Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish
in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl
in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
This week's topic is Favorite Books of 2022
. I read so many awesome books last year, so it's almost impossible to pick just ten. So... I didn't. I picked fifteen.... LOL. I probably could've had a list of 30 or more. It really was a year of awesome books.
These aren't listed in any particular order. I just tried to group them by genre. And if you're curious about my full thoughts on the book, you can click the title of the book and it'll take you to my review.
Recorder (Children of the Consortium #1) by Cathy McCrumb
This was so good, I read it twice this year. I'm not a big rereader, so that's a big deal for me. It's probably my favorite sci-fi book I've ever read. The characters, the worldbuilding, the writing style. I can't get enough of it.
About the BookThe Consortium is All. But Recorder Can No Longer Obey.
Recorder has no family, no friends, and no name. Donated to the Consortium before birth, her sole purpose is to maintain and verify the records. A neural implant and drone ensure compliance, punishing for displays of bias.
Suddenly cut off from controlling technology, Recorder tastes what it means to be human. But if the Consortium discovers her feelings, everyone she knows will be in danger.
With no name, no resources, and only an infinitesimal possibility of escape, Recorder's time is running out.
Aberration (Children of the Consortium #2) by Cathy McCrumb
The sequel to Recorder! I always get a little nervous about sequels to beloved books, but this lived up to my expectations. Big. Time. This is the second to last book I read in 2022, and what a way to end the year. I have no words! It was so good! Definitely check out this series if you're a fan of the sci-fi genre. (Since I just recently finished this one, my review's not up on my blog just yet. But I'll hopefully have it up soon.)
About the BookFreedom Awaits, but the Consortium is Watching
When rogue drones threaten citizens and the ship’s crew falls ill, the Recorder answers their call for help, once again drawing scrutiny from the Consortium.
With no other option and under an Elder’s overbearing watch, she returns to Pallas Station where she nearly lost her life in the hope of finding something—anything—to save her friends and countless others. Her friends are determined to keep her safe, but for the Recorder, saving others comes first, no matter the cost.
Maxine Justice: Galactic Attorney by Daniel Schwabauer
This was just flat-out awesome! A sci-fi legal thriller? Yes, please! This was wholly unique. Never read anything like it before, but I want more! Maxine was a great character, realistically flawed with the worst luck ever. Another must read for fans of the sci-fi genre!
About the BookCan Justice Save the Earth from Extinction?
Maxine Justice is an ambulance-chasing lawyer desperate for relevance and cash when aliens hire her to represent them before the United Nations. An off-planet consortium wants to heal humanity of every natural disease in exchange for 30% of Earth’s gold reserves.
The deal launches Max to legal stardom and makes her an international target for assassins. MediCorp, Star Cross, PharFuture—the big medical companies all have good reasons to want Max out of the way. Worse, she discovers her alien clients may be planning something more sinister than anyone has imagined.
Can a lawyer who failed the bar exam three times find some way to save the world from global and interstellar conspiracies? Or will humankind’s future end in a galactic courtroom?
Nightfall in the Garden of Deep Time by Tracy Higley
This was such a beautiful book. I can't say enough good things about it. It will speak to anyone who's ever felt like they weren't good enough, who's been overlooked, who's been made fun of for their "silly" dreams, who's felt alone. It's for the creative in all of us.
About the Book (From author's website)You’re invited…
to a timeless party in a Secret Garden.
Expect to come back transformed.Kelsey Willoughby doesn’t have time
to pursue her writing dreams. Imagination doesn’t pay the bills, and she’s busy saving her beautiful bookshop from online competition, hotel developers, and the sneaking suspicion that nobody reads anymore.Not to mention all those voices
telling her she doesn’t have talent.
But then the vacant lot of weeds next door starts to shimmer.
When Kelsey stumbles into a luminous nighttime garden party,
larger than the vacant lot that holds it and filled with enigmatic guests, she suspects they hold the key to saving the bookshop, and perhaps even to her own mysterious origins.But answers aren’t forthcoming,
not until Kelsey is willing to confront her past, step into her potential, and push deeper into the unknown edges of the garden, where an unexpected journey takes her into a world of dangerous revelation.
Wishtress by Nadine Brandes
I've enjoyed every single one of Nadine Brandes' books, but this one might be my favorite one so far. It was such a powerful, poignant, and beautiful story. It was not a predictable read by any means. It took turns that I never would've guessed. And that ending? Oh my goodness, I'm still thinking about it. Still processing.
About the BookHer tears grant wishes. Her next tear will end her life.
She didn’t ask to be the Wishtress.
Myrthe was born with the ability to turn her tears into wishes. But when a granted wish goes wrong, she is cursed: the next tear she sheds will kill her. She must travel to the Well to break the curse before it can claim her life—and before the king’s militairen find her. To survive the journey, Myrthe must harden her heart to keep herself from crying even a single tear.He can stop time with a snap of his fingers.
Bastiaan’s powerful—and rare—Talent came in handy when he kidnapped the old king. Now the new king has a job for him: find the Wishtress and deliver her to the schloss. But Bastiaan needs a wish of his own. He gains Myrthe’s trust by promising to take her to the Well, but once he gets what he needs, he’ll turn her in. As long as his growing feelings for the girl with a stone heart don’t compromise him.Their quest can end only one way: with her death.
Everyone seems to need a wish—the king, Myrthe’s cousin, the boy she thinks she loves. And they’re ready to bully, beg, and betray her for it. No one knows that to grant even one wish, Myrthe would pay with her life. And if she tells them about the curse . . . they’ll just kill her anyway.
Dream of Kings by Sharon Hinck
This book left me in awe. What a beautiful and faith-stirring read! I was fully engaged from the very first word. There was palace intrigue, mystery, danger at every turn, and even some romance. Loved it!
About the BookThe Future Never Sleeps
In the glacial nation of Norgard, Jolan the Dream Teller serves every seeker, whether peasant or high lord. Though she loves using her gift, she struggles to navigate the corrupt and dangerous court and the jealousies of the Guildagard.
When an old man’s nightmare imparts a dire warning, Jolan realizes her entire nation is in danger. But before she can sound the alarm, she is betrayed by the guilds and sold into slavery in a rival kingdom far to the south. As a slave in a foreign land, at first Jolan can’t see beyond her singular focus: return home to warn Norgard of the coming calamity. After facing new dangers, making new friends, and forgiving old wrongs, she must fulfill the purposes the Provider has set before her.
Only then can she face a decision that could cost her the man she loves, her calling, and her freedom—all to save a people who abandoned her.
Shady Hollow by Juneau Black
This was a really fun and whimsical cozy mystery. I thought the whole concept of the story was great. Talking animals living together in a cozy village trying to solve a murder? Yeah, sign me up!
About the BookThe first book in the Shady Hollow series, in which we are introduced to the village of Shady Hollow, a place where woodland creatures live together in harmony--until a curmudgeonly toad turns up dead and the local reporter has to solve the case.
Reporter Vera Vixen is a relative newcomer to Shady Hollow. The fox has a nose for news, so when she catches wind that the death might be a murder, she resolves to get to the bottom of the case, no matter where it leads. As she stirs up still waters, the fox exposes more than one mystery, and discovers that additional lives are in jeopardy.
Vera finds more to this town than she ever suspected. It seems someone in the Hollow will do anything to keep her from solving the murder, and soon it will take all of Vera's cunning and quickness to crack the case.
Close Encounters of the Murderous Kind by Marissa Shrock
Bobbi Sue didn't really see an alien, right? But if she didn't, then what actually happened? When it became apparent that a murder had taken place around the same time as the "close encounter", I couldn't read fast enough. I had to try and figure out what was going on. I thought I had it figured out multiple times, but I ended up being so surprised. And I loved the fact that this book was set during the 1980s. You don't see that too often, so that added a nice little twist, plus I enjoyed all the 80s references.
About the Book
Bobbi Sue Baxter longs for the summer of 1988 to be over so she can leave her boring hometown of Wildcat Springs behind forever. Start using her journalism degree on stories with some excitement. She has no idea more excitement than she’s ever wanted is about to come after her.
On her way home from a movie, Bobbi Sue stops to help an injured dog and spots what looks like an alien. A blinding light flashes, and when Bobbi Sue can see again, the creature is gone. Did she really see . . .? No! Impossible. She says nothing to anyone, especially not to her conspiracy-obsessed father.
But when Bobbi Sue slips and tells her friend, Hemingway “Hemi” Miller, he shows her a story from Close Encounters in the USA. It’s about a man who reported an experience nearly identical to hers. And when well-known townsman, Ross Garland is found shot dead close to where she saw the “alien,” Bobbi Sue knows she can’t stay quiet.
The only problem is, the person behind the murder is intent on her doing exactly that, no matter what it takes.
Cold Drip (The Barks & Beans Cafe Mystery Series #6) by Heather Day Gilbert
This series is a must read for anyone who loves cozy mysteries. I fell in love with the characters, the cafe, and all the adorable doggies during the first book and couldn't get enough of it. Every book in this series has been stellar, but this one holds a special place in my heart. My dog Sadie has a walk-on role in this story. Sadie passed away over four years ago, and I still miss her every single day. She was literally the best friend anyone could ever hope for. So, to have her appear in the pages of this story was truly something special. Words can't do it justice. The author did a fantastic job of capturing Sadie's personality and I'm so happy that I get to share her smart, sassy sweetness with others.
About the BookWelcome to the Barks & Beans Cafe, a quaint place where folks pet shelter dogs while enjoying a cup of java...and where murder sometimes pays a visit.
Thanksgiving is on the way, and Macy's thrilled when her boyfriend Titan says he's coming to town for a week-long visit. She plans to take him to some of her favorite haunts, including the sprawling caverns nearby.
But when the lights go out during their underground tour and a local society darling plunges to her death, Macy can't shake the feeling that the cave's slippery floors weren't entirely to blame. She taps into the admittedly limited skills of her upscale barista, Milo, to do a little snooping in the moneyed circles he moves in. When he unearths a sinkhole of lies, Macy slides straight toward a killer who's not about to stop until every leak is sealed...permanently.
Join siblings Macy and Bo Hatfield as they sniff out crimes in their hometown...with plenty of dogs along for the ride! The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series features a small town, an amateur sleuth, and no swearing or graphic scenes.
The Premonition at Withers Farm by Jaime Jo Wright
This was Jaime Jo Wright's creepiest tale yet, and I loved every second of it! It deals with some spooky and dark things, but in the end, shines a light on the goodness and glory of God. I can't recommend it highly enough.
About the BookThe voices of the past cannot stay silent forever.
In 1910 Michigan, Perliett Van Hilton is a self-proclaimed rural healer, leaving the local doctor convinced she practices quackery. It doesn't help that her mother is a spiritualist who regularly offers her services to connect the living with their dearly departed. But when Perliett is targeted by a superstitious killer, she must rely on both the local doctor and an intriguing newcomer for assistance.
In the present day, Molly Wasziak's life has not gone the way she dreamed. Facing depression after several miscarriages, Molly is adapting to her husband's purchase of a peculiar old farm. A search for a family tree pulls Molly deep into a century-old murder case and a web of deception, all made more mysterious by the disturbing shadows and sounds inside the farmhouse.
Perliett fights for her life, and Molly seeks renewed purpose for hers as she uncovers the records of the dead. Will their voices be heard, or will time forever silence their truths?
The Souls of Lost Lake by Jaime Jo Wright
I was hooked from the very first page, completely captivated by the campfire ghost story of Ava Coons, wanting to know the real tale behind it because we all know that the very best ghost stories are steeped in at least a little bit of fact. I also quickly became equally invested in the present-day storyline following Wren Blythe. Both timelines were compelling, and I couldn't pick a favorite if you asked me.
About the Book
To save the innocent, they must face an insidious evil.
Wren Blythe has long enjoyed living in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, helping her father with ministry at a youth camp. But when a little girl in the area goes missing, an all-out search ensues, reviving the decades-old campfire story of Ava Coons, the murderess who is believed to still roam the forest. Joining the search, Wren stumbles upon the Coonses' cabin ruins and a sinister mystery she is determined to unearth.
In 1930, Ava Coons has spent the last several years carrying the mantle of mystery since the day she emerged from the woods as a thirteen-year-old girl, spattered with blood, dragging a logger's ax. She has accepted she will never remember what happened to her family, whose bodies were never found, and that the people of Tempter's Creek will always blame her for their violent deaths. And after a member of the town is murdered, and another goes missing, rumors spread that Ava's secret is perhaps more malicious than previously imagined.
Two women, separated by time, must confront a wickedness that not only challenges who they are but also threatens their lives, and the lives of those they love.
Sadie on the Rocks by Joanne Bischof
Sadie was a genuinely likable character. Nice, encouraging, and relatable. It was so inspiring to watch her face and conquer some of her fears and try new things. I loved that she was forging her own path at finding happiness, instead of continuing to do what was "expected" all while being unhappy.
About the Book
A story where hope is found at all new heights.
Graduate from college. Get married and have children. These have always been checkpoints on Sadie’s map of life. But still single in her thirties, and weary of unmet expectations, she faces a crossroads:
Continue waiting for life to begin? Or rethink what those checkpoints should be?
Determined to find renewed purpose, Sadie deletes her old dating apps, opting instead for a trip to the outdoor adventure store in her small, Colorado town. The plan is simple: find a hobby that offers fresh challenges and experiences. New horizons to be explored. Even if it means facing some of her biggest fears, inside and out.
So begins the first adventure in the all-new chronicles of Sadie McGillis—one woman who strives to redefine what happiness should look like. From Christy-Award winning author, Joanne Bischof, comes a faith-journey of the heart. A novel where friendships are born, life is embraced, and joy is found in unexpected places.
What an emotional read! This has been such a fantastic, faith-stirring series. I've really fallen in love with the Murphy family. I've enjoyed getting to know them, following alongside them, and rooting for them as they've faced some tough real-life struggles. This is Connor's second book. I didn't know how I'd feel about that. His and Sadie's story was a favorite. An emotional ride, for sure, but oh so good. This one was an emotional read too, for different reasons. While this story had its hard moments, it was an incredibly rewarding read. Loved it!
About the Book
He has wrestled with grief and now wants only for life to hold steady. She's been forced to begin anew, and longs for a fresh, uncomplicated path. It seems neither are getting what they want . . . but maybe God is handing them exactly what they need.
Two years after losing the love of his life to cancer, Connor Murphy is slowly emerging from the darkness of grief, but he wrestles with fears about how he and his twelve-year-old son Reid will manage to navigate Reid’s teenage years on their own. Connor’s single-minded prayer has become, please, no more changes, but when single mom Jade Beck arrives to take on the job Sadie Murphy had done before her death, it becomes clear God has stamped his prayer request denied.
Jade Beck’s prayers were answered when she received the offer of a job as Lakeshore Lodge’s marketing and customer relations manager. Or so she thought. After a messy divorce, she and her two children need a safe place to land and find the peace their lives have lacked, but once she meets her abrupt, brooding supervisor, Mr. Connor Murphy, her fresh start suddenly looks a bit…stale. She’s already endured fifteen years living with a condescending man, and she won’t be a doormat anymore.
Against their wishes, they are tossed together, and it feels like anything but easy.
As the challenges of single parenting continually push them together, Jade and Connor’s relationship gradually transforms from cold and awkward to respectful and mutually supportive…and eventually to something deeper and more tender. But navigating these changes forces them to deal with the hurts and disappointments of their pasts and confront the fears that hold them captive.
Surrendering their hopes and fears to God has never felt so daunting.
Can they learn to see the goodness of God, even in their broken paths, and trust that morning by morning, God’s tender mercies are ever new?
Morning by Morning, book 8 in the Murphy Brothers Stories, is a complex, emotional story of hope after heartache, of deeply moving, tender romance after devastating loss, and God’s faithful love, even in life’s hardest place.
This was an absolute joy to read. Brielle had such a kind soul. I admired the way she handled being thrust into such an overwhelming situation. She did it with such grace and poise. And I loved how she leaned on the Lord and prayed over every decision, big or small. It was so inspiring.
About the Book
It seems like a dream come true . . . until it forces her to question everything.
Brielle Adebayo is fully content teaching at a New York City public school and taking annual summer vacations with her mother to Martha's Vineyard. But everything changes when her mom drops a bombshell--Brielle is really a princess in the island kingdom of Ọlọrọ Ilé, off the coast of Africa, and she must immediately assume her royal position, since the health of her grandfather, the king, is failing.
Distraught by all the secrets her mother kept, Brielle is further left spinning when the Ọlọrọ Ilé Royal Council brings up an old edict that states she must marry before her coronation, or the crown will pass to another. Brielle is uncertain if she even wants the throne, and with her world totally shaken, where will she find the courage to take a chance on love and brave the perils a wrong decision may bring?
The Buy-In by Emma St. Clair
This was an absolutely delightful romantic comedy. I loved that even though there were a ton of laughs, (seriously, I found myself laughing out loud on numerous occasions) there was a lot of depth too. There were some tough real-life issues addressed here. It felt like the perfect combination.
About the Book"You can't Schitt's Creek a town, Tank."
"And you can't verb a noun, son."When a family of former pro football players buy a small Texas town, they didn't intend to start a war with its residents ... or to fall in love.
Ever since his career-ending injury, Pat has bounced from job to job, idea to idea, short-lived relationship to short-lived relationship. But when his father purchases the town of Sheet Cake, Pat suddenly sees his life with clear purpose: get his brothers on board with his dad's wild idea and win back the one woman who got away.
Lindy was supposed to be traveling the world, not stuck in a small town, caring for her niece. But she would do anything to keep custody of Jo--even if that looks like a marriage of convenience with the man who already broke her heart once.
Now if she can only keep herself from falling back in love with her husband...
What were some of your favorite books of the year?