For my final blog about my top books of the year I come to novels. I mostly read novels and thus it makes sense that this list is longer than the two which precede it for audiobooks (see here) and non-fiction (see here). These are books I have read this year rather than for books published in 2022 so it is a very personal list.
I’ve been posting my list of books read since I started this blog just over four years ago – here are some past entries
Now to 2022. It has been difficult to manage this list down to ten books (and as you’ll see later I didn’t quite succeed). I have read over 350 books this year of which the majority were novels so there are plenty to choose from. I also don’t keep reading a book if it is not working for me so those I finished were worth considering.
So here we go – in random order (this was hard enough without having to rank the books as well !) – click the title for the review unless I mention that I haven’t got to it yet.
- Wild Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. A prequel to Jane Eyre and a book about slavery and identity. Fascinating ideas and beautifully written.
- Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay. Set in Australia at the beginning of the nineteenth century a story of class and mysterious disappearances. Clever and haunting.
- The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix. A Young Adult fantasy novel which I thought was funny and the story well told. The start of a new series.
- Again Rachel by Marian Keyes. The sequel to Rachel’s Holiday and as good as the first. Funny, sad and tender it’s the story of a woman and her predilection for addition, her strange family and the loss of the man she loves.
- Sword and Pen by Rachel Caine. The final book in a series which started with Ink and Bone. Again it’s young adult fantasy and is about the Great Library at Alexandria. I was hooked on the whole series because it is very clever and the characters very human and this last book is about the aftermath of winning which is unusual.
- The Trawlerman by William Shaw. A crime novel with some powerful writing about choices, power and regret. Set at the coast with a bleak and dangerous beauty. It’s connected to other books but can be read as a stand-alone.
- The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin. An adult fantasy which kept me gripped because of the expert way in which the plot is revealed and how you come to understand what is happening.
- Our Lady of the Potatoes by Duncan Sprott. Set in eighteenth century France it is the story of one woman and the price she has to pay, and keep on paying, for power and influence. Really unusual.
- The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller. A brief love affair that changes forever the lives of two people. Absolutely compelling writing.
- A little Life by Hanya Hanagihara. No review for this yet. A book about love and abuse and the damage we do to one another. Gruelling yet beautiful.
In addition there are two others which I want to mention which would have made this list had I finished them sooner – reviews to follow
- Folly by Laurie R King. A novel of suspense as a woman seeks to restore her life and mental health by living on an island and rebuilding an old house – but all is not as it seems. Clever and intriguing.
- The Dictator’s Wife by Freya Berry. Gripping story of abuse of power and identity in a fictional Eastern European state. Full of tension.
Lots of variety here and plenty to choose from. Whatever you decide to pick up – just keep reading ……