My Favorite Books of 2022

Happy New Year, everyone!

As is traditional here on A Book Owl’s Corner, I’ve decided to welcome 2023 on a positive note by giving you a ton of suggestions on what to read this year!

Okay, well, maybe not a ton… This year, you’re actually getting a real top ten list of favorites. Although, of course, being me, I couldn’t resist squeezing multiple books into some of the spots, either. Among the 87 new-to-me books I read in 2022, there were just too many wonderful stories I encountered! Ranking them gave me an enormous headache, since I simply could not pick which ones I adored most, but I think I’ve finally come up with a list that I’m reasonably happy with.

So let’s get started! Without further ado, I present to you my favorite books of 2022!


πŸ¦‰ My Favorite Books of 2022 πŸ¦‰


#1 The Liveship Traders by Robin Hobb

(read in January; full review here)

Are any of you really surprised? Since The Liveship Traders were the very first books I read in 2022, I’ve had plenty of time to gush about them, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still use a reminder about how great they are. There are ships! And pirates! And dragons! And incredible character development, politics, and plot twists! πŸ₯°πŸ€—πŸ₯°

After having read the entire Realm of the Elderlings, I can say without a doubt that this one is my favorite series. Although I am still extremely bitter about seemingly carelessly Robin Hobb tied this story into her overall Realm of the Elderlings finale, I have just decided to ignore that so as not to taint The Liveship Traders’ perfection… In 2022 alone, I read this four times, so I think it’s safe to say that I love absolutely everything about it!


#2 The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

(read in November)

While The Goblin Emperor would probably have several people running because of how intricately political it is, I wholeheartedly adore it! Maia, a young half-goblin who is thrust into the role of emperor when his Elven father and brothers are killed in an airship explosion, is one of the purest characters I have ever encountered. I loved watching him grow into his new position, I cried over how much he had to sacrifice to do his country justice, I was engrossed by all of the intrigue, betrayal, and paperwork going on around him, and I couldn’t get enough of how simultaneously depressing and wholesome his story was.

Political fantasy lovers out there – you have to read this! 😍


#3 The Cemeteries of Amalo by Katherine Addison

(read in December)

Katherine Addison has truly cemented her spot among my favorite authors because, honestly, I think I love The Cemeteries of Amalo just as much as The Goblin Emperor πŸ₯° Having to pick one over the other broke my heart, and I’m still not sure whether I did it right. So let’s just compromise on the fact that you should read both!

A crime fiction Goblin Emperor spin-off series following Thara Celehar, an elf with a gift for hearing the dead, The Cemeteries of Amalo has the perfect mix of intriguing plot and intense character-drivenness, as well as what is shaping up to be one of the best slow-burn romances I’ve ever come across. I laughed, I cried, I grinned while reading this, and Thara Celehar has, without a doubt, earned his place among my favorite characters ever.

Expect me to keep religiously rereading these until book three comes out!


#4 The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer

(read in April)

Sci-fi set in space is already a good prerequisite for making me love something, but throw in a possibly evil A.I., mysterious hints at something not being what it seems, and insane plot-twists that will keep you up thinking for hours on end, and I will be a goner 😍 The Darkness Outside Us might just be the best YA science fiction novel I have ever read, and I can only highly recommend you try it!


#5 Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree

(read in September)

Okay, look. Objectively speaking, I know that this book has its flaws. The plot mainly consists of characters brewing hot drinks and baking biscuits, the world-building remains very surface-level, and a lot of the events play out awfully conveniently.

Subjectively speaking, however, I think Legends & Lattes is perfect! πŸ₯° I don’t even like coffee, but reading about an orc trying to build her very own coffee shop? It immediately made me feel so cozy and at home! I would give anything to work alongside Viv, Tandri, Cal, Thimble, and Pendry, and watching their list of recipes grow steadily longer and longer was the most satisfying thing ever.

If you ever need something to cheer you up, like a mug of warm hot chocolate, go read this book!


#6 To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara

(read in February)

Set in three different alternate versions of the United States of America – one in 1893, after the Confederacy has successfully seceded from the Union, one in 1993 in the midst of a global AIDS pandemic, and one in 2093 under the rule of a totalitarian government – To Paradise is probably the book that made me think the most this year. There are so many puzzle pieces that you as a reader have to fit together on your own, so many opportunities to theorize, and the stories, particularly parts one and three, really resonated with me.

To Paradise is a much quieter novel than the tearjerker that is Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life, but I loved it nonetheless. If you’re looking for something sad and thought-provoking, this might be the book for you!


#7 The Golden Fool by Robin Hobb

(read in March; full review here)

You didn’t think I’d stop at just one Realm of the Elderlings mention, did you? Not when there are so many amazing books in it!

The Golden Fool combined a ton of things I love about this world. We were back at Buckkeep, smack-dab in the middle of lots of political intrigue, magic, and complicated Farseer family ties, there was lots of Fitz and the Fool content – some of which had me bawling my eyes out 😭 – and we met Thick, whom I adore from the bottom of my heart.

In fact, if it weren’t for the absolutely shitty ending to The Tawny Man Trilogy that not even the tragically beautiful final chapters of Assassin’s Fate can fully redeem, this book would be far higher up on my list. But I’m petty and won’t forgive Robin Hobb for not following through on all the wonderful stuff she set up for in The Golden Fool. When your books are this interconnected, I guess you’re just going to have to deal with later ones affecting my opinion on what you wrote earlier!


#8 First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung

(read in May)

In First They Killed My Father, Loung Ung recounts the story of how she survived what is now known to be one of the biggest genocides in modern history. Through the eyes of a young girl, we get to see the reality of the Khmer Rouge’s invasion of Cambodia, of labor camps, of starvation, of torture, and of being a child soldier.

This memoir is horrifying and definitely not for the faint-hearted, but it is also eye-opening and thoroughly compelling. If you’re interested in learning more about Southeast-Asian history, I highly recommend it!


#9 Dragon Haven by Robin Hobb

(read in August; full review here)

This is the last Robin Hobb book on this list, I swear! But I couldn’t not include this, not when this was the story that made me fall utterly and wholeheartedly in love with Sedric! πŸ₯° For him, I was more than willing to put up with all of Thymara’s feminist whining and Hest’s general awfulness…

Besides, this book also has so many satisfying dragon scenes! I loved watching these previously weak hatchlings gain more and more strength and form reluctant bonds with their keepers. And we finally start to learn more about the Elderlings, too!


#10 Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman

(read in July)

Unless I’m mistaken, this is the first time a graphic novel has made it onto my yearly favorites list since I discovered Heartstopper back in 2019. But Maus thoroughly deserves it!

In two volumes, Art Spiegelman tells the story of how his father Vladek, a Polish Jew, survived the Holocaust, and how Vladek’s experiences leading up to and during World War II shaped his present-day relationship with his family. This duology is heartbreaking, witty, complicated, and beautiful, and worth checking out even if you are (like me 😁) usually a graphic novel skeptic!


So there you have it – those were my top ten reads of 2022!

Before I sign off, though, I quickly want to give a shoutout to some non-Realm of the Elderlings honorable mentions that narrowly didn’t make the list but still very much deserve to be read:

Also, in case an of you like to check out any of my favorites from previous years, you can find those here:

2021 || 2020 || 2019 || 2018 || 2017


And that was it for today! If you’ve read any of these books, I’d love to hear whether or not we agree on their awesomeness – and if we haven’t already discussed your favorite books of 2022, feel free to tell me all about them, too! After all, I need some recommendations for 2023 πŸ€—

37 thoughts on “My Favorite Books of 2022

  1. Rachel says:

    i haven’t read any of your top 10 oops but THAT HAS TO CHANGE OBVIOUSLY. and BABELL it was such an amazing read omg (HAVE YOU READ THE POPPY WAR SERIES YET?? I FOUND THEM EVEN BETTER THAN BABEL)
    love the post naemi and i’m adding some of these to my tbr thank you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      YES, RACHEL, YOU HAVE TO READ THESE!!! πŸ€—πŸ₯°πŸ€—

      And yes, I really enjoyed Babel, despite being somewhat underwhelmed by the ending! And I have read and loved The Poppy War, too πŸ₯° I was a bit disappointed by The Dragon Republic, though, so I’m afraid I’ve put off reading The Burning God as of yet… πŸ˜… I do plan on reading it eventually, though!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Line @First Line Reader says:

    You also put To Paradise at 6th?? I was so sure you would place it higher πŸ˜… But me thinking you’d put The Darkness Outside Us in third wasn’t that far off! And it is definitely the best YA sci-fi novel I’ve ever read if we’re only thinking of proper spacey sci-fi and not dystopias (I couldn’t pick between this and the Hunger Games πŸ˜„).

    And I’d totally forgotten that you’d read The Song of Achilles in 2022 πŸ™ˆ However, putting this many Hobb books in your top ten when you could have included Madeline Miller is actually a criminal offense, I’m sorry. Your punishment will arrive on Monday, I guess 😝 Anyway, I’ve decided to listen to the next Rain Wilds book in February. It was supposed to be January but that 21 hours number keep flashing in my mind so I postponed it πŸ˜… I AM very excited about The Witness of the Dead although I’m currently extremely distracted by The Ruin of Kings. I WILL read it though and see what the fuss is about Thara πŸ˜„

    Also, the biggest surprise definitely goes to Legends and Lattes in the fifth spot πŸ˜‚ I would never have guessed that to be on your list at all!

    Like

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Well, I had so many other books I loved that To Paradise simply had to be pushed back a bit 😁 That doesn’t mean I didn’t love it, though! πŸ₯°

      And yes, “best YA sci-fi novel” means “best YA sci-fi but not dystopian novel” πŸ˜„ I still don’t really feel like dystopia should count as proper sci-fi, and nothing can top The Hunger Games for me – my nostalgic attachment is simply too big! πŸ₯°

      Also, The Song of Achilles at least got an honorable mention! You should be content with what you got 😁 Particularly since I probably won’t only have to suffer on Monday, but also in February, since I highly doubt anything is going to change your Robin Hobb opinion at this point 😜 But maybe you will at least like Thara? And those news about The Ruin of Kings sound very promising!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Line @First Line Reader says:

        Well, from my perspective, you have FIVE Hobb books on this list and ALL The Song of Achilles gets is an honorable mention! I’m not sure I got anything πŸ˜…
        And if you happen to suffer at some point in February, just remember that I will have been suffering for the entire month because that’s how long it’s going to take me to read that book πŸ™ˆ

        Liked by 1 person

        • abookowlscorner says:

          But I only gave three out of ten spots to Robin Hobb! Considering I read 13 of her books last year, there could have been a whole lot more, you know? 😁 Besides, it’s not like you didn’t put The Mad Ship AND Assassin’s Apprentice on your own list last year…

          Like

  3. Janette says:

    I love your top ten. The Liveship traders are definitely my favourite of all the Robin Hobb books and The Goblin Emperor is up there with my favourite novels of all time. I’m having to wait to read the Grief of Stones though as I want it in paperback so that it matches Witness for the Dead 😯
    I haven’t read The Darkness outside Us but our reading tastes often coincide so I’m adding it to my TBR . Here’s to lots more great books in 2023!

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      I’m glad we agree on The Liveship Traders and The Goblin Emperor πŸ₯° Your high praises of the latter definitely played their part in getting me interested in it in the first place, so thank you! And, of course, I’m really looking forward to your thoughts on The Grief of Stones and The Darkness Outside Us as well – I can certainly see you enjoying both of them a lot! πŸ€—

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Devangi says:

    I haven’t read any of these but Pirates and Ships do sound intriguing. Babel and The Song of Achilles is on my tbr but alas, I have no idea when I’ll actually get to it! Wish you the best 2023 in terms of reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      The Liveship Traders are amazing, so I certainly recommend checking them out! 😁 And no matter how long it takes, I’ll be looking forward to your thoughts on Babel and The Song of Achilles πŸ€—

      A great 2023 to you as well, Devangi, and thanks for stopping by! πŸ’™

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Meena Green says:

    I haven’t read any of these but Latte and Legends is on my tbr for this year! I’ll have to check out the other ones too!

    Last year was not the best reading year for me. So far, it is better and I’m hoping it stays that way!

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Legends and Lattes is such a cozy comfort read – I really hope you love it!

      Also, I think you read quite a bit in 2022, especially considering you were writing a novel on the side! You are definitely allowed to feel accomplished! πŸ’™ But yeah, let’s hope 2023 manages to top 2022 in terms of quality… I had quite a few frustrating reading experiences myself – stay tuned for next week 😁 – so loads of good books this year sounds great to me!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Anoushka says:

    KSJDHSJJDBD TWO POSTS ONLY JUST A WEEK APART??? NAEMI THIS IS AMAZINGNESS AND HEAVENLY. I love it so much!!!!!!!

    am grinning at all the robin hobb in this post LOOK IF EVEN A SINGLE ONE OF YOUR FOLLOWERS ISNT CONVINCED OF READING HER BOOKS YET THEY OBVIOUSLY HAVENT BEEN PAYING PROPER ATTENTION. will make it top priority on my to do this year just so I can scream with you later on I PROMISE.

    ALSO THE REST OF THESE SOUND SO GOOD TOO????? I must read obviously. Look I’m completely with you on the graphic novel skeptic part THERES SO MANY DRAWINGS ON A SINGLE PAGE HOW DO YOU FOCUS ON THE LINE YOURE SUPPOSED TO BE READING AND STOP YOUR BRAIN FROM WANDERING TO THE REST OF THE DRAWINGS INSTEAD??? I’ve never understood it. But then heartbreaking graphic novel?? THE ONLY ONE YOUVE LOVED SO MUCH SINCE THE PERFECTION THAT WAS HEARTSTOPPER?? there’s no way I can’t sign up now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Well, that IS technically my posting schedule… I’ve just been awful at sticking to it lately, but shhhh! 🀫 The people shall not know this!! I must appear on top of things!! 😁

      And of course Robin Hobb had to get a mention here! HER BOOKS ARE AMAZING, AND YOU HAVE TO READ THEM, ANOUSHKA!! DO IT!! LIKE, DID I MENTION THERE ARE DRAGONS? πŸ‰πŸ₯°πŸ‰

      And lololol, my thoughts exactly when it comes to graphic novels! πŸ˜‚ I always get so confused where I am supposed to look! My mind can not deal with how non-linear they are! Still, Maus is definitely worth checking out 😊

      Like

  7. Suhani says:

    HAPPY NEW YEAR NAEMI!!! Hope you have a great 2023!! ❀
    I haven’t read ANY of these which is indeed very shameful I’LL HOPEFULLY GET TO THEM IN 2023 LOL
    I’ve been meaning to read the darkness outside us for so long I haven’t read sci-fi in AGES so I need to pick this up soon! And I’ve heard nothing but great things about legend and lattes it seems so cozy I can’t wait!
    BABEL, SONG OF ACHILLES AND THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS, they were all so wonderful, glad you loved them too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      AHHHH, THANK YOU, SUHANI!! A VERY HAPPY 2023 TO YOU, TOO!!! πŸ’™

      The Darkness Outside Us and Legends & Lattes are both amazing, so I highly recommend checking them out!! Honestly, I can’t see you disliking them! πŸ₯°

      And I’m thrilled you approve of my honorable mentions! Dark Academia and Greek mythology is always up my alley, so if you have any more good recommendations, I’m all ears! 😁

      Like

  8. jan says:

    I haven’t read ANY of the books in your favourites list haha, but almost all of them are on my tbr. (Everyone has been singing praises of legends and lattes) I loved a song of achilles too! I read these violent delights a few days ago but I’m not really sure how I feel about it. It was so dark in a way I didn’t like.

    Great post, and hope you have a great year ahead❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      I highly approve of your TBR, then 😁 And I’m so glad we bothed loved the Song of Achilles! As for These Violent Delights, the darkness was actually one of my favorite things about it… I’m not sure what that says about me πŸ˜… Instead, I was a bit disappointed by how quickly the characters made a certain decision mid-book – I would have liked a more gradual build-up! But other than that, I adored how messy the book was! πŸ₯°

      Anyway, a great 2023 to you, too, Jan, and thanks so much for stopping by! πŸ’™

      Like

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Ooooh, what did you think of it? I keep meaning to read more Stephen King – I have a friend who absolutely loves his books and keeps pushing them at me πŸ˜„ – but so far, I’ve only read Carrie, The Shining, Cujo and some of his short story collections…

      Like

  9. Lesserleaf says:

    I absolutely loved The Goblin Emperor, but I’ve not read the Amalo series. I’ll have to check it out, it sounds great. And I’ve been meaning to read Maus for ages… Also, I ought to finish up some of my half-finished Robin Hobb series.
    Your list of favourite books of 2022 is inspiring πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      I’m so happy to hear that! I can’t believe it took me this long to discover Katherine Addison’s books – people had been telling me to read them for ages and I guess I was just being too stubborn to listen… Well, I’ve learnt my lesson and will to trust the people more! 🀣

      Anyway, I really hope you enjoy the Cemeteries of Amalo! I can definitely see you liking it as well. And Maus and Robin Hobb are great, too! πŸ₯°

      Like

  10. Sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

    I have To Paradise on audiobook and tried listening to it but I wasn’t in the mood for it and kept it aside for another day. I think I might get the ebook and listen and read together to help. You just reminded me that I need to get to it haha.

    Hope you have a great reading year in 2023!

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      I also listened to To Paradise on audiobook, so I can highly recommend that! Although my preferred method of keeping me from getting too distracted was going on walks and doing puzzles while listening πŸ₯° I still probably would have preferred to read it physically, but, well, I’m extremely stingy, and didn’t want to spend money when Scribd gave me the audiobook for free…

      Anyway: I really hope you’ll end up loving To Paradise if you pick it back up, and wish you a great reading year, too! πŸ“š

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Diana @ Thoughts on Papyrus says:

    A great list. Recently, I have been into graphic novels, so I should definitely check out Maus. Curiously, a graphic novel also ended up in my 10 best reads of 2022 list. It was the graphic novel adaptation of Sinclair’s classic The Jungle. I have not read First They Killed My Father, but I have seen the film by Angelina Jolie. I wonder if I should read the book next and if you know of the film.

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Thank you! πŸ’™ I can only highly recommend Maus – if even graphic-novel-skeptics like me love it, it’ll probably be right up your alley!

      And no, I did not know there was a movie adaptation of First They Killed My Father!! I’ll have to look into that immediately! Although I might also just stick to the book because violence and brutality in movies somehow always makes me way more squeamish than when I’m reading about it… I just can’t deal with blood at all, even when I keep repeating in my head that it isn’t real but just some sort of movie prop πŸ˜…

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Lesserleaf says:

    I really liked the Goblin Emperor, which I read some years ago, but I didn’t realize that there are two other books set in the same universe. Wow, I should look them up.
    I’ve also always wanted to read Maus — maybe I’ll get around to it this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Charlotte says:

    I somehow haven’t read anything by Robin Hobb yet but do really want to. Seeing her mentioned so often here has only added to that desire. I’ve never really been that drawn to Legends & Lattes (I think maybe it’s the cover??) but I’ve seen it praised repeatedly so sooner or later I’ll definitely have to check that out too. Babel is one book I definitely hope to get to incredibly soon. I treated myself to it after Christmas (it was half price) and can’t wait to finally get to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Yes, Charlotte, I can only highly recommend Robin Hobb!!! She writes some of the best character-driven high fantasy out there, in my opinion, and I guarantee that you’re going to fall in love with her world! πŸ€—πŸ€©πŸ€—

      And, lol, I was a bit skeptical about Legends & Lattes as well, but it really took me by surprise by how much I loved it! It’s just such a cozy, feel-good read that is perfect for cheering you up when you’re feeling a bit down πŸ₯°

      And I really hope you enjoy Babel! I had a few issues with the ending, but overall, I simply could not put the book down and haven’t seen a magic system this cool in a while. I’d say that half-price purchase was definitely worth it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Charlotte says:

        Aww yay that’s sounds wonderful!! Hopefully I’ll finally get to some of her books soon. Fantasy- or just anything supernatural really – I’d definitely my go to.

        I’ll keep that in mind. Cozy fantasy really seems to be becoming a major genre from what I’ve seen.

        Thank you. I’m sorry to hear about your issues with the ending. I’m definitely intrigued by the magic system then!! Discovering new ones is always fun.

        Liked by 1 person

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