Required Reading: Books to Read in 2022
December 16, 2021
It feels like 2021 has only just begun, when in fact, we’re about to ring in the New Year in just a few short weeks! Regardless of if you’re meeting your reading expectations this year (I mean, 100 pages a day SOUNDED really good in January), or you’re far from your page count dreams, the New Year is the perfect opportunity to “turn a page” on your reading progress and start fresh! With this next chapter in mind, we’ve come up with a list of our top books to read in 2022. We hope you’ll spot some familiar titles, as well as some new ones, and will feel inspired to pick up some new books for your shelves to read come January.
Thrilling Books to Read in 2022
Whether you’re a huge whodunit fan, or you’re looking to branch out into a new genre, we have tons of amazing and affordable mystery books to read in 2022.
First, we have The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave. This book came in stock in late 2021 and immediately started flying off the shelves. It tells the story of newlywed Hannah whose husband, Owen, goes missing, leaving nothing but a note behind: Protect her. The only person this note can be referring to is Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey, who tragically lost her mother as a child, and wants nothing to do with her new stepmother. But after the FBI gets involved with the missing person case and Hannah learns her husband isn’t who he said he was, it will take both Hannah and Bailey to figure out the truth. And together, they just might build a future they never anticipated.
Second, on our list of books to read in 2022 is His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie. This novel is a witty, smart, and moving tale about Afi, a brave young seamstress from a small town in Ghana whose mother convinces her to marry a man she does not know. While Afi has no interest in a life of wealth and sophistication, filled with empty days of cooking and cleaning for a busy husband, she feels she has no choice; she needs the financial security this marriage would afford her family. Doesn’t she? If you’re looking for a spunky and relatable heroine, who’s bound to break some rules, look no further – this one is for you.
A suspenseful story based on a story – sounds right up our alley! The Plot is a thrilling tale about a third-rate MFA program teacher named Jacob whose writing career has long since dried up. When Jacob’s most arrogant student, Evan, boasts about the plot of his upcoming book, Jacob braces himself for the blow to his ego – but it never comes. Soon, Jake discovers that his former student Evan has died, so he does what any self-respecting writer would do with a story like that; he steals it for his own. Years later, Jake is a wealthy, well-known author, praised and read all over the world. But someone knows he’s a thief, and as Jake works to uncover the truth of Evan’s story, he’ll have to figure out how the story first came to be – before it’s too late.
Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. Fed up with the isolation and microaggressions, she’s thrilled when Harlem-born and bred Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers. They’ve only just started comparing natural hair care regimens, though, when a string of uncomfortable events elevates Hazel to Office Darling, and Nella is left in the dust. Then the notes begin to appear on Nella’s desk: LEAVE WAGNER. NOW. It’s hard to believe Hazel is behind these hostile messages. But as Nella starts to spiral and obsess over the sinister forces at play, she soon realizes that there’s a lot more at stake than just her career. The Other Black Girl is a whip-smart thriller and sly social commentary that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last twist.
Inspiring Books to Read in 2022
Who doesn’t need a little bit of inspiration or self-love now and again? That’s where these inspiring stores come in! They’ll make you laugh, they’ll make you cry, and most of all, they’ll make you think about life. If you’re in the mood for self-reflection, these inspiring stores are must-have books to read in 2022.
While most of us remember Kobe Bryant for his record-shattering basketball career, it was his work ethic, tireless pursuit of knowledge, unflappable confidence, and turbo-charged ambition (“Mamba mentality”) that ultimately made him an icon. In Kobe: Life Lessons from a Legend, readers get court-side seats to the breathtaking highs and game-changing lows of Kobe’s life, with valuable insights for anyone who wants to make their own lofty dreams come true.
You may be familiar with author and artist Allie Brosh, even if you’ve never heard of her brand new book Solutions and Other Problems. After taking a 7-year break from publishing, Allie Brosh has truly treated us all with this book filled with real stories and illustrations from her childhood, including the adventures of her very bad animals, her merciless dissection of her own character flaws, and her experiences with grief, loneliness, and life in general. This book will have you both crying tears of laughter and sorrow in all of the best ways and is definitely one of the top books to read in 2022!
As Jenny Lawson’s hundreds of thousands of fans know, she suffers from depression. In Broken, Jenny brings readers along on her mental and physical health journey, offering heartbreaking and hilarious anecdotes along the way. If you need a read that’s both a beacon of hope and a wellspring of laughter, this one needs to make its way into your shopping cart!
If you’ve ever wondered what the actual secret to happiness is, this book will tell you that it’s great memories! That’s right, Meik Wiking, a happiness researcher, has written The Art of Making Memories as an inspirational meditation and practical handbook. Filled with ideas to help us all make the memories that will bring us joy throughout our lives, this book is sure to inspire you to make the most out of 2022.
Teen & Tween Books to Read in 2022
This debut is an absolute must-read! It tells the story of eighteen-year-old Daunis who has never quite fit in either her hometown or the nearby Ojibwe reservation. She dreams of a fresh start at college but has to put her future on hold when family tragedy strikes. The bright spot for Daunis is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother’s hockey team (and the guy she is falling for). But soon, Daunis senses Jaime is hiding something, and everything comes to light when she witnesses a shocking murder. Thrust into an FBI investigation of a lethal new drug with increasing deceptions – and deaths – around her, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman). How far will she go for her community, and what will she do if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known?
This book is a modern take on Little Women with a graphic novel twist! Enter four tween sisters from a blended family, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, who together experience the challenges and triumphs of life in NYC. Filled with beautiful full-color illustrations, Little Women fans of all ages will NEED to have this edition on their shelves.
You’ve never read a Young Adult Fantasy novel quite like Shadow and Bone before. Welcome to Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse, a world filled with war, royalty, and monsters. Alina Starkov is an orphan soldier who knows she may not survive her first trek across the dark and dangerous Shadow Fold. Then, Alina’s regiment gets attacked, and she unexpectedly unleashes dormant magic that not even she knew she possessed. With her newfound talents, Alina enters an unfamiliar and lavish world to train with the Grisha – the magical military. Here, she will be taught how to hone her skills and summon a force capable of destroying the Shadow Fold and reuniting their war-ravaged country… if only she can master her untamed gift.
You’ll need to keep tissues on hand for this one. When a letter that was never meant to be read by another soul finds its way into high school senior Evan Hansen’s hands, he’s thrust into the middle of a family’s grief and given the chance of a lifetime to belong. All Evan has to do is stick to a lie he never meant to tell, that the notoriously troubled Connor Murphy was his secret best friend. But a simple lie leads to complicated truths, and as Evan gets pulled deeper into their swirl of anger, regret, and confusion, he knows that what he’s doing can’t be right.
If you love a good royalty-themed romance, Tokyo Ever After needs to be one of your top books to read in 2022. This story follows Izumi (Izzy for short), who lives with her single mother in a small northern California town. When Izzy discovers a clue to her previously unknown father’s identity and that he may just be none other than the Crown Prince of Japan, Izzy jumps at the chance to board a flight and meet the father she never knew. What ensues is a chaotic whirlwind – she finds herself in the center of conniving cousins, hungry press, a handsome bodyguard (who may be her soulmate), and thousands of years of tradition and customs to learn practically overnight. Will Izumi crumble under the weight of the crown, or will she live out her fairy-tale happily ever after? You’ll have to read the book to find out!
Top Fiction Books to Read in 2022
This list wouldn’t feel complete without Nicholas Sparks’ The Rescue. This Southern love story is about a daring fireman who rescues a single mom after an accident and the undeniable connection that takes root between them. Both heart-filled and heart-breaking, this fire fighter’s rescue will be completely different from all the others.
Calling all historical fiction fans! A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem is a fun and flirty story about an intrepid female reporter who matches wits with a serious, sultry detective. Taking place in England in 1865, you’ll follow Lady Katherine Bascomb, a notorious newspaper columnist whose reporting leads to the arrest of a notorious killer. Katherine flees to the country to escape her newfound notoriety, only to bear witness to a murder on her first night. Here, she unites with the ever-frustrating Detective Inspector Andrew Eversham. With a fire between them that’s more flirtatious than furious, they’ll need to catch a killer before everyone gets burned.
If you’re looking for a thoughtful piece of fiction, this one will be to your liking. Migrations follows a woman named Franny Stone on her journey to find the world’s last flock of Arctic terns and track their final migration. As she travels her way south with a rag-tag group of fishermen, Franny’s dark history begins to unspool. Soon, Franny’s quest threatens the entire crew’s safety, and Franny must ask herself what she is really running toward—and running from. This story, propelled by a narrator as fierce and fragile as the terns she’s following, is both an ode to our threatened world and a breathtaking page-turner about the lengths we will go for the people we love.
After twenty years apart, three sisters reunite after running away from the scandal that broke their relationship and destroyed their parents’ marriage. Even after all these years apart, seven watershed days on the Rhode Island coast is all it takes for three women to test the bonds of sisterhood, friendship and family, and discover the role that love and memory play in defining their lives.
Growing up in 1950s Detroit meant that Jo and Bethie were born into a world full of promise. When neither woman grows up to inhabit the world she dreams of, nor has a life that feels authentic or brings her joy; these sisters start to ask themselves: is it too late to stake a claim on happily ever after? Do we change, or does the world change us? Together, they’ll attempt to find answers to these big questions and maybe even find their places in the world.
Originally published in 1965 but adapted for the big screen this year, Dune is a must-have feature on our list of books to read in 2022! This book focuses on Leto Atreides, the Duke of an inconsequential planet named Caladan and the father of the Muad’Dib. While everyone knows the fall and rise of his son, no one knows how Leto earned an emperor’s favor, the ire of House Harkonnen, and set himself on a collision course with his own death. This is the story.
Other Interesting Books to Read in 2022
You might not have thought to add a title like Archaeology from Space to your list of books to read in 2022, but think again! In this book, National Geographic Explorer and TED Prize-winner Dr. Sarah Parcak welcomes readers to the exciting new world of space archeology, a growing field sparking extraordinary discoveries from ancient civilizations across the globe. This informative book will take readers through new historical findings with high-resolution satellite imagery and help us learn how to shape a vibrant future.
The Cote d’Azur in 1938 was a world of wealth and extravagance, inhabited by a sparkling cast of characters. In this captivating narrative, Chanel’s Riviera explores the fascinating world of the Cote d’Azur during a period that saw the deepest extremes of luxury and terror in the twentieth century. Enriched by original research and de Courcy’s signature skill, Chanel’s Riviera brings the experiences of both rich and poor, protected and persecuted, to vivid life.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of top books to read in 2022! We’d love to hear which books are on your to-be-read list for the New Year, too! Feel free to share with us in the comments which books you can’t wait to start.
Happy (Early) New Year!
Your Friends at Book Outlet
Note: Inventory availability and pricing are subject to change without notice. Should a book be sold-out at the time of reading this post, we recommend that you add them to your Wishlist to be notified if they come back in stock!