That Was The Year That Was (In Books): 2022 Edition

So this year, as it does every year, Goodreads compiled a list of the books I read, making a nice little ― or not so little ― tapestry of covers, along with a few details. You can check out the list at Goodreads here, or look at the screen shots below. The advantage of visiting the list at Goodreads is that you can interactively click on individual books to see their entries; the advantage of viewing the screen shots is you get to go make a nice hot cup of tea while waiting for them all to finish loading. (This year I tried splitting them up into separate ones instead of posting one giant screen shot, though the total amount of bandwidth consumed is, of course, the same.) But before we get to the pictures, let’s review a few notes about this year’s list!

  • Last year, I said this:

    “If you think this year’s longest book, the Earthseed omnibus (my rating: ★★★), was long at 880 pages, just wait until you see next year’s longest book. The one I’m reading now is The Seventh Sword, an omnibus of several novels by Dave Duncan, which according to Goodreads tips the scales at 3,168 pages.”

    I did indeed finish The Seventh Sword (★★★) last year, and as expected, it snagged the highly-coveted “Longest Book Jim Read This Year” position for 2022.
  • My most popular book this year, The Poppy War, by R.F. Kuang, kind of surprises me by its most-popular-ness; it was shelved by over half a million other users, and I can’t for the life of me remember where I heard about it or why I picked it up. Of course, most if not all of the books I read in 2022 were acquired in 2018 or earlier (I’m a bit behind …) so it’s probably not surprising that I don’t remember how I came across any particular one of them. On the other hand, last year’s most popular book of mine, The Magicians (no relation to Magician: Apprentice, which is mentioned below), was the start of a very well-known series and has a television series based on it, so not a lot of mystery there as to where I heard of it. Anyway, I rated The Poppy War ★★★ so I liked it but it didn’t knock my socks off.
  • My least popular book this year, The Forsaken Crown by Christina Ochs, was shelved by a little over 1,000 people. I rated this one ★ and it’s on my “Failed to Finish” shelf, so make of that what you will.
  • I apparently read a lot more in 2022 than in either 2020 or 2021, clocking in at over 21,000 pages, vs 14,000 in 2021 and 18,000 in 2022. I spent a paragraph last year quasi-analyzing if an increase in page count was related to bailing out on more books in a particular twelve-month period. The results of said analysis were unscientific and inconclusive but leaned in the direction of “Failed to Finish” not being responsible for “pages read” variability, so all I can tell you is that this year I put the DNF on five books and rated seven books ★, which means I wasted some non-zero number of hours finishing two books I didn’t like in the hopes that they would improve.*
  • The book I read this year that was most highly-rated by the Goodreads community was Words of Radiance, by Brandon Sanderson, which has 4.75 stars after some 285,000 ratings. Doesn’t get much better than that. Did I think this was a good book? Yes, yes I did. Did I think this was a 4.75-stars book? No, no I did not. I gave this book ★★★ in part because, man, did it have a lot of stuff in it that felt like filler. I know, I know, it was all important world-building filler, but still, minutiae is minutiae. Anyway, it certainly helped me get to that 21,000 page count for the year, so it’s got that going for it. (Goodreads doesn’t show the book that was lowest-rated by the community, presumably because Goodreads doesn’t want to be perceived as a Debbie Downer.)
  • I don’t post reviews directly on Goodreads after I finish a book, but I usually leave a pithy comment about it for my friends on Facebook. This year, my favorite pithy comment of my own devising was for the novel Bird Box (★★), about which I said, “Almost exactly identical to Nobel Prize winner José Saramago’s novel Blindness, if Blindness had supernatural creatures in it and was stupid.”** (I read Blindness in 2021 and gave it ★★★★.)
  • My average rating for this year came in just a shade below three stars, but Goodreads rounded it up to ★★★. It was going to be a solid 2.9 ★s until my wife gave me the Paper Girls omnibus for Christmas, which I rated ★★★★ and bumped up the final average for the year. It’s still below last year’s average rating of 3.3 ★s, but what can one do?***
  • If anyone was wondering, my favorite book this year was All Systems Red, the first book in the “Murderbot” series, by Martha Wells. According to Goodreads, this was my only ★★★★★ book for 2022:
In case I haven’t mentioned it lately, I’m a lot fussier about books than I am about movies.

And now, without further ado, here is the Year In Books That Was for 2022:

* I’m looking at you, The Armored Saint and Magician: Apprentice (the inexplicably-highly-rated first book of the “Riftwar” saga).
** The movie was pretty stupid too.
*** Besides throwing out all the ★ and ★★ books without rating them, I mean.

5 thoughts on “That Was The Year That Was (In Books): 2022 Edition

  1. Sorry I am a week late. PC friend & died last Sunday nite.
    WOW James you read a shedload of books!!
    Love how you broke them down with star ratings!
    I see quite a few I’d love to read!
    So many books; so little time right?? 😉
    {{hugs)) BellaSita Mum an **purrss** BellaDharma

    P.S>: How are you & the Fam out there? Have watched news nitely & was praying all of you are afe from flooding!

    Liked by 1 person

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