Best Reads of 2022

It's the end of the year, and time to shout out the best things I read during 2022.  My usual rules apply:

  • the book doesn't have to been published this year, just read by me for the first time
  • only book per author
  • no authors I know personally - too awkward and like choosing between your children (this rules out great titles by Deborah Swift, L. C. Tyler, Anna Legat and Greg Mosse)
  • this is an entirely subjective exercise.  I loved these books and I hope you will too!


At the time of writing (just over a week to go in 2022), I'd read 121 books this year.  I was going to pick a top five, but ten naturally chose themselves.  I don't do this exercise every year, but if I did, this would be the first year since I was about twelve that my list didn't include a single science fiction or fantasy novel.  Instead, my best reads this year encompass crime, literary fiction, non-fiction and - most unusually for me! - a horror novel.  There's also an unusual variety of settings - two in the US, two in Italy, one in Spain, one in Algeria & France, one in Germany, one in the USSR, one in the UK and one in an imaginary location closely modelled on Romania.

What they all have in common is a superbly realised sense of place and a distinctive, arresting narrative voice.  I'd recommend all of them without hesitation to anyone who wants to spend a few hours in the pleasure only a good book can provide.