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We at bookclique reviewed a bounteous plethora of books in 2022. We spanned decades and genres; we plucked old favorites off our shelves and peeked at not-yet-published preorders. Essays, novels, poetry, memoirs, a memoir composed of poetry, Jane Austen on Audible, even a handbook on writing in case you wanted to try your hand. A bildungsroman about a spirited Pakistani exchange student, a dystopian near-future where “bad” mothers learn to parent robot children, a page-turning murder trial with fascinating twists, connected stories eviscerating and elevating technology, indigenous people fighting to save their tribes from erasure, Asian actors in eat-or-be-eaten (literally) Hollywood, friends and one famous actor isolating during Covid, and a true story charting illness and healing are just a few of the stories we read and loved. Prize winners, bestsellers, off-the-radar-recommendations, ones to make you weep, ones to evoke nostalgia, ones to rouse or discomfort you, and ones to transport you. In a year that saw successful efforts to ban books in schools and libraries, we believe that we must fight back: reading is power, reading is pleasure, reading is intellectual freedom, and reading must be protected and supported. So purchase books, download books, borrow books, discuss books, recommend books, and donate books. Here are our favorites from 2022:

Miracle Country by Kendra Atleework

Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn

Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout

Play It as It Lays by Joan Didion

The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt

Phantompains by Therese Estacion

Our Country Friends by Gary Shteyngart

The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich

Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho

The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan

Sister Stardust by Jane Green

What We Carry by Maya Shanbhag Lang

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard

The Candy House by Jennifer Egan

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg

Magpie Lane by Lucy Atkins

The Book of Delights by Ross Gay

The Hurting Kind by Ada Limón

Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Between Two Kingdoms by Suleika Jaoud

Horse by Geraldine Brooks

Craft in the Real World by Matthew Salesses

Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boyle

frank: sonnets by Diane Seuss

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

The Woman in the Purple Skirt by Natsuko Imamura

The Beauty of Dusk: On Vision Lost and Found by Frank Bruni

American Fever by Dur E Aziz Amna

Siren Queen by Nghi Vo

Maisie Dobbs Series by Jacqueline Winspear

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin


Laura Dickerman

Laura Dickerman taught high school English for many years; has a couple of master's degrees in Fiction and English; and has lived in Vermont, New Haven, New York City, Philadelphia, Brussels, and currently Atlanta. She is bossy in two book clubs, opinionated about even things she knows very little about, believes you can put down a bad book, and passionately supports re-reading Middlemarch every five years.