My Favorite Books of 2022


The Buried Giant and Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

There is a handful of authors that I trust to always tell me a unique, beautiful, and creative story.  Kazuo Ishiguro is at the top of my list.  His books are always creative, but what is most fascinating in the heart of all of his story-telling (and he dabbles across fantastical, realistic, or science fiction genres), it is always about the people and relationships within the story.  And in both of these books, he certainly does tell a beautiful, unique, and human story.  Although I won’t give you any hints as to the plots (I believe his books are read much better that way), you will not be disappointed.

The Stand by Stephen King

 *This is not for the sensitive reader and contains all of the things—and I mean ALL the things—you don’t want your kids to read*  In fact, I probably wouldn’t recommend this to most of the people who read this blog unless you have a dark sense of humor, read a lot of books, and are okay with evil characters doing evil things…because they are E-V-I-L.

Years ago, I read King’s “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft” and enjoyed it immensely and learned a good deal.  But I’m not a horror genre person.  Horror movies and books generally bore me.  However, this particular book kept popping up as a must-read on an NPR fiction book list where I’d read 90% of the other books recommended and loved most of them.  So this year, when I saw it pop up as a free audiobook available at the library, I thought, why not?  I’ve always wanted to see his advice on writing in action.  

On the aspect of writing, I am impressed to say the least.  He masterfully sets scenes in relatively few words, creates memorable characters with unique speech and consistent thought patterns, tells a multi-faceted story with a broad overarching theme and interesting spiritual undercurrents.  In his tiny asides, it’s easy to see that he’s experienced much of life, held various jobs, has lots of hands-on knowledge, and what he doesn’t know, he makes up with excellent research and a unique imagination.

As to the actual story, I couldn’t help but smirk darkly at what he imagined the world to be like during the book’s pandemic.  The book was written in 1978 and after having experienced the COVID lockdown and seeing the news out of China, it was hard not to see some similarities.   He imagined a militaristic reaction and a poorly executed containment.  But that is just the first part of the book.  The rest is all about the fight of good against evil.  And the evil is very evil and the good is somewhat good, but mostly just human.


Taking Charge of ADHD: The Complete Authoritative Guide for Parents by Russell Barkley 

This book is just what I needed and is on my bedside bookshelf for quick reference.  My husband and 4 children have ADHD.  Most of the reminders and consistency falls to me and that can be very difficult to maintain if I had, say, a Chronic illness based on diminished energy levels (haha…).  It’s pretty tough to be everyone else’s brains, and even though I had routines set up, I needed just a little more help in helping my little people.  Enter this book.

The first part of the book is building the scientifically historical case of why ADHD isn’t just made up, what research actually shows about the ADHD brain (yes, it’s mostly genetic—with percentages of likelihood and everything!), and why it’s important to understand it. The book goes on to give ideas for how to better parent kids with ADHD.  Some of it is applicable to our situation, much of it we already do, and some of it isn’t.  Overall though, the complex reward system for chores was a game-changer.  It’s more work for me in some ways, but the trade-off for not having to remind each child every step of the way, is worth it.  It goes on to have advice for the teenage years because teens with ADHD tend to participate in more risky behaviors than those without.  Lastly, it goes into both non-medicinal ways to help those with ADHD (CBT therapy, exercise, etc…), and medications currently available.  It goes into great detail about what the drug is, how the drug works, and its pros and cons.  I greatly appreciated this list so that I could speak knowledgeably to the doctor on behalf of my kiddos.  We do as much as we can for our kiddos that is non-medicinal, but we’ve seen how much easier things are for them when their brains are functioning better–even when it means medication.  If you have ADHD or have a child who has it, please read this book. You’ll be doing both of yourselves a favor.

Imperfect Harmony: Singing Through Life’s Sharps and Flats by Stacy Horn

This was a delightful book that was recommended to me by my Aunt Mary.  Aunt Mary was a librarian for much of her life and also loves to sing in choirs.  Any book that she recommends, I will always read because I know it will be good.  And this book hit all the right notes (see what I did there?).  If you love music, or love singing in a choir, this is the geek-out book for you.  Not only does Horn make you love the music you already love even more by telling you the history behind it, she writes with a delightful sense of humor.  It really was the one book that made me smile every time I picked it up.


Maus: A Survivor’s Tale Books 1-2 by Art Spiegelman 

These two books were on the banned books list (of which I read a few this year).  Some of the others I read, probably shouldn’t be read before college, but I don’t really believe in banning books.   These two books are about Spiegelman’s dad who was a holocaust survivor.  Not only is it an extremely creative way to write a memoir, it was powerful in this graphic novel format.  This was my first graphic novel and it took me a bit to get used to, but I really appreciated his story-telling in his father’s voice.  When my kids are older, I want them to read these two books because I think that these stories are important.


The Alloy of Law Series by Brandon Sanderson

The whole series was delightful!  I love anything that Brandon Sanderson writes, and this one was especially genre-bending.  However, the best review on the first book in the series comes from Patrick Rothfuss, one of the genres most equally talented authors. If you’re on Goodreads, you need to check it out—it’s hilarious and the highest praise one author can give another.

A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson 

This is the very last book in the Wheel of Time series.  It took me many years to read through the 14 volumes that make up this series.  And after an Israel-wandering-in-the-desert kind of slog that went on from books 7-12, Brandon Sanderson, after the death of Robert Jordan, was given the Herculean task to finish/salvage the series.  And boy did he ever.  It was more action-packed than all but the first Wheel of Time books.  Was the whole 14 volumes series worth it?  I’m still not sure. But this last one was great.

Most Disappointing 

The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

I never thought I’d EVER say this, but I think the Disney version was better. *Gasp* That makes this even more shocking because Les Miserables (also by Victor Hugo) is one of my all-time favorite books…so I had high expectations.  I slogged through, waiting for it to grab me.  I waited for myself to like one or any of the characters.  And although there are sparkling moments of beauty, and snarky bits of social commentary throughout, I was sorely disappointed by this book.  Spoiler alert: everybody dies (okay, almost everybody).  If you wade through this tome, just know that the ending is dark.  Some are given over as lambs to the slaughter, others given over to their vices.  No one remains unscathed by the whimsical malevolence of fate.  There is no hero, no antihero.  There are just people being people.  And in a way, I kind of liked the haunting ending.

If nothing in this year’s lists interests you, I’ve got plenty more lists from other years (2021, 2020, 2019 & 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013) or you can find me on Goodreads.

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