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The best books I read in 2022
The three books I can't forget
2022 was a big year for books! I read a grand total of 58 books for the year and it was certainly a challenge to pick my favourites from an excellent line up.
Without further ado, here are the three best books that I read in 2022. They have a few things in common – female authors, queer characters, at least one character in a creative industry – but the main thing is that I can’t get any of them out of my head.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Aging and reclusive legendary movie star Evelyn Hugo has refused interviews for decades, but she suddenly decides that she is ready to tell the truth about her illustrious career and she has picked magazine reporter Monique Grant to be her audience. There are many things that Monique wants to ask her about – her breakthrough, her successes, her failures, her infamous seven husbands – but there’s one big question: who was the love of Evelyn Hugo’s life?
While The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was published in 2017, I didn’t discover it until early 2022 when it suddenly exploded all over my social media feeds. By the time I finally decided to pick up a copy at the bookstore, I was convinced that there was no way that it could live up to the ridiculous amount of hype.
But it did. I totally devoured Evelyn Hugo in one evening, refusing to go to sleep until I got to the end. I felt completely swept up in Reid’s reimagining of the Hollywood scene and in Evelyn’s glamorous yet chaotic life.
Reid’s books are always pageturners and I sped through Evelyn Hugo, desperate to know what happened. The drama is always present, the stakes are high and the emotions are palpable.
Where You Left Us by Rhiannon Wilde
Sisters Cinnamon and Scarlett Prince both return home to live with their rockstar father after his latest breakdown in their family’s gothic home by the sea. Cinnamon is trying to figure things out with her ex-boyfriend-now-best-friend Will when she finds herself really starting to care about her co-worker Daisy while Scarlett investigates the mysterious disappearance of their Great Aunt Sadie. Can solving the mystery fix their broken family?
If you have spoken to me at all in the last few months, undoubtedly you will have heard me rave about how much I love Where You Left Us by Rhiannon Wilde.
This book has everything you could want: romance, sisterhood, family secrets, a gothic mansion and midnight breakdowns on the beach.
I read Where You Left Us when a particularly bad episode of writer’s block hit while I was at my writing residency in September and it totally cured me.
Wilde’s writing is so on point that several parts of this book felt like a personal attack (but in a good way).
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
Several years after their friendship was forged in a hospital games room, Sam Masur and Sadie Green run into each other at a train station in Cambridge, Massachusetts and decide to start designing video games together. With the backing of Sam’s generous and extraverted roommate Marx Watanabe, Sam and Sadie create their first blockbuster Ichigo and launch themselves into a career of game-making.
My first reaction to seeing Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow was that there was no reason for the cover design to work yet somehow it did.
Once I opened the pages of the book, I quickly discovered that it is a revelation. If you haven’t read it yet, don’t even bother finishing this article. Go straight to a bookstore or library and get this book.
I love a story that plays around with its structure and here Zevin excels. Everything is written in the best possible way to advance the story. I found myself itching to start a new part to discover how she had chosen to write it.
This book contained so many pleasant surprises. I loved the exploration of Marx’s place in the acting community as an Asian man. I loved reading about Sam and Sadie’s games and felt impatient to find out what they were going to make next.
I do have to warn you that this book is also gut wrenching. You get the sense early on that something has not turned out quite right in Sam and Sadie’s lives but I read on with reckless abandon anyway. I gave this book permission to break my heart over and over again.
I have read fifteen other books since this one and I’m still thinking about it. I just can’t quit it.