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100 Books in 2022

Highlights of my reading world in 2022...

I’m glad to have reached my reading target this year, but I won’t be setting one in 2023. One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to read less - I spend a lot of my time buried in other people’s worlds rather than creating my own, and I’d love to write another novel. This year, I also read submissions for the Polari Prize - which definitely helped!

I wouldn’t want to start the year without a book-related project, and with that in mind I’m turning to one of my favourite Christmas presents this year. The present is a book called Ex Libris by New York Times book editor Michiko Kakutani (one of the few critics to be mentioned swearily in an episode of Sex and the City)! I’d originally discovered the book in a shop in Amsterdam, and was delighted to receive it after adding it to my wish list.

I’m about to get started on two of its recommendations, A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore and The Examined Life by Stephen Grosz. I had a wild plan yesterday to read all 100 of the books in Ex Libris (so far, I’ve read 11 and one of them was Where The Wild Things Are). I don’t think I’ll be doing that as it will dominate my reading in 2023 and take time away from promoting as-yet-unpublished books. However, when I do see one of its books in a charity shop or 99p on Kindle, I’ve pledged to buy it and give it a shot, even if it’s not the kind of thing I’d usually read.

Because I usually focus on books published within the year when blogging, I haven’t been able to do the honourable mentions for books that have been published prior to 2022 but which I hadn’t read yet. With that in mind, Heather Clark’s biography of Sylvia Plath, Red Comet, was a huge highlight for me this year and one which I’d recommend to any hardcore Plath fans - and The Grapes of Wrath, which I hadn’t read up until now. The rest of the list is eclectic, as I'm sure you'll agree...

About Us - Sinead Moriarty

Bad Choices - Lucy Vine

Red Comet - Sylvia Plath biography - Heather Clark

French Braid - Anne Tyler

Sunny - Sukh Ojla

The Exhibitionist - Charlotte Mendelson

This is not a pity memoir - Abi Morgan

The Reunion - Polly Philips (2023)

Hush - Kate Maxwell

Something Fabulous - Alexis Hall

PS. I Hate You - Sophie Ranald

How to Murder Your Life - Cat Marnell

The Love of my Life - Rosie Walsh

Factory Girls - Michelle Gallen

Mad about You - Mhairi McFarlane

Again, Rachel - Marian Keyes

Wahala - Nikki May

Such a Good Mother - Helen Monks Takhar

The Girls are Good - Ilaria Bernardini

The Setup - Lizzy Dent

Never Simple - Liz Scheier

Our Wives under the Sea- Julia Armfield

Take My Hand - Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Baby Love - Jacqueline Wilson

The Club - Ellery Lloyd

Crying in H Mart - Michelle Zauner

And When Did You Last See Your Father?- Blake Morrison

A Line Above the Sky- Helen Mort

The Wedding Night - Harriet Walker

Breadsong - Kitty and Al Tait

Red, White and Royal Blue - Casey McQuiston

My Child and other Mistakes - Ellie Taylor

Little Prisons - Ilona Bannister

In Love - Amy Bloom

First Time for Everything - Henry Fry

Duckling- Eve Ainsworth

City of Girls - Elizabeth Gilbert

We Had it So Good- Linda Grant

Ill Feelings - Alice Hatterick

Under the Rainbow - Celia Laskey

The Go-Between - Osman Yousefzada

Naked Nutrition - Daniel o’Shaughnessy

The Summer Place - Jennifer Weiner

Double Booked - Lily Lindon

The Snag List - Sophie White

Tell me Everything - Laura Kay

Sedating Elaine - Dawn Winter

The Shadowy Third - Julia Parry

Iron Annie - Luke Cassidy

The Turkey Baster Diaries - Elizabeth James

Muslim, Actually - Tawseef Khan

This Much is True - Miriam Margolyes

A Waiter in Paris - Edward Chisholm

Darling - India Knight

All of You Every Single One - Beatrice Hitchman

The Grapes of Wrath- John Steinbeck

Top to Bottom - Finley Games

An Island Wedding - Jenny Colgan

Small: on Motherhoods - Claire Lynch

Shrines of Gaiety - Kate Atkinson

The Last Days - Ali Millar

Not Safe for Work - Isabel Kaplan

You Made a Fool of Death with your Beauty - Akwaeke Emezi

Is this Love? - CE Riley

The Saturday Night Sauvignon Sisterhood- Gill Sims

So Happy For You - Celia Laskey

Amazing Grace Adams - Fran Littlewood

Happy Go Lucky - David Sedaris

Pineapple Street - Jenny Jackson

Counterfeit - Kirsten Chen

Husband Material - Alexis Hall

Before I Do - Sophie Cousens

Demon Copperhead - Barbara Kingsolver

Bournville - Jonathan Coe

Let Down Your Hair - Bryony Gordon

The Three of Us - Ore Agbaje-Williams (2023)

Love and other Scams - PJ Ellis (2023)

We all Want Impossible Things- Catherine Newman (2023)

Take Away - Angela Hui

This Time Tomorrow - Elizabeth Straub

Girl Friends- Holly Bourne

Watch Her Fall- Erin Kelly

The Shite Before Christmas- Serena Terry

The Family Remains- Lisa Jewell

Preloved - Lauren Bravo (2023)

My Extraordinary Life - Rebecca Ryan (2023)

Mr Perfect on Paper - Jean Meltzer

Paris Daillencourt is About to Crumble - Alexis Hall

The Do-over - Sharon M Peterson

Season of Love - Helena Greer

We Can Be Heroes - Paul Burston (2023)

Mad Honey - Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan

A House for Alice- Diana Evans (2023)

Love from the Pink Palace- Jill Nalder

Can’t Let Her Go - Kianna Alexander (2023)

Deep Down - Imogen West-Knights (2023)

My Own Worst Enemy - Lily Lindon (2023)

The Upstart Crow scripts - Ben Elton

Sins of my Father- Lily Dunn

Loving Amy - Janis Winehouse

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