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Top 10 reads of 2022

It’s always hard choosing just 10 books from everything that I’ve read this year. But, it’s also a really interesting process.

Starting with the list of every book I gave five stars to this year there were a handful that I was sure were only four stars in my memory. Those were easy to cull as a first stage towards the final 10 as they obviously hadn’t lingered as favourably in my mind as the initial impression.

In 2022 I read 120 books (119 according to Goodreads as I’m waiting for a book to be added to their library). Shy of my target of 150. I set 150 as my target after reading 155 in 2021, but I changed jobs in late 2021 and that obviously accounted for my having more time on my hands (or more mindspace outside of work) before the current job started.

Fifty-three of the books I read this year were five star reads. I’d also made this year’s top 10 trickier for myself because for my 2021 list I excluded books read in 2021, but not published until 2022. So, that brought an extra five, five star reads into the mix – so 58 books in total which needed to be whittled down to 10.

I have cheated slightly – there are 26 books in my top 10 list…

That’s because I’ve decided to count Robin Hobb’s excellent The Realm of the Elderlings 16-book series of linked trilogies as one place on the top 10. It was the only way to be fair to other books I’ve read this year, and saved me the pain of trying to put those books in order of preference, since they’re all wonderful on their own and play an integral part in the overall story of that world.

As always the list below is in the order I read them this year. Whittling down my longlist of 38

books to only 10 favourites was hard enough without also putting them in any kind of order, so consider this a joint first place group of 10.

5/5 No Less the Devil by Stuart MacBride

I read this as an ARC in 2021 and have been unable to get it out of my head ever since. Dark, surprising – I love Stuart MacBride’s series books, but this standalone wowed me. My review.

5/5 You Never Said Goodbye by Luca Veste

This is the Luca Veste book I’ve been waiting for. Book after book I’ve felt that he hadn’t quite reached his potential, but this brilliant thriller is everything I’ve hoped to see from him and more. My review.

5/5 The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill by C.S. Robertson

A book of two halves, both equally brilliant. From the reflections on the sadness of people who die so alone that they aren’t even missed, to the darkness behind the story. Never has a book so brilliantly surprised and engaged me. My review.

5/5 One Step Too Far by Lisa Gardner

A few of my favourite authors haven’t made it into the top 10 for their new releases, not because I don’t love the books, but because at this stage it’s just meeting expectations for the books to be brilliant. This is an example of a trusted author who absolutely stepped up their game in a book I truly couldn’t put down. My review.

5/5 The Great Silence by Doug Johnstone

The only author other than Robin Hobb to get more than one book into my top 10 this year. I love these so much I couldn’t choose between them or bring myself to relegate one to number 11 to bring another book on to this list. My review.

The 16-book Realm of the Elderlings Series by Robin Hobb

The first seven of these were re-reads, but to prepare myself for the ones I hadn’t read yet I decided to start from the beginning of this 16-book epic. Best decision. I’m still heartbroken that I’ve finished, but I loved every minute of these books and I know there are re-reads of this whole series in my future. (I won’t link to the 16 separate reviews here, but you can search for them all in my posts.)

5/5 Truly Darkly Deeply by Victoria Selman

I’ve read a number of books with a similar plot concept which just seemed to miss the mark. Truly Darkly Deeply paid off my faith that there was a great way to deliver this, it just took Victoria Selman to manage it. My review.

5/5 The Accomplice by Steve Cavanagh

There’s a reason why the new Steve Cavanagh release has become a focus of my reading year. Eddie Flynn does it again. My review.

5/5 Fairy Tale by Stephen King

I always enjoy it when Stephen King does fantasy. This is exactly the right amount of epicness, fantasy and groundedness all rolled into one. My review.

5/5 Black Hearts by Doug Johnstone

And Doug Johnstone book number two on my top 10 of the year is the latest one in The Skelfs series, Black Hearts. Truly my favourite crime series – if you haven’t read this you’re missing out. My review.

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