Favorite Reads of 2022

As per usual, I had big plans to give y’all a monthly recap of all the books that I read in 2022. I was consistent up until July when I teetered off and just stopped blogging altogether. I guess my parents were moving, work was stressful, and I just fell off the bandwagon. My apologies. But I’m back and hopefully going to be more consistent this year with sharing what I read. But in an attempt to recap, I wanted to share with y’all my favorite books of 2022. Many of which were audiobooks, and I think this year was the first year I really got into audiobooks. Maybe I’m late to the party, but the magic of audiobooks when you have a long commute, car ride, or plane ride is unparalleled. So here are my top reads from the past year, I hope you enjoy them too!

Favorite Fiction

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I had heard from multiple people that this book was stellar as an audiobook. I waited over three months to rent it from the library, and I can attest that it is worth the wait. The cast is phenomenal and the way the book reads as a tell-all is really engaging in audiobook format. I finished it in 3 days!

The book revolves around the whirlwind rise of an iconic 1970s rock group and their stunning lead singer, Daisy Jones. It reads almost like an interview between the band members revealing the mystery behind their infamous break up. It’s sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll but the character development is truly gripping in this novel. There are so many story lines and relationships all being told at once. I can’t say enough good things about this book by Taylor Jenkins Reid. It’s definitely my favorite read of hers to-date. I especially loved how she interweaves characters from her previous novels into each one. She has created this made-up other world of Hollywood and it’s fantastic seeing it come together. Looking forward to the TV miniseries that got picked up by Hello Sunshine, coming to Amazon Prime March 3rd, 2023.

Favorite Mysteries

Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney

I couldn’t put this book down, a hefty dose of psychological elements that keeps you guessing. If you’re looking for a good mystery with some dark elements but nothing too scary, this book is a great pick!

Adam and Amelia win a weekend away to Scotland, but this is not your typical anniversary trip. Workaholic and screenwriter Adam Wright has lived with face blindness his whole life. He can’t recognize friends or family, or even his own wife. Every anniversary the couple exchange traditional gifts, and each year Adam’s wife writes him a letter that she never lets him read. Until now. Ten years of marriage. Ten years of secrets. And an anniversary they will never forget.

I read this one in a matter of days. Alice Fenney is masterful at engaging your sense of fear and mystery while also keeping you guessing all book long. This book would be perfect to read in fall or winter because of the desolate setting. Highly recommend if you’re in the market for a good thriller/mystery!

The Maid by Nita Prose

I don’t often hand out five star reviews, but this book was absolutely cute, quirky, and wholesome. I couldn’t not give it what it deserved. It’s a tale of a girl who works in a posh hotel and happens upon a dead body and all the drama that ensues thereafter. LOVED!

Molly Gray is not your average maid. Her unique character along with her obsessive love of cleaning and etiquette make her the idyllic girl for the job. However she often struggles with social skills and is prone to misreading the intentions of others. But being a maid at the Regency Grand Hotel is her dream job and she will stop at nothing to bring it into a state of perfection. 

But her world is turned upside down when she enters the suite of the infamous Charles Black, only to find him dead in his bed. She quickly finds herself caught in a web of deception, and she must find a way to prove her innocence. This would be the perfect vacation or summer read! It’s a great mix of mystery and drama without any explicit sexuality, which in this day-in age is hard to come by.

Favorite Romance

Every Summer After by Carley Fortune

A sweeping, childhood/coming-of-age love story that spans over the course of six summers. Percy and Sam were inseparable those six summers. When they weren’t working at Sam’s parent’s restaurant, they were spending every waking moment in the glittering lakeshore. But in present day, Percy is faced with a decision to return to these memories when she gets a heartbreaking phone call. Now she is forced to recall a love story from over a decade ago, and come to terms with one of the biggest mistakes of her life. A nostalgic look at young love and how the choices we make can change the trajectory of our lives.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was at times pretty graphic when it came to intimacy, however it’s a romance novel (that’s kind of the name of the game for this genre). I did guess one of the big main plot twists early on, but it still felt surprising despite my premeditations. Really easy read and a great one to read in the spring or summer!

Favorite Autobiographies

No Cure for Being Human by Kate Bowler

Some of life’s most difficult questions are detailed in this book. Finitude is one of the toughest human concepts to grasp in this world, and Kate Bowler delicately details her journey of grappling with life and death all at the same time. Loved this book and loved every page of her heart-wrenching story.

Is your life a series of choices? Kate Bowler believed that life was until she discovered, at age 35, that her body was plagued with cancer. In this book, she searches for a way forward as she mines the wisdom (and absurdity) of today’s “best life now” advice industry, which insists on exhausting positivity and on trying to convince us that we can out-eat, out-learn, and out-perform our humanness. We are, she finds, as fragile as the day we were born.

Not your typical “light-read”, but a thoughtful and meaningful story of how one woman of faith sought to find meaning amidst the mystery and rally hope through tragedy. She is a brilliant writer and a gifted storyteller. Worth a read for anyone in healthcare but also for anyone who has friends or family walking through a difficult diagnosis. This book puts eternity into perspective unlike any other book I’ve read. Now I want to read her book “Everything Happens for a Reason.”

Maid by Stephanie Land

Watched the Netflix series before reading this one, which I feel like is a major reading faux pas. But the two were different enough that it didn’t feel like I ruined the experience of reading by watching the series first. Absolutely loved this book. Really hard at times to listen to because of the grueling tasks Stephanie faces as a single mom trying to combat poverty. It’s very eye-opening to hear her accounts of just how demoralizing people were towards her because of her financial status. But I think it also is a great story of how one woman overcame her own circumstances by grit and personal stamina. It’s a very pro-feminist read that I’d highly recommend to anyone who thinks there circumstances are less than favorable. It will give you a healthy dose of perspective.

Favorite Self-Help

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

I read “Atomic Habits” by James Clear at the beginning of 2021, so it seemed only fitting to read another book about habits at the onset of 2022. Both books are great tools to help you analyze your own habits. But this one was especially unique in the examples it gave of how habits dictate our actions in business, history, and society.

In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. With penetrating intelligence and an ability to distill vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives, Duhigg brings to life a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation.

I couldn’t stop talking about this book with my husband after I read it. The psychology and neurophysiology of why we continue to perform habits and how can make new ones is fascinating. But the way this book is laid out makes it feel more like a compilation of stories than a bunch of data or statistics.

Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown

Read this book in audiobook format, however I may reread it this year in the physical form since I bought the book. Absolutely loved the amount of time and detail Brené Brown spends on something as simple as emotions. It’s a really thought-provoking book. The human experience is so different person to person and understanding how people confront fears, undergo pain, and welcome love is deeply fascinating. If you’re looking for something to help open your mind to more meaningful human connection, this read is a must.

Favorite Memoir

Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

I gave this book 5 stars which is personal rarity. I listened to this one on audiobook, and I think it totally changed the game for me. If I had read the book, I probably would have given it four stars, but hearing Matthew share his story in his own words was captivating. He details his early family life, personal struggles, and rise to fame and stardom. He states it’s not a memoir or an autobiography but it definitely reads like one. He intersperses poems, mantras, and words of wisdom throughout but it’s definitely an account of his life thus far. He has an inborn gift for storytelling and this book was a wonderful look into his life and personality. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and would recommend it to anyone in need of a good laugh and a healthy dose of introspection.

Favorite Series

American Royals by Katharine McGee

This fictional trilogy is set in modern-day America with the understanding that America is a monarchy. It’s a really interesting concept when you start to think about it! What would America be like if our founding history was different and we were a functioning monarchy? I’m anxiously hoping they make it into a tv show. But the books have all the intrigue that any royalty series should have: tabloid drama, secret love affairs, forbidden love, royalty obsessed, the emotional weight of the crown, life as the spare, etc. A good friend of mine suggested I start this series and I’m hooked. I completely devoured the first two and am still waiting on the third one from the library. But this series is a easy read with plenty of drama, romance, and royalty jargon to satisfy!

What were your favorite books form 2022?

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