It’s that time again! One of my favourite posts to write – my best books of the year. As a lifelong book lover, I just love sharing the books I’ve loved with other people, in the hope it might inspire them to pick it up and hopefully love it as much as I did.

I was planning on getting this published at the end of 2022 but in all honesty, I was so into the festive spirit and had so many lovely plans that I decided to focus on scheduling my 2023 content instead and limiting the amount I was publishing for the end of the year.

Basically, I got lazy. But that’s okay, because it was Christmas and the end of an extremely long and difficult and crazy year. I hope that you managed to give yourself some time over the Christmas period to be lazy, too.

Anyway, 2022 was a GREAT year for books. I smashed my Goodreads challenge goal out of the park, setting myself a target of 30 books and reading 45. Which I *think* is a record for me – *fist pump*.

Books were just my saving grace this last year. I really got into reading non-fiction, so often had two books on the go at any given time. I was just so excited by reading and what I was going to read next – which is a really lovely feeling for a book lover to have.

So, here are my 10 stand out books from 2022:

The Watchers by A.M Shine

A.M Shine has been my author of the year, which is why both of his books are my top two of the entire year. I read these back-to-back, but The Watchers was my first of the two and I was hooked and absolutely drawn into this super creepy story.

I love horror but I haven’t read many horror books. This one was GENUINELY creepy AF and I freaking loved it. Not much scares me so I was overjoyed to find a book that left me with goosebumps.

The Creeper by A.M Shine

As soon as I’d finished The Watchers, I ordered The Creeper from Amazon. I don’t think I’ve ever ordered a book so fast in my last! It’s very similar in style – which I loved, and I know I’m going to continue loving with Shine’s novels.

The Creeper is what it says on the tin. It’s C R E E P Y. It was incredibly atmospheric; will make you shiver with some of the eerie sentences woven throughout the story.

The War on Women by Sue Lloyd-Roberts

This is the book I would recommend to anyone from last year’s best read. Especially men. This book floored me. Enlightened me. Educated me. Shocked me. And deeply saddened me. It was outstanding.

As devastating and gut-wrenching and uncomfortable as it may be, The War on Women 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 Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde

I’m staggered it took me so long to read The Picture of Dorian Grey. It had been sitting on my bookshelf for literally years but I’m usually quite overwhelmed and scared by the thought of reading classics but this one is a GREAT classic that is digestible and interesting throughout.

I’ve always been a fan of the Dorian Grey movie but the book is exceptional. Eerie, dark and conjures up some seriously vibrant imagery around ageing, pleasure, self-corruption and more.

Verity by Colleen Hoover

This is the first and only Colleeen Hoover book I’ve read but I absolutely loved Verity. I was totally hooked and totally creeped out and although arguably, not the best written work in the world, Hoover definitely has a way of grabbing you.

It’s super twisted, with a killer ending that will leave you reeling and stunned. Highly manipulative and instantly gripping. A must-read for any Thriller fan looking for  something a little different.

When the World Was Ours by Liz Kessler

This book ripped my heart into pieces. It was a devastating read and outrageously worthy of its 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.

Having that knowledge that one of these stories from When the World Was Ours is based on a real lived experience makes it even more heart-wrenching. This isn’t my sort of genre but boy am I glad I read this one.

Dear Life by Rachel Clarke

Dear Life is 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.

It tackles the sensitive topics brilliantly and Rachel has such a beautiful perspective and wonderful insight into palliative care and the whole health system in the UK.

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, an important read which covers issues in the BLM movement.

If you love YA, I would highly recommend picking this one up. Of the two Brittney Morris novels I’ve read, this is the stand-out. A super exciting and original concept executed brilliantly.

The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy

The Disappearances is the most recent book on this list that I’ve read and although I didn’t rate it 5 stars, I still want to include it in my best books because I really thoroughly enjoyed it and thought the concept was excellent and really unlike anything I’ve read before.

What if things started to disappear? Your reflection. Your sense of smell. The stars in the sky. That element of this story drew me in instantly and I loved the execution and the storytelling.

The Seven Ages of Death by Dr. Richard Shepherd

Dr. Richard Shepherd is someone else who’s books absolutely whisked me away throughout 2022, having read both of them but I’ve decided to just include one in my 2022 best of wrap up. Definitely not for the squeamish or faint-hearted. The Seven Ages of Death was a profound read.

Anything that talks about death, illness, bodies, post-mortems, I am THERE for. Not in a morbid way, I am just highly interested in human beings, how we function, how we live, how we die and Dr Richard Shepherd is able to give an incredible insight into it.

Those are my top 10 books I read in 2022, although it was very difficult to pick and narrow it down and I could have very easily added more to this list but then we might have been here for a considerable amount of time.

I’ve really fallen in love with non-fiction this year, which I think is my main bookish takeaway from 2022. I love learning and immersing myself in a subject that someone else knows so much about. I’m really excited to continue exploring various niches of non-fiction this year.

I also read a ton of incredible Young Adult novels – most of which I got from my library trips. The library was essential for me to discover some cool YA books I wouldn’t have discovered before. Which allowed me to read different types of stories – especially from more BAME authors too.

Over to you! Tell me your top reads of 2022!

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  1. You read a lot of great books in 2022! I haven’t read any of these, but SLAY is on my TBR. I’ve also been hearing a lot about Colleen Hoover so maybe I should give one of her books a go. I also like creepy reads so I should check out Shine’s books.

  2. An excellent booklist review! Glad to see Oscar Wilde included and a great variety of genres. 👏🏻 I must check out the ‘War on Women’ book as it very much aligns with my interests in history and feminism. 📚

  3. This sounds like a great list of books! I’m not usually a big horror fan, but I do love psychological thrillers and mysteries, so I think The Watchers and The Creeper would be right up my street!

  4. I love to read too! Verity is another one of my favorites that really stood out to me too! So creepy and weird, but yet so good!

  5. I actually haven’t read any of these from your list. But they sound like interesting reads I will have to check them out! Thank you for sharing your picks!

    Lauren x

  6. I’m gonna have to check out the A.M. Shine books, as I love all things horror, thriller, suspense, etc. I achieved my goal in 2022, hoping to read more in 2023! One of my favorite books I read last year was actually a kids’ book by the name of Small Spaces. It was well-written and quite creepy, so of course I’m continuing the series 🙂 I also really, REALLY liked Theme Music by T. Marie Vandelly. It’s twisted AF.

  7. I haven’t read any of these books, I need happy endings – not so good with sad books! But I know a few people who like medical books so I will definitely recommend these 🙂 x

  8. I’m so happy you read Dorian Grey – I love Oscar Wilde, and can recommend his short stories as well – perfect to dip in and out of with a cup or glass of something. I like the sound of The Disappearances – right up my street! My book of the year was The Binding by Bridget Collins. Just outstanding! x

  9. I’m now quite bonkers with Colleen Hoover’s books. So I’m going to check out the book you recommended on this list. Btw, I hope you will publish your first book this year. I’m excited to check out your book as well. All the best, Jenny. I’ll be rooting for you.

  10. I really want to read The Seven Ages of Death ~ that’s kind of my book to read. The Watchers + The Creeper looks like an excellent addition to my collection of horror novels, as I enjoy reading them but haven’t read many in the past year 😀 Thanks for sharing, Jen x

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