Happy New Year! We made it to 2022. Not sure how that happened, but here we are. I am excited to get into a new year with a new reading list and new goals. Hopefully it’s all amazing. I will be sharing my reading (and blogging) goals for the year next week, but today I wanted to talk about my reading list for the year.
If you’re new here, every year I choose five fiction books and nonfiction books that I want to focus on reading. They are all pre-2022 releases, and I find it’s just a good way to make sure I get to some of the older books that I might have forgotten otherwise. It’s also a fun way to pick out books that work towards my goals for the year. Again, I’ll be sharing those next week, but you might be able to figure out a couple of them from the list below.
And here are the ten books I chose for my 2022 reading list:
Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
I read my very first Octavia Butler book, Kindred, back in 2020, and have been thinking about it ever since. I can’t believe it took me that long to read Octavia Butler, but I really want to read more. I kind of went back and forth on which of her books to pick up next, but settled on this one. I do eventually want to get to all of them, but after reading all their synopses, I was most excited about this one.
The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
I was very excited to read more of Akwaeke Emezi’s work after reading – and loving – her debut, Freshwater, a few years ago. This one came out in 2020 and has been sitting on my shelves ever since. I’ve had good intentions to read it, but just never got around to it. Honestly. my reading experiments ate up a lot of reading time last year, and I just wanted to read more fun books in my free time. This one is obviously sad (it’s in the title), but I definitely want to make time for it in 2022.
Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead
There were a lot of great books released in 2021, and this is one I just kept seeing everywhere and just didn’t have time to get around to reading. It is a six-hundred page novel that follows two characters – a female aviator and the actress hired to portray her nearly a century later – and it just felt like something I’d want to dedicate time to reading. But this year, I want to make time for those bigger books I want to read.
The Sentence by Louise Erdrich
I discovered this book fairly recently when looking for some new BIPOC authors to check out. I’ve seen Louise Erdrich books around for a while, but had just never really looked into them all that much. But this one just sounds totally up my alley. It’s about a bookstore that is being haunted by the ghost of their most annoying customer. That sounds like a really fun read, and I definitely need some fun books this year.
She Would Be King by Wayétu Moore
It took me quite a while to decide on the final fiction book for this list. But I decided to go with this one for a few reasons. Mainly because the blending of Liberian history and magical realism sounds fantastic. But also because it doesn’t seem to have very many reviews, and I want to work on reading and sharing books like this that maybe deserve more attention. Plus, one of you recommended it in the comments a while ago, and I’ve been glancing at it on my shelves ever since.
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
I cannot believe I have not read James Baldwin yet. That feels like a massive gap in my reading, and I will definitely be remedying that in 2022. A lot of his books sound great, but this seems like the one everyone recommends picking up first. I did like that it is nonfiction, and it seems like a brilliant addition to my anti-racism reading this year. I don’t know if I’m going to focus on that quite as much in 2022, just because I want to work on reading about more diverse topics, but I do want to continue that aspect of my personal education.
Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer L. Eberhardt
Speaking of anti-racism reading, I had to add this one to my reading list because I have heard so many great things about this one. I grew up in a pretty prejudiced community and definitely internalized a lot of those biases. I think understanding them a little better has helped me be better about seeing those biases – both in myself and others – and understanding how they impact other people. Hopefully this book contains some new insights that help me see things in different ways, and just helps me improve who I am as a person and how I treat others. I’ve really enjoyed using books to work on that, and am excited tor read this one.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
In case you didn’t know, I am a huge introvert. Like, I’d probably be fine if I went weeks without speaking to anyone. My family are definitely… differently inclined. They do not understand my appreciation of being alone and need for quiet time. I actually like being an introvert. However, I don’t think it has served me well in life since a lot of extroverts don’t necessarily understand. Maybe this book will help me operate a little better in a world that does not shut up. Because that is something I need.
I’m Afraid of Men by Vivek Shraya
Little bit of a spoiler for my reading goals, but one of the things I want to focus on this year is reading more books by trans and nonbinary authors. It’s really not something I read a lot of, and I want to delve into it a bit more. I am not trans or nonbinary, so those are not experiences I feel like I completely understand. And I definitely want to fix that, because I want to be able to be more supportive and understanding. This book has been on my radar for a bit, and I thought it would be great to add a nonfiction book by a trans author to my reading list this year. If you have any other recommendations for books I should check out, let me know!
Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson
Finally, we have a book that has been sitting on my TBR for years. To be completely honest, I’m not sure I knew what this was about when I picked it up. But last year I read my first Erik Larson book and really enjoyed it, so I gave this one another look. And when I realized it was about H. H. Holmes, a serial killer I had coincidentally just watched a documentary about, this got bumped up on my reading list. I am very excited to read this, and think it’s going to be a fun nonfiction read later this year.
And that is it for my 2022 reading list! Obviously, there are a lot of other books I want to read this year, but I am excited to focus on these ten. They all seem like books I will love, and hopefully this will lead to a great reading year.
What’s on your reading list for 2022?
And check out my bookshop, where you can buy books and also shop my curated collections of my personal favorites AND all of the books I’ve read for my reading experiments. Or you can just buy whatever books you want to. I get a small commission at no extra cost to you, and you get to support your choice of indie bookstores – it’s a win all around!