My Favorite Books I Read In 2022

Dec 31, 2022

Bookshelf in a log cabin

It’s that time of year again! time to round up all the books I read and pick out my favorites. Twenty-twenty-two was the year I started grad school. So a lot of my reading time shifted to reading for school. But I still managed to read many books and found some favorites in the process.

Without further adieu, here they are!

101 Essays Book

101 Essays That Will Change The Way You Think

Why I loved it: This book is broken into 101 short essays on everything from mental health to belonging, relationships, work, heartbreak, loss, and more. It felt like reading a devotional every morning. Brianna Wiest is truly a gifted writer with so much insight and wisdom. I learned a lot from this book, and it’s definitely one I’m going to read again.

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We Are Not Like Them

Why I loved it: This powerful and compassionate story explores how race in America today and how it impacts ordinary lives.

Told from alternating perspectives, this story is about two friends one Black and one white, and how their friendship is indelibly alternated after a deadly police shooting. I came across this book in a bookstore and was immediately caught by the plot. I’m so glad I picked it up and finished it in record time.

“But the deep connection they share is severely tested when Jen’s husband, a city police officer, is involved in the shooting of an unarmed Black teenager. Six months pregnant, Jen is in free fall as her future, her husband’s freedom, and her friendship with Riley are thrown into uncertainty. Covering this career-making story, Riley wrestles with the implications of this tragic incident for her Black community, her ambitions, and her relationship with her lifelong friend.”

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What My Bones Know

Why I loved it: This memoir of complex trauma is one of the most impactful and knowledgeable memoirs I’ve read on trauma.

Stephanie Foo is an audio journalist of Malaysian descent that grew up in a home where she experienced regular physical, verbal, and emotional abuse at the hands of her parents. As an adult seeking to heal, she set out on a journey to understand her diagnosis – Complex PTSD. Stephanie takes us along as she discovers what C-PTSD means, how to live with it, and how it’s manifested in her own life. She shares the insights and science she learned along the way, making this memoir rich in personal history and packed with learning opportunities.

“Being healed isn’t about feeling nothing. Being healed is about feeling the appropriate emotions at the appropriate times and still being able to come back to yourself.”

From her therapist: “You have to be aware of how big a power difference there is between patient and therapist. And if you really want to work effectively with people, you have to keep surrendering your power. And that means being humble and making mistakes and fumbling and being comfortable with that.”

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Good Morning, Monster

Why I loved it: This book, written by therapist Catherine Gildiner, presents the stories of 5 of her most heroic and memorable patients from her decades of work. Each hero has their own hardships to face, each one compelling and heart-wrenching. I read this book in a day and a half and couldn’t put it down. Definitely one of my favorite books of the year so far. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for stories of human resiliency despite all odds.

“People who don’t feel pain can’t feel joy.”

“In the long run, shame always outlives physical pain. “Anyone who thinks of a shameful memory will experience it at least as vividly as when they had the original experience,”

“I was beginning to see that it didn’t matter at all if I knew what was wrong with a client. The art of therapy is getting the client to see it.”

“Our unconscious needs are strong—so strong that they can overwhelm us. We all desperately want to be loved.”

“Love means vulnerability; people who love you can also hurt you. Making oneself vulnerable is the ultimate in bravery.”

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I’m Glad My Mom Died

Why I loved it: iCarly was after my time as a kid, but I have seen a few episodes here and there. So when I started seeing this book online, it piqued my interest. It’s quickly become one of my must-reads for 2022. Jeanette McCurdy was a child star on the Disney show. She had it all – the stage mom, an eating disorder, and her own spin-off show. So why was everything just so fucked up all the time? This memoir is an honest and raw account of Jeanette’s life as a child actor and how her relationship with her mom affected her physical and mental health.

“Why do we romanticize the dead? Why can’t we be honest about them? Especially moms, they’re the most romanticized of anyone.

Moms are saints, angels by merely existing. No one could possibly understand what it’s like to be a mom. Men will never understand, women with no children will never understand. No one buts moms know the hardship of motherhood and we non-moms must heap nothing but praise upon mom because we lowly, pitiful, non-moms are mere peasants compared to the goddesses we call mothers.”

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Blood Orange Night: My Journey to the Edge of Madness

Why I loved it: This book is a gift and an accomplishment. Melissa Bond started struggling with insomnia as the mother of small children and went to a doctor to see what could be done. She was prescribed benzodiazepines, a highly addictive drug that affects the central nervous system as a depressant. People can get addicted to benzos after just a couple of days of taking them. What followed was a years-long struggle to get off of benzo. But her addiction to them didn’t look like typical drug addiction. There were no triggers, no cravings, just the looming threat of fatal seizures if she tapered too quickly. This memoir takes us along her dark journey of tapering down off of benzos and how she got there in the first place – at the hands of a doctor.

“I had no name for what I was feeling, but art did. Art and poetry gave my wounds a home.”

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Emotional Inheritance

Why I loved it: This book was a powerful read. It sheds light on how generational trauma can affect our lives through personal stories and decades of research.

“It is the ability to accept that which cannot be changed or fixed that allows us to start mourning. That permission to grieve for our losses and faults, as well as for our parents’, can access with life and welcomes the birth of new possibilities.”

“ The growing ability to integrate and process pain helps us find meaning, heal, live life to the fullest, and raise the next generation with honesty and integrity.”

“Trauma is transmitted through our minds and through our bodies, but so are resilience and healing.”

“The next generations carry not only the despair of the past, but also hope, because their mere existence is evidence that their family survived and that a future is possible.”

“The people we love and those who raised us live inside us; we experience their emotional pain, we dream their memories, and these things shape our lives in ways we don’t always recognize. Emotional Inheritance is about family secrets that keep us from living to our full potential, create gaps between what we want for ourselves and what we are able to have, and haunt us like ghosts.”

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Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted

Between Two Kingdoms: a Memoir of Life Interrupted

Why I loved it: I’m drawn to stories of resilience, and this certainly is one. After graduating from college, Suleika Jaouad was diagnosed with leukemia and spent much of the next four years in a hospital bed. After countless rounds of chemo, a clinical trial, and a bone marrow transplant, Suleika was now “cured.” However, she would soon learn that being cured is not where the work of healing begins. She spent the past 1,500 days with one goal: survive. And now that she has, she’s realized she has no idea how to live. This memoir chronicles her journey through leukemia and the aftermath.

“I’ve spent the past fifteen hundred days working tirelessly towards a single goal – survival. And now that I’ve survived, I’m realizing I don’t know how to live.”

“They taught me that, when life brings you to the floor, there is a choice: you can allow the worst thing that’s ever happened to you to hijack your remaining days, or you can call your way back into motion.”

‘There is no restitution for people like us, no return to days when our bodies were unscathed, our innocence intact. Recovery isn’t a gentle self-care spree that restores you to a pre-illness state. though the world may suggest otherwise, recovery is not about salvaging the old at all. It’s about accepting that you must forsake a familiar self forever, in favor of one that is being newly born. It is an act of brute, terrifying discovery.”

‘After you’ve had the ceiling caved in on you – whether through illness or some other catastrophe – you don’t assume structural stability. You must learn to live on fault lines.”

“The way we heal does not always look like healing. “

“At times, my heart feels so haunted that there’s no room for the living – for the possibility of new love, new loss. “

“That’s all you can do in the face of these things. Love the people around you. Love the life you have. I can’t think of a more powerful response to life‘s sorrows than loving.”

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Lessons in Chemistry Book

Lessons in Chemistry

Why I loved it: I initially resisted picking this book up. It’s insanely popular, and the cover kind of turned me off. But once I read the synopsis and a few reviews. I decided to check it out. And I’m so glad I did! This is exactly the type of fiction I like – one that features an unusual, plucky, intelligent, and a bit socially awkward female lead. This book touches on gender roles, sexism, workplace harassment, sexual assault, single motherhood, education, religion, and more with such strength and insight. I highly recommend this book if you’re looking for an empowering read of a woman who doesn’t fit the mold and never quite cared to anyways.

“Whenever you start doubting yourself, whenever you feel afraid, just remember. Courage is the root of change—and change is what we’re chemically designed to do. So when you wake up tomorrow, make this pledge. No more holding yourself back. No more subscribing to others’ opinions of what you can and cannot achieve. And no more allowing anyone to pigeonhole you into useless categories of sex, race, economic status, and religion.”

“Chemistry is change and change is the core of your belief system. Which is good because that’s what we need more of—people who refuse to accept the status quo, who aren’t afraid to take on the unacceptable.”

“But people need to believe in something bigger than themselves.” “Why?” Calvin pressed. “What’s wrong with believing in ourselves?”

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What were your favorite books of 2022?

Tell me in the comments! Ps, here are my favorite books of 2021 and 2018.

by | Dec 31, 2022

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by chaucee

Hi, I’m Chaucee, the hands behind the words on this screen. I started this blog as a college freshman in 2008 as a creative outlet while studying for my bachelor’s. Since then it’s grown into a way to document things I love and things I’m learning. Welcome : )

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