Top Five of 2022

I did not realise until writing this I had so many rereads in my five star category. I thought there’d be more but clearly I was not that generous last year. I thought about adding some four stars but that is not the rules here. I had 25 to choose from and most of them were in a series or rereads. On the flipside, if I had read the pile of picture books I had gotten from work last year when I borrowed them instead of early in the new year I would have a few more options for that category, but those will have to wait for next time. Like last year where I only had four main reads, this time I only have four in my picture books. I will definitely have to up my reading game this year and try and find some magnificent reads that are stand alone books.

But that’s a later problem. These are my top five reads of 2022.

Animorphs by K. A. Applegate

The highlight of the whole entire year was finally reading the masterpiece that is Animorphs. As a whole I have to give the entire series five stars. A lot of the individual books rated five stars, but I have to acknowledge the absolute way this series took over my life for two months and continues to live in my head as one of the most impactful things I’ve ever read.



The Martian by Andy Weir

This was a reread but it was amazing once again. I love the humour and the amazing science behind it. Mark is a great narrator and Weir tells the story in creative ways that are impactful and clever. There are enough little surprises that each time I am amazed by a plot twist because there’s tiny details I forget while other favouritess stick firmly in my mind.




Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

This is number two in the series but it was an amazing read. Wayward Children is a brilliant series and tells the story of children who have found other worlds and then returned to their original world often against their wishes. Down Among the Sticks and Bones is the backstory of two characters we met in book one and is an incredible insight into their characters and the imagination of McGuire. It’s a tad morbid and maybe lightly gruesome in context with mad scientists and paranormal figures but highly enjoyable with a fabulous narrative voice and dry humour.

Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden

Another reread but the entire series holds up really well. My favourite book is still number five Burning for Revenge but going on the whole journey with Ellie, Homer and everyone else after so many years was so much fun and it’s truly a classic Aussie YA series everyone should read. It goes through the realities of war, of growing up, of being teenagers, and enduring the unexpected and unfathomable.



The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Even though I gave this five stars when I read it, it feels weird adding to my Top Five. It feels too obvious. Too…I dunno, weird. But it certainly a five star read. Douglas Adams is a genius with his words, his ideas, his ability to loop everything back together and weave the strings together where what seems nonsensical suddenly had greater meaning. And then of course at the same time make you realise nothing has meaning. It’s a fantastic book and a great introduction to the five book trilogy and even though it seems a clear choice, you can’t ignore it is still all these years later an amazing read.



Picture Books

The Rock From the Sky by Jon Klassen

Jon Klassen is one of my all-time favourite picture book authors and this is a new addition to his spectacular catalogue. The humour found in all his books is there, there’s drama and beauty, suspense and jealousy. The use of the page in terms of illustrations and text narration is amazing and I love the unexpectedness of the story.


Fluffy McWhiskers Cuteness Explosion by Stephen W. Martin

I was crying with laughter by the end of this book which is a solid review in itself. The illustrations are also fantastically cute, filled with colour and great character designs. The humour is great, it’s engaging for kids and adults, and the absurdity adds a whole other level of enjoyment.


The Littlest Yak by Lu Fraser

Once again drawn in by a cute cover and rewarded with a great story. The illustrations aren’t only adorable but there is a great story about wanting to big and grown up only to realise there is something wonderfully special about being yourself and not rushing to change who you are.


Mini Rabbit Must Help by John Bond

I was surprised how much I adored this book. Mini Rabbit is adorable and her desire to help and her curiosity and enthusiasm for everything is lovely. The illustrations are charming and really pull you into the story and make you invested in the story.


The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (#1) by Douglas Adams

Happy Birthday Douglas Adams. It is a shame you left us alone in this world so early, but I assure you, you will not be forgotten. In honour of your birthday I would like to look at one of the greatest radio shows, television shows, and book “trilogies” out there: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Responsible for so many brilliant quotes; insights into life, the universe, and everything; demonstrating the nature of Vogon poetry (though on no account allow a Vogon to read poetry at you); and the saga that made the world that little bit greater.

Whilst performing in the West End, Douglas Adams was discovered by Python member Graham Chapman and worked with the Python boys on a few sketches for Flying Circus and on The Holy Grail. A few years later Adams also worked with John Lloyd, one of the brains behind the BBC’s brilliant QI. Lloyd helped Adams in part with the radio show in 1978, but it wasn’t until 1979 that the novel version was first published.

This is the first book in the trilogy and created as an adaptation from part of the radio programme. This radio programme turned book was then made into a television show. This television show, based on the book, based on the radio show was then turned into a movie but it wasn’t very good so in my mind the lineage stops at television show. There have also been numerous extensions created from these and a part of Hitchihiker’s manages to find its way into all aspects of life, and deservedly so.

Published: September 27th 1995
Goodreads badgePublisher: Del Rey
Pages: 216
Format: Book
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
★   ★   ★   ★   ★  – 5 Stars

Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”) and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox–the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod’s girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.

I adore the Hitchhiker’s Trilogy. I fell in love with the television show first, then the radio show, then the books. Douglas Adams’ genius shows throughout them all. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy begins with a house. Not a remarkable house by any means, the only person for whom this house was in any way special was Arthur Dent; a simple man, no more worries than the usual person, except that he wakes to find his home about to be demolished for a bypass. This sets off a series of events as his friend Ford Prefect informs him that in fact the house is the least of his problems since the world is going to be demolished, in twelve minutes…to make way for a hyperspace bypass.

With Ford by his side, Arthur begins an adventure of a highly unusual and sometimes surreal nature, all whilst wearing his dressing gown. After hitchhiking surreptitiously onto a Vogon ship; surviving improbability; using doors that have a cheerful and sunny disposition; meeting the creator of Norway; finding out the Answer to the Great Question of Life, the Universe and Everything; and having a generally wild and exciting time, they decide to have lunch. Why? Because the history of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass through three distinct and recognisable phases, those of Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as the How, Why and Where phases. For instance, the first phase is characterised by the question How can we eat? the second by the question Why do we eat? and the third by the question Where shall we have lunch? That’s why.

There are so many things to love about this book. We are introduced a range of unique and peculiar characters such as the President of the Galaxy Zaphod Beeblebrox, Trillion, Marvin, the sperm whale, and a host of others that add to the organised chaos. What is also wonderful is that what is mentioned in this book becomes connected to those in the rest of the trilogy, this is evident through the titles alone.

The Answer is possibly one of the most well known aspects of Hitchiker’s Guide. Stephen Fry, a friend of Adams and a glorious person all round, claims that Adams told him why the answer is what it is. Fry says that “Douglas told me in the strictest confidence exactly why [it is what it is]. The Answer is fascinating, extraordinary and, when you think hard about it, completely obvious. Nonetheless amazing for that. Remarkable really. But sadly I cannot share it with anyone and the secret must go with me to the grave. Pity, because it explains so much beyond the books. It really does explain the secret of life, the universe, and everything.” And if Mr Fry says it is so, and Mr Adams says it is so, then who are we to question?

As I brushed over before there was a movie, no matter how much we try and deny it. I will say that as always the book is better than the movie. Whatever that thing was in 2005 that passed as a movie should be banned. I understand the bias considering I grew up watching the television show and reading the book, and those who loved the book may have thought the same about the television show when it first came out; but that felt a lot closer to the original story than the film did. Maybe not, maybe I just didn’t like it. It’s a complex emotion.

There are a total of five books in the original trilogy, however a sixth was written. And Another Thing… was published on the thirtieth anniversary of the first book’s publication. I have yet to read this book, but I am keen. This final installment was written by Eoin Colfer, of Artemis Fowl fame. My affection for Colfer may or may not impact on my opinion of his addition to the trilogy, it could go either way, but we’ll have to see. I’d like to think a mind like Colfer will do Adams justice, Adams himself was always planning on writing a sixth, and there are few who could replicate it like Adams, but Colfer is a fair starting point.

There are a multitude of glorious quotes that come out of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, both the book, radio show, and the television series.

– “Many were increasingly of the opinion that they’d all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans.”

– “Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.”

– “A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.”

– “The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.”

– “Space,” it says, “is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemists, but that’s just peanuts to space.”

– “Ford,” he said, “you’re turning into a penguin. Stop it.”

– “For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.”

– “Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again.”

– “Looking up into the night sky is looking into infinity — distance is incomprehensible and therefore meaningless.”

– “This must be Thursday,’ said Arthur to himself, sinking low over his beer.’I never could get the hang of Thursdays.”

– ” Humans are not proud of their ancestors, and rarely invite them round to dinner.”


I could quote forever, the fact there are an entire trilogy’s worth, plus a radio show, plus a television show, each filled with strange references and quotes just adds to the joy of Adams’ creative mind.

So it is on this day, where we review the obscure, absurd, perfectly reasonable story of The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I wish Douglas Adams a very happy birthday and say he is sadly missed.

If you like you should visit to find out more about him. There is information there about lectures that are given each year about life, the universe, and everything in honour of Adams. You should also track down the documentary that looks at his life and his work. If you have read this trilogy, or once you have read this trilogy you should branch out, find his other works as he has many more wonderful books out there just waiting to be read.

Embrace yourself in the Douglas Adams wonder upon this day, read something spectacular while you relax on your towel, and most importantly, Don’t Panic.