I'm a free spirit who loves Jesus, traveling, and telling stories. I'm fuelled by black coffee, thai food, and my hubby's snuggles (they're the best.) I'm obsessed with national parks, twinkle lights, and making people feel valued and worthy. Welcome friend.. I'm so glad you're here. :)
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What a year 2022 was. I started an official virtual book club (hayyyyy What She Reads Ladies), and I read the most amount of books I’ve ever read in a single year. 2022 was the year I was dedicated to making reading fun again. My total number of books read in 2022 came to a whopping 78 books. For a busy, working mama, that was a TON.
A huge reason I was able to read that much this year was because I focused mostly on choosing books that I wanted to read purely out of enjoyment. That meant I read mostly fiction this year. In years past I have focused way more heavily on business, psychology, and marketing books, but 2022 was the year of fiction for me.
I read a LOT more romance than my norm of thriller, and I discovered a new genre I hadn’t read much of at all before this year: memoir.
Below are 15 of my top books I read in 2022. If you haven’t read these books and love reading, I highly recommend adding these to your TBR in 2023.
Ending out my list of 15 is one of my favorite memoirs I read this year: Educated by Tara Westover. This story is about Tara’s life growing up in a very extreme survivalist Mormon family that kept her separated from “mainstream” society. She grew up not going to school, never going to the doctor, being forced to work for her family, and intentionally kept from what you’d consider “normal” culture. It was a heartbreaking read. As a Christian who myself definitely leans more towards big government skepticism, natural medicine, and no phones/internet for my children until a certain age, this book was an eye opening read to what happens when you twist the Bible and take fundamentalist beliefs so far that it becomes delusional and destructive. Tara’s story of escaping her toxic upbringing is beautiful and empowering, and I’m in awe of her. If you love memoirs or want to dive more into this genre, this is a fantastic one to start with.
His & Hers was my favorite thriller from the top books I read in 2022. From the moment you begin reading you genuinely have NO clue what’s happening. His & Hers is told in dual point of views, alternating between the female main character, Anna, a news reporter, and the male main character, Jack, a detective. I can’t share much more without giving anything away, and I think this book works best going in blind. His & Hers kept me guessing til the VERY end, and every time I thought I knew who the killer was, I was wrong.
I read many Kristin Hannah books this year after falling in love with The Nightingale by her in 2021. And wowza this book was SO SO good. The Great Alone is about a girl named Leni who moves from Washington to the isolated wilderness of Alaska with her mom and dad in the 70s. The story is told from Leni’s perspective and it chronicles her as a young girl into her teenage years struggling to live with an abusive father in the middle of nowhere Alaska. There’s adventure, danger, love, and such rich sensory language that you literally FEEL like you’re experiencing what Leni is going through. Kristin Hannah knocked it out of the park and I was bawling like a baby by the end.
I definitely want to read more WWII historical fiction in 2023 because I fell in LOVE with this specific genre in 2022. One of my favorite WWII books I read this year was The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel. Oh my word I cannot say enough good things about this book. The main character is Eva, a young woman who is forced to flee Paris during the invasions of the Nazis. She ends up in a small French town where she stumbles upon the job of forging documents for Jewish children fleeing to Switzerland. I don’t want to give anything more away, because you absolutely MUST read this, especially if you enjoy historical fiction. The ending is perfection. I’ll stop talking so you can go read it.
Coming in at #11 on my top books I read in 2022 is Book Lovers by Emily Henry. I feel like everyone and their mother read this book this year. It blew up for good reason. It was one of the cutest romances I read this year. A semi enemies to lovers trope, it is about Nora and Charlie, two rivals in publishing who both end up in Sunshine Falls, a quaint small town in North Carolina, for different reasons. They keep running into each other and naturally chemistry starts sparking. I love that this book has all the cheesy hallmark movie plot points in it, but still somehow managed to not go overboard in the cheesy cringe-fest category. Big win for me.
Becoming Mrs. Lewis was a pick for my bookclub What She Reads, and it was one of my favorite historical fiction books I read in 2022. This story is fiction but is loosely based on the real life story of Joy Davidman and her epic love story with famous author C.S. Lewis. I loved how Patti Callahan pulls you in and makes you fall head over heels for Joy as a character. I found myself resonating with her character so much, especially her desire to do big things with her life when at that time in culture women were expected to stay home and be stay at home mothers. I cannot recommend this book enough. It’s beautiful.
I originally picked this book up purely because I wanted to watch the movie adaption of it. And low and behold this became one of my favorite romance reads of 2022. I am starting to realize I love a good enemies to lovers trope because this book is THAT in a nutshell. It’s about workplace rivals Lucy and Joshua, who are assistants to CEO’s at rival publishing companies. The book starts off as the two publishing companies have merged into one, and Lucy and Joshua constantly butt heads. They HATE each other, which I mean… from the title that’s obvious. This book has a perfect slow burn yet realistic romance that I love, and it was just so cute. Plus a bonus is that the movie did the book justice. Lucy Hale could not have been more perfectly cast.
If you love emotional whiplash this is the book for you. HOLY MOLY. I started this book not really knowing what to expect, other than the fact that Colleen Hoover had never really let me down before, and this book was no exception. I got about 4 chapters in before I started getting sweat and heart palpitations from a specific chapter that made me drop my mouth and immediately tell my husband, “I HAVE to read this to you. I need someone to process this with. OMG.” I read him the chapter, and he was ALSO immediately hooked, LOLZ. He made me go back to the beginning and we proceeded to read this entire book together, me reading it out loud to him. You think I’m kidding. I’m not. Ask Andrew about All Your Perfects. This book tells the love story of Quinn & Graham, but alternates chapters from them simultaneously falling head over heels in love with each other to the heartbreaking demise of their marriage 7 years later. Remember I said it was emotional whiplash? If you’re into that kind of heart trauma, read this. On a serious note, this one comes with a trigger warning: infertility.
I cannot believe this was Carley Fortune’s debut novel. That boggles my mind because this book was SO GOOD. I love summertime lake house romances, and this one has ALL the perfect summer lake house vibes. Carley depicted teen romance and the nervous, young, insecure butterflies that come along with that SO well in my opinion. Every Summer After is a love story about Percy and Sam, who were high school sweethearts who are reconnecting as adults after a huge event ended their relationship and friendship as teens. The book alternates chapters from them falling in love as teens to reconnecting as adults while you simultaneously try and figure out what broke them up all those years ago. It was a cute summer read I really enjoyed.
By far my favorite memoir I read in 2022 was Know My Name by Chanel Miller. This book shares Chanel’s story of being the Emily Doe back in 2015 when she was raped on Stanford’s campus by Brock Turner. I feel like everyone heard about that event when it happened and made the news, but reading the entire story and events from Chanel’s perspective was not only eye opening but also heartbreaking. She shares the perspective of what it is like being a woman who chooses to press charges for being raped and the red tape, trauma, shame, prodding, negative attention, and overall disbelief she had to deal with from the court, media, and the world. Chanel’s story is grace-filled, poignant, tender, real, honest, and told in a way that shines light on what it’s like being a victim of sexual abuse especially as a woman. This is a must read in my opinion.
The last book I read in 2022 popped to front of my top books I read this year for a simple reason: it has everything I LOVE about rom com romances and nothing of what I hate. WIN. Something I tend to not love in contemporary romances is cute love stories that suddenly have super graphic sex scenes in them. Recently someone told me to read Sarah Adams books because she’s a “closed door” author – meaning she writes romance that leaves out the graphic part of sex scenes. When an author can make me swoon and get butterflies with their writing without cheaply relying on steamy sex scenes, it makes me love them even more. And Sarah Adams accomplished that perfectly. This book has both a friends to lovers AND a fake dating trope. The writing is actually witty and I laughed out loud many times. The romance and chemistry between the two characters is actually believable (as well as the timeline of how it all plays out). If you love clean romances that are well written, RUN do not walk to read this cute love story.
This book had been on my TBR list for a few years, and I am SO glad I got around to reading it. I read it out loud in the car to Andrew while on our anniversary trip in May, and honestly it was the perfect book for us to read together on our anniversary. On one hand this book tells the true story of Sheldon falling in love with his eventual wife Davy, and how they grow over the years together, falling in love, learning what love really means, and chronicling their adventures together. Then on the other hand this book also shares the story of how Sheldon and Davy meet C.S. Lewis and how their friendship with him slowly converts them from atheists to Christians, and the role their faith then plays in their marriage. This book is full of rich poetic writing, wise life lessons, and brilliant and heartbreaking insight on faith and love. I highlighted so many passages it’s uncanny. I highly recommend this book.
I truly started 2022 off with a bang because this was the first book I read this year, and here it is 3rd on the list of my top books I read in 2022. Kate Quinn is becoming one of my favorite historical fiction authors, and this book was my favorite historical fiction read of the year. This book is long, but don’t let that deter you. Based on a true story, it takes place in WWII telling the story of 3 different women whose lives intersect as they go to work at Bletchley Park, a mysterious estate in England where they worked with the enigma machines to break German military codes during WWII. This book has so much heart. It has romance, mystery, heartbreak, everything. I fell in love with each of the 3 main girls and their stories. Bonus: they’re all based on real people. Trust me on this one, read it.
This book is life changing. Plain and simple. This book has the redefining ability to drastically change your family culture and legacy for the better. After I read it I immediately had Andrew read it, and we’ve slowly been implementing the principles taught all year long. Jeff’s main point in this book is to help you redefine family from a hyper individualistic perspective to a multi-generational family team on mission TOGETHER. He talks about how especially in America, the family unit has become merely a place where individuals eat and sleep, and then go outside the home to fulfill their individual life purposes through work, school, sports etc… He offers a different way, one where you as a family come together, focused on a central family mission that empowers, connects, and creates a generational legacy for your family. I cannot recommend this book enough, especially if you have kids or plan on having them in the future.
Ahh, Ms. Hoover topping my list to literally no one’s surprise. She has quickly become one of my favorite authors. We read this book for my book club in June, and it was a crowd fave. When I tell you I have quite literally never cried harder reading a book in my life…. I mean it. (Part of that COULD be because I read this when I had just become pregnant and didn’t know it yet. The amount of lakes I could have filled with my tears reading this should have been a dead giveaway I was with child, but alas… it was the pregnancy test a few weeks later that told me.) If you know me, you know that if a story can get me to care about the characters enough to have an emotional breakdown, I love it. (My favorite movies after all are Titanic and Five Feet Apart. Turns out I love to cry, haha.) I don’t even want to give away the storyline because this is one I think is best going in somewhat blind. Just know if you’re a mother you WILL bawl. 100% confirmed. You have been warned. 😉
I’m adding this book as a bonus to this list because I made this blog post on December 30th, but finished this book on the last day of 2022. I knew it was already mind insanely good about halfway through, but I didn’t add it to this original list purely out of principle because I hadn’t technically finished it yet. WELP, since I officially finished it before we rang in the new year, it 100% HAS to be on this list because it’s a MUST READ for any entrepreneur ever. It’s so mind blowingly good I am planning to immediately re-read it in January 2023 and make my entire team read it so we can go over it together, implementing the tools for our business in 2023. This book was originally recommended to me back in May of 2022, and its THAT good that I’m slapping myself for waiting til December to read it. Entrepreneurs: GO. Read this book now.
And there you have it. These were 15 of my top books I read in 2022 (plus a bonus, making it 16). I was super proud of how much I read this year, accomplishing my lofty goal of 75 books read. If you want to see the full list of all 78 books I read, you can follow me on Goodreads right here.
My reading goal for 2023 is to probably keep the number of books around the same, but to go back to reading more business, psychology, finance, faith, and parenting books again, but still with a good balance of fiction mixed in. I also want to read at least 1-2 classical books in 2023.
If you want more book recommendations, feel free to check out last year’s blog post of my top favorite books I read in 2021 right here.
And I’d love to know below… Did you read any of my top books I read in 2022 too? What were your thoughts? What other favorite books did you read this year that I should add to my list in 2023!?
Lindsey Roman is photographer, business coach, podcaster, and entrepreneur based out of Flagler Beach, Florida. Her heart beats for teaching creative entrepreneurs branding, marketing, and social media strategies, while empowering them to own their God given gifts. She loves outdoor adventures, spicy food, and a good game of Catan just as much as she loves teaching women to be all God made them to be.
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