The New York Times 10 Best Books of 2022

The New York Times 10 Best Books of 2022

Guide to Speed Reading >>


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An Immense World

1. "An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us" (Ed Yong)

Best Sellers Rank: #704 in Kindle Store.

  • #1 in Earth Sciences (Kindle Store)
  • #1 in Biological Science of Animals
  • #1 in Zoology (Kindle Store)

Amazon reviews:

"I heard a podcast by this author on NPR, and it was very interesting. It's about how animals perceive the world differently from humans. I ordered it for my sister for Christmas, and she loves it."

"This book has opened my eyes, my mind, and my view of the world in an amazing way! It's hard to put it down."

"I heartily recommend this book to anyone with even a hint of curiosity about science and nature. I was impressed not only at the amount of research that has been conducted on animal senses but at the author’s command of the results of that research. For all of the science reviewed, the book is written in a style which makes for easy reading. I am left awestruck at the diversity and ingenuity of animal senses, as well as how much of that sensing is beyond direct human experience. While we are in some ways a uniquely intelligent species (but sadly without commensurate wisdom), our senses capture a tiny amount of the information present in the environment, and we use only a tiny fraction of the communication techniques used by the animal kingdom."

Books quotes:

"Our Umwelt is still limited; it just doesn’t feel that way. To us, it feels all-encompassing. It is all that we know, and so we easily mistake it for all there is to know. This is an illusion, and one that every animal shares."

"Instead, an Umwelt is specifically the part of those surroundings that an animal can sense and experience—its perceptual world."

"Perhaps people who experience the world in ways that are considered atypical have an intuitive feeling for the limits of typicality."



2. "Trust" (Hernán Diaz)

Best Sellers Rank: #1,776,303 in Kindle Store.

  • #783 in Literature & Fiction in Italian
  • #1,864 in Italian Language Fiction
  • #1,157,727 in Literature & Fiction (Books)

Goodreads reviews:

"Sublime, richly layered novel. A story within a story within a story. Elegantly written. Feels like an homage to Edith Wharton. Truly though, this is just sublime."

"This brilliant metafiction book is about a lot of things, but among the most prominent is the bending and aligning of reality according to one’s mistakes so it ceases to be a mistake. What are the fictions that compose our identity? Or do our lives eventually become the written and verbal fictions that others craft?"

"Hernan Diaz’s new book, “Trust,” is about an early-20th-century investor. Or at least it seems to be. Everything about this cunning story makes a mockery of its title. The only certainty here is Diaz’s brilliance and the value of his rewarding book."

Books quotes:

"God is the most uninteresting answer to the most interesting questions."

"Most of us prefer to believe we are the active subjects of our victories but only the passive objects of our defeats. We triumph, but it is not really we who fail - we are ruined by forces beyond our control."

"the closer one is to a source of power, the quieter it gets. Authority and money surround themselves with silence, and one can measure the reach of someone’s influence by the thickness of the hush enveloping them."


Stay True

3. "Stay True" (Hua Hsu)

Best Sellers Rank: #3,536 in Kindle Store.

  • #1 in Asian American Studies (Kindle Store)
  • #2 in Biographies & Memoirs of Asian & Asian American
  • #2 in Asian American Studies (Books)

Amazon reviews:

"This is one of the most beautiful books I have read in years, an elegiac masterpiece about youth and friendship and a tragedy that the author has spent the past 20+ years determined to capture in all of its fraught meaning and senselessness. And how he has captured it! I spent the last third of the book with my throat tightened and my heart feeling like it was going to burst out of my chest. A deeply memorable reading experience. Thank you so much, Mr. Hsu."

"The memoir is well-written, never sentimental, and always moving. Hua expertly captures the 90s zeitgeist of Berkeley and develops the strong connection his loving parents give him to navigate life’s slings and arrows. The last fourth of the book, dealing with the loss of his friend Ken, is painful, gripping, and sharply defines Hua’s identity forever. Recommended."

"The blurbs for this book are accurate. It's moving. I saw myself in the book. I loved it. But what makes it special are small things Hsu does — how he sets up Ken revealing his race/ethnicity after initial descriptors, even with the spacing on a new page. There's a masterclass in writing here, how to land affect with precision. Recommending it to everyone. Thank you"

Books quotes:

"At that age, time moves slow. You're eager for something to happen, passing time in parking lots, hands deep in your pockets, trying to figure out where to go next. Life happened elsewhere, it was simply a matter of finding a map that led there. Or maybe, at that age, time moves fast; you're so desperate for action that you forget to remember things as they happen. A day felt like forever, a year was a geological era."

"It was a sign of personal growth, I thought to myself, that I could be friends with someone who liked Pearl Jam this much."


The Candy House

4. "The Candy House" (Jennifer Egan)

Best Sellers Rank: #730 in Kindle Store.

  • #4 in Psychological Literary Fiction
  • #5 in Contemporary American Fiction
  • #7 in Contemporary Literature & Fiction

Amazon reviews:

"In a world where everything can be known, who needs imagination? What is its power? Everyone. Essential. Egan’s own imagination and breathtaking command of story, language, and structure create a thrilling demonstration of the necessity of imagination and beauty."

"Fantastic book cleverly written"

"What happens when you no longer own your thoughts and memories? Do you really want to know what someone was thinking during your most coveted memories? These questions are explored in The Candy House, a multi-layered, multi-modal, and complex novel about a network of shared consciousness and the dangers of losing authenticity."

Books quotes:

"Tongue-in-cheek nostalgia is merely the portal, the candy house, if you will, through which we hope to lure in a new generation and bewitch them."

"But knowing everything is too much like knowing nothing; without a story, it’s all just information."

"Mysteries that are destroyed by measurement were never truly mysterious; only our ignorance made them seem so."


Strangers to Ourselves

5. "Strangers to Ourselves" (Rachel Aviv)

Best Sellers Rank: #4,285 in Kindle Store.

  • #1 in Biographies of Medical Professionals (Kindle Store)
  • #6 in Psychological Pathologies
  • #7 in Sociological Study of Medicine

Amazon reviews:

"This book gave me greater insight into my own “mental illness” and struggles as well as the growing epidemic of psychiatric diagnoses in this country. The role of society and the history of psychiatry are woven into these stories giving me a more well-rounded understanding of my own experience as well as that of others. Wonderful book!"

"This, really, is "not just another book". As I said, I'd always ADORDED Aviv's style and craft, but this work of nonfiction is something else altogether. If you know it and you feel it, then you do. And you're very lucky, then."

"This book transcends categorization. It's exceptionally readable, but deals with complex topics. It's about psychiatry, but about storytelling. It will appeal to Aviv's New Yorker fans, but also to those unfamiliar with her work. It's a book about mental illness, about narrative, about culture, about ethics. I can't think of a single person who wouldn't love this book! I flew through it in a day!"

Books quotes:

"There are stories that save us, and stories that trap us, and in the midst of an illness it can be very hard to know which is which."

"In the starkest terms, insight measures the degree to which a patient agrees with his or her doctor’s interpretation."

"Our illnesses are not just contained in our skull but are also made and sustained by our relationships and communities."


Demon Copperhead

6. "Demon Copperhead" (Barbara Kingsolver)

Best Sellers Rank: #48 in Kindle Store.

  • #2 in Small Town & Rural Fiction (Books)
  • #2 in Coming of Age Fiction (Kindle Store)
  • #2 in Small Town & Rural Fiction (Kindle Store)

Amazon reviews:

"Always have been a Kingsolver fan and love Appalachian lore. I was excited about the two together. I was put off at first, wanting to get out of the doom and gloom. And then the incredible unfolding process begins. With a deft hand she paints the beauty of Appalachia and the tragedy of her people, as the land is stripped of one resource after another, leaving the people and the land sick and broken. Then steps in big Pharma, to take, chew up and spit out the last remaining remaining resource: the lives of an entire generation. Through grace and tragedy the few people left to help pull a community together,: nurses, teachers, coaches work with those that are left with the inner resources to pull their lives together. We follow the story of a man, from birth to manhood, struggle with loss, guilt, triumph, and desperation to extract himself from the tangled web of misfortune. This book is a subtle masterpiece and one that leaves us with hope that things can change for this lost and reviled slice of our America."

"Such a powerful raging hopeful against all hope book, it’s going to stay with me a very long time. Kingsolver at the absolute height of her power, this is a love story full of heartbreak to a broken country with its broken people that somehow survive another day. Absolutely wonderful, disturbing and moving exploration of broken families, orphan children, modern-day addiction and corporate greed, all told from the perspective of the resilient Demon Copperhead, who lives to tell many a disturbing story and who you can’t help but hope gets to see the ocean and realise his childhood dream one day. Unmissable and unputdownable."

Books quotes:

"The wonder is that you could start life with nothing, end with nothing, and lose so much in between."

"I think most of humankind would agree, the hard part of high school is the people."

"a good story doesn’t just copy life, it pushes back on it."

"I felt the kindliness of the moss, which is all over everywhere once you get out of the made world. God’s flooring. All the kinds, pillowy, pin-cushiony, shag carpet. Gray sticks of moss with red heads like matchsticks. Some tiny dead part of me woke up to the moss and said, Man. Where you been."


Under the Skin

7. "Under the Skin" (Linda Villarosa)

Best Sellers Rank: #21,256 in Kindle Store.

  • #1 in Health Policy (Kindle Store)
  • #8 in Discrimination & Racism Studies
  • #10 in Health Policy (Books)

Amazon reviews:

"Well written study regarding the way African American folks are treated in the medical industry. It seems so easy to just assume that you are a certain way just because of your skin color is a practice we must all change. Linda Villarosa makes an excellent case with many revealing examples of how are society is accustomed to see things. She takes the blindfold out of our beliefs and shows us the harge truth that is our medical system now. Changes have to be made and they start with us. A very good book we must all read."

"This is such an informative read and research. I find myself making footnotes and performing more in depth research on my own. If you're in the healthcare field, especially a healthcare provider and even more importantly, a patient...please read this book! The surrealism that comes from the writer and her encounter with heathcare disparities and inequality is an eye opener from both sides."

"This book is a must-read for anyone working in healthcare, health equity, biotech, healthtech, or simply curious to understand how racism and racial bias operate under the skin. A masterpiece of investigative journalism and profound humanity, shining a light on a deeply misconstrued human problem. Meticulously researched, beautifully written, brilliantly architected, and profoundly human."

Books quotes:

"Over the next few months, I set out to understand why in our country with the most expensive and advanced medical technology in the world, growing numbers of American women, disproportionately Black women, were dying as a result of pregnancy and childbirth, including African American women whose income and education should protect them."

"You are treated with less courtesy than other people are. You are treated with less respect than other people are. You receive poorer service than other people at restaurants or stores. People act as if they think you are not smart. People act as if they are afraid of you. People act as if they think you are dishonest. People act as if they’re better than you are. You are called names or insulted. You are threatened or harassed."


The Furrows: A Novel

8. "The Furrows: A Novel" (Namwali Serpell)

Best Sellers Rank: #6,138 in Kindle Store.

  • #6 in Black & African American Literary Fiction
  • #13 in Sibling Fiction
  • #61 in Contemporary Literary Fiction

Amazon reviews:

"Namwali Serpell is one of the most creative, innovative and imaginative writers of this age. She tackles and unravels the most profound human emotions - grief. Like Toni Morrison, her stories are powerful and not designed to be an easy read, but embrace the complexity and you’ll be rewarded."

"this novel is the epitome of the protagonist’s desire - she isn’t here to tell us what happened, but to tell us how it felt. and you will feel. i don’t think it’s possible to fully grasp all Serpell offers in this novel on the first read through and i think it would be easy to give up on this novel but you absolutely shouldn’t. it’s worth giving all of your attention to and then some"

"this is a book that explores grief, inability to let go, in an extremely visceral way. You're gonna feel all kind of ways. I would TW for those that have experienced the sort of gut-wrenching tragedy of non-closure. It's a great book but it *hurts*."

Books quotes:

"The world was tilted now and Wayne’s absence in our lives had become the drain toward which everything ran."

"The sky is weeping too"

"Grief doesn’t choose its timing well; you’ll never know when it will grip your neck."

"I don’t want to tell you what happened. I want to tell you how it felt."


We Don't Know Ourselves

9. "We Don't Know Ourselves" (Fintan O'Toole)

Best Sellers Rank: #3,524 in Kindle Store.

  • #1 in History of Ireland
  • #1 in Biographies of Journalists
  • #2 in European Politics Books

Amazon reviews:

"Became fascinated with Ireland, it’s people, music, landscape and archaeology, on my first trip with an Irish born friend years ago. This book will take you on a mental voyage through the last half dozen decades of Irish history. Not an easy read. I had to put it down several times. Learned a great deal about the tenacity and joy of the people and country I have come to love."

"Fintan O'Toolle is obviously brilliant, but he is a wordsmith! As an English major in college, I've had to look up a number of words he throws out with ease - a bit of a pain, but worth it in the end! It is a good read!"

"Fintan O'Toole has done a great job in describing Ireland from the 1950s to the present day, 2018. He has researched all aspects with a fine comb producing an informative account of the political, religious, sociological, economic and even "surreal" characteristics of Ireland. He maintains an objective, observer's voice at all times."

Books quotes:

"Yet the idea of American investment was potent. To open the Irish economy up so that British bosses could employ Irish workers was to admit defeat. To have American firms in small Irish towns would be to embrace a thrilling modernity and simultaneously to reconnect with the great Irish-American diaspora in whom so much hope – from tourist dollars to support for the national cause of ending partition – had been invested"

"the uncensorable power of the simplest form of private literature: the letter home."


Checkout 19

10. "Checkout 19" (Claire-Louise Bennett )

Best Sellers Rank: #3,640 in Books.

  • #158 in Coming of Age Fiction (Books)
  • #427 in Literary Fiction (Books)

Amazon reviews:

"No one right now is writing any better than this. These are sentences wafting like waves, waving like winds. Crashing like very quiet collisions. Very very beautiful writing. Plus, she turned me on to Ann Quin. Thanks!"

"For those who like literary fiction and something unconventional, I recommend this one."

"A patch work held together by an original voice. A book for book lovers , as one myself I really loved this really looking forward to what comes next from this writer."

Books quotes:

"She has spent a lot of time on her own and certainly that makes a person susceptible to overthinking simple transactions and occasionally losing perspective."

"…the impulse for transgression and a taste for abasement is not so difficult to locate and arouse. Because of course it is thrilling to be astutely defiled. To have every revered trait and inimitable asset compromised, undermined, and subverted."

"No matter what book we had in our hands we found it simply impossible to refrain from wondering incessantly about what kinds of words exactly were inside the other books."



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