Here are my Top Ten Picks for 2022 in countdown order.
10. The Power by Naomi Alderman – Fascinating premise…women develop the power to conduct electricity through their bodies, however, I recommend this with reservations. I thought there was a lot more she could have explored instead of focusing so much on the misuse of the power.
9. Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match by Sally Thorne – I absolutely adored Ms. Thorne’s debut book, The Hating Game, but DNF’d her third book, Second First Impressions. However, the premise of this book immediately grabbed me — the sister of Victor Frankenstein is also a scientist and she uses Victor’s methods to create her perfect man. I had fun listening to this but if you’re looking for historical accuracy, look elsewhere.
8. Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson – This is a story about a ne’er do well young woman who is hired by her boarding school friend as a nanny for her twin stepchildren. Here’s the catch – the twins are able to spontaneously combust when they’re riled up. Crazy, right? Yup. Crazy and funny and unique.
7. Running with Sherman by Christopher McDougall – I admit I read this book because I needed a book with an animal on the cover for my 2022 Book Bingo chart. However, I obviously enjoyed it enough to put it on my Top Ten List. Quirky and heartwarming, it’s the story about a man who rescues a donkey from an Amish animal hoarder and how he rehabilitates him by introducing him to the fascinating world of burro racing. I mean, who knew there was such a thing?
6. Beyond the Wand by Tom Felton – I really enjoyed this sneak peek into how Tom got into acting, got the part of Draco Malfoy and the dozens of fun stories about filming the Harry Potter movies. He was also very frank about his difficulties afterward and as a result, I’d love to meet him someday. Seems like a nice guy–very much the opposite of his iconic HP character. I’d recommend the audio version because he narrates.
5. Fairy Tale by Stephen King – I don’t have to tell you that Stephen King’s imagination is marvelously wild and crazy. In this book, he delves into the world of dark fairy tales and puts his even darker spin on them. The plot went places I would never have imagined and I was fascinated and highly entertained throughout.
4. Set My Heart to 5 by Simon Stephenson – I laughed out loud so many times reading this book about a robot who begins developing human emotions. Sure, the premise isn’t anything new, but I loved seeing Jared discover his humanity and strive to change the world’s view about robots. Again, I highly recommend the audio version. Every time the narrator said “Humans. I cannot,” I chortled.
3. A Lady’s Guide to Fortune Hunting by Sophie Irwin – This book was classic Regency in that the heroine was of the period and not subtly imbued with thoughts a modern woman would have. This is a rarity, people. As Mayim deVries said in her Goodreads review, “Changing historical romance into some sort of modern sex in the historical city killed the genre for me.” I wouldn’t say it killed the genre for me, but it is definitely something that irks me. Just as modern women balk at being housewives, so did Regency women the life of a spinster, a burden to her family. If you like to truly dive into the Regency period, try this closed–bedroom-door book.
2. The Maid by Nita Prose – I have a soft spot in my heart for characters who are on the autism spectrum and I can’t tell you how much I loved the main character, Molly. Poor Molly just wants to do her job, hotel maid, to the very best of her ability, but she when finds a dead body in one of her rooms, she somehow becomes the main suspect. I can’t recommend this book enough!!!
1. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller – I adored this book. It was a twist on Greek mythology that hooked me…What if Achilles’s Kryptonite wasn’t that silly little tendon? What if it was his male lover? I mean, YES, PLEASE. In addition to this fresh look at a millennia-old tale, Miller used simple words to convey so much richness. It was a lush, sensual tale that I read back in January and listened to again just this past week.