In compiling this list, I went straight to my GoodReads and looked for five-star books from 2022. I noticed a trend to fiction and three books from the same author — Taylor Jenkins Reid. In 2022, my reading goal was 100 books which I’ve already passed as of today! But first, I want to update you on my birthday fundraiser — and encourage you to do it, too!
Turn your birthday into a gift for the Library
The final numbers just came in and my birthday fundraiser tops out over $6k this year! I raised over $1,600 through my Facebook fundraiser and the Library Foundation donation link. I matched all those donations and my employer, Microsoft, matched my donation again. Another bonus is for every Microsoft colleague that donated, those donations were also matched by Microsoft again which quadrupled the value.
Microsoft also sends $25 for every volunteer hour that I spend supporting the Library Foundation. As a new Foundation Board member and ramping up my fundraising efforts, I submitted a lot of hours for matching. I look forward to serving on the Board. I’ll also keep using my incredible Microsoft charitable benefits to increase my fundraising impact.
Amount Caroleen Burroughs raised with a birthday challenge with corporate matching gift
Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng
This is Celeste Ng’s (pronounced “-ing”) third book and another bestseller. I love her beautiful prose which borders on poetry (to me). The alternate world themes with the loose ties to a global economic crisis (read pandemic) are quite relevant in COVID. As an Asian-American, I also found the exploration of the anti-Asian themes both scary and fascinating.
Quit: The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away by Annie Duke
“If you feel like you’ve got a close call between quitting and persevering, it’s likely that quitting is the better choice.” People talk about having grit and crossing the finish line, but knowing when to quit can be the most important decision of all. This book really hit home for me as someone who is a “do-er”.
Smart Brevity: the Power of Saying More with Less by Jim Vandehei
Remote work is real. Emails are overflowing. Chats and texts are non-stop. Like the adage: Be brief, be bright and be gone. Everyday, the struggle to communicate through words is real. I loved this book’s tips and real world examples!
Carrie Soto Is Back, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, and Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I love binge reading authors! I rated three of her books as five star this year. Carrie Soto is Back was especially fun as I also play tennis. Since I’m not hitting the pro-circuit anytime soon, it was fun to experience those on-court adventures through Carrie Soto.
Solito: A Memoir by Javier Zamora
Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
Because of the odd title, I kept bypassing this suggested Amazon Kindle read. I’m so glad that I finally read it. As a jigsaw puzzle lover, this book is like a finishing a giant puzzle in the most satisfying ways. The multiple story lines across different time periods click together perfectly at the end. As a book lover, I also loved the theme of valuing the preservation of stories across generations.
Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney
I highly recommend this book as an audio book. The author is Irish and the book is narrated by a native Irish woman, Aoife McMahon. The story lines sound simple with following the paths of two women and two men across decades of their relationships. The magic comes in how the author explores topics in life with beautiful prose and conversation. The Irish narration really made the book!
About Caroleen Burroughs
Caroleen Burroughs is a Charlotte native and life-long library lover. She frequents the SouthPark library for picking up books, jigsaw puzzle swaps, MakerSpace, and enjoying the wonderful outdoor patios for quiet time. After many years as a mechanical engineer in manufacturing, she transitioned to banking, and is now a Product Manager in Engineering at Microsoft. She’s passionate about supporting girls in STEAM and women in technology. For fun, you’ll find her reading a library book, playing tennis, or doing a jigsaw puzzle. She lives in Charlotte with her husband Joe and teenage daughter Reeves.