Happy New Year, beloved bookworm!
It’s that time of year again where I love to look in my Goodreads app and take a look at some of the books I’ve loved. In 2022, I read 86 books – not far off 88 in my 2021 challenge.
Like anything one loves, it’s hard to pick a favourite. Especially books. Different genres. Series. Characters. Worlds. Emotions.
It’s what I love about books so much.
But here are my top 5 I wanted to share (in no particular order). Some of them may be a surprise, others I am not ashamed are featured! Plus some others I just had to mention!
What are some of your favourites?
1. A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas
Okay, so this isn’t one book, but it’s a series I’ve fallen head over heels in love with. Before becoming acquainted with Sarah J. Maas‘ novels, I was yet to find a good fantasy book. Like a few of the other books here, I can see why it got the cult following it did! Following human Feyre’s story of becoming immersed in a world of faeries, beasts and magic, I just didn’t want it to end. So far I have read 3 of the 5 books in quick succession, where I anticipate the next one will land in my stocking today! But if I had to pick 1, it would be book 2: A Court of Mist & Fury. I gobbled this up in a little under 3 days in Tenerife and still think back to its epic arc and love story. Praise for BookTok!
2. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
Already, you may be thinking me unimaginative as it’s clearly another BookTok favourite, but Colleen Hoover is another author I hadn’t come across before 2022, finishing a total of 6 of her novels in just a few months. Her characters are all so unique, albeit some storylines a bit samey when full of sex and love, but I do love a love story. And let me tell you, I am SO glad this is the one I started off with. Yes, it set the bar high, but it made my mouth drop and gasp more times than I remember with any other novel. So much so I pre-ordered It Starts With Us – something I’d never normally do.
Sometimes a classic tale of family rifts can be just what you want to read. Whilst not totally relatable in my case, it’s very believable. Like Jones‘ previous 2 novels, Never Greener and Us Three (which I ADORED). There is a serious undertone to the plots, where characters lives can be destroyed by thoughtless actions, but it’s perfectly balanced by her Welsh wit. Love Untold was equally as beautifully written, where it focused only 4 women in the same family, and not-sh*t nor f*cks-given Soozie gave me Nessa vibes (if you are Gavin & Stacey fans, welcome).
It has nothing to do with the fact I share an awesome name with one of my favourite authors, or the fact she’s liked my Instagram posts, quoted me in her story or even messaged me, but, her writing just rocks. It’s so unique. I fell in love with her novels since reading Magpie, which has quickly become a favourite, but then The Party, which follows the lives of 2 young men and others closely involved in their lives when someone’s actions create quite the opposite of what one would hope for at a party. Her writing is compelling, where character arcs are immensely and cleverly portrayed when flicking between their present and past selves at boarding school.
Yep, she’s made it onto this year’s favourites twice! I can’t remember the last time I finished a decent sized novel in 1 day. When I wasn’t on my feet all day in Canterbury, I read this wherever and whenever I could. On the bus. On the train. In the city’s Westgate Gardens in the sun. Waiting for the train. It was beyond compelling and again, completely different to what I’d experienced in her other novels. Whilst not quite a love story, it is a twisted, dark thriller where I couldn’t believe my eyes as I pored over the last few pages.
What’s next for 2023?
If I have the time, I look forward to branching out into new genres, but maybe even find some new authors to try. I’m hoping 2023 will be there year I finally finish my own novel! Watch this space…
And a few more favourites that nearly made the top 5…
Confessions of a Forty-Something F*ck Up by Alexandra Potter
This is one I managed to get on before it got big on BookTok would you believe. It’s a great book that gives me Bridget Jones vibes, where Nell is trying to piece her life back together in the UK which of course means launching a podcast! What’s good is that when I tagged her on Instagram, she mentioned she has a sequel planned – exciting! One thing I’m a bit hesitant in is that ABC have piloted an episode for next year – in typical American style, the show name, characters and location have been changed. But let’s not be quick to judge…
People Person by Candice Carty-Williams
Like many people who loved Queenie, I was thrilled when it was announced Carty-Williams would be releasing another novel. And with equal delight, her next novel was just as funny and witty. Her character portrayal is flawless, contrary to their own actual flaws! Whilst tackling a serious situation, Dimple and her half-siblings are brought together and their lives changed forever as they battle keeping a large secret, social media, toxic relationships and their own messy lives.
A completely unexpected one to make the list. And more interestingly, this is one I preferred listening to as an audiobook. It got me through summer walks, evening strolls, field exploring and provided wishful thinking of even visiting the Orkney Islands, where Liptrot’s memoir is set. I felt utter peace when listening to this, read by herself, as she too came to peace having left London behind, along with love and battling alcoholism. It was like being at one with nature, detailing bits of the UK you didn’t think could be so beautiful, including the animals and an inkling of the Northern lights. A beautifully overwhelming novel.
Want to read more? Check out this post I wrote with some tips on how to fit more books into your year, whilst still saving your pennies from charity shops, the library and Kindle offers!