2022 was an incredible year for reading for me filled with so many memorable books that I keep recommending to friends and family right & left! I was able to read 94 books throughout this past year — which makes over 200 books I’ve read in the last two years, since I read 108 last year! My goal was to read 72 books, and I am pleased to have far surpassed that goal. As many books as I was able to devour this year, though, it’s so much less about the number and surpassing a goal. Reading is and always has been one of the great loves of my life, and it’s something that has brought me great happiness my entire life. Reading is a pure delight and joy for me, and I personally never want reading to be a chore or simply something to check off the list. There are SO MANY incredible books to be read, and my to-be-read book stack is constantly growing. I read quickly and often, but I barely feel like I can keep up with all of the books that I want to read and all of the knowledge I want to learn!
I love when dear friends recommend books to me, and those are the ones that instantly go to the top of my reading queue. Truly, one of the happiest gifts I could ever give someone is a book that he or she loves and connects with, and the same is true when I am given an excellent book recommendation, too. I have shared annual book and reading recaps at the end of every year for a while now (2021, 2020, 2019, 2015, 2014, 2013, my 2022 non-fiction book list, my 2021 non-fiction book list, and my all time favorite books), and here is my 2022 recap of all of the very best books that I read this year! I hope some on this list inspire you to read them and love them, too.
My top 6 fiction books of 2022 include:
Something I was pleased to learn is that 4 of my top 6 fiction books of the year are by debut authors! Talk about impressed: I am blown away by the pure talents of every author, but to have a debut novel be so beautifully written is pretty special. Lessons in Chemistry, Remarkably Bright Creatures, Black Cake, and The Measure are all debut novels for each of these authors, and they sure are something noteworthy and memorable!
My top (new) non-fiction books of 2022 include:
5/5 books that I’ve read many times before that don’t count for my top new reads of 2022 but are the best of the best:
Live No Lies (non-fiction)
Do/Walk: Navigate Earth/Mind/Body (non-fiction)
Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know (non-fiction)
The Dictionary of Lost Words
Five Tuesdays in Winter
The Empire of Pain (non-fiction)
Britt-Marie Was Here
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion (non-fiction)
The Song of Achilles
The Golden Couple
The Unsinkable Greta James
Us Against You
Go Set a Watchman
Sea of Tranquility
Our Missing Hearts
Lucy by the Sea
The Christie Affair
Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead
The Japanese Lover
The Reading List
The Girls in the Stilt House
This Time Tomorrow
Gentle and Lowly (non-fiction)
The Secret Keeper of Jaipur
The Woman in the Library
Park Avenue Summer
The Lost Summers of Newport
The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba
Killers of a Certain Age
3.75/5 or below rankings:
Portrait of a Thief (3.75), That Summer Place (3.75), Beautiful Little Fools (3.75), Eight Hundred Grapes (3.75), What the Fireflies Knew (3.75), The Bluest Eye (3.5), Funny You Should Ask (3.5), The Lamplighters (3.5), Olga Dies Dreaming (3.5), A Slow Fire Burning (3.5), Greenwich Park (3.5), The Paper Palace (3.5), One Italian Summer (3.5), The Paris Apartment (3.5), Cover Story (3.5), Sister Stardust (3.5), That Summer (3.5), The Lion’s Den (3.5), The Starless Sea (3.25), Matrix (3)
I also had a goal to read 26 non-fiction books over the course of 2022, and I am very pleased that I read 18 non-fiction books this year! I didn’t check every single book off my pre-set non-fiction book list for 2022 that I shared a year ago, but I did read many of them – plus many more. I love, love, love non-fiction books (fiction, too!) covering a wide range of topics and written by a wide range of authors. There is SO MUCH to learn, so much wisdom to soak up, so many unique perspectives to listen to and immerse myself in, and an incredible array of topics to discover and deepen my thinking and knowledge base. Many of my non-fiction reads cover topics that are deeply important to me, like faith, personal growth and development, and business – plus topics I just love reading about, like food and travel and interesting people. It’s so important to me to constantly be learning and to read the works of people I admire or look up to… and some who just entertain me!
My 18 non-fiction reads for 2022 include:
Whew! It’s always hard – in a good way! – to narrow down my favorite books of the year, and this year’s may have taken the cake! I am a little in awe that I managed to read 94 books this year (32,000 pages!). I would highly, highly recommend all of the books that I shared above in the 4/5 rankings or higher, and obviously my favorite books and most recommended ones have the highest ratings and reviews. My library queue is already overflowing with books that I can’t wait to read in the new year.
Now it’s your turn! What is THE best book you’ve read in the last year? What’s your most recommended book to your own family or friends? I would absolutely love to hear from you and add to my queue, and I hope you enjoyed this roundup of my recent reads, as well!
I always share what I’m reading in real time over on Instagram (#stephaniereads), along with Goodreads – so find me on one or both of those! I share longer reviews and recommendations on Instagram Stories as I finish every book, so all of my reviews and recaps are on there. You can read a ton more previous blog posts of mine about books: my 2021 non-fiction book list, my favorite books of 2020, my favorite books of 2019, my favorite books ever, all things books, let’s talk about books, best books of 2014, best books of 2013, the South’s best books and authors, and plenty more in my blog’s archives!
Affiliate links are used in this post – but I can’t sing the praises of shopping from smaller, independent bookstores (or supporting the library!) enough!