Tuesday 4 January 2022

22 books to read in 2022

I love the start of the year, seeing everyone's reading goals and new book hauls and so on. I know it's a time for resolutions and forward planning so with that in mind, I wanted to share 22 books I think everyone should read (this year or otherwise) to help you out if 'reading more' is on your to-do list...

stronger, faster and more beautiful by Arwen Elys Dayton

There are few fantasy novels that make it into my 'favourite books ever' list but this is one of them - I think about it often and recommend it to everyone. It's a beautiful story about human modification in the future, told via six interconnecting perspectives as time moves forward. Step into the future and discover what it means to be human, and where the boundaries really lie... Buy it here.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

Another one I recommend all the time, and one I still think about now despite reading it 5+ years ago. I truly can't say much at all about this one because it would be far too easy to spoil it - there's a huge plot twist that essentially forms the entire basis of the plot, so I don't want to give it away. But this is a tale about family, love, and the strength of a sibling bond... Buy it here.

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

If you've ever spoken to me in real life, about books or otherwise, you've probably heard me mention this beautiful book. It is honestly my top #1 book in the whole world and I re-read it at least once a year. It follows Lily, who along with her Black housemaid Rosalie, escapes from her nasty father and sets out on a mission to discover everything she can about her mama. And of course, there's bees. This is a story about finding a family you fit into, and also about the importance of the civil rights campaign in the American south. Buy it here.

The Furies by Katie Lowe

If you want a book about witches that is modern, clever and so very cool - then this is the book for you. Katie writes flawlessly, and this is a teen/coming-of-age drama without the trash; instead, it's peppered with facts and myths, everything so well-researched and relevant. Just an all-round incredible book that I can't speak highly enough of... Buy it here.

Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay

All of his books are amazing if you're into twisty thrillers, but this is my favourite of his. It's about a guy who never leaves the house, spending all his time obsessing over online maps and learning the layout of every town and city. One day he sees something in a window in a satellite image - and he's determined to uncover the truth as to why it's there. Buy it here.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

This is from 2014 but has had a resurgence recently, thanks to Tik Tok I believe. I got it free on my Kindle while I was away and had loads of time to read - and I was so glad. It's a great book, aimed at younger readers but definitely one everyone can read. It follows a girl who spends her summers on her family's private island, and she's struggling to remember anything from a couple of years ago when there was some sort of incident. With the help of her cousins, she pieces that summer back together... Buy it here

Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan

This is sooooooo beautiful. It's set in the near future, with a bit of sci-fi edge to it, and it follows a couple who are trapped in space looking back on the memories of their relationship as they try desperately to save themselves over the course of 90 minutes. Love love loved this book. Buy it here.

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

God this is beautiful, and raw, and sad and everything in between. It follows a Black couple and what happens to their marriage after a wrongful conviction - it had me bawling at parts, and it's so well written. So tender. It really examines love, and the fragility of life. Highly recommend! Buy it here.

The Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

If you need a good cry then read this. Another book aimed at a slightly younger audience, this can still be read and enjoyed by everyone which is why I've included it. It's set in a reality where you will be notified when you're about to die, so you can spend your End Day as you wish - and the book follows two young boys, both dying, both wanting to live the whole life in this final 24 hours... Buy it here.

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

If you love a psychological thriller like me, then pick this up for sure. I read it during the first lockdown and really enjoyed it - the intesity definitely took my mind off everything going on. I've recommended it to a few people who've enjoyed it, too. It follows a group of women who did *something bad* when they were at school, and it's coming back to haunt them in adulthood! Buy it here.

Second Glance by Jodi Picoult

I couldn't leave Jodi Picoult off this list - I devour all of her books and wanted to choose one of her best to recommend here. Second Glance is definitely up there; set in a tiny town in Vermont where all sorts of unexplained things are happening, it follows ghosthunter Ross who is dealing with the loss of his fiancé. Like all of Jodi's books, it is deep and meaningful with a profound message, as well as being so well written. Buy it here.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I probably don't need to recommend this because I think everyone and their mum has already read it - but in case you haven't heard of it, allow me to introduce it! The story follows Monique, a journalist tasked with writing the life story of movie star Evelyn Hugo. She doesn't know why she's been asked to do it, but it's clear that there *is* a reason. You'll absolutely fall in love with Evelyn as she recounts her dramatic life of fame and fortune! 10/10 would reecommend. Buy it here.

Sleep by C L Taylor

Another thriller for you - this time, set in a hotel on a remote island where some really nasty stuff is going on. The twist is one I genuinely could never have seen coming, which is why I'm recommending it. Just a fantastic read! Buy it here.

Just Before I Died by S K Tremayne 

I loved this book so so so much and have recommended it to a lot of people. It follows a woman who almost dies in an accident, and everything that unfolds after the event. There is so much drama and intensity, and a lot of questions. Was it really just an accident, or is there something more sinister going on? Buy it here.

Haven't They Grown by Sophie Hannah

If you know me or you've read this blog before, you'll know Sophie Hannah is one of my top 5 authors ever. I love literally every book she's ever written, and this is no exception. It's a strange story about a woman who sees her friend's kids 12 years after a fall out - and the kids haven't aged a day... Buy it here.

The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent

This is the perfect book to read on holiday but genuinely you can read it whenever - and you should! It follows Birdy, who secretly takes her friend's place as a sommelier in a posh hotel; it's a hilarious and sometimes intense story about friendship, wine, falling in love and discovering hidden parts of yourself. I absolutely adore this book (and Lizzy) AND it's being turned into a TV show! Buy it here.

Wild Boy by Jill Dawson

I read this for uni in my first year, but I fell in love with the story and it's stuck with me ever since. It's about Victor, the wild boy of Aveyron - the book is based on a true story! It's so well written and weaves a fictional narrative into a real life situation in such a beautiful way. Sad and poignant, this is well worth the read and it's not too long either. Buy it here.

The Switch by Beth O'Leary

If you want a book that is pure fun, this is it. Many people recommend The Flat Share by Beth O'Leary but I really didn't love that one - The Switch is much better in my opinion. It follows a young woman and her grandmother who, for various reasons, decide to swap places for a bit. The whole book is just lovely, funny, clever and of course a bit deep in parts too. Definitely a good easy read if you need one! Buy it here.

The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz

If you're a writer yourself, this is definitely an interesting book - but non-writers will love it too, especially if twisty thrillers are your thing. It follows a college professor who steals the plot from a deceased ex-student. He sees huge success with his novel... but at what cost? Such a good storyline, and really well written too! Buy it here.

The Behaviour of Moths by Poppy Adams

This is a book about sisters, and secrets, and moths. It follows Ginny, a moth expert living as a recluse in her childhood home - the story is set around the return of her sister Vivien, who is coming home after 47 years. This is one of those stories that has stayed with me years after reading it, so I'd definitely recommend it. Buy it here.

The Chemistry of Death by Simon Beckett

This is the first in a series of books about a foresenic anthropologist - if you like a murdery/thrillery kind of book then add this to your list. It's really detailed in terms of the science behind death, and just a really bloody interesting read. Simon Beckett is a fantastic writer, too! Buy it here.

Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis

When I was sent this book last year I thought it definitely wouldn't be my sort of thing; I generally tend to gravitate towards generic thrillers, with a bit of YA thrown in and then some curveballs. This was definitely a curveball for me and I'm so glad I read it - it follows a man and a woman who meet in a traffic jam, completely at random. But were they destined to meet all along? Buy it here.

If you're still reading this then thank you and sorry it's so long! I've linked to all the books I've recommended via Waterstones (and I get about 2p commission if you buy through these links) but do shop around and save yourself some cash. Sign up to Zilch to get a FREE £15 Amazon voucher to spend on books, and don't forget about cashback sites like Quidco and TopCashback when book shopping! 

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