22 Favorite Reads from 2022

2022 was SUCH a great reading year for me! I learned more about what I really love, what encourages me, inspires, and challenges. I’m hoping to bring my insights into my 2023 reading and have an thoughtful and nourishing year. In no particular order here are my favorites in small snippets!

1. High Rising by Angela Thirkell ~ English humor, a widowed author and her young son embroiled in village life.

2. Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson ~ orphan Maia travels to live with distant relatives on the Amazon. Brazil, found family, nature, and a wonderful governess, Miss Minton!

3. Family Sabbatical by Carol Ryrie Brink ~ Professor Ridgeway is heading to France with his authoress wife and three children. In the same vein as the first book, they have heartwarming family adventures.

4. All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot ~ a lovely, humorous memoir on a Yorkshire Dale veterinarian’s adventures.

5. The Summer Book by Tove Jansson ~ a quiet, introspective look at the relationship of a grandmother & granddaughter and the natural world.A gentle look at youth and aging.

6. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith ~ a coming-of-age story with an eccentric, surprisingly human bunch of characters. A peek at a writer’s soul in Cassandra.

7. All Manner of Things by Susie Finkbeiner ~ gentle historical fiction set around Vietnam War and one family’s love and lessons in a small Midwest town.

8. Skellig by David Almond ~ grief, fear, and new beginnings through the eyes of a young boy as he befriends an angelic being.

9. Emily of Deep Valley by Maud Hart Lovelace ~ a coming-of-age story with a deep theme of sacrifice and selflessness. Young girl changes the lives of those around her in a meaningful way, gifting herself beauty in the process.

10. Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens ~ lovely, deep characters ! So many favorites, Mrs. Boffin, Mr. Wilfer, and Bella – John Harmon was so interesting. The antagonist, Bradley Headstone reminds me of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. May be my current favorite Dickens!

11. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn ~ sobering look at one day in a Soviet work camp. I read this in January and STILL think about it!

12. Wives & Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell {reread} ~ such a lovely, introspective look at a widower doctor and his daughter and the surrounding village. Mr. Gibson’s remarriage brings about change and growth.

13. The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge {reread} ~ a second chance for a single older woman as she inherits her aunts cottage and memories in the countryside.

14. Martha’s Vineyard: Isle of Dreams by Susan Branch {reread} ~ Susan’s thoughts and dreams as she begins again after a hard divorce. Domestic and creative, so inspiring!

15. Christy by Catherine Marshall {reread} ~ a young girl travels to teach in the Smokey Mountains, growing in faith and love. The strong female friendships in this story touched me deeply. This was probably my favorite of the year.

16. The Magic Summer by Noel Streitfeild ~ four children have to stay in remote Scotland with their great aunt. They learn resourcefulness and cooperation toward each other.

17. The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery {reread} ~ lovely second chance of life story. There is SO much to love about this. Parts are a little far fetched, but Valancy’s story is so inspiring!

18. The Secret of Nightingale Wood by Lucy Strange ~ Henrietta’s care and concern for her ill mother and her baby sister are so inspiring. I love that nature and books help in this slightly scary tale of courage.

19. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen {reread} ~ I found the antagonists in this book to be SUCH amazing character studies. Mrs. Norris in particular, her sly, manipulative ways, so disturbing. This book is a lesson in what NOT to be.

20. Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell ~ Murder, selfishness, growth, classism, forgiveness, redemption, and so much more made this an amazing read. So many great characters, Job & Margaret Leigh, Jem Wilson, and the Sturgis couple…Alice & Will…all stand out to me!

21. The Christmas Hirelings by Mary Elizabeth Braddon {audio book – performed by Richard Armitage} ~ this was a charming, heartfelt story about a selfish grandfather estranged from his daughter and grandchildren. It hit me just at the right moment and Armitage was an AMAZING reader.

22. Aggressively Happy by Joy Marie Clarkson ~ a lovely Christian nonfiction that touched me deeply. About knowing you are loved by God and living content in whatever season you find yourself.

Have you read any of these? What were your favorite reads of last year? 😍♥️🌿📚

11 thoughts on “22 Favorite Reads from 2022

  1. I always enjoy reading your lists, Amy! I have read several of these…I loved The Blue Castle, Christie, and I Captured the Castle as well! I have Family Grandstand sitting here waiting to be read to the family! And Emily of Deep Valley arrives today from Amazon, so I will read those before long. I ordered Our Mutual Friend today on your recommendation. I had not heard of that Dickens novel! So many wonderful books! I would recommend Cancer and the New Biology of Water. Fascinating look at cancer. This would be a book I would have on hand for reference or for others who were looking for alternative treatments. I also loved Winter Cottage by Brink Ryrie. I think you may have told me about that one…not sure! I loved the the Fountains of Silence by Ruth Sepetys. and if you love book about books, then Wild Things and Castles in the Sky was a delight…with many new to me titles!! Ah, and for the young people in your life, Solomon Says by Mark Horne was SO good for all of us!!

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    1. Winter Cottage is a favorite! I’m rereading it to my younger children currently. Thanks for the recommendations. We got that game you mentioned, Buildiz or something!? They like it! 😃I’m so glad you enjoy my booklists. It’s so fun to talk books! 😁

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  2. Lovely, Amy!
    Some of my favourite authors here: Gaskell, Dickens – Our Mutual Friend is so good; Solzhenitsyn., Goudge, Montgomery!
    I didn’t appreciate Mansfield Park when I first read it years ago but on reading it again I changed my mind entirely. It IS such a brilliant delve into character.
    I made the acquaintance of a few new to me authors last year & also read quite a few non-fiction titles.
    Happy reading in 2023

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    1. Fanny is such a quiet heroine, so this time around I found myself paying more attention to the surrounding characters. Sir Thomas & Lady Bertram, the Crawford siblings, etc…just so interesting. I read Lover’s Vows, too! I really liked it. 😄 Thanks for stopping by, Carol! ♥️

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      1. oh wow! So what was the final straw? Did it take some getting used to? I keep on thinking it’s good for marketing (which it hasn’t proven to be so far) but I spend more time scrolling. Sometimes I find myself thinking about scrolling. it’s insane. I’m so curious about your thoughts.

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