Give the gift of reading this Christmas: Daily Hive's 22 Best Books of 2022

Nov 21 2022, 2:00 pm

Shopping for the holidays can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. This list has been curated with all readers in mind, so whether you’re picking up a gift for mom, dad, friends, or colleagues, we guarantee you’ll find a great read here.

These are the Best Books of 2022 so far.

The Maid by Nita Prose

Hotel maid Molly is completing her daily rounds only to enter the room of uber-wealthy client Mr. Charles Black where she’s shocked to find him dead in his bed. Curious, she sets out to discover what happened and finds herself caught up in the murder.

Will Molly be able to solve the mystery? This is an absolutely charming read. And don’t worry darlings, Florence Pugh has been cast to play Molly in the adaptation so there’s more to look forward to.

The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan

A powerful and absorbing page-turner from debut novelist Jessamine Chan. It follows Frida Liu, a single mother and the daughter of Chinese immigrants. After an unfortunate incident, Liu finds herself in a government reform program where the custody of her only child, Harriet, remains uncertain. She must prove to her keepers that a bad mother can be redeemed.

Lost in the Valley of Death: A Story of Obsession and Danger in the Himalayas by Harley Rustad

The heart-pounding true story of 35-year-old Justin Alexander Shetler as told by Canadian journalist Harley Rustad. Shetler, an American inveterate traveller trained in wilderness survival, quit his job in tech one day and set out on a global journey. He made his way to the Parvati Valley, a remote corner of the Indian Himalayas, and from there, set out on a spiritual quest from which he would never return.

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

It’s California in the 1960s, and Elizabeth Zott is the only woman working in her department at the Hastings Research Institute. After getting fired, she reluctantly finds herself becoming the star of America’s most beloved cooking show, Supper at Six.

It’s not what anyone imagined, but regardless, the nation falls in love with her, and you will too. Hilarious and heartwarming, Lessons in Chemistry has already been optioned by Apple TV+, with Brie Larson to star.

Bomb Shelter by Mary Laura Philpott

From the bestselling author of Miss You When I Blink, Philpott’s latest offering is an excellent collection of short essays about life, love, grieving, and growing older. In each story, Philpott reminisces on her childhood, yearns for more time with her kids, and reminds us that we’re all human. Bomb Shelter is as emotionally impactful as it is funny.

Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart

From the Booker Prize-winning author of Shuggie Bain comes a gripping new story about the meaning of masculinity, the violence faced by many queer people, and the dangers of loving too much. Set against the backdrop of Glasgow, this deeply moving story follows Mungo and James who find themselves on opposite sides of sectarian lines. The two must hide their love while finding a way to build a future together.

Strangers to Ourselves by Rachel Aviv

An astounding collection of short stories about mental illness from award-winning writer Rachel Aviv of The New Yorker. The individuals in these pages will leave an everlasting impression, as will the reporting of Aviv, who includes quotes from their unpublished memoirs and journals. Strangers to Ourselves is an immediate and captivating book that will leave any reader in awe.

The Arc by Tory Henwood Hoen

At 35 and single, Ursula joins an ultra-modern matchmaking service and is paired with lawyer Rafael Banks. The two are perfect for each other… almost too perfect in fact. Expect to fall in love with the characters while laughing out loud at the all too realistic, yet hilarious, jabs at startup culture. You’ll reach the end and want to start all over again. The Arc is a sensational rom-com. 

Some of My Best Friends by Tajja Isen

Writer and voice actor Tajja Isen’s important collection of essays takes on the cartoon industry’s pivot away from colour-blind casting, the literary world’s hunt for more diversity, and the law’s refusal to see inequality. The star of Atomic Betty and Editor-in-Chief of Catapult weaves her own lived experience into this well-written debut.

The Naked Don’t Fear the Water: An Underground Journey with Afghan Refugees by Matthieu Aikins

Canadian journalist Matthieu Aikins went underground and disguised himself as an Afghan migrant, risking his life to tell this story. The Naked Don’t Fear the Water is the courageous and unforgettable account of Aikins’ journey with his friend and fellow traveller, Omar, as they traverse dangerous borders to flee war-torn Afghanistan on an ambitious and heartbreaking journey to Europe.

Mouth to Mouth by Antoine Wilson

Longlisted for the 2022 Scotiabank Giller Prize and chosen by Barack Obama as one of his favourite books of this year, Mouth to Mouth by Montreal-born author Antoine Wilson is a short impactful novel with an ending you won’t see coming.

Set in the first class lounge at JFK airport, Jeff Cook tells an unnamed narrator about the time he saved a man’s life on the shore at Santa Monica beach. It was an event that led to obsession, and changed the course of Cook’s life forever.

ANNA: The Biography by Amy Odell

Hailed as the definitive biography of Anna Wintour, who has served as Editor-in-Chief of Vogue magazine since 1988. Fashion journalist Amy Odell’s New York Times bestseller shows that Wintour’s decision-making extends far beyond the publication she runs.

Based on extensive interviews with those closest to her, ANNA is a comprehensive and fascinating look at one of today’s most influential figures.

Half-Bads in White Regalia by Cody Caetano

Bestselling author Cody Caetano recounts his upbringing in the highway village of Happyland, Ontario, where along with his siblings Kris and Julian, they were left to fend for themselves after an inevitable divorce pulled their parents in separate directions. This breathtaking memoir is not to be missed.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

Sadie and Sam bump into each other at a public transit station. They met years ago at a children’s hospital and now a magnetic bond has drawn them together again to build a video game. Spanning decades, Gabrielle Zevin’s latest novel is an enthralling and adventurous tale of love and friendship.

Normal Family: On Truth, Love, and How I Met My 35 Siblings by Chrysta Bilton

Imagine having more than 35 siblings. Chrysta Bilton can give you a sense of what that’s like. Bilton recounts growing up with her mother, Debra, and sister, moving from home to home, and having a father who was rarely present.

The older she got, the more she had to fend for herself. With themes of mental illness, addiction, and the coming together of family near and far, this memoir is nothing short of extraordinary.

My Government Means To Kill Me by Rasheed Newson

Born into a wealthy Black Indianapolis family, Trey Singleton III flees his overbearing parents for NYC. He encounters an array of individuals who change the course of his life. Singleton finds himself volunteering at a renegade home hospice for AIDS patients, and becoming a member of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP). Newson’s novel is beautifully written, poignant, and exceptionally well-researched.

Every Summer After by Carley Fortune

Award-winning Canadian journalist Carley Fortune’s debut includes all the ingredients for the absolutely perfect love story in this gorgeous romance set in Barry’s Bay, Ontario.

Told over the course of six years in the past and one weekend in the present, readers follow a young woman named Persephone and a man she thought she’d never have to live without.

Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Sensational bestselling author Taylor Jenkins Reid’s latest novel is set in 1994 and follows a retired tennis star named Carrie Soto who watches her best record taken from her at the US Open. Soto is determined to beat Nicki Chan and take back what’s hers, so she comes out of retirement at age 37 for one last epic serve.

Acceptance: A Memoir by Emi Nietfeld

Emi Nietfeld’s memoir chronicles her early life in a dysfunctional family, with a mother who was a hoarder and a father who fled after coming out as trans. Finding home unbearable, Nietfeld checked into a psych ward and then later ended up in foster care.

A resilient and talented young girl, she set her sights on Ivy League colleges and was accepted into Harvard. Acceptance is a remarkable memoir.

We Spread by Iain Reid

From the Canadian author of I’m Thinking of Ending Things comes a spine-chilling and atmospheric novel about an elderly lady who is moved into a long-term care facility deep in the woods.

At first, Penny feels comfortable in her new surroundings, but she loses track of time as the days blur into one another. Could it be that she’s losing her mind or is there something more sinister happening at Six Cedars? An arresting and masterful novel.

The Family Outing by Jessi Hempel

A picture-perfect family life is often far from the truth, as was the case with the Hempels. As a child, Jessi’s father frequently travelled for work, while her mother was lonely and erratic. 

Growing older, Jessi, her father, and her two siblings had all come out, and her mother had been harbouring her own secret. Between the lines, each member of the Hempel family shares an incredibly moving story as they overcome obstacles, both alone and together again as a family unit. Dubbed “The Project” by Jessi, this book is a tremendous accomplishment.

A Minor Chorus by Billy-Ray Belcourt

From the bestselling author of A History of My Brief Body comes a stellar debut novel that was recently longlisted for the 2022 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Following a queer Indigenous graduate student who abandons his thesis and returns to rural northern Alberta to write a book. 

As research, he interviews locals to paint a portrait of life in his hometown. Belcourt again displays his immense talents as a writer and storyteller. This is an important read, and one to be savoured.

Sean LoughranSean Loughran

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