Skip to main content

2022 Book Rankings, Part 2

Below is my ranking table with the book covers listed. They are a mix of audio and physical books (most being audio this year). I try to list mostly positives for these books as well as a quick guide to help you determine if it's something you'll enjoy. I don't go into the books in the Cool and Dull Tiers, but I'm happy to discuss these (and any) books in the comments below!

C-Tier: One Last Stop, Hearts Unbroken, The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World; D-Tier: Nothing But Blackened Teeth

C-Tier: One Last Stop, Hearts Unbroken, The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World; D-Tier: Nothing But Blackened Teeth

Stylish! Tier: Best of the Best

Title: Ship of Magic
Author: Robin Hobb
Year Published: 1998
Month Read: August
Audience: Adult
Format: Audiobook
Genre(s): Fantasy
TW: domestic abuse, rape

Why I loved it: I started this after reading the Rainwild Chronicles last year, which I picked up because of my love for all things dragon. It's interesting to see a slight uptick in interest in Robin Hobb books - while I'd never read much by her, I've known about her for some time. Seeing a surge in popularity spurred me to revisit. The Liveship Traders was not a trilogy I was originally interested in reading, as unlike Rainwild, there was no direct or obvious link to dragons, but I'm glad I read it because it was as good or better than Rainwild for me. Unfortunately I'd been in a reading funk the later half of 2022 and did not get around to finishing the trilogy, but I definitely intend to.

Awesome! Tier: Great Recs

Title: Masters of Doom: How two guys created an empire and transformed pop culture
Author: David Kushner
Year Published: 2003
Month Read: September
Audience: Adult
Format: Audiobook
Genre(s): Nonfiction, gaming, computer history
TW: language

Why I liked it: As with all books dragon-related, I love reading video game fiction and nonfiction. Video game history was/is my focus as a digital historian and I wrote several papers and projects on the topic for my archives and public history coursework. I'd never actually played DOOM, it was just a few years before my time so to speak, but the history of such an iconic video game and the industry is still fascinating to me. The book was entertaining, certainly, but not quite a couldn't-put-it-down like other video game books.

Masters of Doom (4/5) with reading recommendations: Game On!, Console Wars, You're Never Weird on the Internet

Masters of Doom (4/5) with reading recommendations: Game On!, Console Wars, You're Never Weird on the Internet

Title: Show Me a Sign (Show Me a Sign #1)
Author: Ann Clare LeZotte
Year Published: 2020
Month Read: July
Audience: Middle Grades
Format: Audiobook
Genre(s): Historical fiction, Own Voices
TW: kidnapping, human experimentation/child trauma

Why I liked it: This was the best middle grades book I read all year, hands down, and by a significant stretch. First, I was interested in it because it had Deaf protagonists and was written by a Deaf author. Second, it was about a piece of American history I had never even known about. I very much enjoyed the story and was one of the few books I had a hard time putting down.


Title: The Afterlife of Holly Chase
Author: Cynthia Hand
Year Published: 2017
Month Read: December
Audience: Young adult
Format: Audiobook
Genre(s): Holiday, paranormal, magical realism, retelling, romance
TW: death, depression

Why I liked it: This was actually a pretty clever story for me. There's something to be said for authors who manage to retell a classic in a new way, especially something as prolific as A Christmas Carol. While I generally avoid such retellings because they're either overly cliché or deviate too far from source material to be a good retelling, this one did pretty well. It was also the perfect type of romance for me; that is, the romantic relationship was neither at the center of the story nor was it the purpose of the story. I did have trouble staying interested in some parts, so there's not much to be said for real suspense or action, but all in all a great book to read around Christmastime, whether you're a Scrooge or not!

Bravo! Tier: Good But Not Great

Title: The Song of Achilles
Author: Madeline Miller
Year Published: 2011
Month Read: August
Audience: Adult
Format: Audiobook
Genre(s): Mythological fiction, historical fantasy, retelling
TW: Abuse, abduction, slavery, rape

Why it was good: I feel like this is one of those books you read and enjoy without really knowing why or how you're enjoying it. I liked seeing the pseudo-historical figure Achilles portrayed as an almost normal person with a desire to have a normal relationship. I think Miller's ability to humanize characters, even bad ones, is top notch. Not as high on my list as Circe, but worth the time to read.


Title: Last Gamer Standing
Author: Katie Zhao
Year Published: 2021
Month Read: August
Audience: Young adult
Format: Audiobook
Genre(s): Gaming fiction, sci-fi
TW: Bullying

Why it was good: A cross of sorts between Ender's Game and Warcross, Last Gamer Standing has the action and suspense but without any of the high stakes. Compared to Warcross and Slay, both of which are A-tier 5/5 books for me, Last Gamer Standing cannot compete with them to any great extent, but it's an excellent addition to your reading repertoire if you enjoy gaming fiction and sci-fi.

Last Gamer Standing (3/5) with reading recommendations: Slay, Warcross, Wildcard, Ready Player One

Last Gamer Standing (3/5) with reading recommendations: Slay, Warcross, Wildcard, Ready Player One

Title: Moon of the Crusted Snow
Author: Waubgeshig Rice
Year Published: 2018
Month Read: December
Audience: Adult
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): Apocalyptic fiction, Indigenous (Anishinaabe) fiction, dystopian
TW: Death

Why it was good: The setting was artistically described and as a reader, I felt the strain and mystery of the world ending from an outside point of view. I liked how this apocalypse was written; from a community who was not witnessing it directly all around them, but sort of on the edge of the world, while still feeling a sense of urgency in the matter. However, there was a lot that was not well explained which was more frustrating than mysterious - some of the deaths, for example, especially in the beginning, were random, and because the novel is so short, I did not get a chance to feel particularly invested or interested in many of the characters and their lives.

Scroll to Continue


Title: The Wordhord: Daily Life in Old English
Author: Hana Videen
Year Published: 2022
Month Read: December
Audience: Adult
Format: Audiobook
Genre(s): Nonfiction, history, etymology
TW: None

Why it was good: I have a soft, nerdy spot for etymological nonfiction and language histories. This one was very interesting in its content but not very interesting in its delivery. Unlike a few others I've read, it did not feel accessible to anyone with a passing fancy, but rather was clearly written for people who already have a high level of interest in this field of study.


Title: I Can Make This Promise
Author: Christine Day
Year Published: 2019
Month Read: July
Audience: Middle grades
Format: Audiobook
Genre(s): Contemporary fiction, adoption, Native American fiction
TW: Adoption, family trauma, separation

Why it was good: One of the few contemporary fictions I've read that feature Native American and Indigenous characters, this portrayed a horrific side of native history but in a very easy way for young readers. I would argue that anyone of any age who is unfamiliar with native history in this country start with middle grades books and work their way up. While I've ready fantasy and spec fiction from Indigenous authors, I often have trouble reading contemporary or literary fiction. This book is sweet and sad in the perfect amounts and helped spur my interest in understanding more about this particular aspect of history that I had never heard about.

The Word Hord (3/5) with reading recommendations: The Professor and the Madman, Word by Word, Index a history of the, The Bad-ass Librarians of Timbuktu

The Word Hord (3/5) with reading recommendations: The Professor and the Madman, Word by Word, Index a history of the, The Bad-ass Librarians of Timbuktu

Title: The Last Cuentista
Author: Donna Barba Higuera
Year Published: 2021
Month Read: October
Audience: Middle grades, young adult
Format: Audiobook
Genre(s): Sci-fi, dystopian, post-apocalyptic
TW: Death, colonization

Why it was good: It felt much more high-stakes than most middle grades books. While it was not necessarily a new twist on the 'Earth has been destroyed so now we are in cryo heading to another planet' trope, it was still a good read. There was a good amount of suspense and mystery, and the book definitely covered some dark themes.


Title: My Sweet Angel: The True Story of Lacey Spears, the Seemingly Perfect Mother who Murdered Her Son in Cold Blood
Author: John Glatt
Year Published: 2016
Month Read: August
Audience: Adult
Format: Audiobook
Genre(s): Nonfiction, true crime
TW: Abuse, mental illness, murder/death

Why it was good: This was one of those books, like a few others I've reviewed, where the content was exceptionally interesting, but the writing and delivery of the content were less than captivating. I vaguely had some notion of this event happening (it happened after I graduated high school, which was a hectic time for me). I was more interested in researching the topic on my own and so it took me a while to get through the book because I was constantly stopping and looking up my own info on the case.

Questions or comments? Discussion points and disagreements? Post them below!


Recommendations for 2023? I'd love to hear them!

end-of-year-2022

More from Rebekah

end-of-year-2022

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2023 Rebekah M

Related Articles