From fantastically funny rom-coms to straightforward self-help, these are some of the best books of 2022.
2022 has been a great year for books! From fantastically funny rom-coms to straightforward self-help, this year has seen so many amazing releases.
While we’re proud of every book published in 2022, we’ve rounded up a highlights reel of sorts, to help you decide what to read next. From rave reviews and media favourites to chart topping sales and hot pre-orders, these are the books that made the list this year.
Books of the year 2022
Stone Town Margaret Hickey
Margaret Hickey’s second novel soared this year. Building on the success of her already-lauded debut Cutter’s End (2021), Stone Town blew readers away in 2022, cementing Hickey as a rising star in the realm of Australian crime fiction.
Hickey’s atmospheric setting, natural prose, and artful portrayal of rural life as equal parts suffering and stoicism make Stone Town a must-read. Opening with a mysterious murder, the book drags out the suspense, making it one of those page-turners that will keep you up all night, if you let it.
Lessons in Chemistry Bonnie Garmus
When it comes to debuts, it’s hard to hold a candle to the stratospheric success that Lessons in Chemistry has seen this year. Telling the story of a female chemist in 1960s California, the book is whip-smart, with strong feminist undertones – highlighting the absurdity of gender roles in the past and present. Fellow author Pandora Sykes called the main character, Elizabeth Zott, ‘an iconic heroine - a feminist who refuses to be quashed, a mother who believes that her child is a person to behold, rather than to mould, and who will leave you, and the lens through which you see the world, quite changed.’
Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone Benjamin Stevenson
Benjamin Stevenson’s entertaining crime novel, Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone, saw astronomical success in 2022. The book has been called ‘a future classic’ by The Big Issue, ‘the most original crime novel you will read this year’ by the Canberra Weekly, and ‘a must-read for every fan of the mystery genre’ by fellow author Jane Harper. Telling the story of a dysfunctional family’s reunion, this whodunnit is full of tension, suspense, and moments of outright humour.
Book Lovers Emily Henry
This delightful romantic comedy provides the perfect literary holiday that all book lovers dream of. Nora is a cut-throat agent who has her job down to an art. There’s only one chestnut she can’t seem to crack, however, and that’s Charlie. An editor with a gift for creating bestsellers, he can’t seem to see eye-to-eye with Nora. It’s the classic enemies-to-lovers trope we all know and love, but with sharp dialogue, intelligent characters, and an undercurrent of hope that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy.
Lessons Ian McEwan
It’s no secret that Ian McEwan has a way with words. This prolific author never fails to conjure excellent prose that will transport you throughout time and space, in scenarios both realistic and fantastical. Lessons does exactly that, tracing the life of Roland Baines as he bears witness to some of the biggest events in recent history. From the fall of the Berlin wall to the Covid pandemic, Roland’s journey raises important questions. Can he forget his traumatic past? Can any of us? How do global events shape our memories, and what do we have to learn from them?
The Bullet That Missed Richard Osman
Osmania has reached its peak in 2022, as Osman’s books all saw a spike in sales coinciding with the third book in The Thursday Murder Club series, The Bullet That Missed. Like the series’ first two books, this rollicking read is fun and feisty. Following a group of geriatric amateur detectives, the third book in this record-breaking series sees a new foe enter the scene. Someone from Elizabeth’s past returns, and she is forced to wrestle with her conscience (and a gun), while the rest of the crew must solve the mystery before the murderer strikes again.
Carrie Soto Is Back Taylor Jenkins Reid
Taylor Jenkins Reid scores again with this smash-hit novel, about an ageing athlete and the pressures of living life in the limelight. Tennis players and laypersons alike will delight in this fast-paced read, which takes you inside the mind of the world’s elite, exposing the challenges and realities of excelling in a niche that is so tightly bound by the constraints of time. Carrie Soto is a retired tennis player. When her record is swept out from under her by a young, new player, Carrie comes out of retirement at age thirty-seven to reclaim what’s rightfully hers. In her signature style, Reid paints a picture so vivid it will leave you ready to hit the courts yourself. The perfect summer read to fill your leisure time this holiday season.
Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things Noor Murad, Yotam Ottolenghi and Noor Murad, Yotam Ottolenghi
The Ottolenghi Test Kitchen is back and better than ever with this delightful new cookbook, Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things. With a special focus on the little things that take a meal to the next level, the book guides readers through essential recipes to power up their cooking. From crunchy toppings to sultry sauces, this book is the ‘little something extra’ you’ve been searching for.
Investing with She’s on the Money Victoria Devine
Victoria Devine’s first book, She’s On the Money won an ABIA award this year, laying the perfect groundwork for this book. The second from Devine’s finance fame, Investing With She’s On the Money approaches mind-boggling intricacies of investing with the same friendly writing style that Devine’s fans know and love. By breaking down the basics of investing, Devine hopes that the book will inspire and empower young women across Australia and beyond to take control of their financial futures.
One Jamie Oliver
Everyone loves Jamie Oliver. Even more so, everyone loves Jamie when he makes cooking easy. Doing exactly that, One is all about one-pan recipes that require minimal ingredients and prep but yield maximum results. From flavourful traybakes to easy pasta dishes, this cookbook is a must-have for culinarians who might not have hours on end to dedicate to cooking. Featuring gorgeous food photography, and plenty of shots of Jamie, this book brings the same warm style that the celebrity chef is so loved for.
Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? Dr Julie Smith
In 2022, Dr Julie Smith soared to the highest heights of internet fame, thanks to her short and snappy videos that provide ‘life changing insights from therapy.’ With 4 million followers on TikTok, it’s safe to say that Dr Julie’s wisdom and easy-to-understand approach to mental health is resonating. Her book, Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before?, is equally approachable and – when taken to heart – truly life-changing. This book also works particularly well in audiobook format, thanks to the easily-digestible chapters which are narrated by Dr Julie herself.
Again, Rachel Marian Keyes
From the number one internationally bestselling author, Marian Keyes comes Again, Rachel. The seventh book in the Walsh Family series, the book follows Rachel, who has grown a lot since the nineties. After her stint in rehab, Rachel’s only vice is expensive trainers, but when a man she once loved suddenly reappears, her stable life begins to wobble. Having assumed she was settled forever, Rachel is now forced to face one of the realities of life: Things can always change. Is it time to think again, Rachel?
Run Rose Run Dolly Parton, James Patterson
Run Rose Run is a masterful novel co-written by bestselling author, James Patterson and country singer Dolly Parton. As if that dynamic duo isn’t enough to convince you, the story is nothing short of a page-turner. Rose is a star on the rise, but she’s also on the run. She’s come to Nashville to claim her destiny, but it’s also where the darkness she’s fled might find her. With a fast plot, loveable characters, and high stakes, this book will have you reading long past lights out.
Life: What Nat to Do Nat's What I Reckon
You know and love Nat for his witty words and online platform, Nat’s What I Reckon, but you’re about to see a whole new side of him in Life: What Nat to Do. Unlike his previous books which focused more on the foodie side of things, this book offers ‘a hot take on the advice you never asked for.’ With his signature humour and blatant honesty, Nat offers up his take on pushing back against expectations and laughing your way through life.
The Orphans Fiona McIntosh
Fiona McIntosh is back at it again, with her first-ever novel entirely set in Australia, The Orphans. This highly-anticipated historical adventure is full of life, telling a story so unique that you’ll never forget it. As children, Fleur Appleby and Tom Catchlove have a chance encounter that changes the course of their lives forever. Chronicling what happens as they both grow up, the story explores the unique bond between them that echoes throughout the years, as they learn the real meaning of life, loss and love.
Always Room for Christmas Pud Aunty Donna, James Fosdike
From the Melbourne-based comedy group, Aunty Donna, comes Always Room for Christmas Pud, a cheeky picture book all about the inevitable overindulgence that occurs on Christmas Day. When a pud is presented to the already-stuffed dinner guests, they simply can’t say no. With the group’s signature quirky irreverence, this fun book makes the perfect gift for anyone who loves their pud served with a side of absurdism.
Not Now, Not Ever Julia Gillard
Ten years on from her famous misogyny speech, Julia Gillard is revisiting the same themes in her new book, Not Now, Not Ever. With contributions from Australian cultural icons, politicians, and more, the book explores the history and culture of misogyny in Australia and beyond. By revisiting this iconic speech a decade later, the book begs the question of what progress has been made, and where we can go from here.
The Light We Carry Michelle Obama
Following up on her critically acclaimed bestselling memoir Becoming, Michelle Obama is back with The Light We Carry. Sharing practical wisdom, the former First Lady provides tips and tools for staying hopeful and balanced in the highly uncertain world we’re all living in. In the book, she opens an honest dialogue with readers, considering the many questions we all wrestle with. How do we build honest relationships? What do we do when it all starts to feel like too much? One of the most inspiring books of 2022, The Light We Carry empowers readers to examine their lives and find ways to connect with others in this ever-turbulent world.
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