Much as I love a comfort read or relaxing entertainment, I do love a book that makes me think. In no particular order, here are half a dozen books I read in 2022 that made my brain work. Every single one of these taught me something about the world or how to tell a story.

Still Life, by Sarah Winman.

Art, Italy, friendship, courage and creating your own family. I loved everything about this novel.

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus.

Elizabeth Zott is a woman ahead of her time and we are all grateful.

Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernières.

One of the toughest reads I’ve ever attempted, but what a reward. The author’s mind is encyclopaedic.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng.

A slow-burning exploration of how racism takes its toll and how one hides it.

Trust by Herman Diaz

The strangest and most hypnotic storytelling and a snapshot of the way we live now.

The Trees by Percival Everett

When the past comes back to death and ghosts want vengeance.

What books stretched you this year?

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