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There’s nothing quite like a new year for getting me excited about reading. Twelve whole months stretch ahead, ready to be spent devouring new releases and tantalising backlist paperbacks alike. With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of the top 10 books I’m looking forward to reading in 2022:
1. The Promise by Damon Galgut
The Promise won The Booker Prize this year – I don’t always read Booker winners, as sometimes they can seem a bit daunting or pretentious. The synopsis of this one had me intrigued, though. It follows a white South African family as the country transitions out of apartheid and sounds like the kind of epic, multi-generational story I love to get absorbed in.
Also, Galgut’s clear emotion in the prize ceremony made me unreasonably happy!
2. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
For some reason, I thought this novel had been published much later than 2016. The fact that people are still talking about it speaks volumes! Homegoing takes an unflinching lens to both Ghanaian and American history, following two Ghanaian women and their descendants. One marries an Englishman and stays in Ghana, while, unbeknownst to her, her half-sister is enslaved and transported to America.
My love of multi-generational literary fiction novels is starting to become a theme…
3. The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper
I have a longstanding obsession with feminist mythology retellings – books such as A Thousand Ships by Nathalie Haynes have featured on my blog alongside rhapsodic reviews. So it’s little surprise that the genre is popping up on my anticipated reads!
I think The Wolf Den is the first retelling I have read that is set in ancient Rome rather than Greece, so I can’t wait to see how it differs.
4. The Comfort Book by Matt Haig
I have read almost all of Matt Haig’s books, and I always find them a comfort and a delight. The Comfort Book seems like a lovely collection to dip in and out of whenever I feel in need of some gentle inspiration. I already have the audiobook on hold, but if I love it as much as I’m expecting to, I may treat myself to one of the gorgeous hardback copies…
5. The Guest List by Lucy Foley
I have it on good authority (from my Dad!) that this is one of the best thrillers written for a long time. He has lent me his paperback copy and it’s currently waiting patiently on my bedside table.
Without intending to, I seem to have read far fewer thrillers than usual this year, something that I will certainly need to rectify in 2022. Featuring my favourite kind of Christie-esque mystery, The Guest List sounds like the perfect relentlessly entertaining read to make me embrace the genre once more.
With Foley’s latest book being published in February, I won’t need to wait long for another hit either!
6. Manifesto by Bernardine Evaristo
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo was one of my favourite books of 2020. I’ve also heard the author speak at interviews and she is endlessly wise. So when I found out that Evaristo had published a memoir, it went straight on my wish list.
I’ve enjoyed reading more non-fiction in 2021, and will definitely continue in the new year.
7. The Maidens by Alex Michaelides
I loved Michaelides’ thriller The Silent Patient and was very excited to hear that he had published a second book. The Greek mythology theme makes it even more impossible for me to resist! Although I have read some mixed reviews of this one that compare it unfavourably to the author’s debut, I’m determined to go in with an open mind, control my expectations, and just try to enjoy the ride.
8. The Women of Troy by Pat Barker
It’s another mythology retelling!!! I’m actually surprised I haven’t read this one yet, as The Silence of the Girls instantly became a favourite.
The Women of Troy picks up where the previous novel left off, after the Greek victory and sacking of Troy. With their home razed to the ground, Briseis and the surviving Trojan women must learn to negotiate their strange, degraded life in the Greek camp.
I’m expecting more of Barker’s beautiful and brutal style. Crossing my fingers for a trilogy too…
9. The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins
I added this book to my list after watching Sara Collins speak at the Henley Literary Festival. The novel follows Frannie, a Black maid who is accused of murdering her white employers.
It’s been described as Wide Sargasso Sea meets Beloved meets Alias Grace (wow, wow, wow) so needless to say, I am extremely keen to pick it up!
10. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Reading Tenderness by Alison Macleod recently – a book that centres on the Lady Chatterley trials – has put me in the mood to read more previously banned or controversial books. Madame Bovary is a subversive novel about a bourgeois doctor’s wife who tries to escape her loveless marriage and tedious existence through a disastrous affair.
Have you read any of these books? What are your most anticipated reads of 2022? Let me know in the comments – I would love to hear from you!