Best Books Of 2022 List

We are joined by three booksellers from the Boulder Bookstore who share their favorite books of 2022 and give recommendations for readers of all ages.

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Brad Costa is a buyer at the Boulder Bookstore and his four recommendations are:

Seven Empty Houses by Samanta Schweblin

“A creepy and wonderful collection of short stories from one of my new favorite authors. Each of these stories is about absence, a missing person, a void, something that just feels off. Schweblin writes wonderful slow-burn stories that build, and these seven stories combine for a master of a book. I know this just came out, but I’m already looking forward to what she puts out next.”

The Trees by Percival Everett

“Two dead bodies show up in a small town in Mississippi, but shortly afterwards one of them goes missing from the morgue, only to wind up at another crime scene. Everett does not let up for the next three hundred pages. This book is difficult to classify. It’s a little horror, a little comedy. It’s a murder mystery and a social critique. The way that all of these genres and styles mix and mingle is truly remarkable.”

Mount Chicago by Adam Levin

“Adam Levin is fast becoming one of my favorite contemporary writers. This novel details the despair of someone after intense tragedy; everyone that the main Solly loves dies when a crate forms in the center of Chicago. His despair is matched by Apter, a man who works in city hall and is trying to track him down for a benefit concert, where he wants the depressed comic to perform. The story was good, but Levin’s writing style is what kept me interested page after page.”

Lady Joker Volume 1 by Kaoru Takamura

“Based loosely on the Monster with 21 Faces crimes in the 1980s, this police procedural follows a crime against a corporation. Five people who have very little to do with each other decide to hold a beer company hostage, telling the president of the company that they will poison their on-shelf products if they are not paid handsomely. The crime in the 1980s was unsolved, but you’ll have to wait until October 2022 for the conclusion of this novel.”

Stephanie Schindhelm is the Marketing & Promotions Manager at the Boulder Bookstore, and her book recommendations are:

You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi

“What a gorgeous, sexy book! Akwaeke Emezi can write beautifully in any genre, and here they take on Romance. Feyi lost the love of her life in a car accident 5 years ago and finally feels like she can move on with her life and her art career. At the insistence of her best friend, she’s getting out into the dating scene again and meets the perfect guy — too bad she can’t ignore her attraction to his father.”

The Ballad of Perilous Graves by Alex Jennings

“A wonderful kaleidoscope of words and images! The jazz and art come alive in Alex Jennings’ surreal tour of New Orleans’ multifaceted personality, and like good jazz you have to pay attention. The melody is humming and the words seem familiar, but there is always something more to hear and sometimes the timing changes and it’s a whole new world.”

How to Be Eaten by Maria Adelmann

“Five women and their fairy tale inspired stories of love and trauma skewer our own obsession with tabloid and reality TV, media’s victim-blaming and slut-shaming, and society’s tendency to disbelieve women’s stories. This book is whip-smart, and the characters are dimensional and real (even if you don’t really like all of them). A great pick for book clubs, there’s so much to pull apart here.”

This Is What It Sounds Like by Susan Rogers & Ogi Ogas

“Most people love music of some kind, but maybe haven’t taken the time to analyze why they love what they love. Susan Rogers (who worked with PRINCE and then went on to get a PhD in cognitive neuroscience) and Ogi Ogas are here to help you figure out what your “listener profile” is based on how your brain responds to key elements in music. This was a fascinating read (and listen, since many songs are suggested throughout!).”

The Book Eater by Sunyi Dean

“Devon is part of a mysterious group of beings known as Book Eaters. They look human in most respects, but they’re fast, strong, and have a special set of teeth that they use to eat books. At least, most of them do – sometimes they are Mind Eaters, who have tubular tongues and eat minds. This is a beautiful and frightening fantasy novel about how far a mother will go to protect her child – even if she thinks he’s a monster.”

Liesl Freudenstein is the Children’s and Teen Buyer at the Boulder Bookstore and her recommendations for young readers are:

Our Friend Moon by Lea Redmond

“Our Friend Moon is a shaped board book with a lovely poem about the phases of the moon. Great gift for budding astronomers.”

Knight Owl by Christopher Denise

“Knight Owl is just SO DARN CUTE! I love the detailed medieval-feeling art juxtaposed with the flat-out adorableness of the idea of an Owl in knight garb. Even though he is the smallest of the knights and tends to nod off during the day, Owl takes his nightly Knight duties seriously even in the face of imminent danger. It makes me smile every time.”

The Sun is Late and so it the Farmer by Philip & Erin Stead

“The Steads are renowned for their quiet, classic stories and muted pallets. In our loud and busy world, it is nice to take a break with a beautiful book about four animals who go on a quest to wake up the sun, so they can have breakfast.”

Farmhouse by Sophie Blackall

“Sophie Blackall is the master of the longer form picture book. In this she imagines the lives of a family who once lived in a dilapidated old farmhouse on her property. Her art is always intricate and layered and one can spend lots of time admiring the details.”

The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza by Mac Barnett, Shawn Harris

“Why is it always the pizza that gets cats in trouble? In Mac Barnett’s latest romp he really lets his prodigious imagination loose. The moon is being eaten by rats and the only one who can save the world is the cat. Of course there is much silliness in this adventurous graphic novel making it a next read for those who love Dog Man.”

Mapmakers and the Lost Magic by Cameron Chittock, Amanda Castillo

“Another graphic novel adventure. The Mapmakers disappeared some time ago, and now the valley is ruled with an iron fist by the Night Coats. Alidade finds a way to become a mapmaker, but it will mean leaving her old life behind. What drew me into this one was the Southwestern homestead vibe in the art.”

A Rover’s Story by Jasmine Warga

“This was genuinely wonderful. I found myself completely invested in the story of Resilience and his mission. I was cheering him on, holding my breath, and feeling the wonder of discovery. I will be looking at Mars and its rovers with a new sense of amazement and delight from now on.”

Shuna’s Journey by Hayao Miyazaki, Alex Dudox De Wit (translator).

“Miyazaki is well known for his Studio Ghibli work but this illustrated fable is one of his earliest works from before he started Studio Ghibli and only recently translated. Based on a Tibetan folktale about how barley came to be used in farming, but told in a uniquely Miyazaki way. You can really see some of the same elements in his later works germinate in this graceful story.”

Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

“Margaret Rogerson has a great way of taking tropes and slanting them sideways for a whole new vibe. Smart, awkward Artimisa prefers the dead and as a novice nun it is her duty to perform the rites that keep the dead, well… dead. Naturally, her destiny lies elsewhere, more out in the open, with live people. This is Rogerson’s third stand-alone book and I have deeply enjoyed each one for its fresh take fantasy heroines.”

A Thousand Steps into Night by Traci Chee

“Tracy Chee’s Japanese inspired fantasy is such a treat! It’s got chatty spirits, tough girls and an evil vengeful spirit. Miuko doesn’t want adventure, but she runs smack into a curse that is turning her into a blue demon whose touch is deadly. In order to break the curse she must go on a quest. Tracy Chee has a light and spritely writing style that ushers the reader to the very satisfying conclusion. Loved it!”

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