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Best of 2022 by Others

I have read 26 books this year (I may finish my re-listen of Hogfather by midnight on New Year’s Eve so I’ll have read 27 books) and only 2 (I am as shocked as you!) were published in 2022.

I’m posting more about my reading plans for 2023 in my next post. But if you check out my A Curated TBR Selection & More Books? posts you should spot a few 2022 releases… which will include some of the ones mentioned below.

If you are as curious as me as to what has risen to the top peoples’ conscious for their ‘best’ books of 2022 then this is the post for you.

Of the lists I’ve seen, I’ve highlighted some that I’m interested in reading… at some unknown point in the future.

This post is also a chance for me to reflect on my taste in books at the end of 2022, also at some point in the future, as well as actually go through the best of lists I’ve found.

I’ve also noted at the end of this post some books from 2022 that I want to read that didn’t seem to come up.

But let us begin going through the lists…

Tor.com Reviewers’ Choice: The Best Books of 2022

There is a lot of enticing choices here. Some standouts for me include:

  • The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean – I actually own this after trying illumicrate’s book subscription service. I’d have probably picked up at some point as the premise sounds interesting as it features people who eat books.
  • Ordinary Monsters by J.M Miro – I wasn’t going to get this but it was a bargain ebook and I think the idea of a Dickensian XMen hooked me enough to want to try it. Though I’m still not too sure.
  • Bloodmarked by Tracey Deonn – I keep seeing Legendborn on #BookTok and I’ve seen that this sequel getting strong. I am v. nervous that series is not going to be for me. But it’s described as ‘a modern-day twist on classic Arthurian legend and a lot of Black Girl Magic’ so I’m going to give Legendborn a go (another ebook bargain)
  • Devil House by John Darnielle – There are some mixed reviews of this book. I think it’s more literary than actually spooky but one to try out.
  • Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin – I saw a BookTok review by Evan that may have finally convinced me why I might want to read this book.
  • The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal – I agree with ‘fizzy and sparkling dialogue’ and I’ve already reviewed it here (this will be the only one here that I have read).

Moving on to My favourite books read in 2022 by David’s Book World: Adventures in reading. There are six 2022 releases on the list of the dozen selected. Here are two that caught my eye:

  • Life Ceremony by Sayaka Murata – there has been good things reported about this short story collection.
  • Appliance by J.O. Morgan – I hadn’t heard of this one until now. It was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction. Described as, ‘it challenges us to stop and reflect on the future we want, the systems we trust, and what really matters to us.’ One to pick up in paperback I think.

Pajiba has listed their The Best Books of 2022!

And one title stood out for me:

  • The Book of the Most Precious Substance by Sara Gran – I couldn’t resist this when I first heard about it – so it’s already in the TBR – but surely this will hook you into checking it out ‘A potential customer asks about The Book of the Most Precious Substance, a 17th century sex magic guide that is rumored to be one of the most powerful books ever written. Lily’s note sure it even exists, but there’s good money on the line if it does, so she hunts for a copy.’

Autostraddle has given us 92 of the Best Queer Books of 2022, which if I’m being honest is far too many to help narrow down reading choices but some that stood out here include:

  • Dead Collections by Isaac Fellman – described as ‘part eccentric romance, part subtle mystery, and part melancholic character study of Sol, a neurotic undead archivist.’ New to me & Sold! (well added to the More Books? page
  • The Unbalancing by R.B. Lemberg and The Oleander Sword by Tasha Suri – both are continuations to books that are already in the TBR. Lemberg’s is a their first full novel in their Birdverse. And Suri’s sequel to The Jasmine Throne shows the series has promise. I’m more likely to get stuck into the Birdverse and wait for reviews of book 3 of The Burning Kingdoms Trilogy.
  • When the Angels Left the Old Country by Sacha Lamb – also added to the More Books? page from this recommendation alone, ‘The story feels timeless like a piece of Jewish folklore and as well-plotted and intricately researched as a novel’
  • The Genesis of Misery by Neon Yang – only recently out – I don’t think I’ve heard much about this book but a ‘breathtaking space-fantasy [with] an immersive saga starring a cast of diverse queers embroiled in religious space battles and political chaos‘ is right up my street, especially after reading Alex White’s Scavengers Trilogy this year.
  • Hell Followed With Us by Andrew Joseph White – a book on the TBR but one I may be too fearful to read. But it’s ‘dark in tone and with body horror, gore, and violence aplenty, Hell Followed With Us nevertheless displays a profound humanity with its focus on queer kids who continue to survive post-apocalypse and form a found family.’

Reads Rainbow has a mix of years in their Book Recs: Best of 2022 and one SFF 2022 stuck out:

  • The Spear Cuts Through Water by Simon Jimenez – this just bubbled up – I honestly didn’t see any buzz for it – it’s another I’ve picked up recently (as a cheap ebook) on impulse – but it seems I made a good choice as the Charlotte says, ‘it sounds trite to say it, but I really feel you have to read this one and experience it for yourself. Nothing I say could come close.’

But there is a list of other books from pre-2022 too. And these three sound great:

  • Beartown by Fredrik Backman, trans. by Neil Smith
  • Disoriental by by Négar Djavadi, trans. by Tina A. Kover
  • The Thirty Names of Night by Zeyn Joukhadar

Vulture has The Best Horror Novels of 2022 For horror fans list:

  • All the White Spaces by Ally Wilkes – ‘Some of the best survival horror we’ve read in years with a uniquely menacing adversary at its heart.’ – already on my TBR – but sharing as it sounds spooky AF.
  • Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey – I ready my first Sarah Gailey this year and have already picked this up –Just Like Home deploys familiar haunted-house and true-crime tropes so adeptly that even the most seasoned horror reader may miss the narrative sleight of hand at work here until it’s too late’ – sounds brilliant
  • Ghost Eaters by Clay McLeod Chapman – am on the fence as to if I’ll like this as I’ve heard some mixed reviews – but the review says ‘It’s an intense, thrilling tale of grief and addiction and will leave you all too aware of how crowded America is’ and it’s already on the TBR thanks to a cheap ebook.

Gizmodo’s 14 Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2022 includes two I’ve not seen mentioned so far:

  • The Pallbearers Club by Paul Tremblay – I’ve heard some mixed things – I’m intrigued by ‘the reader is never sure if Mercy (or “Mercy,” since the character is so enigmatic we don’t learn her real name) is a ghost, an energy vampire, some sort of less-easily-identifiable monster, or just a really intense frenemy’
  • Dead Silence by S. A. Barnes is a book that I wish was published in the UK – though in the age of internet orders delivery is relatively painless. The review describes this as ‘like Cthulhu made its home on the Titanic in space…‘ and I’m so here for that.

The Quill to Live in their The Best Of 2022 list has 30 books to chose from and some highlights include:

  • The Hunger of the Gods by John Gwynne – the sequel to The Shadow of the Gods (that I’ve not read yet) but both have so many BookTok fans that FOMO has kicked in and the review has high praise, ‘Every book he produces has immaculate pacing and that wonderful rare quality where you simply cannot put it down. His short chapters are addictive, his action is engrossing, and his stories are exciting.’
  • Locklands by Robert Jackson Bennett – This is the last book in trilogy and this review gives me confidence to start The Founders Trilogy. ‘With its unparalleled magic creativity, heartbreaking character stories, heartwarming messages, and satisfying ending, the book locks up another win for Bennett’
  • Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher – T. Kingfisher is one those authors I have yet to experience. The Hollow Places is on the TBR but if I like that I’m picking this one up.  ‘One of my favorite things about this book is that Kingfisher can make something substantial, like killing a prince, seem as trivial as swatting a fly away so we can go about enjoying the afternoon. This is the tone that Kingfisher sets and it makes Nettle absolutely delightful.
  • The City Inside by Samit Basu – another tordotcom book that pips my curiosity – this one is set in a near-future Delhi that comes for your anxieties about society, government, the environment, and our world at large. The review though brings hope  ‘most importantly, it examines some possible solutions to the collapse of society as we know it that feel like they might make positive change without being naively optimistic.’
  •  August Kitko and the Mechas from Space by Alex White – this is a no brainer for me. I’ve read their Scavengers trilogy this year and loved it. Really looking forward to this and I’m prepared to  ‘accept that the start is going to be a bit crazy, fitting a party to celebrate the end of everything, and you will find yourself having a very good time’

them has an Our 23 Favorite LGBTQ+ Books of 2022 list and here are three that rang my bells:

  • Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield is already on the TBR but if you need to know more the review says ‘Four words: Lesbian deep sea horror’
  • Gods of Want by K-Ming Chang – I’ve not seen this one listed so far but I’ve added it to my More Books? list a couple of days ago after seeing it elsewhere.
  • Exalted by Anna Dorn – it’s a story about lesbian dating and astrology – note me as very curious – The review says ‘a biting romp that will make you root for its hapless, flailing characters because who can really judge them, anyway?

I’ve only selected my personal highlights from the above, and I’ve probably missed more than a few books I’d want to read or should have noted. But this gives future me an idea of what I’ve missed.

I’m also remiss not to include, as I’ve not seen them or they’ve not been posted, lists by other book bloggers.

There are books that I’m surprised I’ve not seen mentioned (unless I just didn’t see them) that I’ve purchased throughout the year and thought them worth reading.

These ‘missing’ books include:

  • The Dark Window by Rachel Gilling
  • Notorious Sorcerer by Davinia Evans
  • Monsters We Defy by Leslie Penelope
  • Her Majesty’s Royal Coven by Juno Dawson
  • Black Mouth by Ronald Malfi
  • Kid Wolf and Kraken Boy by Sam J. Millar
  • We had to remove this post by Hanna Bervoets
  • Equinox by David Towsey
  • none of this is serious by catherine prasifka
  • The Library at Mount Clar by Scott Hawkins (I have already attempted this one and failed but apparently it’s brilliant and I need to try again)
  • A Fractured Infinity by Nathan Tavares
  • When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill
  • Small Miracles by Anne Booth
  • Our Share of Night by Enriquez
  • Nettleback by Nat Reeve

Are there any books you’ve spotted that you want to check out further or are there any you’d recommend from the above that are must reads?

Note: Comments are off but do toot me on Mastodon with your choices