Top 22 Books Released In 2022

A note up front about this list: Because I’m going to keep reading in 2022 likely until 8pm EST on December 31, 2022 (when my beloved University of Georgia Bulldogs play in the College Football Playoff Semi-final game at the Peach Bowl in Atlanta), I couldn’t do a “Top Books I’ve Read In 2022” list and have it published before Jan 2, 2023 or so – when most people are already looking to 2023. But since I finished my last book releasing in 2022 not 12 hrs ago… hey, I can focus on *those* books! 🙂

This said, I read 215 books that released in 2022, though I started reading them as early as September 2021 or so. While I am comfortable with the following list, it is by no means exhaustive of the quality books I read that qualified for nomination, and I’m actually going to include the full list of nominees at the end of the post as well for that reason. Without further ado and listed as sorted by when I read them then by their actual release date, I give you… my Top 22 Books Released In 2022.

Loserville by Clayton Turner
From the October 31, 2021 Review:
Intriguing Look At Atlanta And Professional Sports History. As I sit to write this review, the Atlanta Braves are less than 90 minutes from First Pitch on Game 5 of the 2021 World Series – and with a 3-1 lead over the Houston Astros, Atlanta stands a chance at winning the series in front of the home town crowd before the sun rises again, its first in 26 years. And yes, I’ve made it a point to read this book – which I’ve had on my ARC Calendar for seemingly a couple of months now – this particular weekend, for exactly this reason…

The Cicada Tree by Robert Gwaltney
From the February 22, 2022 Review:
Dense, Dark, And Disturbing Southern Gothic. Gwaltney here manages to craft a Southern Gothic tale that will give fans of the genre chills. The world as seen through the eyes of 3rd grader Analiese… well, who knew that the third grade schoolyard could be so reminiscent of the corporate boardroom and its constant behind the scenes power plays?…

Free Speech by Jacob Mchangama
From the February 8, 2022 Review:
One Of The Most Thorough Histories Of The Field I’ve Come Across. This is exactly what the title here says – easily one of the most thorough histories of the concepts of free speech I’ve ever seen, from their earliest incarnations into where the two competing versions came into their own in Athens – more unlimited, though not without certain hypocrisies – and Rome – more elite controlled and even, as the title notes, into the realm of social media, Donald Trump, and even (with a few scant sentences) COVID-19…

Murder In The Neighborhood by Ellen J Green
From the April 25, 2022 Review:
Green Finds The Eggs, Butter, and Sugar. Yes, the title here references one particularly poignant line deep in the text – just 7% or so from the final words. Through this point and after, Green has managed to tell the story of what happened on River Road in Camden, New Jersey on September 6, 1949 through the eyes of nearly all of the people who survived the events there that day. A bit later, she’s even going to connect it to a more recent event that was in the news – and that the granddaughter of one of the survivors happened to be at.

Disappeared by Bonnar Spring
From the May 5, 2022 Review:
Atmospheric Mystery Turns Nail Biting Thriller. This is one of those visceral, atmospheric type tales where you truly feel immersed in the (for most readers) exotic locale. Spring does a tremendous job of showing the breadth of Morocco…

Never Go Home by Christopher Swann
From the May 16, 2022 Review:
Wherein My Own Reading Habits Do Me In. The story itself here was an excellent romp through mostly northern, Inside The Perimeter, Atlanta, and a great tale of a woman who has become quite good at skills few have…

Contagion by Michael McBride
From the June 2, 2022 Review:
LOTS Of Moving Parts. This is one of those longer books at 634 pages with a LOT of moving parts that can be difficult to track at times – but which it is hard to say that McBride could have separated into two books at any given point…

Extremophile by Rick Chesler
From the July 7, 2022 Review:
Welcome To Our Ool. Notice There Is No “P” In It. Seriously though, after reading this book you’re never going to look at getting into a pool the same again – and certainly will be particularly careful about any sudden urges to just urinate in one…

The Sea Nurses by Kate Eastham
From the June 8, 2022 Review:
Atypical Tale That Pulls No Punches. While the WWI period isn’t *quite* as common in historical fiction tales as WWII, it is hardly the rarity another reviewer claims it to be – though this *is*, in fact, the first tale I’ve come across to detail life on the ships of the White Star Line in the years after the Titanic catastrophe…

Twisted by James Beltz
From the August 30, 2022 Review:
Chilling Combination of Crime Thriller and Paranormal. For a book on the shorter end of the spectrum = roughly 220 pages or so – Beltz manages to pack quite a bit of action into this one, and along the way gives us some truly memorable sequences of various psychic abilities…

The German Wife by Kelly Rimmer
From the June 27, 2022 Review:
Evil Isn’t Born. It Is Created. Of all the WWII historical fiction books I’ve read over the years – and at this point, it is a decent number – this is the first to highlight one particular scenario that I’m almost positive has impacted my own life…

Khaos by Jeremy Robinson
From the October 18, 2022 Review:
The New God Of Science Fiction Strikes With His Best Yet. Robinson, the New God of Science Fiction, squarely takes on an element of scifi/ fantasy that he has been circling a bit tangentially for a few books now via Mind Bullet and Tribe in particular, and in this particular book takes the characters from both of those former books + The Dark and combines them…

Dinner On Mars by Lenore Newman and Evan D.G. Fraser
From the July 2, 2022 Review:
An Army Fights On Its Stomach. This was a fascinating look at what it would actually take to have a survivable human colony on Mars (or really on any other planetary body not Earth), starting from the same place Generals have known for Millenia: Ok, we got our people there. How do they stay there? First, they need food…

The Last Of The Seven by Steven Hartov
From the August 8, 2022 Review:
Slow Start Builds To Action-Packed Finish. This book is one that starts with an intriguing mystery – a man shows up at a British post in the northern Africa desert during the Africa Campaign of WWII wearing a German uniform and claiming to be British…

The Italian Daughter by Soraya Lane
From the September 23, 2022 Review:
Slight Departure From Lane’s Typical Approach, Same Great Storytelling. I think this may be the first dual timeline book I’ve encountered from Lane, who normally writes historical fiction – mostly WWII – under this name…

Toxic Effects by Joel Shulkin
From the August 25, 2022 Review:
Complex Story With More Action Than Medical. I came into this book after having won an ARC of it in the Readers Coffeehouse (Facebook group) Great Big Book Giveaway Day 2022 and having not read Book 1 (Adverse Effects). Honestly, with the amount of story that happened before this book began (that gets repeatedly referenced when necessary here – in case anyone wants to avoid spoilers from that book), it seemed like this book was *much* deeper into the series than just Book 2. I honestly thought this was somewhere in the Book 3 – 5 range as I was reading it…

Exiles by Ashley Saunders and Leslie Saunders
From the August 28, 2022 Review:
Solid Setup But With Slight Torture Of English Language. This is a tale that manages to tell its own complete tale… and yet also manages to setup a new trilogy for the Saunders twins that is perhaps at least as compelling as their debut trilogy had been. Once again, these twins writing together focus on twin primary characters, and once again having that real world dynamic really helps with the in-world dynamic…

The Mystery Of The Undying Man by Kent Holloway
From the October 25, 2022 Review:
Fun Amalgamation Of Scooby-Doo, Stranger Things, and The Sandlot. This is one of those fun, nostalgic types of kids-solving-mysteries tales that will bring back all of the above + Nancy Drew/ The Hardy Boys type vibes, as well as a touch of Johnny Quest…

Moonless Nocturne by Hank Schwaeble
From the October 8, 2022 Review:
Excellent Collection of Darker Scifi Stories. This collection does a great job of spanning a wide range of scifi types and styles, from noir/ hard-boiled detective chasing a mysterious object to concerns about the space race/ nuclear testing to AI to haunted houses to mind-bending psychological thriller, and several others to boot…

War By Other Means by Daniel Akst
From the October 10, 2022 Review:
WWII Like You’ve Never Seen It Before. This is an account primarily of WWII and specifically a few particular people and their associates within the war – and these are people who you may have heard of, but likely never heard of their actions within the WWII period…

Almost Midnight by Caroline Swart
From the November 14, 2022 Review:
Action Packed Series Starter. This is one of those series starters that ends on an “oh SH!T” cliffhanger – and while it could possibly be debated if the story should have continued on from there in a longer tale, it also told a complete story to that point…

A Time Travel Christmas by Karen McQuestion
From the December 2, 2022 Review:
Heart And Magic In A Short, Quick Read. This is a perfect Christmas story for anyone who has ever wanted to spend just “one more day” (as Diamond Rio once sang) with a lost loved one at Christmas. Through some scifi/ magical time travel, our lead here gets to do just that – going back to one pivotal night when her grandmother was just a young girl that would change her grandmother – and her entire family – for generations to come…

After the jump, the full list of all 215 nominees, ordered by publication date only. If any jump out at you, feel free to copy the title and/ or author into the search bar either to your right or possibly under this post (depending on what type of device you’re reading this on) and it will bring up my review of the relevant book. 🙂
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