I Read More Than 30 Books in 2022—Here Are My Top 10

I studied English in college, and now I teach it at the high school level. Reading is my favorite activity year-round, but especially in the winter when I can snuggle up with a cup of hot tea and a warm blanket.

By Alyssa Vandermeulen3 min read
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I’m the type of woman who brings multiple books on vacation – and actually reads them all! I read a wide range of cheesy romance novels to biographies to classic American and British literature, so this list truly is representative of my year of reading. I love a good romance, but any well-written story is worth my attention (and yours)! 

If you’ve been in a reading rut, sometimes all you need is a great book to spark your love of reading again. Choosing a comfort novel is a great way to start (my comfort novel is This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald), but it can be something you’ve read a dozen times or something you randomly picked up at the library. Either way, choose something you know you’ll love before venturing out into the world of newer novels. 

I read over 30 books last year, and here are my top 10 reads to add to your reading list this year!

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1. Where The Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens

When the town’s golden boy is discovered dead in the marsh, the townspeople immediately assume the “marsh girl” is at fault. But what they don’t know is that Kya Clark is so much more than the abandoned, impoverished girl they all remember. A beautiful depiction of nature, youthful innocence, and first love set in the 1950s, this book genuinely surprised me in so many ways, and I read it from cover to cover in less than a day! Buy it here

2. Beach Read, by Emily Henry

Two writers, with polar opposite interests and genres, are neighbors for the summer, in an attempt to remove the writer’s block they each experience. Hoping they can finish their books without actually falling in love, they help each other grow as writers and as people. Highly recommend reading this book on the actual beach! Buy it here.

3. The Return, by Nicholas Sparks

An injured veteran moves to his deceased grandfather’s home to recuperate and find something worth living for, which he’s hoping will be his grandfather’s beloved beehives. What he finds is more than enough to light the spark in his life again. If you love Nicholas Sparks’ writing style, unexpected female characters, and mystery, you’ll love this beautiful story of how our past shapes our future. Buy it here.

4. To The Lighthouse, by Virginia Woolf

A family on the rocks, the Ramseys are struggling to meet the demands of each other and the people around them. Woolf does an incredible job illustrating both the difficulty of family obligation and the relationships between men and women. If you haven’t read Woolf’s most famous novel, I highly recommend adding it to the top of your reading list. Buy it here.

5. The Choice: Embrace The Possible, by Dr. Edith Eva Eger

Heartbreakingly beautiful, this memoir details both the pain and healing of an Auschwitz survivor. A ballet dancer and gymnast who saw the worst of the Holocaust shares her story and shows us as readers that embracing the possible leads to endless possibilities. This memoir is a difficult read, but will leave you impacted beyond words. Buy it here.

6. The Judge’s List, by John Grisham

Lacy Stoltz is an investigator in Florida who receives a mostly anonymous tip about a serial killer who is also a judge. He has a list of victims, all of which he has a personal connection to, and no one alive knows his secret. This novel is full of suspense and expertly written technology – you won’t be able to put it down! Buy it here.

7. How To Avoid Falling In Love With A Jerk, by Dr. John Van Epp

Tired of the continual cycle of meeting and dating guys who just aren’t what you’re looking for? There’s psychology behind that! This book details destructive behaviors and attitudes that may be causing turmoil in your love life. Filled with research made easy to understand, this is a great read for any woman. Buy it here.

8. People We Meet On Vacation, by Emily Henry

Two best friends, Alex and Poppy, have taken a week-long summer vacation together for 10 years. Until they stopped and haven’t talked since. Poppy knows that Alex is the key to her happiness – she just needs him to agree to take one more trip together. This best friend romance was one of my favorite reads of the year! Buy it here.

9. Dreamland, by Nicholas Sparks

Beverly is on the run from an abusive husband, doing her best to protect and provide for her only son. Colby Mills is on a Florida beach vacation, playing his beloved music at a bar in an attempt to relax after taking over the family farm. With plot twists, beautifully written descriptions of our innermost feelings, and the joy of new love, this book is impossible to put down. Buy it here.

10. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

In a dystopian novel about the future of womanhood set after the Second American Civil War, Offred is caught between the past and her unfortunate future. After everything she loves is taken from her, including her freedom, Offred is required to fulfill her female duties without the past she longs for. Written as both satire and a warning about the direction and consequences of lost freedom, this novel will inspire deep thinking about life as we know it. Buy it here.

Closing Thoughts

Head to your local library or bookstore and grab a few of these books to read this year. Whether your goal is to read one book or 30, reading in any capacity is a great way to de-stress from the day and do something apart from your devices. Happy reading! 

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