This writer just spent most of their year READING. Don’t come here and tell me that reading is not a part of the writing process, because I promise if you do I will slap you. But also, I should have found at least some time to devote to writing during this manic year of reading. It was definitely a year of reading dangerously…
But I do feel the return of writing. It’s there. About to burst forth from the shadows. And just in time. I’m way overdue on the deadline for my next contracted novel. I just… somewhere in the back of my mind I knew how important the heavy reading was this year. I was getting reacquainted with words, if that makes any sense. The dry-spell was a refueling time. I needed to read all of these books in order to get back into writing.
My Goodreads Challenge for 2022 was set at an impossible (for me) goal of 30 books.
Today, I just closed the cover on book number seventy-five for 2022. Looking back at my choices, I can really see how much Paris was in my thoughts this year. Having returned from my favourite city in October, 2021, I was ready to devour any and all books I could find based on, set in, about all things Paris. I began with two books I picked up at Shakespeare & Company prior to leaving the city of light.
But I also had a strong drive this year to read memoir. I jumped from musicians to actors to comedians to everyday people with a life story to tell. I’ve always been a huge fan of memoir. I’ve even dabbled in short memoir pieces in my writing life. I’ve had memoir appear in Globe & Mail, and I also recorded memoir that aired on CBC Radio 1. I really fall hard for memoir as a reader.
The books below are my 2022 reads. The first one pictured was my last read and the last one pictured was my first read of 2022. I’m reeling at the moment, realizing how many of the anxieties and fears I share with serial memoirist Augusten Burroughs. Wow…it was shocking and eye-opening. I’m not the only catatrophist in the world, constantly imagining the worst case scenario and taking situations to dire endings in my imagination at every turn. A passage in Lust & Wonder about his worry of losing his dogs if they were unleashed could have literally be written by me. I know this scenario has played out in my mind time and time again. Spooky!
Anyway, for what it’s worth…I read SO many books so far this year. I consider this an amazing accomplishment. I always hated the speed with which I read. I see other people reading two or three or more books in the time it takes me to read just one.
This year, I needed to lose myself in reading. I knew there was something going on with my writer side… I needed some kind of refueling that wasn’t happening with a forced doubling down on writing. I knew I had to surround myself with words. And that is exactly what I did. I even threw in a couple Natalie Goldbergs, as she helped me in my writing life so many times over the years. Such a great year for reading!
What did you read this year? Any must-reads?