A very belated happy new year! I decided to combine my end of year reading review with my December wrapup as I only managed to read 2 books last month between Christmas and late nights up with the baby, though just managed to reach my goal of 52 books.
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna
The story follows lonely witch Mika Moon who takes on a job as a tutor for three witch children being raised in secret. This is a slow burn grumpy-sunshine romance between the children’s guardian Jamie and Mika, but it was the found family storyline that really drew me in and kept me hooked. The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches is such a cosy, comforting and heartwarming story about magic, romance, family, home and belonging.
Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year by Beth Kempton
This was an impulse purchase but appealed because it’s about creating a personal and meaningful Christmas. Kempton suggests that there are five main themes of Christmas: faith, magic, connection, abundance and personal traditions, and each of these themes will have more or less significance to us. It was lovely reminiscing about Christmas from childhood to present but also reading about how other cultures and countries around the world celebrate, thinking about ways to simplify how I celebrate Christmas so that it encapsulate all my favourite parts and eschews all the aspects I find stressful or meaningless, and for a relatively short book it covers a lot of different facets of Christmas from budgeting to coping with grief and loneliness around the festive season.
2022 was an interesting year for reading: I read 52 books, 19 of which were borrowed from the library, as one of my reading resolutions was to read at least one book from the library every month, and as it happened all the books I read in March and August were borrowed from the library.
The majority of the books I read were fiction with a mix of contemporary fiction, fantasy, mysteries from Agatha Christie to Richard Osman, and ten children’s stories from ghost stories like Bridge of Souls, Gallant and The Haunting of Aveline Jones to environmental stories like Julia and the Shark, October, October and The Summer We Turned Green.
I didn’t find as many new favourites as the year before though my absolute favourites were the gripping small town drama Beartown by Fredrik Backman and the urban fantasy Jade City by Fonda Lee, which I enjoyed so much I binge read the whole trilogy in February. I also loved the King of Scars duology, and the final books in the Scholomance and Inheritance Games trilogies.
I also read 16 non-fiction books most of which were on environmental themes or parenting, easily the most non-fiction I’ve read in a year since graduating from university, and something I definitely hope to continue in 2023.
My reading goals for 2023 will be similar to last year, though I’m already off to a slow start and I’m feeling less confident about reaching my target of 52 books by the end of the year. I’ll continue to use and support the library service, and I’d also like to make a dent in my TBR which is currently 45 books long.
What are your reading resolutions for 2023? X