Readers Say

We asked for your favorite reads of 2022. You answered.

Take a look at 44 of the top books Boston.com readers picked up this year.

It’s clear — 2022 was a year full of good reading. 

We asked Boston.com readers recently to share with us the best books they read over the course of the last year, and their favored titles range from the newly-published to classics discovered for the first time, spanning from fiction to fantasy to nonfiction to memoir. 

We received dozens of recommendations, complete with explanations from readers about why their favorite read stood out as the best of the year. Among the host of titles, Anthony Doerr’s “Cloud Cuckoo Land,” a novel that was released last year, was the book most singled out by readers (five submissions in total) for its storytelling and writing.

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Below, take a look through 44 of the top reader picks and what they had to say about the best books read in 2022, divided publish year and genre. 

Fiction

“Legends & Lattes” by Travis Baldree (2022)

  • “It was a relaxing, cozy fantasy story about a tough adventurer who gives up their fighting lifestyle to open a coffee shop.” — Annalisa, Chelmsford

“The Magic Kingdom” by Russell Banks (2022)

“Checkout 19” by Claire-Louise Bennett (2022)

  • Recommended by Alan A., Chestnut Hill

“Horse” by Geraldine Brooks (2022)

  • “Interweaving of racial history, horse racing, poignant relationships, scholarship, revealing the good, the bad and the ugly.” — Claudia J., Newton Highlands

“Desert Star” by Michael Connelly (2022)

  • “Continuing with Harry Bosch, as his life/career winds down.” — Lynn C., Madison, Ala.

“Lessons in Chemistry” by Bonnie Garmus (2022)

  • “It’s laugh-out-loud funny. Quirky, strong female character and the writing is witty and smart!” — Betty T., North Reading

“Last Night in Brighton” by Massoud Hayoun (2022)

  • “Simply a beautiful book. I cried at the end.” — Jules
  • “It was just brilliant. Such a jarring but also healing read.” — Jane, Chicago, Ill.

“Snowstorm in August” by Marshall Karp (2022)

  • “Non-stop action, edge of your seat for the entire read. I read it in two days, didn’t want it to end.” — John M., Naples, Fla.

“The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post” by Allison Pataki (2022)

  • “Fascinating story of one woman’s life of wealth, philanthropy, and influence.” — Betty T., North Reading

“Leaving Coy’s Hill” by Katherine A. Sherbrooke (2022)

  • “Love historical fiction and this was so well-written you felt like you were there in the room.” — Becca N., Nantucket

“Remarkably Bright Creatures” by Shelby Van Pelt (2022)

  • “It was a heartwarming tale about loneliness and found family.” — Ashley, Charlestown

“The Personal Librarian” by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray (2021)

  • “This was [an] interesting character about whom I had never heard. The true story of J.P. Morgan’s personal librarian who became a powerful figure in the book world while hiding her true background. Well-written historical fiction.” — Kathy C., Easton, Md.

“A Psalm for the Wild-Built” by Becky Chambers (2021)

  • “It made me happy.” — Claire O., Jamaica Plain

“Cloud Cuckoo Land” by Anthony Doerr (2021)

  • “The story was so engrossing, the characters were deep and unforgettable, and the plot was sophisticatedly multi-layered. Doerr is a master storyteller.” — Nancy, Scituate 
  • “The story is so well crafted and original, with well-developed characters and a wonderful plot. I could not put this book down!” — Gail G., Marblehead
  • “All the elements are here. Three tales in very different times with unforgettable characters in each and intertwined in a fantastical way.” — Anonymous

“The Trees” by Percival Everett (2021)

“The Falling Woman” by Richard Farrell (2021)

  • “Know the author.” — D. Driscoll, Holden

“Malibu Rising” by Taylor Jenkins Reid (2021)

  • “It was very engrossing.” — John H., Las Vegas, Nevada

“Ocean Prey” by John Sandford (2021)

  • “Great fiction, easy to read and very interesting.” — Michael L., Mansfield

“The Lincoln Highway” by Amor Towles (2021)

  • “I loved going back to the 50s, a sweet time in our lives in mid-America, and smart kids doing the right things. It is an adventurous story told in an unusual style keeping my unflagging interest to the end.” — Gerry M., Hingham

“Hamnet” by Maggie O’Farrell (2020)

  • “Absolutely the most exquisite writing I’ve read in a long time.” — Cassie, Framingham

“Before She Knew Him” by Peter Swanson (2020)

  • “10 pages left and didn’t know how it would end. Fantastic.” — Mary, Gloucester

“The Cold Millions” by Jess Walter (2020)

  • “The author tells an entertaining story in seamless prose while leaving the audience with a humanitarian message.” — Virginia O.

“Mrs. Everything” by Jennifer Weiner (2019)

  • “Jennifer Weiner creates a story that is moving, heartfelt, intense, and raw. The book explores gender stereotypes, civil rights, and sexuality among many other things. It tells the stories of two sisters moving through their journeys from the 1950s to present day, detailing their lives as they navigate the many deep experiences that have shaped them into the women they are today. I laughed, I cried, I gasped. It was the perfect book that I could not put down.” — Karlie, Whitman

“All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr (2014)

  • “He shows sorrow and pain in a masterful way. His blending of two different worlds is done with such beauty.” — Beverly D., Southborough

“We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart (2014)

  • “Easy, quick read that kept me engaged and the ending was shocking. I cried for about an hour and then had to go back and read the book again.” — KC, Reading

“Blood Meridian” by Cormac McCarthy (1985)

  • “Great story.” — Anonymous

“A Confederacy of Dunces” by John Kennedy Toole (1980)

  • “This is an older book I had heard of, but never read. It was hilarious! The characters were so real and funny. The author nailed the colloquialism of the language in New Orleans and some of the storyline was brilliantly original and fascinating. Definitely one of my all-time favorites.” — Christine W., Quincy

“To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee (1960)

  • “I have seen the movie but never read the book. There has been a lot of controversy around the story but after reading the original book, I have to say ‘get over it.’ Atticus Finch is a great character from a place and time that are different from ours.” — Thomas, Braintree

“Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell (1936)

Nonfiction

“Profiles in Ignorance” by Andy Borowitz (2022)

  • “The cover reads ‘How America’s Politicians Got Dumb And Dumber.’ It is both humorous and frightening as it explains how we got to where we are today in the national political scene.” — Joseph Z., Boston

“Dirtbag, Massachusetts” by Isaac Fitzgerald (2022)

  • “Original, heartbreaking, funny memoir.” — Anonymous

“The Man Who Broke Capitalism” by David Gelles (2022)

“Jamoji” by Colleen Hall (2022)

  • “An intimate invite to a local author’s home of Jamaica. A popular tourist destination through the eyes of a native. Not only Jamaica that the average visitor wouldn’t see, but with winter approaching, it’s the picture of sun and turquoise blue beaches to hold on the cold nights that awaits us. What really makes ‘Jamoji’ special is that a part of the proceeds goes to building a playground for the grade school the author and her sisters attended while living in Jamaica, Bridgeport Primary in St. Catherine (#JamojiPLAY). — Anonymous, South End

“Brain Energy” by Christopher M. Palmer (2022)

  • “This explains very clearly how to take control of your sleep, inflammation issues and mental health. This non-fiction book is well written, easy to understand and meant to help you change your life for the better.” — K. O’Brien, Tyngsboro

“Friends Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing” by Matthew Perry (2022)

  • Matthew writes with a raw honesty about his journey, while staying true to his signature ‘Chandler’ charm. An eye-opener for those who don’t feel sympathy to anyone out there going through this painful battle; and offers hope and a light at the end of the tunnel to those who are.” — Melissa L., Ipswich

“The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams” by Stacy Schiff (2022)

  • “A beautifully written examination of a father of our revolution who was a driving force for independence. Also an educated and humble man who led the people to believe that independence was the right choice and did not seek his own fame or fortune.” — John A. 

“Cuba” by Ada Ferrer (2021)

  • “The history of Cuba is a complicated and interesting narrative that involved Spain, the expansion of the ‘New World,’ and a roller coaster relationship with the USA.” — Bill D., Tiverton, Rhode Island

“The Last Winter” by Porter Fox (2021)

  • “It is an eye-opening account about how climate change is impacting different regions of the world now, and the unfortunate likelihood about what will  happen in the global future.” — Anonymous

“The Storyteller” by Dave Grohl (2021)

  • “A well written look into the life and times of an amazing musician, his band, and his family.” — Larry T., Ayer

“Taste” by Stanley Tucci (2021)

“Red Comet” by Heather Clark (2020)

“The Splendid and the Vile” by Erik Larson (2020)

  • “The author presented the history of World War II  with a unique cast of characters who are not usually included in war histories, and also he portrayed Winston Churchill as I have not seen him in other histories. Every book by Erik Larson is a great read. I immediately afterward read Larson’s book, ‘Dead Wake.’ I’ll be sure to read everything he has written as all will be great stories with much to learn from them.” —  Joanne H., Holliston

“Educated” by Tara Westover (2018)

  • “Rarely portrayed quest for knowledge.” — Anonymous

“What If?” by Randall Munroe (2014)

  • “The book entertains while it educates. I learned a lot and smirked a lot, too.” — Richie, Dorchester

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