Not sure what to read in 2022? Well, get ready to have a new stack of can’t-put-down books in your possession. With self-improvement selections, fiction, nonfiction, and short stories to choose from, there’s something enthralling for every kind of reader to enjoy. Heck, our bedside table and current need for a nap is a testament to just how engrossing these reads are.
What to Read in 2022: Most Highly Anticipated Books (So Far)
1. The Latinist by Mark Prins
For literary fiction fans, this January release has it all: a study on obsession, power struggles, love, the twisted underbelly of academia, and—oh yeah—a modern-day retelling of the ancient Greek myth of Apollo and Daphne. If you like psychological thrillers, go ahead and order this lustrous debut for yourself (and maybe a few copies for fellow fans of the genre, too).
2. Smashing Statues: The Rise and Fall of America’s Public Monuments by Erin L. Thompson
Out February 8, brace yourself for a non-fiction winner. In recent times, the role statues and monuments play in society has been thrust into the spotlight. Here, an American art historian and lawyer who’s said to be the only professor specializing in art crime, explores the contentious issue of statues by looking at Freedom statue perched above the U.S. Capitol, knocking down Columbus statue at the Minnesota State Capitol, and other examples in our nation’s toppled history.
3. Blood and Rui ns: The Last Imperial War, 1931-1945 by Richard Overy
In a starred review, Kirkus Reviews called this upcoming April 2022 tome, “Startling yet persuasive…a brilliant, mildly controversial interpretation of the history, conduct, and aftermath of WWII.” We agree. Author and military historian Richard Overy proves his narrative bravado as he argues World War II was the “last imperial war,” following a near century of global imperial expansion, culminating in greed for global domination by Italy, Germany, and Japan in the 1930s and early 40s. Given the state of the world today, you’ll finish this captivating book not only rethinking what’s come before, but with a new perspective for how to avoid repeating the disastrous decisions of our past.
4. Don’y Worry: 48 Lessons on Relieving Anxiety from a Zen Buddhist Monk by Shunmyo Masuno; Translated by Allison Markin Powell
It’s a good time to brush up on your Resilience Amidst Hard Time Skills, huh? First stop: This primer on quelling anxiety and its clawing presence, arriving April from renowned Zen Buddhist and author of The Art of Simple Living. Considering 90 percent of your worries don’t come true (we repeat: 90 percent), it’s amazing how much time we spend caught up in our thoughts. Here, learn how to break free from unhealthy thoughts that bind us, doing so with straightforward, Zen principles.
5. The Nineties: A Book by Chuck Klosterman
The author of Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs proves his prowess at cultural commentary yet again in a recap of the 90s. As Kelefa Sanneh, author of Major Labels: A History of Popular Music in Seven Genres, puts it, “This might be the book Chuck Klosterman was born to write: a witty and unpredictable history of the decade that just won’t go away. From OJ to AOL to the GOP, he has a theory about everything, and a story about how all of it fits together.”
6. Myung Sung: The Korean Art of Living Meditation by Jenelle Kim, DACM, L.Ac
If your New Year’s resolution is to meditate more, try this January newcomer that teaches simple, effective strategies to weave meditation into your daily life. If greater purpose and more inner peace sounds good to you for 2022, pick up this book from a doctor of Chinese meditation and remember to thank us with a deep exhale.
7. Homespun: True Tales of Tweed by J. Joseph Pastrana
Another January arrival, this nonfiction work will captivate you with the fascinating history of tweed, looking at its use across cultures and time. You’ll get a glimpse at fashion powerhouses’ relationships with the material (think Alexander McQueen, Ralph Lauren, and Joseph Abboud). Throughout, you’ll journey to the cobblestone streets of London, sound stages of Hollywood, the prefectures of Japan. Hold on to your herringbone hat.
8. A Coin for the Ferryman by Megan Edwards
Hitting book stores and virtual shelves in March, this fictional tale chronicles a saga that gets going when Julius Caesar is kidnapped before his assassination in 44 B.C. Things get crazy when the Roman ruler is teleported to Los Angeles in 1999. There are funny moments—like when the statesman journeys to Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas—and thought-provoking explorations of philosophy and science. Above all, expect an action-packed thriller that’s certainly a welcome distraction from today’s relentless news cycles.
9. The Voltage Effect: How to Make Good Ideas Great and Great Ideas Scale by John A. List
This February, carve out some time for this nonfiction page-turner from University of Chicago professor and Lyft’s chief economist. To lift a line from his Wall Street Journal essay adapted from the book, “Growing up in small-town Wisconsin in the 1970s, I was raised on the gritty gospel of revered Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi, who famously said: ‘Winners never quit and quitters never win.’ ” Throughout some 250 pages, you’ll have the chance to learn about how to maximize your wins, through case studies like chef Jamie Oliver’s attempt to scale his restaurant business and why the failure to detect false positives on drug tests created issues in the Reagan-era drug-prevention program.
10. Breaking the Age Code: How Your Beliefs About Aging Determine How Long and Well You Live by Becca Levy, Ph.D.
According to this upcoming book from Yale epidemiology and psychology professor, your mere beliefs about aging can add or steal up to eight years of your life. Everybody wants to know how to live longer and more joyfully, and this guide uses insights to help you enhance your odds of doing just that. Available in April, pre-order this book if you want research-backed strategies to make the most of your time on this Pale Blue Dot.
11. The Family Chao: A Novel by Lan Samantha Chang
Coming in February, this book zooms in on a family-owned restaurant in the town of Haven, Wisconsin, with twists and turns aplenty. We’re talking a potential murder of the family’s despotic patriarch and the trial that follows. Penned by the current director of the esteemed Iowa Writers’ Workshop, it’s an intimate look at one Chinese-American family and a universal look at small-town America.
12. Love Unfu*kd by Gary John Bishop
On sale in January, this follow-up to New York Times bestseller Unfu*k Yourself is a must-read for strategic advice on how to have lasting, fulfilling relationships. If you’re single and hoping to sharpen up your Cupid’s arrow and find a partner, this book is for you. If you’re in a committed relationship and facing some pain points, this book is for you. If you’re divorced, this book is for you. Simply put, a better you awaits some 200 pages from now.
13. People from Bloomington by Budi Darma; Foreword by Intan Paramaditha; Translation & Introduction by Tiffany Tsao
If you’re unfamiliar, Darma was an acclaimed Indonesian novelist and short story writer who got his PhD in English literature from the University of Bloomington, Indiana, and taught at State University of Surabaya in Indonesia. As the title implies, this book is a deep dive on the Illinois town where Darma lived as a graduate student in the 1970s. Through a moving collection of fictional short stories, he touches on loneliness and isolation, connecting with others, and the power of our thoughts all through the lens of small-town American life. The 40th anniversary English translation debuts this April.
14. Northern Spy: A Novel by Flynn Berry
Okay, so it’s not technically new for 2022 (it was released in spring of last year), but it’s now in paperback, so we’ll give it points for that and if you haven’t devoured this New York Times bestseller already, do so now. Named one of the best mystery books of 2021 by the New York Times Book Review and the Washington Post, this book tells the story of Tessa and Marian, Irish sisters who become involved with the IRA. Tessa’s a new parent and producer at the BBC and Marian is a ski mask-wearing, well, you’ll see.
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