I read 87 books in 2022, and here are my favorite fiction reads:
- Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin – Such a fun story telling the history of a video game company, but it’s really about friendship.
- The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson – A generational novel about the Dakota in Minnesota. Haunting.
- The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi – Just a dumb, fun, sci-fi book. I even wrote about how fun it is to have the right book at the right time.
- Light Years From Home by Mike Chen – Another joyous read. I think I started my year with some real clunkers and to finally read a book that was so good was just lovely.
- Dooku: Jedi Lost by Cavan Scott – As much as I love Star Wars, it’s rare for a Star Wars book to be that good. This story is. It gives the backstory of Count Dooku, the Jedi turned Sith who makes brief appearances in the prequel movies. The book is really a script and as an audiobook it’s a full production.
- Dead Space by Kali Wallace – A slow build of a sci-fi thriller.
- Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell – The final installment of the Simon Snow trilogy, this one felt like a book-length version of the Scouring of the Shire (that’s the closing chapters of the Lord of the Rings trilogy where the real battle is over but the hobbits head home for one last adventure). Surprisingly, a great series.
- To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers – Her books often seem to be short on plot, and this one has some of that as well, but it’s also just a fascinating dive into sci-fi exploration.
- Cog by Greg van Eekhout – Robots! I’m a sucker for a robot story, and this is a fun one, especially the way the author captures the voice.
- Scattered Showers by Rainbow Rowell – I don’t like short story collections. But this is an exception. Rowell has a delightful ability to tell ‘meet cute’ romantic stories, and this one is full of them. As a bonus, several of the stories feature characters from her novels, but in a way where you can enjoy them as standalone stories but also find some joy when you discover the connection.
These are also worth a shoutout:
- The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez – A black, gay vampire that predates Buffy and Octavia Butler’s vampire story? The best part of this story is the way it jumps forward decades at a time.
- Finna and Defekt by Nino Cipri – These two wildly inventive stories really skewer the world of retail while also exploring some great sci-fi motifs.
- Star Wars: Visions – Ronin by Emma Mieko Candon – Expanding on one of the Visions episodes on Disney Plus, the first half of this novel would make great source material for a new Star Wars movie. Unfortunately the second half gets bogged down in the mysterious.
- Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng – A near-future dystopia that hits way too close to home, making it a disturbing and difficult read.
- Dovetails in Tall Grass by Samantha Specks – This is an imperfect story for several reasons, but it’s one of the few fictional retellings of the US-Dakota War of 1862. We need more of these dramatic accounts to help us understand our history.
If you want to read more, check out my booklet 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading Again.