We have finally come to the last month of 2022, and oh no! You noticed that you have only a couple of weeks to reach your 2022 Reading Challenge Goal and are way behind in the books you need to read! Whether you are using Goodreads Reading Challenge, my challenge on the StoryGraph website, or a challenge you set for yourself, don’t worry, fellow bookworms! With four weeks left in the year, it is still possible to achieve your mission. How, you ask? With short reads of course!
Check out these 15 books, books that came out this year, that will help win your reading challenge before the clock strikes 12 on December 31. Are you up for the challenge?
Foster by Claire Keegan
It is a hot summer in rural Ireland. A child is taken by her father to live with relatives on a farm, not knowing when or if she will be brought home again. In the Kinsellas’ house, she finds an affection and warmth she has not known and slowly, in their care, begins to blossom. But there is something unspoken in this new household–where everything is so well tended to–and this summer must soon come to an end.
Winner of the prestigious Davy Byrnes Award and published in an abridged version in the New Yorker, this internationally bestselling contemporary classic is now available for the first time in the US in a full, standalone edition. A story of astonishing emotional depth, Foster showcases Claire Keegan’s great talent and secures her reputation as one of our most important storytellers. (Credit: Grove Press)
Disconnected: How to Stay Human in an Online World by Emma Gannon
Lockdowns, Zoom meetings, and reduced physical contact have made us more dependent on the internet than ever before–and now we want to log off.
Disconnected is a little book about reclaiming our humanity in our increasingly digitized, monetized world. Our focus on community and real connection has been sent off-course, and we’re becoming more aware of how the algorithm manipulates us and how our data has made us a product to be sold. So, where do we go from here, and how can we get back on track? Disconnected examines these topics and offers tangible tips and advice for those of us who might feel a little lost and are looking to find our real-life selves again. (Credit: Andrews McMeel Publishing)
Fix The System, Not The Women by Laura Bates
Too often, we blame women. For walking home alone at night. For not demanding a seat at the table. For not overcoming the odds that are stacked against them.
This distracts us from the real problem: the failings and biases of a society that was not built for women. In this explosive book, feminist writer and activist Laura Bates exposes the systemic prejudice at the heart of five of our key institutions.
Combining stories with shocking evidence, Fix the System, Not the Women is a blazing examination of sexual injustice and a rallying cry for reform. (Credit: Simon & Schuster UK)
Seven Steeples by Sara Baume
It is the winter following the summer they met. A couple, Bell and Sigh, move into a remote house in the Irish countryside with their dogs. Both solitary with misanthropic tendencies, they leave the conventional lives stretched out before them to build another–one embedded in ritual, and away from the friends and family from whom they’ve drifted.
They arrive at their new home on a clear January day and look up to appraise the view. A mountain gently and unspectacularly ascends from the Atlantic, “as if it had accumulated stature over centuries. As if, over centuries, it had steadily flattened itself upwards.” They make a promise to climb the mountain, but–over the course of the next seven years–it remains unclimbed. We move through the seasons with Bell and Sigh as they come to understand more about the small world around them, and as their interest in the wider world recedes. (Credit: Mariner Books)
There Is (Still) Love Here by Dean Atta
There is (still) love here, the compelling new collection of poetry by Dean Atta, is a personal and powerful exploration of relationships, love and loss, encompassing LGBTQ+ and Black history, Greek Cypriot heritage, pride and identity, dislocation and belonging.
Atta’s tender, precisely-crafted and generous poems seek consolation and affirmation. These are poems as an antidote for challenging times, whether facing prejudice or the challenges of the pandemic, experiencing grief or recovering from heartbreak. Here, we encounter blue feelings and homesickness, things lost in translation and the pressures of the many roles we play in life. We also find the recipes of home, gifts and giving, the togetherness of community and connection to help us to heal. There is still love here – and journeys towards forgiveness, acceptance, queer joy and the power to unapologetically be yourself and fully embrace who you are.
My Pen Is the Wing of a Bird: New Fiction by Afghan Women
“My pen is the wing of a bird; it will tell you those thoughts we are not allowed to think, those dreams we are not allowed to dream.”
Eighteen Afghan women living in, speaking about, and writing from the country itself tell stories that are powerful and illuminating, unique and universal – stories of family, work, childhood, friendship, war, gender identity, and cultural traditions.
A woman’s fortitude saves her village from disaster. A teenager explores their identity in a moment of quiet. A tormented girl tries to find love through a horrific act. A headmaster makes his way to work, treading the fine line between life and death.
These and more original, vital, and unexpected stories hail from extraordinary voices rooted in Afghanistan’s two main linguistic groups (Pashto and Dari), and were developed over two years through the writer development program Untold’s Write Aghanistan Project. (Credit: Grand Central Publishing)
Welsh (Plural): Essays on the Future of Wales
What does it mean to imagine Wales and ‘The Welsh’ as something both distinct and inclusive? In Welsh (Plural), some of the foremost Welsh writers consider the future of Wales and their place in it.
For many people, Wales brings to mind the same old collection of images – if it’s not rugby, sheep and leeks, it’s the 3 Cs: castles, coal, and choirs. Heritage, mining and the church are indeed integral parts of Welsh culture. But what of the other stories that point us toward a Welsh future? In this anthology of essays, authors offer imaginative, radical perspectives on the future of Wales as they take us beyond the cliches and binaries that so often shape thinking about Wales and Welshness. (Credit: Watkins Media Limited)
All The Lovers In The Night by Mieko Kawakami
Fuyuko Irie is a freelance copy editor in her mid-thirties. Working and living alone in a city where it is not easy to form new relationships, she has little regular contact with anyone other than her editor, Hijiri, a woman of the same age but with a very different disposition. When Fuyuko stops one day on a Tokyo street and notices her reflection in a storefront window, what she sees is a drab, awkward, and spiritless woman who has lacked the strength to change her life and decides to do something about it.
As the long overdue change occurs, however, painful episodes from Fuyuko’s past surface and her behavior slips further and further beyond the pale. All the Lovers in the Night is acute and insightful, entertaining and engaging; it will make readers laugh, and it will make them cry, but it will also remind them, as only the best books do, that sometimes the pain is worth it. (Credit: Europa Editions)
Here Again Now by Okechukwu Nzelu
Achike Okoro feels like his life is coming together at last. His top-floor flat in Peckham is as close to home as he can imagine and after years of hard work, he’s about to get his break as an actor. He’s even persuaded his father, Chibuike , to move in with him, grateful to offer the man who raised him as a single parent a home of his own.Between filming trips, Achike is snatching a few days in London with Ekene , his best friend of twenty years, the person who makes him feel whole. Achike can put the terrible things that happened behind him at last; everything is going to be alright. Maybe even better.
But after a magical night, when Achike and Ekene come within a hair’s breadth of admitting their feelings for each other, a devastating event rips all three men apart. In the aftermath, it is Ekene and Chibuike who must try to rebuild. And although they have never truly understood each other, grief may bring them both the peace and happiness they’ve been searching for…(Credit: Little, Brown Book Group)
These Are The Words: Fearless Verse To Find Your Voice by Nikita Gill
Reclaim your agency. Discover your power. Find the words.
Taking you on a journey through the seasons of the soul, in this collection Nikita gives you the words to help heal from your first breakup, to celebrate finding your family, to understand first love, to express your anger and your joy, to fight for what you believe in and to help you break some rules to be your truest self.
Gorgeously illustrated throughout by Nikita herself and featuring seasonal astrological poetry, this collection is an achingly beautiful, stunningly warm and fearless expression of truth from one of the most influential and well-known voices in modern poetry. (Credit: Pan Macmillan)
These Days by Lucy Caldwell
Two sisters, four nights, one city.
April, 1941. Belfast has escaped the worst of the war – so far. Over the next two months, it’s going to be destroyed from above, so that people will say, in horror, My God, Belfast is finished.
Many won’t make it through, and no one who does will remain unchanged.
Following the lives of sisters Emma and Audrey – one engaged to be married, the other in a secret relationship with another woman – as they try to survive the horrors of the four nights of bombing which were the Belfast Blitz, These Days is a timeless and heart-breaking novel about living under duress, about family, and about how we try to stay true to ourselves. (Credit: Faber Faber)
The Queen of Dirt Island by Donal Ryan
The Aylward women are mad about each other, but you wouldn’t always think it. You’d have to know them to know – in spite of what the neighbours might say about raised voices and dramatic scenes – that their house is a place of peace, filled with love, a refuge from the sadness and cruelty of the world.
Their story begins at an end and ends at a beginning. It’s a story of terrible betrayals and fierce loyalties, of isolation and togetherness, of transgression, forgiveness, desire, and love. About all the things family can be and all the things it sometimes isn’t. More than anything, it is an uplifting celebration of fierce, loyal love and the powerful stories that last generations. (Credit: Transworld Publishers Ltd)
Tell Everyone On This Train I Love Them by Maeve Higgins
As an eternally curious outsider, Maeve Higgins can see that the United States is still an experiment. Some parts work well and others really don’t, but that doesn’t stop her from loving the place and the people that make it. With piercing political commentary in a sweet and salty tone, these essays unearth answers to the questions we all have about this country we call home; the beauty of it all and the dark parts too.
Maeve attends the 2020 Border Security Expo to better understand the future of our borders, and finds herself at The Alamo surrounded by queso and homemade rifles. A chance encounter with a statue of a teenage horseback rider causes her to interrogate the purpose of monuments, this sends her hurtling through the past, connecting Ireland’s revolutionary history with the struggles of Black Americans today. And after mistaking edibles for innocent candies, Maeve gets way too high at Paper Source.
Most of all, Maeve wants to leave this country and this planet better than she found it. That may well be impossible, but it certainly means showing love. Lots of it, even when it’s difficult to do so. Threaded through these pieces is love for strangers, love for friends who show up right on time, love for trees, love for Tom Hardy, love for those with differing opinions, love for the glamorous older women of Brighton Beach with tattooed eyeliner and gold jewelry, love for everybody on this train. (Credit: Penguin Books)
No Accident by Laura Bates
When a small plane crash ends with a group of seven teens washed up on a deserted island, their first thought is survival. With supplies dwindling and the fear of being stranded forever becoming more of a reality, they quickly discover that being the most popular kid in high school doesn’t help when you’re fighting to stay alive.
And when strange and terrifying accidents start to occur all around them, the group realizes that they are being targeted by someone who was on the plane, and that the island isn’t their only danger. A terrible secret from a party the night before the flight has followed them ashore–and it’s clear that someone is looking for justice. Now survival depends on facing the truth about that party: who was hurt that night, and who let it happen? (Credit: Sourcebooks Fire)
Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley
Kiara and her brother, Marcus, are barely scraping by in a squalid East Oakland apartment complex optimistically called the Regal-Hi. Both have dropped out of high school, their family fractured by death and prison. But while Marcus clings to his dream of rap stardom, Kiara hunts for work to pay their rent—which has more than doubled—and to keep the nine-year-old boy next door, abandoned by his mother, safe and fed.
One night, what begins as a drunken misunderstanding with a stranger turns into the job Kiara never imagined wanting but now desperately needs: nightcrawling. And her world breaks open even further when her name surfaces in an investigation that exposes her as a key witness in a massive scandal within the Oakland Police Department. (Credit: Knopf Publishing Group)
One thought on “Crush Your 2022 Reading Challenge With These Books”
What a fantastic selection of books. Thank you for sharing. I don’t know which to pick!
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