Cary's Shelf: 2022 Genre Winners

Published Monday, January 9, 2023

2022's "Voted Best" Books by Genre Category

At the end of each year, we gather a list of genre prize-winners so you can check your reading list and make sure you haven't missed any! It's also a great time to try a new genre by digging into the best books in the field. We hope you enjoy browsing. This post features some of the winning titles, and you can view the full list of genre winners below. We also have a print version of the list on our featured book display in the library that you can pick up on your next visit.

Full List of 2022 Genres Winners
Audie Awards: Best audiobook of the year - Project Hail Mary, by Andy Weir

The Audie Awards recognize stellar achievement in spoken word, particularly audiobook narration and audio-drama performance, published in the United States of America. The winning title is available in our library system in both audio CD and Playaway formats. From the author of the bestselling novel, The Martian, this story does not disappoint:

Ryland Grace has been asleep for a very long time. He awakens to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company. He can't remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it. Alone on a tiny ship, it's up to him to conquer an extinction-level threat to our species. And thanks to an unexpected ally, he just might have a chance.

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Goodreads Choice Awards: Best Mystery/Thriller of the Year - The Maid, by Nita Prose

Stephen King praised this novel as having "the most interesting and endearing main character in a long time." Lots of people are raving about this book because of the growth and poignant evolution of Molly, a young woman left adrift in a world where her talents and special characteristics aren't always valued. A murder in the hotel Molly is working in sets off a chain of events, and our heroine must turn amateur sleuth. Molly's path has many twists and turns but we follow her to the end and are happier for it.

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The Edgar Awards (Mystery/Crime): Best 1st Novel - Deer Season, by Erin Flanagan

This is a compelling, simmering story allowing you to savor the development of complex characters, a small town setting, and the complicated dynamics of relationships - how far will you go to protect the ones you love? In 80s Nebraska, middle-aged and sometimes ruthless Alma, an outside transplant into her rural community, experiences the sense of "other," just as her intellectually challenged farmhand, Hal, experiences the "different" syndrome. Slowly, a strong bond develops between the two -- very much like mother and son. When a teenage girl Hal has befriended goes missing, he becomes the number one suspect.

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BCALAs (Black Caucus of ALA Awards): Best Non-Fiction - Just As I am: a Memoir, by Cicely Tyson

“Just as I Am is my truth. It is me, plain and unvarnished, with the glitter and garland set aside. In these pages, I am indeed Cicely, the actress who has been blessed to grace the stage and screen for six decades. Yet I am also the church girl who once rarely spoke a word. I am the teenager who sought solace in the verses of the old hymn for which this book is named. I am a daughter and a mother, a sister and a friend. I am an observer of human nature and the dreamer of audacious dreams. I am a woman who has hurt as immeasurably as I have loved, a child of God divinely guided by his hand. And here in my ninth decade, I am a woman who, at long last, has something meaningful to say.”Cicely Tyson

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The Christy Awards (Christian): Best Historical - Drawn by the Current, by Jocelyn Green (Windy City Saga # 3)

"Drawn by the Current is one of the most emotionally taxing books I’ve ever written, but also one of the most fulfilling. More passengers died on the Eastland [passenger ship] than on the Titanic, although when counting crew, the Titanic did have a greater loss of life. Yet this shocking Chicago disaster seems to have largely faded from public memory. My intention is that this novel will bring attention to the tragedy and honor those who lost their lives that day. My hope is that this story would touch your life in some way, too." - The Author.

You can also find this award-winning title on our Hoopla digital service.

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LAMBDA Awards (LGBTQ+): Best Lesbian Fiction - Skye Falling, by Mia McKenzie

Considered "ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR" by The Boston Globe & Shondaland, McKenzie's novel focuses on an "endearingly prickly" narrator, almost forty rolling-stone, Skye, and a cast of characters willing to both challenge her and catch her when she falls. Skye has always moved through life on her own terms, living out of a suitcase and avoiding all manner of serious relationships. This is a clever, moving portrait of a woman coming to terms with the relationships she always thought she could live without.

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Nebula Award (Sci-Fi): Best Novel - A Master of Djinn, by P. Djeli Clark (Book #1 in a series)

"Nebula, Locus, and Alex Award-winner, Djèlí Clark goes full-length for the first time in his dazzling debut novel." This highly acclaimed book has so many accolades I couldn't list them all here. Fortunately, it's available in print as well as e-book and e-audiobook format on our Hoopla digital service (no wait list!), so you can get your copy today. (The Dead Djinn Universe series contains novels set primarily in Clark's fantasy-alternate Cairo, and can be enjoyed in any order.)

“Clark reconfigures history with a keen, critical eye toward gender, class, and imperialism. An epic tale of magic and mystery, this is sure to wow." - Publishers Weekly, starred review.

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About the Author

Cary is our Development & Outreach Librarian. Her idea of a perfect day is a complete stereotype: reading or watching British crime fiction with a cup of hot tea close at hand, her favorite quilt, and her cats Clio & Junie on her lap.