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Good Reads

Some of the best of 2022


As 2022 comes to a close, it’s fun to review the most popular books of the year. Some of them have been around for a while, like “Where the Crawdads Sing,” by Delia Owens, which has been on every best-seller list since it came out in 2018. (We can hardly keep it in my bookstore.)
I read reviews of new books almost every day and check out best-seller lists to see what people are reading. Also, since I’m in four book clubs, I listen to what others are reading in Fayetteville. So here are some delightful books that show up on all these lists and are worth checking out if they have not yet made it to your “to be read” list yet.

1. “The Maid’’ by Nita Prose
Main character Molly Gray has difficulty with social skills, but she finds that her job as a hotel maid is perfect for her. That is, until she discovers the body of a wealthy guest dead in his bed. When the police arrive, her odd demeanor targets her as their prime suspect. How is she to prove her innocence when she has such a hard time communicating? Luckily, her friends pull together to help solve this locked-room mystery and prove Molly’s innocence.

2. “Lessons in Chemistry’’ by Bonnie Garmus
Every year, there is one book that is on everyone’s “have you read this yet?” list. I reviewed this book previously, but it has become one of the most talked about books in the past few months. It’s laugh-out-loud funny as we read about Elizabeth Zott, a single mother who uses her brilliant chemistry background to turn a beloved TV cooking show in the 1960s into a woman’s march to change the status quo.

3. “Libertie’’ by Kaitlyn Greenidge
This work of historical fiction, drawn from the story of one of the first Black women to earn a medical degree in the United States, tells the story of her daughter Libertie. She follows in the footsteps of her mother in the aftermath of the Civil War, but Libertie doesn’t share her dreams. After eloping and moving to Haiti, she discovers that colorism and sexism are just as strong there as in 19th-century America. Freedom is the theme in Greenidge’s story — freedom from oppression, freedom to follow your own dream, and freedom to love and forgive.

4. “The Lincoln Highway’’ by Amor Towles
Emmett Watson is being driven home by the warden of the juvenile work farm where he has been for the past year on a charge of involuntary manslaughter. He’s going home to pick up his 8-year-old brother, Billy, orphaned like Emmett, with plans to move to Texas. Their plans change when two friends from the work camp who hid in the trunk of the warden’s car persuade them to go east to find money left to one of them. So begins the adventure along the Lincoln Highway.

5. “It Ends with Us’’ by Colleen Hoover
With so many of Hoover's books on the best-seller lists, where to start? I’ve picked “It Ends With Us” because it’s the beginning of her newest collection of books. It tells the tale of a young woman named Lily who has to find her way out of an abusive relationship, which gets even more complicated when her first love, Atlas, re-enters the scene.

6. “The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz’’ by Erik Larson
Taken from journals and diaries by those closest to Winston Churchill during his first year as prime minister in 1940, Larson shows us true leadership in the face of unrelenting horror. Churchill’s courage and perserverance is shown to be what held England and his family together.

So many books, so little time, but a good place to start. Do get started now because there are some great books on the horizon for 2023.