For awhile I was in a really good habit of recapping my reading each year. And then I wasn’t. But 2022 was *my reading year* … I read and listened to 133 books!
Some were amazing and some were just so-so. But today I want to share the best books in a few categories. Hopefully this can be a springboard for your own reading list in the years to come.
But first, a few thoughts as I reflect back on my year of reading, First, I learned that I don’t really care for memoirs. Also, I rarely remember beach reads/modern fiction and thus don’t care much for those either. Historical fiction is easily my favorite genre – always has been, always will be. And lastly, this coming year I want to read more of what my kids are reading. Middle grade fiction can be really rich and I enjoy having a common story to launch conversation.
And now, here’s are my book recommendations from the books I read this last year …
Best Historical Fiction
Caroline: Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller
Love Little House on the Prairie? This book is for you! It chronicles the journey west from Ma’s point of view and is beautifully written. Your heart will absolutely ache for this brave woman as you cheer her on.
The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner
My sister recommended this one and she has yet to lead me astray! It toggles between present day and the past and the mystery woven throughout keeps the pages flyin’!
The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn
An audio must because the accent brings the story alive ten fold! I loved this war tale and, as is true to Kate Quinn’s fashion, you will learn so much about niche storylines of the often broad recap of World War 2.
The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See
Parts of this were slow moving for me, but overall I closed the book in absolute awe of Korean woman, especially those of Jeju. It lead me to read and watch a number of resources on haenyeo too. Although this book definitely has adult themes, this picture book can bring haenyeo alive for the whole family. I love books that teach me something I knew nothing about!
Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid
If Taylor Jenkins Reid writes something, I’m going to read it. Love her stories so much! Now, this one I was hesitant about because … tennis? But ya’ll, I listened to this one on my runs and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The Maid by Nita Prose
This one probably falls into the modern fiction category, which I don’t traditionally love, but I did enjoy this one. I think because the characters were so rich. Character depth can definitely make or break a novel.
A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brgid Kemmerer
Janssen from Everyday Reading recommended this one and it led me to read through the whole series. This story is a fractured fairytale with Beauty & the Beast vibes and it totally drew me in. The first book was definitely the best, but the others were worthwhile to flesh out the story even more.
I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet by Shauna Niequist
Put this on my reread list. Essential.
Bitter & Sweet by Tsh Oxenreider
Although I consider myself a nondenominational Christian I do have a vast appreciation for the liturgical calendar. I feel like it helps me pace the year and give due time and appreciation for my faith. Hence, Tsh Oxenreider’s book about Lent will most likely be an annual read for me.
To Light Their Way by Kayla Craig
In the same vein, I dislike how my prayers often wander. Reading prayers is a new practice of mine and I love how Kayla Craig pairs each of hers with Scripture for a full scope conversation with God.
Best Middle Grade Novels
A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus
This is my top recommendation of the year across all categories. I tell everyone about it! World War 2, siblings, sadness, joy … truly a riveting story. We listened on audio in the car all together and I count it as one of my favorite books of all time.
Starfish by Lisa Fipps
This book is written in a form of poetry but I promise it isn’t weird. Truly, this book about loving your body as it is and embracing the soul of each person ought to be required reading for students.
The Bookshop of Dust and Dreams by Mindy Thompson
I read this on my Kindle at the tail end of the year and it was wonderful! A smidge of mystery with lots of old bookstore charm. Jemma read it too and echoes my recommendation.
What did you read and love last year? GIVE ME ALL THE BOOK IDEAS!