The Best of 2022 – Lisa’s List

This was a strange little year – a year of both becomings and possibilities; of losses and gains. Of learning how to do and to deal and a lot of great reads. These are my (roughly) ten favorite reads of the year.

One True Loves by Elise Bryant

Bryant’s story is such a pure joy. The coming-of-age story of a girl who is living the space between college and high school; the ephemeral shadowlands between adulthood and childhood. She tries to pick her major over a summer cruise and as she get her footing, her love/hate relationship with a local boy takes flight.

Buy it at Amazon, Audible or your local bookshop

Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Soloman

This one is just pure fun; two assistants falling in love as they try to drive their weatherpeople bosses back together and into each other’s arms. The end result is tender, sometimes funny, and thoughtfully explored.

Buy it at Amazon, Audible or your local bookshop

The Siren Of Sussex/The Belle of Belgrave Square by Mimi Matthews

Picking between these two is nigh on impossible, so I’ll recommend them both. Matthew’s impeccable research tells two completely different stories about two women who take to appearing on that regency horse riding pathway, Rotten Row, to try to win husbands. One is a twisty and truly surprising gothic mystery with a strong romance; another a tender slow-burner.

Buy The Siren of Sussex at Amazon, Audible or your local bookshop

Buy The Belle of Belgrave Square at: Amazon, Audible or your local bookshop

Great or Nothing by Joy McCulloch, Caroline Tung Richmond, Tess Sharp and Jessica Spotswood

This was the year I fell in love with Amazon’s TV version of A League of their Own, and this retelling of Little Women – which features the March family dealing with life in World War II – captures the era in a gorgeous way and is unique in the way it makes its the best retelling of the material I’ve ever seen.

Buy it at: Amazon, Audible or your local bookshop

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston

The best YA I read this year; delightful, ready-made for the film world and a lively exploration of the tangled webs of teenage romance. Trouble descends on a group of teens when the seemingly perfect Shara disappears after kissing our three protagonists.

Buy it at: Amazon, Audible or your local bookshop

All The Duke I Need by Caroline Linden

My hero of the year is Linden’s William Montclair, who is roguish, funny, tender and self-determined. The romance surrounding him – with the stubborn, glorious and strong-willed Pippa – is just as good and along the way, Linden creates a whole world of caring people.

Buy it at: Amazon, Audible or your local bookshop

This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub

This one affected me deeply. A woman gets the chance to go back in time and relive her teenage birthday, but will the changes she make truly be for the better? Each thing she changes causes a butterfly effect that ought to make her happy, but what does our heroine really want out of life?

Buy it at: Amazon, Audible or your local bookshop

When Franny Stands Up by Eden Robins

Hands-down my favorite novel of the year; an unusual story that mixes stand-up comedy, magical realism, and trauma recovery in a single book. Franny deals with racism, antisemitism, rape, sexism, plargarism and gender identity, and tackles it all in a way that feels spirited and smart. It give us a heroine who’s unforgettable, to boot. It’s funny, touching, and wholly unique.

Buy it at: Amazon, Audible or your local bookshop

West Side Love Story/Kiss Me Catalina by Priscilla Oliveras

A burgeoning series about a group of sisters in a mariachi band, each part of Oliveras’ series has given us a fresh heroine, a winning hero, wonderful insight into the musical world (again: no one writes about music like Priscilla Oliveras) and romantic chemistry to burn.

Buy West Side Love Story at Amazon, Audible or your local bookshop

Buy Kiss Me Catalina at Amazon, Audible or your local bookshop

A Scandalous Kind of Duke by Mia Vincy
Mia Vincy stays the queen of historical romance with her beautiful, well-researched and intelligent romances. Her latest is a perfect delight.

Buy it at: Amazon, Audible or your local bookshop

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Garcia is the queen of suspense and the ruler of all things gothic, so remaking Moreau into something new and fantastical is right up her alley. The end result is spooky, atmospheric, and perfect.

Buy it at: Amazon, Audible or your local bookshop

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