BookPeople’s Favorite Reads of 2022

A lot of books came out this year, y’all. It’s utterly impossible to read them all, even among a building full of booksellers. While it’s easy to fall into the gamification of reading goals, it’s also important to take a step back and enjoy stories that are precious to us – which is what we’re doing with this list, as we look back throughout the year to the stories that really stuck with us.

With 80+ employees, it was a bigger task than we initially realized to put together a list of our storewide favorites. It involved a document for brainstorming, a form for everyone to vote on, and many emails, but we’ve made it to a final round up of our favorite books that were published in 2022!

Check out our picks below and shop the full list here.

P.S. 🤠 denotes an Austin author!


Literary Fiction

 I’ve been looking for this book for a long time: a sensual, sharp, blithely funny bildungsroman that actually captures the spirit of the Asian American immigrant experience. Not the whiny, woe-is-me trauma porn, but the real shit, the microaggressions that make you second-guess your sensitivity, the deeply engrained desire to succeed in the game of capitalism so your parents’ sacrifices don’t go to waste, the distinct feeling in your gut that you’re out of place always — until you find a home. And it’s that found family that Sarah Thankam Mathews creates here, a beautiful vision of a better world built from the efforts of our society’s strongest individuals: minorities.

Michelle on All This Could Be Different by Sarah Thankam Mathews

Sci-Fi/Fantasy

This series is so kind to its reader. It’s deceptively simple, but honest and healing and true. Becky Chambers uses a carefully crafted world that isn’t our own and quietly complex characters we will never meet to say “I see you” to her reader at every turn, and I adore her for it.

Mariah on Prayer for the Crown-Shy by Becky Chambers

Genre Fiction

We are all so very lucky to be living in a time where Eric LaRocca is writing horror. “Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke And Other Misfortunes” is hands down my favorite release of 2022. LaRocca is able to create multilayered characters that feel deeply human, and makes you root for them, you want them to come out unscathed. However, as we learn time and time again, no one is safe in an Eric LaRocca story.

Amy on Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke And Other Misfortunes by Eric LaRocca

Nonfiction 

“The Invisible Kingdom” is a mix of memoir, medical research, and wisdom for those of us living with invisible illnesses in a post-lockdown world. The world is a scary place right now, full of people who don’t understand or care, but books like this give me hope. I always have trouble putting my thoughts into words, but O’Rourke did so seamlessly and powerfully. EVERYONE needs to read this, not just those in the disabled community.

Melissa on The Invisible Kingdom by Meghan O’Rourke

Young Adult

A breath-taking retelling of The Little Mermaid! Refreshing to read and full of a beautiful mixture of sorrow and hope. Mixes history with fantasy to create something wholly new. And all done while honoring the past and not shying away from the ugly bits of history.

Natasha on Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen (two different Natashas 😂)

Middle Grade

When Addie decides to meet her estranged father, she never expected wrestling royalty in this heartwarming journey of family, luchadores, and discovery–featuring the wrestling themed Nutcracker performance you never knew you needed!

Meghan on Tumble by Celia C. Perez

Picture Book

The sweetest, funniest story of a plunger who wants to be a vase and finds they aren’t the only one who wants to be and do something different than is expected of them. This charming book shows that who you want to be is who you’re meant to be!

Isabel on I Want to Be a Vase by Julio Torres and illustrated by Julian Glander

What were your favorites this year? Leave a comment below with your picks for each category! 

Want more? Go check out our 2022 Year in Review!

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