I made more time for reading in 2022 -- yes, amazingly, it seems I can squeeze even more reading into my life than I already was. Extraordinary. I read 150 books last year, and the breakdown is as follows:
Male v female authors
One again, women authors greatly outnumber men, though not by such a huge margin as in the past. This has to be put down to unconscious bias, I don't knowingly favour female authors when I'm looking for books but somehow I seem to lean that way. I didn't read any books by non-binary authors this year.
Adult vs kids/YA
I think the proportion of children's and young adult books versus books written for adults was almost exactly the same last year as it was for 2021!
Fiction v non-fiction
A bit more non-fiction in 2022, making an exact 60/40 split. Some of the best books I read last year were non-fiction, and in general, my new library habit meant I could get hold of books I was eager to read much more easily. Hooray for libraries!
Woah!! The library is back, baby! More than half the books I read in 2022 came from good old Darebin Libraries. My second hand book addiction is still alive and well, but some of the titles I read last year came from my (still enormous) lockdown stash, which I'm trying valiantly to make a dent in. Fifteen books were re-reads from my own shelves (mostly Arthur Ransome), seven were bought new and eight were borrowed from friends or family. For the first time in several years, I didn't read a single book on the Kindle. Death of the e-book? We shall see...
In the past, fully half the books I read have come from British authors. In 2022, there was a huge lift in Australian authors; they came neck and neck with the Brits. Oddly, the percentage of US authors remained about the same. And last year, when I gave up consciously trying to read authors from non-Anglophone countries, I clocked up m best ever total (still not very impressive, though): one each from France, China, New Zealand (whoops, they are Anglophone, aren't they), Finland and Nigeria.
Notable reads of 2022
My favourite children's book of last year was Karen Foxlee's Dragonskin, and I also greatly enjoyed re-reading all Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons series. I seemed to read a lot of English middle grade books about World War II, by Hilary McKay, Jill Paton Walsh, Jamila Gavin and Lucy Strange -- some better than others. I also loved Fiona Wood's How To Spell Catastrophe.
Fiction highlights included Richard Osman's Thursday Murder Club series -- what a delight! Apparently there will be only one more book to follow, which is very sad. I read more Elizabeth Goudge novels, though they weren't as good, on the whole, as last year's crop. I loved Madeline Miller's The Song of Achilles and Alan Garner's strange, elliptical Treacle Walker. The ever-reliable Ellie Marney supplied two rippers in None Shall Sleep and The Killing Code.
Non-fiction by Australian women was very strong: Bri Lee's Eggshell Skull, Ellis Gunn's Rattled, Chloe Hooper's Bedtime Story and Sarah Krasnostein's The Believer were particular standouts. However, my absolute favourite was Tabitha Carvan's This Is Not a Book About Benedict Cumberbatch which was funny and wise and totally enjoyable. Honourable non-fiction mentions go to all the books about writing that I read last year -- some helped, some didn't -- and a pair of laugh-out-loud memoirs: This Much is True by Miriam Margolyes, smutty, gutsy and hilarious, and My Year of Living Biblically, a surprisingly philosophical journey by AJ Jacobs.
Oh crikey, what a lot of highlights... But I did read an awful lot of books. Looking forward to sharing a new year just as full of reading -- oh, and did I mention I have a new book coming out soon, too?