2022 Book Review

Reading feels like two completely different things.
When you’re being demanded to read books that you have little to no interest in for school, vs. when you’re picking your topics and stories of choice to read.

Over the course of the past 5 years I’ve devolved a new sense of reading that has created a therapeutic escape into a world of new perspective, whether it’s fiction or non. I’ve spent the past 5 years exploring a multitude of topics and within the past year rediscovered fiction that I love. (I’m typically a non-fiction gal).

Once I discovered this newfound love, I wanted to challenge myself to read at least one book a month for the year of 2022. In no particular order, here are the amazing stories I’ve gained insight, comfort, humor, knowledge, and a well rounded concoctions of emotions from this past year (don’t worry, I won’t spoil any of these reads):

1. The Island of the Missing Trees
This was the book that got me back into fiction. I was living 1 mile from the San Diego Public Library and once I got my library card, I would run there and back on my lunch breaks. This became a part of my weekly routine and often I would end up leaving with a new book. One day I came across The Island of the Missing Trees while I was browsing, I started reading the first few pages and I was stuck. I didn’t want to put it down. It sends you through the emotions of romance and love, while also telling the story of a soul crushing war that tears people apart. I left the library with the book in hand and continued reading it on my walk back home.

2. The Story of Us
A love story that kept me on my toes. I don’t want to give away too much, but it just proves that true love is true love. And we should never settle for anything less than. It also shares the story of taking care of aging parents and how loyalty, care, and support from your partner is immensely appreciated and comforting.

3. Atomic Habits
I need to keep some “self-help” in the rotation. It keeps me grounded, keeps my mind right, and reminds me of the little things to incorporate in my day to day to keep me sane. This one is a good reminder that we choose what we let into our lives, and we choose what to keep in our lives. It’s a good reminder to keep yourself accountable for what you say you want out of life.

4. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success
Everyone should read this. It quick, easy, and just makes sense.

5. I Will Always Write Back
Oh my goodness – talk about a tear jerker. This book tells the story of two pen-pals who are from two completely different worlds. They share their culture with one another, and help each other through coming of age stories that contribute to each others lives more than they ever thought. This is truly a remarkable, touching story – one of my favorite reads this year.

6. Verity
Okay, this book got me messed up. It’s such a good read, very well written -but very disturbing. It keeps you engaged, wanting to know more. Not typically a book I’d lean towards if endless people didn’t recommend it to me. I’d say this is in the thriller/romance genre. When people ask me if I liked it I say, “I liked the read, but I didn’t necessary like the story because it was disturbing.” Haha. Do with that what you will – obviously it’s got a lot of people talking about it. (And there’s an extended version on TikTok that was never released.)

7. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
I LOVED this book. It tells a great depiction of working in Hollywood and how rotten the entertainment business can be. It also tells more than one love story. Very well written, keeps you on your toes, and makes you fall in love with characters while you’re also questioning their character. I love the way this author writes.

8. 1000+ Little Things Happy Successful People Do Differently
Another lil self help book to keep me afloat when times get overwhelming. I read this simultaneously with Seven Husbands. It’s nice to throw in some helpful reminders here and there. Easy read.

9. Funny You Should Ask
Another author who’s writing I adore. This book is funny, lovable, and light-hearted. I seem to have a thing for books about writers – this one features a writer who is tackling celebrity interviews, the rumors that come with that, and just making it in a world where writers are underpaid. I genuinely enjoyed this read. It was quick, cute, and fun. Also makes me want to run away and live a quiet life in Montana.

10. The Power of Now
Good ole Eckhart Tolle. My man. You can’t go wrong with any of his books. I loved A New Earth, so it’s no surprise I loved this one as well. Highly recommend – I think everyone should be in the know of Eckhart Tolle’s wisdom.

11. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Another small book I kept with me at all times throughout the year – thanks to my mother for gifting it to me. This had short snippets of good advice to remember that life is short and to only focus on what matters, while being in tune with self. It was lovely to pull this out of my bag when I needed a lil pick-me-up. 10/10 would recommend.

12. The Heart Principle
I almost forgot I read this gem until I went back in my library history. This book was super cute, and shows a different side of romance than a typical book, movie, or show would. It was inspiring, heartwarming, and educational. It shows a side of love more people need to witness.

13. The Way of The World
This book is all about history, which I am not a fan of. Though I was drawn to this for some reason when I saw it in my cute lil neighborhood free library. I also happened to be working on a documentary for CBS regarding 911, so it went hand and hand with my reality at the time. This was overall a good read, but like I said, I’m not a huge history person so it did take me awhile to get through.

14. The Light We Give
This was my final read of this year and it was extremely insightful. It talks about thee Sikh community. What it means to be Sikh, and how they navigate this world with all of the racism, stereotypes, and lack of knowledge regarding their background. I think this is a book that a lot of people would skip over, but it’s an important read and gives a lot of perspective not only about the Sikh community, but about how life should be perceived for maximum fulfillment. It’s both in the self-help realm, but also a memoir about a mans spiritual journey and the challenges he overcame. A plus – he’s funny and it shows in his writing. I’d recommend this book any day to everyone.

    That’s it, readers. It’s been a blast learning more about the stories I gravitate towards and what they contribute to my life. Thanks for taking the time to read this, and if you do read any of the books above – I’d love to talk about them. If you have any recommendations, send em my way!

    Happy 2023. Stay up!
    xx, Mal ❤

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