In an age of social media, book recommendations are more available than ever. Amidst the contradictory reviews and questionable synopses, it can be difficult to find books that truly engage. Though 2022 was a big year of reading for me, I couldn’t help but feel uninspired by the majority of the books I consumed. I could never seem to find the right balance between literary dense classics that I would never finish and entertaining, but empty reading fodder that I would consume within no time. Still, there were several books that left me feeling inspired. In no particular order, here are my top 3 reads of 2022
1. The Invisible Life of Addie Larue
The Invisible Life of Addie Larue is a fairly popular book, with it being widely promoted on platforms such as TikTok. Though mainstream, this book is such an interesting depiction of the human experience, that it stands out amongst many other works of modern literature. The most common complaint made about this book is that it is too long, however, I think that it gives the reader lots of time to get to know the characters and develop satisfying arcs. The plot twist at the end is so well-done that even though it was a little predictable, I still found myself shocked.
2. My Year of Rest and Relaxation
By every definition of the word, this book is boring. The characters are unlikeable, the protagonist is a terrible person, and the plot is practically nonexistent. Based on these factors alone, it would have saved me $12 and a lot of frustration to have placed the book back onto its shelf and left Barnes and Noble without purchasing anything. However, the social commentary within this book is so captivating that once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. A satire at its core, My Year of Rest and Relaxation is full of interesting observations about wealth, privilege, and femininity. The use of imagery within this book is so vivid, making it incredibly engaging and at times, viscerally repulsive. The setting of an early 2000s New York provides the perfect backdrop for the main character’s struggle through excess and apathy. If nothing else, this book will teach you the benefits of getting a healthy amount of sleep.
3. A Thousand Ships
A Thousand Ships is a book that is not talked about enough. Fans of “Circe” and “Song of Achilles” will love this book. A nuanced take on the Trojan War, this book tells the story of the centuries-old tragedy from the perspective of the female characters. Though many of these characters are well-renowned, such as Pennelope, Clytemnestra, and Hecuba, the exposition provided by this book is nothing short of heartbreaking. The story can be slow at times, however, it is impossible to not become engrossed in this retelling.