10 January 2023

Top 5 Books of 2022

In 2022 I read a total of 75 books and as always, it's difficult to curate a Top 5 list. Over the course of the year, a total of 19 books were 5 star reads for me in a nice healthy mix of genres. I'm proud to announce there are three Australian authors in my Top 5 list which covers a range of genres, including poetry, crime and crime thriller, science fiction and middle grade.

Here are my Top 5 Books of 2022 in the order I read them:

1. The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem by Amanda Gorman

The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman book cover
I was incredibly moved by Amanda Gorman's address at President Biden's Inauguration on 20 January 2021. Gorman was the youngest presidential inaugural poet in US history and she made an impression that reverberated around the world.

I read a stunning hardback copy of The Hill We Climb exactly a year to the day of the Inauguration event and was still moved by her words. Gorman eloquently delivers a message of promise and hope and The Hill We Climb is an inspiring read.

If you haven't heard, watched or read The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman, I heartily recommend you do. It'll be the best 6 mins or 27 pages you'll ever experience.

2. Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson

Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson book cover
This was an immediate favourite! In a surprising opening, our narrator - aptly named Earnest - breaks the fourth wall to inform us he's a truth teller. He promises to tell the truth about what happened at his family reunion and insists he won't be an unreliable narrator; encouraging the reader to hold him to account.

Ernie is a self-published writer who publishes how-to books for readers learning to write a crime novel. Naturally he reads a lot of crime novels himself, and when the book opens Ernie is on his way to a family reunion in the Australian high country where things are tense and he's on the outer.

Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson is refreshingly unique meta fiction of the very best kind, with brilliant plotting that left this reader impressed and recommending this widely.

3. Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir book cover
Project Hail Mary
is a science fiction space thriller and turned out to be a triumphant return to form for Andy Weir and I loved it! With elements similar to those in The Martian, our main character Ryland Grace finds himself alone on a spaceship and part of an impossible mission.

Further enhancing my reading enjoyment of this stellar novel was the fact my husband read this before me, enabling us to share the plot developments and favourite dialogue moments which we're still doing many months later! (Sad, amaze!)

I'll always think of Project Hail Mary as Rocky's book and he's now one of my favourite characters of all time.

4. Runt by Craig Silvey

Runt by Craig Silvey book cover
This was a sheer delight to read and is aimed at his youngest reading audience yet. Annie Shearer is eleven years old and lives in a small country town called Upson Downs. Her parents run a sheep farm and Annie is never without her leather tool belt, causing some kids to think she's a little odd. I warmed to Annie instantly and cheered when she made a friend in the stray dog of undetermined pedigree, Runt.

Scavenging from bins, Runt was all alone in the world until he met Annie. Together they share a unique bond and Annie enters them both into an agility course at the local show.

Every chapter book needs a villain and Silvey gives us two: the Collector who lives on the hill and buys up properties and a fellow competitor in the world of canine agility courses, Fergus Fink.

With illustrations by Sara Acton, Runt by Australian author Craig Silvey is brimming with little life lessons and subtle morals along the way creating an uplifting, heartwarming and comforting read for all ages. I'm especially looking forward to hearing how my young nephew enjoys it later this year.

5. Headcase by Jack Heath

Headcase by Jack Heath book cover
by Jack Heath is a crime thriller with a refreshing difference and it delivered on all of my bloody hopes and dark expectations. Starring my favourite fictional cannibal Timothy Blake, this is the fourth instalment of the series which shows no sign of slowing down.

Blake has teamed up with CIA handler Zara who is a force to be reckoned with. Blake finds himself in therapy (hence the Headcase reference), yet he remains a charismatic anti-hero.

Headcase is an entertaining and finely crafted bloody mess with kick arse female characters, clever plots, skilful subterfuge, electrifying tension and tantalising riddles at the beginning of each chapter.

Recommended for fans of crime thrillers, I eagerly gave the first two books in the series to my nephew for Christmas and can't wait to hear how he gets on with Blake and Thistle. (Also super proud of the mention in the praise section for Hunter).

Special mention to The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham. The number of references that have come up since I finished reading this have made it the classic that keeps on giving and I'm so glad I finally made time to read it. I wonder which classic will be the stand out in 2023...

What was your favourite book in 2022? Have you read any of these or plan to?

Carpe Librum!

Would you like to comment?

  1. No crossovers! Despite our mingling tastes. Here's to another good year of reading.

    1. Thanks Theresa, and strange we don't have any crossovers this year. I usually have at least one historical fiction novel in the mix, but these were just better! And I like that only 3 were review books too.

  2. Also no crossovers, but I did enjoy Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman. I had ten books that were my favourites - five historical fiction, two contemporary fiction and three autobiographical.

    1. Thanks Lee, I think Call Us What We Carry also has The Hill We Climb in it, so we may have a crossover after all! Would love to know more about your top ten favourites. Feel free to share a link if you have a wrap up post so we can check it out. I'd especially love to know what your five favourite historical fiction novels were 😃

    2. Hi Trace
      I missed your response last year. Here were my top 10 (in order of reading):
      1 Go Tell the Bees That I am Gone - Gabaldon
      2 The Swift and the Harrier - Walters
      3 The Good Wife of Bath - Brooks
      4 Still Life - Winman
      5 The House of Fortune - Burton
      6 Just Got Real - Fallon
      7 This Much is True - Margolyes
      8 Cold Enough for Snow - Au
      9 A Pocketful of Happiness - Grant
      10 Waypoints: My Scottish Journey - Heughan

    3. Thanks Lee, some great books on your list. Are you watching the Outlander series? I love it! I enjoyed The Swift and the Harrier too (5 stars) and have The Good Wife of Bath on my TBR. I wonder what books we'll fall in love with this year 😃


Thanks for your comment, Carpe Librum!