My Favorite Books Of The Year

by | Dec 30, 2022 | 2022 Book Reviews, Marion's Favorites, Marion's Reading Life Blog | 0 comments

It’s that time of the year.  2022 is on the way out and 2023 is coming in a few days. The Best Of and Favorite Lists will be posted online at this time.  I want to share my favorite reads of 2022.  I have 5 novels and 1 non-fiction book as my favorite reads of the year.  My hope for these types of lists is readers discover books that they might have not heard of or read a book they may have overlooked.   Here are my favorites:

1) Serafina’s Stories by Rudolfo Anaya: Rudolfo Anaya is becoming one of my favorite authors.  He is most known for his modern classic, Bless Me Ultima.  However, he wrote many other novels and short stories and these connected stories about a young Pueblo Indian woman imprisoned in 17th Century Colonial New Mexico  reveals a world not written about a lot in contemporary fiction. Told in Arabian Nights style, Serafina enchants the Governor of New Mexico and creates a bond between the oppressed and the oppressor.  Anaya is an excellent storyteller and Serafina’s Stories is a must read.

2) Erasure by Percival Everett: Percival Everett is a writer I’ve wanted to read for a long time.  Erasure came on my radar and this novel became my favorite read of 2022. Erasure tells the story of the novelist, Thelonious “Monk” Ellison. His career has flat-lined, and many publishers rejected his latest novel.  Even though Ellison has written critically acclaimed novels in the past, his books are inaccessible and not urban enough for mainstream success.  Monk is outraged when he finds out about a novel titled We’s Lives in Da Ghetto by Juanita Mae Jenkins becomes a colossal success and celebrated for its authenticity of African American urban life. He writes a novel in response to Jenkins and it becomes a sensation. Everett provides satire, cultural critique, and tenderness in a novel that kept me invested as a reader.

3) Sula by Toni Morrison: I have posted over the years that reading Toni Morrison left me lukewarm.  I read Song of Solomon, Jazz, and Paradise.  All of them are excellent books, but as a reader I could never warm up to her characters.  Well, the old adage persistent will eventually paid off.  It did with me after reading Sula. It is first Morrison novel I enjoyed as a reader. Sula tells the story of best friends of Sula Peace and Nel Wright from Ohio. Sula is a free spirit and Nel has been accepted by the local community.  Morrison delves into their friendship and reveals how things can change between them over the years.  Both women are fully realized characters shows the tenuous nature of friendship.  Sula is not considered Morrison’s masterpiece but it is one of best novels I have ever read.

4) The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid: There is nothing like getting a book and becoming totally engrossed it. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was that book for me in 2022.  The story of a fictional Hollywood actress Evelyn Hugo and her rise to prominence. I did not like Evelyn Hugo because of the choices she made but I could not stop reading to find out what happened.  If you are looking for a read to get lost in for a few days…..The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is the book for you.

5) Shine Bright by Danyel Smith: This is my only non-fiction book on this list for my favorite reads of 2022. Veteran music journalist Danyel Smith writes a book that is part memoir, biography, and music history intertwined together. She puts a much-needed spotlight on African American female singers that don’t always get their story told. I enjoyed reading about these women and their contribution to American pop music. Shine Bright is a must read for music fans.

6) The Wood Wife by Terri Windling: Fantasy is my favorite genre to read and I’m always looking for standalone books that showcase the best of the genre.  The Wood Wife by Terri Windling is one of those books and has been around since the mid 1990s. The Wood Wife tells the story of a writer named Maggie Black who inherited the Tucson AZ estate of a reclusive poet named Davis Cooper. Windling draws upon various mythologies to tell a story about how the power of art, how it can drive one into madness if not channeled properly.  Also, this is a story about new beginnings in a place off the beaten path and how a renewal of life can start where you would have never visited before fate intervened. The Wood Wife is an intelligent, thoughtful, and mature fantasy novel that should get more recognition. The Wood Wife should be an essential read for fantasy literature fans and an entry point for non-fantasy readers too.

These are my favorite reads of the year and shows the variety of reading I did in 2022. I’m looking forward reading more great books in 2023!


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