Read in 2016

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Favorite Books of 2022

I forgot to post my Favourite Books of 2022 and since I don't really make Bookish Plans I am changing it up for this week's Top Ten Tuesday. I didn't have as many terrific reads this year, but I managed to find some really good books.

Best Book
Scarborough - Catherine Hernandez

This was a gritty look at poverty in a housing development in Scarborough, Ontario. It was so positive, even with all the sadness that it caught me off guard, but in a good way. 

Best Homage
My Plain Jane - Cynthia Hand
My Lady Jane - Cynthia Hand
These were my best find of the year, and there is another in The Janies series, and there is a whole Mary series. Each is a rewrite of a famous book or person, Jane Eyre and Lady Jane Grey, but then there is a fantasy aspect (ghost-hunting, animal shape-shifting) that make then absurd and hilarious.

Best Book I Was Looking Forward To
When We Lost Our Head - Heather O'Neill
Take the French Revolution, but make it with women and set in early 1900s Montreal. Bravo!

Best Science Fiction/Thriller
The Apollo Murders  - Chris Hadfield
Wild ride in space from the Canadian who can do anything and everything!

Best Nonfiction
The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century - Kirk  Wallace Johnson
Narrative fiction with natural history, a mystery, and just fascinating story about fly-fishing ties.

Best Short Novel
The Swimmers - Julie Otsuka
I don't know how Otsuka does it with so little, but her books are so powerful and inventive. This one was about a crack which develops in a community swimming pool, and then turns into a beautiful tribute to Alzehimers

Best Historical Fiction
Haven - Emma Donoghue
I wasn't sure about this one, set in 7th century Ireland about monks who go live on an isolated island, but I was very invested by the end, and loved how it all came together. 

Best Quiet Character Study
Small Pleasures - Clare Chambers

I'm sure I would never have read this book without the Women's Prize Longlist but what a sweet treasure. I saw this listed somewhere on a book list of books which took you pleasantly by surprise and this fits perfectly. A single lady in 1950s London gets caught up with an unusual family and her life becomes more interesting.

Best Translated
The Strange Journey of Alice Pendelbury - Marc Levy
Alice, orphaned after WW2 in London, takes a trip with a neighbour to Turkey after a reading from a fortune teller. Finding your place in the world.

Best Start to a Series
The Windsor Knot - CJ Bennett
I read one of these quiet mysteries starring Queen Elizabeth before she died, and then the second one after she died. Much respect for the queen and her marriage, it is mostly about her assistants who carry out her requests for information. Delightful.

Best Re-read
Little Fires Everywhere - Celeste Ng
My book club read this book so I listened to it for a re-read and it was just as good the second time as it was the first time. 

Best Author - Ann Patchett
These Precious Days(NF), The Magician's Assistant, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage (NF)
Patchett's books have always been reliable and good but I think I mixed her up with Barbara Kingsolver and didn't really have a solid impression of her. But recently I put it all together, and especially reading her two nonfiction memoir/essay collections and now I am trying to get all her books read! 

A few honourable mentions:
Tevye the Milkman -Sholem Aleicheim (Fiddler on the Roof inspiration)
The Bullet That Missed - Richard Osman (Thursday Murder Club #3)
Matrix - Lauren Groff (historical nuns)
The Woman in the Attic - Emily Hepditch (Newfoundland mystery)
Eligible - Curtis Sittenfeld (retelling of Pride and Prejudice)

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