My Reading Plans, Goals and Intentions for 2023

2022 was the year that I read more books than I ever have before. Reading has been something that I’ve enjoyed on and off for my entire life but 2022 seems to have been the year that I pulled myself out of a slump and found what kind of books I enjoy the most.

Now that 2022 has come to an end and 2023 is here, I think it’s time to chat about what I plan to read this year.

I’m definitely more of a mood reader so this post won’t be a list of all the books I want to read. It will however be where I talk about some of my plans and the book series I hope to get to.

So, without further ado, here are some of my bookish goals for 2023.

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The Best Books I’ve Read In 2022

Looking back on everything I’ve read in 2022, I’m pretty happy with this reading year. I’ve discovered some new favourite books and read some others that taught me what I don’t enjoy in a book.

2022 seems to have been the year that I discovered what genres I enjoy most. In the past, I’ve usually just been tempted to grab something light and fluffy from the young adult sections in bookshops. However, this year I branched out and discovered other genres that I love so much more. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with light and fluffy books. But for me personally, I love a dark and mysterious story.

In honour of 2022 coming to an end, here are the best books that I’ve read this year.

1. The Body In The Library by Agatha Christie. This was the very first book I read in 2022 and I started the year very well. I set myself the challenge of reading all of the Miss Marple series in order and I’ve been sticking to that goal pretty well. I managed to read up to A Pocket Full of Rye before I took a mini Agatha Christie break but now I’m reading them again and hope to finish the Miss Marple series in 2023. My goal is to start the Poirot next.

2. Heartstopper by Alice Oseman. Something tells me that this book will be making it onto most people’s best reads lists. If wholesome stories are for you then you need to grab yourself a copy of this book. I know I said that light and fluffy wasn’t my thing but I’m pretty sure anyone could be charmed by Heartstopper.

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Book Review: Soy Sauce for Beginners by Kirstin Chen

“Gretchen Lin, adrift at the age of thirty, leaves her floundering marriage in San Francisco to move back to her childhood home in Singapore and immediately finds herself face-to-face with the twin headaches she’s avoided her entire adult life: her mother’s drinking problem and the machinations of her father’s artisanal soy sauce business.

In the midst of increasing pressure from her father to remain permanently in Singapore—and pressure from her mother to do just the opposite—Gretchen must decide whether she will return to her marriage and her graduate studies at the San Francisco Conservatory, or sacrifice everything and join her family’s crusade to spread artisanal soy sauce to the world.”

I downloaded this book on Kindle Unlimited without really thinking much about it. It’s not the kind of book I’d usually pick up but this book was pleasantly surprising.

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Book Review: By Ash, Oak and Thorn by Melissa Harrison

“Three tiny, ancient beings – Moss, Burnet and Cumulus, once revered as Guardians of the Wild World – wake from winter hibernation in their beloved ash tree home.

When it is destroyed, they set off on an adventure to find more of their kind, a journey which takes them first into the deep countryside and then the heart of a city.

Helped along the way by birds and animals, the trio search for a way to survive and thrive in a precious yet disappearing world.”

By Ash, Oak and Thorn made me want to frolic through nature with its magical writing and whimsical world.

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Book Review: The Warlow Experiment by Alix Nathan

“The year is 1793 and Herbert Powyss is set on making his name as a scientist. Determined to study the effects of prolonged solitude on another human being, he advertises for someone willing to live in his cellar for seven years in return for a generous financial reward. The only man to apply is John Warlow, a semi-literate farm labourer with a wife and six children to support. Cut off from nature, Warlow soon begins losing his grip on sanity while above ground, Powyss rapidly becomes obsessed with Warlow’s wife, Hannah.

The experiment, a classic Enlightenment exercise gone more than a little mad, will have unforeseen consequences for all included. In this seductive tale of self-delusion and obsession, Alix Nathan has created an utterly transporting historical novel which is both elegant and unforgettably sinister.”

I had this book on my Amazon wishlist for months and when I spotted it on a shelf at my local library, I knew I had to grab it.

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Book Review: Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin

Snow and Rose didn’t know they were in a fairy tale. People never do….

Once, they lived in a big house with spectacular gardens and an army of servants.

Once, they had a father and mother who loved them more than the sun and moon.

But that was before their father disappeared into the woods and their mother disappeared into sorrow.

This is the story of two sisters and the enchanted woods that have been waiting for them to break a set of terrible spells.”

Snow and Rose is an endearing retelling of the Grimms’ “Snow White and Rose Red”. It focuses on the theme of family which feels like a good choice considering this is middle grade fiction.

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Book Review: The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry

“Christopher and Hannah are a happily married surgeon and nurse with picture-perfect lives. All that’s missing is a child. When Janie, an abandoned six-year-old, turns up at their hospital, Christopher forms an instant connection with her, and he convinces Hannah they should take her home as their own.

But Janie is no ordinary child, and her damaged psyche proves to be more than her new parents were expecting. Janie is fiercely devoted to Christopher, but she acts out in increasingly disturbing ways, directing all her rage at Hannah. Unable to bond with Janie, Hannah is drowning under the pressure, and Christopher refuses to see Janie’s true nature.”

As I was reading this book, I kept notes on my phone for this review because I just have so many feelings and thoughts. A few were good thoughts, but mostly it was just things that frustrated me.

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Book Review: I Am Ill With Hope by Gommie

In 2019, poet-artist Gommie created a project where he walked around the coast of England and Wales in 365 days with nothing but a tent, some basic supplies and some pens.

He wrote poems and sketched them in his Moleskine diary to share the stories and experiences based on conversations with locals.

Gommie did all this in the search for hope during increasingly hard times.

I was lucky enough to recieve an advance readers copy of this book.

I Am Ill With Hope is a beautiful book that’s full of poems, illustrations and art that really helps you feel connected to the people that Gommie meets along his travels. Each page feels like you get to really experience other people’s lives.

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Book Review: The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill

“Deep beneath the sea, off the cold Irish coast, Gaia is a young mermaid who dreams of freedom from her controlling father. On her first swim to the surface, she is drawn towards a human boy. She longs to join his carefree world, but how much will she have to sacrifice? What will it take for the little mermaid to find her voice? Hans Christian Andersen’s original fairy tale is reimagined through a searing feminist lens, with the stunning, scalpel-sharp writing and world building that has won Louise her legions of devoted fans. A book with the darkest of undercurrents, full of rage and rallying cries: storytelling at its most spellbinding.”

I’m going to start this review off by telling you the one thing that made me drop everything to read this book. The Surface Breaks is a feminist retelling of The Little Mermaid. I repeat A FEMINIST RETELLING OF THE LITTLE MERMAID!

We probably all know the story of Ariel who is a sweet little mermaid who trades her voice for human legs. Well, forget about all of that because this retelling is so much darker and filled with patriarchy. Mermaids are expected to look pretty, be quiet and live just for men’s pleasure. However, our main character, Gaia has had enough and she tries to escape from this life.

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