Over the last couple of years I’ve made reading a priority again and it’s been incredibly life-giving. I read 28 books in 2022 and loved many of them. Here are abbreviated thoughts on each book along with links to purchase. All links are Bookshop.org affiliate links give me a small monetary kickback if you purchase. I post reviews on Instagram as I read, and I’d love to discuss books with you there in 2023!
Wintering by Katherine May
My first read of 2022 was just what my spirit needed. I ordered a copy for myself and plan to re-read it each winter.
Crying in H-Mart by Michelle Zauner
Beautiful memoir exploring a mother-daughter relationship, grief, food, and so much more.
These Precious Days by Ann Patchett
Opening with an essay about her fathers and coming to a beautiful pinnacle with a piece about friendship, I found the heart of “These Precious Days” to be about relationships.
Between Two Kingdoms by Suleika Jaouad
I loved everything about this read, from the gifted storytelling to the cover picture of Suleika and Oscar on the tangerine camper van. Her words do not preach or prescribe, but simply by sharing her experience and leaving space for what is still unknown, Suleika taught me so much.
Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
McConaughey’s signature voice captivated me on the audiobook, and so did his stories. Every now and then I considered eye rolling MM’s new-agey advice, but he comes across as genuine, thoughtful, and funny, and the book is entertaining and interesting.
I’ll Show Myself Out: Essays on Midlife and Motherhood by Jessi Klein
Funny, honest essays about motherhood. Feels like reading notes from your best friend.
I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet by Shauna Niequist
Shauna writes about “hard things” without any clue as to what those hard things are, and it’s hard to accept lessons forged by fire when we have no idea how hot the flames were. While her prose is gorgeous, the lack of vulnerability made this the only real flop on my 2022 list.
Hello, Molly! by Molly Shannon
Shannon’s humility and down-to-earth likability shine through. in this memoir detailing her childhood in a permissive household with a single dad, her decision to pursue acting, and her time as SNL. While the writing felt overly simplistic and repetitive at times, hearing Molly Shannon read her own story outweighed the literary shortcomings.
The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green
I had a hard time getting into this book of essays based on John Green’s Podcast. I stuck with it and ended up breezing through the second half. The nerd in me loved learning random facts about things ranging from scratch ‘n’ sniff stickers to the Indy 500 to the Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest. I give The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green 3/5 stars.
Bomb Shelter by Mary Laura Philpott
What parent can’t relate to a book about the tension between wanting to protect your kids from everything horrible and knowing you can’t? The writing is full of heart; it made me laugh (see: the scene where she spatchcocks a turkey) and also explored some of the darker places we can’t help but go in our minds. One of my favorite books this year.
Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
The language in Hamnet is lush, and I love how O’Farrell captures complexity and nuance in relationships. However, I was left wanting more: more tension, more excitement, more suspense, more action. I wanted to care more about the characters and their fates. Still beautiful and heartbreaking, Hamnet is worth reading.
Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson
Charmaine Wilkerson’s first novel, is a beauty. She weaves together stories about identity, family relationships, food, and how we see ourselves compared to how the world sees us. I loved the short chapters and shifts from present to past. The first half felt predictable to me, but Wilkerson saved some surprises for the second half.
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
From the first page, the reader is brought into a hostage situation and learns how the characters—both captors and hostages—grapple with their new circumstances, friends, and foes. This book highlights two things I think Ann Patchett does best: creating new worlds and capturing the truth and nuance of human relationships. Then there’s the ending. Ugh. Maybe just skip the epilogue.
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
“Pachinko” starts in a small Korean fishing town, but the reader soon moves to Japan with Sunja, the daughter of a widowed innkeeper, who finds herself in a tricky situation. This is a story about the people we love, the choices we make, and the long-term ramifications of those decisions. It fell a bit short for me, but I think it’s worth reading.
Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder
“Nightbitch” by Rachel Yoder is unlike anything I’ve read in a long time. It’s full of the strange and surreal, yet it also holds some of the most spot-on descriptions of motherhood, particularly life as a stay-at-home mom, that I’ve ever read. There were lines that nearly moved me to tears, laugh-out-loud descriptions of suburbanite moms, and deeply unnerving scenes. I think I’d have to read this again for a better understanding of what the heck happened … but I’m not sure I want to. This book isn’t one of my favorites, but the story it tells is important and unique.
The Guncle by Steven Rowley
A story about grief that still felt sweet and lighthearted.
Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
Deeply moving examination of choices and their consequences, the things that bring us together, and the things that tear us apart.
Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas
The prequel to The Hate U Give does not disappoint, exploring boyhood, manhood, and fatherhood. The audiobook performance was captivating.
Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
I could not put down this masterpiece about how stories connect us, even across centuries. One of my favorites of 2022.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Old Hollywood, old secrets, and lessons on love.
The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan
Frida is a bad mom, but she can learn to be good—at least that’s what the reform program she’s in has told her. If you’re looking for the next “Handmaid’s Tale,” this will fall short, but it’s still interesting and thought-provoking
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
What does it look like to go after your dreams when everything feels unfair and uncertain? Another wonderful YA novel by Angie Thomas.
The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
Fast-paced and suspenseful but not a thriller. A little predictable—I wanted more of a twist or gasp-worthy “No way!” moment. Overall enjoyable and kept me interested to the end. Perfect weekend read.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
A heartwarming and heart-wrenching novel about loneliness, the grip of the past, love, and friendship. Eleanor Oliphant has the potential to make you laugh and cry as you learn about her past and hope for her future.
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid was another audiobook listen and definitely my favorite audiobook yet (it’s a full cast recording and so much fun). Written as an oral history of a 70s rock band, Reid brings the characters to life so well that I found myself wishing I could stream their music. I love how she brought these multidimensional characters to life and captured the complexities of their relationships. The shifting perspectives throughout the novel also allow the reader to consider what makes something true and how individuals can remember a shared past so differently.
Meet Me in the Margins by Melissa Ferguson
Savannah Cade, an editor and aspiring author, is part of an ambitious family with an interesting romantic history. Her love life gets even more interesting when a mystery editor finds a copy of her romance novel and starts leaving her anonymous feedback. Meet Me in the Margins is a sweet rom-com heavy on the You’ve Got Mail vibes. It’s a quick read and while not unpredictable, it might just make you smile if you enjoy this genre.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
V.E. Schwab’s beautiful writing drew me in right away, but as the story continued, that beautiful writing felt more and more like beautiful…fluff. There were parts of this book that shined and others that almost made me cringe. I appreciated the themes of the book and especially the question of how we leave our mark on the world.
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
Almost every person who recommended this book to me said something like, “It’s about video games, and I don’t care about video games, but I still loved it.” And while I concur, I also need you to know that it’s not really about video games at all, but about love and friendship and the moments that make up a life. This book is deeply moving and definitely my favorite of 2022.
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2 thoughts on “2022 Reading List”
Loved this reading roundup! Your micro-reviews are excellent, friend. Thanks for sharing your list.
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Thanks for reading, Erin!