Best books of 2022

After several generous years in which it became nearly impossible to keep up with the bounty of big-name books, publishing is finally catching up with itself. 2022 has been slower and more subdued than its predecessors in recent times — no Sally Rooney to garnish bags all over Brooklyn, no Jonathan Franzen dominating the rhetoric. Rather than squabbling over which films deserved to be at the top, there was time and space for titles of all kinds to find a reading audience. Most likely, your two “best of” lists won’t look alike this year, which means that bugs in the system may finally be fixing themselves; The algorithm is weakening. here, THR Picks the top 10 titles and a handful of additional acts we hope you pick up.

1. Sea of ​​calm by Emily St. John Mandel

Emily St. John Mandel is so adept at world-building that she can do in minuscule volume what most authors need—or unnecessarily take—a block to achieve. It continues the soulful sci-fi legacy it began with Eleventh station and masterful in it glass hotel, With this sister novel (The Cousin?) that spans centuries and worlds: Opening in the 19th century on a small island in Canada, it follows a group of interconnected characters all the way to a futuristic moon colony, where they all encounter the repercussions of the same seemingly insurmountable space-time phenomenon. for interpretation. All the while she’s performing her Mandelian pen trick: While you think you’re solving a puzzle, you end up thinking about the true meaning of our place on the planet.

2. Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow by Gabriel Zeven

tomorrow The plot synopsis threatens to betray itself—the book, spurring a tense multi-house copyright auction and a larger fight for adaptation rights, is about two childhood friends who reconnect in college, design a video game together, and then go on to become rich and famous. prestige? Maybe. But let us know that this book is for absolutely everyone. The plot device is just that: a way to root out the existential questions that plague every significant friendship. How do we take care of each other, how do we balance wanting to have it all with our basic need for just a few things, is anything in life more important than giving back to the people we love? Anyone who picks up this book will not regret it.

3. candy house by Jennifer Egan

A visit from the Goon Squadpredecessor 2010’s candy houseIt would have been better – if not the The best – novels of the past decade, which bring a sharp, fresh twist to the sometimes overrated multi-narrator storytelling device. Skepticism may be a healthy reaction to a sister novel, but Egan’s latest novel is a nice reminder that the literary world hasn’t fallen prey to Hollywood’s drought of intellectual property creations. candy housewhich resurrects some of the main characters and sets them in a near future where the latest technological innovations involve uploading your subconscious mind to a public server, is as delightfully bizarre, as creepily, and thought-provoking as one could hope.

4. All this could be different. Sarah Thankam Matthews

A first novel with the same depth and sensitivity as more experienced authors, All this could be different It embodies that particular millennial boredom: the protagonist, who has graduated from college in a job market stricken with drought and a political system that leaves it behind, suffers the side effects of capitalism before the eyes of the readers. But, in a particularly skillful literary ploy, this book of misery is anything but a miserable read. Matthews gives us the story of a young woman who makes bad decisions but it’s not bad at all; And a stark reminder that we’re all just trying to get over it.

5. Either or, by Elif Batwoman

The heroine of Batwoman, previously seen in 2017 The idiotis an aspiring flanus who has been temporarily incarcerated due to circumstances not dissimilar to her literary cousin white lotusPortia (exchanging a disastrous business trip to Taormina for sophomore year at Harvard). The novel, which uses Celine’s college reading list, and her reactions, to catalog her search for meaning in a world seemingly beyond her reach, is inherently delightfully analog. It’s full of meandering rhetoric and big questions, both a challenge to our literary culture of commercial thriller and page-turning and an assurance that you always have more answers than you did the day before.

6. stay honest, by Hwa Hsu

The tragic loss of a best friend in college serves as a cornerstone of this heartbreaking memoir and poignant coming-of-age storytelling. Hsu, star writer on The New Yorkertransports his readers to the 1990s in San Francisco, the time of grunge bands and youthful longing, and his words about his late friend will remind everyone of what we all had.

7. heaven, By Yanagihara only

the small life The long-awaited author’s heartbreaking interpersonal deliberations for more existential crises–the three-part book traces climate change and the pandemic-induced fall of society as we know it–but in these big themes lie intimate character studies written with the utmost care.

8. service business by Lillian Fishman

This thrilling first novel, about a young Brooklynite who stumbles into a polyamorous relationship, takes everything you thought you knew about sexual politics and power and turns it on its head–it’s Sally Rooney, with an ax for heterosexuality.

9. Vladimir, by Julia May Jones

A campus professor finds her inner misogyny put to the test when her husband — a university celebrity — gets caught in the crosshairs of the Me Too movement. To cap it off, she begins to obsessively obsess over a newly arrived fellow, and what begins as a meditation on power and sexual politics unwinds wonderfully with an unpredictable third turn for the reader.

10. Ghost lover by Lisa Tadeo

Lisa Tadeau, of Three women Fame, brings the further complexity of femininity to center stage in this collection of short stories about women who misbehave. It explores desire, but this time its protagonists don’t crave sexual contact so much as they do regain control, any way they can get it.


Best book to read before Oscar season: Run towards dangerWritten by Sarah Polley

A promising literary star of the future: Laila Motley (crawling at night)

Celebrity memoirs: I’m glad my mom died, by Janet McCurdy

Best transformation in the book: trust, by Hernan Diaz

The novel that was supposed to be a huge book club: Like a house on fireby Lauren McBrayer

Best read of the year: Bliss Montague by Ling Ma

The book we wish Kardashian would read: estheticaBy Allie Rowbottom


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