I’ve been really excited to write this post because I’ve been doing a LOT of reading this year. Probably double the amount I would have done by this point in any other year. I have many more books to choose from to feature in this post, compared to other years, so I know it’s going to be extremely hard to narrow it down but BOY I’ve read some great books!
I’ve been finding a lot of value in reading this year. Not that I didn’t before – I did. Reading has always been my biggest hobby and I’ve always loved books. But this year I mean, I’ve REALLY honed back in on my love for reading and the written word. I’ve rekindled my love affair with books tenfold – and it feels amazing.
I’ll be honest, this year hasn’t been great so far. I’ve felt depressed a fair bit and had a lot of difficult feelings to contend with. There’s also been some personal things going on which haven’t been easy. But one constant throughout this year for me, has been books.
I’ve been going to the library a lot more this year, so I’ve been picking up a lot of books I probably wouldn’t have had I not gone. I’ve also been reading a lot of non-fiction, which I always find inspiring and eye-opening. And delving into a lot of YA Fiction. Which might be the reason I’ve read so much more this year compared to others. YA is a lot easier to read.
Instead of trying to read things that I know I’m going to find difficult, I’m just picking up books from genres that I know I already love. I’m not wasting my time trying to get through a Charles Dickens novel just because I feel like I *have* to. And I think these intentional reading habits have really helped me this year.
So, with all that being said, I have somehow managed to narrow down my best books from the first half of 2022. These are in no particular order (that’s far too much pressure) but here are my top reads of 2022 so far:
Dear Life: A Doctor’s Story of Love and Loss by Rachel Clarke
This book was the ultimate life-affirming read that completely encapsulates the meaning of being human. This is a difficult read, touching on death, end of life care, illness and more but if you’re able, I would highly recommend reading it. Rachel Clarke is a phenomenal writer.
SLAY by Brittney Morris
SLAY was a breath-taking novel and one that I’ve repeatedly spoken about and recommended to people since I read it earlier on in the year. It was a punchy, no-nonsense sort of read that leaves you reeling and utterly breathless. Also a important read which covers issues in the BLM movement.
The War On Women by Sue Lloyd-Roberts
If I could tell every woman to read just ONE book this year, it would be this one. As devastating and gut-wrenching and uncomfortable as it may be, it brings to light the discrimination against women in cultures all over the world, touching on FGM, honor killings, arranged marriages and more. Sue Lloyd-Roberts was a force.
The Ocean At the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Coraline is my favourite EVER film and a book and story I absolutely love, so I kinda already knew I was going to love this from Neil Gaiman, he is a wizard with words. I’m not really sure WHY I loved this book so much. Kinda like I’m not sure WHY I’ve watched Coraline over 5,000 times. But it was magic. And creepy. And otherworldly.
When the World Was Ours by Liz Kessler
This book ripped my heart into tiny little pieces. It was a devastating read and outrageously worthy of it’s place on this list. If you like Historical Fiction and YA, this one is definitely for you. Of the 3 viewpoints of this novel, one of them is based on the story of the author’s Granddad’s experience as a Jew in World War 2.
Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
I’d heard a lot about Clap When You Land and I picked it up from the library because I needed to see what all the fuss was about. Although I only gave this 4 stars on Goodreads, I’d still include it in this post because it was so beautifully written and such a unique reading experience.
The Couple At No.9 by Claire Douglas
I genuinely don’t think a year goes by without Claire Douglas featuring on my “best books” posts. Claire is the QUEEN of endings, a master of deception. I know I’m in good hands when I pick up a Claire Douglas book and The Couple At No.9 was no different. I absolutely loved it – the only Thriller on this list and that says something!
Unnatural Causes: The Life and Many Deaths of Britain’s Top Forensic Pathologist by Dr Richard Shepherd
I’m kind of killing two birds with one stone here because I’m currently in the middle of reading The Seven Ages of Death, also by Dr Richard Shepherd, which I know is going to be one of my favourites of the year as well. His writing is just captivating and his profession utterly fascinating. But DEFINITELY not for the faint-hearted or squeamish.
As I was writing this, I felt an overwhelming gratitude for books, writing and the authors that put so much love and effort into their work to allow us to benefit from it, whether that’s teaching us something new, allowing us to take a glimpse into their life or simply whisking us away into a Fantasy world for a few hours.
Tell me which books you’ve read this year so far which have blown you away! Or have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned in this post?
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