Our Favorite Books - 2022

Published Wednesday, December 21, 2022
Voices from Chernobyl
by Svetlana Aleksievich

The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was an unfathomable disaster that destroyed many lives and continues to cause suffering to this day. In this book of first hand accounts we are shown the resilience and fortitude of the Belarus people. It shows us that humans will strive to overcome any adversity and are capable of greatness and compassion beyond expectations.
- Greg

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Spy x Family series
by Tatsuya Endo

I love the Spy x Family series by Tatsuya Endo! I devour each volume as soon as I can get my hands on one. The series is super funny, and wholesome at times. In a few volumes, they end on cliffhangers which leaves me so excited to read the next installment!
- Rachel

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Inheritance: A Visual Poem
by Elizabeth Acevedo, Andrea Pippins (Illustrator)

This book explores the complexities and the power of Black hair. The illustrations are top notch and a wonderful way to show the younger audience there is pride to be shared in the uniqueness of Black hair.
- Gwen

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Pity the Reader: on Writing with Style
by Kurt Vonnegut, Suzanne McConnell

I have enjoyed Kurt Vennegut’s writing, wit, and sharp intellect. He used sarcasm to great effect without overdoing it. As an aspiring writer, I read lots of “craft of writing” books by favorite authors, but this one is up there in my top three. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and thank McConnell for compiling these gems and quotes into one book.
- Cary

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Mercury Pictures Presents
by Anthony Marra

Wow. I loved this book. I do not gravitate naturally toward historical fiction or books about 1940's Hollywood, but that didn't make any difference to me this time. I am now more convinced than ever that Anthony Marra can write about anything and create an amazing read. This is a beautifully written book with fascinating characters but it does cover very weighty and difficult topics. Anthony Marra is such an amazing writer and I will be eagerly awaiting his next book.
- Katherine

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The Love of My Life
by Rosie Walsh

I picked this book because I liked the cover and the title intrigued me. I normally don't read love stories but this book surprised me in that it was part a psychological thriller as well. For anyone who likes both genres, this book is a good mix!
- Mary

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Gideon the Ninth
by Tamsyn Muir

I really enjoyed the character development and world building of this novel. It is the first in a four part series and I cannot wait to get to the next one.
- Jim

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The Host: a novel
by Stephanie Meyer

I first read this book years ago, when I was a sophomore in high school, and couldn't remember what the book was for years. When I was able to find it again and reread it in March I enjoyed it even more than I did the first time. To be honest, I wouldn't be caught dead reading Stephanie Meyer's other series, Twilight, but I absolutely loved The Host. Its premise of a ethereal alien brain worms taking over humans' minds, but some humans being able to continue to exist even after the brain worm takes control (this is the best description I could come up with) is actually presented in a really interesting way. The world Meyer built in the creation of the world immediately captured my attention both times I read this book, and I will definitely read it again in the future. I think the only problem I have with this book is that it doesn't have a sequel, and although one was announced 8 years ago I'm not confident its actually coming out any time soon. Nevertheless, even without a sequel The Host stands extremely well on its own, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an interesting and unique sci-fi novel.

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Little Witch Hazel
by Phoebe Wahl

Delicately and beautifully illustrated, the book of Little Witch Hazel tells sweet and cozy stories through the seasons that are delightful treasures for all ages. I’d love to nestle into a soft blanket with a cup of hot cocoa and flip through the pages, sinking into dreams of simple days as a tiny witch living her best cottagecore life in the forest with a pet owl.
- Kristen

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Daisy Jones & The Six: A Novel
by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This was my favorite novel this year. I know this because I didn’t want the book to end. It is written as a series of interviews with the members of a fictitious 70’s rock band. I had to keep reminding myself that it was a work of fiction because every bit of it was so believable.
- Sally

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Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?
by Eric Carle

This is obviously a classic children’s book, but the reason it is my favorite this year is because it’s my one year old son’s favorite book. We read it every single night before bed. He turns the pages (now very fast) and has to get to the page with the children and then with all the animals. He will point to the animals and wait for us to say what it is (green frog, purple cat). He has had other favorites, but this one has stuck for over 6 months. The bright illustrations, the repetition, and the rhyming all lend to a fun read for little ones.
- Megan

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Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow
by Gabrielle Zevin

This book is beautifully written and tells a wonderful story. I felt the whole gamut of emotions while reading it, and it was also a lot of fun! Most of all – I was sad when I finished It and will end up reading it again!
- Jill

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Rule of Wolves
by Leigh Bardugo

This is the second book in the King of Scars duology. I absolutely adore Bardugo's Grishaverse books. She describes everything with such vivid detail that it really feels like you have been transported into the book. I have never liked fantasy books or movies, but Bardugo's writing style and her unique world in which the Grishaverse occurs completely draws me in, everytime. Rule of Wolves picks right up from where King of Scars ended, and continues to focus on our main three protagonists, king Nikolai Lantsov, Grisha general Zoya Nazyalensky, and Grisha spy Nina Zenik. As the threat of a war with Fjerda grows larger, Ravka begins noticing odd occurrences that remind them of a certain someone, someone who's supposed to be dead. Nikolai continues to battle his inner demon, which is growing stronger by the day. Zoya struggles with her newly gained powers. Nina continues to create chaos and break apart the inner workings of Fjerda. Bardugo, once again, does not disappoint.
- Aubrey

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Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama
by Bob Odenkirk

Bob writes in the same humorous tone that he speaks in throughout this lovely memoir. He dives into how he started out in comedy, his experiences with Del Close and The Second City, and how he experienced countless failures before ever experiencing any amount of success. This is a great book for anyone in comedy or the arts that wants to justify creating art and making absolutely no money at all off of it.

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Howl's Moving Castle
by Diane Wynne Jones

I really enjoyed this book because it was an interesting narrative that was able to maintain multiple characters and integrate their stories together in a satisfying way. There was also a love story component to this narrative that is a subplot but builds beautifully. Overall, this book, and series as a whole, is hilarious and allows the reader to see a snapshot of a very interesting and integrative world.
- Courtney

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These Women
by Ivy Pochoda

This was one of my favorite reads in 2022. The story takes place in south LA, which is always a good setting for a gritty plot (think Michael Connelly). The story centered around women who work the streets of LA known as These Women. Some of These Women are murdered by a serial killer. The characters include the families of These Women, a female grill owner who takes the time to feed These Women and a female detective who is investigating the deaths of some of These Women. The best elements of this book is how it's told from a female perspective and how part of the dialog is told from a woman detective. The detective doesn't waiver to the patriarchy of the predominantly male field of policing. She does have demons of her own, but don't most fictionalized detectives? The story is well written. Be warned that the issue of prostitution and serial killings is the framework for the plot. Personally, I'm looking forward to reading more works by the author.
- Kelly

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The Rise of the Dragon. Volume one : an illustrated history of the Targaryen dynasty
by George R. R. Martin

If you love Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon, and are a giant lore nerd like myself… YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK!!!
But be warned, for these pages are dark and full of spoilers.
- Evan

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Upright Women Wanted
by Sarah Gailey

In a dystopian near-future, young Esther runs away from home to escape an arranged marriage and join the Librarians, a band of women who distribute state-approved propaganda from horse-drawn wagons all across the American Southwest. At least, that’s what they claim to do. Esther soon discovers that their true purpose is to smuggle refugees and resistance fighters out of the long reach of the patriarchy to free territory. I read this shoot-’em-up neo-Western for an LGBTQ book club I was a member of back in North Carolina and positively loved it. (Thanks for the recommendation, Jon!) I plan to read Gailey’s American Hippo duology next.
- Michael

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How do you live?
by Yoshino Genzaburō

I absolutely ADORED this book. It's a classic of Japanese young adult literature originally published in 1937. At its core, the book is a coming of age novel detailing the relationship between a boy nicknamed Copper and his liberally educated uncle. The author wrote the book during the rise of fascism in Japan. Consequently, one of the deeper themes is the vital role of an educated and moral citizenry in maintaining a healthy democracy. This is especially pertinent to our country today. For the Studio Ghibli fans out there, Miyazaki is planning on creating a film. I'm definitely planning on checking it out.
- Patrick

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About the Author

Katherine is the Social Media Coordinator and has been working at EPL since 2008. She loves books, especially ones with unique plots and those written so well that she can't put them down.