Sunday, January 1, 2023

My 2022 Adult Favorites


So many good books this year. I'm sure I say that every year but last year I only picked 6 favorites and this year I have 12. I also read more this year than last which is good thing. Enjoy my brief descriptions and let me know if you enjoyed any of these as well.

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin (2022) : I liked The Storied Life of AJ Fikry which prompted me to read more of her writing. This one is by far my favorite book of the year. Snappy characters combined with a very interesting story line about gaming and gamers but really it's about life, love, and deep friendship. 

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles (2021): I enjoyed A Gentleman in Moscow and heard all the hype about this and it followed through. Emmett Watson's story will stick with you. Told from multiple points of view the tale takes shape just over 10 days. Fascinating.

The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson (2021) : This book really took me by surprise. I read it for book club and coming from the small publishing house of Milkweed Editions I was happily immersed in the story of Rosalie Iron Wing in the past and the present. I turned around and bought several copies straight from Milkweed to give as gifts. 

The Sentence by Louise Erdrich (2021) : I'm a huge fan of everything Erdrich writes and this one told the story of the pandemic and George Floyd's murder through the main character Tookie's eyes. As an ex-convict for a bizarre crime she is out and enjoying somewhat of a good life when the world seems to turn upside down. Intense.

Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid (2022) : I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this through NetGalley and I read it fast on my iPad, which is unusual for me as I'm more of a book in hand person. I'm not even a tennis fan but Carrie is an electric character and her life struggles as a champion tennis player were intriguing. Through all the ups and downs she is a survivor and you root for her to find happiness. I like TJR's writing skills and Daisy Jones and the Six is still one of my all-time favorite stories. 

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler (1993) : This author has been swirling around my radar for awhile and I just hadn't taken the time to read her many books. The story was hard to read because there is suffering but hope is ever present because Lauren Olamina is a survivor, always looking ahead to how she feels and the next path to take. Reading this book starts me on a journey to finish Lauren's story and to read Kindred. 

Nightcrawling by Leila Motley (2022) : Another tough story with an amazing young hero in Kiara as she fights for some kind of life in Oakland, CA. She is constantly chasing a way to make money to take care of her brother and her young neighbor and to stay in the apartment. She battles landlords and sleazy cops and yet things never really get better.  A beautifully written debut novel.

A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham (2022) : I heard about this on The Readheads podcast and it sounded like a perfect crime novel for me; not too scary but lots of twists and turns. I tend to be very picky about this genre and don't like it when pieces are left hanging. This was intense without scaring me and had plenty of interesting connections.

Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy (2021) : Wow! This was another book club choice that amazed me with it's rich story of Inti Flynn and her sister. Inti arrives in Scotland to help a team reintroduce wolves into the area and she has a tough time fitting in with the town characters and she finds herself mixed up in a few local problems. She is a character that will stick with me plus I loved the wolf angle. Her website lists a new book, Migrations, that looks just as appealing. 

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin (2017) : Second book by Zevin on my list! I read this one because I'd heard she had a new one coming out-Tomorrow and Tomorrow...- and I wanted to read something else by her first. This one, told from 5 female perspectives, is one of feminism, forgiveness, and family. Aviva's story is about making amends and the transformative power of new beginnings. Embeth Levin, the congressman's wife, tells her story of constant betrayal with such honesty that I ended up loving her even as she snaps at those around her. Everyone is carrying a heavy weight in this tale. 

Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell (2020) : I've read O'Farrell's This Must Be The Place which was also very interesting. Hamnet was unique in that she takes the story of William Shakespeare's family life with Agnes and his three children and shows how the story of Hamlet is born from the depths of grief. Just so interesting!

The Last Guest House by Megan Miranda (2019): This was another murder mystery about a small vacation town in Maine. I read it in 4 days because the characters of Sadie Loman, a wealthy summer resident and local Avery Greer are captivating when they connect and become friends. We quickly see the tragedy and learn more about each character and their families. This one, while compelling, did have one or two holes in the story but the overall feeling kept me turning pages. I have All The Missing Girls on my TBR pile. 

If you stuck with me to the end thank you! I've noticed that 10/12 books feature strong female characters.  My favorite conversation is always to find out what others are reading and which books you absolutely loved. Give me some suggestions. May 2023 be another great year of connecting, reading, and writing. 

No comments: