The Books I Read In 2022: The Good, The Bad, And The Meh Of My Reading Challenge

I completed my reading challenge last year and read 104 books so, as is tradition, I’m sharing a list below and highlighting my favourites of the year. If you would like to see my favourites from previous years you can find them here: 2021, 2020, and 2019.

In last year’s book post, I separated the books into genres which many of you said was useful, so I’m going to do that again this year. I also found this method really useful last year, as it showed me that no only did I read a lot more non-fiction than I thought but also it was the genre in which I gave the most 5 star reviews. Note to self: must seek out more non-fiction in 2023 – if you have any you would recommend, please let me know!

All of the books in bold are ones I gave 5 stars, which have a mini review underneath. There are some mini-reviews for other books I felt needed them, but if you are particularly interested in a specific book below and would like to know what I thought of it, just ask.







  • Leave The World Behind, Rumaan AlamI could not stop thinking about this book while I was reading it or afterwards – always a good sign. It’s definitely one I will go back to again. A couple renting a holiday home are joined by the claimed owners after an unspecified ‘disaster’ in the city. The exact situation outside of the house is kept vague, which keeps this intriguing and mysterious. Apparently this is going to be made into a film with Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts which I’m excited about.
  • Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel (re-read) – One of my favourite books. I wanted to re-read this before the TV series started but I’m still waiting for my husband to read it first…
  • Wool, Hugh Howey (book 1) (re-read) – This embodies everything I love about the dystopia genre: world-building, politics of good regular folk vs baddies in charge, a hint at wider issues outside the immediate story, survival against the odds… just great.
  • Rise: A Newsflesh Collection, Mira GrantThis gathers all of the books set in Mira Grant’s Newsflash world, where scientists who found the cure for the common cold unleashed something much worse. Potentially my favourite apocalypsy stories of all time? Bold claims.
  • The Last Children Of Tokyo, Yoko Tawada
  • All That’s Left In The World, Erik J BrownOne of my absolute favourites of the year, this is a fantastic story of two teenage boys who have dealt with the end of the world very differently before teaming up. A lovely postapocalyptic, queer YA adventure romance that I desperately wanted to be a series.
  • Everything You Ever Wanted, Luiza SaumaIf you were given the option to join a team repopulating a new world in another dimension would you do it? What if you could never return, never speak to anyone on earth again, and had every moment shared online as entertainment? A fascinating commentary on modern life, mental health, and the grass appearing greener.
  • The Darkness, W.J. Lundy
  • Last One At The Party, Bethany CliftI am convinced this book was written for me as it ticks so many of my boxes. A London woman survives a pandemic and appears to be the only person left in the world. Lots of detail on how she survives in various locations, which tends to be my favourite aspect of these stories. It’s a little far-fetched in parts but when isn’t an apocalypse scenario far-fetched?


  • The Nickel Boys, Colson WhiteheadHarrowing dramatisation that will break your heart. A story about a boys reform ‘school’ in 1960s Florida that shines a light on the racism and class divides that impacted the lives of everyone there. Winner of the Pulitzer prize for fiction. (if you need anymore convincing!)
  • Single, Carefree, Mellow, Katherine Heiny
  • Luster, Raven LeilaniProvacative, funny, upsetting, and – in parts – hard to read. This is one of those books that was everywhere and really seemed to divide people. Some didn’t like it because ‘nothing happened’ and the main character is quite unlikeable, but I liked its quiet hopelessness and meandering plot. It felt very similar in vibe to ‘Everyone In This Room Will Someday Be Dead’, ‘Pizza Girl’ , and ‘The New Me’.
  • Boy Parts, Eliza ClarkI was intrigued after hearing this described as American Psycho if Patrick Bateman was a woman from Newcastle. This is another book that people either loved or hated – I am definitely in the latter camp. Another deeply unlikeable main character if that is your jam. I doubt I’ll feel compelled to read this again in the future, but it’s unlike anything else I’ve read.
  • Olive, Emma Gannon
  • The Cows, Dawn O’Porter
  • If I Had Your Face, Frances Cha
  • Nightbitch, Rachel Yoder


FYI: With graphic novels, I counted the collected volumes towards my book goal – not the individual books (otherwise I would’ve more than doubled my reading count!).

What have been your favourite reads this year? What are your favourites of all time? What would you recommend I read next? This year I’m aiming for 120 books, so please do send over your favourites!



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