Book Memes

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Books of 2022

“All right… I suppose things like this usually start with an apology of some sort.”

First line in A Choir of Lies by Alexandra Rowland

It’s finally time for one of the most exciting posts of the year: My ten favorite reads of 2022! As per usual, I’m doing this through Top Ten Tuesday which is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and I’ve also put the books in order like I usually do.

Last year, I had trouble finding ten books for my list and it was definitely easier this time around without it being outright difficult to only pick ten. Putting them in order, though? Impossible. I always put them in order and it has never been harder than this year, which I guess is a good thing. Especially the top ones are almost interchangeable. But let’s look at my ten favorite reads of the year!

#10
The Hidden Palace by Helene Wecker

This sequel to The Golem and the Jinni took me by surprise because I really didn’t know what to expect from a sequel to a book I felt was a standalone. But with that kind of atmosphere, I couldn’t help but love it! I got such an urge to travel just from reading it because I always felt like I was right there with the characters as they explored places I’ve never been to. And most importantly, Wecker made me feel like that without spending an unnecessary amount of time on it. The book is still very much about the characters, although you probably shouldn’t go into it expecting too much of the plot. Which is totally fine by me!

#9
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

A December read managed to get itself a spot in my top ten because I just appreciate it so much when a book isn’t afraid to be a bit controversial and very dark. Reading it, I felt like anything could happen because I quickly learned that the “standard rules” didn’t apply here so I was invested and blown away by plot twists, just as I like it. Then I also loved the dynamics between the characters because there were so many complex relationships that went through ups and downs along the way. And then the humor. I liked the humor in this book. A lot.

#8
Unwind by Neal Shusterman

I read the whole series in 2022 but the first book still stands out to me as the best one (the fourth came close though). A part of the reason is that I had rather low expectations going in despite loving Shusterman’s other books. I was simply afraid of a YA book released in 2007. No need to worry, though, because it dealt with such interesting moral questions and was pretty much based on my all-time favorite trope: Dysfunctional families. The trope wasn’t very prevalent in the rest of the series, however, which is probably why I liked them less.

#7
These Violent Delights by Micah Nemerever

Do I understand everything about this book? Nope, but I still really loved it! It’s sort of dark academia and it managed to hit the completely right amount of pretentiousness where both author and reader are aware that the characters aren’t great people. They’re just very, very interesting and question unusual stuff about humanity. Generally, I thought the characters represented types of people I haven’t read about before and I really loved that.

#6
To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara

This is definitely one of the most ambitious novels I’ve ever read. Yanagihara relies on the reader to piece things together and read between the lines, which is a big risk because if readers don’t catch on, they’ll hate the book (as proven by its average Goodreads rating of 3.79!). But it’s so beautiful and explores well-known themes such as loneliness and depression in unique ways. Part 1 in particular means a lot to me and I’m very thankful to Yanagihara for writing it.

#5
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

So. Much. Politics! 😍 AND the softest main character ever! I absolutely adored him and this entire book. If you don’t like political books, you’ll hate it, but to me, it’s one of the most perfect books I’ve ever read. The struggles of the main character were so interesting and heartbreaking to follow but I also loved how the language was so formal because I think it told us a lot about the world that seems to have even more to offer.

#4
Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart

YES PLEASE! As I mentioned earlier, a dysfunctional family is my favorite trope and I have NEVER read such a perfect execution of that trope as the one I experienced in Young Mungo. I’m so happy that someone was able to do it since that trope is fucked up more often than done right. Other than that, the book is also a very tough read, very depressing, as we follow a Scottish working-class family that has all kinds of problems that gives a realistic portrayal of such families.

#3
The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer

Just like when I reviewed this book the first time, I can’t say anything about it! It’s sci-fi but you should also read it if you don’t like sci-fi because it’s not normal sci-fi. Nothing about this book is normal. It’s based on a scenario that I’ve only encountered once in a book before but it is everything to me. I desperately need more authors to utilize this thing I’m being very vague about because the possibilities are endless. Basically, The Darkness Outside Us was such a nice surprise and so unique!

#2
The Half Life of Valery K by Natasha Pulley

Well, the odds of a newly released Natasha Pulley book making it into my top ten are always extremely low. So here we are! The Half Life of Valery K came very close to being my new favorite book by Pulley primarily because Valery is such a great main character. He’s very broken but I love him a lot. Also, it’s a very science-heavy book and the fact that it’s my second favorite book of the year anyway should tell you that Natasha Pulley has somehow learned how to do magic.

#1
A Choir of Lies by Alexandra Rowland

A Choir of Lies is the sequel to A Conspiracy of Truths and also one of the most unique books I’ve ever read. It uses footnotes as a central device in its exploration of depression and I loved everything about it. Please don’t let the footnotes scare you! The book wouldn’t work without them! And you really don’t want to miss out on the main character Ylfing because he is sweet and soft and so precious. Also, the book has a strong theme of communication vs. manipulation so I don’t think it would be possible for it to check more boxes for me. It already hits all of them!

Any book in the top four could basically be number one but I chose this order based on how much I thought about the books after finishing them. There were just some really strong contenders this year which is unusual for me because I usually have one or two clear favorites. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have anything for my worst books of the year post. Trust me, there’s plenty so stay tuned for that.

Have you read any of these books? What book is your own number one?

20 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Books of 2022

  1. 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍

    Spoiler alert for Saturday: I could have saved myself a ton of trouble with my post by simply copying and pasting half of yours! We have so much overlap and even put one book into the exact same slot – I’ll leave you to puzzle over which one that is so you have something to anticipate 😁

    Anyway, I obviously loved this and am particularly happy that a certain December read still made the list πŸ₯°

    And now that I am no longer on a book buying ban, I feel like it might be justifiable to buy myself a copy of Valery K… It sounds so good! Particular the science-heavy and broken character parts πŸ€—

    Also, I initially got very excited when you said you’d read another book like The Darkness Outside Us before remembering that you thought there were similarities to the comparatively very mediocre Piranesi 😜 However, on the off-chance that you happen to know any other books like this: PLEASE TELL ME!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol I look forward to reading half of my own post on Saturday then πŸ˜‚ My instinct tells me that the book we have in the same spot is The Darkness Outside Us. It could be The Goblin Emperor too. Or To Paradise. But I feel like you’ll place them higher than I did πŸ€” I look forward to getting the mystery solved!

      I really want you to read Valery K but I’m also extremely nervous about you reading it πŸ™ˆ

      But The Darkness Outside Us and Piranesi ARE very similar! It’s the same concept in different genres so of course I love them 😁 I don’t know any other books like them BUT I just finished watching 1899 on Netflix and you MUST watch it! 😍 (I assume you not mentioning it before means you haven’t watched it). Just like with the books, I can’t say anything about it except that there are so many languages in it!! All the time!! It’s amazing! 😍

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’ll just have to wait and see 🀣

        Although I still don’t agree that The Darkness Outside Us has a concept remotely like “clueless character wanders around halls and vestibules for hundreds of pages without anything happening” 😜 I just watched the trailer for 1899, though – No, it wasn’t on my radar! – and apart from the fact that it says it’s from the producers of Dark (which is, apparently, universally beloved by every single person in the world except me πŸ˜…), it looks very promising!! All the languages already have me really excited, particularly since the ones I understood seem to suggest that they picked actors who actually properly speak them! πŸ€— Although it might take a while for me to find the time to watch it… πŸ˜…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I don’t know what you’re so confused about since you just perfectly described both books in one sentence πŸ˜œπŸ˜‡

        And I literally only watched 1899 because of the tagline “from the creators of Dark” πŸ˜‚ And yes, I’m pretty sure all the actors are native speakers of the languages they speak in the show. The Danes definitely are and I kind of used them to judge the others. Like, I could tell that their lines were genuine and not translated from English if that makes sense. It had me wondering whether the actors themselves were involved in what they said and I’m also very curious about how the whole direction process took place πŸ€” But yes, I know recommending a show to you means I have to wait at least a decade before I get any feedback πŸ˜‰ It’s just that with that many languages I had to make sure you knew about it!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well, guess who stayed up until 1 a.m. last night because she decided that testing “one” episode as a work reward when it was already 10 p.m. was a good idea? πŸ™ˆ

        Anyway, I am OBSESSED!! It’s basically all of my favorite things in one show!! 😍 And the languages!! πŸ€—πŸ₯° I can vouch for the Germans all being native speakers, too, think the French sounds decent, and although I’m not fluent enough in any of the other languages to be able to tell, it certainly seems like they only picked native speakers… So yeah, I’m pretty sure the actors must have been involved in the process for that to work! πŸ€”

        The only problem is that I now really don’t have any time to watch the rest because my ex-roommates are coming to visit for the last few days of Christmas break and next week at school is gonna be hell πŸ˜… And I so desperately want to know that the heck is going on and whether any of my bizarre theories are correct!! 😭😭😭

        Liked by 1 person

      4. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

        I’m glad you’re just as ecstatic about it as I am! However, maybe you don’t need to rush through it. I just found out that Netflix is still Netflix so it’s been canceled!! 😭😭😭😭😭😭 I DON’T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING!! Maybe I was too naΓ―ve in thinking that “the creators of Dark” would be safe and they could do whatever they wanted! Even looking at the numbers, the show was a success so what the hell, Netflix?!? I’m desperately crossing my fingers and hoping that HBO will buy it and continue it 🀞 It already feels like an HBO show anyway. But anyway, I’m sorry I got you hooked on a show that now looks like it’s not going to get completed 😞

        Like

      5. Well, by now I’m so used to Netflix canceling shows I love that it’s not really a huge surprise πŸ˜…πŸ˜­ I still don’t mind being hooked because watching this would’ve been worth it for the languages alone!! 😍 Though of course, I wouldn’t say no to someone choosing to continue the series, either πŸ€—

        Liked by 1 person

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