My Favourite Books of 2022
I love hearing about people's favourite things, from Christmas traditions to small indulgent purchases but especially their books. This past year I set two reading goals: read 100 books and read more non-fiction. I read past my goal of 100 books and with Christmas break coming up, I think I'll be close to 150 titles in my reading journal. And as I look back over my reading journal, my non-fiction books have definitely increased this year.
We are a reading family. I read for pleasure, for education, and for inspiration. I read to our children every day. Jared reads aloud almost every night. It's one of the pillars of our family culture.
Standout Read Alouds:
Five Children and It by E. Nesbit- a fantastical story about five children who discover a magical creature in the sand yard and their adventures that follow. We read this in Portugal and it was such a fun read. There are three more in the series if you need more. For those who like The Saturdays, The Penderwicks and magical creatures who grant wishes.
The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom - this story was our read aloud for our study of Europe and it sparked so many rabbit trails and discussions as well as spin off reading for my girls. A Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank and Number the Stars by Lois Lowry for inquiring minds. Corrie's story of courage, faith and forgiveness in light of horrid circumstances was an encouragement to me and exactly the kind of woman I want our girls to grow up to be like.
A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus- for those who love the power of books and story, for those who want another story of three children finding a home during WW2, for those who have been misunderstood. We read this one last year and read it again this November for our kids' book club and loved it all the more.
Historical Fiction that I can't stop thinking about:
The Last Bookshop in London and The Librarian Spy by Madeline Martin. The Last Bookshop was a re-read for a book club and I loved it just as much the second time. For those who love bookshops, the power of books and reading aloud, and a delightful London story during WW2. Her second title set in Washington DC and Lisbon is for those who love libraries, spies, adventures and Portugal during the early months of WW2.
The Girl in White Gloves by Kerri Maher - for those who want to know more about Grace Kelly aka Princess of Monaco, the golden age of Hollywood and pulling back the curtain on glamorous lives.
Once Upon a Wardrobe ( and Becoming Mrs. Lewis) by Patti Henry - for those who always wish to go through the Narnian wardrobe and experience more of the power of Lewis' stories. The first title is an older sister's love for her little brother and her interactions with Lewis in Oxford, she engages in story despite her own skepticism because of her little brother. The second is the story of Joy Greshem who would marry C.S. Lewis, it has many hot her poems in the book which I found lovely.
The Mayfair Bookshop by Eliza Wright - for those who love books, the twenties in London and the time of Downton Abbey. This book sparked an entire deep dive into the Mitford family and this decade of history for me which is exactly why I love historical fiction.
Non-fiction that I want to add to my shelves/press into my friends' hands:
Agressively Happy by Joy Clarkson - a series of short essays on cultivating happiness, choosing joy and contentment without toxic positivity. Her essay on Mr. Collins (yes, that Mr. Collins!) completely changed my perspective on him.
Find Your People by Jennie Allen - for those who are lonely, who have had relationships change this year, who desire deep community. It's full of anecdotal stories and practical ways to build relationships.
The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer - for those who keep saying they're so busy and who want to change into the slow lane. I read this over many beach days and I can't recommend it enough.
Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund - for those who are weary and heavy laden, I read this slowly over the summer and will come back to it again.
The Palace Papers by Tina Brown - for those who want a deep dive into the House of Windsor beyond the endless headlines and opinions. I read a lot of books on the monarchy this year and I appreciated the meticulous research of this one.
Them Before Us by Katy Faust - for those who love children, for those who have children, for those who interact with children. This is a very important, well-researched timely book.
Rembrandt is in the Wind by Russ Rumsey - I wrote about this book a few posts ago and still am recommending it. For those who love art, for those who don't understand art and for those who want to learn more about art through the eyes of faith.
Habits of the Household by Justin Whitmel Earley - for those who want to go deeper into liturgies and practicing the presence of God in our daily rhythms. This book is a breath of fresh air, not adding guilt but encouraging practical ways to deepen our family's spiritual life. This would be a great read in light of the new year.
City Spies by James Ponti - am upper middle grade series for those who like spies, international travel and found family. I loved this series so much.
The Messy Lives of Book People by Phaedra Patrick - for those who love books, who want to write books, and for those who feel like life has passed them by.
Rebecca by Daphne de Maurier - for those who like Jane Eyre, gothic stories, mysterious English mansions. I finally checked this classic off my list this year, it's worth all the hype. I also really enjoyed the movie version which I watched first.
Still Life by Louise Penny - for those who like mysteries set in rural Quebec and the story of humanity. I'm late to the party on this series, but I really enjoyed the first of the series.
Happy reading, friends! I'd love to hear a few of your favourite titles from this past year!