This is my TENTH year making a book recommendation or ‘favorite reads’ list. But, this year was SO hard to narrow down because I read over 120 books! That’s DOUBLE the number I read last year (and I thought I read a lot of books last year).
How did I read so many books? Audiobooks changed the game for me. I check them out from the library (for free!) using the Libby app on my phone and listen while I’m walking the dog, cooking dinner, folding laundry, driving, etc. I listened to ALL the non-fiction books on my list.
I use the Libby app to get my non-audiobooks from the library too. I LOVE my Kindle Oasis because I can load multiple books, take it anywhere, and read it in the dark using its gentle backlight. If you want a more affordable kindle, the Paperwhite is amazing too (I used it for many years before upgrading to the Oasis).
This year I’ll separate out a list for Fiction and a list for Non-Fiction since I had so many favorites.
MY BOOK RECOMMENDATION LIST (FICTION)
Here we go… the best FICTION books I read in 2022!
- Project Hail Mary. If you only read ONE book on this list, let it be this one. Sci-fi isn’t my typical genre, but I LOVED this book. It’s about a scientist who has to go into space for a ‘Hail Mary’ attempt to save Earth.
- Black Cake. This was a story of siblings unraveling their mother’s history after she passes away. I really enjoyed it.
- Nothing to See Here. A young woman is asked to care for two unusual children (they light on fire when they’re upset). It felt similar to House in the Cerulean Sea (one of last year’s faves) but with less magic and more swearing.
- The Last House on the Street. This was my first Diane Chamberlain novel and I loved how a mystery unfolded as the chapters jumped back to the 60s to the civil rights movement and current time. I read this near Halloween and loved the slightly ‘spooky’ vibe. I later read her book Big Lies in a Small Town and enjoyed it as well.
- Nora Goes Off Script. I read several romantic comedies this year and this is my favorite. It’s about a single mom who writes a script and she ends up falling in love with the lead actor. Even though it’s not similar to my life, I found it relatable (maybe it’s the motherhood element). It was cute and predictable.
- The Nothing Man. This is a hard turn from the last recommendation- cute it is NOT. This is a thriller about a serial killer in Ireland. I found it hard to put down.
- Rock Paper Scissors. Another thriller… I read this at the start of the year (it’s a great winter read). It’s set in Scotland with a man who has ‘face blindness.’ Another one I found hard to put down.
- Recursion. Another sci-fi story, but this one deals with time travel. It’s a major mind trip.
- The Prettiest Star. This one was emotional. A story of a young man dying from AIDS. He’s moved back home where his family is hiding him as they care for him at the end of his life. It’s told from multiple points of view (including his mom and sister) which was interesting. A heart-breaking read, but so glad I read it.
MY BOOK RECOMMENDATION LIST (NON-FICTION)
Here are the best NON-FICTION books I read in 2022!
- Gifts of Imperfection. I read Brene’s entire collection this year (well, listened to) and this was my favorite. Gosh, so good. I want everyone to read it. Especially those who struggle with high achiever or perfectionist tendencies.
- All Thirteen. Gosh this was fascinating. The story of the Thailand soccer team that was caught in an underwater cave.
- Finding Me. I knew next to nothing about Viola Davis, but I am SO glad I listened to this one. She narrates it herself (her voice is lovely to listen to) and I admire everything she’s overcome.
- Breath. This was really interesting but can be summarized by saying: breathe through your nose, not your mouth. I didn’t take it as far as taping my mouth while I sleep (though they did make a very compelling case), but I do think of it often especially when I exercise!
- Building a StoryBrand. This quickly became my very favorite business-related book. If you’re an entrepreneur, this is a must read.
- Set Boundaries, Find Peace. I’ve had quite a journey with boundaries over the last few years as I’ve built my business. This explores boundaries in many areas of life, with great concrete examples of what to say. Love her Instagram account too.
- Open Book. I also knew very little about Jessica Simpson aside from what I saw on MTV’s The Newlyweds back in the day. I enjoyed listening to her tell her story and learning more about her love life as well as her business savvy with her clothing brand.
- What Happened to You. Oprah did a great job with this book exploring the impact of childhood trauma. I found this MUCH easier to digest than the popular ‘The Body Keeps the Score.’ Highly recommend.
- Atomic Habits. I’ve seen this book everywhere and it’s got some good tips for sure. My favorite concepts from it are ‘habit stacking’ and ‘you do not rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems.’
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