The Best Books of 2022, According to Barnes & Noble

published Oct 15, 2022
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Credit: Liz Calka

As the end of 2022 draws nearer, you may find yourself looking back on your yearly reading goal. Whether you’ve read 1 book or 100 this year, we can all agree: Figuring out what to read next is never easy. With so many great books coming out each month, crafting your TBR pile can feel like a full-time job.

To help you out, Barnes & Noble has released their list of the 10 best books of 2022. The list spans genres, including both fiction and nonfiction titles. With selections ranging from a first lady’s new book and a former Nickelodeon star’s memoir to a dark academia tale and a middle-grade unicorn adventure, you’re bound to find something that speaks to you.

“There has been no shortage of absolutely extraordinary books published this year, with so many amazing new voices putting pen to paper and bookseller favorites returning to the page,” Barnes & Noble Director of Books Shannon DeVito said in a press release. “Narrowing down this list was no easy feat, but after many lively conversations, we selected the ten books that exemplify the sparkling assortment and excitement this publishing year. 

DeVito continued: “These are stories that have truly captivated the attention and love of our booksellers and I’m confident they will make for great gifts this holiday season, resonating with readers nationwide.”

In no particular order, here are Barnes & Noble’s Top 10 best books of the year:

1. “Babel” by R.F. Kuang

Credit: HarperCollins Publishers/Barnes & Noble

Notes From Your Bookseller: “A dark academia standalone that dives into the power of language and evils of imperialism, student revolutions, and colonial resistance. ‘Babel’ swirls with magic, lore, and Kuang’s signature attention to detail.”

2. “I’m Glad My Mom Died” by Jennette McCurdy

Credit: Simon & Schuster

Notes From Your Bookseller: “Readers get the chance to learn how ‘the industry’ really works, as [former Nickelodeon actress] Jennette describes what it’s like as a child star, further fueling the narrative, of late, around how victimizing Hollywood can be. Jennette is direct, honest and hilarious, and despite it all, delivers an inspiring story of resilience and recovery.”

3. “Lessons in Chemistry” by Bonnie Garmus

Credit: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Notes From Your Bookseller: “All’s fair in love and chemistry. It’s 1960s California and there are certain things that women just don’t do. When scientist Elizabeth Zott finds herself the host of a television cooking show, she kicks off a revolution that does more than just challenge the status quo. You will fall in love with the cast of characters in this debut novel that has already been picked up as an Apple TV+ series.”

4. “Our Missing Hearts” by Celeste Ng

Notes From Your Bookseller: “Celeste Ng has made a name for herself as a bestselling author and with books like this one, it’s no surprise. Timely and stunning, this novel about the bond between a mother and child in a society living in fear, will absolutely embed itself in your heart.”

5. “Prisoners of the Castle” by Ben Macintyre

Credit: Crown Publishing Group

Notes From Your Bookseller: “Ben Macintyre, a virtuoso chronicler of WWII and bestselling author of ‘Operation Mincemeat,’ turns his focus from his more usual intrepid spies to the history of Colditz Castle, the infamous maximum security Nazi prison, and the audacious exploits of its escape-prone Allied denizens. ‘Prisoners of the Castle’ is a propulsive, almost cinematic read.”

Credit: Scribner

Notes From Your Bookseller: “From the author of Pulitzer Prize-winning ‘The Emperor of All Maladies,’ this book works to understand what it means to be human through one of our most basic and compelling components: the cell. Part scientific history, part reflection from author Siddhartha Mukherjee told through rich language, this revelatory work is not to be missed.

Credit: Crown Publishing Group

Notes From Your Bookseller: “Former First Lady Michelle Obama shares practical wisdom and powerful strategies for staying hopeful and balanced in today’s highly uncertain world. Drawing from her experiences as a mother, daughter, spouse, friend and First Lady, she shares the habits and principles she has developed to successfully adapt to change and overcome various obstacles — the earned wisdom that helps her continue to ‘become.'”

8. “The Rabbit Hutch” by Tess Gunty

Credit: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group/Barnes & Noble

Notes From Your Bookseller: “A brilliant new voice in American fiction, Tess Gunty has blazed onto the scene with this dazzling debut. Lyrical prose pairs with the profound in this sublime dive into Midwestern life from an author destined for a storied career.”

9. “A World of Curiosities” by Louise Penny

Credit: St. Martin's Publishing Group

Notes From Your Bookseller: “A year is complete when we know we are going to spend some time with Armand Gamache. ‘A World of Curiosities’ continues Penny’s empathetic investigation into the human condition. We are in good hands with Armand Gamache and the residents of Three Pines.”

10. “Skandar and the Unicorn Thief” by A.F. Steadman

Credit: Simon & Schuster/Barnes & Noble

Notes From Your Bookseller: “In a world not unlike our own, 13-year-old Skandar dreams of becoming a respected unicorn rider and competing in the Chaos Cup. You see, unicorns are very real in Skandar’s world — and in fact, they are deadly, bloodthirsty creatures who are extremely dangerous unless bonded to a rider. But shortly after Skandar bonds with his unicorn, he learns an even greater danger is afoot — and it’s up to them to stop it. This adventure of epic proportions is set to take the world by storm.”