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  • Nicola Ellen

My Top Books of 2022



We all know I love books, both reading and creating them. But what did I love reading last year?


This post is inspired by amazing lady Leonie Dawson's best books of 2022 blog post - which you can read here and you should, because there are some brilliant books on her list!


I really enjoy looking back at what I've read during the year and in 2022, I read 51 books! My target was 25 books! Not bad ey?!


So what did I read?

Well, all sorts! I re-read the Harry Potter series for the first time in a decade. As a family we have worked our way through a lot of the Famous Five series, started the Paddington Bear novels and discovered Simon Farnaby's Wizard series.


I discovered Dara McAnulty and in turn discovered more about myself, learned about Tom Waits, sailors in Lord Nelson's day and the Sitwells of Renishaw. I took up basket weaving and learned that Ice Cream is indeed for Breakfast.


It's a lengthy post, so grab yourself a hot drink and let's take a look at my faves shall we?


Fiction


Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens/Peter and Wendy by J.M.Barrie

After watching Peter Pan and the Tinkerbell films may times, I was curious to read the original books that inspired the films. I really enjoyed the books. They do vary from the story we are used to but that is no bad thing. The story is really well written too. This isn't one for young children though as it does get violent!


Oranges are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

This is at least the second time round of reading this book. Full of humour, loosely based on Winterson's experiences and really well written. I loved it just as much this time round as I did the first time I read it.


Famous Five: Five go to Smuggler's Top by Enid Blyton

We're reading my old Famous Five books and of the eight or so that we read last year (we're now on book 12!), this one was definitely my favourite. I find a lot of the book plots can be guessed early on, but this one was full of twists and turns throughout.


The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Bennett

Another book I kept from when I was little. I read this in 2021 for the first time in many years and loved it so much I read it again in 2022. Rooted in Yorkshire and surrounded by nature, this story really resonated and I felt really free reading it. So beautifully written, I think from a mental health perspective, there is a lot to be learned from many of the characters and their journeys throughout the book. It's on y list to read again this year!


James Herriot: Vet in Harness by James Herriot

A really well written collection of heart warming animal anecdotes based on real life veterinary stories. There's a lot of wisdom and humour and I didn't want to put this one down. I loved reading about the different animals and their usually trouble filled stories.


A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond (Illustrated by Peggy Fortnum)

Talking of trouble filled stories, is there a more lovable character who gets themselves into more trouble than Paddington? This book was full of really funny stories that kept us all laughing. A special mention goes to Peggy Fortnum who captures Paddington's haphazard personality so well in her illustrations. They really add to the story too!


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K.Rowling

I really enjoyed revisiting this series again. Though Harry does get a bit whiney and I do miss the Hogwarts based stories of the first few books, I couldn't put this down. There's always a weird sense of emptiness reading the last book in a series though, don't you think? Like, where's the next book please...?


Non-Fiction


Tom Waits - Innocent When you Dream by Mac Montandon

A collection of interviews from Tom Waits spanning his many years in the music industry. They give as good an insight as you will get without an autobiography by the man himself.


Jack Tar by Roy & Lesley Adkins

I love a bit of naval history and this was a really interesting book to add to that. However, it's very graphic in places and I couldn't even read the chapter on medical procedures! A great insight to the British navy and great warships of old though.


Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty

This was really eye opening book for me as Dara talks about autism and how he sees and connects with the World around him. This really hit home and got me thinking about my own experiences. I actually read this for an illustration competition, but it's a book I like to keep dipping back into. Don't you just love books like that?


Happy Gut, Happy Mind by Eve Kalinik

Another eye opening book for me as I do have digestion struggles and anxiety struggles too. Learning that the two were linked fascinates me. So many tips and information on how to make the two work with each other. Some fab recipes in there too!


Ice Cream for Breakfast by Laura Jane Williams

A brilliant book about how it's okay to release that inner child of yours, despite being an adult! Making life more fun, like when we were kids.




So there you have my round up of my favourite books that I read last year! An unashamedly arbitrary mix of books, and most that I picked off our bookshelf! The rest I borrowed either from the library or my Mum! :)


My target for this year is 35 books! I am excited to see what books I'll be getting stuck into this year.


Leave a comment and let me know which books you love. What should I be reading this year? What's on your reading list for 2023?


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