Top Ten Reads of 2022

Hello, reader!

Happy New Year! I always enjoy looking back on a year of reading and looking forward to a brand new one. Part of looking back, of course, is thinking about all the books I adored this year.

I had 24 five star reads in 2022 which is just wild to me. I think my most common rating was four stars, but I’m excited that I found so many books this year that just blew me away. That being said, there were definitely some stand outs, even among my five stars. That’s why I decided to narrow it down to my top ten books that I read this year! I’m sharing these in no particular order because I think I loved them all equally, if for differing reasons.

Now, let’s jump into the list!

The Thirteenth Hour by Trudie Skies

The Basics: Adult gaslamp fantasy featuring gods and twelve dazzling realms and CHAOS.

What I Loved: I could just say ‘everything’ for all of these books, but I’m gonna try to be more specific 😂 The characters in this book are what captured my heart. Kayl and Quen live in my head rent-free and it’s weird but I love them so much. I do have a full review that you can find here.

The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd

The Basics: A woman finds out that a mysterious map that caused her to have a falling out with her dad may also be the reason he died. Hijinks ensue.

What I Loved: This was compulsively readable! I’m not a fast reader and this book is around 400 pages, but I read it in a day. I enjoyed this mixture of mystery and fantasy. You can read my full review here.

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

The Basics: A group of morally grey characters plan a heist in 1889 Paris. You like found family? *slaps the cover* The beauty has so much found family!

What I Loved: I discovered in 2022 that I really love the found family trope and this book absolutely delivers in that realm. The characters wormed their ways into my heart. I also really loved the writing in this book.

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Top 5 Tuesday: New (to me) Authors of 2022

Top 5 Tuesday is a fun, weekly meme that asks you to pick 5 books that fit that week’s theme. It was created by Bionic Bookworm and is currently being hosted by Meeghan Reads. You should check out their wonderful blog for more details and the list of prompts!

Hello, reader!

It’s time for another Top 5 Tuesday and this one takes a look back at my reading year. I’m picking my top five new to me authors that I’ve read in 2022! I’ve read a lot of incredible books this year and a lot of those books have been from authors I’ve never read from before. It was a great year for discovering new authors that I love and I can’t wait to read more from all of my choices!

Now, let me share them with you.

#1. N.K Jemisin

I can’t believe it took me until 2022 to finally pick up a book by N.K. Jemisin. I’ve owned both The Fifth Season and The City We Became for what seems like years, yet hadn’t bothered to pick either of them up. I think it was a case of me overhyping both of them in my head with how much people loved them. I finally caved and read The Fifth Season and it was, perhaps, the easiest five star I’ve ever given 😂 I’m so excited to continue with the Broken Earth series and more of Jemisin’s work!

#2. Angeline Boulley

Firekeeper’s Daughter was everywhere for quite awhile after it came out. It kept popping up on my radar and I found the premise was interesting, so I bought it. Then it languished on my bookshelf for far too long. Finally, at the beginning of the year, I decided to pick this up. I’m so glad I did because this book was absolutely incredible! The writing sucked me in and I felt immersed in the tale. I’m so excited for this author’s new release in 2023, Warrior Girl Unearthed.

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Down the TBR Hole #46

It’s time for a new round of Down the TBR Hole! This is where I go through my Goodreads ‘Want to Read’ shelf and do a bit of cleaning up. If you want to see the full description of what this post is all about, check out my first round HERE.

Hello, reader!

Welcome to another round of TBR cleansing with a new Down the TBR Hole post! So my TBR has managed to grow by one book since my last round. I’m sitting at 686 books on my Want to Read shelf when I ended last round with 685 books! I mean, adding one more book to my TBR, in the grand scheme of things, is so incredibly minor. Especially when I already have such a ridiculous amount of books I want to read 😂 Still, let’s see if I can trim it down a bit more.

Wish me luck!

Devolution by Max Brooks

I added this book solely because of how much I enjoyed another book by this author, World War Z. From what I can tell, this is written in the same style, telling the story through journals. It also revolves around the mystery of Bigfoot and some huge disaster that overtook a small town. Not gonna lie, it sounds incredible! So, of course, it gets to stick around.

Verdict: Keep

The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry

This book features one of my favorite tropes/genres ever. It’s a book about books! The main character has the ability to bring literary characters to life in the real world. Sounds like a great time, right? Well, not for Charley, who manages to let a few bad eggs loose in the city. I imagine this book is going to be such a fun time and I can’t wait to read it!

Verdict: Keep

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Top 5 Tuesday: Most Quotable Books

Top 5 Tuesday is a fun, weekly meme that asks you to pick 5 books that fit that week’s theme. It was created by Bionic Bookworm and is currently being hosted by Meeghan Reads. You should check out their wonderful blog for more details and the list of prompts!

Hello, reader!

It’s time for another Top 5 Tuesday post! I’ve kind of been slacking on these this month because October was all about quotes. I can appreciate a beautiful line in a book, but I also have the memory of a hummingbird and, thus, don’t often remember them 😂 Today’s topic, however, is one I could get behind because it doesn’t ask for specific quotes… it just ask what are your top five most quotable books. I have quite a few books that would be mostly tabs if I was an annotator. Now I’ve picked five that I think would be annotated the most.

That being said, let’s jump in!

#1. Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

Look. This book was my 2020. I was obsessed with this when it came out! I’ve also re-read it more than any other book I own, save one. So not only are there so many quotes that I loved, but this is one of the few where I can actually remember a couple, haha. I have so many copies of this book that I have considered choosing one to annotate. It’s just that good, y’all, and there are definitely a lot of wonderful quotes that I want to revisit again and again.

#2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Erin Morgenstern has exquisite writing. Every book I’ve read by her is an absolute treasure when it comes to prose. Of the two, however, I think The Night Circus is definitely the more quotable. It has one of the few first lines that I can remember off the top of my head! And, as I said, the writing is just so beautiful and lilting that I find myself drawn to so many lines throughout the story. Just thinking about it kind of makes me want to re-read it, haha.

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Down the TBR Hole #43

It’s time for a new round of Down the TBR Hole! This is where I go through my Goodreads ‘Want to Read’ shelf and do a bit of cleaning up. If you want to see the full description of what this post is all about, check out my first round HERE.

Hello, reader!

Today seems like a good day for another round of Down the TBR Hole! I’m rather impressed with myself, though. My ‘Want to Read’ shelf has somehow shrank from 696 books down to 692 books. I’m not 100% sure how I managed that, haha. I’m gonna take the win, though!

Now we’re gonna see if I can trim it down even more.

Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee

Not gonna lie, I definitely added this book to my TBR because of the cover. I will admit, though, having read the synopsis, I’m still intrigued! There’s a young girl who somehow returns her friend to life after she dies. There’s a Spider King. And, most importantly, there’s a creepy forest. That’s my favorite!

Verdict: Keep

The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin

I legitimately have no memory of adding this book to my TBR. On the surface, it doesn’t look like a book that would typically draw my attention. Then I see it’s adult contemporary and I’m really confused as to how it got here 😂 Reading the synopsis does nothing for me, either, so I think we’re just gonna chalk this up to a fluke.

Verdict: Remove

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#5OnMyTBR – Title Starts With B

#5OnMyTBR is a bookish meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook where you chose five books from your to-be-read pile that fit that week’s theme. If you’d like more info, head over to the announcement post!

Hello, reader!

I apologize for my absence the last few days. If you follow me on Twitter, you might know that the dreaded Covid finally got me 😣 I have to say that it hasn’t been terrible… mostly coughing and fevers… but the fatigue has hit especially hard these last few days. Today is the first time I’ve been out of bed for an extended period of time and it feels marvelous! I took a shower, ate food that wasn’t soup, actually booted up the desktop… and I feel human again.

Now that I can stay awake for longer than ten minutes, I figured it was time to give my poor, neglected blog some love! And what better way to do that than with a fun 5 On My TBR post! This week’s theme is books with titles that start with ‘B’ and, oof, was it hard to pick just five. Know that the ones that I picked are ones that I’m very eager to read soon!

That said, let’s get to the list.

#1. Be Dazzled by Ryan La Sala

I have had this book on my TBR for what feels like ages. I won a copy of it right before it came out and have been wanting to read it ever since! It’s about a young, gay man who enters a cosplay contest and finds himself partnered with the boy who broke his heart. It sounds like it would be a lot of fun, with a lot of sparkle. I’m hoping to pick it up soon because I’d also love to read, La Sala’s most recent release, The Honeys. Not that I have to read them in order… but I want to.

#2. Beast of Prey by Ayana Gray

This is another book that I’ve wanted to read since before it came out. I absolutely love the new cover! The old cover was beautiful, as well, but this one is just 😍 The book follows two Black teenagers tracking down a monster in a magical jungle. Does that not sound like a thrill a minute?! It’s also the beginning to a series, which might be why I’ve taken so long to pick it up. There are just so many series that I’m reading right now. Still, I can’t wait to add this one to the list.

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Encanto Book Tag

Hello, reader!

It’s been a minute since I’ve done a book tag, hasn’t it? Let me remedy that real quick and do one that speaks to my Disney-loving soul! The Encanto Book Tag is exactly what it sounds like… a tag focused on the songs of the incredible Disney movie, Encanto. How many times have I seen it? Probably too many. How many times have I cried while watching it? Pretty much every time 😂 It’s a beautiful movie and the songs are absolute perfection, so this was an easy choice when looking for a tag to do today!

Before I jump in, I want to thank Danni @ _ForBooksSake for tagging me! You should definitely check out her blog if you’re a fan of thrillers. Even if you aren’t, Danni’s blog is a great, bookish spot on the internet! This tag was originally created by Passport To Eden.

With that said, let’s get to it!

The Family Madrigal

Name a book that explores multiple family generations

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray

This is a book I don’t talk about often, but one I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s a contemporary novel about a group of sisters who return home after their parents are arrested. There’s drama, there’s heart-wrenching emotion, and there’s a lot to unpack. It’s all told in such a tender way, though, that you can’t help but love it.

Waiting On A Miracle

What Is A Book You Enjoyed But Took Longer Than Expected To Finish

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

I ended up giving this book five stars because it was absolutely incredible. And yet it took me months to read it! Sure, most of those months I wasn’t actively trying to read it. I got distracted by blog tours and review copies. Once I buckled down and devoted my attention to this book, though, I knew it was something special. Definitely worth a read!

Surface Pressure

Name A Character Who Has To Do It All

Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

Gwen Proctor is probably one of the more badass characters I’ve read recently! I suppose, in the end, she doesn’t do everything by herself, but for most of the book she is struggling to keep herself and her kids hidden and safe all on her own. It’s freakin’ intense! I think Gwen would relate to this song on a deep, personal level, haha.

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Down the TBR Hole #38

It’s time for a new round of Down the TBR Hole! This is where I go through my Goodreads ‘Want to Read’ shelf and do a bit of cleaning up. If you want to see the full description of what this post is all about, check out my first round HERE.

Hello, reader!

It’s been a looong Monday over here, but I’m hoping y’all had a great first day of the week. We’re gearing up for the kids to go back to school, so lots of supply and clothes shopping happening this week after work. Now that I’m finally home, though, it’s time for a new round of Down the TBR Hole! This week, after ending last round with 706 books on my ‘Want to Read’ shelf, I’ll be starting this round with 705 books. I’m doing rather well not adding a ton of books to my TBR!

Now, time to see if I can trim it down even more.

A Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth

This is a book I don’t really remember adding to my TBR. I’m assuming it’s because of the cover because look at it! Utterly gorgeous 😍 Having read the synopsis, though, I know it’s not going anywhere. It features a weird house, which is one of my favorite things! It sounds creepy and magical and, now that I know what it’s about, I’m eager to read it.

Verdict: Keep

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

This contemporary novel sounds like it was written specifically so that I would love it. It features a bookish woman who is very much an introvert. Kind of like me. She’s a fan of trivia and has a cat. Like me! I feel like this is a book I would be able to get into very easy, even though I’m not a big contemporary reader. I’m excited to give this one a go!

Verdict: Keep

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Down the TBR Hole #37

It’s time for a new round of Down the TBR Hole! This is where I go through my Goodreads ‘Want to Read’ shelf and do a bit of cleaning up. If you want to see the full description of what this post is all about, check out my first round HERE.

Hello, reader!

Tuesday seems like a good day for another round of Down the TBR Hole! I’ve managed another week without adding the same amount of books I removed last round 😂 In fact, I ended the last round with 710 books on my ‘Want to Read’ shelf and I’m starting this one with 709 books! I really need to use my backlist books as my readathon picks more often. It’s certainly helped me cut down on my owned TBR this month!

Now let’s see if I can cut down my unread TBR.

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

This is a book that I’m fairly certain I added to my TBR simply because a lot of people in the bookish community were talking about it. I couldn’t even remember what it was about! Having read the synopsis, it sounds vaguely interesting, but not enough for me to keep it around. Who knows… it might reappear on the TBR one day.

Verdict: Remove

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

After witnessing so many Booktubers read and love this book, I just have to keep it around. I’m also a big fan of contemporaries that have a bit of the fantastic mixed in. This sounds like a book that will gut me and, honestly, it’s been awhile since I’ve read a book that’s made me outright cry. Tear up? Sure. Actual tears? Not so much. Perhaps this will be the one.

Verdict: Keep

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First Lines Friday #53

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?  If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first (I cheat a little bit here *cough*)
  • Finally… reveal the book!

If you’re using Twitter, don’t forget to use #FirstLinesFridays!

Hello, reader!

Happy First Lines Friday! This has been quite the week and I’m working this weekend, but I’m still happy to be chilling at home on this Friday. As I chill, I’ll be picking up a fairly popular book that was picked as a book of the month for one of my Goodreads groups! I’m honestly not sure how I’m going to feel about this one… I’ve loved previous books from this author, but the synopsis doesn’t have me sold.

Let’s see if the first few lines can make me excited to pick this up!

The Line(s):

“Malibu catches fire.

It is simply what Malibu does from time to time.

Tornadoes take the flatlands of the Midwest. Floods rise in the American South. Hurricanes rage against the Gulf of Mexico.

And California burns.”

The Hints:

This is an historical fiction by a pretty popular author.

The story in the more current timeline takes place all in one day.

And it has characters that you can find in the author’s other books.

The Reveal:

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