Friday, December 23, 2022

2022: Books of the YEAR!!

This year was an excellent year to be a reader. I ended the year shattering my reading goal, devouring over 122 print books and more than 100 audiobooks. I read more than 112 books from 2022, and as a self-important weirdo, I only include books from the current year on my top 10. I adored Lucy by the Sea and A World of Curiosities, but neither of them made this list because I needed to cut something, and I decided that books in a series was where I would draw the line.

All 10 of these books are terrific, but the top 5 are particularly amazing-- read them if you haven't already.

French Braid
by Anne Tyler: Such a delight to open a new Anne Tyler book. I love how precisely and sparely her books are written. They are so rich, and the characters are like old friends, but she does not use a single extra word, and she revels in the quotidian. This book was a delight.

This Time Tomorrow
by Emma Straub: This book was so fun to gobble up. It was funny and nostalgic and relatable and touching. I laughed! I cried! I spend through it.

Remarkably Bright Creatures
by Shelby Van Pelt: This is great and it's a debut. This story and these people- and one octopus— stayed with me after I finished the book-- always a good sign.

Our Missing Hearts
by Celeste Ng: Heartbreaking. How far will we go as a culture toward hate and dehumanization? How much will we tolerate as citizen onlookers?

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin: I adored this one and read it on the beach, even though it's not light enough to be a beach read. Zevin introduces really likable, quirky characters and follows them through adulthood in a way that lets reads fall in love only to have our hearts broken. It reminded me of Kayla Rae Whitaker and Meg Wolitzer, 2 faves of mine.

Now Is not the Time to Panic by Kevin Wilson: This books is so weird and just perfect. I loved the main characters, especially the narrator, and the supporting characters were wonderful as well. 

Lessons in Chemistry
by Bonnie Garmus: I put off reading this one because I was SO SURE that because everyone else loved it, it had to be not as good as I would want it to be. BUT NOPE. IT IS AS GOOD AS YOU THINK. I will say that because I study and teach feminist history, I was not surprised by the way the main character was treated, how society thought of motherhood, etc-- I know this revelation was an important part of why people loved the book, but I loved it anyway.

Big Girl
by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan: I loved this coming of age story that is also a sharp critique of the way hegemony shapes Black bodies. You might not have heard about this book, but now that you have, you should read it.

To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara: I read this early in 2022 and remembered it all year. It so intricately plotted and exquisitely written. I love that you can enjoy this book on a more surface level, or you can think deeply about what it all means and how the stories connect, characters recur, etc. If I were an English professor it would be a joy to teach this book and read it again and again.

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver: I am NOT a Dickens fan, and I haven't even read David Copperfield, actually, but this book is astounding, and I want everyone to read it. It’s, like, everything we wanted from Hillbilly Elegy with none of the authoritarian, boot-scrappy politics. 


  1. Anonymous8:04 AM

    This is Lisa from Lisa’s Yarns. My phone once again won’t let me comment under my profile. Stupid google! You had an amazing read year!! I will probably hit 110 total. I don’t separate out audiobooks but I only read 1 this year. Lessons in Chemistry was my favorite read of the year! I just started Our Missing Hearts. I have heard mixed reviews but hopefully I love it as much as you did! Now is Not the Time to Panic is my book club pick for 2023! Hopefully it goes over well with my bookclub.

    I feel like 2022 was an epically good reading year. So many great books were published!

    1. Anonymous8:14 AM

      Our Missing Hearts was my least fave of HER books, but it was still a darn good book. I would love to read the Wilson book with other people and see what they thought. I was slow to read Lessons in Chemistry because it was so hyped, but it was as good as everyone said-- such a delight when that happens

    2. Anonymous8:18 AM

      (Also this is Sarah-- same phone probs)

  2. I just stared Our Missing Hearts! And my husband just started listening to Tomorrow Etc! Fun to see them both on this list. Normally I am not a romance reader, but I keep seeing Lessons in Chemistry EVERYWHERE and maybe I need to read it?

    1. It’s great. Not a romance per se (no sex at all) but a sad and quirky love story at the center of the plot

  3. Oh, wow! I'm going to bookmark this. I've only read Lessons in Chemistry (loved it, but was unprepared for some of the violence). I have Tomorrowx3 on my library hold list, but I love to see everyone else's lists of five star reads because that's definitely a good place to start my own 2023 reading lists.

    1. I really like all of Gabrielle Zevin’s books—- especially The Storied Life of AJ Fikery, and I agree about the violence in Chemistry—- also unprepared.