It's time for my annual accounting of books read (often devoured) in 2022.
In the past year I read 58 books, a few short of my goal of 60. But I topped my page goal of 18,000 with a grand total of 21,994 pages, meaning, I read longer books, often more complex. (Why do I do this? Curiosity, and to keep myself accountable. I won't read just to check off a book or pages; I'll give it a fair shot, but life's too short.)
All books listed here have been reviewed in previous posts and are linked.
My Top Twelve in no particular order...
"The Offing" -- Richard Myers (fiction) -- A beautiful coming of age story of a young man who decides to travel to the sea and en route meets an aging woman who changes his perspective on life.
"Provence 1970" -- Luke Barr (biography) -- A look at the year during which some of America's best food writers, including M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, Richard Olney and more, met up several times in Provence.
"The Madness of Crowds" -- Louise Penny (mystery) -- Louise Penny's visit to Three Pines finds the village post-pandemic.
When a speaking event turns violent, Gamache is forced to consider what
happens when one of the village's own is involved.
"The Man Who Died Twice" -- Richard Osmun (mystery) -- Richard Osmun's second "Thursday Club Murder" series finds the retired gang dealing with not one but two cases.
"It's Hard Being You" -- Sharon Emery (memoir) -- Journalist Sharon Emery takes us through her personal journey as a mother surviving the loss of a child with special needs and her own challenges with a stutter she has had throughout her life, with humor, courage and strength in this powerful memoir.
"Lady In Waiting" -- Anne Glenconner (memoir) -- Princess Margaret's Lady in Waiting, Lady Anne Glenconner, walks us through her intriguing life in the British upper classes.
"The Splendid and the Vile" -- Erik Larson (history) -- The historian takes us through the life of Winston Churchill and
his family (particularly his daughter, Mary) during the first year of
World War II.
"The Palace Papers" -- Tina Brown (history) -- Royal watcher Tina Brown turns her eye to the future of the
monarchy, including the relationships of Charles and Camilla, William
and Kate and Harry and Meghan. (Written prior to Queen Elizabeth II's
"The Betrayal of Anne Frank" -- Kate Sullivan (history) -- Rosemary Sullivan follows a group of researchers through a multi-year exhaustive search to discover who the group believes was the person to betray Anne Frank and her family to the Nazis in World War II.
"The Rose Code" -- Kate Quinn (fiction) -- Kate Quinn follows the stories of three woman who work in the secret code breaking unit of Bletchley Park during World War II.
"New York" -- Edward Rutherfurd -- Edward Rutherfurd traces the history of New York City from its early years to almost-present day in this fascinating novel focusing on the intersecting lives of several families over the centuries.
"The Reading List" -- Sara Nisha Adams -- In this thought-provoking novel that sticks with you after the last
page, a young woman working at a library finds a list of novels, and in
reading through them -- and building a friendship with an elderly
widower -- finds her perspective on life radically changed.
Books by Category
Mystery is my favorite genre and there were some good ones this year. Leading the pack were books by "old friends" -- anything by Louise Penny, Susan Hill, Elly Griffiths or Anthony Horowitz. (A shout-out to a new-to-me Horowitz series, the "Hawthorne" books). Of the authors with which I was unfamiliar, I especially liked the two Camilla Trinchieri books, both set in Italy. And I was delighted by Richard Osmun's second book in the Thursday Murder Club series, "The Man Who Died Twice.
- The Decagon House Murders -- Yokito Ayatsuji
- Death of a Busybody -- George Bellairs
- Murder in Chianti -- Camilla Trinchieri
- The Madness of Crowds -- Louise Penny
- The Benefit of Hindsight -- Susan Hill
- Maigret Hesitates -- Georges Simenon
- Under Violent Skies -- Judi Daykin
- The Consequences of Fear -- Jacqueline Winspear
- The Word is Murder -- Anthony Horowitz
- Untrue Blue -- Emma Jameson
- The Tenant -- Katrine Enberg
- Death on the Nile -- Agatha Christie
- The Man Who Died Twice -- Richard Osmun
- Wilful Behaviour --Donna Leon
- The Sable Messenger -- Francis Vivian
- The Bitter Taste of Murder -- Camilla Trinchieri
- To Perish in Penzance -- Jeanne M. Dams
- The Sentence Is Death -- Anthony Horowitz
- The Night Hawks -- Elly Griffiths
- State of Terror -- Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny
- A Change of Circumstance -- Susan Hill
- Uniform Justice -- Donna Leon
- Treachery in Tuscany -- Phyllis Gobbels
- Pursuit in Provence -- Phyllis Gobbles
- Secrets and Shamrocks -- Phyllis Gobells
- Winter of Discontent -- Jeanne M. Dams
- The Mysterious Affair at Styles -- Agatha Christie
- Murder at the Vicarage -- Agatha Christie
- Curtain --Agatha Christie
- Sleeping Murder -- Agatha Christie
- Not Dark Yet -- Peter Robinson
- The Reckoning -- Rennie Aith
- A Line to Kill -- Anthony Horowitz
- Meet Isobel Puddles -- M.V. Byrne
- Murder at the Theatre Royale -- Ada Moncrieff
- The Santa Klaus Murder -- Mavis Doriel Hay
I love life stories and while I didn't read many this year, the ones I read were well worth the time. Leading the pack was Sharon Emery's "It's Hard Being You," to which I have returned more than once, "The Year of Living Danishly (by Helen M. Russell), "Provence 1970," focusing on some of America's best food writers and their life in France that year, Lucy Worsley's "Agatha Christie" and Anne Glenconner's "Lady in Waiting," about her life in England's aristocracy and as a lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret.
- It's Hard Being You --Sharon Emery
- The Road Through Miyuma -- Leila Philip
- Will She Do? -- Eileen Atkins
- Appetite for Life (Julia Child) -- Noel Riley Fitch
- The Year of Living Danishly -- Helen M. Russell
- Call the Midwife -- Jennifer Worth
- One Singular Sensation (Michael Bennett) -- Kevin Kelly
- Agatha Christie -- Lucy Worsley
- Lady In Waiting -- Anne Glenconner
- Provence 1970 --Luke Barr
Two, maybe three books here might slip into the biography category, for all the life it shares of its subjects, the book take a more historic focus. I would put "The Betrayal of Anne Frank," "The Palace Papers" (today's royals) by Tina Brown and Erik Larson's fascinating story of Churchill in the first year of WWII at the top of my list.
- The Betrayal of Anne Frank -- Rosemary Sullivan
- The Palace Papers -- Tina Brown
- In the Garden of Beasts -- Erik Larson
- The Splendid and the Vile -- Erik Larson
I'm not a huge fiction fan (apart from mysteries) and I'm especially not fond of fictional biography, although I was quite fascinated by "The Bridal Chair," about Marc Chagall's daughter, Ida. Other leaders in this category. Three others stood out from the pack here: Kate Quinn's "The Rose Code" (Bletchley Park), Edward Rutherfurd's masterful "New York" and Richard Myers eloquent and beautiful coming-of-age story, "The Offing." "Mrs Queen Takes the Train" (William Kuhn) is a lollipop but a delightful one.
- Mrs. Queen Takes the Train -- William Kuhn
- Lost -- Richard Lassin
- The Paris Bookseller -- Kerri Maher (bio-fiction)
- The Offing -- Richard Myers
- The Venice Sketchbook -- Rhys Bowen
- The Bridal Chair -- Gloria Goldreich (bio-fiction)
- An Elderly Lady Must Not be Crossed -- Helene Tursten
- The Paris Key -- Juliet Blackwell
- New York -- Edward Rutherfurd
- The Rose Code -- Kate Quinn
- The Reading List -- Sara Nisha Adams
Two non-fiction books not otherwise categorized were worth a read if they are your thing. I was especially intrigued by "Second Act Trouble" (Steve Siskin)
- Second Act Trouble -- Steve Siskin (behind the scenes of Broadway musical flops)
- The Plaza -- Julie Satow (the story of New York's fabled hotel)
This is my "Miscellaneous" file. The hit here was Vita Sackville-West's brief but enchanting story of the "ghost" of Queen Mary's dollhouse, "A Note of Explanation," is a total delight.
- The Rodent Not Taken -- Jennifer McCartney (cat poetry)
- The DIY Home Planner -- Kerianne Wood (home dec)
- A Note of Explanation -- Vita Sackville West
- Paris -- a Curious Traveler's Guide -- Eleanor Aldridge (travel)
Amazing collection of books..
What a great list -- and so many favorites that I've also enjoyed, thanks to your recommendations. Nice to have these all in one place. Definitely bookmarking this post for future reference. Thank you!
I've only read 2 out of your top 12 but several out of the crime list.
Love a good book list and will look up some of your other titles
Very eclectic choices.
I thought I misread the title of "The Year of Living Danishly," and assumed it said Dangerously. Nope. It does say Danishly. What a fantastic title!
Lots of great books! Hugs, Valerie
A wonderful selection of books. Will be looking up some of those on your list. Haooy reading, Jeanie.
That is quite a substantial list! I love Japanese mysteries, Agatha Christie, Martin Walker, Osman, Elly Griffiths, and so many more. Obscure-ish ones too like Stowall and Waloo, the Swedish authors from years ago. And the classics of noir from the thirties and forties. So many good ones.
best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com
A varied list for sure but a great reading list. The Bridal Chair is on my tbr list. I might get to it this year.
I would have read 1 or 2 books a year lol. No comparison here
Hi, Jeannie and thanks for this list - it's always fun to see what others are reading and get recommendations. You might want to correct one title: It's Mrs. Queen Takes the Train. I really enjoyed that book, especially since I too visited the Royal Yacht in Glasgow, where it's now moored.
What a great summary!
With such a vast background of book reading, I think you are ready now to write your own book. (or maybe you've already written one?) I'm sure it'll be a good book.
Wow, you plowed through some heavy plot books. I am a mystery reader, so I enjoyed seeing that list.
Wow! I stagger around with three books parallel atm... but all in all... Maybe 5-10 books last year! I should again keep track, too...
A fantastic selection of books. Will check out some of those on your list.
Hugs and blessings, Jeanie!
Wow! I am amazed at all the books you read this year! You are a voracious reader for sure! I used to be but I find as I get older, reading is something which puts me to sleep and takes me longer. I do love to read, I just read fewer books. You are amazing Jeanie! xo
What a great post, I enjoyed seeing all the books you have read in 2022.
I usually stick to the mysteries, sometimes I enjoy a historic-fiction.
I am sure you have some mysteries listed I can add to my reading list.
Take care, enjoy your day and happy weekend!
Something for everyone here, Jeanie.
I love how you do an accountability post Jeanie. With all the links this must have taken a while to write. I'm with you; I won't read a book just to check it off as a book read. I don't list the ones I can't get through either, but it might be a fun end of the year post to see how many of those there were during a year. I love the photos you added also. I may have to steal that next year-smile. I've read 7 of your top 12 and I agree they are great books. I've added Lady In Waiting to my list as it sounds good. And I need to read some other Edward Rutherford book as I once again forgot about him. Audible was having a sale this past week and I picked up book one of the Anthony Horowitz series. Thank you for that recommendation. And I need to get back to Susan Hill. And didn't you love The Year of Living Danishly? And lastly I will mention that I found The Reading List in my audible account. It must have been a daily deal at some point, so I've downloaded it to listen to. OK, this comment could go on for pages...but I guess I better stop. Thanks for this fun post. I enjoyed seeing this accountability list and picking out some books to add to my wish list. Hugs-Erika
I applaud you Jeanie!
Thanks for sharing your reviews Jeanie, you read quite a nice variety of books last year!
You are certainly an avid reader and I like the range of subjects that interest you. Since my teens, the first time I visit a new friend's home, I like to see what they read. It really helps know someone. Unless they are non-reader like my friend Vickie. That's something I can't share with her.
Well done, Jeannie! I usually read murder mysteries!
What an amazing list. Thanks!
I am never that organized in my book reading list.
Louise Penny's books are just becoming intriguing to me after reading The State of Terror. I most often gravitate to historic fiction, but mysteries are starting to pop up on my list more often. Maybe it is your influence. i have started watching Three Pines on Amazon Prime because of several mentions of it from different friends. Now might pick up the book. I always love reading your reviews.
You're amazing. Where do you find the time?
I have only read one of your favorite - the Penny book! I also loved that one. How is she still writing so well when the series is in the upper teens? I've heard the latest installment is excellent, too!
58 books is wonderful - and you exceeded your page count goal! I don't really set a goal for the # of books to read/year because I don't want to pressure myself to read a set amount as then I will possibly choose shorter books so as to meet that goal. But I am a weirdo when it comes to goals.... I hate not achieving something I set out to do!
You are a prolific reader. Enjoy
HAHA...I count a lot of things but I can't say that I ever counted the books I have read in a yr. But I can tell you that I have not come close to the amount that you set! lol....I am struggling to get through one right now only cause I like to read before bed time and usually by the time I go to bed, I am too tired to read. Either that or Misty decides that it is time to lay across my chest. Reading through her is not doable.
What a great year you had!! I just checked out my first Louise Penny from the library, I am excited to read it. I also have The Thursday Murder Club on my TBR.
I loved the Year of Living Danishly. It made me want to move there honestly!
Oh my gosh, you have so many great books here. I am going to bookmark this post so that I can return to see what I want to put on my list. Thanks so much Jeanie :) Did I wish you Happy New Year yet? If not, Happy New Year!
Glad you found so many books you enjoyed.
Have a great weekend and read on:)
I've just discovered Louise Penney....and hooked on her work!
Quite a varied collection of books. I see you are on a quest to read Agatha Christie, which I would like to do as well. Erik Larson has been on my list for a long time, and I just don't know why I never come around to read him. Should be very good. I liked Osman's first book, but have not yet read the second. The Betrayal of Anne Frank sounds like an interesting book.
Well don for 2022. Good luck for 2023.
Oh your are the reading champ. Some very interesting books here. Have a great day today.
Thanks for writing this post because I know it took a lot of time and effort. I'm bookmarking it, and I will refer to it this year. My book club read The Thursday Murder Club this month, and the series is becoming very popular around here. Even the younger people loved it!
Have a great weekend!
Wow, Jeanie, you are so incredibly well-read! What a cool post, what a collection of books! I'm hoping to do better in reading in 2023. I'm afraid my screens, Sudokus, and life itself distract me from doing what I love to do.
Thanks for the great motivation!
That certainly is a good lot of books.
The Richard Osman books seem quite popular, I must try one this year ...
I hope you are having an enjoyable weekend.
My good wishes.
All the best Jan
Thanks so much for stopping by as often as you do...I am just catching up on my visits as I have been busy trying to get the house changed over to Winter/Valentine's...I can not beleive that you read 58 books....I need to make more time for reading...It is one of my goals for this year....
I hope you are having a lovely weekend!!
Well done! I didn't know you were a big fan of mysteries. It seems a lot of women are. Me, not so much as I tend to prefer historical fiction. However I have added a few mystery books to my list in the last few years just to have some variety.
Awesome! You fully understand that curiosity is the most mighty ship we embark in our daily life.
What a list! Or rather what lists! I've like Louise Penny for a long time, but I only discovered Anthony Horowitz last summer when I read Magpie Murders.
Thanks for stopping by my Fourth Wish blog and commenting. Sadly, something has gone crazy with it and now I can't comment on it to reply. I wanted you to know that the writing I used to do for Fourth Wish will now be on my Wordpress blog: https://elizabethvaradan.wordpress.com .
For some reason the Victorian Scribbles blog still works, so I will keep that one and post on it about books and ivents involving the Victorian Era/Gilded Era .
Happy New Year and have a great day. I will probably come back to this post a few times to check out books I want to read. :-)
I always enjoy your reviews and was excited to read your top 12. I did not reach my goal in 2022, but I am ok with that. There was a lot of fun with my three grands and I did read many books to the girls!
Great review of the reviews. You read a LOT and I also love mysteries. Imopressive numbers,
Hi, Jeanie. That's quite a list of books, I'm very impressed! I used to read a lot, although never as much as you. I blame menopause on my lack of concentration these days. :( Still do try occasionally to get through a few. In fact, I bought one recently, Prince Harry's memoir, and it's good so far.
Many years ago I read some Agatha Christie. We watch a lot of movies/series though so I've enjoyed some of her mysteries that way.
MOst of the books you mentioned I haven't read except for the Agatha Christies (ages ago) and, of course, "The Splendid and the Vile" which is one of the most interesting books I read in the past few years. I will look into some of these books. A good reading year for you, that's for sure.
It really is impressive, Jeanie, that you filtered your 2022 reading in such an impressive post. I read about 60 books last year, discounting ones I started but didn’t finish. Sometimes, as hard as I may try to finish a book, there are times to give up. That happened just lwast week with an audio and a Kindle book. How about you? This year, my reading focus is on more nonfiction.
Impressive, Jeanie! I have saved the link to this post on my reading list, as there are several on here I'd like to read. The problem always is, which one to choose next! Have a great day.
I always love your book reviews and you really put together an amazing post my friend. I keep coming back to it again and again to see what books I want to try to find at my library! Happy reading!
You had a year of good reading. I am especially interested in seeing the memoirs you read and enjoyed this year. I'm hoping to write and illustrate a little memoir of my own this year.
What a list! You had a pretty great reading year by the look of it.
Thank you so much for this post and the synopses! I have 3 books on my 'Must read' list. So impressed you can get one a week+ read. I can barely get through my weekly issue of The New Yorker.
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