I seriously cannot believe how quickly this year flew by. The phrase ‘The days are long, but the years are short’ is my life motto right now. As my days as a full time working mom of a 10 month old mean I’m exhausted, but on the flip side I just cannot fully comphrend how much he has changed in the past 10 months.
Even though I fully expected to not read as much as I normally do this year, I managed to read about half of this year’s BOTM picks. Shoutout to middle of the night feedings and lots of digital advanced reader copies (ARCs). And 4 of my Top 10 reads from 2022 are actually BOTM picks, and one was a top read from 2021. In case you’re looking back at this year’s picks, and wanting to pick some up as Christmas presents to yourself (I won’t tell), I decided to break down my favorite and least favorite picks from this year. I also have put together a comprehensive list of all the 2022 BOTM picks I’ve read this year as well, with links to my reviews. If you don’t see a particular book review on this list, make sure to check out my comprehensive list.
All 2022 BOTM Picks I’ve Read
I normally have such a hard time narrowing down my favorite’s lists, but this year was surprisingly easy. Four of these picks made it into my 2022 Top 10 list, and The Bodyguard was in my 2021 favorites list as I read it in November 2021.
The Change – what can I say about this amazing debut that would do it justice? Probably nothing, because this story about 3 menopausal women who develop magical powers and end up using said powers to uncover a serial killing of women, all while fighting society’s narrative that older women are no longer worth anything; is just ‘chef’s kiss’. I adored this story and think everyone should read it, and everyone will enjoy it. Unless you don’t like well written stories, then maybe you won’t. There is something for everyone – mystery, magical realism, fantasy, social commentary, strong female leads, humor etc; and if there is one BOTM you read this year, it should be this one.
Speaking of…strong female characters, if you need a shot of endorphins or are just looking for a story to put you into a ‘happy’ mood, then Katherine Center’s story about a 5′ bodyguard being amazing and finding love is for you! I received an ARC in 2021, and it was just the feel-good story I needed. Highly recommend!
Bonnie Garmus’ debut also hosts a strong female lead (do we see a trend here yet??). I know some people found this one dry, but I adored this story about a female chemist just trying to make it in a man’s world in the 1960s. I found it to be sweet, smartly written, and I personally thought it was hilarious all while providing an accurate picture of what women faced in the workplace not too long ago.
Rebecca Ross, absolutely stole my heart with her lyrical Adult Fantasy book A River Enchanted. I felt as if I was in a song the entire time, which is fitting for this story. If you want a light fantasy book than you need to pick this one up. Since my copy was a gift from Harper, I ended up pre-ordering a copy of the second book instead of getting a BOTM copy, so they would match. I have not read the second book yet, but I’m hoping it will be just as fantastic.
I use to never read romance, but in the past two years, I have come to use them as a comfort reads. I can’t always handle heavy literary reads, and Abby Jimenez is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. Like The Bodyguard this story just gave me all the warm fuzzies. I absolutely adored it, and once again we have a smart and driven female lead. I was also binge watching Good Sam at the time of reading this, and if you need something to watch post reading this book, Good Sam is the perfect option.
Part of your world review
My Least Favorite Picks
Now for my least favorite picks. I’d like to start by saying that reading is a completely subjective thing. What works for one person doesn’t work for everyone, and honestly, I love that about reading and books. I also think reading is completely environmental and is hugely influenced by what’s going on in our own lives at the time. So just because these didn’t work for me, doesn’t mean you won’t. However, I wanted to highlight them, so that other readers with similar taste in books as me, can draw their own conclusions.
The Lifestyle: For being a romance about swingers, there is zero spice to this book. It was also said to be hilarious. I enjoy all types of humor – dry, sarcastic, corny, etc, but I found zero to laugh about in this book. I didn’t enjoy our main character at all, and this debut just fell completely flat for me.
The House Across the Lake : when will I learn that Riley Sager is no longer for me. I love reading about places I’m at, and so I convinced myself this would be the perfect book to read while at the lake house this summer. It was not. A paranormal aspect came out of nowhere and while I love Simone St. James, Sager just did not deliver the way she does. I’m also really over men writing and gaslighting women in books. So this was just a ‘no’ for me.
The Maid: I’m not a huge cozy mystery fan, and this one just didn’t do it for me.
Vladimir: The first 1/3 of the book had me so bored, I was legit fighting sleep and almost decided to DNF. The middle of the story made me feel gross and left me with nothing but disgust and annoyance for our narrator. The last 1/3 of the book seemed to actually get some sort of plot but it felt so outlandish, that I just couldn’t with it. I feel like I might not be the target audience for this book.
Like a Sister: this is the only one I DNFed. I tried on audio and physical, and the writing just felt choppy to me and I couldn’t get into it. I’m trying to do better about putting books down that don’t bring me joy, and this one didn’t make the cut this year.