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  • Writer's pictureRhian Parry

January - March 2022 Reads

To preface this blog, I should probably admit that I read an embarrassing total of 4 books in 2021, or 5 if Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own counts. The good news? We're 3 months into 2022, and so far, I've read 14.

If I keep this up, given I set myself a modest (but for someone who read 4 books in 2021, a hugely ambitious) target of 30 books to read this year, I'll have completed my Goodreads reading challenge by the end of July

This year, I've so far read the following titles:

  • Never Kiss Your Roommate by Philline Harms

  • Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan

  • If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlene

  • How to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams

  • Just Like You by Nick Hornby

  • The Lock In by Phoebe Luckhurst

  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

  • Love, Locked Down by Beth Reekles

  • Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson

  • Daisy Miller & The Turning of the Screw by Henry James

  • Starter for Ten by David Nicholls

  • The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary

  • Beach Read by Emily Henry

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Maybe it's the writer in me forever wanting to champion every creative person ever (excluding certain TERFs), but I've genuinely enjoyed them all. To varying degrees, of course, but I wasn't tempted to DNF any. My top 3 would have to be:

  • Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson

  • The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary

  • The Lock in by Phoebe Luckhurst

Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson

Not to be dramatic, but I would die for this book, and it easily tops the list of my favourite books read in 2022 so far. The prose is beautifully written, the voice is raw and real, and the central love story is as heartbreaking as it is heartwarming. I originally picked this novel up after its blurb and opening pages gave me vague Sally Rooney vibes, whose books I've enjoyed, but I liked Open Water more, honestly. It authentically explores themes of toxic masculinity and race, which adds a new, interesting dimension to the central love story. Plus, hey, I'm a sucker for an ambiguous ending.

The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary

Fun fact: I was prompted to finally read this off the back of a full rejection I'd received where the agent quoted The Flatshare as a great example of a prominent romcom hook. I therefore sort of read this for research purposes, but I'm so glad I did. I can 100% see what the agent was getting at because the hook is so fun and unique, and I liked how it touched on some serious topics. I found Leon's POV a tad jarring from a structural perspective and I never 100% got used to it, and I've got some personal grievances with the miscommunication trope, but I won't hold that against The Flatshare because it's such a great read overall.

The Lock in by Phoebe Luckhurst

This one surprised me, partly because its Goodreads rating isn't the most amazing (not bad at 3 stars, but not oh-my-god-everyone-loved-it amazing) and partly because I picked it up on a whim in a Waterstones sale. However, it was my absolute throwback-MSN-y2k dream of a book. The hook and general concept was super fun too, I may be exposing myself as a horrendous literary analyst here, but I'm not entirely sure what the 'point' of the book was by the end of it, but I also don't really care. Maybe there isn't supposed to be some thought-provoking lesson, maybe it's just a bit of fun.

Here's to the next three months of smashing that 2022 reading goal!

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