A little later than usual, but I’d be remiss to not post this recap of something that has such a meaningful impact on my year. In reflection, this wasn’t my absolute best year of reading (2020 and 2021 were incredible for me) but the out of the 51 books that I read, the 10 below will stick with me for a long time. Some of them have even been elevated to the coveted “best books of my life” list. Happy reading in the new year!
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles – I like historical fiction but I often find that the writing is not as compelling to me as more modern, literary fiction. This one however really swept me away. New York in the 1930s, a female protagonist that I just adored, an imperfect love story. It’s going on my all-time favorites list.
Left On Tenth by Delia Ephron – One of only 2 non-fiction books that made my list this year. This is a story of second chances. A coming of “old” age story. A reminder to us all not to give up or count ourselves out no matter the circumstances. I loved it.
Cleopatra and Frankenstein by Coco Mellors – I tend to lean towards fictional relationships that feel more like real life.. a little messy, honest, hurtful, beautiful. This book had such a modern voice and a central relationship that felt completely original. I’ll be watching what Mellors does next.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt – The most backlist title on my round-up this year (it was originally published in 1992) this one is a cult classic to a lot of readers and a kind of pioneer in the Dark Academia genre. I’d wanted to pick this up for years and am so glad I did. It’s long but it builds such a vivid world that you really inhabit with these characters and I found myself not wanting it to end. All in all I really loved this book and it too has been elevated to one of my all time favorites.
A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske – I think I liked this book so much, in part, because it really surprised me. Fantasy isn’t my go-to genre by any means but this world, where secret witchcraft existed amongst Edwardian England, totally captivated me. Not to mention a very compelling love story at the center. A pitch perfect escapist novel to me.
Sorrow & Bliss by Meg Mason – This book made me both laugh out loud and cry. A rare feat. I will say, it’s not an altogether easy book to read, but it has an unforgettable lead character with a great supporting cast and discusses mental health issues in a heartbreakingly honest way.
Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi – The second time a book by Choi has shown up on one of my year end ‘best of’ lists and the only YA book on my list. Choi writes in the most realistic young modern voice that I’ve read and I loved this New York story. Is it weird that in my head I pictured the couple as 2019 era Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson?
Hollywood’s Eve by Lili Anolik – The second non-fiction book to make my list. Like the real life Penny Lane, I’d heard of Eve Babitz but found this deep dive into her life (and with it a look at 1960s Hollywood in its heyday) unputdownable. I read right before we went to Palm Springs and it felt so atmospheric and fun.
The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo – If you liked Commonwealth by Ann Patchett or Olympus, Texas by Stacey Swann (aka engrossing family sagas) I urge you to pick up this one that I absolutely loved at the beginning of last year. I still think often about Marilyn and David’s relationship.
Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance by Alison Espach – Another book I still think about often after having read it last summer. I devoured this over the course of a single weekend, out on the fire escape – sweating and sipping diet coke (it’s the sign of a great book to me when I can still distinctly picture exactly how and where I read it). I hesitate to give anything away here – but it’s a story of sisters and trauma and coming of age and I related to so much of it so deeply.
SHOP MY FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2022: