Each year I look forward sharing my five star reads of the year with you. To make the grade, the book must have been excellent AND memorable.
Though I love reading as much as ever, the amount of books I’m able to knock out each year has decreased considerably in the past few years. In 2022 I read 58 books, but most of them were very good. Eight were GREAT – and here they are!
Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver: I *just* finished this one up a few days ago and it was MIGHTY. A modern re-telling of David Copperfield (which I never read)- it has drugs, foster families, football, hard work, romance, deep friendships, mentorship, hitting rock bottom and satisfying hope. This was my first Kingsolver, not my last.
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney: This one came highly recommended and I devoured this thoughtful character-driven novel about an elegant elderly lady out for a walk on New Year’s Eve and reflects on her amazing New York City life, and naturally meets a few characters along the way.
The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue: These pandemic novels hit different these days, but that makes for good reading when the author is a rockstar like Emma Donoghue. We set our scene in Dublin 100 years ago in the maternity ward designated especially for expecting mothers with the flu. Is this book sometimes as sad as you think it might be? Yes, but only just, and it’s such a wonderful page-turner that you can’t miss this one. I almost took a pass for that reason, but I’m so glad I didn’t.
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin: Take it from me – and the entire Goodreads community – that this coming-of-age novel about video game designers is amazing, and so what if you don’t like video games? You’ll like this because you like a well-told tale of love and life and friendship and envy and rags-to-riches and bad decisions and all the rest.
The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni: Okay, I like coming-of-age stories. I like stories that basically start at birth and then just bring us through a person’s whole childhood and adolescence and beyond. If you’re with me, grab this one and learn about Sam Hill – Devil Boy, due to his ocular albinism – and I hope you’ll love it like it I did. I read this early in the year and still remember it well.
Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt – Yes you DO want to read this story where one of the main characters is an octopus! I’m not even going to tell you anything else, just trust me on this one.
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel: First off, everything Mandel touches turns to gold, and Sea is no exception. This work of art jumps around many hundreds of years and has lots of fun time travel and sci-fi elements but is a wonderful and easy-to-follow read that fans of all of the genres have loved it. I’d like to provide the disclaimer that the first chapter is a little wtf, but keep going, it’s phenomenal.
This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub: In addition to coming-of-age novels, I like a good time travel novel if it isn’t stupid and clunky. Why is Emma Straub so awesome? Not only is this so well executed, but the protagonist is also my age! So her time travel back to age 16 pushed me right back in time along with her, which was loads of fun. Want something lighthearted but thought-provoking? Or are you an elder millennial like me? Read this one!
How about you? Did you have any five star reads from 2022 you would recommend?
Mom of four, wife of one. By day I fund-raise with coffee, by night I read with wine and chocolate.