my favorite reads of 2022
It's been a while! I haven't been updating here as frequently as I would like, primarily because life has been a bit chaotic this year. My grandpa died over the summer, and a few other family members and friends have had major ongoing health issues. On the more positive side, some of you already know that after six years of living in the UK, I moved back to the US this year. I've settled in Brooklyn and am loving New York so far. I keep describing NYC as a playground for adults—anything you feel like doing, they have it here. In other happy news, my sister got engaged, and we're all looking forward to helping with her wedding.
One of my professional goals for 2023 is to send this newsletter out more regularly. I'm aiming for quarterly; hopefully by sharing that with you all, I'll keep to it!
Now onto the main event. I love an end-of-year recap, so this year I'm doing both books and TV shows. Drum roll, please...
My Favorite Reads in 2022
A Head Full of Ghosts: I love books that combine disturbing and funny; a thoughtful analysis of the horror genre was an unexpected bonus. The protagonist Merry reminded me of my favorite narrator in perhaps all of fiction—Merricat Blackwood from We Have Always Lived in the Castle. I loved this voice so much.
Stray: This one left me wonderstruck. The prose is so beautiful here—I think I highlighted half the book. Danler is such a talent. I loved Sweetbitter too; this one cemented her place as an auto-read author for me.
Notes on an Execution: I don't know if this is considered literary suspense or dark contemporary fiction, but I do know I want to read everything Kukafka writes from now on. If you, as an author, make me feel compassion for a SERIAL KILLER, then you have more than done your job. A thousand points to Gryffindor.
Tell Me an Ending: Figuring out how disparate narrative threads are going to weave together is my favorite reading puzzle—this novel has five POVs, so yes, it’s a thinker. What if we could get rid of our worst memories? How would we change? Would we be better off—or worse? Memory has long fascinated me (probably because mine is garbage), so this one was especially intriguing. Plus, the writing! Swoon.
Honorable Mentions (aka 4-star reads):
Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin
The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward
Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby
Afterland by Lauren Beukes
You by Caroline Kepnes
Black Boy by Richard Wright
The Method: How the Twentieth Century Learned to Act by Isaac Butler
The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan
Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister
How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu
Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner
Blue Ticket by Sophie Mackintosh
The Candy House by Jennifer Egan
We Spread by Iain Reid
Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad by Austin Kleon
Hell Is a Very Small Place: Voices from Solitary Confinement by Jean Casella
Save the Cat: The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need by Blake Snyder
We Can Remember It for You Wholesale by Philip K. Dick
Unspeakable Acts: True Tales of Crime, Murder, Deceit, and Obsession by Sarah Weinman
Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin
Ghosts by Dolly Alderton
Refuse to Be Done: How to Write and Rewrite a Novel in Three Drafts by Matt Bell
My Favorite TV Shows in 2022
Here in New York, the weather is perfect for staying inside, cozying up under a blanket, and ripping through a season or two of television. We're spoiled for choice these days, aren't we?
Hulu is killing it lately, IMHO. Three of my four favorite shows this year came from the streamer. We've got a little bit of everything in the options below: comedy, romance, psychological conundrums, suspense. If you watch any of them, let me know what you think.
Last but not least, I recently put together a video about the four real cults that inspired my fictional one, Wisewood, in my second book, This Might Hurt. You can check out the video below—and follow me on TikTok if that's a place you like to hang out.
The paperback edition of This Might Hurt comes out in the US on January 10, 2023! Preorder it here.
Wishing you and yours a safe and happy holiday, and a joyful new year.
Cheers to 2023!
You can buy THIS MIGHT HURT at the links below.
Amazon | Apple Books | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | Bookshop.org | IndieBound | Penguin Random House
Amazon | Apple Books | Bookshop.org | Kobo | Penguin | Waterstones | WH Smith
Amazon | Indigo | Simon & Schuster