best book reviews and book recommendations and reading challenge in 2022

If you’re in need of book recommendations, here’s a summary of the fiction and non-fiction books I read in 2022. I reached my goal of 50 books. This post includes one-word book reviews and star ratings.

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2021 one-word book reviews

Monthly wrap-up of book reviews

book review typewriter

Below you’ll find book reviews of each book I read by month. I’ve also sorted all one-word book reviews by ratings immediately following the monthly book reviews. They are, in my opinion, rated as the best books to read right now.

December 2022 one-word book reviews

Here’s a round-up of the books I read and reviewed in December 2022.

  • 6 books
  • 1,458 pages
  • YTD: 50 books; 14,815 pages


One-word book review: The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
Book genre: Historical fiction
One-word book review and rating: Courageous | 4*
Number of pages: 286 pages

One-word book review: The Bookstore Sisters by Alice Hoffman

The Bookstore Sisters by Alice Hoffman
Book genre: Fiction short story
One-word book review and rating: Compelling | 3*
Number of pages: 36 pages

One-word book review: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Book genre: Fantasy novella
One-word book review and rating: Classic | 5*
Number of pages: 104 pages

One-word book review: Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen

Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen
Book genre: Magical realism
One-word book review and rating: Enchanting | 5* This is one of my favorite books in 2022.
Number of pages: 304 pages

One-word book review: Sapiens: A brief history of humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

Sapiens: A brief history of humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
Book genre: Nonfiction
One-word book review and rating: Don’t | 1* [I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I was not a fan.]
Number of pages: 414 pages

One-word book review: Verity by Colleen Hoover

Verity by Collen Hoover
Book genre: Thriller / romance
One-word book review and rating: Twisted | 3*
Number of pages: 314 pages

November 2022 one-word book reviews

Here’s a round-up of the books I read and reviewed in November 2022.

  • 4 books
  • 1,373 pages
  • YTD: 44 books

One-word book review: Braving the Wilderness: The quest for true belonging and the courage to stand alone by Brene Brown

Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown
Book genre: Self-improvement / nonfiction
One-word book review and rating: Empowering | 5*
Number of pages: 208 pages

One-word book review: The Neighbor’s Secret by L. Alison Heller

The Neighbor’s Secret by L. Alison Heller
Book genre: Thriller / suspense
One-word book review and rating: Choppy | 3*
Number of pages: 336 pages

One-word book review: They Called Us Enemy by George Takei

They Called Use Enemy by George Takei
Book genre: Graphic memoir
One-word book review and rating: Moving | 5*
Number of pages: 212 pages

One-word book review: The Winners by Fredrik Backman (Beartown #3)

The Winners (Beartown #3) by Fredrik Backman
Book genre: Contemporary fiction
One-word book review and rating: Engrossing | 5* (my second-favorite book this year)
Number of pages: 617 pages

See related post: All Fredrik Backman books ranked!

Post currently ranking #1 on Google

October 2022 one-word book reviews

Here’s a round-up of the books I read and reviewed in October 2022.

  • 5 books
  • 1,212 pages
  • YTD: 40 books

One-word book review: The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate

The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate
Book genre: Historical fiction
One-word book review and rating: Absorbing (for Hannie’s narratives) | 3*
Number of pages: 400 pages

One-word book review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Book genre: Contemporary fiction
One-word book review and rating: Delightful | 5* (favorite read of 2022!)
Number of pages: 336 pages

One-word book review: Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Book genre: Romance / short story
One-word book review and rating: Engaging | 3*
Number of pages: 86 pages

One-word book review: Maid: Hard work, low pay, and a mother’s will to survive by Stephanie Land, Barbara Ehrenreich

Maid: Hard work, low pay, and a mother’s will to survive by Kim Michele Richardson
Book genre: Memoir / nonfiction
One-word book review and rating: Underwhelming | 2*
Number of pages: 270 pages

One-word book review: Why I Write by George Orwell

Why I Write by George Orwell
Book genre: Essays / nonfiction
One-word book review and rating: Ok | 3*
Number of pages: 120 pages

September 2022 one-word book reviews

Here’s a round-up of the books I read and reviewed in September 2022.

One-word book review: Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Book genre: Historical fiction
One-word book review and rating: Absorbing | 4*
Number of pages: 355 pages

One-word book review: Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Book genre: Historical fiction / saga
One-word book review and rating: Easy | 4*
Number of pages: 369 pages

August 2022 one-word book reviews

Here’s a round-up of the books I read and reviewed in August 2022.

  • 5 books
  • 1,269 pages
  • YTD: 33 books

One-word book review: Final Girls by Riley Sager

Final Girls by Riley Sager
Book genre: Thriller / suspense
One-word book review and rating: Suspenseful | 3*
Number of pages: 352 pages

One-word book review: Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Book genre: Fiction / children’s literature / saga
One-word book review and rating: Nostalgic | 4*
Number of pages: 198 pages

One-word book review: Maus I and Maus II: A Survivor’s Tale [2-book volume]

Maus I and Maus II: A Survivor’s Tale: by Art Spiegelman
Book genre: Graphic novel / historical fiction / banned books
One-word book review and rating: Affecting | 4*
Number of pages: 144 + 159 = 303 pages

One-word book review: Summer Island by Kristin Hannah

Summer Island by Kristin Hannah
Book genre: Fiction
One-word book review and rating: Predictable | 2* [Read Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale or Night Road instead; both of those are 5* reads for me. The Four Winds and The Great Alone are also really good.]
Number of pages: 416 pages

July 2022 one-word book reviews

Here’s a round-up of the books I read and reviewed in July2022.

  • 3 books
  • 1,459 pages
  • YTD: 28 books

One-word book review: 11/22/63 by Stephen King

11/22/63 by Stephen King
Book genre: Paranormal / historical fiction
One-word book review and rating: Ambitious | 4*
Number of pages: 849 pages [longest book I read in 2022]

One-word book review: The Last Summer by Ann Brashares

The Last Summer by Ann Brashares
Book genre: Fiction
One-word book review and rating: Light | 3*
Number of pages: 306 pages

One-word book review: Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney

Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney
Book genre: Thriller / suspense
One-word book review and rating: Twisty | 3*
Number of pages: 304 pages

June 2022 one-word book reviews

Here’s a round-up of the books I read and reviewed in June 2022.

  • 5 books
  • 1,281 pages
  • YTD: 25 books

One-word book review: The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman

The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman
Book genre: Philosophy / Non-fiction
One-word book review and rating: Inspirational | 5*
Number of pages: 416 pages


One-word book review: The Last Green Valley by Mark Sullivan

The Last Green Valley by Mark Sullivan
Book genre: Historical fiction
One-word book review and rating: Inspiring | 5*
Number of pages: 435 pages


One-word book review: The Lies I Tell by Julie Clark

The Lies I Tell by Julie Clark
Book genre: Thriller / suspense
One-word book review and rating: Justice | 4*
Number of pages: 302 pages

One-word book review: Men to Avoid in Art and Life by Nicole Tersigni

Men to Avoid in Art and Life by Nicole Tersigni
Book genre: Humor
One-word book review and rating: Amusing | 3*
Number of pages: 96 pages


One-word book review: My Evil Mother by Margaret Atwood

My Evil Mother by Margaret Atwood
Book genre: Fiction / short story
One-word book review and rating: Touching | 4*
Number of pages: 32 pages


May 2022 one-word book reviews

Collage of one-word book reviews 2022

Here’s a round-up of the books I read and reviewed in May 2022.

  • 4 books
  • 1,592 pages
  • YTD: 20 books; 6,610 pages

One-word book review: Breathless by Amy McCulloch

Breathless by Amy McCulloch
Book genre: Thriller
One-word book review and rating: So-so| 3*
Number of pages: 343 pages


One-word book review: Dune by Frank Herbert

Dune by Frank Herbert
Book genre: Science fiction
One-word book review and rating: Complex | 4*
Number of pages: 617 pages


One-word book review: The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
Book genre: Thriller
One-word book review and rating: Twisty | 4*
Number of pages: 360 pages


One-word book review: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Book genre: Classic
One-word book review and rating: Thought-provoking| 4*
Number of pages: 272 pages


April 2022 one-word book reviews

Book reviews April

Here’s a round-up of the books I read and reviewed in April 2022.

  • 4 books
  • 787 pages
  • YTD: 16 books; 4,518 pages

One-word book review: Address Unknown by Kathrine Kressmann Taylor

Address Unknown by Kathrine Kressmann Taylor
Book genre: Historical fiction
One-word book review and rating: Gripping | 5*
Number of pages: 64 pages

One-word book review: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Book genre: Historical fiction
One-word book review and rating: Stirring | 5*
Number of pages: 344 pages

One-word book review: Between Shades of Gray – The Graphic Novel by Andrew Donkin

Between Shades of Gray – The Graphic Novell by Andrew Donkin
Book genre: Historical fiction / Graphic novel
One-word book review and rating: Stirring | 5*
Number of pages: 160 pages

One-word book review: The Shell Collector by Anthony Doerr

The Shell Collector by Anthony Doerr
Book genre: Short stories
One-word book review and rating: Wistful | 4*
Number of pages: 219 pages

March 2022 one-word book reviews

Here’s a round-up of the books I read and reviewed in March 2022.

  • 4 books
  • 1,330 pages
  • YTD: 12 books; 3,731 pages

One-word book review: City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
Book genre: Fiction
One-word book review and rating: Indulgent | 3*
Number of pages: 466 pages

One-word book review: The Collective by Alison Gaylin

The Collective by Alison Gaylin
Book genre: Thriller
One-word book review and rating: Disturbing| 3*
Number of pages: 338 pages

One-word book review: Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
Book genre: Fantasy
One-word book review and rating: Dark | 4*
Number of pages: 190 pages

One-word book review: The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
Book genre: Thriller
One-word book review and rating: Suspenseful| 4*
Number of pages: 336 pages

February 2022 one-word book reviews

book stack

Here’s a round-up of the books I read and reviewed in February 2022.

  • 4 books
  • 1,158 pages
  • YTD: 8 books; 2,401 pages

One-word book review: The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet by John Green

The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet by John Green
Book genre: Essays
One-word book review and rating: Captivating | 5*
Number of pages: 293 pages

One-word book review: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Book genre: Fantasy
One-word book review and rating: Suspenseful | 5*
Number of pages: 176 pages

One-word book review: The Humans by Matt Haig

The Humans by Matt Haig
Book genre: Science fiction (with a side of psychology and sociology)
One-word book review and rating: Brilliant | 5*
Number of pages: 304 pages

One-word book review: Night Road by Kristin Hannah

Night Road by Kristin Hannah
Book genre: Fiction
One-word book review and rating: Heart-rending | 5*
Number of pages: 385 pages

January 2022 one-word book reviews

book stack

Here’s a round-up of the books I read and reviewed in January 2022.

  • 4 books
  • 1,243 pages

One-word book review: A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham

A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham
Book genre: Suspense
One-word book review and rating: Satisfactory | 3*
Number of pages: 357 pages

One-word book review: One Hundred One Poems by Gordon S. McCulloch

One Hundred One Poems by Gordon S. McCulloch
Book genre: Poetry
One-word book review and rating: Sweet | 5*
Number of pages: 128 pages
Special note: I had to read this after seeing the viral and heartwarming tweet about the 96-year-old author who published his first book.

One-word book review: Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins

Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins
Book genre: Suspense
One-word book review and rating: Suspenseful | 3.5*
Number of pages: 320 pages

One-word book review: Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Book genre: Classic literature / historical fiction
One-word book review and rating: Powerful | 5*
Number of pages: 438 pages

In the following section, I’ve compiled a list of all the books I’ve read in 2022 by their star ranking.

5-star one-word book reviews

five stars

Books earning five stars include:

  • Address Unknown by Katherine Kressman Taylor
  • The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green
  • Between Shades of Gray (novel and graphic novel)
  • Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  • Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
  • The Humans by Matt Haig
  • The Last Green Valley by Mark T. Sullivan
  • Night Road by Kristin Hannah
  • One Hundred One Poems by Gordon S. McCulloch
  • Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • The Winners by Fredrik Backman

4-star one-word book reviews

four stars

Here are the books I read, reviewed, and rated with four stars.

  • 11/22/63 by Stephen King (4.5*)
  • The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
  • Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
  • Dune by Frank Herbert
  • The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
  • The Lies I Tell by Julie Clark
  • Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Maus I and II: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman
  • My Evil Mother by Margaret Atwood
  • The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • The Shell Collector by Anthony Doerr

3-star one-word book reviews

three stars

The following books earned three stars.

  • The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate
  • The Bookstore Sisters by Alice Hoffman
  • Breathless by Amy McCulloch
  • City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • The Collective by Alison Gaylin
  • Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Final Girls by Riley Sager
  • A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham
  • The Last Summer (of You and Me) by Ann Brashares
  • Men to Avoid in Art and Life by Nicole Tersigni
  • The Neighbor’s Secret by L. Allison Heller
  • Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins (3.5*)
  • Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney (3.5*)
  • Verity by Colleen Hoover
  • Why I Write by George Orwell

Have you read any of these books? Any good reads you recommend for my TBR list? Please let me know in the comments and follow me on Goodreads and Instagram. Watch for the best books to read in 2023 post coming soon.


Pin it for later: Best books to read right now

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Best books to read in 2022 book review
Author

Twin Cities-based blogger sharing memorable emptynester, solo, family and girlfriend-getaway adventures, as well as my day hiking adventures (including all 66 Minnesota state parks), latest book reviews, and updates on my quest for the best adult mac and cheese. Also two WIPs: historical fiction and psychological thriller

24 comments

  1. Heavily impressed by your reading goals and achievements, Karen. That Matt Haig book has been on my radar for a little while, so might give it a shot now, considering your ‘brilliant/5’ endorsement. Thank you.

    1. Thank you! I loved The Humans by Matt Haig. It was so different from what I expected. Loved how he held up the mirror to human nature – some of the observations were profound and kinda funny.

    1. Thank you so kindly. Night Road is an emotional read, but very good. I did have to set it down every now and then as it is heart-rending.

  2. I love Kristen Hannah’s books, so I’d definitely want to try out Night Road. What a great run down of book reviews!

  3. That is an impressive amount of reading. I’m lucky if I can get one book done per month for book club. I’m going to have to suggest a few to my group.

    1. Thank you! I have to be very intentional to stay on track for my reading challenge. Lots of great reads here for book club!

  4. I love your one word reviews! This is good timing. I was looking for a good book to take on my trip!

  5. Love this as I am always looking for some good reads. The Kristin Hannah book looks like it will be on my next list!

  6. This is an amazing one word book review list. A friend suggested Reckless Girls awhile back and now it’s on my list.

  7. I love your one word reviews! It looks like I have a few books to add to my reading list now. Looking forward to seeing what you review in the upcoming months!

  8. I love the idea of a one-word book review and your format so I can easily see the genre that I’m looking for :). I’ve been getting more into historical fiction lately and I see several that I will be adding to my book list!

  9. Love your one word book reivews. I have read many on the list. I particularly liked Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and I agree, it was delightful.

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