My 2022 in Books (and Stories)

Since I had success with my 2020 reading plan, I made a spreadsheet to track my reading more in depth, and here’s how my 2022 in reading went:

Holy shit (again).

I cracked open 176 books, and finished 173 of them. Down from 2021’s ridiculous (and unlikely for me to ever top) total of 216, but still, I’m pretty pleased with the total. Of those 176 books, 13 were rereads (about a third as many as last year), and 70 were graphic novels (roughly the same as last year), which inflates the number a bit, but books are books, and I’m counting them.

I read 30 books by BIPOC authors (the same as 2021) and 30 by authors I know to be LGBTQ2S+ (weirdly also the same as 2021). I was hoping to improve both of those numbers in 2022, and so am mildly disappointed, but they also represented a larger percentage of my reading in 2022 than 2021, so that’s not nothing.

92 of my books read were by women (up from 83 last year), and I exceeded my goal of 50% of my reads being books by women! After two years of getting close to this mark, I was glad to finally get there.

I caught up on 17 books written by friends (a bit down from last year, sorry friends). Sorry it took me so long! I also read 56 books by authors who were new to me (meaning I’ve never read their work before, not that I’ve never heard of them), weirdly, again the same number as last year.

Non-fiction was a bit of a disappointment again. I read 10 non-fiction books in 2022, down from 2021 and still a slim percentage of my total reads. I tend to read non-fiction much more slowly than fiction, as I often make notes to myself of things I’d like to remember, or things that give me story ideas, this hasn’t changed, I don’t expect it to change. Short of completely revising my to-read stacks to include more non-fiction, I won’t see significant gains here. Still, I’m reading more non-fiction in general than I have in years.

I read a whopping 28 roleplaying game handbooks in 2022, almost twice as many as last year, which means once again I read more RPGs than I played in game sessions. Another bad year for gaming for me, sadly. What games I played were fun, but pandemic brain definitely caused me to step back from actual game sessions (and as good as Roll20 is at what it does, I vastly prefer to have my gaming take place in person). I only played three different roleplaying games in 2022, and none of them new to me. Still, I was able to be a mostly-regular player in my two ongoing campaigns, and had a fucking phenomenal final game of the year with some friends from my old university group. Looking forward to revisiting that new campaign.

Of the 173 books I finished in 2022, I liked 104 of them enough to recommend to others, and there were no real stinkers. Even the books I set down had some pretty admirable qualities, they just weren’t for me.

Here’s the books and stories I enjoyed the most in 2022 (not necessarily published in 2021, obviously).

Favourite Fiction Reads

  • Once Removed by Andrew Unger
  • In the Dark We Forget by Sandra SG Wong
  • When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo
  • Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo
  • The City of Brass by S.A.Chakraborty
  • Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
  • The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi
  • Red X by David Demchuk
  • Flight Risk by Cherie Priest
  • Spear by Nicola Griffith
  • My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones
  • Steeped to Death by Gretchen Rue

Favourite Non-Fiction Reads:

  • Packing for Mars by Mary Roach
  • The Secret Life of Fungi by Aliya Whiteley
  • Yours Cruelly, Elvira by Cassandra Peterson

Favourite Graphic Novel Reads:

  • Bitch Planet Book One: Extraordinary Machine by Kelly Sue DeConnick
  • Lore Olympus Volume One by Rachel Smythe
  • A Blanket of Butterflies by Richard Van Camp, Scott B. Henderson
  • Die Volume 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker by Kieron Gillen
  • Four Faces of the Moon by Amanda Strong
  • Shadow Life by Hiromi Goto
  • Fangs by Sarah Anderson
  • The Autumnal by Daniel Kraus
  • Far Sector by N.K. Jemisin
  • Cold Bodies by Magdalene Visaggio

Favourite RPG Reads:

  • The Black Hack by Gold Piece Publications
  • 9 Lives to Valhalla by Gem Room Games
  • Pathfinder 2nd Edition Absalom City of Lost Omens by Paizo
  • Exploring Eberron by Keith Baker
  • Savage Worlds Rifts: The Tomorrow Legion Player’s Guide by Pinnacle Entertainment

As for short fiction, one of my 2022 reading goals was to read at least 50 short stories. I blew that goal out of the water. In 2022 I started reading a total of 211 stories and finished 203! Of these stories, 34 were by BIPOC authors, 28 by authors I know to be LGBTQ2S+, 43 by friends, and 100 by women (again, just short of that 50-50 parity I wanted). I liked 115 of those stories enough to recommend them, and only 8 were pieces I chose not to finish. The majority of the stories, 85 of them, came from anthologies (one of my 2022 reading goals was for each of my to-read stacks for the year to contain an anthology). Otherwise, my top venues were Lightspeed (14), Nightmare Magazine (13), and Beneath Ceaseless Skies (11).

Favourite Short Fiction Reads:

  • Le Cygne Baiseur by Molly Tanzer, Lightspeed Magazine
  • The Ones Who Got Away by Stephen Graham Jones, Nightmare Magazine
  • The Good Girls by S.M. Beiko, Alternate Plains
  • Bloodbath (VHS, 1987, DIRECTOR UNKNOWN) by David Demchuk, Alternate Plains
  • Of Men, Women, and Chainsaws by Stephen Graham Jones,
  • That Story Isn’t the Story by John Wiswell, Uncanny Magazine
  • How to Become a Witch-Queen by Theodora Goss, Lightspeed
  • The Eternal Cocktail Party of the Damned by Fonda Lee, Uncanny Magazine
  • 10 Steps to a Whole New You by Tonya Liburd, Fantasy Magazine
  • The Root Cellar by Maria Haskins, Beneath Ceaseless Skies
  • Give Me Cornbread, or Give Me Death by N.K. Jemisin, Lightspeed
  • Every Tiny Tooth and Claw (Or: Letters From the First Month of the New Directorate) by Marissa Lingen, Beneath Ceaseless Skies
  • Guidelines for Appeasing Kim of the Hundred Hands by John Wiswell, Fireside
  • Research Log ~~33 by Rowena McGowan, Air: Sylphs, Spirits, & Swan Maidens
  • The Sea Half-Held by Night by E. Catherine Tobler, Dead North

Everything I read in 2022:

Here’s what I read in January.

Here’s what I read in February.

Here’s what I read in March.

Here’s what I read in April.

Here’s what I read in May.

Here’s what I read in June.

Here’s what I read in July.

Here’s what I read in August.

Here’s what I read in September.

Here’s what I read in October.

Here’s what I read in November.

Here’s what I read in December.

Check out my roundup of my 2021 reading here.

Check out my roundup of my 2020 reading here.