I’ve got one more book on the Kindle I hope to finish before 2022 comes to an end, and if it is truly amazing I’ll let you know, or, more likely, I’ll add it to the list next year.
2022 was the year of Taylor Jenkins Reid for me. I know she’s been around for a while now, but I didn’t pick anything up until February of this year, and then spent the rest of the year going throug her back catalog, and also reading her most recent. I guess I should thank BookTok for introducing me to TJR, as every TikTok I saw was recommending Evelyn Hugo. I will often be the last to the party, because I borrow most books from the library, which often has a 6 or 8 week waiting list for the popular titles.
Everyone was also recommending It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover, which I also read this year, but I gotta say, not really a fan.
Keep in mind, not all of these were written in 2022, they are just ones I managed to read this year. There is no particular order, either.
All of the Taylor Jenkins Reid
I started with The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, but eventually also read Malibu Rising, Daisy Jones and The Six, Carrie Soto Is Back (TJR’s 2022 release), as well as One True Loves and Evidence of the Affair (novella). Evelyn, Malibu, Daisy Jones, and Carrie Soto all exist within the same universe, and they are all so fun to read. The pop culture, celebrity glamour (and pitfalls) of the characters are very much what I could envision Hollywood, or the 70s music industry, or the 80s tennis tours are like. If I had to choose one, I’d probably go with Evelyn Hugo. It was the first of my TJR reads, and the kaPOW factor of the plot twist had my mouth hanging open, like, am I reading what I think I’m reading? And I love being surprised like that.
I know I enjoyed this book because I recommended it to a bunch of people, and I also gifted it to someone for Christmas. Carrie Soto Is Back is also a 5-star. You can’t go wrong with these.
That Summer Place, by Jennifer Weiner
I’m adding this one to the list for the kaPOW factor that I mentioned in my previous ranking. I got to a certain part in the second half of this book, and put it down to text a friend, demanding that she immediately read it so we could discuss. That Summer Place is the third book that takes place in a Truro, Cape Cod universe that only in the most subtle of ways collides with each other. It’s almost like a slight nod to the loyal reader that these books are connected (not unlike what Jenkins Reid has done with her universe). This is also one of a few books I read that incorporated the COVID-19 pandemic into the narrative, and taking advantage of the interesting family dynamics, forced co-habitation, and other nuances that lends itself to topsy turvy plot twists.
I haven’t missed a Jennifer Weiner summer read in a while now. While last year’s threw me for a curve, as it was a much heavier read than I thought it would be, I’m impressed that she continues to expand her breadth and depth in her novels.
The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music, by Dave Grohl
I finished reading this on March 13, and 12 days later, Taylor Hawkins died at the age of 50, while the Foo Fighters were on tour. Oh the agony. One of my favorite bands, maybe my favorite band of my adult life. Grohl’s stories are funny, heartbreaking, awe-inspiring, and more than one of them takes place in Seattle 🙂
Special shoutout to Dave’s mom, who recognized her child was not going to following in the traditional path towards adulthood, and supported that untraditional path, that included living in a bus, touring the country and the world with small punk bands. That is faith.
Ruby Fever, by Ilona Andrews
I’ve gotta add this one in here because it was by far the most anticipated book of 2022 for me. I literally took vacation the day it was released, sat by a pool for 5 hours, and read it straight through while my daughter and her friends played at the water amusement park we were at. It is the 6th book in Andrews’ Hidden Legacy series, and the third featuring protagonist Catalina Baylor. I have read and reread this series a lot. Like, a lot. It played heavily in getting me through dark times of 2020, and 2021. And, fortunately, Ruby Fever did the fans a favor of wrapping up plotlines from the entire series, giving us lots of fight and explosions, lots of kissing, a surprise fiancé, and family secrets revealed. Added bonus, the likelihood of more adventures with the Baylor sisters, as the ending definitely tees up the chance for the youngest sister, Arabella, to receive her own trilogy of adventures.
How to be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question, by Michael Schur
2022 is the year I discovered audiobooks. I had listened to audiobooks before, but definitely preferred Kindle books to listening. Even at the gym I was more likely to pop in a podcast then listen to a book. That changed this year, when I figured out my brain could handle listening to one book, usually at the gym, or in the car, or cooking, while also reading my Kindle, usually at night in bed, or whenever if the book was really good. With that, I’d say that How to Be Perfect was my favorite audiobook of the year. The Sentence by Louise Erdrich is a close second.
I should add that, while I wasn’t a superfan of the show, the series finale episode of The Good Place is remarkable, and I’ve watched it 2 or 3 times. I laugh and cry. The creator of the show wrote this book based on the research he had compiled while working on the show. (Shout out to West Hartford, hometown of the author, woot!). The questions raised and debated in this book are not the worlds biggest philosophical questions (I mean, they are in there), but it’s the ones that I will relate to and reflect on on a daily basis that I think about the most. Why am I donating to this charity, and is it enough? Should I care if the barista sees me tip them? Is it okay to watch a Woody Allen movie? Am I a good person because I push my shopping cart back to the store after grocery shopping?
For that last question (and for that particular chapter), I literally think of this book every time I bring my cart back to the cart return at the QFC. Every time.