Friday 30 December 2022

My Top Reads of 2022 #AmReading #TopReads2022 #FavouriteBooks2022 #BookBlogger


My Top Reads of 2022

At the end of last year, I knew that the coming twelve months were going to be very difficult, and they were.

My lovely, funny, tiny, fierce Irish Mammy died in March after a relatively short illness. Mum was the backbone of our little family, she could be incredibly blunt at times (now you know where I get it from!), but she loved us all with a passion.

Life without her is hard. I miss our telephone calls, our debates, our hugs and our shopping trips. 

We have been lucky enough to have some amazing holidays this year, in between bouts of sickness. We visited Cyprus twice, Corfu and Malta. We managed to get to some literary festivals; Newark, Harrogate and Bloody Scotland. We met up with people we hadn't seen for so long. There were bright spots amongst the sadness, and I know my Mum is watching.

Despite the painful sadness and bouts of ill health that have knocked me off my feet more than once. I have continued to read and shout about the books that I love. I have been able to grow my Blog Tour organising business and once again, I have been fortunate enough to work with some truly amazing books, authors, publishers and fellow bloggers. 

As always, I rarely finish a book that I'm not enjoying, so to pick my top books out of so many that I've really enjoyed has, once more, been very difficult. 

As always, my list is split into three sections; I start with some of the 2022 books that I read in 2021. I mentioned them last year and hoped that they would be huge.

The second part is my list of  Top Books of 2022

Finally, I'll give a mention to some 2023 publications that I've read early.

I really think that 2023 is going to be another fabulous book year!


2022 books that I predicted would do well

At the end of last year, I'd read these 2022 books pre-publication, and predicted that they would do well. I'm still recommending them, twelve months later.  (click on the title for my full review).

Should I Tell You? by Jill Mansell - 20 January 2022 from Headline

Anything Could Happen by Lucy Diamond - 6 January 2022 from


The Impulse Purchase by Veronica Henry - 3 February 2022 from Orion

How To Find Your Way Home by Katy Regan - 3 February 2022 from Mantle

Other Parents by Sarah Stovell - 20 January from HQ Stories 

Wahala by Nikki May - 6 January from Doubleday 

Again, Rachel by Marian Keyes - 17 February from Michael Joseph

My Top Reads of 2022

My Top Reads of the year are listed in order of reading. The list contains some favourite authors who pop up year after year, and also some debuts. I think it's a great list, with something for everyone. 

I heartily recommend all of these books.  (click on the title for my full review)

Notes On An Execution by Danya Kukafka (Phoenix / Orion 3 Feb) - The writing is exceptional, the tension is palpable and the creation of character is genius. This is totally different take on the usual serial killer crime novel and one that left me breathless by it's ingenuity and incredible compassion. 

One Bad Thing by MK Hill (Aries Fiction 3 Feb) - It's clever, and thrilling and totally exhausting. The characters are, in the main, not in the least bit likeable. 

The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill by CS Robertson (Hodder, 20 Jan) - 
It's as story that takes surprising, yet satisfying twists and turns along the way. Never failing to surprise and shock and always delivering a brilliant reading experience.

About A Son by David Whitehouse (Phoenix / Orion 28 April) - This is a book that will never leave me. I feel as though I know the family so very well. I have nothing but admiration for this incredible family, and for Morgan's friends and associates. 

Metronome by Tom Watson (Bloomsbury 31 March) - Metronome is an addictive and hugely compelling novel, I was totally enraptured by the characters and the plot. Things take an unexpected turn toward the end and the reader is left with a sense of both sorrow and hopeful joy

Tasting Sunlight by Ewald Arenz (Orenda Books 23 June) - Truly exceptional, a novel with heart and with characters and setting that are alluring, beautifully created and totally enchanting.

Faceless by Vanda Symon (Orenda Books 17 March) - Be prepared for a tense, twisty, chilling read. As Billy battles to stay alive, and Bradley's mental state deteriorates slowly but surely and Max's determination grows, we are taken on a journey that is at times terrifying but always compelling. You just can't look away. 

The Baby Shower by SE Lynes (Bookouture -1 March) - 
The Baby Shower is so powerful, it is perfectly crafted and utterly compelling. I was left breathless by this story. It hit me like a punch in the guts and will never leave me. 

Before We Grow Old by Clare Swatman (Boldwood Books 19 Jan) -With characters that the reader will come to love and a plot that is filled with revelations and lots of new experiences, this is a book that I really treasured.

Trespasses by Louise Kennedy (Bloomsbury 14 April) - A story of powerlessness, and about people who are formed by where they live, or where they worship. It is a remarkable, tender story, written with an honestly and compassion that lingers long after turning the final page.

Meredith Alone by Claire Alexander (Michael Joseph 9 June) -It's a heart tugger at times,  there's some revelations that are really emotionally challenging, but it's also a story that is filled with love and hope and the power of friendship. 

The Lost Ones by Marnie Riches (Bookouture 1 June) - I utterly loved this. It's dark, it's dangerous and often violent. It is written so well, and just hooks the reader along until the shocking, tumultuous ending that is so satisfying. 

The Botanist by MW Craven (Constable / Little Brown 2 June) -Myself and my husband both read The Botanist whilst on holiday in Corfu, we both chuckled in the same places, we both cringed and we both were left open mouthed by the intricate plotting and the total unexpected series of events that are so cleverly and masterfully outlined. 

Still Water by Rebecca Pert (The Borough Press 23 June) - Still Water is breath taking in its style and structure. For me, there wasn't a word out of place. It is compelling, and produces a sense of dread that increases as the story progresses.

Is This Love? by CE Riley (Serpent's Tail 4 Aug) - Clever, utterly compelling and beautifully structured. A book to discuss and one that I recommend. 

The Skeleton Key by Erin Kelly (Hodder 1 Sept) - Addictive, disturbing and so very inventive, this is fiction at its finest. Erin Kelly is a master of her art, I adored this book. I loved the mystery, I loved to hate some of the characters, it really is brilliant. 

Love Betty by Laura Kemp (Orion 9 June) - Laura Kemp is one of the finest authors of romantic fiction we have, her characters are beautifully created and her plot lines are always a joy to discover. I truly loved every page of this book and highly recommend it. 

The Little Wartime Library by Kate Thompson (Hodder 1 Sept) - Truly outstanding, one of my favourite books of the year for sure. It's graceful and elegant, it's eye opening and astute. I loved it and highly recommend it. 

The Bleeding by Johana Gustawsson (Orenda Books 15 Sept) - With a wonderfully gothic feel, full of characters who are colourful, yet incredibly flawed this is an absolute joy to read. Spellbinding, vivid and fascinating and beautifully translated by David Warriner. 

Good Taste by Caroline Scott (Simon & Schuster 13 Oct) - My review of this one was in S Magazine. Packed with wit and warmth, it is an utter joy to follow Stella’s journey and to hear about the various delicacies of the country. Beautiful, sparkling and joyous

Together Again by Milly Johnson (Simon & Schuster 29 Sept) - My review of this one was in S Magazine. Together, Again is a story of vulnerability and extreme strength and the unbreakable bond of sisterly love. 

Winter People by Gráinne Murphy (Legend Press 12 Oct) -
This is a stunning, tender and compassionate story that will stay with me for a long time. 

The Sandstone City by Elaine Canning (Aderyn Press 3 Nov) - It's an exploration of a life that has been overshadowed by painful memories, about secrets hidden so deeply that they are almost impossible to believe when uncovered. It is ultimately about love; both romantic and family love, about the ties of siblings and parents and how the mistakes made early in life can affect the years ahead.

The Dazzle of the Light by Georgina Clarke (Verve Books 17 Nov) - My review of this one was in S Magazine. The plot is wonderfully detailed and the characters jump from the pages. A wonderful read, fans of historical fiction will love this. 

Dashboard Elvis is Dead by David F Ross (Orenda Books 8 Dec) -Magnificent, glorious and often emotionally challenging. With a rawness and sensitivity that is so visceral. This is another extraordinary novel
from David F Ross.

Books to look out for in 2023 ....

I've already made a start on the 2023 books, and if the ones that I've read already are anything to go by, we are in for another outstanding book year.
Here are a few tips; books that I think will be huge next year. 

Some of these reviews have not  been published yet but I can assure you that I enjoyed every one of them. 

The Binding Room by Nadine Matheson -  Paperback 5 January from HQ

So Pretty by Ronnie Turner - 19 January from Orenda Books 

Promise Me by Jill Mansell - 19 January from Headline

When I First Held You by Anstey Harris - 24 January from Lake Union 

Someone Else's Shoes by Jojo Moyes - 2 February from Michael Joseph

Mrs Van Gogh by Caroline Cauchi - 2 February from One More Chapter

In The Blink of an Eye by Jo Callaghan - 19 January from Simon & Schuster

The Daughter In Law by Fanny Blake - 16 February from Simon & Schuster

That's 2022 over and done with, at last!

I've enjoyed my book year, but as for the rest of it, it's best forgotten!

I want to wish everyone the VERY BEST for next year and I really hope to see lots of lovely book friends soon.

In the meantime, thank you to everyone who reads my reviews and puts up with my book shouting.

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