Hey guys, it’s been a while! Working in consulting has taken a toll on my blogging — when I have free time, the last thing I want to do is stare at a screen.
But I wanted to pop in to share some reading recommendations. I read 32 books in 2022 which is about average for me — I usually read 30-35 books a year. Which is perfectly fine with me. I read for pleasure, and I’m not a fan of reading challenges.
In 2022, I read way more fiction than usual, which is something I want to continue this year as well.
Without further ado, here are my favorite reads of 2022:
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (2017)
Eleanor Oliphant is quirky, reclusive, and painfully socially awkward. But despite her social difficulties, what she craves above all else is connection with other people.
I loved this book. At turns heartbreaking and laugh-out-loud funny, I enjoyed every moment I spent with Eleanor, who is one of the most memorable and likable characters I’ve come across in years.
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (2014)
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry follows the story of widower, curmudgeon bookstore owner, A.J. Fikry, as he grapples with grief and, in an unexpected twist of fate, single fatherhood. At its heart, this novel is an ode to books and book lovers.
This book is my first read by Gabrielle Zevin but it won’t be my last. Zevin also wrote Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, which is currently sitting on my shelf. I’m excited to delve into it soon.
Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid (2022)
As a lifelong tennis player, I really enjoyed Carrie Soto is Back. Carrie Soto is a world-famous tennis champion in her late thirties. But six years after her retirement, she watches her world record be taken to her at the US Open, and vows to get it back.
Though Carrie Soto Back obviously centers around tennis, you don’t have to be a tennis player in order to appreciate this: it also features a complicated father-daughter relationship, which I loved, as well as a love story.
If you haven’t read Taylor Jenkins Reid yet, I highly recommend her work: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones and the Six are fun and easy reads. (I still need to read Malibu Rising!)
The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Harris (2021)
I binged this at my cottage over the span of a delicious summer weekend, and it was truly the perfect summer read. Set in Cape Cod, The Paper Palace takes place over a single summer day in which Elle, 50, must confront her past and all its secrets. Truly a page-turner, I was dying to find out what happened between Elle and her childhood love, Jonas, all those years ago.
The only downside – the book features a chilling child abuse scene that I wish had been omitted.
Beowulf by Unknown (975 AD?)
So this is a bit out of left field, but in 2022, I finally read Beowulf. As a diehard Tolkien fan, I had meant to read this Beowulf for years, as it greatly influenced The Lord of the Rings.
Beowulf is an epic poem that tells the story of Beowulf, a Scandinavian hero who rids the kingdom of Grendel, a monster that has been terrorizing the land for 50 years.
As the book was written in Old English, I obviously read a translation, and I’m so glad I read Seamus Heaney’s translation. As a Nobel-prize-winning poet, Heaney brought Beowulf to life in such a powerful and never-boring way.
The Simple Path to Wealth by J.L. Collins (2016)
In 2022, I had a goal to learn more about personal finance and investing. I read many personal finance books: The psychology of Money, Total money makeover, I will make you rich, and more. But the best of the lot was The Simple Path to Wealth.
The Simple Path to Wealth is a personal finance book for people who have no interest in learning about finance and who want to keep investing simple. Due to its simplicity and brevity, this is the best personal finance book I’ve ever read.
The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory (2012)
In 2022, I went on a major Philippa Gregory kick, reading seven of her books. The Kingmaker’s Daughter is my favorite of hers I’ve read so far.
The Kingmaker’s Daughter follows the story of Anne Neville, one-time Queen of England and wife of the infamous Richard III. Anne began her life as the daughter of Richard Neville, so-called “the kingmaker” for his ability to make (and unmake English) kings.
I love Philippa Gregory’s books because they focus on women in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. So often, historical texts and novels gloss over women and their accomplishments during these time periods. But clearly, as in the case of Anne, women of this time period deserve a closer look.