2022: Books

I read more in 2022 than I have in recent years. I was a voracious reader in my teens and early twenties but tech got its hooks into me over the years and reading books just fell by the wayside. I’ve been working on changing this and for 2023, I plan to read even more.

I’m not what you’d call a fast reader. My rate is a little more than a book a month; a “book” being +/- 400 pages. I have a habit where I will re-read sentences or paragraphs that I find particularly excellent. I also spent too much time on my damn phone and not enough time with my nose buried in books.

So without further ado…

The Storyteller – Dave Grohl (7/10)
Decent read even though I (and everyone else) knew most of the stories in advance.

Maltese FalconDashiell Hammett (5/10)
This has been sitting in one of our bookshelves since I can remember. I decided to give it a read and… Eh, it was ok. A pretty good snapshot of a period in time however, it meandered and didn’t really go anywhere by the end.

Girl on The Train – Paula Hawkins (7/10) *
Well written. Twist was good and not overly obvious.

The Sisters Brothers – Patrick deWitt  (10/10) *
This was surprisingly excellent. I’m not big on westerns (ask me what I think of Lonesome Dove sometime), but this book stands out as one of the best I read this year. Highly Recommended.

Greenwood – Michael Christie (10/10) *
Excellent. I had low expectations as the description made it out to be hippy dippy, which it absolutely was but not in the way you’d think. Highly Recommended.

Room – Emma Donoghue (6/10) *
I was really, really into this book … until the escape. I mean, I wanted them to escape but considering all the work the captor did to control her and ensure that she and the boy would never escape, I was honestly surprised he fell for it. It was very paper thin. This took me right out of the whole story making the rest of the book not hit as hard as it could have.

Can I Say – Travis Barker (5/10)
I don’t like Blink-182, but Barkers drumming made that band what it is. He plays drums lots. Likes Cadillac lots. Drug abuse. Survived a horrific crash. Run of the mill rock bio.

Sing Backwards and Weep – Mark Lanegan (4/10)
While the book contains some good insights into what it’s like being in a 90’s Seattle band that didn’t get really big, I found it a slog because Mark Lanegan is an insufferable, egotistical piece of shit. I really don’t understand why everyone holds him up as a genius. His music and lyrics aren’t all that great and he’s a complete asshole.

The Only Girl: My Life and Times on the Masthead of Rolling Stone – Robin Green (6/10)
I thought there would be way more about her time at Rolling Stone but it’s not. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good read, it just didn’t cover a lot of her career at RS considering it’s literally the title of the book.

Infinite Detail – Tim Maughan (4/10)
Great idea. Ho-hum story. I don’t know what else to say about this one.

The Institute – Stephen King  (7/10)
Typical King; good story, fun easy read. I like Stephen King as I know I any book of his is usually a good read and this is one of the better of his more recent ones.

The Way Home – Mark Boyle  (10/10)
Well written, fantastic read about someone who has gone pretty much completely off grid. If you haven’t head of Mark Boyle, look him up. He’s an interesting person with an interesting outlook on life and how he fits into it. Highly Recommended.

Corporate Rock Sucks: The Rise and Fall of SST Records – Jim Ruland (5/10)
Some ok, yet rehashed history of SST Records can be found here if you could be bothered to wade through unnecessary, super fanboyish reviews of records that no one cares about from bands that no one remembers which all read like Patrick Bateman talking about Huey Lewis and the News. This would have been a better book if the author had just stuck to the story of SST and cut out the incessant navel-gazing.

Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell (10/10)
My favorite movie of all time. Decided to give the book a go and it did not disappoint. Highly Recommended.

Bringing Out The Dead – Joe Connelly (4/10)
Another title that’s been hanging around in our bookshelf for a long time. I know Scorsese made a movie based in it so why not? It has some good bits and it’s well written, but… I like dark stories without happy endings, this one didn’t really have anything to say and started to meander about two thirds of the way through to the point of eye rolling. Don’t think I’ll be watching the movie any time soon.

Find Her – Lisa Gardner (5/10)
Back and forth between a really well done psychological trauma backstory and a somewhat lame, paint by numbers detective/revenge plot. The payoff is just dropped on your lap, however it’s written like you’re not supposed to notice until the BIG REVEAL a few chapters later.

* A local, second hand book store does a yearly “Book Advent Calendar” where they have tables and tables of bags marked like “Popular Thriller” or “Science Fiction” etc and each  contains 24 pre-wrapped books. Our family has been doing it for a couple of years now; it’s a good way to reuse/recycle and much more fun than the standard off the shelf garbage Advent Calendars you get at box stores.