This is a Good Book Thursday, December 29, 2022

Tammy requested a “Best Book I Read This Year” post, so knock yourselves out.

My problem is, I couldn’t remember what books I read this year for the first time. Lotta re-reads. So I checked my Kindle list and found out I bought 333 books this year, most for two bucks off BookBub, and the majority of those were cookbooks (note to self: stop buying cookbooks). I also found out that I couldn’t remember what most of the novels were about, nothing struck me as so good I’d have to read it again. This is bad. So I’m going to go with the best New Age romance I read, The Deal by Elle Kennedy, which I bought and probably read in May of 2021.

Now, go: What were the best books you read in 2022?

137 thoughts on “This is a Good Book Thursday, December 29, 2022

  1. Ocean’s Echo (Everina Maxwell) would be the most recent best book of the year, but there’s Grief of Stones (Katherine Addison), and undoubtedly best dog of the year, Nettle and Bone (T. Kingfisher.) And several others.

    1. Ditto!!

      Also “Even Though I Knew The End” by CL Polk, a great short novel about love and bargains set in a 1930s Chicago.

  2. I also had to look at my Kindle purchases and it was interesting to see that I haven’t bought that many books as I do a lot of rereads like many people here.
    The best book I read in 2022 has to be the Hands of the Emperor by Victoria Goddard.
    In a completely different genre, I also enjoyed Call me maybe by Cara Bastone very much.
    I am already rereading Four Kings by Karan Anders and enjoying it very much but not so much for the plot which is fairly non existent but because I really like the characters and their nerdy interests!

    1. My book purchasing has dropped since I got the Kindle Unlimited subscription. The upside is I am a lot more adventurous and the reach of what I can read is much broader. It’s a nice supplement to my library memberships.

    2. How did I leave Hands of the Emperor out? I scrolled through my list and didn’t see it and thought it must have been 2021 but there it is in 2022 when I do a search. Maybe I was unconsciously saving it for Best of the Decade.

    3. I am so glad to find other people loving Hands of the Emperor – I was so smitten by the entire thing, and now there are two more for afters! The Return of Fitzroy Angursell and At the Feet of the Sun.

    4. I read “The Book of Firsts” by Karan Anders this year and had a similar experience. The sex didn’t interest me as much as the details of the heroine’s school life, which was so different from mine.

    5. Thank you for mentioning that Four Kings is out already, I’m rushing off to buy and read it now!

  3. I think the best one for me was JoJo Moyes The Giver of Stars. I have trouble reading these days (anyone else? Why is it?), but I spent a couple of delicious days reading about the packhorse librarians.

    1. I have trouble reading off and on. It’s not nearly as bad now, for me, as it was during the full on pandemic years. I couldn’t focus on anything new, was afraid to try new things. Just fully at capacity, I guess.

      It still hits me sometimes, but I have reread my favorites so often that they need a break. Which is why I dive into cheap, short smut. It’s the least demanding genre I know. And the bizarre scenarios amuse me.

        1. I have not. I am a very slow reader, so most of my new stuff is dependent on what is available to me free in audiobook form. She is still in the rotation, but I have Keira Andrews in backlog to listen to.

      1. Speaking of bizarre scenarios – Ilona Andrews did a standalone story “A Mere Formality” in their Kinsman universe which uses smut for diplomacy. That one always delights me 🙂

  4. How about best new to me author? I took, have trouble remembering this year, even though I started tracking my books again on Goodreads.

    I think that this year I found CM Nascosta and Charlie Adhara, both of whom got added to the coveted automatic purchase list and comfort reread list. I read and reread a lot of books that I loved from authors who I trust, but these are the new arrivals.

    And now I am 20 percent of the way into the Four Kings. Like LN says, its pretty light on plot, but I don’t care. I love revisiting these characters in this place and low drama books are now a bonus for me.

    Previous to that I was reading a lot of short monster and or alien smutty smut. I find it comforting too. The stand out this week is Nepenthe by Octavia Hyde. Complete tentacle porn, but well done in my opinion. It’s really three related short stories grouped into one book and I enjoyed them all. The last one is m/m with surprising sweetness, but should be ready in order. Looking at you, Tammy. Hint hint.

    1. Oh like you haven’t already dragged me down the tunnel of Ice Planet Barbarians where I’ve now read four human female/male alien romances (aliens are inevitably blue in romances, why is that??) and now you want to fling me into another??

      1. But you’ll LIIIIKE this one (she whines).

        And I am not sure, but I think that Ruby Dixon was pretty early on the scene for alien romance. I think that it may be her fault that all the sexy aliens are now blue. It got cemented in people’s brains.

        Also, the tentacle aliens are purple. So there.

        1. Purple is blue with a lot of pink added. And there are an endless number of the Ice Planet books!

          FINE. I’ll try this Nepenthe-y thing.

          1. Yeah it’s funny you should say because I thought that four was enough for a while. I do appreciate though that when I started them I thought they would be silly – the Barbarian name is a misnomer – but I liked how the overall arc is really about building a settlement between two species.

          2. And they are very sweet and comforting. I usually like both main characters in each book and they are distinct. It’s good alien comfort smut, but I need to space them out.

          3. Okay finished the first book. You were right – delicious alien smut. And not silly. Downloaded the second.

  5. Finlay Donovan is Killing It/Finlay Donovan Knocks em Dead – the only books this year that made me laugh out loud and read until dawn. The next is coming out late January.

    This has been a hard year. My ex died (cancer, so not exactly sudden), leaving everything for me to clean up after him. Two weeks after mentioning to the estate agent that he died, I’m told I have to get out of my rental house because the owner (who is an Anglican minister) wants to move back in. I was assured that was only a coincidence…

    I started a new job just as I finally find a temporary place to live, and the removalist used my credit card details to gamble (fortunately there wasn’t much left for him to take).

    I’m just about to move again, this time for at least a year. This year has got to be better!

    1. That’s a lot of turmoil and loss and mess in one year! I hope 2023 is the opposite, and full of great changes and good things.

    2. So sorry to hear all that happened to you. Hope you can at least get that credit card money back from the removalist, although that sounds like the least of it.

  6. I was laughing out loud last night at the bread penis in Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake. My DH even wanted to know what that was all about.

  7. I read about 370 books this year, including novellas and excluding rereads. Favourites:

    Lyn Gala: Claimings series, Earth Fathers series
    Anna Butler, Lancaster’s Luck series, Taking Shield series
    Cait Nary: Season’s Change
    Margaret Rogerson: Vespertine
    Casey McQuiston: Red, White & Royal Blue
    Iris Foxglove: Pieces of Silver
    Alexis Hall: Boyfriend/Husband Material
    Lesli Richardson: Yes, Governor
    Travis Balder: Legends and Lattes
    Eileen Glass: Human Omega series
    Victoria Goddard: The Hands of the Emperor
    Rachel Reid: The Long Game
    Andrea K Host: Pyramids of London
    Money: Jacob Goldestein
    Alexandra Caluen: Be Mine, Public Offering
    AJ Demas: Honey & Pepper
    T Kingfisher: Paladin series
    Lee Welch: Seducing the Sorcerer
    Ali Hazelwood: The Love Hypothesis
    Kay Simone: One Giant Leap
    Alessandra Hazard: Heartless
    Joanna Chambers & Sally Malcom: Home Grown Talent
    CM Nascosta: Run, Run Rabbit
    Taylor Fitzpatrick: And Then
    David Sederis: Happy-Go-Lucky
    Lilah Pace: Royal duology
    Naomi Novak: The Golden Enclaves
    Alexandra Rowland: A Taste of Gold & Iron
    Charlie Adhara: Monster Hunt Book I, Big Bad Wolf series
    LJ Hayward: Where Death Meets the Devil
    AJ Lancaster: A Rake of His Own
    Cat Sebastian: Daniel Cabot Puts Down Roots
    TA Moore: Digging Up Books duology

        1. I don’t have that much restraint. I recommend as soon as I read and then I forget. It must have been this year.

        1. I am very flattered you tried them on my recommendation but there are also quite a few on the list that I read because you recommended them!

          1. Yours was actually the first Argher recommendation I ever read – KJ Charles’ Band Sinister.

        1. Sorry- was supposed to be a reply to LN about Tammy’s list. I totally have to check out more from Tammy’s list because we definitely have some overlap in what we like.

          1. Replying to Tammy’s comment below; for some reason there isn’t a reply box. Anyway- check back tomorrow? I didn’t see this til late, and I will add some toward the bottom of the comments 😊.

  8. Best new book all year?!? Is that like, “Which of your grandchildren is your favorite?”

    I think two of the Penric and Desdemona novellas were this year. They’d be up there. There’s that serialized book(s). Variation on a Theme Book 3 was completed, book 4 is in progress. There was the Enola Holmes series. When was the last Murderbot Diary published?

    Never mind. I can’t answer the question.

  9. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue was AMAZING. I also read a biography of Sir Terry Pratchett, A Life in Footnotes, which I thoroughly loved and highly recommend. I also really liked Kiwi Sin by Rosalind James, which is not at all steamy despite the name.

    1. I enjoyed The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, too, with its Faustian pact, but I could not put down Gallant by the same author and I would highly recommend that book if you have never read V.E. Schwab.

  10. Gack. No idea. There are so many. But the good book I read most recently was The Fair Botanists by Sara Sheridan. It takes place in Edinburgh in 1822, and I think of it as a sort of historical women’s fiction, as the two main characters are women trying in their very different ways to be independent. There’s lots of interesting historical detail and a great mix of historical and imaginary players. Recently I’ve been reading a biography of Sir Walter Scott for research purposes, so I was delighted to find him taking part in the story.

    At this very moment it’s only 99 cents for Kindle, but probably not for long.

  11. Read Shannon Stacey’s newest Sutton Place, Falling for His Fake Girlfriend. ADHD heroine, fake dating, much fun. Loved how the heroine uses my coping tactics to get things done.

  12. I just finished Notorious Sorcerer ( and really enjoyed it…

    Legends and Lattes ( (I’m pretty sure that was this year) was definitely a favorite.

    Merry Little Meet Cute ( was both a hot romance, and really funny.

    I’m sure I’m going to suddenly sit up in the middle of the night tonight with four other titles suddenly leaping to mind, but that’s what I’ve got for the moment.

  13. Thanks to this group, I delved into a number of different genres this year. I think my favorite is The Goblin Emperor, by Katherine Addison. I read it and re-read it this year. The characters are riveting, and the drama draws me in. I liked Nettle and Bone, by T. Kingfisher, and will probably re-read it early next year. The magic was completely off the wall, and the characters were just lovely, with a slowly developing love story and no sex. Red, White, and Royal Blue, by Alexis Hall, was a complete departure for me, a great fantasy, and a fun read. I re-read the first Murderbot diary, by Martha Wells, then went on to read the next three. I have two more on my TBR pile. That is a completely new genre for me, and the action moves quickly, the plots are varied, and Murderbot keeps changing in mystifying ways.

    This week, I finished Husband Material. I also liked Oliver’s speech about his dad, but the rest of the book was silly and tedious stuff. I read the first three Penric books and enjoyed them. I’m undecided about reading more.

    Thanks to all of you for your excellent descriptions of the books you read, and for introducing me to new experiences.

      1. You’re right! I did not have the book handy, and the cover art is very similar to that on Alexis Hall’s books. Maybe it’s the same publisher? Thanks for correcting that.

    1. While the first 3 Penric are very good, I think the later ones are even better. I am assuming you went in chronological order rather than publication order because if you had just read Penric’s mission, I am not sure how you wouldn’t want to continue!

      1. I got the volume of the first three books. Thanks for the recommendation. I will look for Penric’s Mission.

  14. I’m going to have to go with Travis Balder: Legends and Lattes, although there were a number of other books I liked almost as much. Donna Andrews (I think there were two), Trisha Ashley, and a bunch of others. Mostly I forget what I’ve read, even when I like it a lot.

    1. Ditto for Travis Balder’s Legends and Lattes. I read 140 books this year (according to my Goodreads Stats page), but I remember few. This one is on the top of that small pile.

  15. Consults reading list for 2022 and hangs head in shame, I didn’t even comfort read this year. I managed a JAK (reliably enjoyable), the latest Plum Evanovich (ok) the newest Phryne Fisher (not great, since I am there for the clothes and the food) 3 Enola Holmes books, 2 short stories by P. Djèlí Clark (packs a vivid world in a few words) and one children’s murder mystery- The Ministry of Unladylike Activity by Robin Stevenson. I quite enjoyed the last one, but I do like her school girl murder mysteries

  16. My library tracks what I check out, thank goodness, and I track the title I read for book club each month. Otherwise, like many of you, I forget. And I do a lot of rereading for comfort in these unsettling times.
    Best Historical Fiction: West With Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge
    Loosely based on true event of moving 2 young giraffes from East Coast to West Coast in 12 days during the Depression.
    Best Essay Collection: Ann Patchett’s These Precious Days

    1. I will come back later with books but I want to flag for you all a real life detective story unfolding on medieval Twitter (a concept I love) where the well respected manuscript researcher Peter Kidd discovered someone had plagiarized his blog and when the plagiarist Carla Rossi attacked him he went public on Twitter with the result that many skilled researchers have helped uncover her fraudulent research institute. It’s #receptiogate or you can read his blogs here
      My favorite bit so far is Rossi’s husband created a Twitter handle to attack Kidd viciously (his attempt at anonymity was uncovered by said researchers) and the image he used was of a burglar.

      It looks like they succeeded in getting significant grant money to support their weak research. Pretty clearly no one ever told Rossi that when you are in a hole you should stop digging.

      I recommend it with popcorn.

        1. Medieval historians, literary folk, art, architecture, religion, etc. If I have to leave twitter, I will miss these sorts of communities. Start with Dr Eleanor Janega
          @GoingMedieval and mine her follower list. She also has an excellent podcast called We are not so Different.

          1. Yep. But for this story just go to and search #receptiogate or Peter Kidd. You don’t have to be on it to do this I believe

      1. Well that was interesting. It brings back memories of the Orlando Figes’ scandal: an historian who posted negative reviews on Amazon against academics in the same field of study and then threatened legal action when first confronted before admitting he had done what he was accused of.

    2. Wow. Really? Your library still tracks? Our town’s library stopped tracking when, after 9/1/1, ostensibly for security reasons, the US government was given power to subpoena reading lists. Just no to that ability.

      1. My library never tracked. It now tracks ebook borrows, but you can opt out. I haven’t because I have so much trouble remembering what I just returned five minutes ago to add it to the List.

  17. I received an e-mail from amazon regarding my Kindle Unlimited membership. They’ve tracked me by my ‘2022 reading roundup”. Including hours spent reading, number of books, pages, the longest and shortest, money saved, and I think most important the number of different authors I’ve read (129) now that is a surprise. Also, the genre, from popular to obscure. I don’t have to ask where the time went it’s right there in black and white.

    On the downside (according to them) I haven’t been using my magazine benefit and they are right I can’t remember the last time I downloaded a magazine. It must be all the adds.

    At first, I was a bit miffed about their access to me and what I read and then I remembered I do have a checkout history from the library going back twelve years which I never deleted. I use it as a reference just on the off chance I’m not taking something out I’ve seen (dvds) or read before.

  18. Wait, your Kindle will tell you what books you read this year? I just see the library with all the books in it, I need to investigate this. Every year I have no idea how many/what books I read. Just, books! Read some! As many as possible!

    also I forgot to mention I picked up Tessa Baily’s Happenstance on a Bookbub deal and it sucked me right in. Not finished yet, I keep having to do stuff like feed people instead of reading.

    1. I have my kindle linked to my Goodreads account, also owned by Amazon. It keeps track of books I have read, dates, authors I follow, etc.

    2. Go to Reading Insights in your Kindle and it shows you all your stats and everything you read this year.

        1. Nor me. Bizarre! Of course, it assumes I’m not reading whenever I switch to a print book. Can’t remember anyone being so keen to see me read more.

  19. In no particular order:

    Legends and Lattes. It was just wonderful.
    The Guncle.
    The Flatshare.
    Nettle and Bone.
    The Light Between Worlds.
    Where the Drowned Girls Go.
    Call me maybe.
    The SJ Bennett books with the Queen.
    The Richard Osman books.

    There are more but I’m too tired to look them up.

  20. Thank goodness for my favourites shelf on Goodreads.

    My favourite reads this year were:

    In Step – Jay Hogan
    Adult Assembly Required – Abbi Waxman
    A Wizard’s Guide To Defensive Baking – T Kingfisher
    A Single Thread of Moonlight – Laura Wood

    Also while I’m here, thanks to everyone for the warm welcome. We’ve finally got a funeral date sorted – it’s not for three weeks so that relatives who are staying in Canada at the moment can attend, but at least things can begin to move forward. Books are most definitely helping as a way to relax, whether it’s reading them or reorganising my bookshelves in a vain attempt to feel like I’m doing something.

    1. We are happy to have you. I love reorganizing my books as a form of therapy. Touching them makes me happy. Also, I am on the hunt for a new shelf or two…

      1. Reorganising bookshelves is most definitely a form of therapy. Finding books you forgot you owned in the process is an excellent side effect…

          1. My best friend once offered to help me reorganise my bookshelves, I laughed and refused as alone I get sidetracked and end up reading things I forgot I had. She’s worse, I took her to a second hand book shop in Charing Cross once, narrow, inaccessible and she still fell down a rabbit hole with a historical biography. I think people had to walk around her that day.

  21. Oh, we watched Glass Onion this week and really liked it. It’s different from Knives out, without as much heart, but it’s still witty and fun and colorful. I laughed a good bit.

  22. I’m glad you’re feeling comfy here, Hannah. You know, at my dad’s funeral my sisters and I set up a tableau on a table near the doors with items that reminded us of him — Doublemint gum, a small pocketful of 1950s coins, a photo of him in his WWII uniform (10th Mtn division) and that kind of thing. We should have brought in some of our mystery/who was this? photos, but I didn’t think of that 30 years ago. There might have been people there to assist in researching those.

    1. That would have been a great idea! Why is it that the best ideas only come with the benefit of hindsight?

      My mum was a difficult character – she hadn’t spoken to her sisters for over 20 years, and she only really spoke to/socialised with me, her cousin, and one or two friends. We found multiple pictures of her year in Italy which had the names of everyone pictured on the back, unfortunately she fell out of touch with them well before I was born and I have no surnames to go on if I wanted to track them down. However, a lot of the family are coming to the service to support me (when Mum shunned everyone else, I was always included in the extended family where she was not), and to say their goodbyes to a difficult, complicated woman.

      1. Hannah, My mom was a lot like yours. When I wrote her obituary, I tried to talk to the many friends and family who she had worn out. I tried to remind them of who she had been. The obituary cost me a mint; I could imagine her triumphing in having the longest obituary in that day’s paper.

        1. The thing that always strikes me is that we probably can’t understand our difficult older relatives without having more in-depth information about their disappointments with their own parents or caregivers, which came from the way they were raised and the pain that might have caused. And there’s also the thing about hormonal susceptibility during one’s romantic years, which can (and i think often does) lead to mating with someone who is completely different from you, and whose offspring that you co-parent seem to show such irritating tendencies to be like the other parent, rather than doing things properly and liking the same things that you do. Same thing probably applies to siblings or aunts/uncles who don’t resemble you and who have frustrated you since the moment you first met them. I can (now) easily see how things like that can lead a person straight down the road to curmudgeonhood.

          1. Jinx, I think you’ve nailed it. That’s one of the factors which makes finding out about one’s family members — even when it’s too late — so fascinating.

  23. The book I thought about the most this year was The Actual Star by Monica Byrne. Three timelines, each 1,000 years apart-past, among the 10th century Maya, present, far future, and a return to the Maya. Compelling read!

    Amongst our Weapons by Ben Aaronovitch, Ruby Fever by Ilona Andrews, and The Golden Enclaves by Naomi Novik were my other favs.

    I don’t want to look at Goodreads rn as it reminds me that I fell short of my reading goal. 80 instead of my goal of 100 but it was a tough year.

    Just finished Four Kings (yes, there is no plot but I still liked it) and hope to complete the Penric and Desdemona series by New Year’s day. I have two more to go!

  24. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus was my favourite book this year, and has become a comfort read. It is dark at the start but once you get past the first few chapters, it becomes a clever and funny book.

  25. Sourdough by Robin Sloan
    A Wizards Guide to Defensive Baking
    Rosalind Palmer Takes the Cake
    Good Omen
    The three new JAk’s under all three names
    Sparkle Witch
    So many new ones and tons of old rereads
    Happy New Year o am in Hawaii, not reading.

  26. I looked back through my Kindle orders (I’ve stopped buying fiction in print), and there isn’t a real stand-out new book. My best reads were rereading series/story worlds, some with new additions, by authors including Becky Chambers, A. J. Demas, Alexis Hall, Victoria Goddard, Katherine Addison, Martha Wells, Cara Bastone, Ali Hazelwood, Judith Flanders and Sarina Bowen.

    I’ve just read and enjoyed Fearne Hill’s Rossingley trilogy (thanks, Dodo). Nearly gave up on the first sample, due to misogynistic ‘banter’ between female characters meant to be sympathetic, but glad I stuck with it. There are faux pas (she has no idea how hereditary titles work, for example), but the m/m romances are strong enough to carry you through. Lovely main characters.

    I’m now partway through ‘At the Feet of the Sun’ and enjoying it a lot, despite the slow pace and repetition. Had to push though the beginning, though, by not letting the fact I couldn’t remember all the details referred to slow me down. And that’s despite the fact I’ve read ‘The Hands of the Emperor’ and ‘The Return of Fitzroy Angursell’ twice.

    1. I’m glad you liked the Rossingley series, Jane 😀. I have absolutely no knowledge about hereditary titles myself, so the errors didn’t bither me. Yet, it took me ages to listen to book 1. Loving book 2 and 3 made me finish it because I liked Lucien and Jay a lot in those later installments.

      1. Oh, I liked the first book – it’s my favourite. Freddie’s just not going to be a viscount, though, when his father’s nephew is an earl. An earl’s direct heir (his son) is likely to have the courtesy title of viscount, but that wouldn’t be transferred to a cousin; and in any case, it’s the uncle who’s the heir (I’ve served my time with Georgette Heyer). I’m also rather sceptical about her romantic view of French prisoners. But the stories are a lot of fun.

        1. I’ve listened to the first book which is always a very different experience than reading it. I like her medical knowledge though and the asthma stuff was what intrigued me in book 3. Education is also a turn on for me ;-): Freddy helping Reuben with studying was very very nice 😉 The prison stuff wouldn’t have drawn me into the story for sure.

  27. I agree about Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree; I’ve read it a few times since I first read it earlier this year. It’s become a comfort book for me. Other books I have enjoyed include Cici and the Curator by SJ Wynde and Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen.

  28. My favorite reads this year were some Judith Flanders mysteries, the Kim M. Watt dragon stories, and the SJ Bennett books about the Queen.

    Currently, I am reading Michelle Obama’s new book “The Light We Carry” which I got for Christmas, and I like it a lot.

  29. Two favorites. The book just read, The Dark Hours, Michael Connelly. And the reread of my 2022 calendar in preparation for calendar 2023. Both share a propulsive forward narration.

  30. I have just finished reading 7/8″ stack of documents and Signing and Initialing most of them with my full name. I now own a mortgage and a set of keys – lots and lots of keys. The dotter isn’t waiting for movers. She took mattresses and stuff right away. I’m back at the mancave to eat, then I’ll join her, but I’m sleeping in the garage tonight.

      1. I have surfaced, a very apt expression for an old submarine sailor, and I need a break. We don’t have internet yet and my grandchildren are up in arms and down at the mouth. I told them, “Life has ups and downs. This is a down.” I am obviously back at the old address, where my mattress is, to meet the movers in the morning (and because I can’t live without the net, either.)

        I haven’t moved the All-in-1 computer yet, nor the two printers, nor the Alexa widget (echo?) All my Tuits were square. I need to get a round Tuit. I just emptied the freezer. That means I ate a pound of tuna steaks and some low-sodium veggies. Earlier today I got a “Low Carb Double Cheeseburger” at Hardees. That means they substitute lettuce leaves for the bun. I guess all my condiments that required refrigeration after opening are headed for the trash. (Note to self: Arrange to stop trash pickup at old address and start at new address.)

    1. Oh Frabjous day! Okay, now stop celebrating and start loading up things to take over to the incipient basement garden spot. Good luck!!!

      1. Thank you! No celebrating – I decided to commence my “buyer’s remorse” immediately rather than procrastinating. I did order some furniture which wallyworld already delivered, then I paid EG (Eldest Grandson) to assemble it all. The basement being of nearly open design, the dotter keeps saying “Build a Wall!” to segregate my sleeping area from anyone coming down stairs to do laundry. “You need to build a wall, Dad!” I asked her when she switched to supporting the Donald and got a glaring, “That’s not funny” back. 🙂

        I will consider a wall when the dust settles, and I see what’s left in my accounts. “Build a wall” my eye!

          1. That was my thought, also. I had a really tiny apartment once where I made a guest room with a maze of bookshelves and an air mattress in the middle.

  31. Three titles in no particular order:
    The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen
    Nettle and Bone by T. Kingfisher
    A Master of Djinn by P. Djeli Clark

    Thanks to everyone for their suggestions!

  32. As of today I’ve read 416 ‘books’ in 2022, and I use the quote marks because I often use decimals if I’m reading shorts. 🙂 There are a lot of novellas etc in the mix, such that 2-3 short titles frequently add up to a single number.

    Thanks to my reading journal, serving in lieu of actual memory, for the following list of ‘best reads:’

    The Missing Page by Cat Sebastian
    Seven Summer Nights by Harper Fox
    Salt Magic, Skin Magic by Lee Welch
    Manners & Mannerisms by Tanya Chris
    Downtime by Tamara Allen
    Set My Heart to Five by Simon Stephenson
    Why Do Birds Suddenly Disappear? by Lev Parikian
    One Giant Leap by Kay Simone
    Eleventh Hour by Elin Gregory
    You & Me by Tal Bauer
    His Royal Secret/His Royal Favorite by Lilah Pace
    Let Not the Waves of the Sea by Simon Stephenson
    Shy by Mary Rodgers and Jesse Green
    Masters in This Hall by KJ Charles

    Let it be known that I read all Jay Hogan’s new releases and re-read several others; likewise Cat Sebastian & K.L. Noone. However this is a Best List and as you can see there was a lot of competition. The ‘would not have predicted’ top slot goes, I think, to Simon Stephenson because while neither of those books were romances, they both were beautifully written and thought-provoking and taught me something about storytelling.

  33. I’ve had trouble responding to Tammy and Jenny’s question because I can’t really remember my year in reading. Also, I began reading new books in 2022 — a nice change from the past several years — even though these mostly devolved into easy reading series.

    My favorite was All that She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack by Tiya Miles.

    The Bruno series that begins with Bruno, Chief of Police, by Martin Walker. It’s important to take these as fun books, not as examples of serious character development. Roll your eyes when Bruno falls for yet another woman who plays with his nipples. Cheer when he uses medieval trebuchets to stop a raging forest fire.

    The Mrs. Pollifax series that begins with The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax. They’re by Dorothy Gilman. Arghers recommended Mrs Pollifax when I realized how much fun I was having while planning a surprise 75th birthday party for my husband. They are fantastic. Again, remember that “fantastic” and “fantasy” are closely related.

    In all fairness, a return to Nero Wolfe mysteries by Rex Stout preceded my discovery of the series above. I try to ride my stationary bike 30 minutes daily. In that much time I can get through a chunk of one of these series installments.

  34. I just finished two of the best books I’ve read in a while: The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen and, even better, The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna. Seriously, go read that one right now.

  35. I mostly did rereads this year.
    The handful of new books that I really liked included the Uncommon Reader by Bennet (a novella on the subversive influence of books on the Queen), The Grief of Stones by Katherine Addison, the Gil Cunningham detective series, Paladin’s Hope—mostly for the last moment, TBH, and the Ellis Peters detective novels.
    However in compiling this list I see I have downloaded an enormous number of samples of books that look really good that I think I will have the energy to read now that I left my job and am doing part time consulting.

  36. I’m going to steal from Susan and say: The three new JAk’s under all three names. I also reread a lot of her books.

    Was Shane and the Hitwoman this year? If so – that book & Phoebe and the Traitor.

    Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen

    Tom Robbins book Tibetan Peach Pie

    And a lot of re-reading, of course!

    1. While I support library record privacy I have to admit it’s more to protect adolescents from their parents. I have not led a smirch free life but you wouldn’t see it from my reading history. And I think for most people that’s true.

  37. I will try not to repeat anyone else’s, and some of these were new to me, but may not be new this year.
    •Well Traveled – Jen DeLuca (4th in a series; all are good).
    •Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail – Ashley Herring Blake (sort of 2nd in a series, both are good).
    •Max Seventeen-Kate Johnson.
    •The Flat Share – Beth O’Leary.
    •Meddling Kids – Edgar Cantero.
    •Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts-Kate Racculia.
    •Unnatural Magic- C.M. Waggoner.
    •My Heart is a Chainsaw-Steven Graham Jones.

  38. According to my log I’ve read around 330 books this year (adjusting for short stories and novellas).

    Best new thing was a Harry / Draco fanfic ‘Heal Thyself’ by Astolat that was deeply satisfying. Next was “A Seditious Affair’ by KJ Charles which I love for the mix of politics, class, history and romance, ‘Psalm of the Wild Built’ by Becky Chambers, and the first Claimings book by Lyn Gala which is just perfect by itself (although the sequels are good too).

    I started the Discworld series, some of which are new to me, some re-reads; its been delightful with ‘Small Gods’ being my favorite so far. TJ Klune’s wonderfully intense ‘Wolfsong’, and Alexis Hall’s very funny ‘Roseline Palmer takes the Cake’ were great romances. Ada Palmer’s Terra Ignota series was remarkable for its sheer ambition and I think mostly pulled it off.

    Best new authors were Olivia Waite for her f/f historicals and Claire North, whose ‘Notes from the Burning Age’ was about peace, fear and compassion and despite a slow start ended up very much intriguing me.

    All up a very good reading year and I’m grateful for all the fantastic books, diligent authors and enthusiastic readers! Thank-you all for expanding my tbr to groaning :0)

  39. Stars Uncharted and Stars Beyond, by SK Dunstall – truly wonderful space opera.
    The Richard Osman books.
    A Rake of His Own, by AJ Lancaster – splendidly smutty, and by far the best of the Stariel series.
    Alexis Hall’s A Lady for a Duke and Something Fabulous – the latter is absurd and funny.
    The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels – funny, clever and romantic.
    The Lost Man, by Jane Harper – a long slow burn of a book.
    A Suitable Consort for the King and His Husband.

    I’m sure there were more excellent ones – these are the ones I can trace.

  40. I’m another member of the “mostly re-reads” club for 2022. I read some fave authors’ latest books but was slightly disappointed by them (Aaronovitch, Briggs). They weren’t bad, just not up to the level that I was expecting from them. Both seemed to be transitional books in their respective series. Still looking forward to their next books, although I think the next Mercy Thompson book won’t be until 2024.

    The only new-to-me book I really liked was the latest in Sherry Thomas’s Lady Sherlock series (Miss Moriarty, I Presume).

  41. I loved reading everyone’s lists. There are several books that others loved that I thought were good but not great and lots of titles I realized I had read because they were recommended here. Thank you to everyone who participates in Good Book Thursday because you keep me in new titles!

    I like many others really enjoyed The Hands of the Emperor. Also Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel, Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola, A Lady for a Duke by Alexis Hall, and Fabric by Victoria Findlay.

  42. My Goodreads list has a meagre 64 (not the complete number because I tend to note down the fiction and rarely the non-fiction books and I’ve read an awful lot of interesting scientific papers for enjoyment and some books that I forgot to list or are not included on the site) but I’ve never been a fast reader and when a book was particularly good, I want to enjoy the afterglow (same with films I love), so the number is more than okay for me 😉

    The one book (not listed on GR) that was a discovery this year and one that I bought in hardback to keep was a non-fiction: Roswitha von Bary’s “Herzogsdienst und Bürgerfreiheit” on the city of Munich’s administration which was a fascinating journey into my home towns past. She worked intensively with the sources and has a neat and compelling style.

    Among the fiction books I’ve read this year were quite a number that I liked, also a fair number that I didn’t like much (and either dnf or jumped ahead so that I had closure by reading the end), but as I grow older it gets harder to find a book that makes me swoon. Or I simply should change genre once in a while to keep my reading fresh.

    Well, one title i liked a lot, lot, although I can’t pinpoint why exactly. Dipped in sunshine by Fearne Hill had just the right ingredients: humour, a kind and lovely protagonist (no billionaire, no model), a quirky love interest, community, a fondness for certain soul food, not tooooo much smut.
    So my new favourite author of 2022 must be Fearne Hill as apart from the above title I liked some more of her back list titles, e.g. book 2 and 3 of her Rossingley series.

  43. Finally getting to Favorite Reads This Year….

    I loved Boyfriend Material and its sequel, loved the Jessie Mihalik series that begins with Polaris Rising, and loved Garden spells and its related books/setting. All of these came from suggestions here, which is part of why I love this blog. Thank you all!

    My favorite nonfiction book this year was There is Nothing For You Here, by Fiona Hill. I loved the semi-accidental way her life evolved from pedaling an ancient bicycle through a downtrodden mining village in Northeastern England, later to University, international travel, and eventually a job in the US at the White House. She has a fascinating mind and so much humility along with it — just a lovable sort of person from all I can tell. And she now lives in the town next to mine and once spent a summer exchange visit in the south German town of Tübingen, which is a place I did the same thing in, although much earlier. So I can kind of dig her life’s trajectory, at least in pieces.

    My favorite series experience this year has been fully experiencing the Penric and Desdemona series by Bujold, which I’d just dipped into slightly, but have been catching up with systematically. So subtle, so elegant, and so touching. I only with the Assassins of Thasalon would come out as a physical book some day.

    And finally, my favorite recent book has been Ocean’s Echo by Everina Maxwell. If anyone had told me that I would come to love a book with a main character who starts out as spoiled and self-centered as Tennal, I would have scoffed. But it’s a very detailed and touching love story and he evolves into a capable and lovable person.

    1. I read Assassins of Thasalon in hard cover from my library so it must be gettable! And agree love everything Bujold writes 🙂

    2. Tennal really does change, doesn’t he. I disliked him intensely at first, then loved how his chaotic character became a strength rather than a weakness.

  44. Ok add the Terry Pratchett book to my list. It goes from factual and funny to deeply moving as TP’s Alzheimer gets progressively worse and the author has to become more and more a caregiver. It left me in tears.

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