With the year drawing to a close, we thought it a good time to check in and have a discussion.
What books did you enjoy most in 2022? What’s on your pile for 2023?
We’ll go first.
I did a roundup last week of my favorite reads. The highlights for me were ‘The Secret History,’ ‘My Volcano’ and the book about the Knicks.
For Donna, it was Ocean Vuong’s ‘On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous,’ and Beth Ann Fennelly’s ‘Heating & Cooling,’ a book of 52 micro-memoirs.
What about you? Let’s discuss in the thread!
I loved Lapvona.
There were so many! The Four Winds, The Silent Patient, Now What?, The Making of Biblical Womanhood.
Cloud Cuckoo Land
One of my favorites that I read this year was Ubik by Phillip K Dick. Incredibly strange and smart.
Also Problems by Jade Sharma, Women Talking by Miriam Toews (which I believe is coming out as a move soon!)
Milk Fed Milk Fed Milk Fed! I feel like it’s all I ever want to tell people about and it’s so delightful whenever someone reads it. Queer and Jewish and about addiction and mother pain—it’s perfect. I also loved The Reading List, and read some amazing YA: Six of Crows, Pet, Bitter and the graphic novels Messy Roots and Invisible. There’s so many good books out there.
SO many good books this year! My top five were Sea of Tranquility, Song of Achilles, I Am I Am I Am, Killers of a Certain Age, and Chilean Poet.
I loved my first Edith Wharton, The Custom of the Country, and I'm also fully convinced that Rent Boy by Gary Indiana is the perfect novel! Short, but could never be called sweet.
A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers made me feel more seen than any book has in a very long time.
Impossible to pick but here are the five I can't stop thinking about: Lote, Edinburgh, Greenland, All This Could Be Different, A Minor Chorus.
My favorite was Trust by Hernan Diaz. I also loved Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout and French Braid by Anne Tyler. I think I was mostly about domestic drama this year!
It feels so normie to say, and it's not like they need the extra exposure, but I still loved Lesson's in Chemistry (almost hits the high bar of Where'd You Go Bernadette) By now I'm all too familiar with Zevin's bookish brand of emotional manipulation, but I still loved Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow. I guess I'm just a fan of more than a little bittersweet in my books.
It's so hard to pick the "best" when I know I will remember some for reasons having nothing to do with "best" or how much I liked then. Here are the top four: "Life Everlasting: The Animal Way of Death," by Bernd Heinrich, "Small Things Like These," by Claire Keegan, "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow," by Gabrielle Zevin, "In Love" by Amy Bloom.
I just wanted to add: I loved Ocean Vuong's "On Earth We Were Briefly Gorgeous." I read it a couple of years back and it will remain among my top ten of all time.
I loved Alexander Chee's 'How to Write an Autobiographical Novel,' and so many others... 'Forward' by Andrew Yang was a surprise hit for me. 'SuperIntelligence' by Nick Bostrom felt extremely relevant with the advent of ChatGPT. Micro memoirs sounds awesome! Need to grab that!
This is definitely some amount of recency bias but I finished UnMask Alice in a Day on Christmas Eve and enjoyed it. I definitely had a bunch of others but loved it.
This year I was introduced to Ruth Ozeki and devoured "The Book of Form and Emptiness" and "Tale for the Time Being." "Night of the Living Rez" was also very very good <3
'Lonely castle in the mirror by Mizuki Tsujimura' it read like a fairytale and definitely brought me joy and tears just the same, 'We have always lived in the castle by Shirley Jackson' was a book I got into without knowing anyyyything and it did not disappoint, amazing plot with a very interesting narration. 2022 was a great reading year for me and I also got to know more about my reading preferences too!!
My favorites were Matrix by Lauren Groff, Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zahner and This is Not a Book about Benedict Cumberbatch by Tabitha Carvan. But I can't NOT mention John Irving's newest book, The Last Chairlift. He's my all-time favorite author and it's probably time for me to go back and read his earlier works again. They're like old friends! I'd love to see a Books on Gif about The Hotel New Hampshire or my all-time favorite, The World According to Garp.