Entries to Win Afghan

Sign up to receive the Books Leaving Footprints Newsletter. Comes out occasionally. No spam. No list swapping. Just email me! jhyshark@gmail.com Previous gifts include a short story, a poem, and coupons. Add your name, and don't miss out!

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Best Books Read in 2022

  When I actually counted up the books I read in 2022, it turned out to be at least 36. There may be a couple that I borrowed from people and didn't write down. I know there was at least one I got from a little free library, and left it at another. I can't remember the title. That tells you a bit about how I felt about it. Anyway, 11 were non-fiction.

Anyway, here are the six I have selected as the best reads of 2022, in alphabetical order.

Brief Review
AlivePiers Paul Reidsurvival
I have read this before, but it was in a pile of free books, and I needed to swap out one I had finished for something to carry with me while backpacking in the Adirondacks. So I picked it up. Still an amazing story. This is the true account of the Argentine soccer team whose airplane crashed in the Andes, and how some of them managed to survive.
The Boys in the BoatDaniel Brownhistory
This is a history of the 1936 rowing team from Washington state that qualified for the Berlin Olympics, and beat Hitler's team, taking the gold medal. It's a riviting look into the sport, the times, and the lives of the rowers, focusing on one in particular.
George Washington's Military GeniusDave PalmerHistory
I thought I owned most of the important books about Washington, but I had not seen this one. It was first published under the title The Way of the Fox. Palmer tries to find an accurate assessment of Washington- something between the near worship of the 1800s and the scornful dismissal of his skill in the early 20th century.
Gunflint BurningCary GriffithHistory
This book chronicles the events that led to the Ham Lake Fire in the Boundary Waters of 2007, and then the story of how it was finally contained and suppressed. Since parts of the North Country Trail were burned over in this fire, it's a rather personal story to me.
Iron LakeWilliam Kent KruegerMystery
This title is only the first of a series of mysteries. I haven't yet worked my way through the entire set, but so far, I'd say they are surprisingly consistent in quality, and I think it's going to be one of my favorite series. Krueger is a Minnesota author and the books are set in and near the Boundary Waters in semi-fictional locations. They have mystery, action, family story, Anishanaabe/ Anglo tension and cooperation, police procedure, and even humor. I like the characters a lot.
The Worst Hard TimeTimothy EganHistory
After reading The Boys in the Boat, I wanted to read more about the Dust Bowl. We think we've had some rough years. We really have nothing on the 1930s. The Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and then Hitler and the start of World War II (although the US didn't join until 1941). There was an awful lot about that whole tragedy of the dust bowl that I knew almost nothing about.

In other news: I mostly goofed off and read more. This should not be a surprise. Several local friends have reached out to me to do interesting things. I'm just not ready to emerge into a world where I have to actually talk to people yet.

See Best Books of 2020


Jeff said...

"The Worst Hard Time" is an incredible book

vanilla said...

I need to get Egan's book. I was born in the heart of the Dust Bowl, geographically and temporally. Parents and Grandparents (and by extension, little me, survivors. I hope to Cf this account with the accounts I lived with growing up.

Doug said...

Placed a hold for iron lake. Sounds good. Always on the lookout for a new to me mystery series.

Ann said...

I didn't read much in the past year. I think I should work on that for this year.

The Oceanside Animals said...

Lulu: "Happy New Year!"
Java Bean: "¡Feliz año nuevo!"
Lulu: "Our Dada says his favorite book this year was probably 'All Systems Red' which is about something called a 'Murderbot' that goes rogue."
Charlee: "What's a Murderbot?"
Lulu: "I'm not sure, but I don't think I would want to meet one ..."

Sharkbytes said...

Jeff- indeed, and it seems to be the primary basis for Ken Burns' production about the Dust Bowl. Egan is interviewed on that as well.

Vanilla- You need to create some video chronicles! I did not put together your time and proximity to the DB. I also suggest the Ken Burns' DVDs to you. I found them at the library. Lots of interviews with people who were children of that era.

Doug- hope you like them

Ann- Obviously, I can't not read!

Charlee, Java and Lulu- tell Dada I may need to read that one.

vanilla said...

Sharkey, born 1934 in Eastern edge of Prowers County, Colorado I don't much do videos and my memories of the dust bowl are second-hand, for we had moved away before the winds ended and I was still a tyke. Mom's stories were very similar to the ones found in the literature, so I've really nothing new to add. Thank you, though, for your kind thoughts. I have seen the Burns' documentary.

Unknown said...

Timothy Egan also has written The Big Burn. You might like it.