My Favorite Books From 2022

Published by The Connected Reader on

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – it’s end of year book list time!

For me, this time of year is very reflective, and that includes thinking about the books I read this year. For the past two years, I’ve set a goal of reading 100 books. For the few years before this, I read 50, 60, 70, 80 books in a year and it felt fun to put a stake in the ground and say, I’m going to do 100!

And I’ve done it in a way that works for me; I haven’t read anything I didn’t want to read just to get to the goal, I haven’t felt bad about myself when my reading pace has been slower than intended; I’ve just used the goal as something to aspire to because it means I am enjoying lots of different books and learning a ton.

Last year, I got to 99. This year I made it to 81. 26,640 pages of fun.

I scroll back on the books I read, in the order I read them this year, and I remember the feeling of each month. I had the energy in January and February for more nonfiction. By March, I needed all the comfort books and I rode the wave of the Bridgerton series through the summer. October marked the start of seasonal reading for me and I went from spooky stories and mysteries to cozy holiday rom-coms and stories about families to close out the year.

When I looked back over my reading for 2022, there were 13 books that stood out to me. Some new, some backlist, some middle grade, some young adult, some literary fiction, some nonfiction. All over the place, as was the story of my year.

Have you read any of these? What were your favorites this year?

My Favorite Books From 2022

Find Your Unicorn Space – I wrote a full review of this one here, so all I’ll say is this book continues to influence how I spend my time and helps me prioritize me.

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise – I wrote about this one in a recent monthly reading recap. It’s a middle grade novel and one of the loveliest found family stories I’ve read in a while.

ChorusThis book re-inspires the writer in me. It is literary fiction about a family over generations, but the structure is such that each chapter is written from the perspective of a different family member and captures a moment in that family member’s life. As you put the chapters together, the picture of the whole family comes into focus. Brilliant.

Red, White, and Whole – This is a Young Adult novel in verse that had me crying on the bathroom floor while supervising bath time. It is nostalgic (it takes place in the 1980s) and felt like both a mirror and window to me as I followed the journey of a teenage, Indian American girl navigating her identity and her relationship with her mother.

The Sentence – I’ve been recommending this one to everyone and I wrote a short review of it here. It was my introduction to the author’s adult fiction and I remember sitting in a chair in the backyard, children splashing in a blow-up pool in front of me; I read the first few pages and thought to myself, What is this? I haven’t heard this story before.

The Man Who Died Twice – Is there anything better than finding a series you love? (Actually, finding a series you love that already has a backlist of titles you can read through is better). This was the second book in the Thursday Murder club series that came out recently, about a group of four friends in a retirement community who solve mysteries. I’m loving the series and can’t wait for the fourth book in 2023. 

The Swimmers – I wrote a short review of this one here. When I finally felt like I had some brain space for literary fiction this summer, I picked this one up and was taken by the structure, particularly the second person narration and the shift that occurs between the two main parts of the book. Another example of how short sections focused on a moment can come together to create a full narrative. Kind of like an impressionist painting, but don’t quote me on that because my knowledge of an impressionism is based on a report I did on Claude Monet in fifth grade.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow – I wrote about this one in a recent recap, I rehashing it here, I’m realizing a theme on this list. I love a book with a unique or engaging structure. This one had rotating narrators, and a section that took place inside of a video game that had me feeling both like I didn’t understand what was going on, and was fascinated with how the author was moving the story forward in this way. I also enjoy learning about a world I’m not as familiar with, in this case coding and gaming.

Fury Song – This was the third and concluding book for a Young Adult series I’ve been reading for the last few years and it is refreshing. One of the ways I got back into reading was through Young Adult fantasy and dystopian series – e.g. The Hunger Games, Uglies, Matched, Divergent – and while I’m no expert in the field, I’ve read my share of this genre. And for me, the Fireborne series stands out for the author’s ability to write a story that builds a vibrant world, has the young romance and page-turning action, but also builds a thoughtful and complicated conversation around power and government.

The Prophets – I read this book in February when I still had the stamina and brainspace to make it through a National Book Award finalist. For me, it was the kind of beautiful and devastating that leaves you gasping for air. 

The Wolves are Watching – Full disclosure, the author of this book is a friend of mine – and she is a fantastic writer. I wrote about this book in a recent recap. This is the ultimate seasonal read for fall, but goes way beyond that with an intriguing chorus built into the narration, a historical element that is compelling, and one of the most well-done shifts in voice I’ve ever read.

The Power of Fun – When I look back, this is a great one to pair with Find Your Unicorn Space as I paused to consider how I am spending my time. My biggest takeaway from this book was to be more conscious about the amount of time I spend scrolling on my phone because I think it is fun and feels good, but it’s really just an addiction and a waste of time. I’m still struggling with setting the boundaries for this, but I’m working on it.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – Reading this with my seven-year-old, Big E, and watching the movie, was a highlight of 2022. For me, one of the delightful parts about having children is when they love something that I love, and I get to experience it all over, as if for the first time. That’s what this felt like. I will never recover from the horror my daughter felt at learning what was under Quirrel’s turban.

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Categories: Book Lists


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