2022 Books I’ve Read So far: A Review. Plus My favorite bits from MLK Jr.’s Autobiography

One of my 2022 new year resolutions was to read a book a month. I knew I wanted to read more books and thought a book a month goal was completely doable! And in fact it has been SO DOABLE that I really am on track to read a book a week by the end of the year. I thought I would share a blog since we are halfway through 2022 of all the books I have read and include notes on my favorites and ones I did not enjoy as much in case you want to also find some inspiration from my list. I am on book #30 as of now, Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington.


  1. Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
  2. Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella
  3. Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella (I was really on a Sophie K kick at the start of the year LOL I also read Christmas Shopaholic and Confessions of a Shopaholic, also by Sophie K. at the end of 2021. I loved Christmas Shopaholic!!!!)
  4. Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot
  5. Shopaholic to the Rescue by Sophie K.
  6. Queen of Babble Gets Hitched by Meg Cabot
  7. My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie K.
  8. Shopaholic and Baby by Sophie K.
  9. The Guest List by Lucy Foley (I loved this one – def one of my fav thrillers this year!)
  10. The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley (also loved this one so much! Very thrilling and crazy twists at the end!!!!)
  11. Her Dark Lies by JT Ellison (this was good, it was a bit crazy though and not exactly realistic…but it definitely gets you hooked from page 1!)
  12. The Ballerinas by Rachel Kapelke-Dell (a must-read if you’re a dancer or former dancer! Really enjoyed this one about 3 bff ballet dancers and the twists and turns and drama they experience!)
  13. One by One by Ruth Ware (loved loved this one. Thrilling…takes place in ski resort…one by one people start getting murdered!)
  14. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (really enjoyed! I liked One by One more, but, this one was equally thrilling!)
  15. Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid (very cute and thoughtful story! Well developed characters and very well written. A nice change from the thrillers I had been reading)
  16. The Turnout by Megan Abbott (to be honest I did not enjoy this one at all. Also a novel about dancers and these two sisters who take over their mom’s company…it’s a very odd and twisted book in terms of relationships that gives you bad vibes and the creeps basically the whole time LOL)
  17. In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware (this was Ruth Ware’s debut novel…her later ones are better! This was a good read, but not great or excellent in my opinion. I liked the storyline of One by One and the Woman in Cabin 10 more! However I think Reese Witherspoon is turning this into a movie)
  18. The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley (loved! Similar vibes to The Guest List and The Paris Apartment. I read this one very fast!)
  19. Sex & Vanity by Kevin Kwan (very cute story! It could easily become a movie. Similar vibes to Crazy Rich Asians since he also wrote that book, I didn’t read that one since I saw the movie)
  20. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (amazing story! Very unique and keeps you on edge the whole time. I enjoyed this book a lot. The end is wild!)
  21. Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (cute read! Many people are obsessed with this book but I would not say that it’s my favorite, I did enjoy reading it, but, I think I liked Malibu Rising better by the same author. Again, it is very well written and has sold millions of copies and certainly has some interesting twists and turns!)
  22. Turning Pointe by Chloe Angyal (non-fiction book about how ballet has to make some serious changes in order to survive in today’s society! Analyzes history of ballet and how it has evolved or hasn’t evolved with the times – and how it needs to do so! I would suggest reading this one before/after the novel The Ballerinas – it’s a good novel example of a lot of the concepts discussed in Turning Pointe.)
  23. Good Girls Lie by JT Ellison (loved this! Thriller-type. Enjoyed it a lot. Intriguing storyline and keeps you wanting to read more and more!)
  24. Trouble Maker – Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini (excellent book and gives a lot of insight into Scientology however I am not going to go into details about my thoughts on Scientology on the Internet lol but I love Leah Remini she is hilarious and this is a great read)
  25. Perfectly Clear by Michelle LeClair (similar…another real life look into the life of a former Scientologist. A fascinating story!)
  26. 9 Rules of Engagement by Harris Faulkner (adored this non-fiction, self-help book. Helped me a lot to get my goals down on paper and make them crystal clear. Very inspiring and great messages about integrity in this book. This book can certainly help you create a clear vision for what you’d like to succeed in if you take the notes and do the brainstorming.)
  27. We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz (another thriller about two bffs who go on a couple of trips…some “self-defense” deaths involved and the crazy twists and turns about how they occur and then they have to cover it up. Don’t worry I didn’t just give anything away, these things are told to the reader in the description!)
  28. Atomic Habits by James Clear (self-improvement book; excellent read on developing habits that are good and the science behind habits; get a notebook and take notes during this one and revisit it frequently!)
  29. MLK Autobiography, edited by Clayborne Carson (probably the most inspiring book I read this year! Moved me to my core. Made me want to be a better person in more ways than one. Easily one of my favorite reads this year)
  30. Up From Slavery, Booker T. Washington. I am working on this one now!

Also on my list to read….Malcom X as told to Alex Haley, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s autobiography Total Recall, among a few other fiction books! Lately I am thoroughly enjoying biographies and autobiographies especially ones by highly inspirational individuals. I also have Steve Jobs’ biography by Walter Issacson on my list as well.

I want to further discuss the Martin Luther King, Jr. Autobiography and some of the notes I took while reading this book as well as some quotes that stuck out to me.

Making a Living vs. Making a Life

p 21 he discusses capitalism and how it is always in danger of inspiring men to be more concerned about making a living rather than making a life. “We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles, rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to humanity. Thus capitalism can lead to a practical materialism that is as pernicious as the materialism taught by communism.” This spoke to me greatly! Are you simply making a living or making a life? Are you doing what you are meant to be doing? Are you happy and fulfilled? Questions to ask yourself and analyze if you feel like you are not living up to your full potential.

Inspiring and True Quotes

“No life can live forever.” p. 33. In other words…always tell the truth.

“You must not harbor anger.” “…suffer the anger of the opponent, yet not return anger. You must not become bitter. No matter how emotional your opponents are, you must be calm.” p. 70. If MLK can remain calm in the situations he was placed in, I can certainly remain calm no matter what! I will never be in some of the situations and deal with the people he dealt with and if he can stay calm and not react, I (and we) can certainly learn from him. My new motto in my head is “What would MLK do?”

On Perspective…Perspective is Everything!

p. 74 made me laugh and can certainly change your perspective depending on how you look at a situation. So MLK had been arrested during the “get tough” campaign and he was supposedly speeding, so when he was arrested and being taken to the jail he became panic-stricken when he realized the jail was in the downtown section of Montgomery and they were driving in the opposite direction. The more they drove, the further they were from center of town and then they turned down a dark and dingy, desolate street. MLK was so nervous and began praying, he thought the men were driving him off to a waiting mob to have him killed. He said he was trembling within and began praying again for God to give him strength for whatever came. A few minutes later he saw “Montgomery City Jail” in the distance and I laughed because he says “I was so relieved that it was some time before I realized the irony of my position: going to jail at that moment seemed like going to some safe haven!”

Action > Dream! Take Action and Get Started

p. 115-116 he says “You will never learn how to swim until you get in the water.” Meaning you cannot possibly learn how to swim without actually getting in the water. So you have to be given a chance to be immersed in whatever it is you are trying to accomplish before it can be a success. You have to try, even if you fail, and try again. Failures are lessons.

You are who you spend the majority of your time with

p. 150 when he discusses debating on voting for or supporting Kennedy vs. Nixon. He made his decision after examining who each one surrounded themselves with….something good to think about in your own life. Who do you surround yourself with? What do these people stand for and how do they spend their time? You eventually begin to act and speak like the people you spend the most time with so be sure you are selecting wisely.

Stay focused with a clear vision.

p. 174 “…principal mistakes we had made there was to scatter our efforts too widely.” …”we concluded…a more effective battle could be waged if it was concentrated against one aspect of the evil and intricate system of segregation.” King was discussing the importance of having 1 solid and clearly defined goal rather than trying to keep the efforts too vast and broad. Being more specific is more effective. I believe this is true in our own lives and our own goals to accomplish things – you have to be very clear and prioritize carefully or your efforts may not work.

Be Willing to Learn from Others. We are Never Finished Learning.

p. 340 “The western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just.” You can apply this to your life and behaviors.

p. 342 “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience, but where he stands in moments of challenge, moments of great crisis and controversy.”


2 thoughts on “2022 Books I’ve Read So far: A Review. Plus My favorite bits from MLK Jr.’s Autobiography”

  1. Hey, Kelly!
    I, like you, enjoy reading both fiction & nonfiction, but I tend to read (savor, really) much more slowly than you do. A book a week sounds difficult to me. I have also enjoyed some of Sophie Kinsella’s work and I love Lucy Foley!. Not ever read any books about ballerinas, except for Ballet Shoes when I was much younger, but I understand your interest!

    The last couple of years I’ve been using books as a form of bibliotherapy as reading (even fiction) helps me learn and grow. Seems as if you like that, too…maybe we could discuss one of these days!


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