2022 Year In Review & 2023 Reading Goals

2022 has been my best reading year yet! This is the most number of books I’ve read in a year since I started keeping track in 2017. Here were my goals in 2022 and what I learned:

1. GoodReads Challenge: Put at 1 for fourth year in a row to continue to enjoy what I read. <— I love this goal and plan to carry this goal over to next year. It really puts into perspective on my initial reason for reading. It’s also given me the power to DNF more than I used to.

2. Read more books from South Asian authors. <— Some of my favorite books from this year were written by South Asian authors. I read 27 books from South Asian authors this year! I loved that I was able to read authors I loved along with discovering new ones. I’m definitely carrying this goal over to next year.

3. Finish the rest of Jane Austen novels this year. <— Back in September, I decided to only count the six completed novels from Jane Austen which doesn’t include Love & Friendship. I loved the first 3 Jane Austen books I read. However, I realized that making it as a goal didn’t make it enjoyable for me and also classics in general aren’t really my cup of tea.

Though those were my reading goals this year, I had some other reading accomplishments that I was anticipating as well:

1. I wrote a review on GoodReads on every single book I read this year.

2. I kept my NetGalley % ratio above 80% throughout the year.

After reflecting my reading habits this past year, I had quite a few thoughts on whether I should keep my goals the same or change it up. Should I add a goal to keep my NetGalley at 90%? Should I start to have a goal that I should review every book I’ve read for the year in GoodReads? Is there a particular social media platform I want to focus on – Instagram, TikTok, my blog? I do some of these things now, but sometimes they are difficult to maintain and don’t want it to feel like a burden. I decided to go with two goals I know for sure that I can stick with and these are going to be my 2023 reading goals:

1. GoodReads Challenge: Put at 1 for fifth year in a row to continue to enjoy what I read.

2. Continue to read more books from South Asian authors.

What are your 2023 reading goals?

Favorite Books of 2022

These are my top 12 favorite reads of 2022! The books are in order. These were all 5-star reads and I considered what I read this year regardless of the publication date.
🎉 Romance-Best Forced Proximity Trope: The American Roommate Experiment – gifted from Atria
🎉 Best Young Adult: All My Rage – gifted from Penguin Teen
🎉 Best Fantasy: The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches – gifted from Berkley
🎉 Most Anticipated 2023 Read: Age of Vice – gifted from Riverhead Books
🎉 Romance-Best Second Chance Trope: Before I Let Go – gifted from Forever
🎉 Romance-Best Childhood Friends to Lovers Trope: The Second First Chance – gifted from Harlequin
🎉 Best Final Book in a Trilogy: The Winners – gifted from Atria
🎉 Historical Fiction: The Lioness – gifted from PRH Audio
🎉 Best Celebrity Book Club Pick: Remarkably Bright Creatures
🎉 Best Thriller: Hidden Pictures
🎉 Romance-Best Fake Dating Trope: The Bodyguard – gifted from St. Martin’s Press
🎉 Best Nonfiction Backlist: A Life in Parts

Here are a couple of observations from this year’s list:
• Many thanks to the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read these books which I may have not discovered on my own.
• I love that I made an intentional goal to read more books from South Asian authors this year. It’s great to see that some of those books have made into into my top reads of the year.

What was one of your favorites books that you read in 2022?

Q3 Wrap Up

Time is flying by and I can’t believe we only have a few more months until 2023! Q3 just wrapped up so now it’s time to see how I’ve been doing with my reading goals. This quarter I took a look at my goals and decided to modify one of my goals so it would fit more with my reading tastes/mood.

GoodReads Challenge: Put at 1 for fourth year in a row to continue to enjoy what I read.

I’ve read 137 books this year so far. I surpassed books I read from 2017-2021 with the exception of 2019. I’m not going to pressure myself to surpass 2019, In terms of next year, I’m kind of debating putting a goal number, but at the same time, I like this pressure of not having to hit a specific number of books to read and that I can focus on reading whatever I like instead. Not giving myself a specific number has been freeing in a sense that I allow myself to DNF more and be more intentional with what I read.

Read more books from South Asian authors.

I’ve continued to average reading one book from a South Asian author each month. I love that I’ve been more intentional with this goal and I’ve discovered some great South Asian authors that I may not have went out of my way to look for. I’m thinking of continuing this goal for next year but we’ll see as I get closer to the end of the year.

Finish the rest of Jane Austen novels this year.

As of 9/2, I decided to only count the six completed novels from Jane Austen which does not include Love & Friendship. Because of the modification, I’m done with this goal. I learned my lesson about putting goal on reading classics. Classics are great, but they’re just not for me.

Q2 2022 Wrap Up

I can’t believe we’re already half way through 2022! That means it’s check-in time to see how I’m doing with my goals.

GoodReads Challenge: Put at 1 for fourth year in a row to continue to enjoy what I read.

I’ve currently read 94 books so far. My best month has been June so far with the amount I was able to read and enjoy!

Read more books from South Asian authors.

I’ve been averaging out reading one book from a South Asian author each month which as been great.

Finish the rest of Jane Austen novels this year.

I still have Love & Friendship to finish. I won’t lie…I’m dreading to read this one because I heard it’s the least popular one. But once I do, I will be done with this goal and I will NEVER do another classics goals again.

Review: Be a Triangle

Be a Triangle by Lilly Singh
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pub Date: 4/5/2022

Thank you to Random House for the free finished copy and PRH Audio for the free audiobook in exchange for my honest review. 

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

GoodReads Synopsis: Everyone–even world-famous actress, author, and creator Lilly Singh–knows that sometimes life just sucks. In this book, Singh provides a safe space where readers can learn how to create a sense of peace within themselves. Without sugarcoating what it’s like to face adversity–including acknowledging her own intensely personal struggles with identity, success, and self-doubt–Singh teaches readers to “unsubscribe” from cookie-cutter ideals.

With her signature blend of vulnerability, insight, and humor, Singh instructs readers to “be a triangle,” creating a solid foundation for your life, one that can be built upon, but never fundamentally changed or destroyed. As she puts it, we must always find a way to come home to ourselves: “we must create a place, a system of beliefs, a simple set of priorities to come back to should life lead us astray, which it definitely will.”

Like a wise, empathetic friend who always keeps you honest, Singh pushes you to adjust your mindset and change your internal dialogue. The result is a deeply humane, entertaining, and uplifting guide to befriending yourself and becoming a true “miracle for the world.”

Review: Be a Triangle is Lilly’s second book, but the first book I’ve read from her. Be a Triangle is a self-help/memoir book that dives into self-love, mental health, social and cultural exceptions, and happiness. If you decide to listen to the audiobook, Lilly narrates it herself. The physical book contains these cute illustrations from Simmi Patel which breaks up the text. This was a super quick read, but it wasn’t really for me. I didn’t really learn anything from the book as the topics she discussed are topics you can find in other self-help books in greater detail. If you’re a fan of Lilly Singh, you may enjoy this.

South Asian Book Recommendations

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month takes place in the month of May in the United States. AAPI heritage month celebrate the contribution and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to history, culture, and achievements.

One of my reading goals this year has been to read and amplify more books from South Asian authors. I’m so glad to see that our voices are shown through various genres and are being pushed to the forefront, however, we still have a ways to go.

Here are some South Asian books I’d read recently and recommend along with a few that are on my TBR:

✨What We Carry • memoir

✨The Last Queen• historical fiction • on my TBR

✨Kamila Knows Best • romance

✨All My Rage• young adult contemporary

✨In Sensorium • queer memoir

✨ My Sweet Girl • thriller/suspense

✨Dava Shastri’s Last Day • contemporary

✨ The First, The Few, The Only • business

✨The Bangalore Detectives Club • cozy mystery • on my TBR

✨ Kaikeyi • fantasy • on my TBR

What’s the latest book from an AAPI author you read?

Q1 2022 Wrap Up

This is the first time I’ve done a quarterly wrap. I thought it would be a great time to do a check-in on my 2022 reading goals since we’re already a quarter of the way through the year.

GoodReads Challenge: Put at 1 for fourth year in a row to continue to enjoy what I read.

I’ve currently read 45 books so far. I noticed that I’ve been a lot more easygoing giving higher ratings on books and rounding up .5s.

Read more books from South Asian authors.

I read four books from South Asian authors so far and enjoyed most of them. I ideally wanted to read at least one book from a South Asian author each month, but that didn’t happen in March. However, my list of books from South Asian books have grown which is great.

Finish the rest of Jane Austen novels this year.

I finished Sense & Sensibility in January. I haven’t picked up any others since then. The only two I have left are Mansfield Park and Love & Friendship. I’m hoping I can get through another Jane Austen novel by summer, but I’m not going to pressure myself.

Review: The Way We Weren’t

The Way We Weren’t by Phoebe Fox
Publisher: Berkley
Pub Date: 11/9/2021

Thank you Berkley Pub for the free finished copy in exchange for my honest review.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

GoodReads Synopsis: You trying to kill yourself, or are you just stupid?

Marcie Malone didn’t think she was either, but when she drives from Georgia to the southwestern shore of Florida without a plan and wakes up in a stranger’s home, she doesn’t seem to know anymore. Despondent and heartbroken over an unexpected loss and the man she thought she could count on, Marcie leaves him behind, along with her job and her whole life, and finds she has nowhere to go.

Herman Flint has seen just about everything in his seventy years living in a fading, blue-collar Florida town, but the body collapsed on the beach outside his window is something new. The woman is clearly in some kind of trouble and Flint wants no part of it–he’s learned to live on his own just fine, without the hassle of worrying about others. But against his better judgment he takes Marcie in and lets her stay until she’s on her feet on the condition she keeps out of his way.

As the unlikely pair slowly copes with the damages life has wrought, Marcie and Flint have to decide whether to face up to the past they’re each running from, and find a way to move forward with the people they care about most.

Review: The Way We Weren’t is the first book I’ve read from Phoebe Fox. This contemporary novel explores unexpected friendship, moving on, and finding yourself. The author touches upon heavy subjects of miscarriage, death of a child, grief, family member abandonment. When I initially read the summary of this book, it kind of reminded me of A Man Called Ove and The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysuckle (both wonderful books and highly recommend reading if you haven’t done so already) so I was intrigued to read this. Overall, I had mixed feelings about is book. I’m not sure if it was because I didn’t expect miscarriage to be in this book which I don’t mind, but I think there should have been content/trigger warnings either in the summary or in beginning of the book. Also I felt that something was missing or maybe the book just wasn’t my cup of tea. I kept switching from reading the physical book and listening to the audiobook from the library book. In terms of characters, I really liked Flint and his backstory. I really loved the male audio narration and he brought Flint’s perspective alive. I really tried to like Marcie and tried to be sympathetic to her situation, but I found her unlikable and could care less about what was going on with her. I’d recommend reading this only if it’s on your TBR and keep in mind of the content warnings listed above.

2021 Year In Review & 2022 Reading Goals

2021 My Year in Books from GoodReads
Genres read in 2021 from Storygraph

2021 has been another strong reading year! I may not have read as many books as last year, but that’s okay. Life happens. Here were my goals for 2021:

  1. Continue to enjoy what I read and embrace the mood reader in me! 
  2. Be more selective and mindful of the books I receive/request that I will be reviewing.
  3. Buy less books and use the resources I have to attain books, e.x. library, current book subscriptions I’m actively using.

Here’s what I learned:

  1. Reading my favorite genres help me enjoy reading. I found that sticking with my favorite genres (romance and thrillers) actually gave me comfort and helped me get out of reading slumps.
  2. Stepping up my audiobook game! Audiobooks have been a wonderful option during those times where I want to read but I don’t have the time to sit down and read a book, need to multitask or my eyes are tired from staring at screens all day.
  3. Mood reading is ok. I’ve noticed that whenever I’ve forced myself to read a book because of a deadline or whatnot, I don’t appreciate it as much. That isn’t to say that I’m going to throw deadlines out the door but to give myself a better mix of books I need to read and ones I feel like picking up. 

After reflecting my reading habits this past year, I decided to focus on these 3 goals for 2022:

  1. GoodReads Challenge: Put at 1 for fourth year in a row to continue to enjoy what I read.
  2. Read more books from South Asian authors.
  3. Finish the rest of Jane Austen novels this year.

How was your 2021 reading year? What are your 2022 reading goals? 

Favorite Books of 2021

Here are my 12 favorite reads of 2021! These are only in the order of when I read them this past year, but no indication on what my ranking order is as all of these were 5 star reads! The way I considered this what I read this year regardless of when the pub date is – whether it was before 2021 or an anticipated 2022 release.

🎉 Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

🎉 Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

🎉 Gold Diggers by Sanjena Sathian

🎉 What We Carry by Maya Shanbhag

🎉 Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

🎉 Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center

🎉 The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang

🎉 Knot My Type by Evie Mitchell

🎉 How Stella Learned To Talk by Christina Hunger

🎉 The Guncle by Steven Rowley

🎉 Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez (releases April 2022)

🎉 The Fastest Way to Falling by Denise Williams

Also here are a few of observations of my favorite reads this year:

✨Many thanks to the tagged publishers for giving me the opportunity to read some of these books which I may not have discovered on my own! 😍

✨ There are NO thrillers! 😱 I’m a bit disappointed there isn’t, but lately I haven’t found any thrillers that I’ve truly loved. Hoping I have better luck with thrillers next year!

✨Half my favorite reads this year are romance. Romance has been such a comfort read lately. I’ve also liked how the writing style in romance has shifted to discuss heavy subjects in a delicate but relatable way as romance gets bad rep for being fluffy and predictable.

Have you read any of these? What is one of your favorite reads this year?