University of New England - Innovation for a Healthier Planet

Books (old and new) that we loved in 2022

We’ve been busy reading this year and would like to pass along a few of our favorite titles:

Recommendations from UNE’s Library Services staff

Cadence Atchinson: Clair Keegan’s Small Things Like These was shortlisted for the Booker prize and won the Orwell prize for political fiction in 2022. It feels like a classic Christmas tale but is also a gut punch; and it’s a short quick read. 

Laura Taylor: The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin – magical realism at its finest.
The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi – short, funny sci-fi.
A Pocket Guide to Pigeon Watching: Getting to Know the World’s Most Misunderstood Bird by Rosemary Mosco – I’ve always wanted to hold a pigeon. They are underrated!

Sonya Durney: Lungfish, A Novel by Meghan Gilliss. It is a stunning book! Longlisted for The Center for Fiction 2022 First Novel Prize. The author is a lovely person – I worked with her at PPL! 

Beth Dyer: Lucy By The Sea by Elizabeth Strout (another Maine author!). This is the 4th novel featuring the character Lucy Barton. I did not love the others so was prepared not to like this one but was pleasantly surprised. A divorced couple from NYC moves to rural Maine at the onset of the pandemic to stay safe. Strout’s spare prose captures the uncertainties of the first year or so with poignancy and care, including the tenuous relationship with their new community. 

Cindy Stewart and Stew MacLehose: The Library Book by Susan Orlean. Fascinating non-fiction book about the 1986 fire that devastated the Los Angeles Central Library. A history of the library parallels the story of the suspected arson, Harry Peak.

Jenna Davis: Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica, translated from the Spanish by Sarah Moses. It’s not for the faint of heart!

Barb Swartzlander: I love Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer! Also, for a good laugh, the Chet & Bernie Mystery Series by Spencer Quinn is fun. Heart of Barkness is one of my favs.

Zach Enright: My favorite read of the year was a reread of David Copperfield. Dickens’ best in my opinion. Like being wrapped up in warm blanket with a cup of tea. And we have it in every possible format.

Kate Harold: For fun easy reads, I really enjoyed Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus and Taylor Jenkin Reid’s new book Carrie Soto is Back. We have them both as ebooks.

Amanda Leen: The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. It’s not new, but I just read it and enjoyed it; The Book Thief was the best book I read in 2022.

Cathleen Miller:  The Women Could Fly by Megan Giddings had so many of the things I love in a book: witches, queerness, magic, complicated story lines, issues of justice and equity. It’s not for everyone, but I found it captivating. Follow it up with Briefly, A Delicious Life by Nell Stevens, a book about a 14 year old ghost who falls in love with George Sand, and you have some very delicious reading ahead.