This post contains affiliate links. In 2022, I set an ambitious goal of reading 52 books. Little did I know that we would drive to Michigan to visit in February and move to New York state in August, 2022. We ended up driving across the country three times this year. Needless to say, I didn’t reach my goal of 52 books or even my modified goal of 40 books. Instead, I read 38 books, which is two more than last year, so there’s no shame there! Here are the 8 best books I read in 2022:
#1 The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
I listened to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot on audio on one of our cross-country drives. This book still haunts me!
Henrietta was a young woman who sought medical care at Johns Hopkins University. She had cancer, and her cells were scraped. Those cells, named HeLa, multipled rapidly. Johns Hopkins shared these cells with other doctors and researchers, and soon her cells were used for many medical discoveries and vaccines. Meanwhile, her family lives in poverty
This is a terrible story about poverty, unethical medical practices, and explotation. I was troubled by Henrietta Lacks life as well as her childrens.
#2 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
I loved Fahrenheit 451 when I read it in high school, and I loved it again when I reread it as part of my daughter’s high school curriculum. This is a classic that stands the test of time.
The protagonist, Montag, is a firefighter who doesn’t help fight fires. He starts them! In the time he lives, all books are banned, and if anyone is caught with a book, Montag and his companions come burn the book and the residents house down. However, when Montag meets a free spirit, Clarisse, he begins reading books. Suddenly, his life is much more complicated.
#3 The Pearl by John Steinbeck
Be ready to feel your heart aching with The Pearl by John Steinbeck.
Kino and Juana are poor people who search for pearls for a living. When their baby, Coyotito, is stung by a scorpion, they’re desperate to get him medical care, but the doctor refuses them because they have no money. When Kino finds the largest pearl anyone has found in the area, he dreams of all the good things that he might do with the money, but just the opposite happens.
#4 Die with Zero by Bill Perkins
Die with Zero by Bill Perkins changed the way I look at money. My natural instinct is to save all of my money until we get to a more comfortable place or until I think we’ve saved enough for retirement. Perkins urges people to spend their money while they’re still young enough to enjoy it. He argues we shouldn’t put off living so that we ultimately leave a large inheritance to our kids. We should use our money while we’re still healthy and young enough to enjoy what we do with it.
#5 The Day the Voices Stopped by Ken Steele & Claire Berman
A few years ago, I read Hidden Valley Road about a family with several children who had schizophrenia. Even know, this book haunts me. Like that book, The Day the Voices Stopped is about a man with schizophrenia, but he’s the one who tells his own story. This is a fascinating look at what it’s like to live with schizophrenia.
#6 The Unusual Second Life of Thomas Weaver by Shawn Inmon
Last year Kindred was one of my favorite books. That book was about an African-American woman who traveled back in time to a plantation in the 1800s. I loved that book! The Unusual Second Life of Thomas Weaver is also a time travel book. In this book, Thomas kills himself, but he doesn’t die. Instead, he finds himself transported through time back to his childhood home, having to go through life as an adolescent, even though he’s now an adult. This was a fascinating book, and I’m reading the next book in the series.
#7 The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion
The Rosie Effect is the second in the trilogy about Don, a professor who has autism but does not know it. In the first book, The Rosie Project, Don meets and marries Rosie. In this book, Rosie is pregnant, and Don struggles to adjust to his impending role as father. This book wasn’t quite as funny as The Rosie Effect, but I did enjoy it and look forward to reading the third and final book in the series in 2023.
#8 Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
One of my all time favorite books is All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, so I was excited to read Cloud Cuckoo Land. This book didn’t have the magic of All the Light we Cannot See, but it was a good book. I wish, however, that it wasn’t so disjointed and that it didn’t leap across three distinct time periods hundreds of years apart.
If you enjoyed reading about the 8 best books I read in 2022, check out the 8 Best Books I Read in 2021, 10 Best Books I Read in 2020 and the 8 Best Books I Read This Year for a recap of the favorite books I read in 2019.