Happy Friday, friends! Today I’m talking about my favourite and least favourite books of 2022! I decided to put them all in one post because I didn’t have that many least favourites/disappointments, and I have very little to say about my favourites beyond “I loved this.” I’ve also combined my least favourite and disappointments because they were honestly mostly the same.
So, in no particular order, here are my favourites and least favourites of 2022!
The Memory Police by Yōko Ogawa, translated by Stephen Snyder: this book has one of the best, most intriguing plots and ideas, and it was so well-executed. The writing is simple and effective. The main character was a great perspective to read from. The ending was unsatisfying, but like that’s the point. This was just such a good book and I cannot recommend it enough (I will be saying that about each book here).
The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel: every book I’ve read from Mandel has been five stars, and this was no exception. There’s just something about her writing that works for me, and each book seems like it was written specifically for me. This was no exception. I adored the story, and the writing was as fantastic as ever.
Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe: Keefe is probably of the best narrative nonfiction writers I’ve read in recent years. He’s able to describe things in such a compelling and interesting way. This book looks at the Sackler family, who own Purdue Pharma and created and marketed oxycontin. It’s super interesting, so well-researched, and very thorough.
Yerba Buena by Nina Lacour: Lacour is another author whose writing just works for me. It makes everything seem lyrical and magical without being flowery. I loved the atmosphere and characters of this story, and had such a great time reading it.
How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu: this is another one of those books that feels like it was written for me. It’s a series of connected short stories about a sci-fi/dystopian world after a (very un-covid-like) plague devastates the Earth. It was so well-written and interesting, and it definitely put Nagamatsu on my radar.
Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips: another book written for me and me alone. I just love books with interconnected but distantly related characters, and this was another one. The writing was so good, the atmosphere was perfect, it was interesting. What more could I ask for.
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro: I love Ishiguro’s writing and his vaguely dystopian worlds. Klara and the Sun was such an intriguing book, and it made for such a great discussion in my book club. I loved the characters and the questions this book asked. Highly recommend.
Run Towards the Danger by Sarah Polley: this is an essay collection, and every single essay in it made me cry. I have a full review coming soon, but the short of it is I loved Polley’s writing, I really connected a lot with what she had to say, and I’m so glad I read this.
Honorable mentions: these are some books that I loved and had a great time reading, but didn’t ultimately reach favourite status.
- The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe: incredibly fun and entertaining, if a little silly and ridiculous
- The Family Chao by Lan Samantha Chang: had me hooked from the first page
- City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert: just a really fun read tbh
- People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry: easy to read but still hard-hitting
- Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li: very fun, heists are always a good time
Disappointments and least favourites
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia: this book wasn’t bad by any means, it just didn’t work for me. I found the first two thirds to be slow and repetitive; I was dragging myself through them and not having a good time. And while I really enjoyed the last third, it wasn’t enough to make up for the beginning being so slow.
Looker by Laura Sims: this book just didn’t hit the way I wanted it to. Maybe I just didn’t relate to the main character and her struggles, but I wasn’t compelled by this book at all. I read it fairly quickly, and haven’t really thought of it since.
The Mad Women’s Ball by Victoria Mas, translated by Frank Wynne: I had similar feelings for this book. I wanted to love it, and it sounded like something I’d really enjoy, but it ultimately fell flat for me. I just found it lackluster, which is surprising given the setting and plot. So overall, I’m glad I read this but I didn’t love it.
Luster by Raven Leilani: this was perhaps my biggest disappointment in that I really expected to like this, but ultimately just found it okay. As I mentioned recently, it’s definitely a case of “me not you” in that there’s nothing wrong with the book; it’s well-written, I actually think a lot of the nuances are brilliant and really interesting, but I just didn’t care and wasn’t in love with it. So again, glad I read this, but sad I didn’t love it.
So there are my favourite and least favourite reads of 2022! Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts? What were your favourite and least favourite books of 2022? Let me know!
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4 thoughts on “Favourites and disappointments of 2022”
I’m glad you loved The Memory Police, I definitely want to read it at some point. I felt the same way about The Mad Women’s Ball, it wasn’t awful but not very intriguing. I actually loved Mexican Gothic though, I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it!
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The Memory Police was fantastic, I hope you enjoy it when you get to it! And so glad you agree about The Mad Women’s Ball, I totally agree — not awful but not intriguing is such a good way to put it.
Oh I’m glad you enjoyed Mexican Gothic! I really wanted to enjoy it, and I did enjoy the ending, just not as much as I had hoped to. But I’m glad it worked for you!
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Yerba Buena and Klara and the Sun are two of my faves as well!
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Ahh yes!! Glad to hear you loved them as well!