HomeFeaturesBook ListsFavourite Reads of 2022

Favourite Reads of 2022

Following no rhyme or reason or any set number (ie a top 10), here are my favourite reads of the 126 books I read in 2022 across Fiction, Middle Grade and Young Adult. 


Nothing to See Here

Written by Kevin Wilson

Published by Ecco Press

This bizarre little book about children who light aflame when agitated was my very first read of 2022, a five star read, and remained a favourite of the year. When does that ever happen? Don’t be fooled by the synopsis, this story is packed with heart.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Still Life

Written by Sarah Winman

Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

I always caveat this with the fact that I listened to it on audiobook, narrated by the author herself, and it is the best damn audiobook performance I’ve heard (and I listen to A LOT!). Get past the meandering beginning and maybe forgive the wee bit pompous, artsy diatribe at the end, because the centre of this historical fiction, multi-perspective story about found family, love, and life’s great wonders and pleasures is simply beautiful. 

You can find it here: Bookshop.org


Written by Lee Cole

Published by Knopf Publishing Group

I’m realizing I am a sucker for precise prose – and smarter people than I have a name for it I’m sure – but Lee Cole’s debut novel about a debut author writing his first novel around the political polarizing of the rural south in 2016, was one of those stories that grabbed my attention immediately and didn’t let go. 

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Lessons in Chemistry

Written by Bonnie Garmus

Published by Doubleday Books

I mean, everyone has heard of this one likely by now and I don’t need to go into details here other than to say do not be fooled by this “chick lit” pastel cover (not that there is anything wrong with “chick-lit” aside from the misogynistic name) but the story here is a deeper, and at times upsetting, look at sexism in the academic sciences in the 1960s (and continuing …). 

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

The Violin Conspiracy

Written by Brendan Slocumb

Published by Anchor Books

A thriller? mystery? whodunnit? about a stolen Stradivarius violin that was masterfully told through the audiobook – the included violin segments between sections was fantastic. If you can, audiobook this one. 

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Remarkably Bright Creatures

Written by Shelby Van Pelt

Published by Ecco Press

Another it-was-everywhere story, I believe this book resonated so much because it was just delightful. Happy. In a year that felt anything but joyful, this story brought a spot of light – just with its cover alone! Highly recommend discovering the sweet friendship between a septuagenarian and an octopus (yep!) for yourself, the next time you need a pick me up. 

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

This Time Tomorrow

Written by Emma Straub

Published by Riverhead Books

I loved the concept of this story – what if we could transport back to our teenage selves and see the world, our parents, ourselves, through our middle-aged old ass eyes. Did we get it right? Could we try again? What would we change? 

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

The Measure

Written by Nikki Erlick

Published by William Morrow & Company

The havoc that would be wreaked if we all suddenly knew how long we had to live (as dictated by mysterious boxes arriving with varying lengths of string inside to every human being over the age of 18), is what really blew me away here. Of course I understood and foresaw the emotional, relationship aspects of such news but the politicization and polarization in our current us vs. them culture … that really stuck with me.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Marrying the Ketchups

Written by Jennifer Close

Published by Knopf Publishing Group

Recovering from some surgeries this past summer I picked up this book and it was exactly the right read – not fluff, but easy. Brought me back to my waitressing days and I’m always for a big, dysfunctional family drama story … especially one set in a restaurant. 

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

Written by Gabrielle Zevin

Published by Knopf Publishing Group

Yep. Everyone liked this one – and I’d like it mentioned that I did read this the week it came out and liked it before the hype train began (I hate hype trains btw, but am happy for the author all the same). They say you don’t need to like video games, but I do, and it helped. I’m also a 90s kid, so the nostalgia was there. 

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Iona Iverson’s Rules for Commuting

Written by Clare Pooley

Published by Pamela Dorman Books

This book (especially as an audiobook) was the big cup of cozy comfort I needed this fall. Books and I weren’t getting along, book after book had been a three star bummer, and then I took a flier on this. If it isn’t clear (as if I haven’t stated it before), I love big-cast, multi-character stories. I also love the juxtaposition of old versus young, because I vehemently (and annoyingly) ramble on about how much we can learn from each other, if we’d bother to listen. Anyway – a group of strangers become found family, centring around the matronly, prickly character of Iona, on the daily commute on a London train. Delightful good time with heart. 

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

The Most Fun We Ever Had

Written by Claire Lombardo

Published by Anchor Books

Again, here we are. Large cast. Dysfunctional family. Multi timeline. It’s a chunky book, but listening to it on audio kept the pace moving and I was invested from the get go. No one is likeable (except sweet Jonah) and there is enough swearing and sex scenes to make a sailor blush but, it’s so entertaining. 

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Middle Grade

The Girl Who Speaks Bear

Written by Sophie Anderson

Published by Scholastic Press

What a great story to read in the winter and for any fan retellings, folklore style stories a la Katherine Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale style. The illustrations added to the mesmerization of this enchanting tale. 

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

The Last Cuentista

Written by Donna Barba Higuera

Published by Levine Querido

Not an easy read at all, but how it has stuck with me throughout the year is impressive. Not being a major science fiction lover, I was nonetheless captivated by this story of a young girl who must keep the truth of Earth’s history alive as the sole surviving Cuentista after earth’s destruction and a small group of survivors escape via spaceship to a far off planet to repopulate. 

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

The Swallowtail Legacy: Wreck at Ada’s Reef

Written by Michael D. Beil

Published by Pixel+Ink

Middle grade mystery is my kryptonite, and this one is excellently crafted. All my buzzy book words are here: island setting, large family, spunky, sassy, smart heroine, mystery, an unsolved murder … it’s so very good and criminally underrated. 

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

The Ogress and the Orphans

Written by Kelly Barnhill

Published by Algonquin Young Readers

I didn’t realize this would be an allegory for the 2016 American election, but it was such a satisfying read that while it brought up difficult topics to open conversations, it was still a comforting, nuanced, and tender read.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

A Place to Hang the Moon

Written by Kate Albus

Published by Margaret Ferguson Books

So maybe this is my favourite read of the year (?) because it gave me all the feels that I got when I read and watched Anne of Green Gables for the first time as a tween. That wholesome, and at times sad, but overall joyful, comforted feeling … it’s hard to put into words. But I love this book about three orphan siblings sent to live in the English countryside during operation Pied Piper and their hope of finding a forever home … a place to hang the moon.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Lalani of the Distant Sea

Written by Erin Entrada Kelly

Published by Greenwillow Books

Weird, poetic, enthralling, unsettling, and powerful with race-through-it pacing … only Erin Entrada Kelly can write a book so wholly arresting and readable. I think it’s best to trust me and go into this one blind, but do know an older audience will appreciate it more as difficult concepts of misogynistic rule and abuse do appear. 

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

The Beatryce Prophecy

Written by Kate DiCamillo

Published by Candlewick Press

A classic in the making. You’ll want a physical copy of this gorgeous, timeless story about a young girl who, it is prophesied, will bring down the tyrannical king, that is brought to life by its beautiful illustrations. Wonderful characters and the best ever side goat companion.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Ophie's Ghosts book coverOphie’s Ghosts

Written by Justina Ireland

Published by Balzer + Bray

It hits hard, but this story about a young Black girl working at a grande manor who can see and commune with ghosts in 1920s Pittsburgh, is so well done. Listening to it on audiobook really brought Ophie’s voice to life and while it doesn’t shy away from hard hitting topics (racism, abuse, and slavery), Justina Ireland has created an excellent middle grade historical fiction with the right amount of spooky. 

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Tune It Out

Written by Jamie Sumner

Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers

I simply adored this story of Lou, a young girl who has an undiagnosed sensory disorder, yet her mother continues to push her into the spotlight hoping her beautiful voice will land them a recording contract. Living in their van and surviving gig-to-gig, an accident one night will land Lou in the care of her kind, estranged Aunt. Slowly Lou realizes the dysfunctional way she has been brought up and begins to heal. This story is so moving, tender, and well written with strong voice and characterization. A hidden middle grade gem.  

You can find it here: Bookshop.org


Written by Cornelia Funke

Published by Scholastic

Inkheart reads like a classic fantasy of old – a la The Hobbit or The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, yet was published in the last twenty years. If you haven’t yet read it, grab it next time you’re looking for a grande fantasy escape. Loved this on audio. 

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

The Clackity

Written by Lora Senf

Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers

What a story! While I cannot tolerate much gore and typically completely avoid adult/YA horror, middle grade horror, however, is one of my very favourite genres! It’s the major Goosebumps fan, 90s kid in me! If you’re the same, you have to check out The Clackity about a girl who lives in the most haunted town in America and makes a deal with a horrifying creature (The Clackity) in order to rescue her aunt from an “upside down” alternate world of horror. Battling through 7 haunted house challenges and facing internal demons of anxiety, this is an arresting, edge-of-your-seat kind of read. 

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Young Adult

This Woven Kingdom

Written by Tahereh Mafi

Published by HarperCollins

Something about this read had me feeling vibes of the YA of old – circa 2015-2017 – before it became inundated. This is a unique story (yes with some tropes), but the world building is really excellent. It’s a slower story that sets up for a great sequel and I would’ve liked more to happen in book one, but the main character is so interesting and this Cinderella-esque story speaks to that Cinderella loving girl inside. 

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Only A Monster

Written by Vanessa Len

Published by HarperTeen

I can’t say what it is that I found so interesting about Only A Monster but its contemporary / horror / time travel / Romeo-Juliet love story just grabbed me. So take that for what you will! 

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Six Crimson Cranes

Written by Elizabeth Lim

Published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

Finally read this popular YA from 2021 and it definitely delivered on the hype! What a great story that is so easy to sink into with clear, concise world building, dynamic characters, a well drawn retelling, with a main character that shows excellent growth (not always a given in YA lately). If you love YA fantasy but haven’t read this one, it won’t disappoint! 

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Our Crooked Hearts

Written by Melissa Albert

Published by Flatiron Books

Compulsively readable – I found this one personally more enjoyable and readable than her Hazel Wood series, but it still brings that unique, terrifying, fever-dream writing style she is known for. I ate this up over one or two sittings.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org


Written by Adrienne Young

Published by Wednesday Books

While it took me awhile to get into the writing style here (I found it personally hard to imagine all that Adrienne was describing) once I did the story just lept off the page. Probably the best done “pirate” story I’ve read and even though I won’t be continuing on in the series, I had such a blast reading this one. 

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Anatomy: A Love Story

Written by Dana Schwartz

Published by Wednesday Books

The love story aspect wasn’t necessarily needed for me, but Hazel was such an interesting character! Her grit and gumption and smarts trying to follow her dream to become a surgeon in early 19th century Scotland made her a main character to root for. All the horror of dead bodies, graveyards, and one incredibly squeamish eyeball scene added to the atmosphere of this unique story. 

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Any purchases made via retailer links provided in this article may result in this site receiving a share of that sale, which is truly appreciated! As a Bookshop.org Affiliate, this site earns from qualifying purchases.

Welcome to And other tales. The little corner of the interweb where we don’t count cups of coffee, believe cancelling plans to stay home & read is just good life advice, refuse to acknowledge the calories in baked goods and will never judge you on the number of marshmallows in your hot chocolate or the size of your TBR piles. Curl up, get comfy and click through for book reviews, life chats, playlists, vegan & gluten free baking recipes, gift guides and more.

Newest Articles