For months, I’ve been reading as many new book releases as I can in search of the best books of 2022. Find out which popular releases are the best new books of 2022.
What are the best books of 2022?
For months, I’ve been reading as many new releases as I can get my hands on so that I can give an informed opinion on the best books of the year.
With the year almost over, I wanted to consider the top books to read in 2022. You’ll find plenty of beloved authors and some new ones on my best-of-the-year book list.
Remember, this is just my opinion. I’d love to hear what books you think are the best of the best in the comments below!
Best Books of 2022 for Book Clubs
On a bitterly cold day, Sam Masur runs into Sadie Green on a train platform and they renew their childhood friendship bonding over video games. Together, they create Ichigo, a blockbuster game that changes their lives. Over the next three decades, their friendship is tested as their success leads them to money, fame, love, and betrayal. More a heartrending story about friendship than video games, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is an unputdownable read with complex character development that easily earns it a place among the best books of 2022.
Estranged siblings Byron and Benny are brought back together by their mother’s death. For their inheritance, they find a traditional Caribbean black cake and a voice recording from their mother. Eleanor’s message tells the turbulent story of her life, one full of secrets and a long-lost child that will leave the siblings questioning everything they thought they knew. Wilkerson does an excellent job bringing to life the complicated family dynamics underlaid with the powerful story of Eleanor’s life.
In a dystopian America, libraries are heavily censored and authorities can relocate children of dissidents, especially those of Asian descent. For years, Bird has disavowed the work of his mother, a banned Chinese American who left years ago. When he receives a drawing in the mail, Bird sets out on a quest to search for his missing mother, leading him to an underground network in New York and a new act of defiance.
Taylor Jenkins Reid
When Carrie Soto retired from tennis six years ago, she was the best player the world had ever seen, shattering every record imaginable. Now a hotshot new tennis star is threatening to break Carrie’s legacy. At 37, Carrie attempts to come back for one more epic season to defend her title, even if defying all the odds means she has to train with a man from her past.
As an end-of-life doula, Nova’s job is to help the terminally ill cope with their impending death. Her most challenging client: Mason Shaylor, an up-and-coming indie singer-songwriter, who comes in asking for help to say goodbye after a deteriorating condition that has already caused him to lose his ability to play the guitar. Months later after Mason dies in a car crash, Mason’s mom comes in accusing Nova of assisting Mason’s suicide. Now Nova questions everything she thought she knew about a patient she had become extremely close to. The Next Thing You Know is a top-level tearjerker, expertly drawing you into the characters and perfectly timing revelations to emotionally wrench you.
Shelby Van Pelt
After her husband died, Tova Sullivan began working the night shift at the Sowell Bay Aquarium. Thirty years ago, Tova’s son Erik disappeared on a boat in the Puget Sound, and cleaning the aquarium helps her cope. When she befriends Marcellus, the aquarium’s giant octopus, Marcellus discovers what happened to Erik and must find a way to show Tova the truth before it’s too late.
Best Thriller Books of 2022
On one of her first assignments as a secret agent, Emma Makepeace has 12 hours to deliver the son of a Russian dissident into protective custody. When Russian assassins hack into the city’s widespread security camera network, Emma must use all her training and skill to deliver him across the most camera-ridden city in the world without being spotted. Alias Emma is a quick fun read with a thrilling high-action plot that belongs on any summer reading list.
When she was six years old, Margot’s next-door neighbor and best friend, January, was murdered in their small hometown. Now a big-city journalist, Margot returns home to help care for her uncle when another girl disappears. Determined to find the missing girl and solve January’s murder, Margot begins to wonder how well she knows her neighbors.
Although she struggles to interact with people, her love of order and cleanliness makes Molly Gray an excellent maid at the Regency Grand Hotel. When Molly discovers a wealthy guest dead in his hotel bed, the police peg her as the prime suspect due to her unusual behaviors. With the help of her friends, Molly must investigate the murder to prove her innocence in this locked-room mystery. If you are looking for a cozy mystery, you’ll instantly fall in love with Molly as the neurodivergent protagonist, with her keen observations and lovable personality.
Tully and Rachel find themselves thrown for a loop when their father announces he is divorcing their mother with dementia and marrying a woman younger than both of them. As they dig deeper into Heather’s secrets and confront their own issues, comments from their mother make them suspect that their parents’ marriage may not have been as idyllic as they thought. Knowing the wedding will end in blood, The Younger Wife is an addictive domestic thriller that keeps you engaged as you play amateur detective, judging the reliability of the narrators and deciding who you think is guilty.
As a female politician, Emma knows it only takes one slip-up to ruin your reputation. Using her position as an MP, Emma is determined to fight for female victims and pass a law against revenge porn, even though it brings a slew of threats, both online and in person. When her teenage daughter lashes out at a high school bully, the consequences could be disastrous as Emma is put on trial for the death of a reporter who threatened to publish the story. Not only did Vaughan write a compelling narrative but also she managed to really hit home on her main themes, violence against women and how our reputation affects our actions. The combination of a killer narrative (pun intended) and deeper underlying themes makes this one of the best books of 2022.
Alex’s unexpected rise as a social media influencer would never have been possible without the help of her personal assistant AC. Just as a controversial post she swear she didn’t write turns her audience against her, Alex’s assistant disappears. As things keep getting worse for Alex’s family, she digs into the identity of the woman who knew everything about her life. But when a woman is found murdered, Alex and her husband find themselves the prime suspects.
Best Historical Fiction of 2022
Elizabeth Zott has always defied stereotyping, especially as the only woman chemist at the Hastings Research Institute in the 1960s. After falling in love with another chemist who sees her for who she is, life throws her a curveball. Now as a single mom, she unexpectedly finds herself the host of a tv cooking show. When Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking charms her audience, the women who watch her begin to question the status quo in their own lives, making Elizabeth a target of those who find the change unwelcome. In one of the best books of 2022, Garmus presents an engrossing progressive historical fiction read with heartfelt depth and a searing look at sex discrimination in the past (and today).
Take My Hand is inspired by the true story of government overreach in the forced sterilization of poor Black girls. In 1973, Civil Townsend is excited to use her new nursing degree to make a difference in the lives of her African-American community in Montgomery, Alabama. However, Civil is shocked to find her first patients are two young Black girls (ages 11 and 13) on birth control and begins to question the ethics of her work. Take My Hand is a thought-provoking historical novel that informs you while keeping you gripped by an emotional story and would be an excellent book to read in 2022.
In a modern-day version of David Copperfield set in the American South, Demon Copperhead speaks of how institutional poverty damages young boys today. A child of a single mother living in a single wide trailer, young Demon must survive foster care, child labor, poor schools, addiction, success, and failure in this epic tale.
Coming off her hit bestseller, Hamnet, Maggie O’Farrell returns with another gorgeous historical fiction novel set in Renaissance Italy. When her sister dies on the eve of her wedding, Lucrezia de Medici unexpectedly marries her late sister’s fiance. As Lucrezia sits for a marriage portrait, she ponders her new husband’s nature – whether he is a kind sophisticate or a ruthless politician.
Although communist countries are falling all over Europe, in 1989, Romania is still ruled by the cruel dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu. Blackmailed by the secret police, seventeen-year-old Cristian Florescu is forced to become an informer, walking the edge between deceiving the Securitate while still protecting his family. I Must Betray You is exactly what you want from young adult historical fiction. Sepetys showcases the everyday teenage life in a unique setting with a narrative that is as compelling as it is informative.
Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
In 1950s San Francisco, Vivian is ecstatic when her three daughters begin to make a name for themselves as the singing girl group, The Salvations. Although Vivian has arranged a once-in-a-lifetime chance for The Salvations, her daughters have begun to grow up and have desires of their own. As the neighborhood begins gentrifying, Vivian struggles to maintain control even when her past comes back to threaten her.
Best Books 2022 Nonfiction
Both vulnerable and hilarious, Jennette McCurdy’s tell-all memoir sends a poignant message of the dangers of child acting. McCurdy brilliantly embraces her inner child by describing how desperately she wanted to please her mom by acting, even if it lead to an eating disordered and a chaotic relationship with her family that she didn’t fully understand until attending therapy after her mother’s death.
Rejecting the capitalistic path of others, Brianna Madia always sought to take the road less traveled. So she bought a beat-up orange van named Bertha and set out to travel the deserts of the American West with two dogs and her husband. Madia’s journey – from married to single and from lost to found – is about more than #vanlife or minimalism or dogs; it’s a memoir that explores both the outer world and her inner self. With a unique voice describing the beauty of the Utah deserts, Madia isn’t afraid to dive into the mistake of her life, parsing out why she made the choices she did, which helps connect her story to life at large.
Known for his role as Chandler Bing on Friends, Matthew Perry gives a behind-the-scenes look at the hit sitcom. Yet, while his career was hitting a high, Perry struggled through some of his darkest days. In this candid memoir, Perry discusses his lifelong battle with addiction and the persistence, hope, and friends who helped him along the way.
Growing up in a small town in El Salvador, Javier Zamora watched his father and mother both migrate to the United States when he was very young. When he turned nine, Javier left the protection of his extended family to reunite with his parents. Traveling alone with strangers with the help of a “coyote,” Javier’s two-week journey turns into a two-month trek full of danger and uncertainty and the kindness of the strangers he was traveling with.
After Princess Diana’s celebrity almost tore the British royal family apart, Queen Elizabeth II vowed to never let such a thing happen again. Yet, like any other family, the royal family has had twenty-five years of scandals, affairs, and power struggles which Tina Brown masterfully leads you through. From the death of Princess Margaret to the stepping away of Harry and Megan, The Palace Papers has all the juicy details for you to devour.
The powerful memoir from actress and producer Viola Davis about finding herself was one of the only Oprah Winfrey Book Club picks in 2022. From her roots in a rundown apartment in Rhode Island to center stage in New York, Davis constantly had to find the courage to forget the judgment of the world and fall in love with herself.
A. J. Baime
Born with mixed-race heritage to parents who were born as slaves, Walter F. White’s skin was light enough that he could easily “pass” as white. A leader of the Harlem Renaissance and an important member of the NAACP, White used his ability to lead a dual life, going undercover to investigate some of the worst racist murders in America. White’s leadership shaped public opinion, pushed forward the Civil Rights Movement, and altered the mission of the NAACP toward legal and political activism.
Science Fiction & Fantasy
Seventeen-year-old Charlie is used to being on his own until he befriends Howard, an old recluse, and his beloved dog Radar, who live in a large house on the hill. After Howard dies, he leaves Charlie a note about a magical portal to a parallel world where good and evil are at war. Now, it’s up to Charlie and Radar to save both worlds.
R. F. Kuang
In 1828, Robin Swift, an orphan, is brought from Canton to London by the mysterious Dr. Lovell. For years he trains in different languages to be accepted to Oxford’s Royal Institute of Translation, known as Babel. Learning to translate, and the magic that comes with it, soon puts Swift on a collision course between loyalty to his homeland and his adopted country when Britain starts a war with China.
One morning, everyone in the world wakes up to find a box on their doorstep which tells you how many years you will live. What do you do with the knowledge, or do you even open the box? As the world goes into a frenzy, lives are torn apart and unexpected friendships are created and a politician’s box becomes a powder keg.
Former poet laureate Dorothy Moy has always channeled her dissociative episodes and mental health into her work. When her daughter starts showing similar behaviors and remembering items from the lives of past ancestors, Dorothy worries she’ll lose custody. So she undergoes an experimental treatment to alleviate inherited trauma, becoming intimately connected with the past generations of women in her family.
In a Florida already wracked by climate change, Frida gives birth to baby Wanda amid a deadly hurricane. As the world continues to disintegrate, Wanda grows and adapts to an ever-changing world. Living in a community abandoned by society, Wanda seeks adventure, community, and love in a place remade by nature.
When NASA offers Bee Königswasser the lead on a neuroengineering project, she is thrilled until she learns she must work with her grad school archnemesis, the handsome Levi Ward. When her equipment goes missing and the staff begins ignoring her, Bee realizes that Levi is starting to support her at work, and must decide if she has the guts to lay her heart on the line.
Florence Day is a ghostwriter for one of the most popular romance writers of the day. But after a bad breakup, a disillusioned Florence struggles to write about love. With a new book due and her editor refusing an extension, Florence’s career is all but over. When her father dies, Florence returns to her sleepy Southern hometown only to be shocked to find the ghost of her editor, whose unfinished business has her second-guessing everything she knows about love stories.
Kiki Banjo, the host of a popular student radio show, has one mission: to keep the women of the Afro-Caribbean society at Whitewell University from falling from players. But when she kisses Malakai Korede, who she just denounced as the worst player of all, they are forced to fake a relationship to salvage their reputations. But the more Kiki gets to know Malakai, the more she wonders if her presumptions about him were wrong.
After her mom dies and her boyfriend dumps her, Hannah Brooks is desperate to avoid her mess of a life and sink into work as an Executive Protection Agent, a bodyguard to wealthy corporate clients. In walks her next assignment, reclusive superstar actor Jack Stapleton who needs protection from a middle-aged stalker while visiting his sick mother. The catch: Jack wants Hannah to pretend to be his girlfriend so his family won’t know. Now Hannah must act the part, and decide whether Jack’s just a really good actor or if the connection they seem to share is real.
Cutthroat literary agent Nora Stephens lives her whole life in books. On a sisters’ trip to North Carolina, Nora dreams of becoming a heroine worthy of the books she reads. Instead, she keeps running into a brooding editor from back in the city. As their accidental meetings keep coming, Nora and Charlie begin to see each other differently in this enemies-to-lovers summer read.
What Would You Say are The Best Books of 2022?
What books did you enjoy most this year? Did I miss any of the Best Books of 2022 that you loved? As always, let me know in the comments!
More New Book Releases & Best of Lists: