2022 was a great reading year for me. I didn't participate in any demanding challenges or have hard goals. I let myself read what I wanted to and tried to pick up more non-fiction. Because of my chill reading style, I read a ton of books in a variety of genres.

Of course, life threw curveballs and I had to step away from reading multiple times. But I found my way back. I read more books in 2022 than in the previous 4 years (individually)! I might have read even more if life hadn't taken every free minute in December (I read only three books in the month and most of it was after my vacation started ?).

Despite reading more books, I could pretty easily pick my best books of 2022 because they were simply on another level. They impacted me more, stayed in my mind longer, and made me come back to them for rereads.

I've written short reviews for almost all of them so now I'll be mainly talking about why they're in my best books list.

this is how you lose the time war by amal el-mohtar and max gladstone

this is how you lose the time war book cover

There was no way this wasn't going to be on my best books of 2022 list. This is How You Lose the Time War was a little complex to read but it is totally worth it.

Why it is on this list:

  • It is a one-of-a-kind book that I think everyone should read—especially science-fiction lovers. We will not find a book like this easily.
  • The romance in this book blew me away. The sapphic enemies-to-lovers arc, the love letters, the sonnets—all of it was amazing.
  • The time travel aspect was very well done. The plot came together beautifully by the end and there was a great twist set up using time travel.

Every person (that I've seen/spoken to) who has read this has praised it and it totally deserves all the hype. If you want a unique book to read in 2023, I highly recommend this!

Read my full book review of This is How You Lose the Time War.

legends & lattes by travis baldree

Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree book cover

Legends & Lattes is a precious gem and I knew it within a few chapters. I may not have spoken too much about it after the initial recommend-to-everyone phase, but it is lodged in my heart.

Why it is one of my best reads:

  • Unlike most impactful books, this book turns things around and delivers something completely different. It is a quiet and memorable book which we don't see often.
  • I loved reading about the main character remaking her life into one of her dreams. The book had a very soft way of saying "follow your dreams." I especially loved that it showed opening a coffee shop as a worthy dream above fighting and winning battles.
  • It is a comfort book. I will definitely come back to this again and again.

This is Travis Baldree's debut book and they have done so well. I can't wait to see what more they have in store for us.

the plated prisoner series by raven kennedy

Gild by Raven Kennedy book cover

THIS. SERIES. I read the first 3 books in ONE DAY and it had my brain in a chokehold for the next few days. I could barely think of anything else.

Why the series was the best:

  • It has easy and addictive writing. I was into the book in no time. I looked up from book 1 only when I finished the book. I flew through the books.
  • The world-building was really good. I loved how the world was complex but it was well-explained too.
  • The character growth in this series is one of the best I've ever seen. The main character has Stockholm syndrome and watching her unlearn, learn, grow, and fight was inspiring. I loved it.

The last book in the series will release in 2023 and I cannot wait, especially after the cliffhanger that book 4 ended in.

restore me by j. l. seegars

Restore Me by J. L. Seegars book cover

Out of all the romance books I read in 2022, Restore Me is the only pure romance book that made it to this list. I read great romance books but none of them stood out like this book. 2022 was the year when I reduced my romance reading a little and this list clearly shows it.

Why this book is one of my best reads:

  • The characters were too good. Their backstories and their growth arcs were great. I rooted for them individually.
  • The chemistry was *chef's kiss.* It was leaping off the pages right from the beginning. You can TELL that Sloane and Dominic were meant to be right from their first meeting. Even if they lost their way in the middle, their banter still made it obvious.
  • The writing added intensity in a way that I haven't seen in romance books before and it was addicting.

It was my first book by the author. Since then, I've read and loved other books by them. But this one is still my favourite.

Read my full review of Restore Me.

ace by angela chen

ace by angela chen book cover

The best non-fiction book that I read in 2022 was Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex.

Why it was the best:

  • It had the most impact on me. I can definitively say that no other book impacted me as much in 2022.
  • I know so much more about asexuality because of the book. It packs knowledge in an easy-to-understand manner.
  • It explores several related concepts in-depth. I love books that go deep into a topic and completely discuss it. This fulfilled the nerd in me who wants to know all the sides to a conversation and reasons for the way things are.

Ace also pushed me to pick certain kinds of non-fiction books because through it, I learnt what kinds I like. I highly recommend it.

Read my full book review of Ace.

show your work by austin kleon

Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon book cover

I had never read a book aimed at creatives before this and didn't even know ones like this existed. I, fortunately, read this book when I was ready to take advice and this helped a lot.

Why this book is on this list:

  • It gives great advice mainly for creative people but can be taken by others as well.
  • It is small and concise. I hate non-fiction books—especially ones giving advice—that over-explain and fill pages. This had small and easy-to-read chapters.
  • The content is current. Since it was written recently, all the advice is applicable. I've read far too many popular books that were written decades earlier and don't really hold good anymore. This one was refreshing and useful.
  • I love how it advised us on how to use the internet to be better creatives.

I made sure to read the other two books by the author soon after and really liked Steal Like an Artist as well. When a sale came up later, I nabbed paperbacks of the two books and they're displayed on my shelf as part of my "curated" books i.e. books that I love, will reread often, and want to talk about.

the dark verse series by runyx

the predator by RuNyx book cover

I am not sure what made me pick this book up (probably a Tweet) but I am so glad I did. I basically devoured the first three books.

Why I loved the series:

  • I generally don't like mafia romances but this was simply TOO GOOD and has me rethinking my preferences.
  • It is full of morally grey characters that you can't help but root for.
  • I especially loved the romance in the first two books. The enemies-to-lovers slow-burn romance has a strong grip on my heart.
  • Besides the romance, the plot is interesting and thrilling as well. I couldn't stop reading the books.

Book 5 is yet to be released and I simply cannot wait. I've been rereading my favourite parts from the first 4 books regularly to stay sane.

the mindf*ck series by s. t. abby

the risk by S. T. Abby book cover

If I had to pick the most interesting romance I read in 2022, I would choose this series without a doubt. The book covers are hideous but this is one case where one should really not judge the books by their covers.

Why this is one of the best:

  • It is a romance between a serial killer and an FBI agent!!!
  • The serial killer main character is unhinged and badass and I absolutely loved her.
  • There is a ton of morally grey actions that almost fully fall into the black side of things but I couldn't help but root for some of the characters.
  • The writing was too good. It revealed things little by little to keep the suspense while also showing a damn interesting ongoing series of events. It kept me on the edge of my seat.
  • I read all FIVE BOOKS in ONE DAY. That was how good it was.

I don't think I will ever read a series like this again but, damn, I really hope I do. I wish I could experience it for the first time again.

tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow by gabrielle zevin

tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

This book slowly started taking up more space in my social media feeds but I didn't take too much notice of it until Alyxandria Ang continuously posted content praising it. After reading it, I also posted a bunch of content about it.

Why this was amazing:

  • The focus on making games and the gaming industry was very interesting.
  • I absolutely loved the characters. Especially the main characters. The support characters (that had enough attention) were lovely as well.
  • I love books that show events and relationships over several decades. They truly show the nuances of relationships—especially ones that have a long history. The smallest words can change everything and the biggest events can be dealt with because of the people in our lives. This book showed that.
  • The biggest reason why it was the best: it was about friendship. The main focus of the book was Sam and Sadie's friendship. We saw how it formed, broke, formed, broke again, and strengthened again. I laughed with them and cried with them. I loved them for who they were and I loved how they loved each other.

There are very few books (even now) that give as much focus and importance to friendships as how romantic relationships get. The few books that do it well are precious.

building a second brain by tiago forte

building a second brain book cover

2022 was truly a good year for my non-fiction reading. Not all of it was good but there was enough good stuff to keep me going and I found my way to great non-fiction books. Building a Second Brain surpassed all of my expectations right from the first chapter.

Why this book was one of the best:

  • It precisely addresses a common problem that we all have in today's digital world.
  • The author lays down things in a simple manner which made the book easy to read and learn from.
  • It has a lot of practical advice that can be put into practice almost immediately. In fact, the author suggests the actions we can take while reading the book. We don't have to finish the book to get started.
  • It isn't targeted towards everyone but almost everyone will find useful advice in the book. I was reading it as a creative person but I also got a ton of advice for my work.

Building a Second Brain is a book that I will reread often and preserve on my shelf for years to come. I highly recommend it if you want to get organized, especially digitally.

Read my review here.

chat with me!

Those were the 10 books that made a huge impact on me in 2022 in a variety of ways. What books made it to your best books list? Have you read any of the ones I mentioned or are you going to add them to your to-read list? Tell me in the comments!

photo of Sumedha

Sumedha spends her days reading books, bingeing Kdramas, drawing illustrations, and blogging while listening to Lo-Fi music. Read more ➔

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