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.


Hamlet by John Marsden

Published: 8th April 2013Goodreads badge
Bolinda Audio
Length: 5 hours
Format: Audio CD (4 Discs)
Narrator: Humphrey Bower
Genre: Young Adult
★   ★   ★   ★   ★  – 5 Stars

Hamlet’s father has just died. By the time they’ve filled in the grave his mother has remarried. Hamlet suspects foul play, and it’s troubling his spirit. Or maybe he was always troubled. Ophelia is in love with him. His best friend Horatio can’t work him out. Then, on a cold, still night, Hamlet meets the ghost of his father…

John Marsden, one of Australia’s most-loved writers, takes Shakespeare’s famous play and turns it into a moving and full-blooded novel.

I have wanted to read this novelisation of Hamlet since it was first published and I am so incredibly happy that I was not disappointed. It exceeded my expectations (whatever they were) and it has made me wish that more of Shakespeare’s plays were given the Marsden novelisation treatment because I think they would be divine.

Whether it’s Marsden magic or just the fact that the novel could include more detail, but I had so much more sympathy for Hamlet listening to this than I ever did with the play. Marsden’s words really brings out Hamlet’s home life and his despair, yes, he is a dramatic idiot and you roll your eyes at him at the start, but through the rest of the story you see what his life is like, what he is like, and you really pity him and for the situation his father put him in and how it affects him.

The plot follows the play in terms of events, I did find myself waiting lines to be included that are so well known from the play, but Marsden doesn’t fall for cheap copying, the same elements are there, the same moments, but Marsden doesn’t reduce this novelisation to simply adding quotes from Shakespeare in it.

The tragedy is there, Horatio is amazing and I love him throughout. He is my absolute favourite character in this whole thing. The extension of the story allows more character depth I found, you really get a sense of not just Hamlet, but also Ophelia, Claudius and the rest. Claudius’ villainy is evident; Marsden shows us his thoughts and feelings, his desires and plans in detail that offers explanation and depth to his character. The same is true of Ophelia as her love for Hamlet is expressed through the thoughts and actions of a young woman discovering who she is and what she wants.

Marsden doesn’t update the play either, the same events are there, but they aren’t modernised or anything. Set in a time with swords and ships the locations are the same, and Marsden’s writing feels write for the era in which it is set. Not overly complex but not basic either, very poetic and melodic at times, very Shakespeare without being Shakespeare.

This was my first time listening to an audio book and it was a wonderfully absurd contrast listening to a novel which is based on a play, meaning that it was like a radio play of sorts, even though it is not written as such. Humphrey Bower as narrator did an excellent job and because you are so engrossed in the story it’s easy to follow as the voices change and you’re hardly aware that is just one person reading. I would easily call this my favourite adaptation of Hamlet and I would readily sit down and read, or listen, to it all over again.

You can purchase Hamlet via the following

Print book

AmazonBook Depository

Booktopia | QBD


Amazon Aust | Amazon

Booktopia | Book Depository





So it’s come to news, not that we don’t have news, we have a lot of news, and an update on my failure to deliver isn’t required but it is still sad. Server issues all week, a very hectic life, a wandering notebook and little sleep (like super little sleep), have put a damper on my plans of excitement sharing about the super awesome fun times I have been having, but rest assured I will be boasting! Not only do I have the continuing adventures of my Newcastle Writers Festival to get up where I was inspired and enthralled by the likes of Courtney Collins, Ryan O’Neill, Patrick Cullen, and so many more I could list them forever but I won’t, but I also got to meet one of my authorial heroes.

On Friday I was lucky enough to go to a talk by Australian author and personal idol, John Marsden and it was absolutely wonderful. I would like to think I behaved in a terribly adult manner when I got to meet him but I feel that would be a lie. As I stood in line with my pile of books ready to be signed I could feel my heart pounding and the realisation that the man who wrote Checkers, So Much To Tell You, Winter, and The Tomorrow Series was mere metres away was almost too much. I did have enough control to have a proper conversation with him, but I have witnesses that the before and after I was ‘fangirling’ (Googled it, seems to fit). I do not mind for one simple reason: for me John Marsden was, and is, the author who made me realise books have a lot of power over a reader, he can engage you with his words and with his stories, and in doing so he has the ability to twist everything you every thought about writing, about books, and even about the story you just read. I started reading his books at 13 and I haven’t stopped. I will talk more when I get the post up in a few days (*fingers crossed*), but it was truly one of the best moments I have had.

Then on Saturday the Sydney Writers Festival program was released after an excellent launch on Thursday night. I have already made my schedule and booked what needs to be booked. It is going to wonderful. Dates are 20-26 May, but there are events on before as well, all details are on their site.

Other news that is more pressing than news that is going to be gushed about later is the fact that Kerry Letheby’s blog tour began today over on Time 2 Blog. She will be providing Lost in a Good Book with a post on Friday and you can follow where the tour will be next and the find the other blogs here. Kerry might even drop by to answer any questions you may have as well. Her book is very good, it is suspenseful, mysterious, and very touching, a great read.

Reminder with the shameless self promotion, Lost in a Good Book has a Facebook page and a Twitter where you can get loads (maybe not loads), but a lot of book, reading, and other related things that don’t get put on the blog. So head on over there and click all the appropriate buttons to start finding all the goodies. I’m also on Goodreads if you wanted to check out other reviews that are not on here, always forget about my poor Goodreads despite the fact I live on it.

Also I was nominated for a second Liebster Award by the delightful Jess at The Never Ending Bookshelf! So that post will also be going up soon as well. So much time and so little to see post! Strike that, reverse it. (Woo, Willy Wonka for the funnies!)

Despite still being very much in April I do have secret news that I can reveal in May but that is all I am saying. Super secret news is for my ecstatic squeals and joy only for now, but your turn will come.

Ok! Well I think that is finally all the news, check out all the links and get excited about all the upcoming things, enjoy your remaining Monday night, and read something spectacular.