Another year, another reading resolution filled out and crossed off. Even after a few years, I still find that this list keeps me exploring and pressing myself in terms of my reading. Plus it gives me a good excuse to ramble about what I’ve read. So here are my biggest thoughts when looking back over a year of reading.
Best Book: Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin
No more subtlety. Environmental stories need to be as blunt as possible about the global situation, and Schweblin’s Argentinian novel is cutting and incisive, while simultaneously abstract and lyrical. The book’s loose format is not usually to my tastes, but Schweblin does it so well that the reader has to come along for the ride.
Runner Up: 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak
Most Enjoyable Book: Tie between Smut Peddler Presents: Sordid Past edited by Andrea Purcell and 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak
These two books are very different, but are united by one important thing: joy. Not necessarily happiness, as difficult things happen in both stories, especially 10 Minutes, but both the comic collection and the novel find the inherent joy of families, friendships, and sex.
Worst Book: The Boys: Omnibus Vol. 1 by Garth Ennis, illustrated by Darick Robertson
No no no no no no no. If you’re interested in the premise of using superheroes as a lens to study political and celebrity power, watch the tv adaptation, but stay far away from this squishy, crass comic.
Most Frustrating Book: The Master and The Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
I didn’t even end up writing a review for this classic novel, as I was just ready to put it behind me by the time I finished, and it’s been around long enough that I doubt I have anything new to say. But “the devil and his cronies cause shenanigans” should be far funnier than it is here, especially for a book this long.
Runner Up: The Sawbones Book: The Hilarious, Horrifying Road to Modern Medicine by Justin McElroy and Dr. Sydnee McElroy
Biggest Surprise: You Feel It Just Below the Ribs by Janina Matthewson and Jeffrey Cranor
I need to start having more faith in authors who started in other mediums. But the podcast Within the Wires has often left me pretty lukewarm, so I was surprised to enjoy this book set in the same universe as much as I did.
So that has been my reading of 2022! (Unless I do some serious power-reading in the next few days.) I will start fresh next week (year) with a new list, so if you have any recommendations of what I should dive into for 2023, send them my way!