Books I read in 2022

Books waiting to be read in 2023

The year 2022 presented the opportunity to discover new authors and explore different genres. Despite the lure of offerings from the ever-growing number of streaming services I have signed up for since the pandemic, I managed to read about the same number of books as last year. And again, without any planning on my part, my reading list indicates a blend of nonfiction and fiction, and adult and children’s books over a variety of genres.

There are myriad book genres, and an individual book can feature several. Many of the books listed below can be categorized under more than one. These overlaps in genres, which I have indicated in the parentheticals below, make for more complex, more engaging reads.

In addition, many of the listed books are award nominees or winners, including Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont (Booker Prize nominee), The Lincoln Highway (Amazon Best Book of the Year), The Personal Librarian (The Washington Post Notable Book of the Year), The Sweetness of Water (Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence), The Plot (The New York Times Notable Book of 2021), and Voyage of the Sparrowhawk (2020 Costa Children’s Book Award).

So let’s get started. Here are my favorite reads of 2022.

Fiction: Historical

Horse, Geraldine Brooks (literary fiction)

The Personal Librarian, Marie Benedict/Victoria Christopher Murray (biographical fiction)

Hotel Portofino, J.P. O’Connell (mystery)

The Sweetness of Water, Nathan Harris (literary fiction)

Fiction: Family Relationships/Friendships

One Italian Summer, Rebecca Serle (magical realism, travel)

Counterfeit, Kirsten Chen (heist fiction, humor)

Fiction: Road Trip/Adventure

Less is Lost, Andrew Sean Greer (humor)

The Lincoln Highway, Amor Towles (literary fiction, historical fiction, coming-of-age fiction)

This Tender Land, William Kent Krueger (historical fiction, coming-of-age fiction)

Fiction: British

Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont, Elizabeth Taylor (literary fiction, humor)

Father, Elizabeth von Armin (historical fiction, literary fiction)

Fiction: Suspense/Mystery

The Plot, Jean Hanff Korelitz (mystery, thriller)

The Maid, Nita Prose (literary fiction, thriller)

Fiction: Police Procedural

His & Hers, Alice Feeney (mystery, thriller)

A Great Reckoning, Louise Penny (mystery)

Fiction: Gothic

The Cherry Robbers, Sarai Walker (historical fiction) 

Fiction: Spy Thriller

Our American Friend, Anna Pitoniak (historical fiction, suspense)

Fiction: Speculative/Science/Fantasy

Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro (literary fiction)

Cloud Cuckoo Land, Anthony Doerr (historical fiction, literary fiction)

Sea of Tranquility, Emily St. John Mandel (historical fiction, literary fiction)

Upgrade, Blake Crouch (thriller, suspense)

The Dog Stars, Peter Heller (literary fiction, adventure fiction)

Fiction: Children’s

The Lantern House, Erin Napier, Adam Trest illustrator (picture book)

Voyage of the Sparrowhawk, Natasha Farrant, David Dean illustrator (middle grade)

The Penderwicks at Point Mouette, Jeanne Birdsall; David Frankland illustrator (middle grade)


Rebel with a Clause: Tales and Tips from a Roving Grammarian, Ellen Jovin (language nonfiction, humor, travel)

Pencils You Should Know: A History of the Ultimate Writing Utensil in 75 Anecdotes, Caroline Weaver (art, historical nonfiction)

Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss, Margaret Renkl (memoir, essays, natural history)

Movies based on books 

And for those of you who would like to see these books presented on the big and little screen, be on the lookout as a number of these books have been made—or are in the process of being made—into movies, limited series, and documentaries. They include: 

  • Hotel Portofino (2022)
  • Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont (2005)
  • Rebel with a Clause
  • The Plot (Hulu, starring Mahershala Ali)
  • His & Hers (Freckle Films)
  • The Maid (starring Florence Pugh)
  • Sea of Tranquility (HBO Max)
  • Klara and the Sun (Sony/Elizabeth Gabler’s 3000 Pictures)
  • Upgrade (Hamlin Partners)
  • The Dog Stars (New Regency Pictures)
  • The Personal Librarian (Al Roker Entertainment)

So, what books made it on to your best of 2022 reading list? Please share!