Happy 2023 (again) everyone!
I was originally going to include my entire wrap-up in one post, but I was a little too wordy in my reflections and it got a little too long… So I decided to spread it out over a few days!
Yesterday I posted the first part of my wrap-up describing my overall reflections and reading stats for the year (including some fun graphs and charts!). You can find that post HERE!
In this second part of my wrap-up, I’ll be sharing my top books and audiobooks for the year! I like to rank them in separate categories so that I can showcase more books and highlight them more individually.
Without further ado, here are my top books of 2022:
To compare with 2021’s reading wrap-up, click HERE.
Favorite Books of 2022
To learn more about a book, click on the photo to find the Goodreads synopsis.
Top 6 Physical Books
1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
I actually started reading this one in 2021, but kept putting it down in favor of other things. I don’t know why I had such a hard time motivating myself to read it initially! My best guess would be that it was due to its intimidating length. Regardless, I am so glad that I finally read it, because it was easily my favorite book of the year, and probably one of my new all-time favorites! It was one that I looked forward to picking up and returning to every chance I got, and I felt so sad when it ended and I couldn’t go back to those characters anymore. I also re-watched the movie not long after finishing the book, and I think it was a good adaptation! You can find a brief review in my February Wrap-Up!
2. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe
I absolutely loved this graphic memoir. I found it to be both informative as well as emotionally resonant, and the illustrations are beautiful. You can find a brief review in my June Wrap-Up!
3. The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
This is one of the best middle grade books I’ve ever read. And I strongly believe that the best middle grade books are simply great books. That means that they could be enjoyed by readers of any age, and this book is the perfect example of that. You can find my full review HERE!
4. Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Wonder is another example of an incredible (upper) middle grade book! At once heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time, it’s a really beautiful story. You can find a brief review in my September Wrap-Up!
5. Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
This was an incredible historical young adult book. I really appreciated the unique and well-crafted romance. I remember the ending leaving a little bit to be desired, but other than that it was a near perfect story. You can find a brief review in my June Wrap-Up!
6. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
This was the perfect creepy middle grade book. I read it in one sitting and was genuinely a little bit disturbed in some parts (not a lot, but just the right amount for a scary story for young readers!). It’s atmospheric and the descriptions make you feel like you’re right there with Coraline. You can find a brief review in my April Wrap-Up!
Top 7 Audiobooks
1. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
I used to love the 2002 movie adaptation of this book when I was younger, so I was excited to finally attempt reading the source material! I also really want to re-watch the movie now and see if my opinion of it has changed after reading the book. This is the longest book I’ve ever read, but I rarely found myself at all disinterested in what was happening. This was in large part to listening to an audiobook edition with a fantastic narrator. I felt so immersed in the story, and was sad when it eventually came to an end! This is also the book I’m most proud of reading this year. You can find a brief review in my September Wrap-Up!
2. To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers
This was my last book of 2022, but it really made an impact! I love books that make me think and consider questions I hadn’t thought of before, and I know this is a book that I’ll be thinking of for a long time. You can find a brief review in my December Wrap-Up!
3. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
What other books has Tom Hanks narrated?? I don’t think it would even matter if it’s the type of story that I usually read; his narration is so magical that I think I would enjoy any story told in his voice. That being said, I did really enjoy this story though (aside from just Hanks’ masterful narration)! Bel Canto is one of my all-time favorite books, and I found myself fairly captivated by this story as well (though it perhaps isn’t quite as memorable as the former). You can find a brief review in my December Wrap-Up!
4. A Single Swallow by Zhang Ling
This was such a beautiful and unique story. It was told from the unique perspective of the characters while in the afterlife. While I don’t remember the details perfectly so many months after reading it, I still remember how it made me feel and the big ideas it made me think about. And that to me is the sign of a powerful story. You can find a brief review in my May Wrap-Up!
5. Dancing in the Mosque: An Afghan Mother’s Letter to Her Son by Homeira Qaderi
This memoir reminded me a lot of I Am Malala, and I absolutely loved it. It was eye-opening and devastating to learn about the treatment of women in the Middle East over the last few decades, but the writing itself in this book was also exquisite. It was hard to read due to the content, but a joy to read due to the masterful storytelling. You can find a brief review in my November Wrap-Up!
6. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
I used to love the movie adaptation of this when I was a kid, and I was glad to discover that the book is just as magical! You can find a brief review in my January Wrap-Up!
7. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
This was a dark but engrossing story that captures a woman’s descent into depression and how others viewed the state of her mental health at the time. It was hard to read at times, but it was amazing how realistically it captured the issue of mental health and how people treated women struggling with mental health during that time period. You can find a brief review in my April Wrap-Up!
How did your reading go this year? Any stand-out books to recommend?
Let me know in the comments! And thanks for reading (my blog, but also just in general)!