stack of 3 books plus open book with pen. Title: Top Ten Tuesday

#TopTenTuesday : The Best Books I Read in 2022

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Here’s how it works: Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic for each Tuesday. If you check this link, you’ll find she’s assigned topics for several future weeks so you can plan ahead. She adds, “create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list . . . Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you!”

Each week Jana posts a Linky on her blog where you can (if you want) share a link to your post and check out other bloggers’ posts.

As of December 1, 2022, I am no longer using Twitter. Instead, I’ll be promoting blog posts—other bloggers’ and my own—on Mastodon. You can find me there under this name:

You cannot search for people by their real names on Mastodon. To find someone, you must go to Mastodon and search for the user name. I think you have to have your own account with Mastodon to do this.

Goodreads insists that I read 44 books in 2022, but my records indicate 46. Whichever number is correct, here are the best ones: 10 best + 5 honorable mention. Listed alphabetically by author’s last name.

The 10 Best

Connelly, Michael. Desert Star

This latest installment in Connelly’s overlapping Harry Bosch/Renée Ballard series finds the detectives working a newly reinstated cold case unit. Bosch uses the opportunity to work the still unsolved case that has haunted him for most of his career. Ballard spends much of her time negotiating departmental politics while trying to keep Bosch from going rogue too often. 

Book cover: Desert Star by Michael Connelly
Book cover: Fellowship Point by Alice Elliott Dark

Dark, Alice Elliott.  Fellowship Point

Well-known children’s book author Agnes Lee and her neighbor Polly Wister have been best friends for all of their 80 years, yet they have lived quite different lives. Now they face the challenge of how best to preserve the legacy of Fellowship Point, a large tract of rural land in Maine that has been owned in trust by several generations of Philadelphia Quakers. I loved this novel for the way it refutes the stereotype of older adults, particularly older women, as grumpy and set in their old-fashioned ways. These women continue to learn and grow as they explore possibilities. They also maintain a sincere friendship, even when they disagree. (Confession: If I had to choose my one most favorite book read in 2022, this would be it.)

Davis, Viola. Finding Me

In this powerful memoir, one of the best actors in the business recounts how seeing Cicely Tyson on television led her to acting, and how acting, in turn, allowed her to overcome a childhood of poverty and fear to discover who she was “before the world put a label” on her.

book cover: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Doerr, Anthony. All the Light We Cannot See

I’m so glad I finally took this work of historical fiction off the TBR shelf. Set during World War II, it explains how two children, one French and one German, grew up, and what happened after their lives briefly intersected near the war’s end. 

Haig, Matt. The Midnight Library

While I have some reservations about how this novel presents depression, it drew me in with its portrayal of life’s multitude of possibilities.

Book cover: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Book Cover: Billy Summers by Stephen King

King, Stephen. Billy Summers

Billy Summers is a hit man, one of the best in the business. Now that he’s getting older, he wants to get out, and the possibility of one final job that will give him the financial resources he needs to do just that is an offer he can’t refuse. Billy’s a meticulous planner. What could possibly go wrong?

Straub, Emma. This Time Tomorrow

On the eve of her 40th birthday, Alice’s life isn’t terrible. She likes her job, even if it isn’t exactly the one she expected. She’s happy with her apartment, her romantic status, her independence, and she adores her lifelong best friend. But her father is ailing, and it feels to her as if something is missing. When she wakes up the next morning she finds herself back in 1996, reliving her 16th birthday. 


After seeing her father healthy and active again, thanks to the miracle of time travel,  is there anything that Alice would change if she could?

Book cover: This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub
Book cover: Scenes from My Life by Michael K. Williams. Photo of author: a Black man with a vertical scar running down the middle of his forehead, across his nose, and onto his right cheek.

Williams, Michael K., with Jon Sternfeld. Scenes From My Life

Like Viola Davis’s Finding Me, Michael Williams’s memoir describes how performance helped him to move through a life of poverty and violence, and to discover a sense of purpose. His story is made even more poignant by the fact that he died of an overdose nearly a year before the book’s publication.

Yanagihara, Hanya. To Paradise

This novel reminds me of Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell in both structure and scope. It is, as Goodreads indicates, “a bold, brilliant novel spanning three centuries and three different versions of the American experiment, about lovers, family, loss and the elusive promise of utopia.”

Book cover: To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara
Book cover: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

Zevin, Gabrielle. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

Sam Masur and Sadie Green met at age 12, on the cusp of adolescence, but were separated by a misunderstanding. They didn’t meet again until 10 years later, while attending colleges near Boston. Drawn together by their love of and skill at creating video games, the two achieve overnight success with a blockbuster game that brings them wealth and fame. Examining questions of identity and love while moving quietly through the characters’ lives, this novel snuck up on me before finally smacking me with the realization of its deeply accurate insight. (Confession: If I had to choose my second most favorite book read in 2022, this would be it.)

Honorable Mention

Clark, Julie. The Lies I Tell

Dave, Laura . The Last Thing He Told Me

Hamdy, Adam. The Other Side of Night

Slocumb, Brendan. The Violin Conspiracy

Phillips, Delores. The Darkest Child

© 2023 by Mary Daniels Brown

14 thoughts on “#TopTenTuesday : The Best Books I Read in 2022”

  1. Always enjoy Micheal Connolly, in a queue in the library for desert start. I like the Ballard and Bosch partnership. I liked Billy Summers, Mr King can sure spin a yarn. Found the Yanagihara far too long, interesting comparison with cloud atlas, one of my all time classics. Nice list.

    1. Mary Daniels Brown

      Thanks, Adrian. I’m off to checking other peoples’ list–including yours–now.

    1. Mary Daniels Brown

      I liked Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow a lot. I haven’t read any of the books on your list, Lydia, but I like how you’ve included a sentence about why you liked each one. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    1. Mary Daniels Brown

      Thanks, Anne. I saw several titles on your list of books that are still sitting on my TBR shelves. I asked for and received Doerr’s Cloud Cuckoo Land for Christmas.

    1. Mary Daniels Brown

      And I love your list, Susan, because all your books sound both interesting and thought-provoking. I especially loved FELLOWSHIP POINT because I also have a close friend whom I’ve known for literally all my life. We were born about 7 months apart (I’m older!) and grew up together in a small town. We’re now in our mid 70s, so I saw a close parallel between us and the two women in the novel. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    1. Mary Daniels Brown

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Nicole. And I just signed up for the 2023 Discussion Challenge!

    1. Mary Daniels Brown

      Thanks for visiting, Jo. And I see on your list a couple of titles that I’ve been meaning to read for a long time: Know My Name and The Diamond Eye. Keep reading!

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