2022 Reading List

This year is the year! 50 books is the goal. Here’s what I read in 2020 and 2021.

  1. Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman – a book of poems. So many dog-eared pages! “What can we call a country that destroys Itself just because it can? A nation that would char Rather than change? Our only word for this is Home.” And I loved the short poem Life: “Life is not what is promised, But what is sought. These bones, not what is found, But what we’ve fought. Our truth, not what we said, But what we thought. Our lesson, all we have taken & all we have brought.”
  2. Call Your Daughter Home by Deb Spera – a view of a world I am unfamiliar with and yet also felt familiar with somehow. “I see the man for what he is. No worse, no better than his son. He is the root of the tree he grew.”
  3. Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune. Honestly, I love his writing style and his work. This is my second TJ Klune novel, and I look forward to many more. “I can’t grieve for myself.’ Hugo shook his head slowly. ‘Of course you can. We do it all the time, regardless of it we’re alive or not, over the small things and the big things. Everyone is a little bit sad all the time.'”
  4. The Girl from Berlin by Kate Hewitt. There is something about well done historical fiction that I just find myself falling into and unable to put down until I’ve finished. “…at the end of the day, a government has to do what is best for the most people who benefit from its leadership.”
  5. Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah. Nice, easy read with an emotional pull for parents. “Girl’s fear pushes her forward. She follows, grabs Sun Hair’s hand, and holds so tightly it hurts.”
  6. A View Across the Rooftops by Suzanne Kelman. Historical fiction featuring heartbreaking loss and a hero who overcomes so much. “Why had he not felt the true weight of what was happening around him? As he stumbled along the rest of his journey home, he was obsessed with just one thought. When had all of this become normal?”
  7. The Bones Beneath My Skin by TJ Klune. I’m a fan of his writing style. The stories pull you in. This is my second read in just a few months by this author. “You think yourself alone. You think yourself lost. … We came to be your friend. To make you understand that, in the end, you are never alone.”
  8. Every Last Secret by A. R. Torre. A juicy read that makes you think about the true intentions of those around you. “That was the secret to success in this town. Presenting a picture of effortless perfection with behind-the-scenes ruthless hard work.”
  9. Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover. Quick read, emotional, but a great story of love, loss, and more love. “She wasn’t saying I would move past what I was feeling, or that things would get easier. She was telling me this was it–the misery I felt was my new normal. I could either learn to live with it or I could let it consume me.”
  10. The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave. I enjoyed the writing style and surprises in this book. “He never understood that I wasn’t scared of someone leaving me. I was scared that the wrong person would stay.”
  11. We Are Displaced by Malala Yousafzai. Sometimes difficult to read but in a way that forced me to recognize and consider my privilege–where I was born and who I was born to. “I immediately understood the extent of my privilege: Where I saw so many problems, they saw opportunities. …Either you lose hope completely and you shatter and break into pieces, or you become so resilient that no one can break you anymore.”
  12. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth E. Wein. A story of friendship and hard choices during an even harder world experience. “I am no longer afraid of getting old. Indeed I can’t believe I ever said anything so stupid. So childish. So offensive and arrogant. But mainly, so very, very stupid. I desperately want to grow old.”
  13. The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan. First of all, thank you to my new workplace for hosting a monthly book club and recommending this read for March! Second, to the author Ruth, thank you for including a character with “dancing drome” and portraying her with grace, love, kindness and realistic experiences. This was a wonderful read. “Talk to her. She has Down syndrome, she’s not daft. Tell her how you feel. Work something out. And while you’re at it, tell her what really happened on your date.” and “Marvin loved the rain. It washed the world clean and made everything shine; made the grass smell like heaven.”
  14. The Humans by Matt Haig. This one makes you think about the world and how we see it. “In every human life there is a moment. A crisis. One that says, what I believe is wrong. It happens to everyone, the only difference is how that knowledge changes them.”
  15. Sweet Bean Paste by Durian Sukegawa. An Amazon Kindle suggested read. I enjoyed the glimpse into a different culture from my own, the connection between food and life, and a look at how history has a hard time of shedding the negativity that gets so engrained in our understanding of the world. “That’s what public opinion is. That’s why I can’t let you leave that canary here. Everyone’s afraid of bird flu these days. Ten years ago, maybe, but now people’d have a fit at the sight of a bird in a food and drink establishment.”
  16. The Botanist’s Daughter by Kayte Nunn. Lovely read and an interesting view of the intricacy of family history and nature. “Oh, hear Elizabeth, the heart chooses its own path and rides roughshod over everything else. Love does not respect intentions, nor boundaries, nor continents, nor wishes. …For it must be the most glorious thing to love and be loved in return.”
  17. People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry. Fun and witty read. Bonus, the author went to Hope College! That’s just around the corner. …maybe I need to look into the creative writing program. “Everything I’d done since high school had been to escape that feeling, that person. …You can’t outrun yourself. Not your history, not your fears, not the parts of yourself you’re worried are wrong.”
  18. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Loved it! That is all. “Intimacy is impossible without trust. And we would have been idiots to trust one another. …Heartbreak is loss. Divorce is a piece of paper.”
  19. The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller. I felt like I knew Eleanor. A few unexpected twists and a good amount of life-lessons to ponder. “‘Perfect. Cold.’ The best lesson my mother ever taught me: there are two things in life you never regret–a baby and a swim. …Does letting go mean losing everything you have, or does it mean gaining everything you never had?”
  20. Several short sentences about writing by Verlyn Klinkenborg. A read to learn how to become a better writer and story teller. Loved this and will reference the book regularly throughout the rest of my writing days. “If the thought was worth having, you’ll rediscover it or find a better one. The fear of forgetting and the rush to be done are closely related.”

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