The best books of 2022 so far to add to your reading list

Mountain Song book with catPhoto by Holly Bobbins
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This blog started out as a celebration of my love for classic literature. Tolstoy is even in the name! But that said, over the last decade, Tolstoy Therapy has evolved around what I’ve been reading – and that’s included a lot more new fiction and non-fiction. So, what are the best new books for 2022? That’s my focus for this post.

Throughout the rest of the year, I’ll be updating this page to share the best new books that I’ve been enjoying (and think you will too). I’ll be adding some books, removing others, and refining my recommendations to give you the best reading list for 2022.

Without further ado, here’s my current list of the best new books in 2022 to read…

8 of the best books to read in 2022 so far

1. Rest is Resistance by Tricia Hersey

This book is so needed. Rest is Resistance is Tricia Hersey’s fierce yet tender manifesto on the necessity of rest to reclaim your power and thrive. Tricia is the founder of The Nap Ministry, where she elevates rest as a divine right that empowers imagination, invention, and healing. This book is full of Tricia’s unique philosophy, methods, stories, and practical advice to live a well-rested life. As the book emphasises, it’s not self-care but rather an urgent wake-up call to start doing things differently.

2. The Bookseller at the End of the World

The Bookseller at the End of the World is one of the best new memoirs of 2022. It’s Ruth Shaw’s immersive, heartbreaking yet charming story of running two wee bookshops in the remote village of Manapouri in Fiordland, in the deep south of New Zealand.

In this beautiful book for booklovers (that is sure to make you want to read even more books), Ruth weaves together stories of the characters who visit her bookshops and musings on the books that have shaped her life. She also shares bittersweet stories from her full and varied life, including losses, enduring love, and adventures sailing through the Pacific, being held up by pirates, working with drug addicts and prostitutes, and campaigning to protect the environment.

3. Fairy Tale by Stephen King

In this new book from Stephen King for September 2022, the storytelling master digs deep into his imagination to create a world that blurs the boundaries between magic and reality. Charlie Reade looks like a regular high school kid. But when he accidentally inherits the keys to a parallel world where good and evil are at war, he realises that the stakes couldn’t be higher.

Early on in the pandemic, King asked himself: “What could you write that would make you happy?” This book is the answer.

Fairy Tale by Stephen King cover

4. Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout

I’ve stayed away from books about the pandemic until now; I wanted reading to be my escape from it, not a reason to think more about it. But I feel like there’s been sufficient distance now for me to read books like this one. And Lucy by the Sea just felt so… therapeutic.

In this third book of Strout’s Amgash series, which you can read as a standalone or start with My Name is Lucy Barton, it’s March 2020 and Lucy’s ex-husband William pleads with her to leave New York and escape to a coastal house he has rented in Maine. Lucy reluctantly agrees, leaving the washing-up in the sink and expecting to be back in a week or so.

As weeks turn into months, Lucy and William spend their long, quiet days thinking about their complex past together – and the connections that sustain us in the hardest moments.

5. Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Taylor Jenkins Reid has written some of the best can’t-put-down books from the last few years. I first read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and enjoyed how wonderfully flawed yet fantastic the characters were. I loved the strong family ties in Malibu Rising. I listened to the full-cast audiobook of Daisy Jones & the Six and immersed myself in a world of music, rocky relationships, and the even rockier road of self-discovery.

Now in 2022, Taylor Jenkins has published Carrie Soto is Back, her story of a tennis legend supposedly past her prime at thirty-seven, brought back to the tennis court for one more grand slam. Carrie Soto sacrificed everything to become the best, and now she needs to give everything she’s got to defend her record.

Carrie Soto is back cover

6. Haven by Emma Donoghue

In Haven, three men leave the seventh-century world behind them as they set out in a small boat for an island their leader has seen in a dream, guided only by faith. Yvonne C. Garrett writes for The Brooklyn Rail, “This is a powerful read with careful attention paid to balancing natural and historical detail with a broader exploration of faith, madness, survival, and what it means to be human.”

7. A Prayer for the Crown-Shy by Becky Chambers

“Tender and healing… I’m prescribing a preorder to anyone who has ever felt lost. Stunning, kind, necessary,” writes author Sarah Gailey about this now-published feel-good book from the author at the forefront of hopeful science fiction.

A Prayer for the Crown Shy is the second book in Becky Chambers’ Monk & Robot series, weaving an intriguing world about the robots of Panga who long ago laid down their tools and disappeared into the wilderness after they gained self-awareness. But one day, a robot startles a tea monk with a question that no one can seem to answer: “what do people need?”

To start at the beginning of the Monk & Robot series, you can first read the equally uplifting A Psalm for the Wild-Built.

8. City on Fire by Don Winslow

Don Winslow has been one of my guilty pleasure authors for a few years. I first read The Power of the Dog while on the Trans-Mongolian train across Russia, Mongolia and China a few years ago and was hooked. (So was my now-husband, who ended up reading most of it over my shoulder.)

This year, I flew through the audiobook of Don Winslow’s newest release and the first part of a new series, City on Fire. It’s a compulsively readable thriller that transforms the events at Troy and the founding of Rome into a riveting gangster tale as two criminal empires fight to control New England.

Looking for more books to read in 2022? You might also like my recommended books for when you don’t know what to read and the best can’t-put-down books to binge-read.


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