Hi Darling Ones,
I’ve read 170ish books so far this year. I will definitely read more before the year is over. However, I plan for all of those books to be cupcake-like mysteries that I will probably dislike a great deal. I read a lot of mysteries I dislike a great deal because I love to read mysteries and then judge them harshly.
For example, I read a mystery this week by a British author. The book takes place in both Arizona and Philadelphia, but features a British lady as one of the main characters. In the book the author has a person from Philadelphia repeatedly testify that a bloody sock was “three centimeters” away from someone’s foot.
As if. I should have quit after the second mention of the three centimeters, but I didn’t.
Anyway, this was a long explanation to say I’m sharing my favorite books of the year even though the year is not over. Speaking of years, some of these books were released last year or some other year that is not 2022. I do not care anymore. Art is timeless. We come to it when the time is right for us. Two of my favorite records of the year came out in 2021. So it goes with time and art.
If you’re looking for a good read you can’t go wrong with these books.
Several People Are Typing by Calvin Kasulke
A dude get sucked into the company Slack (board? App? I don’t know.) and weird stuff ensues. Kinda way more emotional than I would have expected and also cuts really close to the bone if you’ve ever worked in a corporate-y creative field.
The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan
Ugh. I don’t even have kids and this book scared the shit out of me. It’s one of those that doesn’t quite take place in the here and now, but you can definitely see it coming.
Carry the Dog by Stephanie Gangi
I read this one at the very start of 2022, and my affection for it has carried through a hundred other books and so many months. A 50+ woman as a main character who still loves sex and music, and is a vibrant, dynamic human. How could I not love this one? Plus there’s some family dysfunction and a long-dead artist mother. Trust me, this is good.
Work Won’t Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted, and Alone by Sarah Jaffe
What I enjoyed so much about reading this book was how it made me say, “Oh my god, they are such fuckers” about all the bosses, companies, organizations, whathaveyou that employ people. I’m gonna say this about a few books on this list, but it’s super smart.
Shine Bright: A Very Personal History of Black Women in Pop by Danyel Smith
This is my favorite book of 2022. I’ve written about this book three times already this year. The only thing I have left to say is, read it.
How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu
This is a beautiful nightmare, jigsaw puzzle of a book that is probably smarter than I am, but I reading it was a joy even when it was making my stomach hurt with fear.
The Secret History of Home Economics: How Trailblazing Women Harnessed the Power of Home and Changed the Way We Live by Danielle Dreilinger
Adding this one to the list kind of surprised me. I mean, a book about Home Economics? It sounds like snoozeapalooza. It’s not. I learned so much and was kind of enthralled throughout. An unexpected delight.
Her Country: How the Women of Country Music Became the Success They Were Never Supposed to Be by Marissa R. Moss
I cried real, actual tears reading this book. The chapter about the Newport Folk Festival is chef’s kiss perfection. This is both infuriating and joyful in the best possible way. A must-read for all music fans even if you’re an “I like everything but country and rap” kind of jerk.
Unlikely Animals by Annie Hartnett
This novel is what would happen if a John Irving book had a baby with George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo. Tender. Sweet. Kinda quirky.
Shit Cassandra Saw by Gwen E. Kirby
Reading this collection of short stories made my synapses feel like they were filled with pop rocks. The writing is so sharp and funny and poignant that reading it made my brain feel more alive.
The Hero of This Book by Elizabeth McCracken
I read this not-a-memoir novel the week after my dad died. It was the exact perfect book to read. This is about an unnamed author grieving the death of her mother all over London. It’s way funnier than you’d think.
The Change by Kirsten Miller
Probably my favorite novel of the year. It’s about three women coping with perimenopause/menopause in the most witchy and bewitching ways. Even when it was a little predictable this one had me cackling with glee. So much fun.
Happy reading, Darling Ones.
P.S. I didn’t link to any bookstores. You’re grownups who know how to procure books at a store or from the library.