Favorite Books of 2022

Every year, I set my reading goal at 100 books. I never make it. This year I reached a total of 67 books. Out of those 67 books, here are my top five, in no particular order.

  1. The Maid, by Nita Prose Molly Gray is a maid at a hotel, a job she has held for many years. Though she lacks any social skills and is clearly on the spectrum, she does her job with efficiency and, well, joy. She was brought up by her grandmother who helped guide her through life, but who passed away a few months earlier. Now Molly has to manage on her own. She gives it all she can, and is one of the best employees in the hotel. One day she enters the room of one of the hotel’s frequent visitors — a wealthy man who has a nasty way about him — and finds him dead in his bed. She knows that people are going to believe it was his wife who killed him, but Molly doesn’t think that is possible. Nonetheless, Molly is thrown right in the middle of the investigation, even being one of the suspects.
  2. Carrie Soto is Back, by Taylor Jenkins Reid Carrie Soto retired from tennis a highly successful professional player. She was well regarded, but not particularly popular given the intensity in which she approached the game. Her mother died young, and her father — a well-regarded tennis player himself — became her coach. He taught her the ins and outs, the correct way to hold her racket, the tricks of playing exceptional competitive tennis. Carrie brought a dedication to being the best, letting no one get in her way,But when she saw one of the newer players seemingly filling her retired shoes, she elected to come out of retirement to see if she could finish the season as the number one tennis player in the world once again.
  3. Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus Elizabeth Zott — the protagonist of author Bonnie Garmus’s irresistible debut novel Lessons in Chemistry — is bucking all odds and working as a chemist. She is the lone woman in a sea of men, all of whom think of her as a pretty face who simply doesn’t know her place. That is, until fellow chemist Calvin Evans falls in love with her, and oddly, it’s for her brain and not her appearance. Elizabeth isn’t trying to be a barrier breaker. She simply wants to be a chemist, and thinks being a woman shouldn’t stop her. She works away steadily, not making waves, but not backing down either. Eventually she and Calvin become a couple, and their relationship is nothing short of wonderful. Life happens, but then an unexpected opportunity comes Elizabeth’s way. She is asked to host a new television cooking show called Supper at Six. She agrees with the caveat that she can develop the show the way she wants, with all eyes on chemistry. “Combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride” she says to the women eagerly watching the show. She teaches her fans not only how to cook, but also how to think for themselves.
  4. Love & Saffron, by Kim Fay Twenty-seven-year-old Joan Bergstrom sent a fan letter to 59-year-old Imogene Fortier in the book Love & Saffron: A Novel of Friendship, Food, and Love, by Kim Fay. Joan is a single career woman who has just begun a career writing in the food section of a Los Angeles newspaper. She sends Ms. Fortier the letter because she has enjoyed reading the older woman’s simple missives about life on an island off the coast of Seattle in a Pacific northwest magazine. The letter captures the attention of Imogene because Joan has included in the letter a sample of the spice saffron, something completely unfamiliar to her. It is the 1960s, where women were the cooks, and foodstuffs that we take for granted now were foreign in some parts of the country. Imogene had never tasted fresh garlic, so saffron was a completely unique experience. That letter was the impetus for a relationship between two women who, despite their age difference, are drawn together by food and friendship, shared via letters.
  5. Out of the Easy, by Ruta Sepetys It’s 1950. Teenaged Josie Moraine is the daughter of a prostitute. Her mother isn’t the kindly sex worker who does what she needs to help her daughter. Instead, she is a selfish, greedy, completely dishonest woman who cares little for Josie and doesn’t mind using her for her own selfish needs. But Josie isn’t alone. The successful female brothel owner Willie Woodley has taken Josie under her wing since she was a small girl. She, along with the other prostitutes and Willie’s faithful staff love Josie and take care of her as if she was their own family. In a way, that’s exactly what they are. Josie works at a bookstore owned by a friend, and is saving her money to leave New Orleans and attend her dream college, Smith. But an unexpected murder places Josie right in the middle, and her mother is all part of the game.

In 2023, I’m going to read 100 books!

One thought on “Favorite Books of 2022

  1. I liked all of those books, too. A couple of my favorites were Violeta and The Lincoln Highway. I read 83 books this year.

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