2022 was a landmark year for literature. See the list of best books to catch up on all the excitement and discover new favorites.
2022 was a landmark year for literature. The publishing world saw bold storytelling from diverse authors who brought their unique perspectives to the page. Both established and emerging writers made a splash, earning critical acclaim for their captivating works.
From lyrical poetry to thought-provoking science fiction, this article will recap some of the best books from last year.
Recapping the most successful titles of 2022
Let’s look back at some of the most notable new books of 2022 that gained good book reviews.
Afterlives by Abdulrazak Gurnah
This historical fiction novel is set in the first half of the 20th century. It follows four protagonists living in a town along the Swahili coast of Tanzania, from the period of German colonial rule until a few years after independence. It explores themes of identity, harrowing colonialism, and the search for personal and cultural roots.
Abdulrazak Gurnah is a British author of Tanzanian descent. He was awarded Nobel Prize for Literature in 202.
Trust by Hernan Diaz
The novel explores the hidden wealth of an American family in the early 20th century. The protagonist is a powerful financier, and the story follows his rise to success and the specificity of his wife. Trust draws the reader into a quest for the truth while exposing the lies that frequently underlie interpersonal interactions.
Hernan Diaz is the author of two acclaimed novels. His second novel, Trust, was named one of the 10 Best Books of the Year by The New York Times, Time magazine, and The Washington Post.
The Candy House by Jennifer Egan
The Candy House offers a bold, magnificent vision of a near-future world. It’s almost like performing a role-playing game where the focus is on social media, gaming, and otherworldly settings. Egan provides a ferocious and thrilling tribute to the human need for genuine connection, love, privacy, family, and redemption.
Jennifer Egan is a prize-winning American author and journalist. She writes novels and short stories. Her novel A Visit from the Goon Squad won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Award.
The Passenger by Cormac McCarthy
The novel follows a salvage diver who is haunted by past losses and trauma. He must also face a big mystery beyond his understanding. The Passenger is a magnificent story about science and morality, the impact of past mistakes, and the craziness of human thought. This book was published by Knopf Publishing Group.
Cormac McCarthy is an American playwright and novelist. He won the 2007 Pulitzer Award for The Road. His novel No Country for Old Men was adapted to the big screen and won four Oscars, including Best Picture.
Checkout 19 by Claire-Louise Bennett
A young woman embarks on a journey of self-discovery, encountering a cast of memorable characters both real and imagined. Told on the first-person, this thrilling adventure showcases the limitless potential of human imagination and the boundless possibilities that await those who harness it.
Claire-Louise Bennett is a British novelist. She studied literature in University of Roehampton, London. Checkout 19 (published by Riverhead Books) was nominated for the Goldsmiths Prize.
Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart
Young Mungo is a captivating tale that brings lyricism to its every day characters. The story highlights underrepresented voices in literature. It explores the limits of masculinity, the violence experienced by the queer community, and the danger of excessive love.
Douglas Stuart is an award-winning Scottish-American author. Shuggie Bain, his debut novel, won the 2020 Booker Prize and 2021 British Book Awards for Debut Book of the Year and Overall Book of the Year.
Genre leaders of 2022
The Furrows by Namwali Serpell
The daring examination of memory and grief in The Furrows unexpectedly turns into a tale of mistaken identity, double perception, and the hopeful longing to be reunited with the deceased. The book captures the strange sense of mourning, as the past crashes in over the living.
Namwali Serpell is an award-winning Zambian writer. She won Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award in 2011 and Caine Prize for African Writing in 2015.
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel
The author of The Glass Hotel returns with a new novel. This sci-fi book takes readers from 1912 Vancouver Island to a dark moon colony 500 years into the future. The narrative spans centuries and space to tell the story of humanity.
Emily St. John Mandel was a contender for the PEN/Faulkner Award and a National Book Award.
Stay True by Hua Hsu
In Stay True, Hua Hsu reflects on his journey of self-discovery and the meaning of Asian-American identity. He covers a range of topics, including grief, pop culture, friendship, and the power of storytelling.
Hua Hsu is an American writer and professor of English at Bard College. His work focuses on multiculturalism, immigrant culture, and public perceptions of diversity.
Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman
This poetry collection from Viking showcases Amanda Gorman’s exceptional voice in American poetry. It includes her famous poem “The Hill We Climb,” as well as other pieces that explore themes of identity, grief, and memory.
Amanda Gorman is an American activist and poet. As a young woman, she first became the National Youth Poet Laureate. Her work focuses on marginalization, oppression, race, feminism, and the African diaspora.
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What is the most read book in 2022?
House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas. It is available on Amazon and Bookshop.
What is the best fiction story of 2022?
The Boys from Biloxi by John Grisham, published by Random House. Also consider Lessons by Ian McEwan.
What is the best nonfiction book of 2022?
And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle (Random House) by Jon Meacham.