Seeing Positive and Negative

This beautiful block print was done by my granddaughter and given to us as a Christmas gift. If you look at it, you can see both a positive and negative rose. This is just like life. Sometimes the roses shine bright and are easy to see. Other times they may be dark and harder to […]

Seeing Positive and Negative

2022 Book List

I read 64 books in 2022. My lowest total in many years. These are my (highly subjective) 22 favorite books, in order, for 2022.

No.Book TitleAuthorYearPublisherComments
22RecklessCraig Lucas1989Theatre Communications GroupI did not read very many plays in 2022. This was the best of the lot.
21Of Whimsies & NoublesMatthew Hughes2014PS PublishingApparently, Matt is “the heir apparent to Jack Vance.” Very high praise indeed and I would agree. His dying Earth stories are always a delight.
20The Best American Essays: 2022Alexander Chee (Ed.)2022Mariner BooksThese collections of essays are always well-worth reading. Here are my favorites (in no particular order) from this collection: Melissa Febos, The Wild, Sublime Body; Naomi Jackson, Her Kind; Angelique Stevens, Ghost Bread; Jason Brown, The Wrong Jason Brown
19Class: A Guide Through the American Status SystemPaul Fussel1983Summit BooksEverything Fussel does is well-written. I found this particularly interesting to compare and contrast the current status system with the one he describes from forty years ago.
18Hummingbird SalamanderJeff Vandermeer2021MCD Farrar, Straus and GirouxIntricate and well-plotted with strong characters and plenty of action. JV is a pro.
17The Snake PitMary Jane Ward1946Random HouseA ground-breaking work providing insight into the nightmarish world of 1940’s psychiatric hospitals from a talented writer with first-hand knowledge.
16PastoraliaGeorge Saunders2000Riverhead BooksAnother superb collection of stories from a master of the short form.
15The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Ninth Annual CollectionGardner Dozois (Ed.)2012St. Martins GriffinAnother excellent collection of science fiction short stories and novellas from arguably the greatest series of best of anthologies.
14Lord of ChaosRobert Jordan1994TOR FantasyBook Six of The Wheel of Time series. This was the best of the several novels I read in 2022 from WoT. I consider WoT to be the fourth best epic fantasy series of all time. You’ll have to guess the first three.
13The Women of Copper CountryMary Doria Russell2019Atria PaperbackThis is a very good piece of historical fiction set in the Keewenaw Peninsula of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula which makes it of particular interest to me. Everything MDR writes is good. I did a Zoom Q&A, arranged through UPPAA, with her about this book. She was charming and informative and at the end of the session announced she was retiring and that would be her final public appearance.
12The Ocean at the End of the LaneNeil Gaiman2013William MorrowAnother well-written fantasy novel by this writing superstar. This particular edition (2019) was beautifully illustrated by Elise Hurst.
11Consider This: Moments in my Writing Life after which Everything was DifferentChuck Palahniuk2021Grand Central PublishingA how to that is well-organized and filled with pragmatic advice for the would-be writer. It is also a fun read as he intersperses the advice with brief, improbable tales of the writer’s life on the road.
10Telegraph AvenueMichael Chabon2012HarperA sterling effort from one of America’s premier novelists that is, once again, replete with fascinating popular culture references.
9In Search of SnowLuis Alberto Urrea1994Harper PerennialMy wife saw him speak and then introduced his work to me. He quickly became a favorite. He is a natural-born story-teller.
8Strange Weather: Four Short NovelsJoe Hill2017William MorrowThe oldest son of Stephen King seems, like the old man, to have writing chops. I particularly liked Aloft.
7The North WaterIan McGuire2016Picador Henry Holt & Co.A driving, relentless, force of nature novel. Gritty and brutal, it gets a hold of you and doesn’t let go.
6Stories of Your Life and OthersTed Chiang2002Vintage BooksAnother superb collection of speculative tales by TC. He is one of our best short story writers.
5Magic Hours: Essays on Creators and CreationTom Bissell2018Vintage BooksTB was born and raised in Escanaba. He is a hometown boy that’s made it big. So I had to try this book and was blown away by his writing. I’ll be looking for more of his work.
4The Marriage PlotJeffrey Eugenides2011Farrar, Straus and GirouxAnother brilliant novel by this native Detroiter. He does not seem to write much but whatever he produces is well worth the wait.
3Peter Watts is an Angry Sentient Tumor: Revenge Fantasies and EssaysPeter Watts2019Tachyon PublicationsPicked up this book mostly because of the intriguing title. He writes with an arc welder so don’t get too close and be careful of your eyesight. I will have to read some of his novels probably starting with Blindsight.
2Early Morning RiserKatherine Heiny2021Alfred A. KnopfI adored this book. Partly because of the northern Michigan setting but mostly because of its heart and humor.
1The SympathizerViet Thanh Nguyen2015Grove PressDebut novels have no business being this good. It deserves, without question, its accolades and awards including a Pulitzer and Andrew Carnegie Medal.