Hello and welcome to my top 5 books of 2022! While this year I read a lot less than I usually have, I still was able to find quite a few gems. I am happy to say that within my top 5 books I have a mixture of fiction and non-fiction. I also felt like it was a lot harder to just pick five books as well. I feel like this year I was a lot more picky about what I picked up and I really focused on getting my TBR down and being happy with what I had, with the exception of a few new releases I was looking forward to. This year and going forward I really am trying to find a place to be happy and grateful with that I have and I think that, in a way, bled into my reading habit. I didn’t read just to get the number up, read books because they were popular, or read them because I picked them up because they seemed like I MIGHT like them.
While I feel like this journey is just going to continue and will be an up and down process, but I am happy with how it has transpired so far. With this being said, here are the five I ended up picking as my top 5 books.
I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy, this was one I bought as soon as it released this year. I also enjoyed McCurdy as an actress and when I learned that she was releasing a memoir I knew I wanted to read it. As it got closer to being published, I learned that she had lived a very rough life and dealt with a lot in her childhood. When I read it, I was engrossed at the first page, she has a very interesting way of telling a story. As I read it, I could read it in her voice and it really added to the wide array of emotions I felt reading about the abuse she had dealt with by the hands of her mother and beyond. I feel like, even if you were not a fan of her work, this is a very good memoir to read. It was well written, honest, and felt very real. By real, I mean how open and honest she was while writing this.
My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones, this came out in 2021, but I read it pretty quickly after picking it up. I have read quite a few of Graham Jones’ work, mainly his short stories and stand alone books. As soon as I heard that he was going to write a horror trilogy revolving around horror movies. I was totally in. I really enjoyed this book tremendously because of what it was on its own. It was haunting, uncomfortable, and threw you right into the story. The writing was wonderful, as usual. He has a way of making you feel what the main character is feeling, which in a horror is sometimes difficult. On top of that it was great fun to see all the nods to “classic” horror movies throughout. As soon as I finished this, I preordered the next book in the series and I can’t wait to get my hands on it in 2023.
Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami, this book was something I was not sure I was going to enjoy if I am being honest. I am not a huge “slice of life reader”. I ended up picking this up because someone brought it up to me and thought I would like it a lot more than the description would lead me to believe. I am glad I took the chance and read it. Kawakami has since become one of my auto read authors because of her ability to make a connection between the reader and the characters. You don’t just understand how they feel, you begin to care how they feel and you just want to help them, celebrate with them, and just support them. I won’t lie, this book can be dark at times dealing with really rough topics. Even with this, I felt like the writing was almost lyrical and flowed very nicely.
The Dangers of Smoking in Bed: Stories by Mariana Enríquez, Megan McDowell (Translator), even though this is a collection of horror stories, I am surprised to say that it made it to the top of the list. Usually, I am not a huge fan of collections because there are some stories I love and some I just loath within the same collection. That didn’t really happen with it came to this one. I really think it came down to Enríquez’s writing style. While there were stories I didn’t enjoy, I still feel like I enjoyed it to some extent because they way she tells a story. She explores the dark side of human nature in a way that is just a little too close to real that leaves you uncomfortable. She leaves you unsettled, uneasy, and makes you think about the story long after putting the collection down. I feel like for any book, if you think about some of it after putting it down, it is an impressive feat for an author. While there is just totally unappealing stuff in this book, I think that was the authors goal. Make us take a look at the horrible things humans are capable of.
Immune: a Journey into the Mysterious System that Keeps You Alive by Philipp Dettmer, this is another non-fiction read that I found very interesting. This book takes a look at the human immune system and what it does when it works well, too well, or just doesn’t function quite right. The author does a really good job at explaining complex ideas in simple terms that are easy to digest and take in. While this is almost like a textbook, it didn’t feel like I was reading one. I kept picking it up and enjoying the learning process every time.