The 22 Best Books of 2022 So Far – Oprah Mag
Simon & Schuster, Grove Press, Knopf
Throughout the first half of 2022, breaking news and blaring headlines have been relentless, wearing us down like a grindstone; but fortunately a cornucopia of stellar books have lifted our spirits. Here Oprah Daily gathers 22 luminous works associated with fiction and nonfiction that engage and entertain, instruct and inspire.
Fiction highlights include Rebecca Miller’s eclectic, beautifully spare collection of short stories, Total, which plays with horror and suspense. To Paradise , Hanya Yanagihara’s much-anticipated third novel, interweaves speculative plus historical elements, imagining a series of alternative timelines as it peers into our nation’s heart of darkness.
Eerily prescient, Jessamine Chan’s Atwood-esque fable, The School of Good Mothers, traces one woman’s anguish, while Colin Barrett’s sublime collection transports us to the cliffs and crags of the Irish coast, lives mired amid grinding poverty and pints of Guinness. A sense of place is key to Tara Stringfellow’s Memphis, conjuring that city’s languid rhythms and volatile history. Hernan Diaz’s immersive second novel, Trust , probes the contradictions surrounding one Manhattan couple’s pursuit of fortune before plus during the Great Depression. And The oprah show Book Club selection Nightcrawling , the blazing, assured debut from 20-year-old Leila Mottley, dramatizes communities quashed beneath the boots of racism and inequity.
Actress Viola Davis has won an Oscar, an Emmy, and a Tony; along with her candid, vivid memoir, Finding Me (also a good Oprah Book Club pick), she now adds “bestselling author” to her CV. Kathryn Schulz’s elegant memoir, Lost & Found, charts her journey from loss to love; it’s a ray associated with light in a bleak era. Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Ed Yong takes us on an odyssey like none other into the nonhuman senses of animals, his prose rollicking and rich. And we adored Ada Calhoun’s Also a Poet. All 22 of our picks follow.
So: Cool off, hunker down, read up—these 22 titles will nourish you through the remaining dog days and beyond. And hang tight for the fall crop of masterworks just over the horizon.
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