What was the best book you read in 2022? I recently asked staff members this question and have compiled their answers here. Interestingly, there were no duplications, everyone had a different favorite. Some books were published in 2022, some were many years older, some were fiction, some were nonfiction. Without further ado, here’s a selection of 10 recent favorites from our library staff.
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. In the early 1960s, chemist and single mother Elizabeth Zott, the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show due to her revolutionary skills in the kitchen, uses this opportunity to dare women to change the status quo.
Neopolitan series by Elena Ferrante. Beginning in the 1950s in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples, Ferrante’s four-volume story spans almost sixty years, as its protagonists, Lila and Elena, become women, wives, mothers, and leaders, all the while maintaining a complex and at times conflictual friendship.
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. Commissioned to build a machine that will promote gold-rush land-breaking efforts between Civil War-era Seattle and Alaska, inventor Leviticus Blue inadvertently triggers the release of a deadly gas that transforms people into the living dead, a situation that prompts his teenage son to restore the family reputation years later.
Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo. When his best friend dies of an apparent suicide, Andrew uncovers lies and secrets left behind by the person he trusted most, discovering a family history soaked in blood and death.
What We Wish Were True by Tallu Schuyler Quinn. A non-profit leader, humanitarian and minister, after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of terminal brain cancer, pens profound essays on what it means to live with a terminal diagnoses and still find meaning and how to discover beauty in life’s ordinary moments.
Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett. A thief in a city controlled by industrialized magic joins forces with a rare honest police officer to stop an ancient evil ritual that endangers thousands of lives.
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke. Living in a labyrinthine house of endless corridors, flooded staircases and thousands of statues, Piranesi assists the dreamlike dwelling’s only other resident throughout a mysterious research project before evidence emerges of an astonishing alternate world
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson. During Kentucky’s Great Depression, Pack Horse Library Project member Cussy Mary Carter, a young outcast, delivers books to the hillfolk of Troublesome Creek, hoping to spread learning in these desperate times, but not everyone is keen on her or the Library Project.
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin. A modern love story about two childhood friends, Sam, raised by an actress mother in LA’s Koreatown, and Sadie, from the wealthy Jewish enclave of Beverly Hills, who reunite as adults to create video games, finding an intimacy in digital worlds that eludes them in their real lives.
Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard. The world’s leading forest ecologist, in her first book, draws us into the intimate world of trees where she brilliantly illuminates the fascinating and vital truth — that trees are a complex, interdependent circle of life.