2022 Books & Music
The end of 2022 is upon us, which means annual lists abound. I appreciate knowing what others are reading and listening to and am happy to share my own notes (last year's post is here).
Admittedly, I lost much of my reading momentum from 2021 this year. In addition to my regular Bible reading, I ended up finishing only three books this year:
- Everyday Contemplative - L. Roger Owens
- Through Painted Deserts - Donald Miller
- Bower Lodge - Paul J. Pastor
I'm a little disappointed to not have finished more in 2022. But I found a lot of value in everything I did read. I moved slowly through Everyday Contemplative and found it very thoughtful. This was my fourth or fifth trip through Miller's memoir - it's one of my favorites, and I never tire of it. I return to the audiobook every couple of years to reignite my wanderlust and sense of wonder. I finally picked up Bower Lodge late in the year after seeing many glowing reviews and devoured the collection in just a few days, though I expect to return to it often. Pastor's poetry is beautiful, disarming, and often surprising. I was blessed by the book and recommend all three of these wholeheartedly.
I'm hoping to pick up the pace in 2023, and I'm considering setting a reading goal again to stay on target (it seemed to help in 2021). I'm already in the middle of a couple of things right now, including an extensive Wendell Berry collection that I've been working my way through since the summer. Hopefully, there will be more to report this time next year.
Last year, I shared my full Spotify Wrapped playlist. I'm not going to do that this year because the playlist includes a bunch of tunes that only came up in background shuffles while I was working. But the top 5 artists on the list were clear standouts for me this year:
- Foy Vance - "Signs of Life" is a really great record that felt appropriate for this season. The stunning "Live From The Highlands" versions of these tunes posted to YouTube are some of the best things I heard all year and are worth looking up.
- Donovan Woods - An enduring favorite of mine who continues to put out a constant stream of excellent, thoughtful music. A highlight of the year was finally seeing Donovan live for the first time (at our first "real" concert since the pandemic started, no less).
- Patrick Droney - Soulful, guitar-driven pop-rock. Non-stop driving music in my car for the past eighteen months.
- The Band CAMINO - Another perennial favorite the past few years. Super catchy and fun. These guys are also one of my wife's favorites, so they get a lot of play around our house.
- Matt Nathanson - I've been a fan of Matt's for a long time, but rediscovered him a bit this year with the release of "Boston Accent," another album that feels just right for the moment. He headlined that first concert back - a great reminder of the value of live performance by outstanding artists.
Of course, I listened to lots of other music, too. But this is a good sample of where my ears are these days.