This post is so late and I wish I could say there’s a good reason, but the truth is that I started watching my very first Turkish series, Love is in the Air, and I have watched 60 episodes in one week, which is an absurd number, and honestly I didn’t want to anything else besides watching it, so no posts were written.
But better late than never, here are my favorite books of 2022. I decided to divide this list by genre and the books in each genre are ranked starting with my favorite.
1. Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas: This was atmospheric, unique, and intriguing. I was utterly captivated while reading it. The fact that the plot was so mysterious and we don’t get all the answers worked perfectly for me. The complex and chaotic characters, as well as the found family element, were some of my favorite things about this. Also, the ending had me on the edge of my seat. (Review)
2. Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes: This was so atmospheric, having an abandoned ship in the middle of space as the setting was a perfect choice, and there were some tension-filled, disturbing moments. The interesting and unique concept was executed really well and while the main character in this book is really flawed, it was also easy to root for her. I also enjoyed the little bit of romance that there was in this and I overall was really invested in the story and couldn’t stop reading.
3. What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher: This was a short, atmospheric, gothic read. It was engaging from beginning to end and had a really satisfying ending, which is hard to do in short horror books. While it wasn’t a scary story, it had a few very unnerving moments.
4. The Houseguest and Other Stories by Amparo Davila: This book is full of disturbing and fascinating short stories that conveyed feelings of dread and desperation very well. There were a lot of vague or open-ended stories, often there were no answers to what was happening, there was no way of knowing if things were real or not, if the narrators were reliable or not, and this added to the unnerving feeling of the stories, which was the strength of the collection.
5. Comfort Me With Apples by Catherynne M. Valente: This short book was mindblowing. It’s smart and quietly disturbing and it touches on some powerful themes and includes interesting commentary revolving around religious and feminist ideas. I found it really thought-proving. (Review)
1. Two Wrongs Make a Right by Chloe Liese: The main characters in this book were so endearing and their romance was cute and heartwarming. I loved how understanding they both were with each other. I appreciated that there was autism and anxiety rep and while that didn’t become the focus of the book, I appreciated that the way it impacted different aspects of their lives, including their relationship, was addressed. There was a mix between a “you’ve got mail” setup and the fake dating trope in this book, and they were executed so well.
2. Lovelight farms by B.K. Borison: This was an excellent friends-to-lovers romance. I loved how much the main characters cared and were there for each other, and how easily they transitioned to a romantic relationship. Luka was a swoon-worthy hero, he and Stella had such a sweet relationship, and there were also a few good steamy moments.
3. Don’t Go Baking My Heart by N.G. Peltier: This is the best representation of the grumpy/sunshine trope I have read. Throughout the book the character development of the two main characters was outstanding and it ended up being really easy to root for them. The chemistry, tension, and slow development of their relationship were all great. Also, the steamy scenes were fantastic.
1. Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano: This cozy mystery was fun, fast-paced, full of twists and turns, and absolutely absurd. It has a main character who was easy to root for and compelling side characters, as well as a plot that was ridiculous but also really entertaining. (Review)
2. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman: This was a charming, quirky and quick read. Seeing a group of old people in a retirement home trying to solve a murder was fun, all the characters are incredibly endearing, and I was interested in the mystery the entire time.
1. A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine: The political maneuvering and intrigue in this book were fantastic, the characters were so clever and interesting, and the worldbuilding was complex without being hard to understand. I also appreciated that this book went in directions that I wasn’t expecting and there were a couple surprising twists that kept it interesting. My favorite thing about this is definitely the discussion about loving and enjoying a culture that it’s imposing itself on your own culture
2. Payback’s a Witch by Lana Harper: I loved the witchy small town, the magic tournament, the humor, the captivating characters, the lovely sapphic romance, the banter between the two main characters, and the personal journey the main character went through. Overall, a fantastic fantasy romance book. (Review)
3. Witchlings by Claribel Ortega: This was such a sweet book, I don’t really read Middle Grade anymore so I wasn’t expecting to love this as much as I did. The characters in this were so charming, the friendship that developed between the three main characters – who are the most unlikely allies ever – was so sweet, the writing was excellent, the worldbuilding intricate but easy to understand, and I loved the use of Spanish in the magic.
1. Kim Ji-Young, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo (4.5 stars): This book was very unique, I sometimes felt like I was reading an academic text or a reportage about the challenges women face in South Korea, thinly veiled as a novel, but at the same time, the story managed to keep me interested. This book covered so many topics, it’s an introduction to the challenges women face, but it doesn’t go too deeply into any of them. Still, by the end of it, especially after reading the last page, it hit me really hard, it made me emotional and I felt a bit hopeless.
2. Happening by Annie Ernaux (4.5 stars): This book is a testament to the power of descriptive writing, Ernaux managed to convey what she was seeing, hearing, feeling, and thinking, accompanied by poignant commentary that makes her experience feel relatable and resonate with women. While the writing in this was beautiful and it was a unique reading experience.