2022 Book Challenge

Even though I barely read much of anything last year I still enjoy setting myself a target for reading, so my dad and I are once again embarking on the Popsugar Reading Challenge.

At the moment I am starting with my lovely haul of Christmas books and finding categories to slot them into, but once I’ve read those, will need to have a proper look at the list and try to select some interesting books!

I am determined to read more this year than I managed last year, though I expect I will as I’ll be on adoption leave at some point so will hopefully have a few moments of “me” time to read here and there…

I have started out strong in January, but suspect this will tail off at some point….

Book 1: Mystical Places, by Sarah Baxter

Category: A book that fulfills your favourite prompt from a previous PopSugar reading challenge (A book involving travel)

Book 2: The Teenager who came to tea, A parody, by Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees

Category: A book you can read in one sitting

Book 3: Hamnet, by Maggie O’Farrell

Category: A different book by an author you read in 2021

This was really gripping. I don’t usually like period fiction, and this is set in Shakespeare’s era, but it’s really well-written and I raced through it.

Book 4: Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro

Category: A book with a character on the ace spectrum (think this means asexual but am not totally sure)

It’s hard to describe this book – odd and compelling, I enjoyed it, though not as much as I had liked Never let me go.

Book 5: Piranesi, by Susanna Clarke

Category: A book featuring a parallel reality

This book was very weird, and I honestly couldn’t say if I liked it or not, but it was hard to put it down. I had no idea what was going on for at least the first 1/3 of the book, and then suddenly about halfway through it all started making sense. It was one of the oddest books I’ve ever read and I still can’t decide if I liked it or not!

Book 6: Because of you, by Dawn French

Category: A book about a secret

This one was utterly cheesy. I mean, that’s probably an insult to cheese, but nevermind. An easy ready but I didn’t particularly like any of the characters and the plot was very easy to guess.

Book 7: Life as we knew it, by Susan Pfeffer

Category: A book with a constellation on the cover or in the title

This is a young adult book about the end of the world. It was an easy read but quite tough in places given the last few years.

Book 8: The Memory Police, by Yoko Ogawa

Category: A Social Horror book

This was a slow-burn, haunting and chilling. A quiet calm dystopia where the most chilling part is the quiet acceptance of what is happening by the people in the story and the total lack of dissent or rebellion against the authorities.

Book 9: Red Dwarf, by Grant Naylor

Category: None

This was a re-read as I fancied something easy to zip through while I was ill.

Book 10: Guards, Guards, by Terry Pratchett

Category: None

Another quick and easy re-read – fun and one of my favourites.

Book 11: The Distance between us, by Maggie O’Farrell

Category: A book that features two languages

Loved this – like all her others it was a quick and gripping read. I also spotted some parallels between the characters in this book and the author’s own experiences as a child from her memoir.

Book 12: Sorrow and Bliss, by Meg Mason

Category: A book whose title begins with the last letter of your previous read

This was good (though not excellent). A very good look at mental health from the inside and how it affects the people around you.

Book 13: The Children of Jocasta, by Natalie Haynes

Category: A book you know nothing about

I really enjoyed this one. It’s told from 2 perspectives – one from the child bride of the old king and the other a generation later from the perspective of her children. I had no idea who Jocasta was in Greek mythology until a young, hot bloke shows up to inform her he has accidentally killed the king, oh and his name is Oedipus….

A rather clever re-telling of what might have been and how the events might have played out as seen from Jocasta’s perspective.

Book 14: The Housemate, by C. L Pattison

Category: A book with two point of views

This was fairly rubbish but I needed a quick thriller I could read in a couple of days and it fit the bill. Didn’t enjoy it much and would not recommend.

Book 15: Sticks and Stones, by Jo Jakeman

Category: A book about a found family

This was ok – again a quick read, not brilliant, but ok.

Book 16: Joe Country, by Mick Herron

Category: A book set on holiday

This was another quick read – I love the Slow Horses series and have read all the others. Also the tv show is excellent!

Book 17: Truly, Madly Guilty, by Liane Moriarty

Category: A book featuring a party

This was another quick and easy read (I’ve had a few of those in a row!) but I like her books they always have interesting and well-developed characters and enough intrigue to keep me guessing!

Book 18: Passing, by Nella Larsen

Category: A book about a double life

This was short and interesting – about the idea of lighter-skinned black people in the 1920’s “passing” as white. Lots of important themes not just about racism but also about colourism amongst the black community. Interesting and gripping.

Book 19: Nothing to see here, by Kevin Wilson

Category: None

This was a marvellously insane book about some children who spontaneously catch fire now and again. Weird and bonkers but a good read and I enjoyed it immensely.

Book 20: As you wish, by Cary Elwes

Category: A book set in the 80’s

The Princess Bride is one of my all-time favourite movies and I loved reading all about how it was made and the fun cool things that happened backstage and what went into it.

Book 21: Today a woman went mad in the supermarket, by Hilma Wolitzer

Category: None

This was a nice little collection of short stories, loosely connected together. Some dark, some mundane. Mostly around motherhood, pregnancy, childbirth, and relationships and the lives of women.

Book 22: When I ran away, by Ilona Bannister

Category: None

This one was a little grimmer than I was expecting. A woman with a lot of historical trauma and grief has post-natal depression and goes a bit insane for a while. Dark and not so cheerful.

Book 23: The Fixer-Upper, by Lauren Forsythe

Category: None

This was cheesy and fairly crap. Would not read it again.

Book 24: Night by night, by Jack Jordan

Category: A book with a misleading title

This book was AWFUL. Really, truly terrible. I wanted to give up on it SO MANY TIMES. I hung in there because I wanted to know who did it, but my god it’s badly written, cheesy and uninteresting. The characters are completely useless and not very believable stereotypes and I hated it. 0 stars.

Book 25: The Christmas Bookshop, by Jenny Colgan

Category: A book about witches

Ok so admittedly this book is not really about witches but it features a witch so I shoved it into that category!

It was a really fun, light read and I enjoyed it.

An phew! Made it to 25 books! Very pleased I just about achieved my goal for the year!

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