1 January 2023 Susannah

My 2022 Favourites

My 2022 Favourites

As always in January, I start the year by giving you my 10 favourite reads of the year just gone. These are the books I most enjoyed in 2022 (in alphabetical order, according to author):

I’ve also enjoyed murder mysteries by S.J. Parris, Neil Lancaster and Richard Osman. I loved most of Sarah Winman’s Still Life, but felt the ending let it down badly and found it unconvincing that in post-war Catholic Italy, so many people would be so tolerant towards so many gay characters!

Did you have a favourite book from last year? I’d love to hear what you most enjoyed. Do you share my passion for good audio books? Listening to books hugely increases your reading total each year. Tell me by leaving a comment.

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Comments (18)

  1. Genevieve

    Happy New Year Susannah, my favourite book was The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley. Awesome series I haven’t read them all
    Mystery, Clues, Travel, finding where they came from, History too.
    Looking forward to reading some more in 2023!
    Kind regards
    Genny McDonogh

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Thanks for the recommendation – I always enjoy a good mystery.
      Happy New Year, and I hope 2023 is filled with good books!

  2. Marie Nesbitt

    I loved Lessons in Chemistry. Just to prove how smart are women chemists!
    I have read all of Richard Osman’s book. I think he has reached his use by date. The last one was boring , predictable and long !

  3. Barbara Laughlin Adler

    I recently read “Cross of Snow” about Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. So well researched, well written, and heartwarming; I loved it! Have you ever lectured on his poetry, Susannah? His life was really fascinating, tragic and inspiring.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Yes, I have lectured on Longfellow and have visited his fabulous house in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The book sounds excellent and I will definitely be looking for it – thanks for the recommendation.

  4. Judith Broadfoot

    Hi Susannah.
    Both your talks at the library were delightful & so entertaining .
    I too loved Lessons in Chemistry but our Book Club favourite of the year , with top marks was
    Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak .
    Narrated by a fig tree transplanted from Cyprus to London it is simply beautiful .
    Give it a go .
    Look forward to your first talk at Blue Mountains ADFAS in February..
    Best wishes for the new year .
    Judith Broadfoot

    • Susannah Fullerton

      I think Lessons in Chemistry reminded us all how badly needed the feminist movement was! I so loved reading it!
      I have noted Island of Missing Trees – thanks for that.
      See you in Feb and Happy New Year.

  5. Margaret Debenham

    Hello and a very happy new year, Susannah! The first three books on your list would also be on my list (Pat Barker’s The Women of Troy is also a good read) and I would add, in a similar vein, Circe by Madeline Miller – Circe herself is definitely the star turn in that book. Others on my list are The Uncaged Sky by Kylie Moore-Gilbert, about her imprisonment in Iran – a harrowing but absorbing read; The Paris Bookseller by Kerri Maher, about Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare & Co. (Books about bookshops seem to be very fashionable – I now have books about bookshops in Tuscany, Tehran, Cairo, Wigtown, the southern tip of New Zealand, Algiers…); The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton and A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (neither of these are new books, and I mostly read non-fiction, but I bought these at an op-shop on the recommendation of my friend the manager, and loved them – and so bought several more by Kate Morton, an excellent storyteller); One Place de l’Eglise: A Year or Two in a French Village by Trevor Dolby (the village is Causses-et-Veyran in the Languedoc, and – I know, yet another story of a Brit relocating to a quaint village on Le Continent, but this one is very sweet); Whole Notes by Ed Ayres (Ed Le Brocq) – I am not at all musical, but I was fascinated by Ed’s almost mystical approach to music; The French Mind by Peter Watson (not a small book, but it attempts to explain why culture is so important to French identity by charting the rise of the salons – nearly all run by women, and in nearly all cases by women who were as intelligent and cultured, if not more intelligent and cultured, than the male intellectuals who attended the salons); and a very small book that I found in a street library (I have kept it, but I have replaced it in the library by several more books), Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper by Harriet Scott Chessman, about Mary Cassatt in Paris, painting a portrait of her sister. But my absolute favourite of the year – and I loved it without reservation – was Still Life by Sarah Winman.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      What a great list, Margaret. I’ve just noted The French Mind which sounds wonderful.
      I did love Still Life, but with serious reservations. I also had reservations about Gentleman in Moscow which I loved until the end when I felt it ended very flatly.
      Let’s hope that 2023 is packed with great books for us both.

  6. Angela Rodd

    I am currently immersed in Barbara Kingsolver’s “Damon Copperhead”. It’s a window into another world, the poverty-stricken badlands of today’s USA. A heart-breaking insight into the dire inequality of contemporary America. I’m hoping there’s some light at the end of this particular tunnel!

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Several people have recommended it to me, so I will seek it out. Though I might wait util after my NZ holiday as it does sound a sad read.

  7. Amanda Simon

    Happy New Year Susannah,
    Thank you for your interesting list of best reads for 2022.
    I would say “This much is True” by Miriam Margoyles and “The Registrar by Neela Janakiramanan were my favourites.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      I also enjoyed Miriam’s book – she’s such a character! I will look for The Registrar – thanks for the recommendation.

  8. Christine Stevenson

    Thank you for this inspiring list, Susannah. I too love audio books, they allow me to get the housework done while indulging in my favourite occupation: reading (listening to) books!
    My ‘Book of the Year’ was the wonderful Anne Tyler’s ‘French Braid’. Such marvellous characters.
    Two books from the past were a joy to revisit: ‘Remains of the Day’ and ‘A Town Like Alice’.
    In non-fiction I very much enjoyed ‘Orwell’s Roses’ by Rebecca Solnit and ‘A Voyage Around John Mortimer’ by Valerie Grove.
    Best Wishes for another wonderful book-filled year.
    Christine S

  9. Megan Pierson

    Thank you Susannah & Happy New Year. I have thoroughly enjoyed your newsletter this year and had the pleasure of attending your talks at the Regency Weekend in the Southern Highlands in March.

    My favourite fiction this year was Limberlost by Robbie Arnott.
    My favourite Non-Fiction was A House by the Lake by Thomas Harding. I discovered this via your newsletter and will seek out his other books as well.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      I so loved The House by the Lake, and also his wonderful book Legacy about the family who established the Lyons tea shop.
      Is Limberlost connected to the novel ‘The Girl of the Limberlost’?

  10. Elizabeth Alderson

    I’m currently reading Demon Copperhead and really enjoying it. It is based on Charles Dickens David Copperfield. Barbara Kingslover is a great writer. My favourite for 2022 was definitely Lessons in Chemistry. A great read.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Wasn’t Lessons in Chemistry wonderful – I adored it! I will give Demon Copperhead a try this year. Thanks.

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