If you could only read 10 books from 2022

January 5, 2023

It can be exhausting to keep up with The Best Books Lists at this time of year, but there are a few new classics that shouldn’t be missed. Here are Ten Picks from 2022 that have staying power, and will make a terrific start to your New Year’s reading. All are available from the Concord Free Public Library and local bookstores, who have their own lists to offer.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin (Knopf) Yes, it’s on the top of the Amazon and Goodreads Best lists, but that’s because Zevin has created a beautifully written novel of friendship, love, literacy, and the dawn of modern gaming culture.
Anywhere You Run by Wanda M. Morris (Morrow) – Two Black sisters’ struggle in 1964 Mississippi against Jim Crow and sexism is more relevant than ever.
Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in an English Village by Maureen Johnson & Jay Cooper (illustrations) (Ten Speed Press) Comically brilliant, and a useful reference in our own small town.
Properties of Thirst by Marianne Wiggins (Simon & Schuster) A big old fashioned American historical doorstopper about World War Two on the Western home front, with Steinbeck’s sweep, Stegner’s emotional resonance, and Wiggins’ masterful language sweeping us into the past.
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus (Knopf) One of the Big Breakout Books from last year, this first novel about a young female scientist in the 60s who accidentally becomes a TV chef is soon to be streaming on Apple TV starring Brie Larson. Either you love it or hate it, which is always a good conversation starter.
The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean (Tor) A Yorkshire moors gothic fantasy with an irresistibly creepy concept for bibliophiles – what if you literally had to eat books to survive? Haunting stuff.
Six California Kitchens: A Collection of Recipes, Stories and Cooking Lessons from a Pioneer of California Cuisine by Sally Schmitt (Chronicle) The most beautiful cookbook/memoir/photography book of the year. I wish Schmitt could have lived to see its success, but she’s smiling somewhere while she whips up a perfect meal.
Index, A History of the: A Bookish Adventure from Medieval Manuscripts to the Digital Age by Dennis Duncan (W.W. Norton) Brilliant geek stuff for the eternal student and who isn’t?
I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy (Simon & Schuster) I avoided this for months because of the title but then noticed everyone who read it loved it — and so I did, and I do.
Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton The best graphic novel of the year and proves #MeToo is sadly relevant in any location.

Bonus – Get younger readers a copy of Sophie Blackall’s gorgeous picture book, The Farmhouse before it wins a Caldecott Honor and sells out. This is for anyone to enjoy who’s ever longed for their own place in the country. Then take the children to see the Farmhouse Story Walk currently on display outside the Concord Free Public Library while it lasts!