Top Ten Books Read in 2022

This year was a squeaker for me in my ability to reach my Goodreads goal by the years’ end. But I managed to squeeze by with one book to spare in hitting my goal of hitting 75 books. I’ll blame my September move from small town North Carolina to river town Pennsylvania for why things came down to the wire this year.

I find myself re-reading books more often as the years go on, so the list of new titles I read each year is slowly shrinking. But there were some deeply moving and resonant new works I read this year. So here are my 10 favorite books I read for the first time this past year (book titles linked to my longer Goodreads reviews).

  1. The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk

This was a rather eye-opening look at the very physical ways that trauma can affect people—and what true healing really looks like. Both as a writer and as someone who wants to know how to best help others who may struggle with trauma in my own life, I found this book quite helpful.

  1. Everything Sad is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri

This is one of the last books I read this year, and thus a very recent addition to this list. But it was one of those memoirs that just snuck up on you. One moment you were laughing at the author’s humorous escapades. And the next moment he hit you with a load of poignant truth.

  1. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clark

I adored the setting of this world. Because yes, I am that kind of reader who loves a Jane Austen/Charles Dickens take on the fantasy genre. The climax of the book left me disappointed. But the charming journey made even the disappointing destination well worth it.

  1. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

This is one of those books I probably wouldn’t have picked up if the book club I was in hadn’t chosen this novel. And I would have missed a delightfully entertaining read if I hadn’t been a part of it. Secret libraries of forgotten books matched with a gripping mystery is exactly my kind of story.

  1. The Art of Biblical Narrative by Robert Alter

I continue to find myself drawn to literary analyses of the Bible—and the wealth of new light they shed on the biblical narratives. Alter’s analysis of the books of Samuel earned a spot on my list last year, and this more general book earned a spot this year.

  1. Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

This was the first time in many years that, after reading the first book in a fantasy series, I immediately went out and bought the second book two weeks later. Flippin’ fantastic story.

  1. The Visitation by Frank Peretti

I really appreciated the complex faith themes Peretti grappled with in this book about a man who claims to be the second coming of Christ. This is one of the longer books on this list, but reading it was 100% worth it.

  1. Silence the Siren by Michele Israel Harper

This book surprised me. One of the best modern Christian-made fantasy novels I’ve read. The characters and moral dilemmas of this book were superb.

  1. The God of the Garden by Andrew Peterson

I knew soon after picking up this book that it was going to hit me pretty hard. And true to expectation, it moved me to tears at multiple points. I have a deep appreciation for the lessons Peterson has learned over his life and the poignancy with which he depicts what the walk of faith looks like.

  1. Life Can Be Good Again by Lisa Appelo

After a year with several hardships, this book struck a deep chord with me. In another year, this may not have made the #1 slot. But for this year, it was exactly what I needed. And it’s a book I’d highly recommend to anyone else grappling with loss and wondering how to take their next steps forward in faith.

Fantasy Meets Superheroes

Enter the world of Morshan, where Medieval superheroes face nail-biting choices.

Some overcome and some, like the rich young ruler, waver.

Which ones will rise to become true heroes?

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