+2 ★★★★¾ — will catch up in January!
– Foundation, S1, Ep. 2+3 ★★★★¼ — ditto!
– Wheel of Time, Season 1 finished ★★★¾☆ — the episodes got progressively better. I am actually looking forward to season 2.
– Infiltration (Invasion), Season 1 finished ★★★☆☆ — pretty forgettable (aka I watched the last episode last week and already struggle to remember how it ended).

The Quantum Magician (The Quantum Evolution Book 1) by Derek Künsken Leviathan Falls (The Expanse, #9) by James S.A. Corey Silent Blade (Kinsmen, #1) by Ilona Andrews Silver Shark (Kinsmen, #2) by Ilona Andrews A Mere Formality by Ilona Andrews Fated Blades (Kinsmen, #3) by Ilona Andrews Dragonsong (Pern Harper Hall series) by Anne McCaffrey Dragonsinger Harper Of Pern (Pern Harper Hall series) by Anne McCaffrey Dragondrums (Pern Harper Hall series) by Anne McCaffrey Dragonsdawn (Pern Dragonriders of Pern, #6) by Anne McCaffrey Dragonseye (Pern, #14) by Anne McCaffrey 

Happy New Year to all of you!

My Reading Goals for 2022

I wanted to concentrate on my TBR shelf, specifically my owned books, in 2021. That failed spectacularly, as I committed to a lot of buddy reads. So I will try that one again in 2022.

Read one owned book per month from my physical bookshelf

I have 213 books on my owned-bookshelf. About a third of those are paperbooks, that I really would like to diminish to the point of being able to get rid of one of my bookshelves. Sounds odd, I know. Normally readers talk about getting more and nicer bookshelves. I have a small apartment with too much furniture and I desire a more minimalist and cleaner look. So, books… all the covers link to the goodreads pages of those books.

Clean up that NetGalley Shelf

I have some NetGalleys that are ridiculously old. I managed to read some of them in 2021, but not as many as I wanted. I really have to have a go at them and either read or abandon them in 2022. It would really be nice to actually catch up with the current ones.

Reading Writers of Colour / BIPOC

Whilst I do not plan to join the reading challenge again next year, I do want to keep reading the authors already on my owned shelf, for example…

Next in Series

Then there are those series that I started once upon a time, wanted to continue, but never did or never finished…

That should keep me busy next year… oh, yes, and I decided to finally attempt that re-read of The Dragonriders of Pern. I re-read the first trilogy in 2020, plus some shorter stories. Just now, in December, I re-read the Harperhall trilogy and continued with some books that are set earlier in the timeline. I stopped reading the series in the mid 90s, so there is also a neat pile of books that I have never read. And I am sure there will be a fair number of buddy reads in my future.

Top Ten Tuesday—the ten best books of 2021

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week‘s topic / December 28: Best Books I Read In 2021

These books haven‘t necessarily been released in 2021, that‘s just when I read them… I left out all of my re-reads of Dragonriders of Pern, The Expanse, The Imperial Radch, etc. etc.:

Rovers by Richard Lange — A horror book with a different take on vampires. Of Mice and Men with vampires and a biker gang. 

Shards of Earth (The Final Architects Trilogy, #1) by Adrian Tchaikovsky — Space opera with a touch of The Expanse and Babylon 5, with a great ensemble cast on a scrappy scavenger ship, fighting against the odds and pretty much everything else. The proverbial underdogs against the universe.

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir — Mark Watney in space! And he sciences the sh*t out of his situation… so, yes, very much reminiscent of The Martian. And then some. I loved it and could barely put it down. So much fun! 

The Prefect (Prefect Dreyfus Emergency, #1) by Alastair Reynolds — On the surface this comes along as a police procedural in a SF setting. Dreyfus is a cop with a strong moral code of right and wrong, committed to justice. My first association was Miller from The Expanse, with a bit of Blade Runner and minus any projectile weapons. Space opera, ultimately, with the many and very varied habitats of the Glitter Band, artificial intelligences, body modifications, uplifted mammals, many political systems, states of being and an elaborate polling system — fascinating! 

David Mogo, Godhunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa — Gods have rained down on Lagos, the capital of Nigeria. We enter the story some time later, into the dystopian society that has developed here in the aftermath. David Mogo, our 1st person narrator, is a demi-god working as an illegal godhunter. An old wizard with dubious morals sends David Mogo off to catch two high gods, Taiwo and Kehinde. David is in need of money to fix his roof, so off he goes, despite his misgivings about this wizard. Obviously things don’t go as expected. 

Fugitive Telemetry (The Murderbot Diaries, #6) by Martha Wells — Muderbot is back in novella length. Snark and sarcasm abound. Just another crazy day, tracking down a murderer and making sure one’s humans don‘t come to harm. All the stars.

Leviathan Falls (The Expanse #9) by James S.A. Corey — A well done ending to the series. I did not expect it to go into the direction it did, so that was satisfying. It ends bittersweet, with some sadness, but also hope.

Revelation (Matthew Shardlake, #4) by C.J. Sansom — Historically pretty sound, as far as I can tell. Very homogenous. Full of suspense towards the end, could not put it down anymore. The murders are gruesome and reminiscent of a famous 90s movie. With the context of Henry VIII, his dissolution of the monasteries and the religious upheaval of that time it works well.

Wild Sign (Alpha & Omega, #6) by Patricia Briggs — The FBI shows up at the doorstep of Anna and Charles and asks for help. A village in the mountains has disappeared and something potentially evil lurks in the woods.

The Whale Library by Zidrou,  Judith Vanistendael — Pretty watercolours, a mature story about a whale who contains a large library, a postman delivering sea mail, his wife and a smattering of sailors, pirates, fish, sea turtles, octopi and more…

Besides this one I also read some very good more traditional graphic novels. But that probably needs another entry…