I read 19 books in 2022, my least amount in years, but that’s okay, I was busy teaching third graders. Ha! But before we look back at this reading year, I wanted to share my December read, The Waxing Moon: Volume 1 of The Areekyan Chronicles Trilogy by my friend Barry S. Marwick.

First of all, it’s worth mentioning how shocked I was to hear that my former colleague had written a book, let alone a fantasy novel, on Facebook. Has this ever happened to you? Both my husband and I have spent time with Barry, so it’s not like we didn’t know him. But if I think about it, I’m secretive about my personal life at work. Plus, in Barry’s defense, he didn’t chase this dream until Covid forced him to. And then, BAM! He announces he’s written a book!

I’m gobsmacked over his ability to create this new world, and his storytelling kept me turning the pages. I could see Barry’s love of the Lord of the Rings influence as well as a dash of Game of Thrones in there. Looking forward to the second installment and proud of what he’s accomplished.


Jeez, if I had only read one more book this year, I’d have an even 20! But seriously, I love using StoryGraph to keep track of my reads. All the images are screenshots from my account.

For me, the most over-hyped book was The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I liked it, but I didn’t go bananas over it. My favorites were Endurance and Hail Mary. A Memory Called Empire and A Desolation Called Peace were AUH-mazing. And The Night Tiger was a pleasant surprise that I happily recommend.

How was your reading year?

11 replies on “December & Yearly 2022 Reading Roundup

  1. The Seven Husbands… got a lot of hype. But sometimes I think it’s more PR than real readers chiming in. Now I know that’s one less I need to add to my TBR pile! Speaking of piles, I’m in the process of cleaning my office. I have SO MANY books–stacks of borrowed books, books from conferences, books written by friends (and super congrats to your friend Barry!), books I received for Xmas, books I need to save because just maybe I’ll meet the author one day and can get them signed. Whew! If only I read half as many books as I’m organizing right now, I would have had a good reading year. I was at 18, and I said to my husband on New Year’s Eve, I have only a few pages left in 2 books–and if I read fast I could be at an even 20 by tomorrow. He looked at me like I was nuts. Ha, I love that we’re the same kind of nuts, Lani!

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    1. Absolutely. πŸ˜€ I did a similar cleaning, but electronically. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever get around to some books that seemed so interesting at one point. But, there are those moments when I return to a book that I got but never did anything with — and that’s nice, too. Now, if only, there was an app that counted how many essays and articles you read, then I’d really know how much I read! πŸ˜›

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  2. I am impressed that anyone finds time to read anymore, Lani. Go, you. I bet Barry is tickled pink by your high praise. Go, Barry. “Desolation of Peace” is such a good title. Very intriguing. If I ever read a novel again, I know I can get the goss here on what books to dip into.

    I’ve only read two books this year. The first was “The Price” by Martha Kennedy. It is a novelisation of her family’s journey to America. Loved it. The other was “Herja, Devastation” by Frank Prem and Cage Dunn. It is collaboration between poet and novelist and the story is an interplay of free verse and short prose. It is fabulous. A cracking good tale.

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    1. Oooo. Thanks for the recommendations. I do enjoy coming back to these comments for gems. And thank you. It’s nice to look back and see what you’ve been doing with your free time πŸ˜› and I’m looking forward to discovering new books this year. Hugs.

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  3. Bravo! I so need to make/find more time to read. Similar to Rebecca, I have a stack of books right beside me that I just want to immerse myself in, but I haven’t had the time just yet. I did, however, manage to read a couple of small books in French (thanks hour-long commute), which is more like work to me. But it’s so good for my brain, and vocabulary. One by Simone de Beauvoir and another by Albert Camus. AND I bought a France history book, in French, which is currently in that stack. So many books, so little time. Le sigh.

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    1. Some folks squeeze any free time into reading, and I suppose that’s one way to do it. If I do that it’s going to be an essay, a blog post or something of a smaller bite. But maybe I should try to get into a book during those small moments, too. And good for you for reading in FRENCH! You should get double points for reading in your non-native language! πŸ˜‰

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  4. I so often find that books that get hyped by major publications and reviews are usually books that are not for me. Everyone kept talking about how great “O Caledonia” by Elspeth Barker was and it didn’t work for me at all. On the other hand, I greatly enjoyed reading “The Bone People” by Keri Hulme though it was a lot to take in.
    Looking forward to hearing about all the books you’ll read in 2023. Happy New Year!

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    1. “I so often find that books that get hyped by major publications and reviews are usually books that are not for me. ” – Ha! What a great quote. And I couldn’t agree more. Thanks. Happy 2023, Year of the Rabbit! Ooooo. xo

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  5. That is a good effort you read 19 books, Lani. Good that you found time to read. Always nice to hear of friends writing a book and sometimes you just never know were writing until they publish it. I think for some of us writers, we get the jitters that we won’t ever finish writing out book – and so don’t talk much about it until it is done.

    I hope to read more this year. Currently I’m reading ‘Permission to come home: reclaiming mental health as an Asian American’. It resonates on so many different levels personally and speaks very honestly about society, at least for me. Hope all is well with you, Lani 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Mabel. You know the first time I heard about mental health coming to light as an issue in conjunction to the AA community, I knew this was a big deal because, as we know, Asians are fans of sweeping things under rugs, looking the other way, pretending all is fine, fine, fine. I hope you share what you’re learning and gleaning soon, xo

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