Q4 Favorites // 2022

I’m happy to report that the last quarter of 2022 is going to end on a high note for me; I read so many good books this quarter! Honestly, the books listed below really saved my reading year for me. Before this quarter, I was a little disappointed in the quality of books I was reading. Don’t get me wrong, I read some good books, but overall, I just felt a little let down. I’m so happy that this year will end with a bang now!

What were some of your favorite reads last quarter?

Greenwood by Michael Christie

Easily one of the best books I’ve ever read, Greenwood is layered and complex, full of ambiguity and nuance. The characters are amazing (especially Everett), and all of their stories unfurl to reveal a multi-layered, multi-generational saga that I won’t soon forget.

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

Demon Copperhead is a byproduct of the opiod crisis that has hit the Appalachian Mountain region hard. With little choice to be resilient and determined, Demon breaks your heart, but also gives you hope. With the cards stacked against him, he navigates a difficult world that is like a black hole continuing to try to gain its next victim. This book is magical in so many ways – the writing, the story, the attention it brings to a real issue that will have generational affects on Americans.

Dinosaurs by Lydia Millet

This is a super quiet novel and not a ton happens, but the writing is superb and I was immediately engrossed. The main character, Gil, totally makes the book…and the Arizona setting is also perfection!

Trust by Hernan Diaz

I really feel like this is an underrated gem from last year. It’s primarily about one man who singlehandedly influenced the stock market crash of 1929. What makes it so unique is it’s brilliant construction – told in four parts, each part switches perspectives to give the reader another layer of the story. The more I read, the more invested I became. It’s a slow build that ends with a big impact! 

A Quiet Life by Ethan Joella

Just like the title, this is a quiet story. The three main characters are all dealing with some really heavy stuff – stuff that mainly centers around grief – but their paths cross and it ends completely upbeat and hopeful and will restore your faith in humanity. It’s a book about bravery after loss, compassion for those around you, and realizing that there is hope and happiness after hard times.

Signal Fires by Dani Shapiro

This might be the book I go back-and-forth on the most. There are parts of it I really loved – stream-of-consciousness, meandering thought-provoking paragraphs – and I appreciated a lot of them. There were some nuanced and profound ideas that came up for me that I would happily ruminate within a book club. But, I also was a little annoyed that the story didn’t feel like it was going anywhere. Honestly, the length was perfect (ony about 215 pages) because I’m not sure Shapiro could have held me much longer. As it is, it ended in just enough time for me to remain open and contemplating to the overall effect of the book. I do love the idea that we are all connected, that we’re just one circumstance/choice/decision away from a completely different life, but I also would have really appreciated more of a point.

What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen by Kate Fagan

This is a heartbreaking story of mental health, pressure, and a girl who was able to hide behind the little square photos in her Instagram feed. Her parents and friends recognized that there were problems with Maddy and they worked to help her feel better, but none of them realized how deep the pain ran and how bad things really were. This is a must read for all parents, coaches, athletic directors, and other school personnel that work closely with our children.

The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music by Dave Grohl

Admittedly, I’m not one of those girls who loves music…I like it playing in the car, but I don’t know most of the lyrics and I don’t usually know who the artist is. None of those things matter to me, so I think this always makes me feel like memoirs from musicians won’t be my thing…but I absolutely LOVED this one! Grohl wrote about his life with such appreciation and warmth. He feels so down to Earth. His passion for music and his career shined through the pages and it was totally infectious! I think it’s always interesting to hear how people make it big – and it’s risky because they can either come off as very egotistical and completely unrelatable, or they can win us over. Grohl accomplishes the latter and by the end of the book, he felt like a friend – someone I’d love to hang out with. I loved his adoring relationship with his kids and the way his bandmates and crew became his family. He just really comes across as a genuine guy.

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice From Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed

This was a reread for me, and the advice is still relevant to all and it was a total joy to be immersed in Strayed’s world of advice once again!

You can find all of my quarterly favorites from 2022 here: Q1, Q2, and Q3.

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