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...
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?