Superlatives For My 2022 Reads


Some of the winners of my 2022 book superlatives!

 With every year coming to an end, I like to reflect on the books I read. Today I hit 100 books, a little less than the amount I was able to read in 2021. If you’re not an avid reader, or you have trouble finding books that strike your interest, then this article is for you. I’ve come up with several book superlatives, and recommended a 2022 read of mine for each.

Number One Book

  Narrowing it down to my number one book was no easy task, but The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne has taken the cake. The novel spans over Cyril’s life, beginning with his childhood in Ireland during the 1940’s. The book is hilarious, starting with the very first introduction of Cyril. We learn that he was adopted by a wealthy couple, Mr. and Mrs. Avery, who makes it clear to him that he will never be a real Avery. Devoid of any love at home, Cyril befriends Julian, who he soon grows a massive crush on. Throughout the course of the novel, we follow Cyril’s navigation of life, and with the novel being 582 pages, we read everything about it. 

  No book has made me laugh on one page but cry on the next.. Cyril is a hilarious protagonist, and Boyne establishes, for lack of a better word, inside jokes with the reader, and references them throughout the novel. Another great aspect of the book was seeing how Ireland advances over the years. In the 40’s and 50’s,  queerness was not allowed, and could result in jailtime or death. As Cyril grows up we see Ireland becoming more open to queer people, and the government and legislation passed was interesting to learn about.  I read The Heart’s Invisible Furies in March, but still think about it often. 

A Book You Can Skip

  I love sharing my opinion on books, and if the book didn’t work for me, I will tell people why. Two of the 100 books I gave 1 star, and The Mistake by Elle Kennedy takes the cake for the worst book of the year. This novel is a romance, which I tend to avoid, so maybe I was doomed from the start. It’s the 2nd in the Off-Campus series, a romance series about hockey players in college. While the first book The Deal was bearable, The Mistake was painful to read.

  Hero and star hockey player John Logan is suffering at the beginning of the story due to his unrequited love with his best friend’s girlfriend. He accidentally meets our heroine Grace, who has nothing going for her before meeting Logan. The two end up hanging out and I assume they get together, but I have blocked out this book from my memory so the details are fuzzy. 

  Logan and all his hockey friends are terrible to the girls they are with, and that is not excused just because they can hit a puck into a net. I understand that Kennedy wanted to paint college a certain way for her novels, but it was frustrating that all Grace and Logan did were party, watch or play hockey games, and cry in their dorm rooms because of an issue in their relationship. My biggest issue was the third act conflict, present in almost every romance book. It was so unbelievable and unnecessary, and I was counting down the pages until the book was over.

  I think it is safe to say I will not be continuing with the series. I also think that my dislike towards hockey is 75% due to this book.

Most Immersive Story

  Almost taking the top spot on my list, Piranesi by Susanna Clarke absolutely blew me away in how atmospheric the reading experience was. Piranesi is a young adult, living in a palace-like house that is seemingly infinite. As he records the information he gathers about the labyrinth he lives in, readers are immersed in the house and Piranesi’s enthusiasm and optimism about his explorations. 

  Piranesi has one companion in this world: The Other. As Piranesi begins interacting with them more, he begins to uncover the mystery of how he ended up in this place. I was on the edge of my seat for the latter half of the book, and was amazed at how incredible Clarke crafted this story. If your in need of a whimsical story to whisk you away from your troubles, definitely give Piranesi a try!


Lives up to the Hype

  I’m very skeptical of picking up a book that gained tremendous popularity seemingly overnight. The “hype” surrounding these books tends to disappear almost as quickly as it accumulated. However, I put my prejudices aside when I picked up Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin, and I am very glad I did.

  The novel follows Sadie and Sam, childhood friends that haven’t spoken in years. They bonded over a mutual love of video games, and when they are reunited during their college years, the two decide to join forces to create one of their own. Years of hard work eventually pay off when Sam and Sadie’s game takes off, making them a household name. As they go through life together, the two face many obstacles that seem impossible to tackle. However, Sam and Sadie know they can always turn to each other if needed, and their love makes this novel so beautiful and marvelous.

  The hype surrounding this novel has yet to wear off several months later, and for obvious reasons. Despite not caring at all about video games, I was hooked by the games they created, and the relationships between them and other characters. I truly believe almost everyone can find something to love about this book.


Best Book for New Readers

  Many friends ask me for book recommendations as a non-reader, and I tend to recommend young adult novels. This year however, I came across an amazing thriller, sure to appeal to many.

  Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian centers around Chloe Sevre, a typical freshman college student, but with one big secret: she is a psychopath. At John Adams University, there is a program for psychopaths which lessens the cost of tuition  as long as they participate in studies for the school. Chloe has a very different agenda though, and it may or may not involve murder.

  I was gripped the whole time reading this book, and could only focus on figuring out what would happen next. Many people struggle with reading for more than 5 minute periods, but Never Saw Me Coming will keep you reading for hours at a time!


  Reflecting on the books I read in 2022, I definitely got around to some great novels. For 2023, I hope you consider the books on this list (except the worst book), or any book I’ve written about before. My column “Refreshing Reads” includes more good book recommendations, along with other articles that can be found under my name!