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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Great list, I haven’t read any of these books myself, but they sounds like fantastic reads. I’d same some of the best books I have read so far this year are Sylvanas by Christie Golden, Life & Limb by Jennifer Roberson, and the entirety of the Snow White With The Red Hair series.
Thanks for the recommendations!
This is a great list and there are some books I haven’t heard of. Both SLAY and The Couple At No. 9 are on my TBR so I’m glad you liked them. Also I’ll have to add The Ocean At the End of the Lane to my TBR.
Hope you enjoy those two!
I started Clap When You Land and couldn’t get into it. Going to have to give it another try since I know it’s one of your favourites so far! X
Ah no! It is different especially in the way it’s written. I wasn’t hugely convinced at first but the prose really is beautiful, so perhaps another go would be good!
This is a great list! I have plans to read all my to be read pile by the end of the year, so I am excited to use that as an evening activity, instead of scrolling. Gives me definitely screen free time too! Thank you for sharing what you have been reading! Look forward to seeing what other books you read this year!
Yes to less screen time!
This is a great list and it’s good to hear you’ve done loads of reading. I’m finally getting my passion for reading back and I’m saving this list for inspiration!
Thank you 🙂 Hope you find some great inspiration here!
The Couple at No. 9 has been on my TBR list for a while now. And Clap When You Land looks really good so I might need to check that one out!
Hope you love The Couple At No.9!
Dear Life sounds really good. They all do! My best read this year hands down was Call Me By Your Name. If you want to support LGBTQ fiction and don’t mind an ugly cry 🤣
Oh that sounds great, I love an ugly cry!
The second book on your list sounds like a book I want to read. Thank you for sharing.
Hope you enjoy!
What a great list! I’m not massive on reading, however when I do, it’s always a thriller. The couple at no.9 sounds right up my street! Although they all sound like really great books too!
Claire Douglas is your girl then!
I’ve read Clap When You Land and agree that it’s a great book! I haven’t read the rest from your list but The War on Women sounds interesting, I’ll have to check it out. I have a bunch of favourites from this year, will probably have to write my own post because I can’t get it down to few to mention in the comments haha.
Do it! I’d love to see which books you’ve loved this year 🙂
I’m always on the look out for new books so I’m defiantly going to jot a few of these down to get reading asap! I’ve been loving reading this year, it’s just very relaxing and takes my mind off everything that’s going on. Thank you so much for sharing these with us lovely, you’ve shared some great sounding books! Xo
Elle – ellegracedeveson.com
Yes I totally agree, it’s one of the few activities that helps get me out of my own head.
Oo I’ve been on the lookout for a new book! Since I came back from holiday I haven’t had time to pick up a book and needed some inspo so this was perfect! X
Hope you find some good ones here!
This is a great list with many new suggestions for me. Also, BRAVO on having read so much already this year!
Thank you! I’m pretty pleased with myself considering I’m not a fast reader!
I haven’t read any of these books, but The Couple at Number 9 sounds like one I would like. I will add it to my list! I’m really behind on my reading, but it really is therapeutic. Thank you for sharing. 🙂
That’s a great read!
I haven’t read any of these books yet, although I think the couple at number 9 is on my to read pile.
Yes excellent choice!
Wow! You’ve read some really good books so far in 2022 Jenny! It sounds like you have enjoyed reading them all so much! x
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk
They’ve been brilliant!
Congrats on reading so much! I love your picks. And I agree with you on reading stuff you know you’ll like – that’s why I mostly stick to YA fantasy as well.
My faves this year have been This Ends With Us and Daughter of the Moon Goddess 🌙
This Ends With Us sounds like something I’d wanna try!
Ooh you’ve got some great picks here! I haven’t read any of these yet but I’ll definitely be checking a couple out – The War On Women for sure is one I’ll be picking up! Thank you so much for sharing x
That one absolutely broke me but it’s such a needed read.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading this year too – must be something in the water! I think I’d like to try The Ocean At the End of the Lane – like you, I’m a Neil Gaiman fan and I adore YA fiction too, I think in many cases it’s better written than so-called adult fiction! x
Yes I totally agree! Think you’d love this Neil Gaiman book 🙂
Love posts like this as they give me so much reading inspo! Now adding some of these to my tbr list!
Same, I’m always adding books from posts like this onto my TBR!
These sound like great and empowering books. Thank you for sharing this amazing list of books.
They’re a bunch of great reads 🙂
You sharing your list of best books is inspiring me to pick up a fiction book again. I haven’t read much fiction this year since I’ve mostly been watching a lot of KDramas, but I need to get back into reading. I love Neil Gaiman so I’ll probably start with The Ocean At the End of the Lane! The last book I can remember that I really enjoyed reading was XOXO! Have you read that book? 🙂
I haven’t read that one but I’ll have a look on goodreads and see what it’s about! 🙂
Jenny, I have to say you have great taste in books! There are definitely a couple in here that I need to check out
Why thank you!
I find it hard sometimes, sitting to read books, just because I try so hard to keep up with so many blogs. I do however, want to look more into Neil Gaiman. I believe I can truly take some time with his. Great post
He’s a great shout to try! Hope you enjoy 🙂
Great list here! No one has slog their way through Charles Dickens….life is simply too short 😂
Absolutely agree 😂