The Best Books of 2022 (According to Me)
Last Year I Read 100 books, here are the top ten that you should read.
10. Pawn (Fae Games 1) by Karen Lynch
Jesse James becomes a faerie bounty hunter to find her parents after they disappear and teams up with a group of powerful Fae to find them.
This is the first book in an action-packed urban fantasy series. This year I realized that urban fantasy and fairytale retellings are my go-to's in order to get me out of a reading slump. Those of you who like your fairy porn might be disappointed in the level of spice in these books, but I just love the slow-burn relationship between Jesse and Lukas.
9. Gallows Hill by Darcy Coates
Margot inherits the family winery and manor house on Gallows Hill where everyone says the ground is cursed.
Participating in the Stephen King Readathon in October introduced me to more of the horror genre, and this was probably my favorite read from that month. It was also nominated for the 2022 Goodreads Choice Award for Best Horror.
Up until this year, I hadn’t read a horror book that gave me the same sense of dread and terror that watching a horror movie does, and this did it. The characters were interesting and likable, the stakes were high, and the way the plot plays out was unexpected but satisfying.
8. So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
This book explores the complex racial landscape, particularly in the United States, while also providing actionable steps that readers can take to dismantle the racial divide.
This was an earlier read for me and I think it needs to be essential reading for…well…everyone, but particularly people like me. Aka: White. It holds no punches but also manages to be empowering. Seriously. Read it if you're serious about being an antiracist ally.
7. The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
January is the ward of Mr. Locke who finds a book that tells the tale of secret doors to other worlds.
This was one of the more interesting and unique portal fantasies I’ve read in a long time. The prose are gorgeous and the way the whole story comes together is just masterful.
6. How to Keep House While Drowning: A Gentle Approach to Cleaning and Organizing by K.C. Davis
These principles will change the way you approach home care.
As someone with ADHD, chores are the hardest thing for me to complete. This book really changed the way I approach cleaning. I highly recommend this to anyone that is neurodivergent or who just struggles with basic home care.
Do any of these books sound interesting to you or have you read them? Let me know in the comments!
5. City of Light (Traveler’s Gate 3) by Will Wight
Since this is the final book in the trilogy, I’ll give you a brief synopsis of book 1:
Simon may not be the Chosen One, but that’s not going to stop him from setting off to find a way to rescue his fellow villagers from certain death at the hands of the Travelers - men and women who can summon mystical powers from otherworldly Territories - and their Overlord.
I absolutely loved this trilogy by Will Wight. Will’s Cradle series gets a lot of love from the book community, but I highly suggest if you don’t want to invest in that long of a series, to give this one a read instead. It’s inventive and creative, has complex characters, and is one of the most interesting magic systems I've seen in a really long time.
4. Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Miryem is the daughter of a moneylender who is whisked away by the Staryk king after bragging that she can turn silver into gold and a tale that will forever change not only her life but the lives of everyone in two kingdoms begins.
I grew up loving the tale of Rumpelstiltskin and this is a masterful retelling that doesn’t really resemble the original tale at all, but the way the tale’s elements are used is unique and interesting. If you’re looking for a fairytale retelling where you won’t necessarily be able to figure out what’s happening until all the pieces come together, I highly recommend it. I’ll actually be rereading this book for a book club this month and am looking forward to it.
3. The Poppy War (Book 1) by R.F. Kuang
Rin aces an exam that grants her free admittance into Sinegard - the most elite military school in Nikan - where she will have to navigate a brutal world within, while the Federation of Mugen looms in the distance.
So, I realize I’m a bit late on this bandwagon, but holy crap this was a good book. Especially as someone that majored in Chinese language and literature, this is such a fascinating book. I love how Kuang used Chinese history as the primary influence for the events in this book. I’m really excited to read the second book.
2. All the Feels (Spoiler Alert 2) by Olivia Dade
Alex has a starring role on one of the most popular TV shows, but his reckless and destructive behavior leads to him being assigned a minder in the form of Lauren Clegg, a former ER therapist.
This is the second book in the Spoiler Alert series, but you don’t need to read Spoiler Alert in order to read this book (though you definitely should).
This is on my list because it hit me surprisingly hard. I had just found out about my ADHD and here I was reading a character that, although much more overtly destructive in their life than I am in mine, was going through very similar issues that I was. It was eye opening.
Alex struggles, but he still gets his Happy Ending. This book helped me through a rough time by simply being a good representation of a neurological condition that I have. An excellent example of why representation matters both for neurodiversity and for plus-size women.
1. The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh
Mina volunteers to be the Bride of the Water God and is whisked away into a world of spirits and gods where she will have to prove that she is the “true” bride and end a 100-year curse on the Water God himself.
I read this book twice last year and actually splurged on a Fairy Loot edition off of Pango Books. I lived in South Korea for two years, so the story of the Bride of Habaek is one that I know well. This is a really good retelling that’s as richly steeped in Korean culture as The Poppy War is in Chinese history. This book only improved upon second reading for me and is likely going to be a favorite of mine for a very long time and was definitely my favorite read of 2022.