I promised a few people I would blog about my year in reading.
My Goodreads goal was 52 books in 2022. Goodreads gives me credit here for having read 53 when last I checked, but I’m at 54 now. It takes them a bit to catch up. Most of the books are psychological thrillers, but there are a few other genres.
Here are the books I gave a five-star review:
I’ll post just a couple of my reviews.
This is the second book I’ve read by this author. The first, When He’s Not Here, I rated five stars.
Now, this one, I wasn’t sure what I’d rate it for a couple of reasons. First, I figured out exactly what would happen when I was about halfway through. (I wonder if that’s to my credit or if others would figure it out just as easily). Then again, is that so bad?
Second, the story deals with narcissistic and domestic abuse and gets into so much detail at a couple of pivotal moments that it almost seems to turn from fiction to non-fiction. Those subjects are important, though. I was into it, and, as far as I’m concerned, the more awareness created, the better.
The writing itself was beautiful, especially her descriptions of the surroundings. The story was riveting, and I couldn’t put it down. I read it all in just two days, and despite my figuring out the upcoming twists, the way she executed it was brilliant. So, near the end, I thought, hmm, should I give her a four or a five? Then I read the last few pages and HAD to give it a five. Well done!
Bloody brilliant! And I never say bloody anything. As disturbing and unsettling as it was in general, it was a well-written page turner, so cleverly constructed. I’m thirsty for more.
A few words…
According to the literary statistics, 2022 has been a banner year for reading all around. That makes me happy not only because I’m a writer marketing books but because it’s a joy I want everyone to experience. For me, it’s been one of life’s greatest treasures, a passion I’ve felt privileged to have.
I have fond memories of trekking to the library with friends as a kid. On the way back, we bought french fries from the fish market, ate them along the way, and then settled on my stoop to read. It started with the Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, and Pinocchio, all so thrilling and magical.
I looked forward to ordering books during the school book sales. Narrowing it down to the books I wanted most was tough since my list was so long. On the day they arrived, the teacher arranged them in front of the classroom for all to see, and they were just beautiful with their gorgeous covers. I couldn’t wait! Then, holding the new books in my hands! It was a feeling I find hard to describe.
My English teacher introduced us to classics like Nicholas and Alexandria in high school. He took us to see A Christmas Carol at Radio City Music Hall, where my love for Charles Dickens began. I went on to Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice with a burgeoning passion for 19th-century British literature. I loved gothic settings, too, time travel, and the days of the Roman Empire.
The truth is, no matter what you read, it’s bound to be good for you, and it’s easy when you find the genres and authors you love. In fact, like meditation or a day at the spa, reading is one of many ways to practice self-love. It takes you out of your world and into someone else’s mind, heart, and universe. You get comfortable in your favorite reading spot by the fire or under the covers. You relax with a book or even your phone. (I’m always reading on my iPhone Kindle.) You cast any troubles aside and simply surrender. It’s “you” time.
For me, that escape to another time and place, learning about different people and things, is a lot of fun, like traveling in your mind. Whether you’re a writer or not, the stories inspire you. It’s good for the brain, warding off cognitive decline, and it often helps me fall asleep! 😉
Back in my school days, teachers would tell us we could increase our vocabulary by looking up words we didn’t know. That’s true as well.
And one of the best things about reading is the opportunity to empathize, even in a fictional situation.
When I became a parent, I often took my son to the library. At the time, I was looking for horror fiction, and he was looking for books about Jupiter!
It’s a wonderful thing.