Avatar

Jambo, I'm Julia.

Books Read in 2022

Here's a quick rundown of all the books I read in 2022. Books I particularly enjoyed and would recommend are in bold. Total books read: 66. Non-fiction: 17. Fiction 49.

  • The Last Wish (The Witcher, #0.5) by Andrzej Sapkowski
    I found the writing a little clunky and definitely would’ve given up if I wasn’t already such a fan of the game and series.

  • American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
    Really glad I read this book, not just because it was a good page turner, but because of the perspective it gave me of migrants trying to escape their old life and cross over country barriers. It’s easy to disregard the news headlines, but reading books like this forces me to think harder about migrants’ plights.

  • Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
    Really enjoyable holiday read. Good pacing and storyline.

  • Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney
    Superbly well written (expected nothing less!), but I just didn’t find the characters or story as engaging as they were in the author’s previous 2 books.

  • Girl A by Abigail Dean
    I found the jumping back and forth between timelines way too frequent and too confusing. I also felt that certain parts of the story moved too slowly, and I very quickly lost interest in the characters.

  • Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming by Marijn Haverbeke
    A great read for anyone looking to get a deeper understanding of JavaScript. Well communicated with good practice exercises to drive home the points.

  • The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone
    I’ve often wondered how Amazon got to where it is today. This book gives some insight into Jeff Bezos background, his character and the type of business he wanted to create...and ultimately did create.

  • The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino
    This included some of my favourite aspects of thrillers - memorable characters, culture-specific and an intriguing mystery which gradually unfolds itself to the reader based on smart, logical deductions.

  • Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness by Peter Godfrey-Smith
    I find octopuses extremely intriguing and consequently jumped into reading this book when I came across it. Unfortunately, I just couldn't get into it despite really trying, and found that the first 20% of the book went way over my head. DNF - maybe one to try again at another time.

  • Snow (St. John Strafford, #2) by John Banville
    It's not a fast-paced thriller. Quite an interesting premise of a story, written with an Irish twist, but ultimately not my thing.

  • A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins
    This was a great read! The story pulled me in from the start...and whilst I thought I had it sussed out at various points in the book, it ultimately kept me guessing to the end.

  • Rhythm of War (The Stormlight Archive, #4) by Brandon Sanderson
    This was a monster of a book. I felt it dragged on a fair bit, especially in the middle, where the pace was super slow going. Not sure I’ll carry on with the series (it’s getting quite complicated and I’m losing track of all the history and lore), but let’s see.

  • Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #1) by Leigh Bardugo
    This book was so-so. I quite enjoyed the start, but found the characters a bit annoying and the story, increasingly ridiculous. The Russian influence was quite interesting, but don’t think I’ll be carrying on with this series.

  • The Great Mental Models, Volume 2: Physics, Chemistry and Biology by Shane Parrish
    Not sure I’d necessarily call these mental models, but a good way of framing things nonetheless. The book picks certain topics in science, illustrates how it works, then uses it as a metaphor to how we might apply it in our general life.

  • A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #4) by Sarah J. Maas
    I took a break after reading the first three books, before commencing this one. It was nice to break a bit from Rhys and Feyre, and have the story be more focused on Cassian and Nesta.

  • Never by Ken Follett
    Mixed feelings about this book. Definitely not one of Follett’s best, but I loved the premise behind it. My biggest complaint were the, at times, awkward and stilted character conversations. The worst parts happened around romantic relationships between characters, and female character POVs.

  • You and Me on Vacation by Emily Henry
    I enjoyed this! A good, fun vacation read.

  • A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3.1) by Sarah J. Maas
    Read this after reading the 4th book. Should’ve read this first though, as it definitely plugged some gaps in the story that I’d been a bit confused about when reading book 4. I didn’t love the back and forth points of view but a fun read nonetheless.

  • The Uninhabitable Earth: A Story of the Future by David Wallace-Wells
    Couldn’t bring myself to finish this book in the end. Found it to be too impractical to the point where I just didn’t see the point of reading it end to end.

  • Jade Legacy (The Green Bone Saga, #3) by Fonda Lee
    I had to wait a couple of years after reading the second book in the series, before I could drown myself into this grand finale, but it was well worth the wait. I'm so glad this met all my expectations and finished the trilogy off in grand style. Highly recommend the entire series!

  • The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1) by N.K. Jemisin
    I feel like I'm missing something here because I expected to love this book and didn't. It ticks all the right boxes on the face of it (sci-fi, environment, strong female characters, new worlds) but I never really got into it.

  • The Exponential Age: How Accelerating Technology is Transforming Business, Politics and Society by Azeem Azhar
    Read the first couple of chapters and decided not to continue. I found this book too waffly and unstructured for me, with way too much extraneous commentary that I didn't care about.

  • The Island by Victoria Hislop
    I was gifted this book as a recommendation from a Greek, as I was heading to Crete and Spinalonga. This definitely aided in part by helping me picture the island fresh in my mind as I was reading it, having walked the paths on the island and seen the ruins of what was left of the leper community. A must for anyone visiting Crete!

  • One August Night by Victoria Hislop
    So so. I sped through it as I just wanted to get a gist of what happens to the characters from the Island. No where near as captivating as the first book.

  • Salvation of a Saint (Detective Galileo, #2) by Keigo Higashino
    Loving this series! A real page turner in its own subtle way.

  • Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan
    I watched the series first, then read the book. I don't know if that contributed to my lack of apathy, but I generally felt that this book was a bit slow and laggy.

  • A Midsummer's Equation (Detective Galileo, #3) by Keigo Higashino
    A different approach compared to the previous two books in the series which I found refreshing. Still included all the hallmarks that I enjoyed so much from the previous books though.

  • A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future by David Attenborough
    It wasn’t the most substantial book on climate change issues but I enjoyed the personal anecdotes from the author. I’d highly recommend the documentary that this book accompanies.

  • Domain-Driven Design Quickly by Floyd Marinescu
    The first couple of chapters were good, but got really dry and difficult for me to follow after that. Abandoning.

  • Silent Parade (Detective Galileo, #4) by Keigo Higashino
    Quite different from the past books in the series. Really enjoyed this one.

  • House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City, #1) by Sarah J. Maas
    I was looking for an easy book to chill with and thought I’d give this a try, despite my doubts. The main characters are laughably ridiculous, but if you can get over that, the last 200 pages or so of this book is finally where it starts getting good.

  • The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller
    Didn't expect this to go where it went, but it was a good read. It was hard to put down as the story kept drawing me in.

  • A Man and His Cat, Vol. 1 (A Man and His Cat, #1) by Umi Sakurai
    This book is just too cute. A bit sad in parts, but really cute.

  • Triptych by Karin Slaughter
    My first Karin Slaughter! This was a good read, though at times a bit stereotypical. I loved the build up at the start though - great character positioning.

  • Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility by Patty McCord
    Well worth a read if you’re running a company and want an interesting take on how to build high functioning teams. Lots of anecdotal stories here from Netflix, some of which seem very specific to their culture, but still offers good insight and ideas which might apply to your company. I also liked that it was a succinct, short read.

  • Fractured (Will Trent, #2) by Karin Slaughter
    This was so slow. I just couldn’t get into it and gave up about mid-way through. A shame as I quite enjoyed the first book in the series.

  • The Infinite Machine: How an Army of Crypto-hackers Is Building the Next Internet with Ethereum by Camila Russo
    A good read if you're interested in a comprehensive background to Ethereum - how it came to be, the key individuals and contributors, as well as all the ups and downs since its inception.

  • The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
    Had forgotten I had previously read it so I picked it up again. Still found it as good as before.

  • The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1) by Holly Black
    It was a bit of a slow burn, starting to get good about 65% of the way in though, riding a crescendo all the way to the end of the book. I didn’t quite appreciate it, but this book is very much for young adults. I thought the 2 main characters lacked depth, but enjoyed the world in general, and the range of cast characters.

  • The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2) by Holly Black
    Jumped straight into this after finished the first book. Sadly, it was a bit of a disappointment. Much like the first, it took a really long time for things to get going. I did find the ending sufficiently entertaining though, so I’ll be reading the final book.

  • Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel
    Wasn’t expecting much after not really enjoying the Glass Hotel but I loved this time-travel themed book. To set expectations, this book wasn’t really about the science of time travel, but it was instead used as a tool to touch on themes of loneliness, meaning of life and human relationships.

  • The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3) by Holly Black
    Much better than the second book thankfully! It started off well, and the story progressed quickly. The ending was a bit weak, but I enjoyed the story’s closure all the same.

  • From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash, #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
    This was ok. I found the main character a little annoying, though I did like the world the story takes place in. I'm unsure about whether I'll continue with the series, but am leaning towards no at the moment.

  • Architecture Patterns with Python: Enabling Test-Driven Development, Domain-Driven Design, and Event-Driven Microservices by Harry Percival
    A really good book for anyone wanting to improve their understanding of how to architect a testable and flexible Python service. Touches on topics such as domain driven design, event driven architecture and dependency injection.

  • The Ink Black Heart (Cormoran Strike, #6) by Robert Galbraith
    Couldn’t wait to get stuck into this hefty 1000+ page book. Whilst still enjoyable, I found the flow of the story and ending a little lacking compared to previous books in the series. I did enjoy the theme of the book though, which was about toxic online culture, anonymity and fast changing public perceptions.

  • The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
    This book was ok - just intriguing enough to make me continue reading, but hampered by the reactions and thoughts of the annoying main characters who lead the narration of the story. I was also disappointed by the grand reveal.

  • The Poppy War (The Poppy War, #1) by R.F. Kuang
    This was an epic debut of a novel. The amount of story that's packed into this first volume is impressive - it definitely moves at a fast click! Love the world and lore that backs up this book. The characters are also memorable and fallible, a welcome change from the stereotypically perfect female characters in the fantasy books I've been reading of late.

  • Girl, Forgotten (Andrea Oliver, #2) by Karin Slaughter
    I enjoyed it. I liked the character build up that keeps you guessing right until the end.

  • The Code Breaker by Walter Isaacson
    One of my more favourite books from Isaacson! I really enjoyed learning about the CRISPR tech and the central characters who plays a part in its creation. I didn’t find the latter quarter of the book as interesting, but loved the first part which read like a novel.

  • The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music by Dave Grohl
    This exceeded all my expectations, and I had HIGH expectations. 😍

  • Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond
    I read two chapters and decided to give up. Premise of the book is very interesting but just found it too verbose and detailed for my level of interest/knowledge.

  • Heartstopper, Volume One by Alice Oseman
    So cute - love the art and characters. A real gem. Immediately plowed through volume 2 upon finishing this.

  • Heartstopper: Volume Two (Heartstopper, #2) by Alice Oseman
    This book had me tearing up in parts. Liked the first volume but loved this one.

  • The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War, #2) by R.F. Kuang
    This book dives straight in where the last one left off. There were sections of the book where I felt a little lost with all the lore / dream vs. reality states, but all in all, liked the pacing and how the story has developed.

  • The Burning God (The Poppy War, #3) by R.F. Kuang
    Oh my gosh, the ending! One of the best conclusions to a trilogy. Stepping back and thinking about the arc of Rin’s evolution, really made me appreciate the author’s storytelling skill.

  • Human kind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman
    Really enjoyed reading this book which serves as a great antidote to all the negativity in the news and social media. Read this book - it will change you (and as a consequence, society) for the better.

  • Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng
    There was enough intrigue for me to keep going, but I wasn’t as taken with the story as the author’s previous books. Still, the theme was an important one to discuss, and the characters and plot illustrated the message beautifully.

  • The Man Who Died Twice (Thursday Murder Club, #2) by Richard Osman
    Wasn’t expecting much but this was a really fun read. Found this to be much better than book 1. Loving the characters in all their Britishness.

  • Acid for the Children: A Memoir by Flea
    This was so good, I read it in 2 sittings. Flea is a great story-teller and I loved the short story-like entries that each made up a chapter of the book. I appreciated the openness and raw emotion that came through. The man’s a great writer - I hope he comes out with a book 2 at some point.

  • It Ends with Us (It Ends with Us, #1) by Colleen Hoover
    I initially thought this was just another cliched romance, but there was a really strong message underpinning it all. Sadly based on a true story, this is a “should read” for anyone in a relationship, good or bad.

  • Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
    Extremely raw. Captures the internal conflict of family ties beautifully. One that makes you think and stays with you long after you’ve finished the book.

  • Book Lovers by Emily Henry
    I love a good romance, and this was fun...but somewhat cringey at times. A little too 90s rom-com for my liking but a fun read nonetheless.

  • House of Sky and Breath (Crescent City, #2) by Sarah J. Maas
    Abandoning 15% in. Found the main characters too annoying and lacking in depth.

  • The Family Upstairs (The Family Upstairs, #1) by Lisa Jewell
    Very intriguing story. Really enjoyed the writing and narration from different viewpoints. Picked up the next book in the series immediately after finishing this one.

  • The Family Remains (The Family Upstairs, #2) by Lisa Jewell
    Could not put this book down. A really satisfying continuation to the first book. Didn’t love the ending, but a good, fun read all the same.

  • The Maid by Nita Prose
    A bit of dark-humoured fun. I liked the core message of not making assumptions of others if they don’t behave in a way that seems “normal” to you.

  • Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
    Found this a little too far-fetched but entertaining all the same.

  • It Starts with Us (It Ends with Us, #2) by Colleen Hoover
    I liked it because it was like revisiting old friends who were getting on well. From a story point of view though, I didn’t feel like it really added much and therefore didn’t need to exist. Very much written for die-hard fans who need to get black and white closure on the characters.

© 2016-2023 Julia Tan · Powered by Next JS.