I had a hard time with this post! It was hard to pick and choose. I am sure some of these were new in 2022 but not all of them are.
I seemed to read books this year that were mysterious, magical, with some animals and crazy thrown in there for good measure. I read eclectically and seasonally, and I am a huge mood reader. I will often start a book, not feel like reading it, put it down for a few months then pick it up again and love it. Anyway, and without any further preamble, here are my top favorite reads of the year!
Legends & Lattes: I just finished this yesterday so it is fresh in my mind. I absolutely loved this book about a retired orc who wants to open a coffee shop, and I devoured it in hours. It was delightfully cozy and warm, and it gave me all the comfy feels. It was perfect for this week of in between times. If you do read it, try to have a beverage and snack handy. You will need it. (Sci-fi Fantasy)
Greenglass House is such a fun read! So wintry and atmospheric, about travelers snowed in at the Greenglass House hotel during the holidays. It is very entertaining, and one of my very favorite things about it are the stories the different guests tell every night. There is a underlying mystery or two, and some other secrets as well but you will have to read to find out. (Review) (Middle Grade)
How to be a Good Creature: This book was a beautiful memoir about Sy Montgomery’s life in 13 animals that she shared her life with from childhood on. And what a menagerie it was. Each one represented her life and where that moment in her life placed her, and how that animal touched her soul. And in essence, in her words, taught her to be a good creature too. (Full Review) (Memoir)
Wildwood Whispers: I can’t think of this book without thinking of the lushness of summer. I literally wanted to move into this book, I just loved so much about it. This one was a romp through all the goodness of summer, blackberries and honey. (Full Review) (Magical Realism)
The Agathas: I stayed up way past my bed time while reading this one. I had to know what the heck happened. I needed the answer. It was so good. (YA, Mystery)
The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina: I don’t even know if I mentioned this one on my blog! I don’t know how I wouldn’t have but … it was amazing. It was so full of surprises and family and I loved it every second of it. (Magical Realism)
Gone-Away Lake: Another summery type book in my mind, full of adventure, quirky characters, cozy cottagecore feelings. I originally read it to preview as a read aloud for Wyatt and I but then fell in love with it myself! I don’t know how I missed this as a kid growing up but I am glad that I read it now. Very wholesome. I also read the second one immediately after I read this one, which if you know me and how weird I am about reading sequels, that is a very big deal. (Middle Grade)
My Best Friend’s Exorcism: Grady Hendrix almost always makes my list of favorites I feel like. This one gave me a Stranger Things vibe, with it being all retro and 80s. It was weird and creepy and gross at times, and there was a whole scene I just literally skipped over because I am a wuss, but it is also about loyalty and friendship. On some level as well, I believe there is an alternate way to interpret this book, a commentary under the surface not spoken, much like Hendrix’s book The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires. (Horror)
A Haunted History of Invisible Women: I can’t express how interesting this book is honestly. It made me think about ghost stories in an entirely different way, and is a sad, informative, fascinating read. (Nonfiction)
Other Birds: My very favorite book of the year. Beautifully fantastic, full of whimsy and characters I wish I could meet in real life. In fact, I would move to Mallow Island in a heartbeat. I have loaned my copy to my dad, who loved it as well, and told me that he thinks I embody a few characteristics that Zoey does, which was a very nice compliment to me, in my opinion! My dad is the one who got me started loving southern fiction, I knew he would love it as much as I did but I wasn’t expecting the comparison. This book also inspired me to cook a whole meal, one that took me hours and hours to make. (Full Review) (Magical Realism)
I have been exploring other lists like this one on other blogs and YouTube channels and Instagram and jotting down titles; I have a good feeling about next year’s reads already!
Have you read any of these? What were your favorite reads this year?