Today I'm thrilled to finally be sharing the second and final installment of my best books of 2022! This list features all of my favorite books that were released in 2022. There were so many amazing books released last year that I liked, but these are all the ones that stood out to me above others and that I find myself still thinking about every day and dying for a sequel for (if it's not a standalone, of course). As usual, these are lsited in no particular order. Please let me know if you also read any of these books, if you're planning to, or what some of your favorite 2022 releases are!
Pt. I of my best books of 2022 featuring backlist titles and a couple 2023 ARCs can be found here.
My annual reading stats post will also be up later this month and I can't wait to get it finished! This post has fun stats about. my reading year, including # of books read, genres I read the most, where I get my books, average page amounts, and more. (Not everyone is probably into all of the stuff, and no worries if you're not, but I really love keeping track of it and seeing a comprehensive look at my reading.)
(in no particular order)
1. The House with the Golden Door by Elodie Harper: The Wolf Den was easily one of my favorite reads of 2021, and fortunately the sequel was just as amazing. I have absolutely adored this historical fiction series thus far and am constantly impressed by Elodie Harper's commitment to historical accuracy and her ability to bring this era of Rome's history to life in such a vivid way. The characters are so complex and compelling, and the storyline is full of so many ups and downs that make it impossible to put down. This book–and series–has brought me so much joy after finishing my Classics studies and I can't wait for the final book.
2. A River Enchanted by Rebecca Ross: I don't think this book has gotten neearly as much love as it deserves. I thought A River Enchanted was a beautiful and magical story that transported me wholly to the whimsical island of Cadence where folktales are alive and well. I loved getting to know the characters and was absolutely captivated by Ross' prose. (Review)
3. On Lavender Tides by Travis M. Riddle: So I actually read three books by Travis Riddle in 2022 (Dirt King, On Lavender Tides, and A Fracture in the Qwisdeep) and I honestly loved all of them. On Lavender Tides is easily one of the most fun and enjoyable books I've read and I absolutely relished exploring this new world and all the different settings and creatures that are a part of it, as well as getting to know some amazing new protagonists. The sequel, A Fracture in the Qwisdeep, is just as exciting and fun and I consider that a favorite as well, but I had to give it up for On Lavender Tides and its introduction to this world and all the Jekuas! (also, my counting is very poor but I think this may be the fifth year in a row Travis Riddle has ended up on my favorites of the year list??) (Review)
4. Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher: T. Kingfisher is another regular to my favorites list, this year because of Nettle & Bone! This is a short novel featuring a slew of quirky characters and a very magical world that is full of surprises. I can't seem to get enough of Kingfisher's prose that is insightful, flowing, and full of plenty of witty humor. Whether you've read T. Kingfisher before or not, you definitely can't go wrong with Nettle & Bone. (Review)
5. Lavender House by Lev AC Rosen: Lavender House was a complete surprise with how much I loved it. I was hooked immediately after only the first page and I was captivated from there until the end of the book. I liked exploring the weird relationships and dynamics that existed between this eclectic family and how our protagonist, Andy, fit into it all. I thought the mystery element was really fun, but the setting and characters were what really set it apart. (Review)
6. Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel: This was a beautiful, memorable debut about the oft-villified queen Kaikeyi from the Ramayana. This retelling was unbelievably absorbing and had me ridiciulously invested in Kaikeyi's life and experiences. Patel prose was utterly compelling and had such an effortless quality about it that was perfectly balanced between detail and simplicity. I appreciated Patel's loyalty to the source material while also incorporating her own style and voice to the story. I am so excited to see what Vaishnavi Patel will be writing next! (Review)
7. Four Treasures of the Sky by Jenny Tinghui Zhang: This book was such a gut punch at times and is one that will really sit with me for some time to come. Following Daiyu's journey was incredibly difficult and full of tragedy, but it also held its own source of hope and inspiration that is what really set this story apart for me. I think this is an incredibly important and amazing story and I can't recommend it enough. (Review)
8. One Dark Window by Rachel Gillig: If any book was going to be a surprise to me to make it onto my favorites list, it'd be this one. There were a lot of things about this book that could've been too cliche'd or overdone, but somehow Gillig made it feel fresh and exciting and I really had a wonderful time and really loved this book. The world feels dark and mysterious and full of potential, and I really enjoyed the interactions between the main characters, as well as learning more about the magic system and how all of the different cards worked. This was probably one of my favorite magic systems that I've read about in a while! I can't wait for the sequel and to see more from Rachel Gillig! (Review)
9. The Bladed Faith by David Dalglish: This is another one of those books that I ended up enjoying more than I could have expected. I feel like rebellions and similar plot beats have become a little overdone to me in recent years and I often find they feel very similar to one another, but something about what Dalglish did with The Bladed Faith made it feel so new and exciting. I loved exploring all the different aspects of this world, the politics, and the characters. This was an amazing fast-paced fantasy that ticked off all the right boxes for me and I can't wait to see what's next. (Review)
10. The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesly by Sean Lusk: This book was such a delightful surprise! There was such a strong air of quirkiness and inventiveness in this story that I found myself effortlessly engaged and wanting to see what would come on each page. I loved the clockmaking aspect of this and following Zachary and his father to Constantinople. This is a book that feels very different from others in ways that are sometimes hard to describe, and it's one that I adored and am so glad I got to read last year. (Review)
Have you read any of these books? What were some of your favorite 2022 releases?