My 2022 in Books


Ryley Douglass

If you read my article from last year, you’d know that I am quite an avid reader. But this year, I challenged myself a little bit more than last year. I read 120 books in 2022, which is a lot, if you ask me. But instead of sharing my extensive list of books I read this year, I narrowed them down to just 12. 


January, The Heart Principle, Helen Hoang

I started off the year by reading a lot of romance. With that, I read a lot of fantastic books such as A Court of Thorns and Roses and the Caraval Trilogy, but the book that stood out the most was The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang. 

This book follows Anna Sun, a violinist who is suffering from artistic burnout and a breakup. After her therapist diagnoses her with Autism Spectrum Disorder, she needs to start seeing the world through a new lens. And through her own sheer strength and help from a man she met on an online dating site, she finds her way through grief and her mental blocks. 

This book is special to me because it is so hard to find accurate autism representation and this book really portrayed it well. Hoang herself is autistic and she writes so beautifully and empathetically that it makes me, as an autistic reader, feel seen. 

This book does have a considerable amount of mature content, so I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone uncomfortable reading sexual content. 


February, Serpent and Dove, Shelby Mahurin

In February, I began listening to audiobooks, which turned out to be a lifeline during stressful rehearsals and provided entertainment while I crocheted. My favorite book I listened to throughout February was Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin. 

Following a witch and a witchhunter through a tale of family, love, and hate, this book was riveting and kept me hooked from the first couple of minutes. Additionally, I love the enemies to lovers trope and this book (to put it simply) executed it perfectly. 

As with most fantasy novels, this novel does have a considerable amount of violence, so please read with discretion. 


March, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid

This book has been all over the news and Tiktok, and for a good reason. In March, I listened to the audiobook version of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, narrated by Alma Cuervo, Julia Whelan, Robin Miles. 

This book details the life of fictional film star, Evelyn Hugo and her struggles with identity, love, and loss. Written beautifully and so realistically that you believe the characters are real, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo highlights the American dream and how it is entirely fake. Evelyn struggles with being herself (even accepting herself at times) in an age where Hollywood only benefitted rich white men. 

This book really brought me into a world of fame and glory, but didn’t shy away from the grief that Evelyn experienced. 

This book deals with domestic abuse, so once again, read the warnings before you read the book. 


April, Daisy Jones and the Six, Taylor Jenkins Reid

In April, I listened to Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (again) and narrated by a full cast. Similarly to The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, this book brought me into a world where Billy Dunne and Daisy Jones were real artists, their pain and their joy so vivid in Reid’s writing.

Written in the format of a documentary transcript, Daisy Jones and the Six tells the story of a band that rose to fame in the 70s but infamously split due to the inner drama of their lives. This book, clearly inspired by the creation of Fleetwood Mac’s album, Rumors, follows musicians Daisy Jones and Billy Dunne as they try to make their way in a world of drugs, betrayal, and rock and roll. 

This book depicts drug addiction and depression, so read with discretion. 


May, Throne of Glass, Sarah J. Maas

In May, I took to the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. This book series is packed with action, adventure, fantasy, and romance. 

Following a young assassin named Celaena, this book details her life after leaving a labor camp to fight for the “honor” of becoming the King of Adarlan’s Assassin. Through her journey (and throughout the entire series) she gains friends, finds love, and defeats evil.


June, American Royals, Katharine McGee

American Royals is one of my favorite series’, so I felt the need to reread it (again) during the month of June. 

Set in a dystopian America where George Washington never refused the offer to become the king, Princess Beatrice prepares to become the first reigning Queen of America as her younger sister Samantha lives in her shadow. Also, Samantha’s best friend, Nina and a cunning young noblewoman, Daphne fight for Prince Jefferson’s love. This book tells a story of romance and family and how antiquated systems of politics won’t always be relevant. 


July, The Poppy War, R.F. Kuang

This book has a lot to unpack, to say the least. 

To start, this book series is one of my favorites of all time. The characters, the world, everything was so fascinating to me. I loved it, the story grabbing my attention and not letting it go from the first page. However, it should not be advertised as an enemies to lovers novel, because that is quite frankly false advertisement. It is more accurately a military historical fantasy. 

Following Fang Runin, a girl from a poor village in the south of the nation of Nikan as she enters a military academy for the most elite students in the country. But war quickly brewed between the Nikara Empire and the Mugen Empire, bringing death and destruction spreading like wildfire. 

Based on the Second Sino-Japanese War, this book demonstrates the dangers of nationalism and propaganda, but also shows the macabre nature of the human race. Almost all of the events in the novel were based off of real world events that happened in the Second Sino-Japanese War, which is absolutely horrifying to realize after reading it. 

The Poppy War is one of the best books I have ever read, but there is a long long list of trigger warnings that you need to read before you even consider reading it. 


August, I Fell in Love With Hope, Lancali

This book really hit me where it hurt, packing an emotional punch stronger than anything I’d ever read before. I’d been following Lancali on Tiktok for a while and I loved her writing style, so I bought her debut novel, I Fell In Love With Hope

This book takes place in a hospital, where hope blossoms even in a place of sickness. Following a group of kids with chronic illnesses, this book shows how pain doesn’t define a person and how friendship can make or break a person. 

Written from inspirations from Lancali’s own experiences, this book handled grief and depression with grace and love, delicately but without sugarcoating. 

I’d recommend you read the trigger warnings before reading this book. 


September, Carrie Soto is Back, Taylor Jenkins Reid

Another Taylor Jenkins Reid book caught my attention in September– her latest release Carrie Soto is Back. This book, similarly to Daisy Jones and Evelyn Hugo, put me into a world of flashing cameras and glamor. 

Following tennis star Carrie Soto as she tries to defend her place as the most successful female tennis player of all time, Taylor Jenkins Reid writes about ambition and grief. 

I also listened to this in audio format, which was absolutely amazing. This book was heart wrenching and riveting and perfect for anyone who is a fan of any of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s work.


October, Six Crimson Cranes, Elizabeth Lim

I’ve read Elizabeth Lim’s work rather avidly over the past couple of years. I really admire how she writes so eloquently and beautifully without it being too much. This story was elegant and beautiful. Anyone who is a fan of magic and myths will love this book.

It follows a princess who is bound to marry a man she’d never even met, making one misstep and ending up cursed along with her brothers, who’ve turned into cranes. Stripped of her title and sent to where no one knows who she is, she needs to save her brothers before they are stuck as cranes forever. 


November, Duke, Actually, Jenny Holiday

Following a Baron hopelessly in love with a college literature professor, this book is the perfect read for anyone looking for a great book to read for a cold winter day. Duke Actually is so cozy and romantic, that it is sure to warm any frozen heart. 

Max pines over Dani for months, even though she has made it clear that she is over love as a whole after her messy divorce. This book is swoon-worthy and adorable. 

This book does have some sexual content, so read with discretion.


December, Portrait of a Scotsman, Evie Dunmore

This book surprised me, if I’m being honest. I picked it up at a local bookstore and absolutely loved it, even within the first couple pages. 

Following an English suffragette and a Scottish millionaire and their marriage of convenience, the romance in this book is to die for. Hattie, the daughter of an important politician in England, marries Lucien, an elusive art procurer with a bank full of so-called dirty money. As they navigate the ways of married life, Hattie realizes that Lucien isn’t as suspicious as he seems.

This book has a lot of sexual content, so read with discretion. 


Reading is so important and I truly believe that there is a book out there for everyone. So try reading something new, maybe try reading an audiobook. Reading should be fun, so let it be.