Books of the Year 2022

Books of the Year 2022

It’s been an enjoyable year of reading this year, although I am slightly behind in numbers of books read and have some catching up to do over Christmas, thanks to the combination of doing a merger and writing a novel in 2022. I have managed to read some great books along the way, particularly when on holiday, and my highlights and lowlights are below, with links to the blogs I wrote about them. Hopefully helpful for anyone doing last minute Christmas shopping.

Most likely to change the world - Behind Closed Doors by Polly Curtis is an excellent read for anyone wanting to understand want goes on in the family courts and to hear some real life experiences of the care system for children and families.

Learned most from - A Women in Black by Susan Hill is a masterclass in how to build tension and taught me a lot about the power of a spooky setting, how to use dogs to raise the stakes and how to get a the hairs on a reader’s neck to stand up.

Most captivating - A Woman of Cairo by Noel Barber is a truly captivating book and one I was extremely happy to immerse myself in. A fictional version of some of the author’s own experiences, it is steeped in authenticity and is just beautiful and fascinating.

Most changed my everyday life - Menopausing by Davina McCall is a must-read for anyone going through, or living with someone going through, or working with someone going through, the menopause. Davina has done such a lot to campaign for access to HRT, to remove the stigma of menopause, and to bust the myths. I for one shall be raising a glass to her this Christmas.

Most enjoyment from - I was so looking forward to the latest instalment in the Ruth Galloway series and the The Locked Room by Elly Griffiths didn’t disappoint. I enjoyed every minute of it and it was the first novel I’ve read set in lockdown. It wasn’t too soon – it dealt with lockdown brilliantly.

Most able to make a complex subject easy to understand - Unusually for me, I have read hardly any non-fiction this year, The Power of Fun by Catherine Price being one exception, so will give this award to it. It used author-experiments alongside the science to make a strong case for having more fun, a case that I hope I’ll be able to put into action in 2023.

Most un-put-downable – Next of Kin by Kia Abdullah is thriller-writing at it’s absolute best. It centres on a brilliant idea, has endless unforeseen twists and an ending that literally kept me up that night after finishing it. This is definitely an author to watch.

Least enjoyment from - I very rarely give up on a book, but I absolved myself from guilt and did so with For Whom the Bells Tolls by Ernest Hemingway. I fully accept this is entirely my failing, but sometimes, after a 100 pages of thees, thous and misery, enough is enough.

Most surprised by, in a good way - I read the The Scholar by Courttia Newland after meeting the author and wanting to read his first novel and see how his writing journey began, even though the setting and subject matter wasn’t one I would usually go for. I found myself completely caught-up in the world of a late 1990s council estate in London and emotionally invested in the downward spiral of the protagonist.

Would most recommend for holidays - The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim is everything you could want in holiday reading. It has a beautiful setting, very well-drawn characters and is feel-good in every possible way.

Talked most obsessively about - This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett is a fabulous collection of essays and I have talked obsessively about ‘The Getaway Car’, the essay that focuses on the process of fiction writing. A great read for any aspiring writers.