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November 23, 2022 8:05 AM   Subscribe

100 Notable Books of 2022 (NYT gift link)

It seems like year-end list season starts earlier every year, and I don't mind a bit.

Things that should be on the list but aren't, other books from this year that you enjoyed, other 2022 lists of books? Tell me about them.
posted by box (13 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
Because I read a lot, here are a bunch of 2022 books that aren't on the Times list but managed to resonate with me.

Bad City: Peril and Power in the City of Angels, Paul Pringle
Bad Sex: Truth, Pleasure, and an Unfinished Revolution, Nona Willis Aronowitz
Because Our Fathers Lied: A Memoir of Truth and Family, Craig McNamara
Bodies on the Line: at the Front Lines of the Fight to Protect Abortion in America, Lauren Rankin
Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America, Maggie Haberman
The Devil Takes You Home: A Barrio Noir, Gabino Iglesias
Dirtbag, Massachusetts: A Confessional, Isaac Fitzgerald
The Hawk's Way: Encounters with Fierce Beauty, Sy Montgomery
The House Across the Lake: A Novel, Riley Sager
How to be Perfect: the Correct Answer to Every Moral Question, Michael Schur
Meet Me by the Fountain: An Inside History of the Mall, Alexandra Lange
Nightcrawling, Leila Mottley
Now is Not the Time to Panic, Kevin Wilson
The Number Ones: Twenty Chart-Topping Hits that Reveal the History of Pop Music, Tom Breihan
Radical: My Year with a Socialist Senator, Sofia Warren
Riverman: An American Odyssey, Ben McGrath
Shine Bright: A Very Personal History of Black Women in Pop, Danyel Smith
South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation, Imani Perry
The Southernization of America, A Story of Democracy in the Balance, Frye Gaillard and Cynthia Tucker
The Storm is Here: An American Crucible, Luke Mogelson
There Are No Accidents: The Deadly Rise of Injury and Disaster--who profits and who pays the price, Jessie Singer
Tracy Flick Can't Win, Tom Perrotta
Unmask Alice: LSD, Satanic panic, and the imposter behind the world's most notorious diaries, Rick Emerson
posted by box at 9:32 AM on November 23 [5 favorites]


I nominate Siddhartha Mukherjee's amazing book Song Of The Cell. Great writer and great subject.

Fresh Air interviewed him a couple days ago.
posted by bz at 10:29 AM on November 23 [1 favorite]


There seems to be a bunch of good books in the list (unsurprisingly) but I hate the format. At least on my computer, you have to individually click on each title; you can't just scroll through. I don't want to click 100 times to see all the blurbs.
posted by Dip Flash at 11:31 AM on November 23 [4 favorites]


Was there any science fiction there at all this year? Or speculative fiction generally?
posted by newdaddy at 12:19 PM on November 23


I haven't read it, but Sea of Tranquility (Emily St. John Mandel) sounds like it.
Naturally the Times doesn't identify it as such, nor let us identify other sf titles.
posted by doctornemo at 12:55 PM on November 23


Sea of Tranquility is indeed science fiction.

Vauhini Vara's The Immortal King Rao takes place in the future, and it sounds like Celeste Ng's Our Missing Hearts and Jessamine Chan's The School for Good Mothers might as well.

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau, The Dead Romantics, Gods of Want, and Motherthing all sound like they have some fantastic elements, but not like they're science fiction.

(Disclaimer: I haven't read any of these, and don't specifically know a lot about SFF.)
posted by box at 1:07 PM on November 23 [1 favorite]


(Maybe I should say that Sea of Tranquility is science fiction unless you’re one of those people who thinks that ‘literary fiction’ is not only a genre but also one that trumps other genres, like e.g. Motherless Brooklyn is not a mystery or detective fiction because it’s literary fiction, but in my experience the number of science fiction readers who feel this way is close to zero.)
posted by box at 4:24 PM on November 23 [2 favorites]


Was thinking: maybe we don’t need lists of best books published this year, but lists of what are considered the best books this year, eg. what books are more relevant than ever?
posted by beesbees at 9:34 PM on November 23 [1 favorite]


Good, recent SF and fantasy I've read this year:
  • A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine, further adventures in the interesting Teixcalaan setting, with 3-dimensional characters exploring cultural identity and community, I just wished for a slightly more satisfying resolution to the story. BTW, you should read the first one in the series first.
  • The Galaxy, and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers, number four in the Wayfarers series. Not big on plot, but good characters and a very cozy and positive vibe.
  • She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan. Set in ancient China, and very light on the fantasy elements, but it might be explored further in the next volume (?). Not very cosy or positive, as it kicks off during war and famine with the main character being the sole survivor from her family. Also grapples with identity and community, and very well written.
  • Nona the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, third in the Locked Tomb series, which is about lesbian necromancers in space. A bit different than the first two, but funny and compassionate and with the best characters of any current SF/fantasy I've read. (I'll fight you on that. With swords and bone magic.)
  • Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. Read this for the technology and the clever solutions to the difficult situations the characters find themselves in. Weir can't write character not made of cardboard to save his life, but if you enjoyed The Martian I think you'll enjoy this.
posted by Harald74 at 12:17 AM on November 24


I'm hitting a paywall at the link
posted by tovarisch at 1:29 AM on November 24 [1 favorite]


Ungated version
posted by chavenet at 8:14 AM on November 24 [1 favorite]


  • Afterlives - Abdulrazak Gurnah (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Also a Poet: Frank O’Hara, My Father, and Me - Ada Calhoun (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • American Midnight: The Great War, a Violent Peace, and Democracy’s Forgotten Crisis - Adam Hochschild (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • The Arc of a Covenant: The United States, Israel, and the Fate of the Jewish People - Walter Russell Mead (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Avalon - Nell Zink (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • The Bangalore Detectives Club - Harini Nagendra (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Best Barbarian: Poems - Roger Reeves (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Black Folk Could Fly: Selected Writings - Randall Kenan (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Bliss Montage: Stories - Ling Ma (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • The Books of Jacob - Olga Tokarczuk (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Breathless: The Scientific Race to Defeat a Deadly Virus - David Quammen (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • The Candy House - Jennifer Egan (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Case Study - Graeme Macrae Burnet (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • A Catalog of Such Stuff as Dreams Are Made On - Dung Kai-cheung (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Checkout 19 - Claire-Louise Bennett (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Come Back in September: A Literary Education on West Sixty-Seventh Street, Manhattan - Darryl Pinckney (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Companion Piece - Ali Smith (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Constructing a Nervous System - Margo Jefferson (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • The Daughter of Doctor Moreau - Silvia Moreno-Garcia (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • The Dead Romantics - Ashley Poston (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Dead-End Memories: Stories - Banana Yoshimoto (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Democracy’s Data: The Hidden Stories in the U.S. Census and How to Read Them - Dan Bouk (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Demon Copperhead - Barbara Kingsolver (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Didn’t Nobody Give a Shit What Happened to Carlotta - James Hannaham (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Dr. No - Percival Everett (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands - Kate Beaton (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Easy Beauty - Chloé Cooper Jones (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Either/Or - Elif Batuman (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Everything I Need I Get From You - Kaitlyn Tiffany (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Fire Season - Gary Indiana (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Flung Out of Space: Inspired by the Indecent Adventures of Patricia Highsmith - Grace Ellis and Hannah Templer (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Four Treasures of the Sky - Jenny Tinghui Zhang (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • The Furrows: An Elegy - Namwali Serpell (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • G-Man - G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Getting Lost - Annie Ernaux (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Gods of Want: Stories - K-Ming Chang (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • The Grimkes: The Legacy of Slavery in an American Family - Kerri K. Greenidge (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad - Matthew F. Delmont (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Hokuloa Road - Elizabeth Hand (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Homesickness: Stories - Colin Barrett (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water - Angie Cruz (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • The Hurting Kind: Poems - Ada Limón (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • If I Survive You - Jonathan Escoffery (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us - Ed Yong (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • The Immortal King Rao - Vauhini Vara (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss - Amy Bloom (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Indelible City: Dispossession and Defiance in Hong Kong - Louisa Lim (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Index, A History of the: A Bookish Adventure From Medieval Manuscripts to the Digital Age - Dennis Duncan (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Indigenous Continent: The Epic Contest for North America - Pekka Hämäläinen (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Joan Is Okay - Weike Wang (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Kiki Man Ray - Mark Braude (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Kingdom of Characters - Jing Tsu (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • The Latecomer - Jean Hanff Korelitz (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire - Caroline Elkins (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Lessons in Chemistry - Bonnie Garmus (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Liberation Day: Stories - George Saunders (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Life Between the Tides - Adam Nicolson (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Lucy by the Sea - Elizabeth Strout (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Magnificent Rebels: The First Romantics and the Invention of the Self - Andrea Wulf (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Metaphysical Animals: How Four Women Brought Philosophy Back to Life - Clare Mac Cumhaill and Rachael Wiseman (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Motherthing - Ainslie Hogarth (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Mr. B: George Balanchine’s 20th Century - Jennifer Homans (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • My Government Means to Kill Me - Rasheed Newson (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Night of the Living Rez: Stories - Morgan Talty (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Now Do You Know Where You Are: Poems - Dana Levin (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • The Old Woman With the Knife - Gu Byeong-mo (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Olga Dies Dreaming - Xochitl Gonzalez (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Our Missing Hearts - Celeste Ng (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor - the Truth and the Turmoil - Tina Brown (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • The Passenger - Cormac McCarthy (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Path Lit by Lightning: The Life of Jim Thorpe - David Maraniss (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Picasso’s War: How Modern Art Came to America - Hugh Eakin (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Pure Colour - Sheila Heti (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • The Quiet Before: On the Unexpected Origins of Radical Ideas - Gal Beckerman (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • The Rabbit Hutch - Tess Gunty (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Red Blossom in Snow: A Lotus Palace Mystery - Jeannie Lin (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • The Return of Faraz Ali - Aamina Ahmad (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams - Stacy Schiff (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • The School for Good Mothers - Jessamine Chan (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Sea of Tranquility - Emily St. John Mandel (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington - James Kirchick (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Seek and Hide: The Tangled History of the Right to Privacy - Amy Gajda (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida - Shehan Karunatilaka (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Shy: The Alarmingly Outspoken Memoirs of Mary Rodgers - Mary Rodgers and Jesse Green (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Solito - Javier Zamora (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Son of Elsewhere: A Memoir in Pieces - Elamin Abdelmahmoud (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human - Siddhartha Mukherjee (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Stay True - Hua Hsu (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Strangers to Ourselves: Unsettled Minds and the Stories That Make Us - Rachel Aviv (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Super-Infinite: The Transformations of John Donne - Katherine Rundell (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow - Gabrielle Zevin (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • The Trayvon Generation - Elizabeth Alexander (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Trust - Hernan Diaz (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation - Linda Villarosa (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Walking the Bowl - Chris Lockhart and Daniel Mulilo Chama (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • We Don’t Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Modern Ireland - Fintan O’Toole (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • The Whalebone Theatre - Joanna Quinn (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • When McKinsey Comes to Town - Walt Bogdanich and Michael Forsythe (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • Yonder - Jabari Asim (WorldCat - Amazon)
  • You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty - Akwaeke Emezi (WorldCat - Amazon)
posted by MollyRealized at 5:59 PM on November 24 [3 favorites]


Harald74, I'm halfway through Nona and continue to be impressed by Muir's series.
posted by doctornemo at 2:19 PM on November 25 [1 favorite]


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