Looking back at 2022

There’s an evil character in Romanian folklore which needs to be avoided if he appears in your path. He’s a trickster meant to enslave you by taking for himself your riches, goals and sometimes even life. His name is the Evil Bald Man. I cannot help not laugh at the translation, it sounds funny in other languages. He’s a sort of Bogeyman for Romanian children and the Romanian word “Spân” used to sound very scary when I was 5.

2022 felt like meeting the Evil Bald Man somewhere around February when the war started between Ukraine and Russia. It’s shocking to realize that in 2022 nothing has changed in the evolution of humanity.

Reading wise, the first hit from the Evil Bald Man was the search for a 5 stars read which seemed a huge challenge. I don’t have any clean, memorable, 5 stars, the “I-would-sell-my-soul-to-read-you-for-the-first-time-again” type of books. The highest I could get was a 4.5.

Second was the lack of reading time. I spent more time buying books than actually reading them. And third, the high number of DNFs – or better said, unfinished books which I hope to return to in 2023.

Here’s a list of things I did enjoy in 2022 and I recommend:

Books:

  1. The Poppy War series by R. F. Kwang – a military fantasy where the characters go through a hell. No romance, just suffering.
  2. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin – a fantasy book about the end of the world. Tiny bit of bi romance and a lot of suffering.
  3. T.J, Klune and his cozy fantasies – The House in the Cerulean Sea and Under the Whispering Door. Gay romance, no suffering, only joy.
  4. Alex de Campi’s historical enemies to lovers romance – The Scottish boy – Gay romance, bit of suffering, bit of joy.
  5. If we were villains by M.L. Rio – pretentious bunch of rich kids and their love for Shakespeare plays
  6. Mo Xiang Tong Xiu’s books – everything and hallelujah for that!

The Manga/Webtoons:

  1. Lore Olympus – Hades and Persephone retelling – I read it via Webtoon
  2. A White Rose in Bloom by Asumiko Nakamura – manga
  3. Spy x Family by Tatsuya Endo (Thank you, Rosa!) – manga

The TV Series:

  1. Wednesday (Netflix)
  2. The Sandman (Netflix)

I wish you a better 2023, filled with joy and adventure!

Happy New Year!

Cheers,

Xia

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