Jan 062023

Top 5 Books of 2022

Top 5 Books of 2022

Happy New Year, readers! I thought I would start off the year on a fun note by sharing my top 5 books of 2022. I beat my reading goal of 22 by one, and enjoyed most of the books I read. These six picks were the gems that stood out from lots of great works. Although I enjoy reading sci fi and historical fiction, these books are all mostly classics or literary fiction. I put this ranking down to my preference for beautiful, complex writing and strong characters. I hope you enjoy this review of my top 5 books (actually 6)!

Tied for 5th Place

The two books I’ve selected for 5th place are Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray.

I debated over which of these two classics to include in my top 5 books of 2022. In the end, I concluded that they are both superb in different ways. I got completely lost in Dorian Gray and raced through the book. The story is a bit over the top, but in a charming way. I appreciated the queer overtones, and my friend who is an English Literature Professor aptly described Dorian Gray as “#gay but not gay”.

Shelley’s writing in Frankenstein was mesmerising. I still have the beginning scene imprinted in my mind, and I love the way the story was recounted through third person correspondence. Given that my research background is in the history of eighteenth century science and medicine, it isn’t surprising that I enjoyed the themes of scientific and anatomical investigation.

Both of these books were ahead of their time – I guess that’s why they are classics now.


4th Place

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I wrote about this book in Books I’ve read so far in 2022, and it made the top 5 purely based on my love of the main character. It touches of themes of loneliness, trauma, social norms, and judgement.

3rd Place

The Shipping News by Annie Proulx

2022 must have been the year for loveable unlikable characters. The main character in The Shipping News, Quoyle, is similar to Eleanor in many ways – awkward and yet you are drawn to him. You can read my review here: Books I’ve read so far in 2022

2nd place

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

The one word I have to describe this book is: enthralling. Rebecca was that last book I read in 2022 and I couldn’t put it down! I loved the suspense and uncomfortable atmosphere of the plot. The writing style flows well and doesn’t feel too dated. Once again, there were strong characters, and I was particularly drawn to Mrs Danvers. I’m looking forward to reading more by Daphne du Maurier.

Rebecca Book Cover


1st place

Still Life by Sarah Winman

This was the last book I read in 2022 as part of my work book club. Still Life has special meaning for me because it was one of the last books I gave to my Dad before he died. When I visited at Christmas, I took the copy I gave him and it will forever live on my shelves. So much of my Dad’s and my relationship was built on talking about books. I very much miss not being able to share my reading with him, or shop for books he might enjoy. I never got to tell him what I thought of this book.

Still Life is such a beautiful and unexpected story. The characters are wonderfully rich and unapologetic. At times, the story was a bit cheesy and over the top, but I kind of loved the way that Winman ties up all the character’s story lines in a neat little bow.

The one aspect of the book that took me a while to get used to is the writing style, as Winman doesn’t use quotation marks to indicate dialogue. It’s a story about love in all its forms and it left me smiling with tears in my eyes. If you are going to read any book in 2023, I very much recommend Still Life!

Still Life book cover

More books for 2023

I’m looking forward to reading lots in 2023. I definitely have my reading groove back in full swing! I’ll be back soon with an update on what I read next.

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