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Staff Picks: The Best Reads of 2022

Is the best book of the year your favorite read?

By Amanda Cleveland • December 28, 2022

While radio and television ensure millions are tuned in at the same time to exactly the same thing, readers are generally self-driven, finding what they want, reading what they want, and doing it when they want. Aside from when the next in a favorite series comes out and readers flock to it like a Netflix season drop, it's very rare that everyone is reading the same thing. 

That is why it's so special when a single title can take the world by storm, like our Best Book of 2022 did. But it's also why I asked our staff for not one but two recommendations. This round of staff picks, I asked what our staff thought the best book of 2022 was, and what their favorite read of the year was, regardless of when it was released. Now that you know the how, let's get to the good part already.

The Best Book of 2022 Is: I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

The overwhelming favorite new book of 2022 from our staff, even months after its release we can't stop talking about it. It's no surprise really, since from the get-go McCurdy had people talking with the title alone and word-of-mouth buzz never stopped. This book could not stay on the shelves anywhere.

Celebrity Jennette McCurdy's engrossing memoir tells the story of her life, focusing on her mother's narcissism and abuse which was ever present throughout her life, and details her time in show business. Both heartbreaking and hilarious, McCurdy recounts her life in unflinching detail.

What our staff had to say about it:

I have a lot of mom issues myself, and this book really spoke to me. I found myself really engrossed and dying to read more, as I really saw a bit of myself in her experiences. I also grew up watching her on TV, so this was a very interesting read that I ended up loving!—Jennifer H./Customer Service
What made this book amazing to me was her ability to write about her experiences as if she was right back in the moment. It's written in present-tense throughout, which really helps you to feel and understand what she was going through.—Amanda C./Marketing
For Danielle in Supply, the most powerful statement was a quote from the book itself that gets at Jennette's struggles with her mother: "I always forget that trying to reason with the unreasonable is...unreasonable."

More Best Books of 2022

As we are not a hivemind, we did have other opinions too! Here are some of the other favorites of the year.

Hidden Pictures by Jason Rekulak

This gripping psychological thriller has you fully entranced from the start. You think you have it all figured out, and then BAM. The plot twist you never saw coming! So well-designed and incredibly written.—Sarah M./Vintage Lead

Cinema Speculation by Quentin Tarantino

In an age when writers are silly-scared to give an opinion that doesn't mindlessly repeat talking points on either side of the political aisle, it's nice to read a series of essays from a hyper-opinionated aficionado. Tarantino sticks to what he knows - the cinema of the sixties and seventies - and not only does he know his stuff, he's not afraid to name names and throw down. Bravo!—Bernardo/Communications Manager

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

This book was brilliant. Demon Copperhead gives a voice and pathos to people often misunderstood or ignored in most fiction, and does it without trite clichés or tropes, it's just…a life, yet fiction.—Amanda C./Marketing

For more of ThriftBooks® favorites, we have a full list of the Best Books of 2022, which includes the top 20 best books of the year by genre for Literature & Fiction, Kids & YA, Nonfiction (you already know what's #1!), Mystery, Romance, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, and Cookbooks.

Our Favorite Reads of 2022

What makes our favorite reads distinct from the best books of 2022 is that these books came out somewhere between 700 ACE and 2021, but our staff recommending read them for the first time this year.

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

I got the book because the cover art was pretty, and found myself deeply rooted in a small town mystery about people drowning. From start to finish, I was hooked by her impressive world building and writing.—Jennifer H./Customer Service

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Faces change with life's toll, but eyes remain a window to what was. Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing—recommended by Danielle T./Supply Team

These Hollow Vows by Lexi Ryan

This book was AMAZING and had me hooked right away. If you like ACOTAR, you'll love this one.—Rachel S./Project Management

Thirteen Storeys by Jonathan Sims

Sims does what Sims does best: leave me deeply unsettled and suspicious of all the shadowy corners in the room.—Andy A./Customer Service

Beowulf translated by Maria Dahvana Headley

The most readable English translation, Headley manages to remind audiences how it really feels to be the intended audience of an epic poem.—Andy A./Customer Service

How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather

This YA Historical Fiction brings the Salem Witch Trials to life in a brand-new way. The author shows us that past actions still have present day consequences, and that in order to overcome, we have to work together. This book has a lesson for all of us in it.—Sarah M./Vintage Lead

Paperbacks From Hell by Grady Hendrix

This title came out in 2017, and much as I might try to escape it, so many roads lead back to it, I have to pay tribute. If you're a horror buff—or even just pretend to be—you have to read this, or you won't even BEGIN to understand how horror novels and movies have evolved to their present day incarnations.—Bernardo/Communications Manager

Cain's Jawbone by Torquemada (AKA E. Powys Mathers)

Thank you #BookTok for this recommendation. I have no idea what is happening in this thing and I absolutely love it. It's a murder mystery puzzle book from the 1930s that I've deluded myself into thinking I'll solve. It still counts as a book I read even if the pages are out of order, right?—Amanda C./Marketing

I am still trying to solve Cain's Jawbone, so the list must tragically end here to give me time to figure out that epic whodunit. I hope you found something to fill your shelf! I would trust any of our recommendations, after all, who knows more about books than ThriftBooks? If you're already over 2022 and looking ahead, check out our list of the Most Anticipated books of 2023.

Read more by Amanda Cleveland

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