January Book Update: 2022 Reading Challenge

For everyone taking part in the 2022 Reading Challenge, here’s an update on my January reading. I’ve read 10 books, which means I’m ahead of schedule for the 50 books total this year because I only need to read at 4 or 5 books per month.

The hardest part has been choosing which number of the challenge to assign to each book. For example, Melinda Gate’s book The Moment of Lift was on the New York Times Bestseller List (fulfilling #6), but I chose to listen to this one on audiobook (fulfilling #40). It looks like many of these challenges will overlap, but that’s ok. I’m planning to just pick the one that seems most relevant at the time.

The good part about a flexible reading challenge list like this one is that you’ve got unlimited options for books. My strategy is to pick books I want to read, and then figure out which part of the challenge they fulfill.

So, here’s the update! Enjoy and let me know what you’ve been reading this year!

#4- Part of a Series

To Sail a Darkling Sea by John Ringo

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This gets a 3-star rating for the good action and fight scenes, but a lack of character development. I will continue reading this series in the future.

#5- Should Have Read in School

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Rating: 0.5 out of 5.

Well, all I can say is that I’m glad that’s over. I was not drawn in by the beloved Jane Austen’s Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. It took me an enormous amount of time to power through, but I did it.

#13- Released in the Year You Were Born

The Client by John Grisham

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I actually had a lot of fun tracking down a book from 1993. I ended up going with a John Grisham book because he is so well-known, yet I’ve never read his works. The Client is his 4th book.

#15- Translated from Another Language

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was a breath of fresh air to me. Murakami embodies what I envy: he is an accomplished writer and he loves to run. He is remarkable in the way he approaches life.

#17- A Memoir

Yes, Chef: a Memoir by Marcus Samuelsson

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I’m a home cook and baker, so this memoir was really inspiring. Samuelsson has an amazing career as a chef and TV judge. I really enjoyed the way he talks about food with a wholesome passion.

#22- With a Music or Art Theme

The Musical Human: A History of Life on Earth by Michael Spitzer

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

This one is a bit different from my usual reads, but as a musician, I wanted to increase my musical knowledge beyond playing instruments. I took almost the entire month to finish it while reading the other books at the same time. Interesting book with great research, but a slow burner.

#25- Set in the 1800s

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Tom Sawyer is a classic Mark Twain character that was originally written in 1875 and set in the 1840s. Pleasant read because of its childish nature and simple pleasures. This gives some good perspective on how much society and culture have grown in the last 200 years.

#37- Murder Mystery

“A” is for Alibi by Sue Grafton

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I’m loving this 1980’s murder mystery series! Perfect mix of suspense and investigation. I’m proud to say I guessed one crucial piece about halfway through.

#40- On Audiobook Read by the Author

The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Excellent book and very nice job by Gates reading on audiobook. Inspiring and educational. She’s really doing some amazing work behind the scenes to empower women in practical and efficient ways.

#44- About Business

Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I enjoyed this change of pace book that had a lot of neat information about the companies we all know and love. The research was as good as in Good to Great, another business-type book by the same authors.

BONUS…Book Journal Update:

If you’re a regular Spine & Leaf Books reader, you’ll know I wanted to start a book journal this year. I was planning a few ways to log my books including Goodreads.com and a handwritten notebook with some details about each book.

Then…I was gifted a wonderful bound book journal as a holiday gift! I was so amazed at the thoughtfulness and generosity.

So, it looks like this year I will be using a well-structured book journal to log all of my wonderful reads. So far the book journal has been motivating and rewarding. I’m glad to see I’m on track to read 50 books this year!

11 thoughts on “January Book Update: 2022 Reading Challenge

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  1. These are my books for January 2022
    #4 Part of a Series: Rachael Herron Abigail’s Shop (Cypress Hollow Yarns #1) -362- 3 stars. That was not a romantic comedy. Horrific details of a stalker and conjugal abuse in all forms all through the book apart from everything else (drama, suspense, etc.).
    #18 One Word Title: Rees Quinn Disney -78- 3 stars. Gives a good glimpse of Disney’s world, his family, friends, foes and business partners. Could have been more depths to it, seemed more like an essay than a bio.
    #22 Music Theme: Jennifer McCoy Blaske Confessions of a Wedding Musician Mom -198- 2 stars. Boring to say the least. Nothing funny for sure.
    #34 YA Novel: Luke Andreen Wasting Away in the Goblin Keep -185- 2 stars. I have to say the story got me hooked from the beginning, but as I read, there were too many gory details of either torture, attempted rape, or a manticore’s eating habits. Then the story ends with a major cliffhanger with no following book since 2016. I was fairly disappointed.
    #35 eBook Only: Megan Wade Wall St. Jerk (The Curves of Wall St. #1) -164- 5 stars. Low drama, insta-lust romance. I love most of Wade’s books. They are short and sweet with some BR scenes.
    #39 Shares Your Name: Monae Nicole Our Love Rekindled -60- 4 stars. Two of my middle names are Monique Nicole so that one is close enough. I did find a book with my name/surname but it was no longer available. Read on my b-day.
    #46 Everyone is Talking About: Nina de Gramont The Christie Affair -320- 3 stars. Enough details/talk/trauma about a priest raping pregnant single-mothers and nuns turning a blind eye. It’s more about the Other Woman than Agatha herself. You have to laugh for Christie’s writing to be described as an eccentricity since it paid, amongst other things, for two luxury cars.
    So that makes 7 books for the 2022 challenge. In total, I read 32 books in January but most of them didn’t fit the challenge or were repeats of the same challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice work! You’re way ahead of schedule with 7 books for the challenge. I’m going to have to check out your #35 since you gave it a 5 star rating. Can’t beat the recommendation! Where’d you get the ebook?


    1. Hi there! Thanks for checking out the blog! I’m glad you’ve also read Pride and Prejudice and had a better time than I did. I know its gained a lot of readers in the past 200+years. Got any books you’d like to recommend for anyone else doing the challenge?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes Indeed, those what I read before & recommend depends on your challenge condition
        With a color in the name “The Orange Girl by Jostein Gaarder” / Part of a series “Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende”/ With an animal in the name “The Pigeon by Patrick Süskind”/ More than 20 years old “Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis”/ That’s a memoir “A Leg to Stand On by Oliver Sacks”/ With a one-word title “Hunger by Knut Hamsun”/ Over 500 pages long “The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas”/ Under 100 pages long “White Nights by Fyodor Dostoevsky”/ Set in the 1800s “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne”
        With a magical element “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling”/ About sports “The Prince of Tennis by Takeshi Konomi”/
        That’s a murder mystery “In Cold Blood by Truman Capote”/ About science “A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes by Stephen Hawking”/ That makes you smile “Every Breath You Take by Judith McNaught”


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