Let's Talk about Books

2022 Running List of Books Read

Yes, the pun was intended, I couldn’t help myself. But in all seriousness this really is a running list of the books I’m reading in 2022. In 2021, I saw a total uptick in the number of books that I read. I use Goodreads to keep track of what I want to read and what I’ve read, but then about 3/4 of the way through 2021 I had a lightbulb moment that I should keep a list and some thoughts on the books. As I’m constantly learning- rather than have to go back and think again about what I read it would in fact be much easier to do this as an in time regularly updated blog post. See- work smarter…not harder! 2021 I set a goal of 36 books for the year. Three books a month seemed reasonable. Some months, especially in the beginning of the year when I was extra busy with NYU application review I didn’t read that many books. I know longer have the NYU position, but I am working full time. Since I like to unwind with a book at night- reading is still on the horizon. All this to say I’ve set a reading goal of 52 books for 2022. The thought being that some months will generate extra books and it will all balance out in the wash. Or this could be like when I tried to go to 1300 miles in 2020 to 1500 in 2021 and I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. Time will tell. Check back regularly as I’ll give a review of the book (hopefully without any spoilers) that I just read and let you know what I’m reading next. I’m looking forward to watching this blog evolve over the year. Also, I’d love to hear about what you are reading and who your favorite authors are too!! My TBR list is always growing!

Book 1- Lucky, by Marissa Stapley (12/30/21-1/1/22)

I read the 256 page paperback version of Lucky. It was a QUICK read. The story developed quickly and I literally read 100 pages in my first sitting with the book. So really this was the last book of 2021 and the first book of 2022. Overall I really enjoyed the book. I was left thinking about the characters after. It was a solid 3.5 – 4 stars. I will check out Stapley’s other books to add to my TBR list. Also, I love when authors are real. Stapley reposted one of my stories that I posted while reading and followed it up with a quick message when I was done. If you are looking for an easy- mystery- fast paced book. I would recommend Lucky.

Book 2- Lily and the Octopus, by Steven Rowley (1/1/22-1/7/22)

I devoured Guncle and the Editor by Rowley in 2021. So I knew that I needed to read what was actually his first book Lily and the Octopus and that I wanted it to be my first full book of 2022. While reading the Editor and tagging Rowley during the holidays he was super kind and appreciative. He responded to my stories post and we chatted a little bit on IG messenger. Again, an author that is a cool person and appreciative of readers combined with awesome books. I’ll read everything he writes. I knew from the beginning that this book was going to be a tear jerker and sure enough it was in fact. Ruby is a pro at sensing my emotions and began licking my face as I cried towards the end of the book. While it was different than what I was expecting, there was the constant that I’ve come to anticipate from Rowley. His voice can be heard throughout. While I enjoyed Lilly and the Octopus, I would have to say that The Editor or The Guncle are my favorites.

Book 3-Somebody’s Daughter, A Memoir, by Ashley C. Ford (1/7/22-1/9/22)

Part of the reason I joined Book of the Month was to diversify my reading. Then I started following all sorts of monthly reading groups, like Read with Jenna and Reese’s Book Club so I have a variety of ideas beyond my normal go to mystery and thriller books. I added Somebody’s Daughter to my TBR list at some point last year, so when it came up as a Book of the Month I knew it was finally time to read it. I enjoyed the opportunity to read this heartfelt story from Ashley Ford as she shared the trials and tribulations of her life. She offered me a new perspective. While this wasn’t my traditional read, I’m glad that I gave it a try.

Book 4- Black Cake, by Charmaine Wilkerson (1/9/22-1/16/22)

Another huge benefit of Book of the Month– early access to books and debut authors like Charmaine Wilkerson. While I initially had a little trouble getting into this book, it quickly picked up and I was hooked. The multiple points of view throughout the book and flipping back and forth between the past and present make it the story easy to read and engaging (even for a book that’s almost 400 pages long!). But for Book of the Month, I’m not sure that Black Cake would have been on my TBR list. I’m glad that I’ve branched out and I’m reading a wider variety of books!

Book 5- A Flicker in the Dark, by Stacy Willingham (1/16/22-1/20/22)

Reading debut authors has been another amazing benefit to Book of the Month!! Stacy Willingham did not disappoint with her debut novel, A Flicker in the Dark. This twisty, turny thriller was not only fun to read, it left me thinking after I finished it. This was a super quick read and I look forward to more from Stacy Willingham. I highly recommend A Flicker in the Dark!!

Book 6 Malibu Rising, by Taylor Jenkins Reid (1/21/22-1/23/22)

Malibu Rising was on my to be read list and my book pile since this summer. I do not know what took me so long to finally read it, but I’m so very glad I did. I couldn’t put this book down and got it done just one weekend. As soon as I closed the book I was looking up TJRs other books to add to my TBR list and to purchase. As a child of the 80s I enjoyed the fact that part of this book was set in that time period. I also enjoyed the multiple perspectives and back in forth in time. Hands down one of my top reads lately- I highly recommend Malibu Rising!!

Book 7 The Maid, by Nita Prose (1/24/22 – 1/30/22)

Another debut author read in January. This was an add on to my last Book of the Month box and it didn’t disappoint. While, The Maid, was a little slow as it was getting started but then began to pick up and couldn’t wait to finish it. It’s a combination mystery, who done it, romance novel with some unexpected twists and turns along the way. I look forward to more from Nita Prose as she develops as an author. This was a solid debut book!

January in review- My goodness I’ve never read quite so many books in one month before. A combination of Winter Break, some quieter weekends at home and some awesome books helped me read several from my TBR list. You’ll notice it was also a heavy Book of the Month- month. I love the selection from Book of the Month and the wide variety of books that they offer. Including- early releases like Black Cake. I was never one to be reading the “latest books” but now I’m much more in tune with what’s coming out when and adding a wider variety of books to my TBR list. Three more Book of the Month Books coming my way in February. And I pre-ordered The Paris Apartment, by Lucy Foley too. She was one of my newly discovered authors last year and I can’t wait to read her latest book. Hoping that February will allow me to read just as many books!!

Book 8 Maybe in Another Life, by Taylor Jenkins Reid (1/31/22-2/2/22)

I couldn’t put Maybe in Another Life down. It was a captivating and quick read. The chapters alternate if x happens then this if y happens then that. Showing how one choice can ultimately impact our overall lifeThe fact that the entire book continues in this fashion in a cohesive and captivating read is truly amazing. I highly recommend this masterpiece by Taylor Jenkins Reid. One of my favorite lines from the book: “If our fate is determined with every step we take…it’s too exhausting. I prefer to believe that things happen as they are meant to be.”

Book 9 Vladimir, by Julia May Jonas (2/3/22-2/5/22)

Vladimir was a February Book of the Month. It sounded like something that while it was outside my wheelhouse would be intriguing as it involved a college setting. I had high hopes for this debut from Julia Jonas. While it was still a relatively quick read, it was a short book coming in at 260 or so pages. The writing was heavy and dense. There were times I had to look up words. I can appreciate a great vocabulary, but using complex words just to use them detracts from the book. Ultimately the story was fairly interesting, but overall I would not necessarily adding this to your TBR list.

Book 10 It Ends with Us, by Colleen Hoover (2/5/22-2/8/22)

This was my first book by Colleen Hoover and let’s just say I added four more to my TBR list this afternoon. I cut my morning workout short to finish this book…that’s how much I needed to know how it ended. I basically couldn’t put this one down and will be thinking about it for a long time to come. If you are looking for finding love in unexpected places with twists and turns along the way I highly recommend It Ends with Us. One of my favorite take away lines from the book: “Life is a funny thing. We only get so many years to live it, so we have to do everything we can to make sure those years are as full as they can be. We shouldn’t waste time on things that might happen someday or maybe even ever.” (p. 213)

Book 11 The Guilt Trip, by Sandie Jones (2/10/22-2/13/22)

Truth be told this book was fairly ho hum to start. It felt similar to other books that I had read and while it wasn’t terrible it didn’t fully pull me in. The last 100 or so pages however, changed all of that and bumped this up to a four star book for me. Once I reached that part of the book I couldn’t put it down and read through my Sunday morning just to get it done. So in the end, I would recommend The Guilt Trip for a quick mystery, thriller.

Book 12 November 9, by Colleen Hoover (2/18-2/20/22)

I must admit that I am late to the Colleen Hoover party and I’m just shocked that I’ve been in the dark about how amazing her books are for so long. I’m already counting down the days to the sequel to It Ends with Us. I thought November 9 started a little slower and took a little more to get into but once I was in, I was in and couldn’t put it down. Again I ready 150 pages straight through because I just had to know what was going to happen. 5 Stars!!

Book 13 Verity, by Colleen Hoover (2/21/22-2/26/22)

I have no words after finishing this thriller by Colleen Hoover. I will not go into much detail as to not ruin the book for the reader, but I will say- page turner, that is disturbingly amazing. Basically, after finishing it I went and ordered several more of Hoover’s books for a Spring Break read-a-thon. Who wants to join me??

Book 14 The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen (2/27/22-3/5/22)

I’m really starting to love the fact that I can get books before they are released from BOT. I’m not really sure when I started having to read books as soon as they come out, but here I am. The Golden Couple was a thriller that was filled with twists and turns. It kept me guessing and was a quick read. Highly recommend it! It was a solid 4-4.5 star book!!

Book 15 The Paris Apartment, by Lucy Foley (3/5/22-3/12/22)

I was introduced to Lucy Foley’s books in 2021. I really enjoyed The Guest List and The Hunting Party, so I actually pre-ordered The Paris Apartment and received it on publication day on February 22nd. However, life got int he way so it took me a little longer to get to start it. Then work was crazy and it took me much longer to finish than it should. I found the first 100 pages or so a bit slow. Ultimately, it was a good book, but I wouldn’t say it was one of my favorites from what I have read so far this year. I was little overwhelmed after much anticipation.

Book 16 Wish You Were Here, by Jodi Picoult (3/13/22-3/16/22)

It’s been years since I read Jodi Picoult. Her books are like a window into the soul of life issues, but fiction. Wish You Were Here, starts on March 13, 2020, so it seemed incredibly fitting to begin reading it on March 13, 2022. While Covid is still here and we are not completely on the other side of it, I thought taking a trip down “memory lane” and realizing how far we have come would be symbolic, since two years ago at this time didn’t know what to expect. I plowed through this book and I’m still thinking about it after I finished it. This for me is the indication of a great book!! If you are in the mind space to “relive” the early Covid days I highly recommend Wish You Were Here.

Book 17 The Love of My Life, by Rosie Walsh (3/17/22-3/19/22)

Truth be told, this was an add on to my Book of the Month March box. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect- and then started to see it pop up all over as a recommendation. Needless-to-say- it was a quick read. The nice weather afforded me the time to read outside, while the boys played, so I basically read it in a day and a half. While some of it was somewhat predictable, there were definitely parts I didn’t see coming. I’d call it a “thriller lite,” more like a mystery. I highly recommend it. It was a solid 4-4.5 stars!

Book 18 Reckless Girls, by Rachel Hawkins (3/19/22-3/21/22)

Back to back Book of the Month reads. Despite being 320 pages long, this was a super quick book to finish. It’s told from multiple perspectives and alternates back and forth between the past and present. A thriller filled with twists and turns, along with an unexpected ending made this a solid 4 star book. The end had my adrenaline so high I needed to do a five minute meditation before bed. Fair to say I would recommend this to any thriller book lovers!

Book 19 One Italian Summer, by Rebecca Serle (3/27/22- 4/2/22)

This was the first book that I read by Rebecca Serle. It was a quick and enjoyable read, that really made you think that there is more than what meets the eye. This was not my typical read, but I’m glad I picked it up when the boys and I ventured to the Ivy bookstore. Once I had the book at home, I realized that I have had In Five Years, also by Serle on my TBR list for some time. I will read that later this month!

Book 20 The Wife Between Us, by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen (4/5/22-4/13/22)

I was a huge fan of the Golden Couple, so it seemed logically to go back to some other books written by Hendricks and Pekkanen. Did you know they write the whole book together?? My book loving friend said that this was a must read. The book was full of twists and turns and oh wait what just happened moments. There is no good explanation for why it took me so long to read other than I was too tired to read at night and continually falling asleep. It had nothing to do with the book, because at the end I devoured it. Stay tuned for a review of another of their books coming soon because I’m sure to read them all now. Highly recommend The Wife Between Us!

Book 21 In Five Years, by Rebecca Serle (4/16/22-4/16/22)

While I enjoyed One Italian Summer, I devoured In Five Years. I can’t remember the last time I read a book in one day. This was a quick and engaging read. Serle hit it out of the park with this book. I loved the fact that it was set in NYC, involved a total “type A” lawyer protagonist. I laughed, I cried and thoroughly enjoyed this book. Read this book!!

Book 22 You are Not Alone, by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen (4/17/22-4/23/22)

If you have been following along, you know that I’ve recently learned of Hendricks and Pekkanen and have really been enjoying their books. Enough for this to be third book of theirs that I read within a two month window. Not going to lie, this wasn’t my favorite from them. While it picked up at the end, I didn’t enjoy the overall plot. While the writing is strong, this book just didn’t do it for me. Still highly recommend The Golden Couple and The Wife Between Us!

Book 23 Like a Sister, by Kellye Garrett (4/25/22-5/4/22)

I wanted to like this books, honestly I did and I had high hopes, but ultimately it was just kind of blah. The first two thirds of the book kind of dragged. Then when you got to the meat of the book it was as though the author was in a rush to finish. This was not quite as bad as “the Wolf book” that I use as my barometer for books I don’t like, but it’s not on my list of recommendations.

Book 24 Book Lovers, by Emily Henry (5/3/22-5/7/22)

Emily Henry was one of my newly discovered authors over the last year through Book of the Month. I really enjoyed her other books Beach Read and The People you Meet on Vacation, so much so that I had Book Lovers on pre-order so I could get it on publication day. Even with a completely crazy week at managed to read this nearly 400 page book rather quickly- because I just couldn’t put it down. Throughout the book, Henry had me laughing, crying and I caught myself smiling while reading. If you are looking for a fun rom-com I couldn’t recommend Book Lovers more. It’s the best book I’ve read in quite some time and highly recommend it. I literally woke up sad the day after I finished it because I loved the characters so much!

Book 25 The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid (5/8/22-5/13/22)

Taylor Jenkins Reid has done it again. I recognize I’m quite late to The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo party, but nonetheless, she captured my interest in this historical fiction novel. Basically, I was still seeing this book everywhere as a must read. And while I had read the description the book went in a completely different direction than I had originally anticipated. That said, it was a quick read that of course left me looking for more Tayler Jenkins Reid. So I’ve marked my calendar for August 30th for when Carrie Soto is Back gets released.

Book 26 Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez (5/13/22-5/14/22)

In the same week that I read a 5 year old book I also read two newly released books, including Part of Your World. I’m not really sure when my reading took a turn to romantic comedy versus thriller/mystery but I’m enjoying the feel good reads! Part of Your World makes the reader really think about what the non-negotiable are in life and what you’d be willing to give up for love. Despite being 400 pages I plowed through this book in less than 24 hours. It was a fun, quick read that introduced me to Abby Jimenez. Off to add more of her books to my TBR List!!

Well, I’ve just crossed the half way point to my goal of 52 books for the year. What I will often do at this point with my running goal is move the mark and reevaluate the goal. But I’m going to just leave it at 52 and see where I wind up. Each week/month is different. Last month I read four books. This month I read four books in two weeks. So it might all average out in the end or I’ll blow past the original 52 book goal. In reviewing what I’ve read so far, I still tend to gravitate towards mystery/thriller books. But I’ve also read memoirs and historical fiction. I’ve been introduced to new authors that I love. I have so very many books on my to be read list and so little time!

Book 27 The Summer Place, by Jennifer Weiner (5/14/22-5/21/22)

This was my first book by Jennifer Weiner, despite having That Summer on my TBR list for some time. I enjoyed the Jewish humor and references. While not a serious book it allowed the reader to think about the various life choices that are made along the way to get us to where we are at a particular point. While I enjoyed this book- I laughed, I cried and thought deeper about my own life and I will read “Big Summer” this was a 4 star read for me. I really liked it, but I didn’t love it! The more I read, the more sense I’m getting for what I like and I don’t like. Still a great book and worth a read!

Book 28 The Friend Zone, by Abby Jimenez (5/21/22-5/23/22)

Abby Jimenez was a new author to me, but that’s not to say she was new. Remember, how I’ve said that Book of the Month indirectly introduces me to new authors- this month was a total win. I actually almost skipped this month and at the last minute added Part of your World to my box to see if it was worth all the hype. It was in fact. Then a friend, with similar reading styles shared how Jimenez was her favorite author. I learned Jimenez had three other books…all in paperback. Added to cart and to the night table TBR pile. The Friend Zone was another super quick and enjoyable read. I love the humor, sarcasm, and feel of Jimenez’s books. Somehow she manages to take heavy issues and break them down, lThis was another winner!

Book 29 The happy Ever After Play List, by Abby Jimenez (5/25/22-5/28/22)

I thought long and hard, was I going straight to another Jimenez book or was I going to read something else in between? Then I realized that The Happy Ever After Playlist was a sequel. YES!! Love a good series. This was another quick read, with the added bonus of a longer car ride…I only made myself a little car sick to get it done. There were some twists and turns that I didn’t see coming in this one, which made it that much more enjoyable to read. Needless to say, next up will Life’s Too Short. Then I will be anxiously awaiting the next book from Jimenez.

Book 30 Life’s too Short, Abby Jimenez (5/29/22-5/30/22)

This could quite honestly be my favorite book by Abby Jimenez and that’s saying a lot because I loved them all. Another example of an author that I am late the the party. I’ve now read all of her books and will have to anxiously await another. Life’s too Short really pushes to the reader to think about making the most of each and every day. Sometimes we all need a reminder to be spontaneous and try new things!! Highly, highly recommend Life’s too Short.

Book 31 The Newcomer, Mary Kay Andrews (6/3/22-6/6/22)

Again, I’m late to the party. Apparently Mary Kay Andrews has been writing books for 26 years…26 years. I basically read 70 percent of this book in a day. Stayed up late, got up early to finish it. LOVED it. A combination of mystery and love story! My two genres expertly intertwined in “The Newcomer.” Now I’m off to research Andrews other books to add to my TBR list!!

Book 32 The Hotel Nantucket, by Elin Hilderbrand (6/8/22-6/13/22)

This was my second book by Elin Hilderbrand. Again, I know, late to the party since she has dozens of books. My first book by Hilderbrand was “Golden Girl.” Spoilers ahead, not going to lie, I didn’t love Golden Girl. Possibly, because it involved a mother runner getting hit by a car and dying. A little too close for comfort. But, I know how other readers rave about HIlderbrand and I wanted to give her another try. I’m so glad that I read “The Hotel Nantucket!” Another bonus of Book of the Month is that we occasional get an early release!! Yay. So I’ve finished this fabulous book before publication day!! A great story, with multiple levels of intrigue. “The Hotel Nantucket” has me ready to book a trip to Nantucket. I’ll eagerly add more Hilderbrand to my TBR list.

Book 33 The Lies I Tell, by Julie Clark (6/13/22-6/17/22)

Book of the Month continues to allow me to get introduced to new authors. The Lies I Tell a redemption story with a Robin Hood twist. This was a good book. I wouldn’t say great, but good. I enjoyed it and getting introduced to Julie Clarks writing. While it was semi predictable it was still an enjoyable read. That said, it wouldn’t be one of my top recommendations. But everyone is different and that’s why there are so many books to choose from!

Book 34 The Wife Upstairs, by Rachel Hawkins (6/17/22-6/19/22)

Reckless Girls was my introduction to Rachel Hawkins. It was intense! Like I needed a meditation app to go to sleep. So my expectations going into this book for the level of intensity might have been a little off. That said, this book contained lots of intrigue and kept the reader guessing a bit. I would have liked a little more from the end of the book, which felt a little bit rushed. Again, not a bad book, but not one of my favorites.

Book 35 That Summer, Jennifer Weiner (6/22/22-6/24/22)

The Summer Place was my introduction to Jennifer Weiner. I know, I know I was late to the party. She has many books that have been well received. As it turns out That Summer had been sitting on my TBR shelf for probably a year. I truly enjoyed this book! Weiner successfully built intrigue and levels of connection between the characters. Ultimately creating a friendship when you would least expect it. That Summer is on my highly recommend list!

Book 36 The Homewreckers, by Mary Kay Andrews (6/24/22-6/26/22)

I know, I know another one that I’m late to the party for- Mary Kay Andrews. I really enjoyed The Newcomer so I knew I had to read The Homewreckers! Despite being over 400 pages I quickly got through this witty, who done it, romance, meets HGTV gem. Time to look up Andrews other books and add them to my TBR list. This is another highly recommended book!!