An overview of my favorite reads from 2022
Hey y’all, it’s my annual post on the best books I read in the past year that I write just for myself and anyone else who likes to read. Not sewing related at all, but I like to look back at both the books I read and these posts every year. I realize most people share these types of posts at the end of a year, but I need the year to actually be over and have a few days to reflect before I share my thoughts, so here they are today.
In 2022 I read 113 books, which is pretty close to my all time record of 117 – I still haven’t managed to read as many books as I did in 2018 again. If you’d like to see all the books I read, I’ve pinned them all here. Note that I don’t differentiate between audiobooks and books I read in written form on that board, but I will note which format I read in my reviews because in some cases I do think it might make a difference. Also note that I go through books that I personally read each year, which may or may not have actually been published that year.
This year I’ve got more fiction on my list than last year – 4 of my favorites were fiction. You can see my favorites from 2021 (3 nonfiction, 2 fiction) 2020 (2 nonfiction and 3 fiction) and 2019 (2 nonfiction and 3 fiction) in those posts. I tend to read a lot more fiction than nonfiction, so it surprises me every year that my top 5 aren’t all fiction. And now on to my favorites of 2022, in no particular order.
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. All affiliate links are identified with (affiliate link) after the link or a commissions earned statement above the link(s).
Portrait of a Thief, Grace D. Li
I’ve recommended Portrait of a Thief (affiliate link) over and over this year. I love a new twist on an archetypical story. In this case, we have a heist caper and the twist is that the thieves are Chinese American and their goal is to steal Chinese artifacts to return them to China. The book deals with themes of racism and Western colonization within a fun Ocean’s Eleven kind of plot, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. While I listened to the audiobook of this, I think I would have enjoyed the book just as much in written text form.
Tell Me Everything, Erika Krouse
Tell Me Everything (affiliate link) is another book I’ve recommended to several people this year, especially in audiobook format to those who like to listen to crime podcasts. I enjoy well produced, story drive crime podcasts, and this book is very similar to that. But it’s also a memoir of how this investigation affected the writer, and that, along with the fact that this case has a resolution, takes it up a level from many true crime podcasts I’ve listened to. I am just old enough to vaguely remember the case covered in this book, but not old enough to remember how it was resolved. I resisted the urge to google mid-listen, and I’m glad I did. Trigger warnings for sexual assault. I’d also caution you if you’re a woman and currently not in a place to feel the general rage we’ve all felt at a world that doesn’t believe women.
The Maid, Nita Prose
The Maid (affiliate link) reminded me of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (affiliate link) a favorite book from before I began writing these posts. Molly is a neurodivergent character who finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation. She is a charming heroine and I enjoyed the audiobook quite a bit. I think this is another I would have enjoyed just as much in page form.
Beautiful Little Fools, Jillian Cantor
During my public high school teaching career I taught several sections of English. And if I was still teaching English and had The Great Gatsby in my curriculum, I would be lobbying to teach Beautiful Little Fools (affiliate link) with it. This book takes the female characters in The Great Gatsby and fleshes out their backstories as well as adding on to the original plot. Though I love Gatsby, I will never read it the same way again. I read the written version of this book.
Lessons in Chemistry, Bonnie Garmus
Lessons in Chemistry (affiliate link) surprised me. Probably because of the cover art, I assumed I had checked out a romance novel (and I do read many of those). But it’s not, though there is a love story. Mostly it’s a story of a woman running into walls put up by the patriarchy and how she copes with them. I found Elizabeth, the main character, to be both relatable and entertaining. If you’ve ever had the experience of being an underestimated woman, you’ll probably relate to her as well. I read the text version of this book.
Here are affiliate links to my honorable mention books this year, also in no particular order. I read the text versions of all of these, no audiobooks on this list. You Sound Like a White Girl, Julissa Arce; I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette McCurdy; I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, Erika L. Sánchez; Cloud Cuckoo Land, Anthony Doerr; Carrie Soto is Back, Taylor Jenkins Reid.