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2022 favourites

2022 has been a rollercoaster for me. A lot of the year was fairly awful due to my old job being consistently horrible and a family member being ill for most of the summer and it taking a while to work out what it was to be able to get them on the mend. Fortunately things did turn around. I finally quit teaching, I learnt to paddleboard, started a brilliant new job at Norfolk Children's Book Centre and got my reading mojo back.

In 2022 I read 305 books the majority of those being 5 or 4 star reads as I am serial DNFer and will abandon books I am not enjoying very quickly because life is too short. I am pleased to say this year I have read a lot more YA than last year which pleases me no end as I love YA fiction and can't get enough UKYA. A good chunk of what I read in 2022 were picture books which I am picking up at work and reading in my breaks or mid shelving or order packing when something intriguing appears in my hand. I have always been a picture book fan and loving getting to read so many more. 

On twitter and instagram I did two top nines of my favourite books of the year because why not when I read as much as I do.

Top Nine stand alone / first in a series books of 2022

First I picked my Top Nine Reads of the year focusing on stand alone / first in a series books

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys is a brilliant YA historical fiction novel set during The Cold War and giving a real insight into life under a Communist regime. I loved every page

Beautiful Little Fools by Olivia Horrox is a dreamy novel set in 1920s Cornwall and I loved every page of it. The romance was lovely and I loved the setting (both place and time) completely. It could have been written just for me and felt like an older Eva Ibbotson.

Something Certain Maybe by Sara Barnard is an older YA novel set at UEA and focuses on a main character who isn't loving the university experience as much as those around her. It resonated with me a lot because I had an odd university experience at UEA and whilst I didn't feel the same as the character I could very much empathise and was blasted with nostalgia all the way through.

The Ministry of Unladylike Activity by Robin Stevens is one I have been waiting for since I heard it existed a long while ago. I loved her previous series and couldn't wait to get my hands on this as WWII fiction is my catnip. I loved it and can't wait for more.

Six times we almost kissed (and the one time with did) by Tess Sharpe is a 2023 novel which I was excited to read having previously enjoyed Tess's books. This did not disappoint at all. It contained all the things I love about YA fiction and a really heartfelt story

London with Love by Sarra Manning was always going to be a favourite. I love Sarra's books and have done for more years than I can count and as an added bonus I feature in this book. I loved it and couldn't put it down.

If You Still Recognise Me by Cynthia So is one of those lovely quiet YA books which draws you in and has so much to say. I thought it was really lovely indeed.

Only love can hurt like this by Paige Toon was another 2023 release. I love Paige Toon's books and couldn't wait to get my hands on this and I loved it entirely. It's romantic. It's utterly devastating in places and I thought it was brilliant.

The Agency for Scandal by Laura Wood was one of the last books I read of 2022 having snagged an early copy at work ready for the early 2023 and goodness me that book could have been written for me. Set in Victorian London it features as series of young women who run an investigation agency and spend their time taking down rich men who have acted awful. I want a whole series of sequels.

Top Nine books in a series / sequels reads of 2022

I also picked a Top Nine Reads of the year focusing on  books that are sequels / next in the series. There are a lot of authors whose books I adore because they write series I come back to time and time again and consistently love. They are pure comfort reading as I know exactly what I am going to get with their books and I always know I am going to enjoy them. These are my complete guilty pleasure reads (not that I every feel guilty about reading what I enjoy) and reading everyone is a joy.

Murder Most Royal by SJ Bennett is the third book in the series featuring The Queen as a murder mystery solving sleuth. I love this series and I did like how it has unwittingly become a lovely tribute to The Queen due to the timing of release in relation to her death. 

I loved being back on Mure with Jenny Colgan in An Island wedding. You can never go wrong with a Mure book and I loved every page. I loved loved being in Scotland with Julie Caplin in The Christmas Castle in Scotland. I loved this series of books which all feature a lovely location and lots of food. They definitely can be read as standalones but you do get characters from previous books pop up and I love that.

Heidi Swain's books are my favourites. I have been treated to two this year with A Christmas Celebration and The Summer Fair and I loved them both. Talking of favourites I have also been treated to two lovely books from Cressida McLaughlin in 2022 (her third book of 2022 I read in 2021 and also adored) both from the Cornish Cream Tea Series which were both as lovely as I expected.

I loved Elly Griffiths's 2022 release of the Locked Room. This series is set locally to me and I love it entirely.

Finally I loved Release by Lucy Christopher. Stolen is one of my favourite YA books of all time so to get a sequel after all this time was so ridiculously exciting.

Reading goals for 2023

I want to read even more than this year. We have core stock shelves at work full of books we also have in stock because they are brilliant books that we always want on hand for recommendations in the shop or for putting in orders for school. Over the course of the year I want to read through as many books as I can from those shelves.