2022 Books

My Top 2022 Books

In 2020, I rediscovered my love of reading and ever since then I have read consistently throughout the year. It has been one of my favourite things to do to unwind and relax. Last year was a big reading year for me and I want to share my top reads and the books that stood out to me.

In 2022 I set a goal of reading 52 books, at least one per week and I met this goal halfway through the year as I read 115 books in total. It’s a little bit more than 2021. I also shared my top 2021 books in this blog post.

Today I’ll share my top/favourite books I read in the past year. I’ll share my top 5 books then some honourable mentions.

My Top 5 Books:

1. After the Tampa – Abbas Nazari

This is a non-fiction book about his life and his family’s journey as a refugee from Afghanistan to NZ. This was an incredible story. It highlighted the tough and harrowing journey of people desperate to flee their homeland for safety. This was at times heartbreaking and frustrating but I also found it so inspiring. It also highlighted how terrible Australia dealt with the situation and how bad they treat refugees. It is a story of amazing resilience and strength.

2. Lessons in Chemistry – Bonnie Garmus

This was my favourite novel in 2022 and I was a bit obsessed with it after I finished it. I loved this book so much and I find it hard to articulate why. I just found the story amazing. The main character Elizabeth is an inspiration and I related to her a lot (not the science genius brain but her beliefs and values and feminist opinions). I found this funny, at times sad and infuriating but also inspiring. This was a brilliant book for me.

3. I’m Glad My Mom Died – Jennette McCurdy

If you grew up watching iCarly or Nickelodeon, you will know Jennette McCurdy. Her story was heartbreaking. Reading this requires all trigger warnings but I was hooked reading her story and how she got through the difficult times in her life.

4. Shelter: A Novel – Douglas Lloyd Jenkins

This was an unexpected book for me as I randomly picked it up when I was in the library. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a queer novel set in Auckland. I really enjoyed how familiar the places were for me and the characters have a love for architecture and buildings which I related to. It was a nice easy read.

5. Girls That Invest – Simran Kaur

I’ve read quite a few money/finance books this year and this was by far, the best and my favourite. Simran also has a top podcast. I enjoyed this book as it simplified money / finance terms and it made it easily digestible. If you want to get into investing, I recommend this book. It’s a good start to slowly understand what you’re getting into. It’s a book I wish I read 10 years ago. I liked that at the start of the book, she addressed the structural, cultural and institutional barriers girls/women have with financial literacy. I’m all for women having financial independence and knowing how to start and do that with books like these help.

Out of the 115, the ones above really stood out and I would highly recommend if you have similar interests and book tastes to me. I also want to share some other books I enjoyed reading.

Easy Reads:

  • Homicide and Halo-Halo – Mia P. Manansala – her first book Arsenic and Adobo was in my top 5 books in 2021. I really enjoy her writing. I love the Filipino food references and that I have the understanding of the nuances she weaves into the story.
  • Book Lovers – Emily Henry – I remember I read this during our Matakana staycation and I found it hard to put down. A predictable love story set in a quaint small town, I devoured this.
  • Addressed to Greta – Fiona Sussman – this is a NZ book that I enjoyed. The story is also heartwarming and inspiring. Greta received letters after her friend’s passing that challenged her to travel the world and go outside her comfort zone.
  • Greta and Valdin – Rebecca K. Reilly – Another NZ book I enjoyed reading. This is about two siblings based in Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland navigating their life and relationships.
  • Malibu Rising – Taylor Jenkins Reid – If you like TJR books, you’d also like this one. It’s an easy read about a tennis star. I wasn’t into tennis but I got hooked with the story. my favourite TJR book is still 7 Husbands of Evelyn Hugo though. I highly recommend 7 Husbands!


  • Modern Guide to Skin Health – Melanie Grant – I love skincare and beauty so I enjoy learning more about it. This was probably my favourite skincare book as it’s straight to the point, easy to digest and doesn’t push any specific brands or products.
  • Your Best Skin: The Science of Skincare – Hannah English – Another skincare book that I loved. Hannah is from Australia and she’s a scientist so she actually knows what she’s talking about and I enjoy following her on Instagram too.
  • Radically Content – Jamie Varon – This was such an easy read and a book full of reminders. I find self-help books hit or miss but this was good.
  • We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Story – Simu Liu – I like memoirs and reading about people’s life journeys. This one was quite relatable. Growing us an an Asian immigrant, I could relate to parts of his story.

Emotional Reads:

  • Pachinko – Min Jin Lee – this was in my library requests for such a long time. It’s a popular book so it took me a while to become available but I’m glad I eventually got to read it. This was heartbreaking story of strength, perseverance and resilience.
  • A Little Life – Anya Yanagihara – I think I’m still scarred by this book. Again, another heartbreaking story. This book is brilliant but it broke me and I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters days later.
  • Hidden Valley Road: Inside the mind of an American Family – Robert Kolker – The fact that this book is non-fiction is mindblowing. This is a story of a family that has been through a lot. 6 out of their 12 children were diagnosed with schizophrenia and I learned quite a lot about the disease and how it affects people. Unbelievable story.
  • We Can Make a Life – Chessie Henry – I recently finished this and it made me cry a few times. This is another NZ based book and their family went through the Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes. It tackles mental health and dealing with trauma.

If you want to have a quick snapshot of all the books I read in 2022 here they are from my Goodreads list:

Based on my Goodreads stats, I read about 33,000 pages. I mostly use Goodreads to track what I’ve read, my rating and when I read them but I imported my GR data into Storygraph and it has more stats which I found interesting:

That’s about it for my 2022 reads! I don’t read for quantity BUT I request all these books from the library and sometimes I go overboard and they become available at the same time so some months, I read heaps. I’m also a fairly quick reader and can go through a good book in a few hours.

I’m so glad I joined the library. I don’t tend to buy books anymore as I don’t have any space for books and they will cost so much money. If I bought every book I read in 2022 (at approx $30 per paper/physical book, I would’ve spent around $3450!). Borrowing from the library is free and you don’t get any late return fees anymore. It’s pretty awesome!

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