2022 in Books

screenshot of calibre application

By the end of 2022 I had 2793 digital books and magazines (a change of 264). Around twenty-four of those came from free books I get monthly from Tor.com and Amazon Prime. This year I’m also going to start the amount of audiobooks I have: 144. In 2022 I started up my libro.fm subscription and listened to quite a few great audiobooks. 

Although this year I read some cookbooks and comics, I read far fewer of each of those than in other years. The biggest surprise was the discovery of the trilogy starting with Gideon The Ninth. The world is so incredibly vast and the narrative voice was so much fun. I heartily recommend it to all. The Becky Chambers stories starting with the book A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet was the nice, cozy story that I needed as the real world continued to get crazier and crazier. 

This year saw the conclusion of the Wax and Wayne arc of the Mistborn sub-series within Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere novels. The book was a great conclusion to all that Sanderson set up. Overall, it was a fun arc, considering it was originally just supposed to be one novella to bridge the Industrial Age Scadrial with a 1980s tech level Scadrial. If there’s one negative, it’s the fact that while Mistborn Era 1 could be read as a standalone series – this one really starts to require delving further into the Cosmere for proper appreciation. 

I continued my Discworld re-read. That continued to be an uneven ride. Separated from the pure joy of Discovering and reading Discworld for the first time, I’ve come to realize that some of the books just aren’t that great (at least by 2022 Eric standards) while others definitely hold up rather well. 

In December, I swept aside my reading order (my Digital On Deck shelf on Goodreads) and decided to read some Christmas ghost stories since that used to be a tradition in the west. While things started a little weak in the collection I was reading, they eventually picked up and some of them could be legit modern ghost stories. I also read Scalzi’s collection of Christmas short stories – those were exactly what you’d expect from Scalzi.

When it comes to choosing my favorite book of 2022, I ended up with 3 wildly different choices in my top 3. First up is Set My Heart to Five. This is a pretty funny novel set in a semi-dystopian future America in which we have intelligent robots. The robots are supposed to have some Asimov-like rules governing their behavior. Our narrator is one of these robots and he gives us a slightly more polite version of what you might expect from Bender (from Futurama) or IG-88 (from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic). I told my dad to check it out and he also found it pretty hilarious. (He listened to it as an audiobook) 

Next up in the top 3 is Every Heart a Doorway. This is a novella that I got for free from Tor.com during one of their monthly giveaways. It’s a novel about the consequences of portal fantasies. In that sense it somewhat shares some literary DNA with The Magicians, but it’s much deeper than that series – which was mostly a deconstruction/reconstruction of the Narnia series. In the novella we’re introduced to a hybrid school / assylum for young adults who have spent some time in another world and were spit back out to the real world. The Magicians mostly caused on the cruelty of kids aging out of being allowed into the portal world. Every Heart a Doorway is focused on the trauma to the folks who find themselves back in the real world. It was incredibly powerful and I definitely plan to go back to the series – probably in 2023, but maybe in 2024 depending on my reading load in 2023.

Finally, there is Babel by RF Kuang. Meant to be in conversation with the dark academia genre, Kuang uses it to explore colonialism both in the real world and academia. Babel is set in an alternate history where part of the reason Britain was ascendant in the 1800s was because of their mastery of magic based on carving words into silver. This becomes the biggest reason that Britain needs to start the Opium Wars – to extract silver from China, which has become a silver sink due to trade imbalances. (As opposed from the real world reason that countries used to go to war over precious metals – when currency is pegged to it, a lack of precious metals stalls economic growth) The book is deeply arresting and our main character is far from a perfect person, adding to the complexity of the plot. 
When it comes to choosing my favorite book of 2022, there’s definitely some recency bias helping Babel, but ultimately I would have to give the top spot to Every Heart a Doorway. I don’t know if the emotions and internal thought processes would make the novellas impossible to translate to TV, movies, or any other medium, but I found this book to hit me so hard that I really want as many people as possible to experience it. I would place Set My Heart to Five as my second place book. Its corniness and somewhat dad-humor narration definitely mean it’s not for everyone, but I really enjoyed it. Babel takes third place, but that’s not bad out of 65 books. Honoerable mentions definitely go out to the series I mentioned in earlier paragraphs: Becky Chambers’ Wayfarers series (which starts with The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet) and Tamsyn Muir’s Locked Tomb aries (which starts with Gideon the Ninth). The former was a nice respite from the world and the latter was hilarious – especially in audiobook form.

Goodreads Stats

  • 19,821 pages read
  • 65 books read
  • Shortest book was As Yet Unsent at 24 pages
  • Longest was Data Visualization with Python & Javascript at 592 pages
  • Average book length was 304 pages
  • Book that most others have read A Wizard of Earthsea
  • Book that least others have read Cook’s Country 2019
  • Average rating 3.5

Books Read in 2022

  1. Leviathan Falls
  2. Soul Music
  3. The Japanese Grill
  4. Star Wars: From Another Point of View
  5. Empress of Salt and Fortune
  6. Interesting Times
  7. Terms of Enlistment
  8. Pancakes and Waffles
  9. The Caped Crusader
  10. Maskerade
  11. Attack Surface
  12. Perfect Pan Pizza
  13. The Autumn Republic
  14. The Sins of Our Fathers
  15. Cyborg Legacy
  16. Feet of Clay
  17. Gideon the Ninth
  18. Empire Strikes Back: From Another Point of View
  19. Good Nintentions
  20. Harrow the Ninth
  21. A Wizard of Earthsea
  22. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet
  23. The Ultimate Burger
  24. A Closed and Common Orbit
  25. As Yet Unsent
  26. All the Paths of Shadow
  27. Record of a Spaceborn Few
  28. Set My Heart to Five
  29. The Galaxy, and the Ground Within
  30. Phenomenons
  31. Jumanji
  32. Every Heart a Doorway
  33. The Boys Vol 2
  34. The Boys Vol 3
  35. The Breaking Light
  36. Annihilation Aria
  37. Hogfather
  38. The Man Who Could Be King
  39. Nightmare Magazine
  40. Let’s Talk about Hard Things
  41. Nightmare Magazine
  42. Calamity
  43. Beauty
  44. Nona the Ninth
  45. Trafalgar and Boone in the Drowned Necropolis
  46. High Conflict
  47. The Cage of Zeus
  48. Flask Web Development
  49. Data Visualization with Python and Javascript
  50. Stay Crazy
  51. Jingo
  52. One of Us is Dead
  53. The Memory Librarian
  54. Chokepoint Capitalism
  55. 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know
  56. Money: The True Story
  57. The Sacred Land
  58. The Lost Metal
  59. Nightmare Magazine 122
  60. The Blackcollar
  61. Flour Water Salt Yeast
  62. Shakesspeare’s Sonnets Abridged Beyond the Point of Usefulness
  63. Babel
  64. A Very Scalzi Christmas
  65. Cook’s Country 2019 Anual