10 Books I’m Determined to Read in 2022

Book One:
Love After the End: An Anthology of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction edited by Joshua Whitehead

Last year I read “Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time” by Hope Nicholson. It was sweet, funny, moving, and deeply human. My favorite story was about the veterinarian in space, which I think would make a delightful episode for some sci-fi TV anthology (they don’t all have to be miserable tales foreshadowing the dangers of technology). I look forward to reading a new selection of speculative fiction within this genre.

Book Two:
The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag

I’ll admit it – I was drawn in by the charming illustrations and bright colors, but I’m staying for the story. The story is about a boy named Aster, who dares to challenge gender norms by studying to be a witch. As one of my favorite book genres is “Spooky Books with Children Protagonists Who Face Scary Circumstances But Everything Ends Happily,” I am cautiously optimistic that “The Witch Boy” falls into this category.

Book Three:
The Last Human by Zack Jordan

How can a comic about a repulsive death insect be so wholesome? She is both a creature of nightmares and the best mommy in the world, and she’ll do whatever it takes to keep her human child, Sayra, safe. But, of course, once I knew this series was based on a book, I had to learn more! I do not know if the book will be like the comic, but I love the premise, so I am willing to find out for myself.

Book Four:
Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Body by Rebekah Taussig

My kind friend gave this to me for Jólabókaflóðið! She knows about my interest in disability advocacy and thought that this book would help me learn. I am unfamiliar with Taussig’s work, but as she seems very cool, I look forward to reading about her experience and following her adventures.

Book Five:
Saqiyuq: Stories from the Lives of Three Inuit Women by Nancy Wachowich

I have wanted to learn more about Inuit culture, and this anthology looked incredibly interesting. The book focuses on three women, a mother, a daughter, and a granddaughter, living their lives in Nunavutz. I am most curious to see how we are the same. My yaiyai grew up in a small, war-torn village in Greece, whereas I grew up in a Bay Area suburb. Her childhood was marked by hunger, lice, and danger, completely unlike my own childhood. And yet, everything that she experienced has led to who I am today. We are inextricably linked. I am not Inuit, but I want to see how we are the same and how the experiences of a grandmother in Nunavut will eventually shape the life of her grandchild.

Book Six:
The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense by Suzette Haden Elgin

I am a massive science fiction fan, but I was not familiar with Elgin’s work in the genre until a few years ago. I learned about this book through an unlikely source: a Tumblr recommendation from a mutual who dealt with a constant barrage of harassing comments. I was always impressed by this woman’s strength and poise, which she attributed to this book. As someone interested in communications and the art of crafting respectful but powerful language, I had to add it to my list.

Book Seven:
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

I’m looking forward to reading this book and seeing what feelings it evokes in me. Unsurprisingly, I loved “The Martian.” Before the film had released its first trailer, I walked into the local bookstore and purchased a copy of this book. I finished it that night. It was that good – I couldn’t put it down. It’s been a few years, and I haven’t been as good about keeping up with Weir’s work as I wish I had. (Also, there is a small part of me that thinks the main character may remind me of Doug Eiffel from the brilliant podcast Wolf 369)

Update: Once I started this audiobook, I couldn’t put it down. I was inventing chores for myself to have an excuse to continue playing it because I had to know what was going to happen to Ryland Grace. I finished it on February 20, 2022, and you can read my review here.

Book Eight:
The Serpent and the Rainbow by Wade Davis

Oof, I’ve been meaning to read this bad boy for the last decade, and I haven’t gotten around to it for… dumb reasons. “The Serpent and the Rainbow” is about Davis, an anthropologist, and his experiences in Haiti with Voodoo and Zombies. As this book was written in the 80s, I am certain there will be a few outdated references that will desperately need to be brought into this century. Nevertheless, I am curious to read the book and determine for myself what happened to Davis in Haiti.

Also, for those interested, there is a silly horror movie based on this book directed by Wes Craven, featuring a fantastic performance by Zakes Mokae as Captain Dargent Peytraud.

This movie is alright

Book Nine:
For All the Tea in China by Sarah Rose

A warm cup of tea is like a drinkable hug. Am I suggesting that a nice cup of tea is a replacement for genuine human interaction? Sure, why not. This book is about the history of the best beverage in the world. Or it’s about a part of the history of tea. I haven’t read the book yet, so how will I know? I plan on reading this book with a hot cup of well-sugared, milky black tea and some shortbread cookies.

Update: This book was not what I expected! Instead of an anthology of tea stories, “For All the Tea in China” could more accurately be described as historical espionage. I finished the book March 6, 2022, and you can find my review here.

Book Ten:
Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales

Just to clarify: if I am ever stranded in the wilderness, I will probably die. And not in a cool way, by fighting off a pack of wolves or causing an avalanche that kills my arch-nemesis. But from dysentery or eating the wrong kind of mushroom, because despite all of my pretentious swaggery, I am a dumb idiot and have the survival skills of a baby whose skull never fully healed. So even though I have the grace of a weebles-wobbles and the external fragility of a chocolate souffle, I cannot help but want to learn about the stories of daring survivalists and deathly escapades.

Just, you know, from the safety of my room, with a cup of milky black tea and a stack of shortbread cookies.

Update: As of February 10, 2022, I can cross this book off my list! Check out my Goodreads review here.

Bonus: Anything by Ruby Dixon

I’ve already read all of Icehome, btw

There’s got to be a new Icehome story out, right? Or maybe I’ll read the Corsairs series. I hope she writes a follow-up about one of my favorite couples, but we’ll see what she does in 2022!

All I need to do is get through this entire stack and not be taken in by Ice Planet Barbarian’s siren call

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