Here is my annual list of books that I rated at 9 or above. I rate most books I really enjoy as 8, but since that list would be over 100 books, I feel the need to limit myself.
I always have dreams of getting this list out in early January, or at the very least closer to when I put out my By the Numbers list. That’s maybe a goal I should be more realistic about, as both lists are quite time-consuming to put together. With this list in particular, I always want to have reviewed all the books I’m telling you were my favorites. I did go back and review some more of them, so that now slightly less than half of my 40 favorite books have reviews linked to them. Perhaps another year! In the meantime, the book covers will give some idea of the books.
Here is my standard disclaimer about rating books:
“I have never liked doing a public scale rating of books – the librarian in me would rather describe what’s in the book and let you decide if it sounds good for you. But I do give books number ratings on my own private spreadsheet. I shamelessly borrowed the Book Smugglers’ 10-point rating system for this, where 0 is “I want my time and my money back”, 5 is “meh” and so on. For my purposes, 7 is a book I enjoyed, 8 is one I loved and 9 is one I really, really loved. 10 only gets given out retrospectively to books I find myself re-reading and thinking about a lot – a true personal classic.”
- Aru Shah and the Nectar of Immortality by Roshni Chokshi
- Black Bird, Blue Road by Sofiya Pasternack
- Button Box by Bridget Hodder and Fawzia Gilani-Williams. Illustrated by Harshad Marathe
- Cece Rios and the King of Fears by Kaela Rivera
- Friends Forever by Shannon Hale & LeUyen Pham
- Kiki Kallira Conquers a Curse by Sandu Mandanna
- Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat. Read by Sura Siu
- Legend of Auntie Po by Shing Yin Khor
- Mirrorwood by Deva Fagan
- Omega Morales and the Legend of La Lechuza by Laekan Zea Kemp
- Wingbearer by Marjorie Liu and Teny Issakhanian
- And all the Stars by Andrea K. Höst
- Chaos on Catnet by Naomi Kritzer
- Clash of Steel by C.B. Lee
- Himawari House by Harmony Becker
- Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo. Read by Emily Woo Zeller
- Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger
- So Many Beginnings by Bethany C. Morrow
- Travelers along the Way by Aminah May Safi
- All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
- Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells
- Network Effect by Martha Wells
- Good Neighbors by Stephanie Burgis
- Half-Built Garden by Ruthanna Emrys
- Maus Book I by Art Spiegelman
- Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher
- Overdue: Reckoning with the Public Library by Amanda Oliver
- Spindle Splintered by Alix Harrow
- This Long Thread by Jen Hewett
- Touchstones by Stephanie Burgis
- Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark. Read by Suehyla El-Attar
- Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna
- Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch by Julie Abe (with my daughter)
- Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom by Sangu Mandanna (with my daughter)
- Dark Lord Clementine by Sarah Jean Horowitz. Read by Merissa Czyz (with my daughter)
- Linnets and Valerians by Elizabeth Goudge
- Ms. Marvel: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson et al
- Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett
- Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher
- True Pretenses by Rose Lerner
Congratulations on making it to the end of this list! Please let me know which of these books you also love, and if there are any I haven’t reviewed that you’d especially like a review of.
Great list! Linnets and Valerians is a one of my favourites from my childhood – I love seeing these books turning up on others people lists! I’ve read a good few of the books, others are on my TBR but some I have never heard of so good ones to check out! Thanks for sharing!
Linnets and Valerians was a childhood favorite of mine, too – and I remembered almost nothing about it even though I must have read it at least half a dozen times then!
I must re-read it – I only remember the bees! 🙂
You should do that, and let me know what you think!
Will do! 🙂
I really enjoyed Eva Evergreen too. A lot of your middle grade books are ones I hope to get to. Thanks for sharing your recap of 2022.
Oh, what great books you have here! Like Natalie, I have a lot of those middle-grade reads on my list—and I’d forgotten about Dark Lord Clementine, which gives me Diana Wynne Jones and Ursula Vernon vibes so I really want to read it!
I’m a big fan of Martha Wells (can’t wait for Witch King!)(and the new Murderbot!), Alix E. Harrow (I haven’t read A Mirror Mended yet; have you?), Stephanie Burgis (just finished Good Neighbors, and what fun it was! But I haven’t encountered Touchstones: what a gorgeous cover!), T. Kingfisher (have you read Illuminations yet? It’s so sweet—much closer to her Ursula Vernon stuff. She has such a range! I love Nettle and Bone so much.) Oh, and Andrea K. Höst! Have you read the Touchstone series yet? One of my comfort re-reads.
Adding several to my TBR: A Half-Built Garden sounds amazing! And those Remixes. And clearly I need to discover Sangu Mandanna!
Thanks for the list!
Thanks, Kim! I haven’t read anything else by either Alix E. Harris or Andrea K. Höst – I need to look for more of them! And I’m also excited for new Martha Wells books.
Oooh: you have to read Ten Thousand Doors of January! Also this wonderful short story: https://apex-magazine.com/short-fiction/a-witchs-guide-to-escape-a-practical-compendium-of-portal-fantasies/
Thank you, Kim!! I’ll look into those.