Everything I Read in 2022

In 2022 I set a goal to read for 30 minutes every day.

Some days I didn’t read at all. On others, I read for 10 hours. Most days I managed to dedicate approximately 30 minutes to reading.

Adding reading to my list of daily habits evolved in 2021. Since I was a child I’ve always read about 20-30 books a year. I even maintained that going into college surprisingly enough.

The world of full-time work is a different beast and after graduation I found myself reading less. Life had changed so much since leaving school, I didn’t know how to structure my free time properly.

Then I remembered a Youtube video I watched a couple years prior about reading habits.

Watch: BOOKSTORES: How to Read More Books in the Golden Age of Content.

To read 1,000 books in my lifetime, I only need to read for 30 minutes a day. Building a habit is more impactful than motivation.

Now that I am independent and have more demands on my time, I have to be more conscious about the things I want to do.

I don’t think the number of books read in a year denotes a good reader, but I do think it is indicative of time spent reading. It is more important to me to enjoy reading for 30 minutes each day simply because I love reading than it is for me to read X number of books by the end of the year.

That’s why my goal wasn’t to read 20 books in 2022. My goal was to read for 30 minutes each day. I happened to read 20 books.

When I was a kid I ignored people in order to read more.

That’s not good. It’s all about balance.

The Books

  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • The Question of God by Armand Nicholi
  • Fruits Basket Volume 2 by Natsuki Takaya
  • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  • Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
  • New Boy by Tracy Chevalier
  • Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie
  • A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier
  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen
  • Circe by Madeline Miller
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • The Library Book by Susan Orlean
  • Land of Big Numbers by Te-Ping Chen
  • The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating Elisabeth Tova Bailey
  • A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis

My Top Authors

Reading a book is my first date with an author.

If I fall in love with what I’m reading, I have to read more.

I enter into a courtship of kinds with inspiring writers. I think about them constantly, learn their voices, and linger with them in their section of the library. I don’t buy books, but when I find an author I adore, I purchase their body of work and keep it in my personal library to reread at a whim.

They integrate into my literary canon and change my ideas on what writing can do.

I read Ray Bradbury for the first time this year, and while I only read one of his books (I need to read more) he has quickly become one of my favorite writers. He wrote poetry about his favorite authors and imagined himself in conversation with literary giants.

This is a quote I found in the afterward of my copy of Fahrenheit 451.

“I have… taken night trains with my favorite authors across the continental wilderness, staying up all night gabbling and drinking, drinking and chatting… I have written a Time Machine story in which I hum back to sit at the deathbeds of Wild, Melville, and Poe to tell of my love and warm their bones in their last hours…”

Ray Bradbury

This year my top two authors were Jane Austen and Tracy Chevalier.

Jane Austen

Jane Austen

This year I finished reading Jane Austen’s six major novels. I went into 2022 having already read Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Northanger Abbey. Over the course of the year, I reread Northanger Abbey and read Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility, and Persuasion for the first time.

Austen is simultaneously intellectually stimulating and tremendously comforting. When I return to her writing I feel as though I am tapping into generations of feminine wisdom and folly.

We have a tendency to think of our ancestors as stuffy, serious, alien people who got married as teenagers, but Austen is a portal into the ridiculous, joyful, and remarkably recognizable human experience of the past.

Persuasion was my favorite Jane Austin novel of the year. It was published posthumously with Northanger Abbey in 1817 and tells a story of second chances and renewed love.

I listened to Persuasion on audiobook with a cup of tea nearby and knitting in hand which is one of the only acceptable ways for me to enjoy Austen.

“…when pain is over, the remembrance of it often becomes a pleasure.”

Jane Austen, Persuasion

Now that I have officially read all of Austen’s novels, I can confidently say that Emma is still my favorite.

Emma was my first Austen novel and holds a special place in my heart. Persuasion is a close second.

Tracy Chevalier

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer

Tracy Chevalier was unknown to me at the start of 2022.

She writes historical fiction but is not bound to any one time or place. After exploring her novels throughout the year I found she can capture the complexity of human experience across eras.

Girl with a Pearl Earring is set in 17th-century Delft, Holland. A Single Thread follows a single woman as she navigates the aftermath of the first world war. New Boy is a retelling of Othello set on an American elementary school playground in the 70s.

No subject matter is off limits and I can’t wait to pick up another one of her novels the next time I am at the library.

My favorite of her novels was Girl with a Pearl Earring. I read it on a whim and devoured it in one day. The novel was inspired by Johannes Vermeer’s painting of the same name and is a fictional account of the unknown model and the creation of the painting.

It quickly became one of my favorite books of all time and now every time I pass it in the library I flip through the pages and am transported back to April of 2022.

“He saw things in a way that others did not, so that a city I had lived in all my life seemed a different place, so that a woman became beautiful with the light on her face.”

Tracy Chevalier, Girl with a Pearl Earring

My Top Three Books of 2022

  1. Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
  2. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  3. Persuasion by Jane Austen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s