The 15 Best Books We’ve Read in 2022 So Far

“The Women I Think About at Night” by Mia Kankimaki


Amazon


Available on Amazon and Bookshop for $22.99

At 25 in 2022, I don’t share much with Mia Kankimaki, an accomplished travel writer in her forties, or the historical women she writes about, penetrators of the gender norms of their time. However, she did talk about the struggles of the “Women of the Night” and Kankimaki herself: struggling to find a sense of home, forgive yourself, and find meaning. Half a travel memoir, half autobiographical, Kankiamki literally follows in the footsteps of female travelers and artists through history to Florence, Tibet, Nigeria, and Tokyo. I love that Kankimaki allows her heroes and herself to be flawed as well as witty, disappointing as well as inspiring. – Laila Alij, reporter

“Foreverland” by Heather Haverilsky

Foreverland book cover


Amazon


Available on Amazon and Bookshop for $17.99

I love Heather Haverilsky’s Ask Polly column, and while this book is a memoir of her marriage, I think it has the same amount of honesty and fun that makes her a valuable writer in these confusing times. It’s an in-depth look at her longstanding marriage, which to us strangers seems perfect on the surface. It has transcended the doubts, fights, annoyances, and growth that both partners have to undergo to remain happily married, and completely demystified the process for people like me who worry deeply about the 50% national divorce rate and really want to know how people stay happy together. over a very long time. – Julia Pugachevsky, Editor

“Happy-Go-Lucky” by David Sedaris

Happy Go-Lucky book cover


Amazon


Available on Amazon and Bookshop for $17.79

I love David Sedaris. I’ve read all of his books, attended many autographs, and once left me a voicemail where he called my mom C-word. It is a nice. “Happy-Go-Lucky” is like many of his previous books: a collection of essays drawn from his life experiences. It is full of black humor, including dealing with the death of his father. But, there are also happy moments, including shopping with his cheerful sister Amy (from the fame of “Strangers With Candy” and “At Home With Amy Sedaris”) writing Sedaris is my happy place. – James Prinze, reporter

“Night Sky with Exit Wounds” directed by Ocean Vuong

book cover of Night Sky With Exit Wounds


Amazon


Available on Amazon and Bookshop for $14.40

I am a fan of short stories and poetry, so when some dear friends recommended me to write Ocean Vuong, I tore up this collection of poems. His use of language and metaphor is breathtaking and often causes tears. He really is one of my favorite authors right now. – Maya Bakush, Associate Story Producer

One of Us: The Story of a Massacre in Norway – and Beyond by Asen Sirstad and Sarah Dith (Translator)

One of Us red and black book cover


Amazon


Available on Amazon and Bookshop for $11.99

This book is one of the most memorable things I’ve read in a long time. Seierstad makes a little miracle here, as he meticulously explains how a lonely boy became a lonely and dangerous man while creating plenty of space to tell the stories of those affected by the massacre. We get to know high school sweethearts, who fall madly in love, and who raise two boys adored by society. We meet the parents who named their firstborn daughter after a snowfall in a hospital without electricity, years before they emigrated to Norway.

I will warn you that it was difficult to read about a mass shooting when our nation has so much. But Norway’s collective spirit, and humanity recreated through Serstad’s prism, managed to evoke an unexpected sense of hope in me. – Mara Leighton, Senior Reporter

“Dirtbag, Massachusetts” by Isaac Fitzgerald

Dirtbag, Massachusetts


Amazon


Available on Amazon and Bookshop for $18.97

Full disclosure: Isaac used to be my boss a few moons ago, but even without my natural bias, I think everyone should read this book. It’s a collection of essays about his life growing up in Boston and rural Massachusetts and his experiences everywhere from fight clubs with his friends to biker bars, often exploring the topic of how less “safe” places can feel like home. – Julia Pugachevsky, Editor

“Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty” by Patrick Radin Cave

book cover of Empire of Pain


Amazon


Available on Amazon and Bookshop for $21

Who does non-fiction investigation like Patrick Radin? His books are all Sistine chapels of reporting and storytelling. I was impressed by Say Nothing, and Empire of Pain is a worthy successor. Covers three generations of the Sackler dynasty and its impact on the opioid crisis. The book is so detailed, Keefe probably knows what living members ate for dinner last night, but he also has a soul — not just in his efforts to hold power, but in its windows into the lives of just a few of the hundreds of thousands of people who died from opioids. – Mara Leighton, Senior Reporter

“The Courage to Hate: The Japanese Phenomenon That Shows You How to Change Your Life and Achieve True Happiness” by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga

Courage to be hated


Amazon


Available on Amazon and Bookshop for $12.99

I forgot how I heard about this book, but the title caught my eye and I added it to my reading list. It is mostly set up as a conversation between a philosopher and a student, covering the psychological principles of Alfred Adler (one of the three giants of 20th century psychology along with Freud and Jung). The essence of it is defining your ‘tasks’, as it teaches you to separate the problems that exist in life in real life for you The problems are absolutely within your control. I have to say a lot of the teachings I really ended up with and I think the lines from quite often. – Julia Pugachevsky, Editor

“The Truth” by Colin Hoover

Truth book cover


Amazon


Available on Amazon and Bookshop, $15.80

I was in a rut this spring and was looking for a page-turner. I heard about this book on #Booktok and ended up reading it one evening. It’s a psychological thriller genre with a questionable female lead character that I can’t get enough of. The premise is that the ghost writer takes a gig to finish a series by the best-selling author who got hurt. She goes to the author’s home in Vermont and finds a disturbing autobiography among her notes. There are really scary moments that got me confused, and all kinds of twists and turns. – Lorraine Savoy, Deputy Editor-in-Chief

You can find more Colin Hoover books here, as well as books to read if you’ve already read every one of Colin Hoover’s books.

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

book cover of The Love Hypothesis


Amazon


Available on Amazon and Bookshop, $11.04

I edited a great review about this book and wanted to give it a try, even though romance novels are nothing out of the ordinary. While it’s definitely a strange plot, I loved that the characters (especially the heroine) seemed to be fleshed out and concerned about their careers as much as they are about their budding love story. Sometimes I was more invested in learning what a profession in medical research actually is than the relationship itself—it felt like reading about real people over the cliched rom-com way of characters working more awesome jobs. – Julia Pugachevsky, Editor

“On Earth we’re cool for a while” by Ocean Vuong

On Earth We're Brilliant Book cover


Amazon


Available on Amazon and Bookshop for $8.70

Because I couldn’t stop at “Night Sky with Exit Wounds,” I immediately picked up Ocean Vuong’s novel “On Earth We Briefly Briefly Gorgeous” and was amazed that it was just as good, if not better, than his first published novel, The Work. This novel reads as one long letter to the main character’s mother and leads the reader through generational trauma and love and surrender to the family. I cannot recommend this book or Ocean Vuong’s work enough. – Maya Bakush, Associate Story Producer

“Nobody Talks About This” by Patricia Lockwood

Nobody talks about this


Amazon


Available on Amazon and Bookshop for $9.38

This book is wonderful. Sometimes it takes my breath away. It reads like free-falling into the cracks of the Internet – its incoherence and cacophony – and is at the same time painfully human and vivid. Lockwood’s text reads like poetry – a few sentences she wrote to memorize – but that’s not surprising for the poet’s first novel. I read this on my own, I read it to my sister, I reread the passages. If you don’t drift off your feet at first, keep going; The story goes deeper and the payment is well worth the investment. – Mara Leighton, Senior Reporter

You can read our “Nobody Talks About This” review here.

When you call my name “Tucker Show”

When you call my name


Amazon


Available on Amazon and Bookshop, $16.19

Full disclosure that I’ve been working with Tucker Shaw, but I couldn’t stop thinking about his latest book for several days after I finished reading it. It gives beautiful insight into a time and experience we don’t hear about often: being young, gay, and caught up in the AIDS epidemic. It tells the story of Adam and Ben, two gay teens who discover themselves and their community in the 1990s in New York City. Their individual stories intertwine together in a lot of sadness, but also a lot of fun and joy. – Lorraine Savoy, Deputy Editor-in-Chief

“Fleabag: The Scriptures” by Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Fleabag book cover


Amazon


Available on Amazon and Bookshop, $20.49

I’ve been revisiting some of my favorite TV shows and reading scripts along with it. I read the “Bible” dialogue and the stage direction of the Fleabag episode, and then the episode itself. It’s mostly the same on screen and on the page, but sometimes body language trends add a joyful new meaning; In one scene, Claire and Fleabag are described as “sitting in fraternal silence” in a taxi. Altogether, this broadened and deepened my enjoyment of something I already love. perfect. –Mara Leighton, Senior Reporter

“The Left Hand of Darkness” by Ursula Le Guin

Left Hand Cover for Darkness


Amazon


Available on Amazon and Bookshop for $9.99

I love fantasy, science fiction, and sex theory, so “The Left Hand of Darkness” has been on my list for a while. Finally, I got a copy and quickly became hypnotized by telling Le Guin’s stories. Published in 1987, it is still read as a groundbreaking novel, exploring the fluidity of gender, political science, and imperialism. Le Guin brings all this and more into an exciting intergalactic story. – Laila Alij, reporter

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