My favourite books of 2022

2022 was a good year for books, both in terms of number read (95) and in the pleasure given.

Below are the 18 fiction and 15 non-fiction that I gave the highly recommended award, with the best of the best highlighted in bold.

The 18 fiction delights

  • About the Author – John Colapinto [Accidently re-purchased 8 years after I first read it! As good the second time around. A book about a book, it’s a clever psychological thriller.]
  • The Last Thing to Burn – Will Dean [Extremely tense abduction tale. Terrific.]
  • Those Who Walk Away – Patricia Highsmith [Wife commits suicide and father challenges husband in psychological thriller set in Venice. Absolutely brilliant.]
  • Under Your Skin – Sabine Durrant [TV presenter finds a body whilst running and becomes a suspect. Superior whodunnit.]
    • The Gravediggers’ Bread – Frédéric Dard [An undertaker, his unhappy wife and an opportunist. Fabulous, little tale.]
    • Bird in a Cage – Frédéric Dard [Man returns to his home town and meets a mysterious woman. Another short, 1950s, French, suspense novel.]
    • The Executioner Weeps – Frédéric Dard [An artist, a violin and a car accident. A French love story and thriller. Another fine, short tale by FD.]
    • Crush – Frédéric Dard [17-year-old Louise escapes her dull life and moves in with an American couple. A short, 1950s, French, suspense novel.]
    • The King of Fools – Frédéric Dard [A mere 160 pages, a delightful 1950s tale of obsession from a prolific, French writer. ]
  • The House Uptown – Melissa Ginsburg [Carefully woven tale of an artist and granddaughter and the past.]
  • My Phantoms – Gwendoline Riley [A wonderful tale of an appalling father and a dreadful mother.]
  • Seasonal Work – Laura Lippman [Superb collection of short stories.]
  • How to Measure a Cow – Margaret Forster [Woman with a past tries to move on. Superb.]
  • Heaven My Home – Attica Locke [Superb tale about race and a missing child in rural Texas.]
  • The Standing Chandelier – Lionel Shriver [A mere 120 pages but a hilarious tale of male/female friendship.]
  • My Policeman – Bethan Roberts [Fabulous love story set in 1950’s Brighton.]
  • Idaho – Emily Ruskovich [Superb tale of family and tragedy set in rural America.]
  • The System – Ryan Gattis [Superb tale about the American justice system as experienced by all of those involved.]

and the 15 non-fiction delights

  • Licence to be Bad – Jonathan Aldred [Terrific critique of “How Economics Corrupted Us”. Will need to re-read to do it justice.]
  • Outraged – Ashley ‘Dotty’ Charles [Internet outrage – why we shouldn’t.]
  • Why the Germans Do It Better – John Kampfner [20th/21st century history, politics, people.]
  • Wayfinding – Michael Bond [“The Art and Science of How We Find and Lose Our Way!” Brilliant.]
  • Dancing with the Octopus – Debora Harding [An assault, a horrible mother and how a daughter copes. Brilliant.]
  • The Moth and the Mountain – Ed Caesar [“A true story of love, war and Everest”. A fascinating, well-written read.]
  • Another Day in the Death of America – Gary Young [In America, ten violent deaths of children on the same day. Shocking. ]
  • The Life of an MP – Jess Phillips [Superb and honest account of what it’s like to be an MP.]
  • Four Thousand Weeks – Oliver Burkeman [“Time Management for Mortals”. Superb.]
  • In the Wars – Dr Waheed Arian [Inspirational bio of an Afghan refugee who fought to become an eminent doctor.]
  • The Weather Machine – Andrew Blum [The global weather forecasting system. Fascinating.]
  • In Control – Jane Monkton Smith [“Dangerous Relationships and How They End in Murder”. A brilliant study. A must-read.]
  • Batavia’s Graveyard – Mike Dash [17th century, Dutch shipping disaster and mutiny off coast of Australia. Brilliant.]
  • And Away… – Bob Mortimer [Bob’s wonderful and funny autobiography.]
  • Working on the Edge – Spike Walker [Crab fishing off Alaska. Fabulous tales of the dangers and of the fishermen.]

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