There are few things as satisfying as picking up a new book and devouring it. For that reason, we thought we’d pull together a list of the best books to enter into the literary scene in the last year (or at least to get a positive wrap in 2022) and take a look into why they’re worth your time.
We’ve scoured the internet, searching through lists of top books from assorted outlets as well as top-selling titles; pulling together a list of the books that appear to have made an impact in 2022.
Here’s what we’ve landed on.
A list of the best books of 2022
All synopses from publishers.
Afterlives by Abdulrazak Gurnah
By The Winner Of The Nobel Prize In Literature 2021
Shortlisted For The Orwell Prize For Political Fiction 2021
Longlisted For The Walter Scott Prize 2021
While he was still a little boy, Ilyas was stolen from his parents by the German colonial troops. After years away, fighting in a war against his own people, he returns to his village to find his parents gone, and his sister Afiya given away.
Another young man returns at the same time. Hamza was not stolen for the war, but sold into it; he has grown up at the right hand of an officer whose protection has marked him life. With nothing but the clothes on his back, he seeks only work and security – and the love of the beautiful Afiya.
As fate knots these young people together, as they live and work and fall in love, the shadow of a new war on another continent lengthens and darkens, ready to snatch them up and carry them away…
Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
Demon Copperhead: a boy born to a teenaged single mother in a single-wide trailer, with no assets beyond his dead father’s good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival. Demon befriends us on this, his journey through the modern perils of foster care, child labor, derelict schools, athletic success, addiction, disastrous loves, and crushing losses. Through all of it, he reckons with his own invisibility in a popular culture where even the superheroes have abandoned rural people in favor of cities.
Either/Or by Elif Batuman
A pitch perfect encapsulation of one young woman’s quest for self-knowledge, as she travels abroad and tests the limits of her newfound adulthood
If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery
1979. Topper and Sanya flee to Miami as political violence consumes their native Kingston. But they soon learn that the welcome in America will be far from warm.
Trelawny, their youngest son, comes of age in a society which regards him with suspicion and confusion, greeting him with the puzzled question ‘What are you?’
Their eldest son Delano’s longing for a better future for his own children is equalled only by his recklessness in trying to secure it.
As both brothers navigate the obstacles littered in their path – an unreliable father, racism, a financial crisis and Hurricane Andrew – they find themselves pitted against one another. Will their rivalry be the thing that finally tears their family apart?
Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng
Our Missing Hearts is an old story made new, of the ways supposedly civilized communities can turn a blind eye to the most searing injustice. It’s a story about the power – and limitations – of art to create change in the world, the lessons and legacies we pass onto our children, and how any of us can survive a broken world with our hearts intact.
Pure Colour by Sheila Heti
After God created the heavens and the earth, he stood back to contemplate creation, like a painter standing back from the canvas. This is the moment we are living in – the moment of God standing back.
In this first draft of existence, a woman named Mira leaves home to study. There, she meets Annie, whose tremendous power opens Mira’s chest like a portal – to what, she doesn’t know. When Mira is older, her beloved father dies, and she enters that strange and dizzying dimension that true loss opens up.
Stay True by Hua Hsu
A New York Times Most Anticipated Book From the New Yorker staff writer Hua Hsu, a gripping memoir on friendship, grief, the search for self, and the solace that can be found through art.
The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka
Winner of the 2022 Booker Prize.
An epic, searing satire by Sri Lanka’s coolest author.
Colombo, 1990. Maali Almeida, war photographer, gambler and closet queen, has woken up dead in what seems like a celestial visa office. His dismembered body is sinking in the serene Beira lake and he has no idea who killed him. At a time where scores are settled by death squads, suicide bombers and hired goons, the list of suspects is depressingly long, as the ghouls and ghosts with grudges who cluster round can attest. But even in the afterlife, time is running out for Maali. He has seven moons to try and contact the man and woman he loves most and lead them to a hidden cache of photos that will rock Sri Lanka.
Trust by Hernan Diaz
An unparalleled novel about money, power, intimacy, and perception
Even through the roar and effervescence of the 1920s, everyone in New York has heard of Benjamin and Helen Rask. He is a legendary Wall Street tycoon; she is the daughter of eccentric aristocrats. Together, they have risen to the very top of a world of seemingly endless wealth–all as a decade of excess and speculation draws to an end. But at what cost have they acquired their immense fortune? This is the mystery at the center of Bonds, a successful 1937 novel that all of New York seems to have read. Yet there are other versions of this tale of privilege and deceit.
If the above list isn’t for you, here are a few titles from 2021 that may better suit your tastes.
Amnesia Road: Landscape, violence and memory, by Luke Stegemann, The Bass Rock, by Evie Wyld, The Night Watchman, by Louise Erdrich, Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America, by Marcia Chatelain and The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X, by the late Les Payne and Tamara Payne
And if you’d prefer audiobooks, we have a list of the best from this year here.
This article on good books to read from 2022 has been updated with more of the best titles to be released since its original publish date.
The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans
Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.