Our Favorite Books of 2022

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I’m not one for new year’s resolutions, but I decided that in 2022 I was going to give every single book I read a star rating (no matter how low) and try to write a review for each book I read (even if it was brief).

I didn’t quite get a review written for every single title last year (I should have made myself write a review before I started my next book!). I did, however, give each and every book a star rating. Inspired by my sister-in-law’s nicely balanced ratings on Goodreads, I created a star rating system of my own so that I could more fairly and accurately reflect my perspective on a book. (Five stars is such a small range to reflect everything from absolute adoration to complete loathing!)

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Adored it! Will recommend it, possibly even re-read it, and will give it to everyone for Christmas.
⭐⭐⭐⭐ Enjoyed it. Will recommend it.
⭐⭐⭐ Liked it. May mention it.
⭐⭐ Skimmed it.
⭐ Finished it because I had to.

With a more specific rating system in place, it wasn’t hard to skim my highest rated books and find my top ten from 2022. My children decided to join in the fun (one couldn’t keep it to ten favorites, while others were more selective). 

So here we present the favorite books read and listened to in our home in 2022…

Gretchen’s Top Ten Books of 2022

I read 110 books in 2022. Here are my top ten individual fiction titles, in alphabetical order by author.

  1. When Stone Wings Fly by Karen Barnett (read my full review)
  2. Authentically, Izzy by Pepper Basham (read my full review)
  3. The Gold in These Hills by Joanne Bischof (read my review on Instagram)
  4. The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip by Sara Brunsvold (read my full review)
  5. Meet Me in the Margins by Melissa Ferguson
  6. Twice Sold Tales by Chautona Havig 
  7. The Star That Always Stays by Anna Rose Johnson (read my full review)
  8. Postcards by Elizabeth Maddrey (read my review on Instagram)
  9. The Lost Melody by Joanna Davidson Politano
  10. Until Leaves Fall in Paris by Sarah Sundin

Favorite Series Gretchen Read in 2022

I’ve been keeping up with the latest in Lady Hardcastle’s adventures and the Barks and Beans Cafe series as they release (among others!), and was excited to read the first in the Farm Fresh Market Romance series from Valerie Comer (read my review on Instagram). But here are two series I read (almost) in their entirety in 2022 that were fabulous reads!

Best Non-Fiction Gretchen Read in 2022

5-Star 2023 Releases

Thanks to NetGalley, I was delighted to read these new releases last year. Five stars all the way! (They were definitely in my top dozen, but deserved a spot of their own as this year’s releases.)

Merritt’s Top 2022 Audiobooks

Merritt listens to audiobooks on Libby (via our library) and Scribd (via our annual subscription). Since he doesn’t usually listen to the same book multiple times, the Scribd subscription gives him a large variety to choose from without having to “purchase” any specific title. But if you know you’re a re-reader (or rather, re-listener!) Audible may be more your style, as you can buy a book once and listen to it again and again, whether or not you continue your membership. 

  1. The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes
  2. The Path Between the Seas by David McCullough

“An unopened copy of a book is to me a dead thing, or a thing that has never been born. I like a book to show signs of life and use. Literature, to me, is a form of companionship, and just as we do not love our friends any less because they may have a darn in their shirts or a crack in their shoes, or a crumple in their suits, similarly I like a book to show signs of life and usage, signs of reputable wear, if not of tear. As I say, unopened copies over which many collectors go into ecstasies are to me something has not yet been born. A book isn’t born until someone reads it.”

-Christopher Morley (author of Parnassus on Wheels) in Ex Libris Carissimis

Our Children’s Top Books of 2022

We’ve invested in a large library of Audible audiobooks for our children, because they listen to the same books over and over and over again. According to our 2022 Audible Stats, they listened to 134,476 minutes on Audible in 2022! We’ve specified narrators below when applicable, because that’s such a part of the audiobook experience

Ruth’s Top Ten Books of 2022

Ruth is fifteen years old. The books below are listed in the order she thought of them, not in order of favoritism.

  1. Emily Climbs by L.M. Montgomery
  2. Authentically, Izzy by Pepper Basham
  3. Twice Sold Tales by Chautona Havig
  4. The Star That Always Stays by Anna Rose Johnson
  5. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  6. Emily of Deep Valley by Maud Hart Lovelace
  7. The Warden and the Wolf King by Andrew Peterson
  8. The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip by Sara Brunsvold
  9. Once Upon a Wardrobe by Patti Callahan 
  10. The Glass Gate by Hanna Sandvig

Mary’s Top Three Audiobooks of 2022

Mary is thirteen years old. She would like to note that older classics are not included in this list because there are just too many good ones, especially The Lord of the Rings. (Mary adds that while Andy Serkis does an awesome Gollum voice, she prefers the Tolkien audiobooks narrated by Rob Inglis because his singing is amazing.)

  1. The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare (narrated by Pat Young)
  2. The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery (narrated by Barbara Barnes)
  3. Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier (narrated by Sarah Coomes)

Daniel’s Top Five Books of 2022

Daniel is almost eleven years old and says he enjoys reading anything that’s not fantasy (but mostly, he reads non-fiction about chickens).

  1. All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot (narrated by Nicholas Ralph)
  2. All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot (narrated by Nicholas Ralph)
  3. Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens Gail Damerow
  4. Free-Range Chicken Gardens by Jessi Bloom
  5. The Illustrated Guide to Chickens by Celia Lewis

Sara’s Top Twenty-Two Audiobooks of 2022

Sara is almost eight years old. Her favorite audiobooks are listed below, in order. It was a challenge to limit this list to just twenty-two audiobooks (even consolidating the books in a series to one list item)!

  1. The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare (narrated by Pat Young)
  2. The Harvester by Gene Stratton Porter (read aloud by Daddy)
  3. The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier (narrated by Beverly A. Crick)
  4. Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott (narrated by Barbara Caruso)
  5. Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater (narrated by Nick Sullivan)
  6. The Creation Seekers series by William Burt (narrated by Matthew S. Newbold)
  7. The King of the Trees by William Burt (narrated by the author)
  8. The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery (narrated by Barbara Barnes)
  9. The Flintlock Sagas by Alan W. Harris (narrated by the author)
  10. Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier (narrated by Sarah Coomes)
  11. Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard by Jonathan Auxier (narrated by Michael Page)
  12. Adventures With Waffles by Maria Parr (narrated by Luke Daniels) 
  13. The Star That Always Stays by Anna Rose Johnson (narrated by Elise Randall Modica)
  14. The Fabled Stables series by Jonathan Auxier (full cast)
  15. Junction Tales by Glenn McCarty (narrated by the author)
  16. Thursday’s Child by Noel Streatfeild (narrated by Lucy Scott)
  17. The Phoenix and the Carpet by Edith Nesbit (narrated by Johanna Ward)
  18. The Ark, The Reed, and The Fire Cloud by Jenny L. Cote (narrated by Denny Brownlee)
  19. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (narrated by Andrea Emmes)
  20. The Archer’s Cup by S.D. Smith (narrated by Eric Fritzius)
  21. The Candymakers series by Wendy Mass (narrated by Mark Turetsky)
  22. The Candy Shop War series by Brandon Mull

What are some of your favorite books you read in 2022? We’d love to hear in the comments!

Browse previous year’s favorites:

Photography: my daughter Mary Kate

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