Ten Books to Finish in 2022

Winter Landscape

With both Christmas and New Year now over, I still haven’t posted any challenges and I’m still mulling over what I want to tackle.  But what I do have is a couple of lists which I want to focus on.  I usually read multiple books at a time but I’ve developed a bad habit over the last few years of starting books and not completing them, even though I have every intention of finishing.  So my first list for the new year is unfinished books that I need to … well, FINISH!



1. Moby Dick Herman Melville


2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame


3. Nicholas Nickleby


4. Three Men on the Bummel


5. Reveries of the Solitary Walker


6. How To Be A Friend an ancient guide to true friendship Cicero


7. A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland


8. The City of God


9. The Last Chronicle of Barset


10. The History of Napoleon Buonaparte


I won’t confess how long it’s been since I started some of them, but I have a good recollection of most so I’ll carry on where I left off with the exception of number 10 which I’ll start from the beginning.

How about you?  Do you have any unfinished books that you want to complete in 2022?

32 thoughts on “Ten Books to Finish in 2022

  1. What a good goal to try to complete those unfinished books hanging over you! If you manage all of these in one year I’ll be very impressed. I get in definite trouble if I”m reading a chunkster along with too many other books that distract me and cause me to lose the thread of a long story. I tend to do better if I narrow down my focus. I started The Three Musketeers some time ago and I’d like to finish that.

    • I’ve read more than halfway through many of these, so hopefully a push to the end won’t be too arduous. If I finish them all, I’ll be surprised. When I looked back at some of my lists recently, I tend to get through half, which is more than I expected.

      I’ve begun The Three Mustketeers for the second time and am enjoying it. Hopefully it won’t show up on another unfinished list, lol!

  2. Usually after a while I just give up…I go pull the bookmarks out of the book & figure I’ll have to start again. Books of essays, though, I might keep at for a while. But that said, the first book of the year I finished was Edmund Wilson’s Shores of Light, which I’d been reading for a couple of months…

    • I’m actually surprised that I remember as much as I do from these works. However, sometimes I jot down notes, which help me remember.

      Great to hear that you’ve finished one book already! I always admire the pace at which you read.

      • I may have been mostly finished by the time the year started…

        There’s always someone who reads more. I keep reading this yearend summaries and thinking wow! And even if 100 of those books somebody just read are YA or children’s that’s still 200 more books than I read.

        Since you’ve read any of City of God, that’s pretty impressive!

        • I find the people who read 100+ books are reading quite a few easy ones. That’s why I admire your pace: you may not read as many as someone else but the quality/difficulty is always excellent.

          I like Augustine! He’s becoming like an old friend … 😊

  3. The Long Weekend & The Reader Over Your Shoulder by Graves and Hodge. it’s 2 in one: 20th C. history and a writing manual. i’m a big fan of Robert Graves and i hoped to finish this when i first got it, but it’s 829 pages long, filled with solid and intense lore and advice and i’ve not done more than dabble in it. probably never will read it cover to cover…
    i’ve only read MD once; doing it again seems staggering at this point… and i’ve read some of the others, but not lately. maybe i’m reading too many shorter works, sort of adhering to a weekly blog post schedule; if i quit blogging i could read some longer ones, but it’s fun and i sense that my lit discipline has eroded quite a little bit, lol…

    • I can understand not being able to finish a Graves book that is so long. Unless it completely grabs your attention, it makes sense to put it aside.

      Moby Dick has been a really interesting and enjoyable read for me so far. I think it’s because I have a lovely illustrated edition and the illustrations are part of the enjoyment. If I get into it more, it might get tougher but right now, I’d love to read it a second time (I say that without having finished the first, lol!) I do have a tendency to love digressions.

      I struggle sometimes with posting reviews, as I think if I didn’t review, I could read more. But I love going back to my posts to draw out insights from my first readings so I’m going to try my hardest to post as much as I can. Both reading and writing are valuable. I just wish there was more TIME!

  4. I’m abstaining from new challenges, but I have a TBR cart that I’m trying to get through, and I want to make some progress on my Classics Club 2.0 list this year. I’m 2 full years in, and I’ve only read 9 books, so I’ve got some catching up to do if I want to finish in 5 years!

    • I know! I’m in the same boat as you for my classics club list! Five of these are on the list though so that’s good. I can’t even think of my TBR. I have so many other lists I’m trying to get through I can only hope for cross-overs!

  5. Hi Cleo — hope all is well! I had forgotten what difficult things you read; I couldn’t imagine tackling all of these in one year. I’m afraid that I just generally give up on a book and don’t go back to it. For an undisputed classic, like Moby Dick, I might come back in three or four years (in fact, that’s how I finally read all about the great white whale, on my third or fourth attempt, no less). For something contemporary and popular, I just forget it or at most, skim to the end to see how things turn out.
    I know what you mean about completion. I’ve had a bad year here and there where I simply couldn’t manage to complete any serious reading.
    I was a little tempted to make 2022 an unstructured year of reading, but decided to do the European Reading Tour, as I really enjoyed it last year. I was also happy to see that the Back to the Classics Challenge is up and running and may participate in that to some extent. Of course, I never read all the books, but I sure have fun picking them out!

    • I used to read more difficult works but either my brain is decaying or I’ve needed a break, lol! Following The Well-Educated Mind list has forced me to read challenging works and I’ve found it very valuable. But it does take lots of brainpower and more time.

      I’m the same as you with contemporary/popular novels. Rarely do they stick with me.

      I sensed your year was more tumultuous than normal. I hope everything gets back to “normal” and that you find peace in reading and many other things. I’m glad you’ve decided to participate in some challenges. The European challenge is fun and I’m also going to join the Back to the Classics challenge. I was glad to see it back.

      Oh yes! I find even if I don’t complete the challenges, I definitely get through more books because of them!

  6. I do hope you finish Moby Dick and City of God. To be fair, City of God isn’t light reading. It is like the Bible. You can’t sit down and read huge chunks of it at a time and digest what you just read. You kind of have to take it slowly. But MD should be much fairer.

    Of course, I never finished Nicholas Nickleby; so, to answer your questions, that is one I must return to. I’m about 1/3 of the way.

    How were you liking Cicero? I feel like one of these days I need to read some of his writings.

    • That’s a good point: I should pull out City of God right now and read a bit at a time while I read other books.

      I loved Nicholas Nickleby until about ¼ of the way through and then he began to sound like Dickens again, lol! Sometimes I wish he would tell a simple story with deep characters instead of having to insert a multitude of caricatures. However, either way, he’s still a good read.

      I LOVE Cicero. I first read his Defence Speeches and while they were all excellent, the first one blew me away. I think it should be required reading for all homeschoolers. 👩‍🎓

  7. So many great books here! Nicholas Nickleby, Moby-Dick, and How to Be a Friend were some highlights for me. I also have my eye on the Modern Library paperback of The City of God, with its gorgeous cover, but I should probably wait to buy another chunkster…

    I have the same struggle with finishing books. It comes of being a mood reader whose moods change faster than I can keep up with. 😆 This year I will be finishing Crime and Punishment and hopefully The Sickness Unto Death by Kierkegaard. There’s certainly others I ought to finish, but those are the only two I feel most determined about!

    • If the cover gets you reading, I say, go for it!

      I get distracted by group reads on Goodreads or seeing a book on a blog that I’ve forgotten about (like Crime and Punishment, lol!) but really want to read. It’s terrible. Even now I think I have more books planned in my head than I can accomplish.

      I’d really like to read Crime and Punishment this year …. I started it a couple of years ago and, well ….. you know ….. 😉 I’ve always wanted to read Kierkegaard but I started After Virtue by Alasdair MacIntyre and his summary of Kierkegaard’s beliefs were certainly different than I expected. It was like Kierkegaard had periods in his life when he believed one thing and later something else very different. So I’d like to find out more before I start one of his books.

      I hope you have a great 2022 reading year, Marian!

      • Thanks, Cleo! So far I have done very little reading this week, but my hope for this year is quality over quantity. 🙂

        My first K. was Fear and Trembling, and it was a good starting point. It’s very focused on the story of Abraham and Isaac and doesn’t get overly deep into philosophy. Another good source is a collection of his essays called “Provocations,” which gives topical snippets of his thinking from different sources. I think what I love most about his writing is that behind the discourse, you can still hear the human searching for answers, and that is comforting.

        Crime & Punishment is quite meandering (someone described it to me as cyclical), but on this second attempt, it has been really good so far, if not my favorite Dostoyevsky.

        • MacIntyre implied that Kierkegaard’s philosophy (perhaps his earlier philosophy????) was part of causing the mess we’re in now. Of course, he had lots of help along the way. The book (After Virtue) is so deep that I can’t remember exactly what he said but it made me much more leery of Kierkegaard. I will defninitely give him a try one day though.

          So far my favourite Dostoyevsky is The Brothers Karamazov. I liked The Idiot too but felt that I missed lots of what D was trying to communicate. I’ve just purchased a couple of volumes of a 5 volume biography on his life and I do hope I get a chance to read them to get to know him better.

          • Ooh interesting. Yeah I definitely recommend reading K’s actual work. From what I’ve encountered so far, he comes across very sincere and reverent. Works of Love certainly changed my life for the better. 🙂

            A biography of Dostoyevsky sounds fascinating!

  8. I think finishing books we start is a great new year goal; but I also think that we should not spend our time reading books that do not work for us. Life is short and there are too many books to read. I finished Rousseau when we had started and it gave me a lot of food for thought! But I have not made any headway with Boswell or St Augustine. So maybe one of them at the very least this year! I am not going with any challenges this year and least of Goodreads Reading goals — I will just read what I feel like and when I feel like and be liberated a bit this year in terms of reading choices. Happy Bookish 2022 to my sister!

    • I completely agree with your philosophy when it comes to modern books and I used to agree generally, but there have been too many classics that I’ve abandoned and then come back to, to find them invaluable. I hated The Picture of Dorian Gray for about ⅔ of the way through but when I finished, it became one of my favourites. So I do like to finish pre-1900 classics even if they don’t start out great.

      You are so good. I can’t imagaine what Rousseau would say about my inconsistency (wait! Perhaps maybe I can, lol!)

      Your plans for the year are devoid of pressure and I can expect you will have a great reading year for 2022!

  9. So many great books. I liked Moby Dick. Would love to read City of God someday. Have Hunch Back of Notre Dame on the shelves but haven’t started. Big books I didn’t finish were Count of Monte Cristo and Sharon Kay Penman’s When Christ and His Saint’s Slept. Both which were really good but stopped and went on to other things. So those are two big books I’d really like to finish. I have quite a few chunky and dusty books on my shelves so my goal is to read those and not buy anything new. I’m halfway through Wolf Hall, taking my time to read slowly and really enjoying it. Happy New Year!

    • Hey Robin! Good to see you!! I think often we don’t finish books, not because we don’t enjoy them but because we get distracted and just don’t finish. Perhaps it’s the curse of a culture that’s too busy and never helps people to practice concentrating on one thing. In any case, I’m glad to hear you have some good plans for a start to 2022. I’m going to try to read more this year to get back to your 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge. It used to be so easy for me but no more. But if I can get to 30 this year, I’m going to try it again next.

      All the best to you and your family!!

  10. Depending on how far you are in each of these, it seems like an ambitious list! But a good one. I’ve noticed that if I get so far in, the book will get finished, but if it’s less than 50-100 pages when I set a book down for other distractions, I might as well restart at some future point. I guess that means I don’t have any unfinished books except the ones I’m currently reading!

    • I’m quite far in many of them. I think City of God I’m at least half done and it’s HUGE! More than 100 pages in in all of them. And as I mentioned to Cirtnecce, if it’s a classic I’m determined to finish as, even if I don’t like the book, I do get something valuable out of it. My only unfinished book that I don’t think I’ll return to is Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Too depressing.

    • Yes, isn’t there? Why do I do this to myself? 😩 I’m reading a little of Nicholas Nickleby but I have to get going on the others. The Cicero book was very good but I always enjoy Cicero. His Defence Speeches were amazing.

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