The Great Book Parade of 2022
Read this on galpod.com.
Like last year, I’ve read just over 40 books. This year I managed to read, on average, a book every 7.9 days, which is 46 books. That’s 92% of the challenge I’ve set myself, and I’m pretty happy with it. I read 16 non-fiction books (almost 35%, but a decrease from last year in number and percentage). I think it’s because I’ve been listening to many podcasts and that covers my non-fiction. That said, I should have more listening time in the coming months, so I may be able to get some non-fiction books in. Of the books I read, 19 (41%) were in Hebrew. So, basically, that’s the difference from last year: I read a few more books in Hebrew, and that’s how I got more books overall. It still amazes me that after all those years of reading and writing, English is still my second language.
I re-read three books this year, two of them in Hebrew. One was for my WIP, and another was because I wanted to see if it was as good as I thought it was, and it is. The third book I reread was The Artist’s Way. This year I was a little more strict with not reading things I don’t want to anymore: I didn’t finish two books. Both were in Hebrew. One I got the gist of and just stopped. The other book was saying things that I knew for a fact were false, so I threw it across the room (metaphorically) and decided not to waste my time on rubbish books (literally).
I most enjoyed “How to Pet a Porcupine” (it’s in Hebrew and is a gutwrenching one), although “The Wrong Book” (also in Hebrew) was a close second. It’s about an author who wants to read and write high-concept literary books but ends up reading (and writing and publishing under a pseudonym) what is referred to as “trash romance”. This book, by the way, prompted me to read “Get a Life, Chloe Brown”, which is perhaps more lighthearted than my usual reads. I must say it was delightful, including (especially) the steamy parts, and I refuse to refer to it as trash romance (my dad used to call those “maid romances”, a term I have no idea where he picked up but manages to insult both the books and maids). It’s well-written, the characters are great, and hey, reading *should* be for pleasure. It was also refreshing not to read about death or racism.
The toughest read was a Hebrew translation of “O Homem Duplicado” by José Saramago, just because it’s so convoluted. I’ve struggled with that book for years and finally finished it last January, so that was exciting. The easiest (and fastest) read was “Kill For It” by Lizzie Fry, aka Lucy V Hay. It’s a thriller (rather violent but no gore per se, which I appreciated), and I literally could not put it down. The kids went feral for a couple of days, but they’re big enough to take care of themselves, to be honest.
The book that most surprised me this year was “Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals”. I’ll have a review for it soon, as I had an active conversation with it. I also read one graphic novel this year, which was fun. That was technically the book I read the fastest, but I don’t count it because graphic novels are not text-heavy, by definition.
The book I liked least this year was Department 19, which I read because my son really loved it and asked me to. That my son asked me to read it is also the only reason I finished it. The story is simplistic, the characters are flat, and it’s about 150 pages too long. I thought nobody wrote, let alone published, books that don’t pass the Bechdel test anymore, but apparently, I was wrong. It concerns me that this is what he likes to read, but he also listens to heavy metal and is generally a 13-year-old boy, so I’m hoping it’s a phase. At the very least, it was an opportunity to discuss the Bechdel test, so that’s the silver lining.
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