My Favorite Reads of 2022

To say 2022 was an off year for me would be putting it mildly.  The first ten months seemed to drag on forever, and the continuous onslaught of bad/depressing news and events, both personally and globally, left me feeling drained, anxious, and, at times, defeated.  There were so many times I would sit down to write a review to share with you, only to have my mind go blank, unable to put together a thought or reaction.  Thankfully things seem to be getting better, and I have made several reading and reviewing goals for 2023.

However bad this past year seemed at times, I  must say it was a great year for reading.  Maybe I’m just getting a bit more discerning as I get older, but the number of “very good” to “great” books I read was much higher than years past.  Trying to narrow down this list to  my favorites turned out to be a bit more challenging than usual, but here they are, my favorite reads (in no particular order) of 2022!


Betty by Tiffany McDaniel

In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills by Jennifer Haupt

The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng

The Devil Takes You Home by Gabino Iglesias

Creatures of Passage by Morowa Yejide

The Devil in the Red Dirt by Michael P. Smith


A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett

The Color of Water:  A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride

Code Talker by Chester Nez

The Way of the Rabbit by Mark Hawthorne

Novellas, Short Stories, and Anthologies

Beautiful Atrocities by Ross Jeffery (short story collection)

Into the Forest and All the Way Through by Cynthia Pelayo (poetry)

Spinal Remains by Chad Lutzke (short story collection)

They Were Here Before Us by Eric LaRocca (a “novella in pieces”)

What were your favorite reads of the past year?  And what reading goals do you have for 2023?  I have my “must read” book cart set up and ready to go!

So, from my little corner of the world, I want to wish you and yours a very Happy New Year, all the best to you in 2023!

Happy Reading!  Glenda


Weekly Mash-Up #178

Our snow is gone (for now) and has been replaced with nonstop rain.  The days are shorter and darker…and I, for one, am totally fine with that.  This is the time of year I go into my hibernation mode, pulling out the warm blankets and curling up on the couch with big mugs of tea (or hot chocolate, especially my favorite, which blends powdered cocoa with ginger and turmeric.  So yummy!).

I’ve also been catching up on my 2022 reading lists as well as binging some television shows and movies I’ve been meaning to get to but kept pushing aside.  This week promises to be relatively quiet, with next week getting a bit busier with last-minute holiday baking and preparations (thankfully with only the three of us, there’s not a lot to prep).  After the flurry of Christmas and New Year’s, it will be back to hibernation mode for me, until I start complaining about the dark and dreary days in late January, haha!

The Week in Books

The Guardian’s Christmas Confession by P.L. Klein — 4 out of 5 stars

One of my December selections.  On D-Day, a medic named Gabriel is mortally wounded, dying alone on Omaha Beach.  In the afterlife, he becomes a Guardian, helping the dying to transition to their afterlives, ensuring they don’t die alone.  After seventy-five years, an encounter with a dying priest will completely change everything.     If you like heart-warming holiday stories like It’s a Wonderful Life, then be sure to check this novella out.  Some of the subject matter is a bit depressing, but overall I liked it and would recommend it for a more serious holiday read (and the ending even made my little dark heart open up a little bit).

Vinyl Resting Place by Olivia Blacke — 3.5/4 out of 5 stars

Juni and her two sisters are all set to open their new shop, Sip and Spin Records, when a local is found murdered in their storage room.  Their uncle is the prime suspect.  But in a small town like Cedar River, where everybody knows everybody, how long can the real killer stay hidden?    What a fun start to a new series!  I really enjoyed this one, from the cast of characters to the mystery itself.  Hits all the “cozy checkpoints” without being overly obvious.  I’m looking forward to the next installment.

Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane — 3 out of 5 stars

Former journalist Rachel has become a shut-in, almost a shell of her former self.  But with a seemingly perfect husband, she begins to overcome her fears, only to discover secrets that have her questioning her own sanity.  Not one of my favorite stories from Lehane, but had some decent thriller elements.  I do agree with other reviewers that this seemed like two or three different story ideas that the author mashed together to make one novel.  If you’re new to Lehane’s work, I suggest starting with Mystic River or Shutter Island.

Stay safe and Happy Reading!

December — Holiday Cheer

It’s December first, and this is what I woke up to…

…winter is here!

December is not only a big holiday month, but it’s also my birthday month!  While I have no big plans at the moment (and if this snow keeps coming, it will definitely be a stay-at-home kind of day), I am looking forward to ordering some book mail from some of my favorite indie publishers.  I’ll keep you posted on that one!

This month, I’m also feeling the crunch of trying to finish my personal 22 Books for 2022 after having an unprecedented reading slump for most of the year.  I have six titles left, but I have started three of them so there is still hope!  I also wanted to keep with the holiday spirit so I picked a couple of novellas on my kindle for my December theme.

Merry Little Mystic Murder by Patti Larsen  (Synopsis from Goodreads)  Phoebe Monday’s unusual birth into a triunity of wonderworkers always left her feeling a bit like an outsider. At least the unusual power she (sort of!) controls makes working as a sketch artist for the police department the perfect fit. Still, diving into memories of victims while altering the luck of those around her seems trivial in comparison to what her Maiden, Mother and Crone family are capable of. But when homeless victims come under attack and a normal human’s murder puts the Monday magic at risk, it’s up to Phoebe and her odd talents to save the day.

The Guardian’s Christmas Confession by P.L. Klein (Synopsis from Goodreads)  After dying on Omaha Beach on D-Day, Gabriel Canfield believes no one should be alone when they die, so he becomes a Guardian of Transitions in the afterlife. For seventy-five years as a Guardian Spirit, Gabriel remains frustrated and embittered until he is called upon to help an old priest crossover on Christmas Eve.In the hours spent reminiscing with Father Drew, Gabriel finds a new appreciation for his own life. A heartwarming story about a restless spirit who discovers the meaning of life … in the Afterlife.

What will you be reading this month?  Drop me a line and let’s talk books!

Until next time, stay safe and Happy Reading!