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2022 reading wrap-up

With a grand total of 103 books read, one could think 2022 was a slightly less sparkly year than 2021, but for one, it's not about numbers*, and for two, I discovered the same number of new favourite books. This second point confirms an encouraging tendency: the more I read, the more I can identify what I enjoy and pick books likely to make me spend a good time. However, I still can't really put words to what I'm looking for exactly, and I think it's reflected in how my favourites list has different genres and different universes.

*As I was saying last year (please forgive this shameless self-quote): "You’re not a better reader if you read 50 books or 10. You’re certainly not a better reader if you read adult literary fiction over middle-grade fantasy. All of these are valid and perfect if they’re what makes you happy."

Numbers, numbers, numbers

In 2021 I'd read 43 books in English and 81 inFrench, which was partly due to the fact that I borrowed a lot from my local library in which books in English are scarce. In 2022 I was closer to a balance: 45 in English and 58 in French. I'm not looking for a perfect equilibrium, but I do like stats to help me notice things. I read 61 women, 29 men and 6 non-binary authors, with a balance of LGBTQIA+ and cis-hetero books. I mean by LGBTQIA+ books those written by queer authors, or in which the main character is definitely queer.

I read an overwhelming majority of white authors, 74 to 29 non-white authors, so a percentage of 75% like last year.

I re-read 13 books, a fact helped by my challenge #OneHobbAMonth for which I reread one book by Robin Hobb every month between July 2021 and December 2022. I bought 34 new volumes (oops), roughly one third new and two thirds second-hand.

As far as genres are concerned, the wave of fantasy repeats itself, with 42 books in that genre and half less general literature. I read 13 sci-fi books and 10 essays, which I'm quite proud of. I do intend to keep working at this. I read no poetry collection and I regret it.

Age-wise, I read 80 adult books, 18 YA and 5 middle-grade.

It's not a surprise that the longest books I read were all by Robin Hobb. They are also those who took me the longest, but I want to grant an honourable mention to Possession by A.S. Byatt (13 days).

I read mostly from the USA (42 titles), with a decent number of francophone books (31). 11 were from England, which leaves 19 for the rest of the world, a number which leaves a lot of room for progress.

The winners

A Psalm for the Wild-Built, Becky Chambers The Old Man and his Cat, Nekomaki Loveless, Alice Oseman Drowned Country, Emily Tesh The Haunting of Tram Car 015, P. Djèlí Clark The Many Half-Lived Lives of Sam Sylvester, Maya McGregor The City of Woven Streets / The Weaver, Emmi Itäranta Plain Bad Heroins, Emily M. Danforth

This list comes to you without specific order, but it might just be that A Psalm by becky Chambers is my favourite-favourite.

Sadly, there are no French authors in this list. 6 of them are openly LGBTQIA+, with a variety of representations, which confirms my taste for books putting my community in the foreground.

The drawing of a pile of books is set in front of a row of books, next to a pilea plant.

Special mentions go to:

  • Steering the Craft, Ursula K. Le Guin

  • Nous qui n'existons pas, Mélanie Fazi

  • I Hate Men, Pauline Harmange

  • The House in the Cerulean Sea, T.J. Klune

  • A Kind of Spark, Elle McNicoll

  • How Long 'Til Black Future Month?, N.K. Jemisin

  • Into the Deep, Sophie Griselle

  • Black Sun, Rebecca Roanhorse

  • Beyond the Gender Binary, Alok Vaid-Menon

  • Eutopia, Camille Leboulanger

  • Gallant, V.E. Schwab

  • Baker Thief, Claudie Arseneault

  • Fireside Magic, Kate MacRitchie

  • Les Sœurs Hiver, Jolan C. Bertrand

  • A Prayer for the Crown-Shy, Becky Chambers

Do you enjoy reading statistics ? Do we have favourite books in common ?

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