I’ve not read as many books in 2022 as I usually do, at least partly because I’ve been so busy working on my own first novel.
But of those I have read, these were my favourites, in no particular order:
- The Switch by Beth O’Leary. Leena and her eighty-year-old granny swap lives and both end up – inevitably – having a bit of an adventure. I liked this even more than I liked The Flatshare and that’s really saying something. It felt cosier somehow, more heart-warming. The sort of book it’s good to curl up with on the sofa, whilst drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows.
- The Keeper of Stories by Sally Page. No relation, I promise. Another heart-warming book, this time about Janice who likes to collect other people’s stories but isn’t too keen on sharing her own. I loved this book and have gifted several copies of it this year.
- Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason. The story of Martha who’s about to turn 40, her husband has left her and she doesn’t have a job. Perhaps I especially liked this book because I was divorced and jobless at about the time I turned 40. It was a really poignant read, but funny too.
- Cat Lady by Dawn O’Porter. I’ve not read any of Dawn’s other books so this was a total surprise. It’s made my top ten because it was that little bit different and I thought it was hilarious from the word go. Mia joins a pet bereavement group when her cat is still very much alive. I loved her audacity!
- No Life for a Lady by Hannah Dolby. This debut novel from Hannah Dolby which will be published in March 2023. Again, I liked this book because it felt fresh and different and it made me laugh. Really hoping there’ll be more books from this author in the future.
- This is How We are Human by Louise Beech. The mother of a young autistic man hires a call girl to keep him happy. This is a very moving and thought-provoking story. I not only read the book, but bought the audio book which was beautifully narrated.
- Not Exactly What I Had In Mind by Kate Brook was not at all what I had in mind when I began reading this book. I expected chicklit, but got something altogether deeper. A lovely story of modern relationships and all their complexities.
- Other Parents by Sarah Stovell. I’m not a parent, but enjoyed this book, not least because as an ex-teacher, the antics of the PTA made me chortle. Again, this was a novel that seemed light-hearted and amusing to begin with, but explored deeper themes than I imagined. A real page-turner too.
- The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood. A fake relationship between scientists. A cut above your average romance novel, I thought this book was highly entertaining and I was really rooting for Olive and Adam to get together.
- And finally, A Terrible Kindness by Jo Browning Wroe. William’s first job as an embalmer is when he volunteers after the Aberfan disaster. This book was incredibly moving, especially the opening after the disaster happens. It’s the kind of book that sticks with you for some time.