Most Memorable Reads of 2022 #TopTenTuesday #TopReadsOf2022

It’s the most anticipated list of the year: The Top Ten Most Memorable Reads of 2022.

2022 Most Memorable Reads:
The Top Ten List

2022 Most Memorable Reads (text, balloons, banner, confetti)

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl: Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Favorite Books of 2022.

Top Ten Tuesday (winter) graphic

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”

It is been fabulous fun this week reading through top ten lists. The variation is striking, demonstrating that reading really is a personal experience and that no two readers read the same book!

I mostly love the angst of creating top-ten lists! Although it can be a daunting task, it’s my most anticipated post of the year! First, let me remind you that this list is subjective. It’s comprised of books I’ve read this year (there are always so many more great ones that I didn’t get to), and each one has made it onto this list because reading it was an enjoyable, memorable, emotional experience and gave me a “book hangover.” These are truly unforgettable books that I’ll think about months and years later. If I can’t envision remembering a book on this list years from now, it doesn’t belong on the list.

Last week as part of my brainstorming process for this list, I created an Especially Satisfying Reads of 2022 post.  That post is a bit more comprehensive because I provide some runners-up and books that didn’t make it to my official top ten.

One more note:
I have ONE clear number one read of the year. However, the other nine could all be number two. How can I rank them? I simply could not. In ten days I could arrange this list in ten different ways. Do you struggle with ranking your top ten list?

Titles are links to my reviews (which contain Amazon affiliate links).
Most titles in this post were published this year, but one was not.

Thanks for sharing great reads with me this year!

Top Ten Most Memorable Reads of 2022

Based on the qualities of enjoyment, engagement, compelling, unputdownable, memorable, page-turning, and book hangover.

Number One

 The Girl From Guernica by Karen Robards
(Historical Fiction)
WHY: This represents everything I’m looking for in a 5-star read: memorable for months and years, page-turning, compelling, well-researched and well-written, likable characters, and a balance of character-driven and plot-driven.

The Girl From Guernica by Karen Robards (cover) Image: a young woman looks to the side and behind her at planes circling a town

The Other Nine

Last Summer on State Street by Toya Wolfe
(Contemporary Fiction)
WHY: This is a diverse read that reads like a memoir written by an “own voices” author. It’s a poignant and compelling read which allows me to live a life I’ll never experience.

The Winter Orphans by Kristin Beck
(WW11 Historical Fiction)
WHY: I love untold stories of real-life difference-makers in the face of the most challenging circumstances. There must be a special reward in Heaven for people risking their lives to safeguard innocent children.

The Thread Collectors by Shaunna J. Edwards and Alyson Richman
(Civil War Historical Fiction)
WHY: This is a riveting dual POV story of discrimination, survival, and friendship from “own voices” authors told from the Slave and Jewish perspectives.

The German Wife by Kelly Rimmer
(post WW II with WW II backstory)
WHY: I enjoyed the compelling, controversial, and thoughtful themes surrounding “Operation Paperclip” in which the U.S. government coerced Nazi scientists to come to the U.S. and work for the space program.

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys (YA)
(1980s Romania)
WHY: This is an unputdownable and page-turning story of a young man and his family living under a Communist Regime. Ruta Sepetys is one of my favorite authors.

The Winners by Fredrik Backman
(Contemporary Literary Drama)
WHY: Very few authors can create memorable characters and explore thoughtful themes better than Backman.

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
(Literary Fiction Novella)
WHY: This is one of the most poignant, well-crafted, and beautifully written short stories I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Truly unforgettable as it asks the question, “Will you take action or look the other way?” I already have it on my reread shelf.

The Woman They Could Not Silence by Kate Moore
(Narrative Nonfiction)
WHY: Narrative nonfiction is my favorite form of nonfiction because it reads like a story; in this case, a thriller. I appreciate learning more about mental health in the 1800s and the fight this woman led to guarantee women’s rights. Her sacrifice and determination are inspirational.

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
WHY: I love a memoir that provides an insider’s perspective and fascinating facts about something I can never know. From his initial dream to his training to his determination and perseverance to his ultimate achievements in space to his practical life lessons, this is one memorable memoir and one amazing man. I highly recommend the audio format so you can hear him in his own words.  

Honorable Mention

There are so many more wonderful reads this year that deserve mention. Among them:
The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb
The Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice by Rebecca Connolley
Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson
The Next Ship Home by Heather Web
The Sisters of Seaview by Julie Klassen
The Belle of Belgrave Square by Mimi Matthews

Most Memorable Middle Grade

A Rover’s Story by Jasmine Warga
A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus

Links to Previous Best-of-Year Posts

Most Recommended Reads of 2017

Most Memorable Reads of 2018

Most Memorable Reads of 2019

Most Memorable Reads of 2020

Most Memorable Reads of 2021

journey of a lifetime reading meme


Share your best read of the year in the comments! Please?! I’d love to hear!

Happy Reading Book Worms

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year 2023 (gold text and stars and glitter on black background)

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***Blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price. This money will be used to offset the costs of running a blog and to sponsor giveaways, etc.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.



  1. My TBR list is going to grow today. I have read and enjoyed all but 3 of these, but they are either already on, or going on my TBR. Great choices, Carol.

  2. I’ve only read Small Things Like These which I loved also. Will definitely take a look at the others. I really enjoy contemporary fiction

  3. Hi Carol! Happy New Year!

    I haven’t read any of these and I can’t actually believe it. I want to read just about all of them! So not good for my TBR and I really, really am trying to get control of it this year….

    Have a good one and happy reading!

    Elza Reads

  4. I’ve not read any of these, but so many are on my TBR list and I added a couple more, I always find good recommendations from your blog! I don’t know if you’ve read it already, but if you haven’t, can I recommend The Mad Girls of New York by Maya Rodale? It’s fiction but based on the real life story of Nellie Bly who went undercover at an asylum, and one of the subplots is based on the woman that Kate Moore’s book is about!
    My TTT:

    • I’m thrilled to hear that you find my recs helpful! Thanks for the Mad Girls rec…..sounds like a good companion read! Thanks for your kind words and for commenting! Happy 2023 reading! 🥂

  5. I just added The Girl From Guernica to my TBR and I already have the An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth on my TBR, Great list!

  6. It is hard doing a top ten of the best books. I did graphic novels for my list since I read so many.
    Some of the books on here sound interesting..
    Have a great 2023.

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