This year I am making additions to my typical reading challenge. Most years I set goals to read just a bit more than the year prior. Last year, I set my loftiest reading challenge yet at 50 books! Try as I might, I ended the year at 49.5 books. This year I am giving myself three challenges regarding books to read in 2022.
My Reading Challenges This Year
I will read 50 books in 2022!
I came so close to hitting my reading goal last year. I wasn’t going to do a number of books read goal this year but I can be very competitive with myself, and I want to hit that! So try, try again I shall. Follow along on Goodreads.
This next challenge may or may not surprise you, given my recent refocus for Love, Joleen.
I will not buy any books.
You might be thinking WHAT?! WHY? HOW? I know. I love new books. I would venture to say that a lot of the time I love the acquisition of books just as much, if not more, than actually reading them. This is evidenced in the stack of 15 TBR books next to my bed, and the 30+ unread books in my Kindle app. I have absolutely no shortage of books just waiting to be read around my apartment. This year I’ll be putting my list of how to get books for free or cheap, to good use too! This includes continuing to read new books straight from the publisher, through Netgalley in exchange for review, as well as any books I can check out from the library or Hoopla app.
The last reading challenge I’m setting for myself are the types of books to read in 2022.
I will spend time reading non-fiction and classic literature.
Books to Read in 2022
My favorite genres in recent years have been Historical Fiction and Young Adult. I also enjoy the occasional Suspense (if it isn’t too violent), [historically based] True Crime (same caveat), Fantasy, and Women’s Interest/General Fiction.
I struggle to read non-fiction and most “Self Help” ends up back in the bookshelf after a few chapters. Despite always loving classic lit, even as a child, there is still so much of it I haven’t read or have always wants to read again. For these reasons, I am challenging myself to focus on these two genres this year.
Last year I splurged on this gorgeous, flexibound set of books by Jane Austen. I own The Chronicles of Narnia, which I have never read. Same, 1984. I’m sure between my husband, son, and myself, we have other classics in our bookshelves, but let’s start there!
Non-fiction book topics I am interested in reading this year:
|Personal Finance – Budgeting, Savings, Investing… give me everything.|
|Outdoors, specifically hiking/backpacking. More specifically, anything having to do with the Appalachian Trail. These can be field guides or memoirs.|
Currently sitting on my Non-fiction TBR List:
- “Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind, Confident Kids” by Hunter Clark-Fields, MSAE
- “Invested” by Danielle Town and Phil Town
- “You Can If You Think You Can” by Norman Vincent Peale
- “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey
- “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert T. Kiyosaki
- “Decluttering at the Speed of Life” by Dana K. White
- “The Road Back to You” by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile
- “Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected About Being a Mom” by Lisa-Jo Baker
- [Re-read] “The Power of a Praying Wife” by Stormie Omartian
- “Woman in the Wild: The Everywoman’s Guide to Hiking, Camping, and Backcountry Travel” by Susan Joy Paul
New Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2022
I love new releases as much as the next bibliophile! If I can get my hands on advanced reader copies or am able to borrow from the library/app, these are the new releases I am most looking forward to reading in 2022:
“We can’t choose what we inherit. But can we choose who we become?
In present-day California, Eleanor Bennett’s death leaves behind a puzzling inheritance for her two children, Byron and Benny: a traditional Caribbean black cake, made from a family recipe with a long history, and a voice recording. In her message, Eleanor shares a tumultuous story about a headstrong young swimmer who escapes her island home under suspicion of murder. The heartbreaking tale Eleanor unfolds, the secrets she still holds back, and the mystery of a long-lost child, challenge everything the siblings thought they knew about their lineage, and themselves.
Can Byron and Benny reclaim their once-close relationship, piece together Eleanor’s true history, and fulfill her final request to “share the black cake when the time is right”? Will their mother’s revelations bring them back together or leave them feeling more lost than ever?
Charmaine Wilkerson’s debut novel is a story of how the inheritance of betrayals, secrets, memories, and even names, can shape relationships and history. Deeply evocative and beautifully written, Black Cake is an extraordinary journey through the life of a family changed forever by the choices of its matriarch.”
Release Date: February 1, 2022
“On the eve of her 40th birthday, Alice’s life isn’t terrible. She likes her job, even if it isn’t exactly the one she expected. She’s happy with her apartment, her romantic status, her independence, and she adores her lifelong best friend. But her father is ailing, and it feels to her as if something is missing. When she wakes up the next morning she finds herself back in 1996, reliving her 16th birthday. But it isn’t just her adolescent body that shocks her, or seeing her high school crush, it’s her dad: the vital, charming, 40-something version of her father with whom she is reunited. Now armed with a new perspective on her own life and his, some past events take on new meaning. Is there anything that she would change if she could?”
Release Date: May 17, 2022
“Jess needs a fresh start. She’s broke and alone, and she’s just left her job under less than ideal circumstances. Her half-brother Ben didn’t sound thrilled when she asked if she could crash with him for a bit, but he didn’t say no, and surely everything will look better from Paris. Only when she shows up – to find a very nice apartment, could Ben really have afforded this? – he’s not there.
The longer Ben stays missing, the more Jess starts to dig into her brother’s situation, and the more questions she has. Ben’s neighbors are an eclectic bunch, and not particularly friendly. Jess may have come to Paris to escape her past, but it’s starting to look like it’s Ben’s future that’s in question.
The socialite – The nice guy – The alcoholic – The girl on the verge – The concierge
Everyone’s a neighbor. Everyone’s a suspect. And everyone knows something they’re not telling.”
Release Date: February 22, 2022
“Nora Stephens’ life is books—she’s read them all—and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby.
Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away—with visions of a small town transformation for Nora, who she’s convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute.
If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again—in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow—what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.”
Release Date: May 3, 2022
BONUS: I actually received an ARC of the following book, but I couldn’t leave it off this list to share!
“It’s not every day you discover you might be related to Anastasia…or that the tragic princess actually survived her assassination attempt and has been living as the woman you know as Aunt Anna.
For Jess Morgan, who is growing tired of living her life to please everyone else, discovering her late aunt’s diaries shows her she’s not the only one struggling to hide who she really is. But was her aunt truly a Romanov princess? Or is this some elaborate hoax?
With the help of a supremely dorky but undeniably cute local college student named Evan, Jess digs into the century-old mystery.
But soon Jess realizes there’s another, bigger truth waiting to be revealed: Jess Morgan. Because if she’s learned anything from Aunt Anna, it’s that only you can write your own story.”
My Goodreads Book Review
** Thank you to NetGalley and HarperTeen, who provided me with an advanced digital copy in exchange for this review.
😍 First Impression: What a gorgeous cover! It definitely is giving off matryoshka doll vibes, and the handwriting font is just too good! 👌🏼
📖 Spoiler-free synopsis: Jess Morgan isn’t who she pretends to be. She just hasn’t fully come to terms with that yet. In “The Storyteller” she makes a discovery about her great-great aunt’s past that causes her to chase the story and find her truth. Could she actually be related to a Romanov princess?
📣 Review: Five Freaking Stars. I loved “The Storyteller”! (My only feedback to the contrary is the title, and that’s just because Jodi Picoult has a book by the very same name.) The stories in this book, my goodness. I couldn’t believe my luck in finding a novel that marries my two favorite genres — Historical Fiction and YA. Despite the latter, Evan (a new college-aged friend that Jess makes) was only a few years younger than me in 2007, when the “current” portions of this book took place. I found the pop culture references to be relatable and exciting in a way that I don’t think current 20somethings necessarily would. They won’t detract by any means, but definitely an added perk for me, a YA-fan pushing 40. 👏🏼
🙌🏼 This book is about truth — finding it, knowing it, living it. It makes you think and feel — just what I like in a good story!
Release Date: January 11, 2022