My Favorite Books Read in 2022

By Monday, February 06, 2023 , , ,

Well, I’m late to the party, but I’d also rather be late on these kinds of lists than early. I do not understand all of you who share your favorite books of the year at the start or middle of December – don’t you know you have full weeks of prime reading time left in the year? What if you discover a new favorite between Christmas and New Year’s??

That said, I read lots of great books in 2022. As I reflect on another year of reading, I’m struck by the gift that reading is. Because when I think about a year of reading, I don’t just picture an impressive-looking stack of books (though that’s cool to imagine). I think fondly of places I visited via the pages of that stack, of poignant lessons learned, and of friendships grown and strengthened through reading together. I’m already excited to imagine the gifts that my 2023 reading might have in store, and I hope my 2022 reading recap here might inspire you to travel somewhere new through one of these books, or to experience the delights of an old favorite book again, but as if for the first time. So, here are my lists and nerdy book lover stats for 2022 J

Total Books Read (new to me): 40

Books Re-read: 7 –

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Persuasion by Jane Austen

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Son of the Deep by K.B. Hoyle

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

Format Stats:

Read the physical book: 24.5/40 – 60%

Listened to the audiobook: 12.5/40 – 31%

Read the book on Kindle: 3/40 – 7.5%

This breakdown is fairly well back to its pre-2020 normal, but my Kindle is still fighting for its place. And yes, the decimal numbers do mean that I completed one book on 2022’s list –Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh – with both the hard copy and the audiobook. Probably an imperfect estimate, but it’s close. 

Other Fun Stats:

Male-authored books: 16

Female-authored books: 24

Most-read author: a tie between Wendell Berry and Agatha Christie at three books from each!

Shortest book: A Child’s Garden of Verses, 67 pages

Longest book: Anna Karenina, 838 pages 

Favorites of 2022 (in no particular order):

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy – My first Russian novel, and wow, what a masterpiece. I was intimidated by the big Russian novels for many years, but I was thoroughly, pleasantly surprised and moved by this doorstop classic. Many know Anna Karenina for the titular character’s immoral choices, but I now think it’s more accurate to say that it explores and contrasts the fallout of a life spent pursuing selfishness against that of a life lived in self-denying service of others. If you want an entryway into the Russian novels, I highly recommend this one. I also heartily commend the discussions on it from the Close Reads Podcast. These episodes require a paid subscription, but I promise it’s WELL worth even just a month or two of investment! These conversations were instrumental to my understanding and enjoyment of Anna Karenina, and I’m confident that anyone would get at least twice as much out of it by reading it along with the marvelous literary guides of this podcast.

Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry – Will I ever go a year now without reading something by Wendell Berry? At the moment, I doubt it J Jayber Crow is now firmly in my favorites from him. It wrestles profoundly with faith, home, love, loss, family, and community through the eyes of Jayber Crow, the barber of Port William, Kentucky, and even though Berry says many of the same things in most of his work, somehow, he keeps making them shine anew. I read Jayber Crow with a friend (highly recommend that strategy for this one), and she observed that it’s impossible to speed-read Wendell Berry, which I think encapsulates him well. His writing is so deliberate and focused that it compels slowness. As he reflects on the sacredness of ordinary life, I am obliged to do the same, to my continual good.

All Creatures Great and Small Series by James Herriot – “How did you not grow up with James Herriot?” you might well ask. Well, I’ve been asking the same thing for the last year, I assure you! Somehow the delightful tales of James Herriot’s veterinary adventures in rural Yorkshire completely passed me by in childhood, but I’m making up for it now. I discovered Herriot’s stories because of the charming new TV adaptation of his books, but I’m happily staying for the show, books, and anything more. In 2022, I read the first two books in his memoir series, All Creatures Great and Small and All Things Bright and Beautiful, and yes, I’m counting them both in this list item J

Honorable Mentions:

Son of the Deep by K.B. Hoyle – A charming, magical retelling of The Little Mermaid that will make you laugh, cry, and daydream.

The Vanished Days by Susanna Kearsley – Yet another spellbinding journey through 1700s Scotland that keeps you guessing till the end, in true Kearsley style.

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles – I dove into Towles’s work in 2022 and was so glad this was my first from him. His exquisite prose and dynamic characters bring 1940s New York to glamorous life on the page.

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles – A count confined to a luxury hotel at the height of the Bolshevik Revolution? Some might not buy it, but I was there for it. The Close Reads Podcast also discussed this one in 2022 and it was one of my favorite sets of episodes (and they’re available for free!)

The Sisters of Sea View by Julie Klassen – I look forward to my annual jaunt to England with Julie Klassen’s characters. This one provided a lovely escape to the Devon coast, and I’m already excited to go back when the next one in the series comes out this year!

Andy Catlett: Early Travels by Wendell Berry – A moving reflection on the contrasts between our current times and those that came before, explored through the eyes of a young Andy Catlett visiting his grandparents at Christmas. Having lost three grandparents in the last 18 months, I found this one deeply affecting and thought-provoking.

That’s all for now, friends! I hope you find something good to read from among these lists. Please drop your suggestions for my 2023 reading in the comments!

Full 2022 Book List (new-to-me books, listed in the order completed)

Waiting on the Word by Malcolm Guite

The Vanished Days by Susanna Kearsley

Letters from the Mountain by Ben Palpant

Reading the Sermon on the Mount with John Stott by John Stott with Douglas Connelly

Carved in Ebony by Jasmine Holmes

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

Aggressively Happy by Joy Clarkson

Son of the Deep by K.B. Hoyle

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

The Generosity: Poems by Luci Shaw

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Deeper by Dane Ortlund

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr

The Vanishing at Loxby Manor by Abigail Wilson

Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

The Murder of Mr. Wickham by Claudia Gray

Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry

All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot

Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner

Of Paupers and Peers by Sheri Cobb South

The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie

The Gathering Table by Kathryn Springer

Love Practically by Nichole Van

Adjacent But Only Just by Nichole Van

The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett by Annie Lyons

Given: Poems by Wendell Berry

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Harvesting Fog: Poems by Luci Shaw

Crooked House by Agatha Christie

A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Six by K.B. Hoyle

Holier Than Thou by Jackie Hill Perry

Beneath His Silence by Hannah Linder

The Sisters of Sea View by Julie Klassen

Andy Catlett: Early Travels by Wendell Berry

The Windsor Knot by S.J. Bennett

Jane Austen’s Genius Guide to Life by Haley Stewart

You Might Also Like


  1. Thanks again for always sharing!

    1. What did you think of ‘Death on the Nile’? I find it hard to put down!