I read 116 books in 2022 and if I've counted right they divided up like this.....
Non Fiction 31
Recently Written Crime Fiction 45
Pre 1990's Republished Crime Fiction 8
Short Stories 5 (several were British Library Crime Classics)
Children's Fiction 2
Most were library books but because the mobile library missed a couple of visits during the year I also read lots of my own including the Alexander McCall Smith series about Isobel Dalhousie which I'd collected many of over the years. Many of the books that I owned and have now read have gone off to charity shops.
I went to 3 charity book sales through the year and found many books at car boot sales, a few at charity shops and one or two in random places - like the For Sale shelves in church porches.
|Best Car Boot book finds was the day I found someone selling all these|
The pick of the month of January was one of my own books from the shelves...........Joan Strange - Despatches From the Home Front; The War Diaries. Non Fiction. (Edited by Chris McCooey. Published 2013).From January 1st 1939 to the end of the War, Joan Strange kept a diary. From the dramatic happening in other parts of the world to the local problems in Worthing. The book also includes a few newspaper cuttings which are interesting.
Writing this post helped me find an author I'd completely forgotten....... In January I read a crime fiction book by a new to me author called Roz Watkins and for some reason I'd not looked to see what other books she has written until I started writing this post. The library have two more - good news.
Best Book of February was another from my shelves.............
Esther Rowley - Dogs, Goats, Bulbs and Bombs;Wartime Diaries of Exmouth and Exeter. Edited by John Folkes. (Published 2010)These diaries were found in an auction and thanks to a letter found among the pages could be attributed to Esther, a single woman who was in her 30's and lived with her mother in a large house in Exmouth. It's a fascinating look at the life of those who had money at the time and were able to purchase things that many found difficult to find. Esther is in the ATS at the beginning of the diaries in 1940 but later has to leave to take care of her elderly mother. She spends lots of time out and about walking her dogs, visiting neighbours and friends for tea. playing tennis, swimming in summer and having picnics. Gardening is her main pleasure and there are good details of all the plants she buys - things I didn't think were available during the war.
Favourite book from March
Duff Hart-Davis- Our Land at War:A Portrait of Rural Britain 1939-1945. Non Fiction (Published 2015). A thorough look at all the events of WWII which had any effect on the countryside. From farming to evacuees to air bases and Land Army Girls to country houses and secret hideouts. A very good read.
In April I enjoyed the latest Elly Griffiths in her Ruth Galloway series, the next of this series is due out in January and I'm sure I read somewhere that it will be the last she writes about Ruth. (I've just remembered to reserve it and I'm number 331 in the queue! might be waiting a while)
Through the year I've been able to read and enjoy many of the D.E.Stevenson books that have been republished by Scott at Furrowed Middlebrow blog and Dean St Press. I read some back in the 70's when they were really popular in the library but they are a good gentle read that make a change from crime.
Two good books in June were the latest by Rory Clements - The Man in the Bunker. This is the 6th book featuring Professor Tom Wilde. The war is over, so many countries are in ruins and Tom Wilde is asked to go to Germany to find out if Hitler really did die in the bunker. This is a really good story and so well written.And a much older book by Phyllis Bottome - London pride. Fiction (Published 1941) Ben, a boy of the London dockyard slums is 7 years old and the main character of this book he spends his time during the days of the Blitz looking after his little sister Mabel. His mother is a char lady, his father and eldest brother work on the docks. An older sister works in a shop and the twins are sent off as evacuees to Cornwall. Ben's best friend is Emily next door a street wise nine year old whose parents are not as caring as Ben's. Together they do a bit of looting, get buried for 48 hours in a bombed house and then get bombed out of the hospital too. Such a unusual story. The TLS at the time said "her knowledge and understanding of the character of the London slum child in particular cannot be done justice to in an outline of the book".
It was so hot in July I read loads of books while keeping cool indoors. One was from the USKristin Hannah - The Four Winds. Fiction. (Published 2021) Elsa Martinelli was rejected by her family- she was never good enough but by 1934 she has found a life she loves with family and farm. Drought and dust storms force her and her two children away from Texas to find the 'land of milk and honey' that everyone is talking about in California. A sad story but good for finding out more about the Depression, migration and dust bowl of 1930's USA.
After reading this I picked up a copy of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath to re-read but it's still waiting ............so many books ...............so little time!
In August I specially enjoyed Sarah Steele- The School Teacher of Saint-Michel. Fiction (Published in 2021). A duel time line story. In the present day Hannah finds a letter sent to her by her late much-loved grandmother Gigi. Gigi wants Hannah to travel to France to find someone called Lucie Laval to apologise - for what? Hannah has no idea about her Grandmothers past. In 1942, at the end of the day, a school teacher checks that her children have their identity passes before taking them to the border post between occupied and Free France which cuts their Dordogne village in half. A lovely story based on real happenings of the time showing the bravery of the people, living in fear of their German invaders.
In September I finally got around to reading the much-hyped book by Delia Owens - Where the Crawdads Sing. Fiction (Published 2018) Kya Clark is the 'Marsh Girl' living alone on the North Carolina coast from a very young age after her drunken father is the last to walk away, she is a mystery to the people of the nearby small town. I enjoyed it but didn't bother to go and see the film - I'll wait until it's out on TV.
Octobers biggest book was Robert Harris - Act of Oblivion. Historical Fiction. (Published 2022)1660 England and General Edward Whalley and his son in law Colonel William Goffe board a ship bound for the New World. They are on the run, wanted for the murder of King Charles I.
Now 10 years after the beheading Charles II is in power and the 59 men who signed the death warrant and took part in the execution have been found guilty of treason under the Act of Oblivion. Some are already dead and others have been captured and hung. But Edward and William have escaped.
Richard Naylor secretary of the Regicide Committee is given the job of finding them - dead or alive. A period of history I knew nothing about but Robert Harris is such a good writer that I always enjoy his books whatever the subject.
November and Decembers reading were mainly all crime fiction and that's the end of my 2022 books. There are already 7 books on the reserved shelf for me to collect when the van comes round in January and I've made a note of the first charity book sale of the year at Suffolk Wildlife Trust's Lackford Lake Nature Reserve (25th March).
Thank you to everyone who says they enjoy the library book photo every month and to other bloggers who give me ideas for reading.
That's a lot of books! I've kept track of 108 that I've read this year. I know there are some that I forgot to stick on my Goodreads thing which is how I keep track of the books I've read. I really need to read more of the books I have in the house. They are piling up again! I usually read a lot in winter when I can't get out so much.ReplyDelete
It took me an age to work out and count from the Books Read 2022 page what sort of books I've read, so next year I'll keep a running total!Delete
Some of the books you have read sound so interesting. Sometimes I wish I could read more than I do as I have always loved books, but these days reading makes me fall asleep so I can only read a little at a time.ReplyDelete
Culling my bookcases is on my list for 2023 and I will be doing my best to stay away from more book sales places!
Happy reading :) xx
I'm hoping to pass on books to charity shops again in 2023 - to make room for those incoming!Delete
Thank you Sue - your reviews and recommendations are always helpful. Our mobile library van is off the road (again) . I hope they can get it mended properly this time. The less mobile folk in the village do appreciate its monthly visitReplyDelete
Suffolk have a spare van but a shortage of relief drivers. Hope the weather is good for their visit in JanuaryDelete
That is a huge amount of books, glad you enjoyed them for the most part. My reading of books has gone out the window for more than two years now. Hope it comes back!ReplyDelete
I hope you get your reading mojo back too. I just can't imagine not readingDelete
Thank you Sue. It leads me off new avenues to explore. I might ahem have just bought another preloved 3 local Sussex folklore books from Amazon with my Christmas money. I just couldn't resist! ArilxReplyDelete
I might have just found a couple of interesting cheapies off Amazon too! but still mourn the 1p days - guess that will never happen againDelete
The Duff Hart-Davis book sounds very interesting. Just ordered a used copy for a snip.ReplyDelete
It's a good read - all sorts of topics of land use and over 400 pages plus a nice booklist at the backDelete
Interesting list, thank you. I must look out for some of the books. Did you catch the Royal Institution’s Christmas lectures this week ( we watched on iPlayer) they were all about developments in modern forensics? The second one was set in a mock up of a kitchen looking for clues as to what had happened to a missing person. Fascinating.Delete
Hurrah, I can comment again (Google has been stopping me). I loved this post as I always like to know what people read and am on the lookout for recommendations. My book stats for the year will appear in due course er, I see that should be tomorrow! I can never make my sums add up, so I have to say 'about x fiction' and so on. Hopeless!ReplyDelete
Took me an age to write this post with looking back and counting and adding up and recounting!Delete
I think i will bookmark this post. I love reviews by bloggers i follow and hope I might avoid reading a pile of books that don't appeal to find the gems you have enjoyed.ReplyDelete
I’m enjoying “Notes from Walnut Tree Farm” by Roger Deakin - I’m sure you’ve read it. Two WWII book recommendations spring to mind. “French Resistance in Sussex” by Barbara Bertram, being the memoirs of BB when she provided a safe house for the Resistance workers and Barbara Pym’s short stories “Civil to Strangers”. As a keen and knowledgeable gardener (and middle-class!) Barbara is also very good on plants. Finally if you’ve not come across Margery Fish of East Lambrook Manor garden you are in for a nice surprise. She and husband bought East Lambrook Manor in Somerset in 1937 as a weekend bolthole from London, and they fully decamped there during WWII and never returned to London after the war. Margery is a naturally gifted and funny writer. So many books, so little time, I have three on the go at the mo including “O Caledonia” by Elspeth Barker who was married to George Barker the poet, lived in Norfolk and died last year. Sarah in SussexReplyDelete
Thank you for the ideas. Suffolk libraries have some of them so I've made a noteDelete
I am the lucky recipient of three Persephone books this Christmas and can't wait to get started on them. I have noted many books from your posts that I would like to read so a big thank you for taking the time to tell us what you are reading and a little about each book. Wishing you a happy and healthy 2023.ReplyDelete
Haven't seen any Persephones in charity shops for ages. Of their latest publications one I had owned and read - Waters under the Earth when it was out first time round - makes me very old!Delete
Brilliant post, Sue, lovely to read about your favourite books of the year and I'll be looking up a few of them that sound interesting. I've read about 10 less books than you but the same of non-fiction. Going to try and read even more non-fiction next year.ReplyDelete
I was surprised at how many Non Fiction I'd read, some years not so manyDelete
This is great and is inspiring me to visit our local library as a priority in January xReplyDelete
Alison in Wales x
Many have been designated warm places too - so you can spend as long as you like there keeping warm!Delete
A great post Sue. And wow, what a good amount of books you got through, I had a poor year again this year and hope to remedy that next year, and keep a list of what I read too.ReplyDelete
Keeping a tally of what books you read each month, the type and favourite would be a good idea too, to save you having such a mammoth task to do the round up in December. But it was lovely to read about, so well worth doing.
What is going to be your first book of 2023?
Thanks, Sue! I am a mystery reader mostly and I always check your piles of books to see what you have in my favorite genre! :)ReplyDelete
I love to read what others have read too - a good way to get ideasDelete
I will be saving your post have suggested many books I would like to read. I am not current on the Ruth Galloway series but would like to catch up on the series I have enjoyed prveiously, namely Ann Cleeves Shetland series.ReplyDelete
Happy new year.
Thank you for this post and wonderful reviews and recommendations. Your reading list is impressive. Reading is a great past time and I hope to find more time for reading.ReplyDelete
Wow, well done on reading all those books! I really fell behind this year but I'm hoping to get more reading done in 2023. Wishing you all the best for the new year!ReplyDelete
I always enjoy your book photos and reviews-thank you. CatrionaReplyDelete
I'm so very impressed at the amount of reading you've accomplished! Wow! Some of those seem very interesting so I've jotted them down. The one about life in rural Britain I think my Mum would love.ReplyDelete
Looking at this, it is clear that I don't read enough!ReplyDelete
I enjoy your book posts. We share the interest in mysteries but I'm always interested in your other recommendations as well. You had a most prolific reading year and some good titles. Now, on to next year! Happy New Year, Sue!ReplyDelete