15 best books of 2022

best books 2022

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There’s nothing like a good book. I was always that kid who got into trouble reading under my desk, making my way through the classroom bookshelf and then the school library, huddled in a corner with a paperback at recess. Imagine how happy I was when I got older and realized that reading and writing about books could be a career! Books provide an escape when the real world feels too stressful or scary, can stir even the most dormant imagination with fantasy or historical fiction, make the straightest spine shiver with a good thriller, melt even the most hardened hearts with a steamy romance novel or give us a chance to walk in someone else’s shoes through non-fiction or memoir.

And this year’s crop of new releases will do all that, and more. Some of your favorite authors have released new books that rival their previous releases (here’s you, Jennifer Egan!) page. These are the best and most anticipated books we’ve found so far for 2022, with something for fans of every genre and style. Of course, we have to recognize that “best” can mean something different for everyone. There are as many reading lusts as there are readers, so if your favorite 2022 book isn’t on our list, don’t despair. Let us know in the comments, and maybe you’ll inspire someone else to pick it up too.

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1

January 2022 release date

Fiona and Jane

Jean Chen Ho
amazon.com

$26.00

Fiona and Jane are best friends, navigating their turbulent teenage years together, as well as their family history and everything that comes with it. But when Fiona moves across the country, their bond weakens and threatens to break. This novel about the power of female friendship gives you a wonderful glimpse into both women’s perspectives on a shared story that has as many facets as they do.

2

January 2022 release date

The school for good mothers

Frida’s daughter Harriet is everything to her. But when she makes a terrible one-time mistake, the state decides she has to prove she can be a good mother in order to stay that way. Reminiscent of Orwell and Vonnegut, this haunting, prescient novel explores the depths of parental love, how harshly we judge mothers and each other, and the terrifying potential of government.

3

January 2022 release date

30 things I love about myself

Radhika Sanghani
amazon.com

$14.49

New freelance writer Nina isn’t exactly thriving, especially now that she has to move back in with her depressed brother and her overbearing mother. But when she finds herself reading a self-help book on her 30th birthday in prison (long story), she embarks on a journey to self-love and learns lessons most of us could hear too.

4

January 2022 release date

Shit Cassandra Saw: Stories

Gwen E. Kirby
amazon.com

$17.00

Just because Kassandra can see the future doesn’t mean she shares what she finds there. In this wildly inventive collection of stories, Kirby explores the power of femininity in its many forms – including as brutal witches, virgins who cannot be sacrificed, and even cockroaches that catcallers fear. It’s laughably funny, sometimes fiercely painful, thought-provoking and utterly original.

5

January 2022 release date

Notes on an Execution

Serial killer Ansel Packer will die in 12 hours for his crimes. But as the clock ticks by, we get to know the women who lived through his life, including his desperate mother and the Homicide detective who became obsessed with his case. It’s a chilling, surprisingly tender tale of how each tragedy ripples through many lives.

RELATED: 25 Best True Crime Books Of All Time To Unleash Your Inner Sherlock

6

January 2022 release date

How high do we go in the dark

Sequoia Nagamatsu
amazon.com

When an archaeologist witnesses the eruption of a long-buried plague, it changes the course of history. This hauntingly beautiful story focuses on how the human mind perseveres through it all. With everything from a cosmic search for a home to a theme park for terminally ill children and a talking pig, it’s a lyrical adventure that feels fantastic yet familiar.

7

January 2022 release date

Good rich people

Eliza Jane Brazier
amazon.com

The rich live differently from the rest of us, and that’s never more evident than this chilling account of a family playing a sick and deranged game with their tenants. When someone (an intruder herself) decides she’s not just a pawn, nobody wins – does it?

8

Release date February 2022

Very cold people

Sarah Manguso
amazon.com

$25.49

Midwesterners, New Englanders, and anyone from small-town America will recognize the contours in this quietly beautiful novel about what it feels like to grow up as an outsider. It’s a starkly lyrical exploration of the darkness that lies beneath a lily-white community with an emotional resonance that stalks you and doesn’t let go.

9

Release date February 2022

Don’t say we didn’t warn you

Ariel Delgado Dixon
amazon.com

$27.00

The paths of two sisters repeatedly diverge and cross in this tale of trauma and coping. Through life in an abandoned warehouse just outside NYC, stints at a wilderness rehabilitation center and a struggle to find their way as young adults, this is a sharp and disturbing tale of two girls’ ongoing search for their own place in the world and how their history determines who they become.

10

Release date February 2022

Where I can’t follow

In a small mountain town hit hard by poverty and the opioid epidemic, there’s a chance to escape. Magic doors seem like a way out for some people, but once they’re through there’s no turning back. This fantastically genuine, captivating novel explores what it would be like to have an escape hatch from life’s rigors, and the painful decision to leave behind everyone you love.

11

March 2022 release date

The Last Suspicious Holdout

Ladee Hubbard
amazon.com

$24.99

From the author of The Rib King comes a collection of stories about the black residents of a southern suburb in the years between the beginning of the Clinton administration and the election of Obama. It’s about racism, the war on drugs, class and struggle, but at its core it’s a portrait of a community. While it doesn’t shy away from the harsh truth, it’s also filled with love and a steely kind of hope.

12

March 2022 release date

When we were birds

Ayanna Lloyd Banwo
amazon.com

$27.00

This eerily magical, highly atmospheric novel follows Darwin, a devout Rastafarian whose poverty forces him to shed his religion to become a gravedigger, and Yejide, one of a lineage of women who have the power to carry the dead into the afterlife. lead. Darwin becomes entangled in funny business and Yejide seeks a way out of the life that has been handed to her. When they come together, they discover if their love can compete with the forces working against them.

13

March 2022 release date

disorientation

Elaine Hsieh Chou
amazon.com

$28.00

Ingrid runs into a wall in her PhD research on poet Xiao-Wen Chou when she comes across something that suggests he may not have been who he seems. Before she knows it, Ingrid has broken open a scandal that threatens her relationship with her fiancé and her best friend, her academic department, and even her own self-knowledge. This is a fresh, hilarious and thoughtful satire that will make you think about cultural identity in a whole new way.

14

April 2022 release date

The candy house

Jennifer Egan
amazon.com

$27.00

You don’t have to read A visit from the Goon Squad to love this sibling of Egan’s great hit. The revolutionary technology Own Your Unconscious allows users to save and access their memories – and those of others. Through complex and intimately interwoven stories, it follows a cast of characters’ experiences with Bouton’s creation, and how its effects reverberate through the decades.

15

Sea of ​​Tranquility

Emily St. John Mandel
amazon.com

$24.00

If you loved Station Eleven, you’ll love this dystopian novel that is as much about time travel as it is about love and family and what happens when we lose sight of what really matters. It takes the reader from a plague-ridden Earth to lunar colonies, from 1912 to the near future in a triumph of science fiction for those who think they hate science fiction.

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