Of the nearly 100 novels I read this year, these are my top ten fiction books of 2022!
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I read a LOT. No seriously. I read 132 books this past year.
I get asked how I can read so much often, and my secret is audiobooks. It’s easy to listen as I walk my giant dog, clean, or cook. If I miss a bit, I always rewind!
The vast majority of the books I read this year were fiction. I love a good story, something that transports me to another place (real or imaginary!). I love a bunch of different genres. From fluffy rom-coms to high-intensity thrillers to coming of age stories to classic literature, I’ll read it all.
As always, these are listed in no particular order. Picking my top 10 fiction books of 2022 is hard enough!
The Best Fiction Books of 2022
The Inheritance Games, Jennifer Lynn Barnes
An enigmatic billionaire genius leaves his fortune to a random teenage girl, with the provision that she must live on his palatial estate for a year first – an estate filled with puzzles, mysteries, a shady past, and his surviving family.
I read The Inheritance Games in January and barely contained myself until the sequels were released! All three were great, building on each other well. She has another book coming out in 2023 with the same cast of characters!
The Thursday Murder Club, Richard Osman
The Thursday Murder Club is one of those delightful mysteries you enjoy. In a quiet retirement community, four friends come together to solve cold case murders. So when a murder happens in their backyard, they jump in to try their hand at doing it in real time.
What makes The Thursday Murder Club so great is the characters. They’re such unlikely friends given their backgrounds, but each brings something unique to the table. I also read the sequel, The Man Who Died Twice, and loved it!
Chosen Ones, Veronica Roth
I LOVED this one. Veronica Roth also wrote the Divergent trilogy, and The Chosen Ones are in the same vein. But with definitely more adult themes. The premise follows a group of five teenagers who saved the world. What happens to them afterward? How do they return to daily life? Then, when there’s another global threat 10 years later, how do they handle it?
It deals with the real fallout of child/teenage celebrity in a cool alternate universe. The characters were real people, coping as best they can, and not always well. It was a refreshing take on hero stories and a compelling read.
Our Woman in Moscow, Beatriz Williams
What’s better than a historical fiction spy thriller? One inspired by true events! The story is loosely based on the Cambridge Five, a ring of British spies passing information to the USSR for decades.
Our Woman in Moscow is the story of two estranged sisters. Iris is married to an American who defected to the USSR, taking his family along with him. So when sister Ruth gets a postcard from Iris, she knows it’s a call for help to come back to the USA.
I don’t want to say much more because the story is so layered. It’s a great read by one of my favorite authors!
Firekeeper’s Daughter, Angeline Boulley
Daunis is a teenager straddling two worlds: her mom’s small-town midwestern life and her dad’s Ojibwe family on the nearby reservation. During her senior year of high school she witnesses a murder, drawing her into the lethal drug problem affecting both worlds.
Agreeing to help the FBI track down the source means questioning everyone she knows and combining her love of science with her love of traditional medicine. Will she figure it out before more people die, or before she becomes a target herself? Firekeeper’s Daughter is a great read – high intensity and full of complex characters.
Red Rising, Pierce Brown
Red Rising is a dystopian novel set in a world where people have been genetically modified into classes, which are labeled as colors. Reds are the lowest, serving as manual laborers, especially in making the other planets of our solar system inhabitable. Golds are the ruling class with an iron grip on leadership.
The story follows what happens when a teenage red is surgically turned into a gold and infiltrates their leadership program. If you liked The Hunger Games, this is for you. It’s grittier and definitely gorier, but it’s a great story. There are currently five in the series and I read four of them in 2022, so you know they’re worth it!
Apples Never Fall, Liane Moirarty
Liane Moriarty is one of my favorite authors, and her books always have an insane hook. This one starts off with missing woman, and the obvious suspect is her husband. So what are their four adult children supposed to think?
Apples Never Fall weaves a great story, giving multiple perspectives and time-jumping in a way that Moriarty does so well. If you read or watched Big Little Lies or Nine Perfect Strangers, this is another great one.
The Maid, Nita Prose
The Maid was one of those stories that’s fun to read without being predictable. Molly works as a maid at a high-end hotel, and loves everything about it. When she finds one of the hotel’s most wealthy and famous clients dead in their room, she’s thrust into the center of a murder investigation.
Molly’s character is endearing without being cutesy, and you root for her to find her way through this with surprising friends along the way. It’s a good story, a whodunnit without being too stressful thanks to Molly’s no-nonsense narration.
The Paris Apartment, Lucy Foley
It seems like The Paris Apartment is on everyone’s list this year, but for good reason! I loved the mystery of it, and it kept surprising me the whole way through. I’m one of those people who guesses what’s going to happen in TV shows (much to the annoyance of my husband), but this one stayed exciting to the end!
Jess goes to crash with her half-brother Ben in his Paris apartment for a few days. But when she shows up, he’s nowhere to be found. As time goes on, she gets more and more nervous, but she knows next to nothing about his life in the city. As she searches, the neighbors become the obvious suspects – but which ones know where he is?
Lessons in Chemistry, Bonnie Garmus
Lessons in Chemistry is so much fun. Set in the 1960’s it’s a book for the 21st century. Elizabeth Zott is a brilliant scientist trying to make her way in a male-dominated field. She rejects gendered expectations on all fronts, but when she finds herself as a single parent without a job she reluctantly agrees to become the host of a cooking show.
The book is funny and charming without being a cookie-cutter story. It’s a great beach read or comfort story, while still dealing uncompromisingly with hard things like sexism and gender roles.
These are my top ten best fiction books of 2022! What were your favorites?