Often, when I’ve finished a great book, I look around for someone to tell about it. I usually tell my husband, but never reads the same books I do so the conversation can only go so far. After having read a number of excellent books during last year, I’ve decided I’ll be sharing my top 10 read of 2022 with you instead! I know this post doesn’t exactly fit my crafting niche, but I don’t care, I’m multi-faceted after all!
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My top 10 reads of 2022 are actually in no particular order, in fact I’m not sure which one I’d classify as my favourite. They are all so different from one another it’s like comparing apples to oranges.
In truth, I read 28 books last year, most of them were good but they weren’t all worth recommending.
FYI I won’t be recommending anything with lots of spicy stuff in it. That’s not my scene. But it’s hard to find books these days that don’t have at least a little content that might be considered spicy, mature, violent or graphic. My general rule of thumb is that if it contributes to the story (ie: isn’t gratuitous) and the scenes are few and far between, it gets an ok from me.
But let me put it another way, I will never recommend anything that I’d be mortified for my own mother to read. Make of that what you will!
Top 10 Reads of 2022
All of these books I consumed as audiobooks. I listen while I work or exercise and it’s a strategy that’s gotten me back into reading after a long hiatus while my kids were littles.
I have strong opinions on narration, it can really make or break a book for me. A badly done accent usually means a book is un-listenable for me. But I’ve come across some outstanding narrators in my years of listening to audiobooks, and I’ve listened to other books entirely because they were read by the same voice! (I will listen to ANYTHING read by Richard Armitage!)
I listen to audiobooks through the Libby app which allows me to borrow them for free from my local library. The downside is sometimes I have to wait weeks or even months for popular books to become available.
An Audible membership is a great way to have access to the books you want within minutes.
Ok, let’s dive in!
1. This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay
Synopsis: A hilarious memoir based on the real experiences of a young, overworked OB-GYN doctor in the UK.
Big disclaimer; don’t read it if you’re squeamish. The doctor in question is an OB-GYN and let’s just say his experiences are diverse and surprising. He see some stuff and doesn’t hold back his detailed descriptions! But I laughed out loud so much with this book and that’s a very rare occurrence for me. His story-telling style is hilarious, I love dead-pan British humour. (Until the end, the ending is hard. In fact, it could be triggering for some people.)
2. The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
Synopsis: Each for their own financial reasons, strangers Leon and Tiffy end up sharing a one-bedroom flat since he works nights and she works days.
This is a sweet and quirky rom-com that I really enjoyed. The characters have interesting personalities and back stories. I was very emotionally invested in the outcome of this book. 😛
3. The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer
Synopsis: The stories of Alina in WWII Poland and her granddaughter Alice in modern day America who is trying to unravel her grandmother’s story.
One of my favourite genres is WWII fiction, so I read a lot of it and I can be kinda critical. While I don’t love the literary style of jumping back and forth between eras/storylines, this book was lovely and moving in a sad but hopeful kind of way. I don’t know if that makes sense. But it was captivating.
4. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Synopsis: Through the midnight library, Nora Seed experiences all the myriad ways her life might have looked like if she had made different choices.
Narrated by Carey Mulligan, who has a lovely, soothing, but practical voice, 4.5 stars for narration alone.
Although it was pretty easy to predict the direction the plot was going in, I really enjoyed the innovative way it got there. The story was raw and real and oddly hopeful.
5. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
Synopsis: 1930s depression and dust bowl era America. Elsa is in the struggle of her life trying to keep her children and marriage alive on a dying farm. She undertakes a tremendous journey that highlights that there is nothing a mother won’t do to save her children.
I was a little shocked that I enjoyed a book about the dust bowl as much as I did. (My husband made me watch a documentary once on the topic and I was bored to tears. lol) But I found this story riveting and it spoke so much to the strength of unassuming women. The narration was excellent.
6. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
Synopsis: 13 year old Leni Allbright along with her troubled father and mother, move to Alaska in the 70s to start a life as homesteaders in unforgiving surroundings.
Since I loved The Four Winds so much, I wanted to try another Kristin Hannah book and I was again shocked at how much I could enjoy a book about a topic that had previously been completely uninteresting to me! The research that must have gone into these two books is a bit mind-blowing. The way Hannah weaves the story makes the historical elements completely fascinating though!
(Before you ask, yes, I have read The Nightingale, and I found it a bit disappointing after reading The Four Winds and The Great Alone. But that’s another story.)
7. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
Synopsis: That’s a great question. Haha
Oddly enough, this book wasn’t about anything. There didn’t seem to be a plot, or a point or a struggle to overcome. It was simply a telling of the lives of the people who lived, or grew up in the dutch house. Halfway through reading, I actually googled “What is The Dutch House about”. I guess the answer is, it’s about people, and the complicated realities of a brother/sister relationship.
I’m making it sound terrible. It was actually beautiful and captivating. Narrated by Tom Hanks, which at first I didn’t like because he has very little variation in his reading voice, but he seriously grew on me.
8. Sparks Like Stars by Nadia Hashimi
Synopsis: 30 years after her escape from Kabul during a coup which killed her whole family, Sitara returns to Afghanistan to find answers and closure.
5 stars for narration alone. Mozhan Marno was the narrator and I could seriously listen to her recite the phone book for days. Her voice is caramel and she really made the story come alive.
I was fascinated to learn a little bit about what life was like in 1970s Afghanistan. Turns out I had zero idea. It’s a beautiful and rich narrative with thought provoking historical interest.
9. Giver of the Stars by Jojo Moyes
Synopsis: Small town Kentucky in the 1930s, a group of strong-minded women create and operate a traveling library on horseback through rural countryside while also navigating personal struggles.
Another interesting piece of history I knew nothing about. Again, highlighting the incredible strength and resilience of women in a time and place that was not favourable to them thriving.
10. Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica
Synopsis: Two women and a child go missing within a few blocks of each other. 11 Years after the case goes cold, the child returns and re-opens wounds and secrets as those around her try to fit the pieces of the mystery together.
This one is a mystery and I was definitely hooked. It had twists and turns and an unexpected ending. Some darker elements too, but I would still highly recommend it.
So that’s my list of top 10 reads of 2022! Have you read any of these? What did you think?
I’m constantly on the lookout for book recommendations, so drop some in the comments for me!
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