I read 2 less books than I did last year (2022) and I’m not gonna lie, I’m disappointed in myself. Reading has become one of my most favorite things to do, although I don’t do it during the middle of the day pleasurably (some things need to change around here!). I only read at night, in bed…for as long as I can keep my eyes open. Sometimes it’s 10 minutes (there were a few that were nearly impossible to get through, BUT I didn’t give up) and sometimes hours. Shocker, those are my favorite type of books.
When I was a kid, I hated reading. I used to get so frustrated because I was a “slow reader,” which just meant I was most likely reading things that bore me. What also attributed to the snails pace? I’m the type of reader who reads every single work on every single page. There’s no skimming over here. I haven’t gotten faster at reading words on pages, but I haven’t gotten faster at reading things that bring me joy!
I don’t choose 12 of the books alone, as I joined Lemon-Love bookclub during the pandemic. It made me fall in love with reading! We only read women authors, we read one book a month and we meet at the end to discuss the book. I think in the 3 years of being a member, I might have missed 2 meetings. When I say I’m going to do something, I do it. I’m dedicated, what can I say?! The founder of Lemon Love Book Club (and my friend) and has done an incredible job of selecting the books. They vary in genres, topics and nationality of authors. I choose the books I read beyond the 12 she picks.
One thing that really bothers me is when members of the BC would choose not to read a book, any given month, because they “didn’t think they could relate” (most notably when we read Educated, about a mormon girl and her family). Well, isn’t that the point of reading? To learn something new about someone or something else? That’s why I love reading! And that’s also why I don’t read any preface or summary or do any research before diving in. I want to know nothing!! That way I’m not forming my own opinions or judgements before I even open to page one.
What has also helped me read SO MUCH MORE than I ever thought was possible? Leaving my phone outside of my bedroom. I used to have such a bad habit of scrolling in bed…sometimes for hours. Then I had an AHA moment when I wanted to make a major shift in living a healthier lifestyle. I started charging my phone in the kitchen overnight so that way when I hit the sheets, its just me and my book. Life changing!
…Drum roll please…
My 2022 Book List
This year I’ve decided to group them in the following categories: books you HAVE TO read, books you SHOULD read, books neither in SHOULD read or CAN SKIP, and books you CAN SKIP. My thoughts will be a sentence or two, but fear not, there won’t be any spoilers!
Books you HAVE TO read:
- Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus – this is probably in my top 5 books of all time. A love story + a feminist revolution = best combo ever! It deals with sensitive tops and sexism but is balanced with a little humor and hope.
- Girl A by Abigail Dean – a real life thriller/true crime and quite unbelievable that this is a true story! Heart-wrenching and will certainly rouse strong emotions but nonetheless, an excellent read.
- Finding Me by Viola Davis – Her childhood was raw and vulgar. How that Viola became the Viola we see today is utterly shocking!
- I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy – an emotional, intense, trauma filled memoir that is equally heart breaking as is funny.
Books you SHOULD read:
- Beach Read by Emily Henry – a love story about writers ON A BEACH. I felt like I was there (maybe because I LOVE being on the water). A heartwarming story filled with drama and some painful truths. A beach read indeed!
- Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney – Easy read, spicy, shocking and fun! Two friends and a couple become entangled as they navigate friendship, love, romance and betrayal.
- Funny You Should Ask by Elissa Sussman – makes you feel like you’re living the Hollywood life. A star and a journalist who writes about said star. So many topics covered in this book; heartbreak, second chances, addiction, love, relationships. A wonderful love story that I just ate up!
- Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb – this is such an interesting read! If you’re in therapy, have you ever wondered if your therapist needs therapy?! I never have, because I assumed they’d have it all together, since they’re a professional and can work out their own issues. Well, not too fast! An interesting look inside the life of a therapist who also needs therapy. I love sitting in on her therapy sessions, both as her profession and as a client.
- People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd – this one hit home a bit as this story is about an influencer and the dangers of fame her job brings her. Suspenseful!!
- In Five Years by Rebecca Serle – love living in NYC as I read a book set here! Fun to know most of the restaurants/places/neighborhoods mentioned. This story is a bit heart-wrenching about two best friends. It’s more of a drama than a romance. Lots of twists and turns…it’s a wild ride!
- My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing – a murder mystery! The story of a married couple who has a unique way to keep the spark alive in their relationship – and it’s DEFINITELY not what you think!
- All About Love by Bell Hooks – this read more like a self help book when I was expecting a novel. For that reason, I did not enjoy reading it. It felt very textbook like. I do think everyone should read this though, as it gives you a radical way to think about love. Every sentence was deep, important and intellectual, so I had to re-read many of parts to fully grasp it. Get your highlighter ready-lots of important things to take home. Will definitely need to reread when I’m in the mood.
Not on the you SHOUlD READ or SKIP list – somewhere in between
- In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren – this is your typical Hallmark cute love story Holiday book. A nice and easy read around the holidays. Friendship, romance and time traveling. Nothing to write home about but quick, easy and fun read.
- Counterfeit by Kirsten Chen – the undercurrent is sadness. Two friends reconnect after 20 years and we see how they run a counterfeit business beyond the surface. This was a very quick read for me but don’t think he belongs on “should read.” Nothing riveting.
- The Alice Network by Kate Quinn – this is a long read and took me at least half the book to get into it. Was an interesting story eventually about a female spy in WWII but a bit of a bore. I don’t think historical fiction is my jam.
Books you CAN SKIP: [I base books on how good they are off how how long it takes me to read them – I know…soooo intellectual, right?! If it takes me the entire month to finish a book, it’s not worth reading in my opinion. Too slow, doesn’t do enough to hook me.]
- The Alice Network by Kate Quinn – [I couldn’t decide which list to put this on but since it took me SO long to read this it will live on this list as well]. This is a long read and took me at least half the book to get into it. Was an interesting story eventually about a female spy in WWII but a bit of a bore. I don’t think historical fiction is my jam.
- The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas – this took me SO long to get through. It got better 1/2-3/4 of the way through, but you can skip this one. Horror and mystery set in the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence . If you like folklore, witchyness, and supernatural suspense…you might like this.
- A Burning by Megha Majumdar – had a tough time getting through this one – took me forever to read it. The story takes place after a bomb attack at a train station in India where one character is at the wrong place at the wrong time and accused of something they didn’t do. I would have thought that since this is a crime thrilled (mixed with moral drama), I would have liked this. But not a book I would recommend.
To shop these books https://www.amazon.com/shop/meridethmorgan and click BOOKS!