What’s on the Bookshelf for 2022 by Blaine DeSantis

Well the year 2021 has come to an end, and with it there have been a lot of books that we have all read. Personally I read about 85 books this year which is about par for the course. I read some history, some mystery, some young adults, some children, and some classics. It was a good year of reading and I made friends with some new authors.

But now 2022 is upon us and the question becomes what are we going to read this year. A few years ago I began a blog called Blaine’s Eclectic Bookshelf, and named it that because of the rather unusual scope of books that I read in a year. That blog has followed me over here to the Amalfi media website. And so I invite you to take a look at past books that I have read, past reviews that I have made and I hope that you will find something that will interest you. It’s funny, because two years ago I had never read any books by Donna Leon. She is now my favorite mystery writer. I love her books that are set in Venice with Commissario Brunetti. They don’t always end up with a neat and clean solution, but there’s always some sort of moral judgement which I have found fascinating.

So what does my bookshelf look like as I begin in the year. Well I am currently reading a book about the history of clocks. I’m also reading a book about the year 1898 and it’s importance in US history. And I’m also reading a 1000 page book by Thomas Pynchon, I have a lot of his books but I never sat down to read them because I was probably intimidated by the length of the books. Yes I have four or five books going at one time and I’m fortunate enough to be able to keep them separated in my mind so that the plot of 1 does not spillover into the plot of another. But beyond that I am looking at maybe reading some classics. Last year I started the works of Emile Zola as well as the works of Jules Verne. You could not find two different writers, and yet each are wonderful in their own way. Yes there will be mysteries, and most definitely they’ll be histories, as the older I get more interested in histories and biographies. I don’t keep up with a lot of the Top Ten lists of books but rather I find books that are interesting to me. Who else would read a book about the history of clocks! And every year I begin with the hope that I get to read one book a week, and enjoy it so much that I can write glowing reviews about the books. But not every book is a five star read. I’ve been disappointed by some books I started this year. I gave some books lower ratings and I had expected, and then there are other books that took me by surprise. A case in point is a wonderful new series by the author Mark Pryor. I had heard about this gentleman and his previous series of books and when the opportunity came to read one of the advanced copies I was fortunate enough to be selected to do that. You will see my review of his newest book Die Around Sundown right here in my upcoming blog.

And as I get older I tend to want to read more and more books by philosophers whom I probably should have read 40 years ago and I probably would have lived a better life, but it might not have been as good a life as I have had not only with my family, but with the books I choose. And I know a lot of people have been going back and forth between what’s their favorite way to read a book. I must admit that I don’t consider an audible book to be a book. Well, it is a book but I don’t think listening to it qualifies as reading it. This position has been challenged by others, including my wife and daughter, but for me if I’m not reading it with my eyes, but instead listening to it with my ears I miss a lot. Over the years I’ve grown very fond of my Kindle, the reason being that as I’ve grown older there’s been a little bit of change in my eyesight and so the Kindle allows me to have a brighter reading background, a larger font size which is very important when you start reading history and nonfiction books, and it is very easy for me to carry wherever I go. And if I don’t take my Kindle, I have that app on my phone and so I am always reading no matter where I go.

If you like to read and you like to look at a variety of books then might I recommend to you the website called NetGalley. You can get advanced copies of many books here and all you need to do is give them the address of your Kindle or other i-reader and once you’ve been approved you push a button and the book is downloaded to your device. The only drawback being is they would like you to leave reviews, but there is a wonderful selection of genres that you can choose from and if you’ve never heard of this website, I can tell you that it is absolutely free. That’s right, absolutely free! I have gotten over 2000 books through NetGalley and even though I’ve not read all those books they’re all sitting there, waiting for their time to shine. Some may shine this year, some may shine in the future years, and some may have just been bad requests by me, but nonetheless if you love books this is one of the best places that you can find to pick up many of your favorite authors newest works.

So as we begin 2022, I begin with a desire to read 52 books, to try to read the works of at least five to six authors I’ve never read before, and to travel throughout the world, because even though I am semi-handicapped, my mind is not handicapped and I’m able to go anywhere that those authors wish to take me. I am excited for the upcoming year, and I hope you also will join with me as I try to review each and every book that I read and which will appear here on this website.

I wish I could write more, but there are three books that are calling for my attention right now. May 2022 be a happy year of reading to one and all!

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