14 Awesome Books for all Moods of 2022

This year looks like an amazing year for books. If you are in the mood for some unsupervised shopping sprees with a toxic friend or in the mood to  unearth a financial scandal or rather be stuck in time jumps spanning five hundred years, this list has got you covered. Let’s get cracking on some mini reviews. Here are some awesome books for all moods of 2022.

 

Books for all moods of 2022

These books are all so good that I had a tough time categorizing them. Broadly speaking, here are the categories:
1. Books that invade your waking thoughts/Books that you can’t stop thinking about
2. Crime books for the thriller lover
3. Feel-good books that promise a good time
4. Slow burns that you make your way through bite by bite.

 

For books that invade your waking thoughts

1. Cleopatra and Frankenstein by Coco Mellors

What a firecracker of a book! Cleopatra and Frankenstein reminded me of Sally Rooney’s Normal People, but in a more vocal, dramatic, energetic way. The characters leaped from the page, so alive, so vibrant—Cleo the young, confused artist, Frank, her older husband and the troupe of minor characters that play important roles in the couple’s lives. It is infinitely pleasurable to read a novel where the author has a strong grasp on the language and is a master sculptor at character sketches. I thought about these characters for a very long time—Cleo’s bottled-up frustrations, Frank’s insecurities, Frank’s sister’s dates, Cleo’s friend’s confidence in their friendship, Frank’s best friend’s guilt. It comforted me seeing how Cleo could predict her husband’s actions, a talent that comes only in the deepest of relationships. At other times I was pulling my hair reading about indecisiveness, hasty decisions, temptations. Or sighing but never looking away from the angry outbursts in several conversations midway through the novel. After I finished the book, this is what I wrote in my notes—Ultimately it left me with a lingering sadness of ‘such is life’. I would be watching out for everything new by Coco Mellors.

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2. Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

How to describe an Emily St. John Mandel novel? I was more than hundred pages into the novel and I could make head or tail of where it was going, but I just could not keep this down. The narrative is disjointed, characters almost thrown at the innocent reader but when you ask ‘who are you’, these characters stare back as if you are an intruder and they’ve been there all along. True to her usual style of dream-like prose, Sea of Tranquility arcs over a 500-year timeline from 1912 to 2401. It is ambitious, exploring themes of time, space and time travel and also despairing in the way it explores pandemics that plague humanity, and life outside Earth. It is tender, playfully challenging the intellect of the reader, and hides Easter eggs for the loyal reader (I read Sea of Tranquility right after reading her masterpiece must-read Station Eleven, and I really must read The Glass Hotel as soon as I can and find those Easter eggs in reverse). It is only as we near the end that all the pieces fit together—like a puzzle that did not make sense until then—making you leap in joy at the big world before you, spanning years and planets, defying time and space, breathing, existing, moving through time. This novel leaves the reader with hope and joy, and a sense of marvel that only few novels are able to convey.
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Sea of tranquility by Emily St John Mandel Books of 2022

3. Qabar by K. R. Meera, translated by Nisha Susan

Qabar was the first book I read in 2022 and what a brilliant read it was! Wonderfully translated Nisha Susan, Qabar begs to be read in a single sitting. This is the story of a land dispute in small town Kerala. The court case is presided by Bhavana, a district judge and divorcee and the primary caretaker of her son who has ADHD. The land dispute grows into something personal—with roots in Bhavana’s ancestry—and religious. K. R. Meera’s bold and nonchalant prose wrapped in magical realism is a treat. Qabar terrified me, but also would not let go of me. Read if you love magic, tombs, snakes, and don’t be alarmed if you find yourself covered in the scent of Edwardian roses.
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Books of 2022: Qabar by KR Meera

4. The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan

I would be lying if I deny that I read this with my heart in my throat. Chan’s dystopian world of mothers (and fathers) being sent to training schools to become ‘good parents’ is terrifying. When I finished the last page of the book, I was amazed at how much Chan effortlessly packed into this perfect novel—racism, micro aggressions, identity politics, patriarchal systems, the broken child services system, the State’s interference in bringing up children. Chan makes you think about so many things that we take for granted—for example, why are the prototype/facility children with whom the mothers train with, based on white-people prototypes? Why are Asian prototypes given different aspirations and needs compared to white dolls? This book is going to be on every book list and award list this year. So don’t think twice before grabbing a copy.
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Books of 2022 ; Jessamine Chan The school for good mothers
Also Read : Best books of 2021

In the mood for crime

5. This Might Hurt by Stephanie Wrobel

I gulped down This Might Hurt in a single sitting and it is one of my best books of 2022. It follows two sisters with a complicated relationship with one another. One of them goes to a wellness retreat (no internet, or contact with the mainland/family), and the other sister receives a cryptic email threatening to expose family secrets. I love a book that scares me, makes me want to run away, but keeps me peering from the edges with its irresistible twists. This cult-ish thriller is a perfectly good read for a weekend.
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This might hurt by Stephanie Wrobel

6. For your own Good by Samantha Downing

For your own Good kept me at the edge of my seat with its egoistic, saviour-like private school teacher and the tampered coffee pods in the teacher’s lounge. I have a thing for school stories, but For your own Good gets way more exciting (exciting?) when teachers get murdered in the middle of important functions, cameras spy on your every move, rich kids try to work their way through assignments and deadlines, and toxic teachers make your life miserable. Trust me, you will think twice before you pick a coffee or a mentor after this.

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For your own good by Samantha Downing

7. The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

I love Lucy Foley mysteries. They have the right bite to pick your brain but aren’t too heavy to leave you exasperated. The Paris Apartment is no different. When Jess decides to crash at her journalist brother Ben’s luxury apartment (that he cannot afford), she finds him missing. All the residents of the building feel like suspects. With a vast cast—an alcoholic, a girl obsessed with Ben, a concierge who spies on the residents, escorts, married women with a past, college buddies, suspicious editors—The Paris Apartment promises endless pleasure. Why wouldn’t we love a good mystery set in an old Paris building, complete with secret doors, stuffy basements, rich families with secrets, big scoops that tempt journalists, seedy bars and a man gone missing?
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Books of 2022 : The Paris apartment by Lucy Foley

8. Fake by Erica Katz

I love Erica Katz’s books because they feature intelligent women in work places and non-toxic female friendships. Her debut The Boy’s Club deconstructed sex and power in corporate America. Her latest, Fake, follows Emma Caan, a forger who specializes in nineteenth century paintings. When she is offered a new dream job at a gallery on the recommendation of oligarch art collector Leonard Sobetsky, she is thrilled. But big money, glamour, and extravagant lifestyle come at a price. Similar to The Boy’s Club, Fake unfolds through investigative interviews and flashbacks. I knew what was coming, but the journey was satisfying and the women were badass.
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Fake by Erica Katz

8. Nine Lives by Peter Swanson

Fans of Then There were None by Agatha Christie, take note. Nine Lives was one of my most anticipated books of 2022. In this crime thriller, nine people get a note in the mail listing the names of nine strangers. Some laugh it off as spam mail until those on the list start getting murdered. I enjoyed how nine completely unrelated targets fit into the bigger crime. I did not see that twist coming and oh my god, it was a good one.
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Nine Lives by Peter Swanson

The feel-good books

9. Four Aunties and a Wedding by Jesse Q Sutanto

The sequel to Dial A for Aunties is a laugh riot and the most enjoyable companion on long walks. Meddy Chan is getting married to the love of her life Nathan in the UK. The aunties are all ready to cheer her on her big day and they’ve outsourced the wedding planning…to a mafia family. Read for tea, mafia gang wars, and the most awesome Asian aunties. If you could get hold of an audiobook, I highly recommend the narration by Risa Mei.
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Four Aunties and a Wedding by Jesse Q Sutanto

10. Wahala by Nikki May

Love a good book where women have fun! When a toxic new friend Isabel infiltrates the close knit group of three friends—Ronke who always falls for a flakey man, Boo who is unsatisfied in her domestic happiness, and Simi who isn’t trying for a baby (but the husband thinks they are) but battling imposter syndrom—things go topsy turvy. The balanced, financially sound lives of these upper middle class British Nigerian women suddenly become hives of betrayals, secrets, shopping sprees, and broken relationships. Guaranteed fun to keep you glued to the pages.
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Wahala by Nikki May

Also Read : Book Review : Wahala by Nikki May

 

Slow burns to burn with

11. Eleutheria by Allegra Hyde

I read Eleutheria on train rides to Boston. It was eerily coincidental because I remembered I didn’t take a book after I locked the door, and ran inside and grabbed one—paperback, not heavy being the only criteria—and ran out. Willa, brought up on conspiracy theories by her doomsday prepper parents in rural Maine moves to Boston after their death. She is torn between her passionate affair with the confident Harvard sociology professor Sylvia Gill and the Freegan movement, a group that scavenges garbage bins to make a statement about the Western consumerist society and its excess wastage. When betrayed by the woman she loves, and inspired by a book ‘Living the solution’ that she finds in Sylvia’s library, Willa flees to Camp Hope in the island of Eleutheria in the Bahamas, to join the author and a group of eco-warriors and their cultish routine. Her unexpected arrival upsets the framework of the cult, including its public launch. I found Eleuteria to be a moving slow burn about the way individual and political actions affect not only the climate, but also the emotional despair that is a consequence of climate change. I had a personal connection with the book, in a way that I was hunting for the fictional lavish mansion where Willa and her social media savvy cousins crashed a party for a photo opportunity, or imagining Willa walking on the same pavement as I roamed Beacon hill, or trying to put a face to the characters in Eleutheria as people crossed my path on cobbled roads. Eleutheria, much like the story it tells, sometimes feels like a hallucination. It is novel about ideas—activism, climate change, capitalism vs consumerism, individualistic actions—told through flawed characters and a love story.
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Eleutheria by Allegra Hyde

12. The Appeal by Janice Hallet

The Appeal is for the patient reader. It unfolds entirely through emails, text messages and legal notes. There are two mysteries at hand—a murder and a financial scam (I was more invested in the scam)—narrated by a string of characters (suspects), fundraising campaigns and theatre.
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The Appeal byJanice Hallett

13. The Verifiers by Jane Pek

I am not kidding when I say The Verifiers made me over think about the data and information we leave on the public database. Claudia works as a spy for clients enrolled in a dating website, but when her client gets murdered, her mystery solving hat gets her into big truths that are simply dangerous for everyone. Sometimes the book feels dense but it remains an excellent look into the digital footprints, vulnerability of data, data mining and manipulation, and persuaded choices in an algorithm-driven world.
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the verifiers by jane pek

14. The Resting Place by Camilla Sten, translated by Alexandra Fleming

This one’s for those who love atmospheric thrillers that make you break into goosebumps. Eleanor witnessed her grandmother’s murder but she suffers from prosopagnosia or face blindness and cannot even recognize familiar faces. She inherits a house in the Swedish woods. So she takes a trip with her boyfriend, aunt and lawyer to find secrets hidden in her grandmother’s past. Bet you cannot forget a book where the protagonist feels like she is being watched in a creepy, old mansion.
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The resting place by Camilla Sten

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