22 best fiction books of 2022 so far, according to Goodreads – Business Insider
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- We gathered the top-rated and best-selling fiction books of 2022 so far.
- These picks include new historical fiction, romance, fantasy, and sci-fi books.
- For more great books, check out the best books of 2022 so far, according to Goodreads.
Every year brings new and amazing books to shelves everywhere, but it can be overwhelming to sort through hundreds of titles to find a book that truly stands out from the rest. Fortunately, with reviews from readers, bookshops, and editors, the most memorable new titles still rise to the top.
To create this list of recommendations, we pulled readers’ favorite new fiction books from a variety of sources including top-ranking titles on Goodreads, bestseller lists on Audible and Libro.fm, and books readers can’t stop talking about on social media. From fantasy sequels to heart-pounding historical fiction, here is some of the best new fiction of 2022 so far.
The best fiction books of 2022 so far:
“Black Cake” by Charmaine Wilkerson
Insightful, memorable, and masterfully written, “Black Cake” is a transportive and expansive novel that begins as Byron and Benny inherit a traditional Caribbean black cake and a voice recording in the wake of their mother’s passing. In this story of heritage, memories, and history, the siblings must unravel their mother’s story to create a new and deeper understanding of her, their family, and themselves.
“All My Rage” by Sabaa Tahir
Salahudin and Noor were more than best friends until a terrible fight destroyed their bond, leaving each of them to face their familial and personal challenges alone. As Sal tries to hold his family and their business together after his mother’s passing and Noor attempts to avoid her uncle’s wrath as she applies to college against his wishes, the two must decide the value of their friendship and what they need to move forward.
“Book Lovers” by Emily Henry
Emily Henry’s latest beach-read romance follows Nora Stephens, an NYC literary agent whose own love life is far from perfect. When her sister, Libby, suggests a trip for just the two of them to a storybook-like town in North Carolina, Nora agrees in the hopes of becoming the heroine of her own story but almost immediately runs into Charlie Lastra, a brooding book editor — and her greatest rival.
“Violeta” by Isabel Allende
“Violeta” is an epic new historical fiction novel about Violeta del Valle, born in 1920 in South America to a family of sons. Told in the form of a letter, Violeta’s life spans a century of extraordinary events, from personal heartbreak and great triumphs to the fight for women’s rights and two terrible pandemics.
“True Biz” by Sara Nović
At the River Valley School for the Deaf, Charlie is a new transfer student, Austin is the school’s “golden boy,” and February is their headmistress, fighting to keep the school open while juggling personal challenges of her own. “True Biz” follows the students and the school as they are rocked by personal, political, and familial unrest over a tumultuous year that will change their lives forever.
“House of Sky and Breath” by Sarah J. Maas
“House of Sky and Breath” is the highly anticipated sequel to Sarah J. Maas’ “House of Earth and Blood,” both of which are loved by readers for the spellbinding magic systems, their deep care for the characters, and the exhilarating, suspenseful plot that keeps them invested for 800 pages. In this sequel, Bryce and Hunt have saved Cresent City and are looking for a moment of peace but as the rebels slowly chip away at the Asteri’s power, the two know they cannot stay silent while others are oppressed.
“Lessons in Chemistry” by Bonnie Garmus
In this story set in 1960s California, Elizabeth Zott is a chemist whose male coworkers see her as little more than a woman in the way. When her career takes a sharp turn and she finds herself the star of a beloved American cooking show, people still aren’t happy, as she not only takes a unique approach to cooking, but in many ways is teaching women to defy the status quo in this funny and feminist historical fiction read.
“How High We Go in the Dark” by Sequoia Nagamatsu
As humanity is challenged with rebuilding after a climate plague reshapes life on Earth, this science fiction novel bends to follow linked narratives of those affected in a vast variety of ways, from a scientist searching for a cure to a painter and her granddaughter looking for a new home planet. Loved for its intricate and imitate connections between characters, themes, and stories, “How High We Go in the Dark” is a tale of compassion, resiliency, and hope.
“Daughter of the Moon Goddess” by Sue Lynn Tan
Inspired by the legend of the Chinese moon goddess, Chang’e, “Daughter of the Moon Goddess” is about Xingyin, who grew up on the moon, unaware that she is being hidden from the Celestial Emperor until her magic reveals her existence and she’s forced to flee her home and leave her mother behind. To save her mother, Xingyin disguises her identity, learns mastery and magic alongside the emperor’s son, and sets off on a dangerous quest of magic, honor, and betrayal.
“Young Mungo” by Douglas Stuart
Born into different religions, Mungo and James should be sworn enemies yet find safety in each other as their close friendship blooms into love. When Mungo is sent on a fishing trip with two of his mother’s friends from AA, darker intentions arise in this story of masculinity, queerness, division, and violence.
“This Time Tomorrow” by Emma Straub
When Alice wakes up on the morning of her 40th birthday, she seems to have been transported back in time to 1996 to relive her 16th birthday. Though her father is ailing in the present day, she’s reunited with her younger, full-of-life dad and, armed with decades of experience, relives the day with a new perspective, bringing new meaning to memories and leaving Alice wondering if she could — or should — change anything about that day.
“Reminders of Him” by Colleen Hoover
“Reminders of Him” is a Colleen Hoover story of redemption as Kenna Rowan returns to her town after a five-year prison sentence, hoping to reunite with her young daughter, though all those who knew her determinedly shut her out. Turning to the local bar owner, Ledger Ward, Kenna finds a remaining link to her daughter, but when the two form a deeper connection, romance brings greater risk and Kenna must find a way to fix the past in order to solidify a better future.
“Memphis” by Tara M. Stringfellow
During the summer of 1995, 10-year-old Joan moves with her mother and younger sister into their mother’s family home in Memphis, fleeing their father’s violence, though the home is marked by a history of violence all its own. In her grief, Joan begins to create portraits of the women in North Memphis and unravels a past, present, and future of matrilineal tradition, healing, and curses from the stories of those she encounters.
“Sea of Tranquility” by Emily St. John Mandel
Part time travel epic and part pandemic literature, “Sea of Tranquility” is a science fiction novel that spans centuries from an airship terminal in the Canadian wilderness in 1912 to a moon colony 300 years in the future to tell a story of humanity and the many ways we are impacted by a pandemic world. Unique, profound, and memorable, this new novel combines speculative and literary elements to take readers on a fast-paced journey.
“Four Treasures of the Sky” by Jenny Tinghui Zhang
Though Daiyu never wanted to be like the tragic heroine for which she was named, everything changes when she’s kidnapped and smuggled from China to America. “Four Treasures of the Sky” is a story of self-discovery, Chinese history and folklore, and the ways in which Daiyu had to continuously change herself to survive.
“The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea” by Axie Oh
In Mina’s homeland, the people believe the Sea God curses their land with terrible storms and war so they sacrifice a beautiful maiden in the hopes their choice will one day be his “true bride” and end their suffering. When Shim Cheong, Mina’s brother’s beloved, is chosen as the sacrifice, Mina throws herself into the water in her place and is swept away to the Spirit Realm. There, she sets out to wake the Sea God and end her home’s suffering once and for all.
“Brown Girls” by Daphne Palasi Andreades
In Queens, New York, young girls and women of color are growing up in the center of vibrant culture, learning to balance their immigrant heritage with the American world around them. “Brown Girls” reads like a literary poem dedicated to the young women who experience this unique crossroads as they make their own place in the world, a story that continues to resonate with many readers.
“Peach Blossom Spring” by Melissa Fu
Lily desperately wants to understand her family’s heritage, but her father refuses to speak about his childhood and his story of fleeing his family home with his mother in 1938 as the Japanese army encroached on their land. “Peach Blossom Spring” is a powerful story of war, migration, and heritage that jumps across continents and centuries to convey the importance of telling our stories.
“Don’t Cry for Me” by Daniel Black
As Jacob lays on his deathbed, he knows there are many truths he must share with his son, Isaac, though the two have not spoken in many years. Through letters, Jacob reveals ancestral stories, long-buried secrets, and hopeful explanations for his reaction to Isaac’s being gay. “Don’t Cry for Me” is an emotional historical fiction novel about reckoning, reconciliation, and healing.
“Take My Hand” by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
“Take My Hand” is a new historical fiction novel inspired by true events that begin with Civil Townsend in 1973 as she takes a job fresh out of nursing school at the Montgomery Family Planning Clinic in Alabama. In her first week, she encounters 11- and 13-year-old sisters whose situation raises alarms for Civil. Decades later, Civil is ready to retire when history returns in this story of bravery, institutional racism and classism, and the ways Black communities have been targeted and attacked throughout history.
“The Diamond Eye” by Kate Quinn
Though Mila Pavlichenko’s life in 1937 Ukraine revolves around her library job and her son, everything changes when Hilter invades and she’s sent into war with a rifle, quickly becoming one of the deadliest snipers known to the Nazi regime. When her 300th kill makes national news, she’s pulled from the war for a goodwill tour in America until an old enemy and new foe pull Mila into a battle deadlier than the war.
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