My Totally Unrealistic 2022 Book List

Book Purgatory, where books wait to be read… or not.

Every year when I post my book list, I have the opportunity to reflect on the previous year, the book list serving as a kind of visual soundtrack of my life. My 2021 post reminds me that I lost a dear friend on New Year’s Day and that books, more than ever, helped me escape into a world that didn’t contain that pain. Later in the year, I had my younger son to thank for Tolkien; he wanted to read The Lord of the Rings, but of course, I had to start with The Hobbit. I am grateful that my kids still let me read to them, and in this case, I read for the whole family because my husband had never read the series before. When I think about the vacations we took in 2021, I will remember reading those works of fiction to my guys. (As a side note, they are the most difficult books to read aloud that I have ever read; with a lack of helpful punctuation and copious Elvish, I was stumbling all over the place.) About halfway through last year’s book list, the pace slowed down regarding the number of books I read, marking the end of a comparatively relaxing stretch in which I was waiting to transfer to a new university. By the end of 2021, not only was I taking a heavier class load than ever, but I was also into the Outlander series, all the books of which are monsters (800 pages or more).

Reading and writing go hand in hand, and along with reading less, my writing has completely stalled. I can’t even say I’m suffering from writer’s block because I’m not trying to write—and haven’t in more than six months. I don’t feel guilty about not participating in NaNoWriMo because there’s no way I could have fit it in. Reading and writing voraciously will likely not be a part of my life again until I finish grad school (whenever that happens). Rather than getting upset by this reality, I’m choosing to think of this as my fallow time. Just as fields need to lie fallow periodically for the sake of the crops that will be grown there in future seasons, now is the time for my creative juices to enjoy an extended break. I will continue to read because that helps me stay sane; plus, having some fictional stimulation will keep me primed for when I can write again.

I hoped to read 25 works of fiction last year—and I did—but I instead of my detours adding to my list, they replaced some of the books that I am now shifting to my 2022 list. Here are the fiction titles I read in 2021 (* indicates books that were not on my original list):

  1.  A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes #3) by Sabaa Tahir
  2. The Ickabog by J.K. Rowling
  3. A Sky Beyond the Storm (An Ember in the Ashes #4) by Sabaa Tahir
  4. Troubled Blood (Cormoran Strike #5) by Robert Galbraith
  5. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  6. Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo
  7. Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo
  8. The Diabolic (The Diabolic #1) by S.J. Kincaid
  9. The Empress (The Diabolic #2) by S.J. Kincaid
  10. The Nemesis (The Diabolic #3) by S.J. Kincaid
  11. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien*
  12. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern*
  13. Children of the Fleet (Fleet School #1) by Orson Scott Card
  14. Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate*
  15. Outlander (Outlander #1) by Diana Gabaldon
  16. Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander #2) by Diana Gabaldon
  17. The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings #1) by J.R.R. Tolkien*
  18. The Giver by Lois Lowry*
  19. Voyager (Outlander #3) by Diana Gabaldon
  20. Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir*
  21. The Creakers by Tom Fletcher*
  22. Drums of Autumn (Outlander #4) by Diana Gabaldon
  23. The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings #2) by J.R.R. Tolkien*
  24. Dune (Dune Chronicles #1) by Frank Herbert
  25. The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings #3) by J.R.R. Tolkien*

This year, I have no idea what books I’ll be reading aloud with my family, but I hope we continue this tradition. (I’m rooting for Harry Potter.) I also hope that my husband discovers a new book that he thinks is a must-read, like 2021’s Hail Mary. Yet again, this is a list that presumes a lot more free time than I actually have—and it’s not even complete. I always read at least 25 books in a year. I’m five short, so I’m looking for some must-reads. Check out the list below, and if you know of a book that you think I would love, please drop me a comment!

  1. The Swarm (The Second Formic War #1) by Orson Scott Card
  2. The Hive (The Second Formic War #2) by Orson Scott Card
  3. Ready Player One (Ready Player One #1) by Ernest Cline
  4. Ready Player Two (Ready Player One #2) by Ernest Cline
  5. The Fiery Cross (Outlander #5) by Diana Gabaldon
  6. A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander #6) by Diana Gabaldon
  7. An Echo in the Bone (Outlander #7) by Diana Gabaldon
  8. Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (Outlander #8) by Diana Gabaldon
  9. Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone (Outlander #9) by Diana Gabaldon
  10. A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness
  11. Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2) by Deborah Harkness
  12. The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy #3) by Deborah Harkness
  13. Sisterhood of Dune (Schools of Dune #1) by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
  14. Mentats of Dune (Schools of Dune #2) by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
  15. Navigators of Dune (Schools of Dune #3) by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
  16. To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini
  17. The Christmas Pig by J.K. Rowling
  18. Artemis by Andy Weir
  19. Randomize by Andy Weir
  20. Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

4 thoughts on “My Totally Unrealistic 2022 Book List

  1. Sarah, might I suggest a non-fiction book. The Universal Christ by Richard Rohr. It is an exciting and challenging book of theology.

  2. Oh yes! Project Hail Mary was the book for me for 2021. You should definitely read that.

    And if you’re looking for more sci-fi/fantasy, I also enjoyed A Little Hatred, The Fifth Season, and The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet.

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