I don’t know what it was about 2022, but it was an excellent reading year for me! I blew my total books read from 2021 (37 books) out of the water by reading 57 books. And, I really enjoyed my selections last year. My 2022 reads included suspense/mysteries, memoirs, comedic essays, fantasy, and more. Since 57 is a lot of books to recap, I’m going to pull out my favorites. These are the titles I rated 5 stars on Goodreads.

“Less” by Andrew Sean Greer”

I think I read this at the perfect time of the year. It was one of the last books I read so I was in a reflective mood. The story follows the bumbling Arthur Less on a sometimes chaotic trip around the world. He starts his journey to avoid his ex-boyfriend’s wedding. The more I read about Less, the more I thought, “Your life is pretty good; just look around more!” This is a quiet, endearing novel that made me smile.

“The Girl in the Tower” by Katherine Arden

This is the second in a trilogy. I also read the first — “The Bear and the Nightingale” — in 2022 which was also very good, but had to spend a lot of time doing setup for the later novels. The setting of 14th-century Russia is unique to the fantasy I have read. And the use of myths, history and religion gives this series its own magic. Vasya, the main character, has more depth than teen/young women usually do in fantasy. I can’t wait to read #3!

“Sea of Tranquility” by Emily St. John Mandel

There is time travel, a moon colony and a pandemic in this book, but really that’s just the window dressing. But how to describe what the book is actually about? Nothing matters; everything matters. We are all the same; we are all different. Everything is horrible; everything is beautiful. At any rate, Mandel’s writing is stunning, and I highly recommend this book.

“We Should All Be Feminists” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I finally got around to reading Adichie’s 2012 essay (65 pages) on why we should all be feminists. She offers a straightforward, at times humorist, argument. It is easy to digest and leaves you with a sense of hope.

“The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls

Another book that I had been meaning to get to for several years, Walls’ memoir explores her childhood growing up in poverty with volatile parents. Though many details of her youth are troubling, her father instilled a love of learning and exploration in his children. Walls skillfully illustrates both the positives and negatives of her childhood.

“Calypso” by David Sedaris

I highly recommend listening to the audiobook, which Sedaris narrates himself. The essays in “Calypso” circle around Sederis’ purchase of a beach home on the Carolina coast and how that illuminates dynamics with his family. He has a unique ability to be both hilarious and devastating at the same time.

“My Sister, the Serial Killer” by Oyinkan Braithwaite

The dark comedy tells the story of two sisters, one of whom murders the men she is romantically involved in. Korede has to decide whether to continue to be her sister’s accomplice or to turn her in. This was a fun read with some wry observations about what men and women want from relationships.