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Top Ten of 2022

It's here! The end of the year as well as the top ten books I read this year. With a very active toddler, a massive home addition, and a new baby, my reading numbers decreased a tad. However, I'm so thankful they did because I have some really great memories with my sweet little ones that I might have otherwise missed. Plus, I firmly believe it's not about how much you read. I didn't set a specific number goal this year, and I won't be setting one for 2023 either! It was so freeing! Here's your yearly reminder that it's not about reading the most books or the best books, but enjoying the books you do read.


Kirsten leans up against a tree while holding the book Black Cake. There is a brown fence in the background.

If you've been tracking with my favorites updates throughout the year, most of these probably won't come as a surprise (see quarter one here and the second half of the year here). I've also linked my reviews for each of my top ten if you want to know more about a specific book. Now, without further ado -- and in no particular order -- here are my top ten reads for 2022!


BLACK CAKE

If you haven't heard me talk about this one, I'm so sorry. I've done you a disservice. If you have and still haven't read it, this is your sign to pick it up! Sweeping family drama, mystery, and intrigue all wrapped up in exemplary writing, Charmaine Wilkerson's debut novel is one you don't want to miss, and I can't wait to see what she writes next!


A FACE FOR PICASSO

If you want to experience life in someone else's shoes, this is an incredible book to do so. Author Ariel Henley share an intimate look at Cruzon Syndrome, the surgeries, mental obstacles, and personal effect it had on her childhood. The audio is absolutely fantastic as she shares her story.


BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY

Another sweeping memoir, Qian Julie Wang shares her experience as an undocumented immigrant. There are a lot of tender parts to this book, and it is absolutely worth the read. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to get a glimpse into Qian's experience.


THE BRILLIANT LIFE OF EUDORA HONEYSETT

This was one of my first reads for 2022, and it has remained at the top of my list all year! A heartwarming tale that ended absolutely perfectly -- I don't know that I've ever been more satisfied with an ending.


THE DOUBLE LIFE OF KATHERINE CLARK (thank you to partners Snail On The Wall and Sourcebooks for a copy to read and review)

This nonfiction book read like a fictitious spy novel, and I was enraptured by what Katherine Clark accomplished behind the Iron Curtain. It is also a perfect read for helping to understand some of the current world stage (but by no means is fully representative).


THE DIAMOND EYE

Another one for understanding the current world stage, Mila Pavlichenko was a force to be reckoned with during World War II. I had no idea there were female snipers in the Red Army, and I was in awe of what she accomplished.


TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY (thank you to partners Bibliolifestyle and William Morrow for a copy to read and review)

I stayed up waaaayyyyyyy too late reading this slump-busting thriller! It was such a wild ride and my predictions were completely off with the numerous red herrings involved.


NIGHTCRAWLING (thank you to partners Snail On The Wall and Knopf for a copy to read and review)

I cannot believe this debut was written by a 17 year old. This book was tough and intense, but also lyrical and moving. It took me over a week to get through because of it's sensitive subject matter, but my love for literary fiction could not get enough of Kiara's strength.


THE PRETTIEST STAR

If you love the musical RENT, this book is absolutely for you. Told from three different perspectives, we see the impact AIDS has on a quiet family in rural America. This book surprised me in the very best ways and gave a very honest and guttural look at the disease and it's affect on people.


WOMAN ON FIRE (thank you to partners Bibliolifestyle and Harper Paperbacks for a copy to read and review)

Told from multiple timelines, this book is part historical fiction and part thriller. I've not read a book quite like it before, and I ended up devouring it in just a couple days. If you're an art lover, this would be a great book to check out!


I'd love to hear from you! What were your favorites this year? Any books I should add to my list to read for next year? Stay tuned for my honorable mentions!


If you want to follow along with more of my reading journey and never miss a post, join me by subscribing here below, and by following me on Goodreads, Storygraph, or Instagram. I can't wait to see what books 2023 sends my way!

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