On the whole, I didn’t enjoy 2022, it had some wonderful moments, but overall it’s been a challenging year. One bright spot—as it always is—has been my reading. Still, it took me until this last week in December to surpass my goal of forty-two novels ending the year with a solid forty-four books read. That’s three and a half books a month, a decent number for a reader as slow as myself. I primarily focused on novels and a few novellas. Like last year, you won’t find many comics or short stories below, but I did read some, and they are listed out though I won’t be naming a favorite in either category.

As it does every year, this list correlates with my Goodreads 2022 Reading Challenge. Occasionally, you might find some slight differences between the two. (Not this year.) This list is all strictly reading for pleasure—I typically forgo listing any research/history books I’ve read for a project as I read those differently than I do fiction. This list is always enormous, so l skip reviews except for the standouts. However, I’d invite you to follow me on Goodreads, where I occasionally leave other reviews.

Most links will go to IndieBound—now more than ever, be sure to support your local bookstore. If possible, I am directly linking to each author’s website—if you’re on the list and I didn’t find your website, please let me know about it. (I won’t link to social media, sorry.)

📚 Novels & Novellas

  1. Nemesis Games (The Expanse #5)
    by James S. A. Corey
  2. The Bright Ages
    by Matthew Gabriele & David M. Perry
  3. Storm of Locust (The Sixth World #2)
    by Rebecca Roanhorse
  4. Crossroads
    by Laurel Hightower
  5. High-Rise
    by J. G. Ballard
  6. The Wicked Blade
    by Jason Vanhee
  7. Between Two Fires
    by Christopher Buehlman
  8. Piranesi
    by Susanna Clarke
  9. Rise of the Mages (Age of Ire #1)
    by Scott Drakeford
  10. The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York
    by Robert A. Caro
  11. The Final Girl Support Group
    by Grady Hendrix
  12. Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle #1)
    by Neal Stephenson
  13. Shorefall (The Founders Trilogy #2)
    by Robert Jackson Bennett
  14. Rivers Of Power: How A Natural Force Raised Kingdoms, Destroyed Civilizations, And Shapes Our World
    by Lawrence C. Smith, PhD.
  15. Sphere
    by Michael Crichton
  16. Mexican Gothic
    by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  17. The Forever Sea (Tales of the Forever Sea #1)
    by Joshua Phillip Johnson
  18. Bone White
    by Ronald Malfi
  19. Dead Silence
    by S.A. Barnes
  20. The Civil War, Vol. 2: Fredericksburg to Meridian
    by Shelby Foote
  21. The Shadow of the Torturer
    by Gene Wolfe
  22. Centennial: A Novel
    by James A. Michener
  23. Parable of the Sower (Earthseed #1)
    by Octavia Butler
  24. Three Moments of an Explosion
    by China Miéville
  25. Billy Summers
    by Stephen King
  26. The Hollow Places
    by T. Kingfisher
  27. Tigana …again
    by Guy Gavriel Kay
  28. The Thirteenth Hour (The Cruel Gods #1)
    by Trudie Skies
  29. The Devil Takes You Home
    by Gabino Iglesias
  30. Clown in a Cornfield
    by Adam Cesare
  31. Shōgun
    by James Clavell
  32. The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South
    by Michael W. Twitty
  33. Sandman Slim (Sandman Slim #1) …again
    by Richard Kadrey
  34. The Book of Koli (Rampart Trilogy #1)
    by M. R. Carey
  35. Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom
    by David W. Blight
  36. The Hollow Kind
    by Andy Davidson
  37. Dracula …again… but sequentially
    by Bram Stoker
  38. The Water Dancer: A Novel
    by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  39. House of Hunger
    by Alexis Henderson
  40. Black Helicopters (Tinfoil Dossier #2)
    by Caitlin R. Kiernan
  41. West of Innsmouth: A Cthulhu Western
    by Hideyuki Kikuchi
  42. The Gone World
    by Tom Sweterlitsch
  43. Fairy Tale
    by Stephen King
  44. Razorblade Tears
    by S. A. Cosby

🏆 Favorite Novel of 2022

Between Two Fires

by Christopher Buehlman

A gripping historical horror set in France during the Black Plague that is as bleak as it is intense. Buehelman beautifully builds out the hellish world of 1348 Avignon and populates it with empathetic, if not fraught, characters while weaving their journey into a much larger and significantly more epic tale. Angels. Demons. Redemption. Sacrifice. War in heaven and on Earth. I was absorbed from its harrowing beginning to its spectacular ending. I wish I could erase my brain and read it again for the first time— Between Two Fires has become not only my favorite this year but one of my favorites of all time.

🏅 Favorite Novel Runners-up of 2022

The Hollow Kind

by Andy Davidson

A southern gothic-cum-cosmic horror story that oozes atmosphere and dread with the turn of every page. Brilliantly written, The Hollow Kind weaves two tales of different generations of the Redfern family. Tragedy subsumes the story as each struggle with inner demons and even darker family secrets on their thousand-acre turpentine estate deep in the Georgia pines. A phenomenal book and Davidson’s best work to date.

The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York

by Robert A. Caro

Arguably one of the most extraordinary biographic explorations into an individual’s life and his incredible impact on the modern city. Moses is a complicated figure. Caro conveys a sprawling saga of a driven man who would stop at nothing to see his vision accomplished, shedding everything along the way, from his friends, family, and values, on a relentless quest for power and control over the city of New York. Gripped me from the outset.

🎈 Honorable Mentions of 2022

It took a lot of internal debate to last on those three. Overall, 2022 was a good reading year for me, and a lot stood out. So out of all that list, here are a few more I think you owe it to yourself to check out:

  • Nemesis Games by James S. A. Corey
    I read one of these a year, and every year, I walk away thinking it’s the best epic sci-fi series I’ve read in a long, long time. This book was one of the best.
  • The Wicked Blade by Jason Vanhee
    Beautiful and melancholy Arthurian fantasy told from the perspective of an elderly Morgan le Fay.
  • Rise of the Mages by Scott Drakeford
    A violent action fantasy with solid world-building, loads of combat, and a unique magic system.
  • Crossroads by Laurel Hightower
    Heartbreaking horror showing how far a mother would go for her child.
  • Shorefall by Robert Jackson Bennett
    A phenomenal continuation of Bennett’s Founders Trilogy, it builds on the plot from the first book and expands into a whole new direction.
  • Billy Summers
    Stephen King writes an engaging crime thriller about an assassin who is also interested in becoming and novelist.
  • Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
    A strange and beautiful fever dream about an endless house and the man who lives within.
  • Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes
    Space star-cruise horror—gripping and intense. Working salvage has never been this terrifying.
  • Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
    A fantastic and bleak post-apocalyptic story that explores faith and the formation therein.
  • The Book of Koli by M. R. Carey
    A fascinating look into a post-apocalyptic society faced with ecological terrors.
  • The Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch
    Deep-space-multiverse-time-travel-adventure following a Navy Inspector hunting down a killer across time and the multiverse.
  • Razorblade Tears
    A violent and often thriller about a pair of old criminals who team up to avenge their murdered sons.

💥 Graphic Novels & 📜 Short Stories

Both comics and short stories played less of a role in my reading this year. As for comics, I’ve started running out of space to store them and switched to reading more digitally, so I hope that changes. With short stories, I find them more unsatisfying these days. It’s more the format than any writing. I always want to spend a little more time with the characters and get to know their world. They all end too soon, and I always feel a little disappointed. Since I didn’t read enough short stories or graphic novels, it’d be unfair to pick top choices. That said, I did enjoy everything on this list.

  1. Preacher: Book Four
    by Garth Ennis (Author) & Steve Dillon (Artist)
  2. Gideon Falls, Vol. 4: The Pentoculus
    by Jeff Lemire (Author) & Andrea Sorrentino (Artist)
  3. 86 Volts: The Dead Girl
    by Bryan J. L. Glass (Author) & Michael Avon Oeming (Author, Artist)
  4. Paper Girls, Vol. 3
    by Brian K. Vaughan (Author), Cliff Chiang (Artist)
  5. a quarter of an inch
    by Bill Bradbury
  6. Mayday
    by Manu Zolezzi

🎭 Poems

Ah, poetry. How I want to read more of you. I subscribed to the Poetry Foundations’ daily Poem of the Day newsletter list this year, which helped. It’s an excellent and easily digestible way to get a bit of daily poetry in your life. I didn’t record every poem I read, but standouts usually made this list. My goal next year is to double this list—50 poems in 2023. Let’s see how I do next year.

  1. “New Year’s Day”
    by Kim Addonizio
  2. “What Just Came Out of My Head”
    by John Dev
  3. To _____________
    by W. S. Merwin
  4. “Fog”
    by Carl Sandburg
  5. “The Solitude of Night”
    by Li Bai
  6. “Drink Your Tea”
    by Thich Nhat Hanh
  7. “Ashglory”
    by Paul Celan
  8. “Oread”
    by H. D.
  9. “Selected Legends of Andre the Giant”
    by Todd Kaneko
  10. “Summer”
    by Chen Chen
  11. “I want to drown in the past and call it the best decision of my life”
    by Laura Marie Marciano
  12. “The Lyric In A Time of War”
    by Eloise Klein Healy
  13. “[I met a man a dying man]”
    by Diane Seuss
  14. “The Red Wheelbarrow”
    by William Carlos Williams
  15. “The morns are meeker than they were – (32)”
    by Emily Dickinson
  16. “How it Escaped Our Attention”
    by Heid E. Erdrich
  17. “The Witch”
    by Elizabeth Willis
  18. “Proust’s Madeleine”
    by Kenneth Rexroth
  19. “Line in the Wordcaves”
    by Paul Celan
  20. “A Divine Image”
    by William Blake
  21. “Ghost-ship”
    by Christine Garren
  22. “Ode I. 11”
    by Horace
  23. “[little tree]”
    by E. E. Cummings

So, that concludes the revisit of my year in the written word. Much more good than bad. Much more enjoyable than not. When it comes to reading, I look back at 2022 with fondness and can’t wait to see what I read in 2023. Here’s to next year. Here’s to more poetry. Here’s to more graphic novels and perhaps even more short stories. Time will tell, stranger things have happened, and there’s much more to read.

How about you? What were the standout books, graphic novels, short stories, or poems you read this year? I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment and let me know!

Are you looking for a good book? Want to see my reading lists from previous years? Check any of the links below and see what I was reading in the bygone days of yore.

 2013 • 2014 • 2015 • 2016 • 2017 •

Next year, why not join me? Goodreads does a reading challenge every year, and I am an active participant. First, follow me on Goodreads (leave me a review while you’re there), and once the New Year arrives, participate in the Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2023.

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