Best Reads of 2022
New Years is just a couple days away, can you believe it?
Naturally, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on my favorite reads for the year. I’ve read up a storm this year, and there’s plenty of different genres and authors that truly inspired me and gave me an escape from humdrum reality when I needed it the most.
I want to give a big thank you to all the authors out there breaking their backs to contribute to the amazing world of fiction. I know it’s a thankless job for the most part, but you really do help people in a myriad of ways and I appreciate you!
Should you feel so inclined, check out the list of my favorite reads below and consider adding them to your TBR or even buying a copy. I hope you have the happiest of new year celebrations and I’ll see you in 2023!
I am an Amazon affiliate and earn a tiny commission for purchases made through the Amazon links in this post at no cost to you. It’s a great way to help me keep things running on my blog if you’re already intrigued enough to make a purchase.
Invincible, Compendium Three
It’s here: the third massive paperback collection of the greatest comic in the universe. Witness the conclusion of Mark Grayson’s epic adventures, from “The Death of Everyone” to “The End of All Things.”
Collects INVINCIBLE #97-144.
Hoard It All Before
Like any traveling circus, Zin’s has hair-raising acts and fried food on sticks. But it’s also got an aura-spotting centaur, a chain-smoking unicorn, and an omelet-addicted dragon.
Oh, and a body in the center ring.
Duncan — aka “Brutus Fangwrath, Deadliest Dragon in the West” — wakes one morning to find his best friend isn’t just sleeping off a hangover.
Suspicion for the murder quickly turns to the circus’s new hire, Cordelia Quinn. After all, she’s got motive, she got means, and she’s got loads of circumstantial evidence stacked against her.
When it looks like no one else is going to step in to help Cordelia, it’s up to Duncan to unravel the case, prove Cordelia’s innocence, and uncover a troubling secret along the way.
As soon as he’s done with his omelet, that is.
Set in a 1930s that’s just a tad different than what you’re used to, Hoard it all Before is the start of a delightful humorous mystery series with plenty of tantalizing twists, a troupe of quirky characters, and death-defying feats both in and beyond the big top.
If you like paranormal mysteries like those by Kim M. Watt and C.K. McDonnell that mix laughs in with the murderous mayhem, you’ll love Hoard it all Before.
The Hay Bale
Contemporary Southern Gothic meets weird horror in this new novelette from Priscilla Bettis.
Professor Claire Davenport yearns to be a mother. After suffering four miscarriages, the university microbiologist tries and fails to qualify as an adoptive mother. Then Claire’s husband leaves.
Alone and emotionally wounded, Claire takes a summer sabbatical from her microbiology classes and escapes to rural Virginia to heal. There, she meets local farmers with strange agricultural practices.
Claire moves into the historic manor house she rented for the summer, and an abandoned child greets her. Is the child real, an answer to her prayers? Or is he a figment of her tormented emotions? Perhaps the tight-knit locals are playing a trick on the science lady from the city.
Whatever the boy’s origin, Claire is determined to find the truth, but the truth may be bloody.
Your garden is their battleground.
After a new pesticide turns hedgehogs into flesh hungry maniacs, Harry must seek the help of a fox, a cat and a mouse if he’s to survive the night of the living hogs.
A Romero x Animals of Farthing Wood mashup like you’ve never read before.
The Song of Achilles
Achilles, “the best of all the Greeks,” son of the cruel sea goddess Thetis and the legendary king Peleus, is strong, swift, and beautiful, irresistible to all who meet him. Patroclus is an awkward young prince, exiled from his homeland after an act of shocking violence. Brought together by chance, they forge an inseparable bond, despite risking the gods’ wrath.
They are trained by the centaur Chiron in the arts of war and medicine, but when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, all the heroes of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the cruel Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.
Nightwing Vol. 1: Leaping into the Light
The New York Times bestselling Injustice team of Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo take on Nightwing!
Nightwing is back—and his drive to keep Blüdhaven safe has never been stronger! But his adoptive city has elected a new mayor with the last name Zucco. When Nightwing enlists Batgirl’s help in investigating the politician bearing the same name as the man who murdered his parents, she unearths details that will shock and fundamentally change the hero.
Dick Grayson’s big heart has protected those persecuted by bullies in his youth, combated evil alongside Batman as Robin, and pledged his newly inherited wealth to enriching Blüdhaven as Nightwing. His kindness and generosity have always guided his life. But now a new villain stalks the back alleys, removing the hearts of the city’s most vulnerable. Who is this terrifying new menace named Heartless, and will he be able to resist plucking out the biggest heart in all of Blüdhaven?
Collected in this Infinite Frontier Nightwing evolution are issues #78-83.
The Middling Affliction
What would you do if you lost everything that mattered to you, as well as all means to protect yourself and others, but still had to save the day? Conrad Brent is about to find out.
Conrad Brent protects the people of Brooklyn from monsters and magical threats. The snarky, wisecracking guardian also has a dangerous secret: he’s one in a million – literally.
Magical ability comes to about one in every 30,000 and can manifest at any age. Conrad is rarer than this, however. He’s a middling, one of the half-gifted and totally despised. Most of the gifted community feels that middlings should be instantly killed. The few who don’t flat out hate them still aren’t excited to be around middlings. Meaning Conrad can’t tell anyone, not even his best friends, what he really is.
Conrad hides in plain sight by being a part of the volunteer Watch, those magically gifted who protect their cities from dangerous, arcane threats. And, to pay the bills, Conrad moonlights as a private detective and monster hunter for the gifted community. Which helps him keep up his personal fiction – that he’s a magical version of Batman. Conrad does both jobs thanks to charms, artifacts, and his wits, along with copious amounts of coffee. But little does he know that events are about to change his life…forever.
When Conrad discovers the Traveling Fair auction house has another middling who’s just manifested her so-called powers on the auction block, he’s determined to save her, regardless of risk. But what he finds out while doing so is even worse – the winning bidder works for a company that’s just created the most dangerous chemical weapon to ever hit the magical community.
Before Conrad can convince anyone at the Watch of the danger, he’s exposed for what he really is. Now, stripped of rank, magical objects, friends and allies, Conrad has to try to save the world with only his wits. Thankfully though, no one’s taken away his coffee.
If a megalomaniac threatened your family, would you give up your freedom for them? Would you give up your soul?
Asher Solomon is faced with that choice. And makes the ultimate sacrifice.
Exactly as Director Silas Reeves expected him to.
Unable to live as the Colony’s premier assassin, Ash retreats to a corner of his mind, ceding control of his body to the alter-ego he was engineered to be—Subject A36. As he’s unleashed to battle the Insurgents, the only family he ever knew, the tide of war shifts in Silas’s favor.
Combined with his expansion into new territories, the director is poised to take over the world.
But the Insurgents don’t give up easily. Not on their cause, and not on their people. With the help of a few double agents deep in the Colony, they stand a fighting chance at ending Silas’s reign.
In order to shut down the program, they face almost insurmountable odds. And their most dangerous foe—their former champion turned killing machine, A36.
Hood’s Ride is Red
Harkin Ross, otherwise known as Hood, hasn’t had a happy childhood. His mother died in childbirth and his older brother perished in an unusual accident on the family farm. Hood’s father hasn’t coped well over the years. He’s spiraled into a black hole of anger, alcoholism, and abuse.
But when Kenneth Lowell is hired as the family farmhand, Hood’s life vastly improves. Kenneth earns Hood’s trust and friendship while teaching Hood some basic mechanical skills, helping Hood get his red Dodge Dart up and running.
Kenneth, however, is hiding a violent and primal secret of his own. When Hood’s father discovers the hired hand is doing more than just yard work, the weekly trip to Grandpa’s house goes all to hell.
“I don’t fear death… but they do.”
Muriel McAuley has lived in the Scottish fishing village of Witchaven all her life. She was born there, and she intends to die there.
But when an overseas property developer threatens to evict the residents from their homes and raze Witchaven to the ground in the name of progress, all seems lost… until the day a mysterious fog bank creeps inland.
To some it brings redemption… to others, it brings only madness and death. What macabre secrets lie within…
Romantic and deranged, THE HAAR is a gore-soaked folk-horror fairy tale from David Sodergren, author of The Forgotten Island and Maggie’s Grave.
Straight from the mind of New York Times bestselling author Nathan W. Pyle comes an adorable and profound universe in pink, blue, green, and purple. Based on the phenomenally popular Instagram of the same name, Strange Planet covers a full life cycle of the planet’s inhabitants, including milestones such as:
The Emergence Day
Being Gains a Sibling
The Being Family Attains a Beast
The Formal Education of a Being
Celebration of Special Days
Being Begins a Vocation
The Beings at Home
Health Status of a Being
The Hobbies of a Being
The Extended Family of the Being
The Being Reflects on Life While Watching the Planet Rotate
With dozens of never-before-seen illustrations in addition to old favorites, this book offers a sweet and hilarious look at a distant world not so unlike our own.
The Book of Chaos
Not all books are meant to be read.
Twelve-year-old Fable Nuthatch lives a quiet, safe life in the village of Larkmoor, full of regular people leading normal lives. There is no magic here. None except for the spark that runs through Fable’s veins. Living under the roof of her over-protective aunt, her magic is kept secret, hidden inside the walls of their cottage.
When a strange book lands in Fable’s lap and her cousin disappears into its pages, she follows, hurtling into an enchanted forest far from the rolling hills of her home. This is a land filled with strange people, magic and more danger than Fable has ever dreamed of.
She must battle for not only a way home, but for the lives of those she loves dearest. With the help of her peculiar new friends, Fable must learn to trust in herself or risk losing her cousin forever. Can she save him before it’s too late?
For over 35 years, the Wild Cards universe has been entertaining readers with stories of superpowered people in an alternate history. In Carrie Vaughn’s “Grow”, ace Maryam Shahidi makes a big splash in the news after one of her “experiments” goes awry.
Confessions of a Shopaholic
Becky has a fabulous flat in London’s trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season’s must-haves. The only trouble is that she can’t actually afford it–not any of it.
Her job writing at Successful Savings not only bores her to tears, it doesn’t pay much at all. And lately Becky’s been chased by dismal letters from the bank –letters with large red sums she can’t bear to read–and they’re getting ever harder to ignore.
She tries cutting back. But none of her efforts succeeds. Becky’s only consolation is to buy herself something … just a little something….
Finally a story arises that Becky actually cares about, and her front-page article catalyzes a chain of events that will transform her life–and the lives of those around her–forever.
The House in the Cerulean Sea
A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.
Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.
When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.
But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.
An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.
Welcome to Wonderland. By day, it’s a magical place boasting a certain retro charm. Excited children, hands sticky with cotton candy, run frenetically from the Giant Octopus ride to the Spinning Sombrero, while the tinkling carnival music of the giant Wonder Wheel—the oldest Ferris wheel in the Pacific Northwest—fills the air. But before daybreak, an eerie feeling descends. Maybe it’s the Clown Museum, home to creepy wax replicas of movie stars and a massive collection of antique porcelain dolls. Or maybe it’s the terrifyingly real House of Horrors. Or…maybe it’s the dead, decaying body left in the midway for all the Wonder Workers to see.
Vanessa Castro’s first day as deputy police chief of Seaside, Washington, is off to a bang. The unidentifiable homeless man rotting inside the tiny town’s main tourist attraction is strange enough, but now a teenage employee—whose defiant picture at the top of the Wonder Wheel went viral that same morning—is missing. As the clues in those seemingly disparate crimes lead her down a mysterious shared path of missing persons that goes back decades, she suspects the seedy rumors surrounding the amusement park’s dark history might just be true. She moved to Seaside to escape her own scandalous past, but has she brought her family to the center of an insidious killer’s twisted game? Acclaimed author Jennifer Hillier’s bone-chilling thriller is masterful and fast-paced, hurtling toward a shocking, bloody conclusion.
In Her Shoes
From Jennifer Weiner comes a story of two sisters with nothing in common but a love for shoes learn they are more alike than they thought possible.
Meet Rose Feller, a thirty-year-old high-powered attorney with a secret passion for romance novels. She has an exercise regime she’s going to start next week, and she dreams of a man who will slide off her glasses, gaze into her eyes, and tell her she’s beautiful. She also dreams of getting her fantastically screwed-up, semi-employed little sister to straighten up and fly right.
Meet Rose’s sister, Maggie. Twenty-eight years old and drop-dead gorgeous. Although her big-screen stardom hasn’t progressed past her left hip’s appearance in a Will Smith video, Maggie dreams of fame and fortune — and of getting her big sister on a skin-care regimen.
These two women, who claim to have nothing in common but a childhood tragedy, DNA, and the same size feet, are about to learn that they’re more alike than they’d ever imagined. Along the way, they’ll encounter a diverse cast of characters — from a stepmother who’s into recreational Botox to a disdainful pug with no name. They’ll borrow shoes and clothes and boyfriends, and eventually make peace with their most intimate enemies — each other.
The Necromancer’s Daughter
A healer with the talent to unravel death. A stillborn child brought to life. A father lusting for vengeance. And a son torn between justice, faith, and love. Caught in a chase spanning kingdoms, each must decide the nature of good and evil, the lengths they will go to survive, and what they are willing to lose.
A healer and dabbler in the dark arts of life and death, Barus is as gnarled as an ancient tree. Forgotten in the chaos of the dying queen’s chamber, he spirits away her stillborn infant and in a hovel at the meadow’s edge, breathes life into the wisp of a child. He names her Aster for the lea’s white flowers. Raised as his daughter, she, too, learns to heal death.
Denied a living heir, the widowed king spies from a distance. But he heeds the claims of the fiery Vicar of the Red Order—in the eyes of the Blessed One, Aster is an abomination, and to embrace the evil of resurrection will doom his rule.
As the king’s life nears its end, he defies the vicar’s warning and summons the necromancer’s daughter. For his boldness, he falls to an assassin’s blade. Armed with righteousness and iron-clad conviction, the Order’s brothers ride into the leas to cleanse the land of evil.
To save her father’s life, Aster leads them beyond Verdane’s wall into the Forest of Silvern Cats, a wilderness of dragons and barbarian tribes. Unprepared for a world rife with danger and unchecked power, a world divided by those who practice magic and those who hunt them, she must choose whether to trust the one man offering her aid, the one man most likely to betray her—her enemy’s son.
That’s a Wrap!
Thanks for stopping by!
Have you read any of these books? What are your favorite reads of 2022? Please share in the comments!
Have a great rest of your year!
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Great selection, Jonny. I’ve moved a few up my TBR list! I’m so honored to have made the list. Thank you! 😊💖
Thanks bestie! I absolutely loved Hedgehogs and have a physical copy sitting proudly on my bookshelves at home. Always welcome!
The only books on this list that I’ve read are Strange Planet, The Insurgent and The House in the Cerulean Sea.
The Song of Achilles has been on my Radar but I’ve never added it to my TBR but I’m going to add it as soon as Goodreads stops acting up.
I read a Circus book this year called Come One, Come All by E. Gilliland and absolutely loved it. While the one I read seems like it was darker than the one you mentioned Hoard it all Before sounds like something I might like so I’m gonna add it to my TBR as well.
Glad to recommend some new ones for ya!
You too? My GoodReads has been a bit shaky this past week or so and I’m not sure why.
Highly recommend Song of Achilles and Hoard it All Before. You’ll love Duncan the dragon. Tons of cute pun-tastic moments in each book and plenty of mystery. 😀
I always love adding more books to my already massive TBR.
Yeah mine has too. It will work for a while and then it won’t. I think it’s probably because everybody is getting in it for their end of the year stats and stuff.
Can’t wait to read them!! Hopefully they won’t sit in my TBR for years lol.
Hahaha me too. I add more every day it seems. I’ve been meaning to delete some too but haven’t gotten around to it.
Okay, glad I’m not alone!
Lol fingers crossed!
I’ve been going through and deleting some. I’ve actually been sharing it on my blog but I seem to be adding more than I’m removing lol.
Oh that’s always the case with me too. At least we’re trying!
Happy New year bestie! ❤️🥂
Happy new year! So far I’m having a good time. 🙂
I’m so honored to show up on this list, Jonny. Thank you, thank you for reading and for the lovely review of The Necromancer’s Daughter. I’m over the moon. I’ve read a few of these books, and agree whole-heartedly with your choices for top reads. Now I have some new ones to add to my chubby kindle too! Happy New Year and Happy Reading!
Oh, you totally earned it with your magnificent novel! I’m so glad I got a chance to catch up and give it a go. Happy new year to you too, and I hope you enjoy the new reads as much as I did!
Thanks. <3 And best of luck to you in your next semester. Happy Reading.
Thank you! Graduation is inching forward for me. Just a year and a half to go!
Ha ha. You’ll get there. 🙂 With flying colors I’m sure.
Thanks for the vote of confidence!