Our Top Picks of 2022
Presenting our top book picks for 2022, as selected by our booksellers.
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The best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Road returns with a two-volume masterpiece in an artfully designed box set. The Passenger is a fast-paced and sprawling novel while Stella Maris is a tightly controlled coda, told entirely in dialogue. Together they relate the thrilling story of a brother and sister, haunted by loss, pursued by conspiracy, and longing for a death they cannot reconcile with God.
1980, PASS CHRISTIAN, MISSISSIPPI: It is three in the morning when Bobby Western, a salvage diver, zips the jacket of his wet suit and plunges from the boat deck into darkness. His dive light illuminates the sunken jet, nine bodies still buckled in their seats, hair floating, eyes devoid of speculation. Missing from the crash site are the pilot's flight bag, the plane's black box, and the tenth passenger. But how? A collateral witness to machinations that can only bring him harm, Western is shadowed in body and spirit--by men with badges; by the ghost of his father, inventor of the bomb that melted glass and flesh in Hiroshima; and by his sister, the love and ruin of his soul.
1972, BLACK RIVER FALLS, WISCONSIN: Alicia Western is twenty years old when she arrives at a psychiatric facility with forty thousand dollars in a plastic bag. A doctoral candidate in mathematics at the University of Chicago, Alicia has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, and she does not want to talk about her brother, Bobby. Instead, she contemplates the nature of madness, the human insistence on one common experience of the world; she surveys the intersection of physics and philosophy; and she introduces her cohorts, her chimeras, the hallucinations that only she can see. All the while, she grieves for Bobby, not quite dead, not quite hers.
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER o ONE OF TIME'S 100 MUST-READ BOOKS OF 2022 o In an inspiring follow-up to her critically acclaimed, #1 bestselling memoir Becoming, former First Lady Michelle Obama shares practical wisdom and powerful strategies for staying hopeful and balanced in today's highly uncertain world.
There may be no tidy solutions or pithy answers to life's big challenges, but Michelle Obama believes that we can all locate and lean on a set of tools to help us better navigate change and remain steady within flux. In The Light We Carry, she opens a frank and honest dialogue with readers, considering the questions many of us wrestle with: How do we build enduring and honest relationships? How can we discover strength and community inside our differences? What tools do we use to address feelings of self-doubt or helplessness? What do we do when it all starts to feel like too much?
Michelle Obama offers readers a series of fresh stories and insightful reflections on change, challenge, and power, including her belief that when we light up for others, we can illuminate the richness and potential of the world around us, discovering deeper truths and new pathways for progress. 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." She details her most valuable practices, like "starting kind," "going high," and assembling a "kitchen table" of trusted friends and mentors. With trademark humor, candor, and compassion, she also explores issues connected to race, gender, and visibility, encouraging readers to work through fear, find strength in community, and live with boldness.
"When we are able to recognize our own light, we become empowered to use it," writes Michelle Obama. A rewarding blend of powerful stories and profound advice that will ignite conversation, The Light We Carry inspires readers to examine their own lives, identify their sources of gladness, and connect meaningfully in a turbulent world.
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December 2022 New York Times Bestseller
Winner of the 2023 Eisner for Best U.S. Edition of International Material--Asia
From legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki comes Shuna's Journey, a new manga classic about a prince on a quest for a golden grain that would save his land, never before published in English!
Shuna, the prince of a poor land, watches in despair as his people work themselves to death harvesting the little grain that grows there. And so, when a traveler presents him with a sample of seeds from a mysterious western land, he sets out to find the source of the golden grain, dreaming of a better life for his subjects.
It is not long before he meets a proud girl named Thea. After freeing her from captivity, he is pursued by her enemies, and while Thea escapes north, Shuna continues toward the west, finally reaching the Land of the God-Folk.
Will Shuna ever see Thea again? And will he make it back home from his quest for the golden grain?
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WINNER OF THE 2023 PEN/JEAN STEIN BOOK AWARD
A sly, madcap novel about supervillains and nothing, really, from an American novelist whose star keeps rising
The protagonist of Percival Everett's puckish new novel is a brilliant professor of mathematics who goes by Wala Kitu. (Wala, he explains, means "nothing" in Tagalog, and Kitu is Swahili for "nothing.") He is an expert on nothing. That is to say, he is an expert, and his area of study is nothing, and he does nothing about it. This makes him the perfect partner for the aspiring villain John Sill, who wants to break into Fort Knox to steal, well, not gold bars but a shoebox containing nothing. Once he controls nothing he'll proceed with a dastardly plan to turn a Massachusetts town into nothing. Or so he thinks.
With the help of the brainy and brainwashed astrophysicist-turned-henchwoman Eigen Vector, our professor tries to foil the villain while remaining in his employ. In the process, Wala Kitu learns that Sill's desire to become a literal Bond villain originated in some real all-American villainy related to the murder of Martin Luther King Jr. As Sill says, "Professor, think of it this way. This country has never given anything to us and it never will. We have given everything to it. I think it's time we gave nothing back."
Dr. No is a caper with teeth, a wildly mischievous novel from one of our most inventive, provocative, and productive writers. That it is about nothing isn't to say that it's not about anything. In fact, it's about villains. Bond villains. And that's not nothing.
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Shortlisted for the 2022 Gordon Burn Prize o Shortlisted for the 2022 Ned Kelly Awards o Longlisted for the 2022 Booker Prize o Longlisted for the 2022 HWA Gold Crown Award o Longlisted for the 2023 Dublin Literary Award SELECTED BY NEW YORK TIMES AS ONE OF 100 NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2022 The Booker-shortlisted author of His Bloody Project blurs the lines between patient and therapist, fiction and documentation, and reality and dark imagination. London, 1965. 'I have decided to write down everything that happens, because I feel, I suppose, I may be putting myself in danger,' writes an anonymous patient, a young woman investigating her sister's suicide. In the guise of a dynamic and troubled alter-ego named Rebecca Smyth, she makes an appointment with the notorious and roughly charismatic psychotherapist Collins Braithwaite, whom she believes is responsible for her sister's death. But in this world of beguilement and bamboozlement, neither she nor we can be certain of anything. Case Study is a novel as slippery as it is riveting, as playful as it is sinister, a meditation on truth, sanity, and the instability of identity by one of the most inventive novelists of our time.
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The Philosophy of Modern Song is Bob Dylan's first book of new writing since 2004's Chronicles: Volume One--and since winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016.
Dylan, who began working on the book in 2010, offers his extraordinary insight into the nature of popular music. He writes over sixty essays focusing on songs by other artists, spanning from Stephen Foster to Elvis Costello, and in between ranging from Hank Williams to Nina Simone. He analyzes what he calls the trap of easy rhymes, breaks down how the addition of a single syllable can diminish a song, and even explains how bluegrass relates to heavy metal. These essays are written in Dylan's unique prose. They are mysterious and mercurial, poignant and profound, and often laugh-out-loud funny. And while they are ostensibly about music, they are really meditations and reflections on the human condition. Running throughout the book are nearly 150 carefully curated photos as well as a series of dream-like riffs that, taken together, resemble an epic poem and add to the work's transcendence.
In 2020, with the release of his outstanding album Rough and Rowdy Ways, Dylan became the first artist to have an album hit the Billboard Top 40 in each decade since the 1960s. The Philosophy of Modern Song contains much of what he has learned about his craft in all those years, and like everything that Dylan does, it is a momentous artistic achievement.
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For the first time in depth and in public, Olympic soccer gold-medalist Christine Sinclair, the top international goal scorer of all time and one of Canada's greatest athletes, reflects on both her exhilarating successes and her heartbreaking failures. Playing the Long Game is a book of earned wisdom on the value of determination and team spirit, and on leadership that changed the landscape of women's sport.
Christine Sinclair is one of the world's most respected and admired athletes. Not only is she the player who has scored the most goals on the international soccer stage, male or female, but more than two decades into her career, she is the heart of any team she plays on, the captain of both Canada's national team and the top-ranked Portland Thorns FC in the National Women's Soccer League.
Working with the brilliant and bestselling sportswriter Stephen Brunt, who has followed her career for decades, the intensely private Sinclair will share her reflections on the significant moments and turning points in her life and career, the big wins and losses survived, not only on the pitch. Her extraordinary journey, combined with her candour, commitment and decency, will inspire and empower her fans and admirers, and girls and women everywhere.
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From the #1 bestselling author of 'Indian' in the Cabinet, a groundbreaking and accessible roadmap to advancing true reconciliation across Canada.
There is one question Canadians have asked Jody Wilson-Raybould more than any other: What can I do to help advance reconciliation? It is clear that people from all over the country want to take concrete and tangible action that will make real change. We just need to know how to get started. This book provides that next step. For Wilson-Raybould, what individuals and organizations need to do to advance true reconciliation is self-evident, accessible, and achievable. True Reconciliation is broken down into three core practices--Learn, Understand, and Act--that can be applied by individuals, communities, organizations, and governments.
The practices are based not only on the historical and contemporary experience of Indigenous peoples in their relentless efforts to effect transformative change and decolonization, but also on the deep understanding and expertise about what has been effective in the past, what we are doing right, and wrong, today, and what our collective future requires. Fundamental to a shared way of thinking is an understanding of the Indigenous experience throughout the story of Canada. In a manner that reflects how work is done in the Big House, True Reconciliation features an "oral" history of these lands, told through Indigenous and non-Indigenous voices from our past and present.
The ultimate and attainable goal of True Reconciliation is to break down the silos we've created that prevent meaningful change, to be empowered to increasingly act as "inbetweeners," and to take full advantage of this moment in our history to positively transform the country into a place we can all be proud of.
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A deeply moving and brilliantly idiosyncratic visual book of days by the National Book Award-winning author of Just Kids and M Train, featuring more than 365 images and reflections that chart Smith's singular aesthetic--inspired by her wildly popular Instagram.
In 2018, without any plan or agenda for what might happen next, Patti Smith posted her first Instagram photo: her hand with the simple message "Hello Everybody!" Known for shooting with her beloved Land camera 250, Smith started posting images from her phone including portraits of her kids, her radiator, her boots, and her Abyssinian cat, Cairo. Followers felt an immediate affinity with these miniature windows into Smith's world, photographs of her daily coffee, the books she's reading, the graves of beloved heroes--William Blake, Dylan Thomas, Sylvia Plath, Simone Weil, Albert Camus. Over time, a coherent story of a life devoted to art took shape, and more than a million followers responded to Smith's unique aesthetic in images that chart her passions, devotions, obsessions, and whims. Original to this book are vintage photographs: anniversary pearls, a mother's keychain, and a husband's Mosrite guitar. Here, too, are never-before-seen photos of life on and off the road, train stations, obscure cafés, a notebook always nearby. In wide-ranging yet intimate daily notations, Smith shares dispatches from her travels around the world.
With over 365 photographs taking you through a single year, A Book of Days is a new way to experience the expansive mind of the visionary poet, writer, and performer. Hopeful, elegiac, playful--and complete with an introduction by Smith that explores her documentary process--A Book of Days is a timeless offering for deeply uncertain times, an inspirational map of an artist's life.
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From the Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author of How to Be an Artist: a deliciously readable survey of the art world in turbulent times
Jerry Saltz is one of our most-watched writers about art and artists, and a passionate champion of the importance of art in our shared cultural life. Since the 1990s he has been an indispensable cultural voice: witty and provocative, he has attracted contemporary readers to fine art as few critics have. An early champion of forgotten and overlooked women artists, he has also celebrated the pioneering work of African American, LGBTQ+, and other long-marginalized creators. Sotheby's Institute of Art has called him, simply, "the art critic."
Now, in Art Is Life, Jerry Saltz draws on two decades of work to offer a real-time survey of contemporary art as a barometer of our times. Chronicling a period punctuated by dramatic turning points--from the cultural reset of 9/11 to the rolling social crises of today--Saltz traces how visionary artists have both documented and challenged the culture. Art Is Life offers Saltz's eye-opening appraisals of trailblazers like Kara Walker, David Wojnarowicz, Hilma af Klint, and Jasper Johns; provocateurs like Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, and Marina Abramovic; and visionaries like Jackson Pollock, Bill Traylor, and Willem de Kooning. Saltz celebrates landmarks like the Obama portraits by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, writes searchingly about disturbing moments such as the Ankara gallery assassination, and offers surprising takes on figures from Thomas Kinkade to Kim Kardashian. And he shares stories of his own haunted childhood, his time as a "failed artist," and his epiphanies upon beholding work by Botticelli, Delacroix, and the cave painters of Niaux.
With his signature blend of candor and conviction, Jerry Saltz argues in Art Is Life for the importance of the fearless artist--reminding us that art is a kind of channeled voice of human experience, a necessary window onto our times. The result is an openhearted and irresistibly readable appraisal by one of our most important cultural observers.
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No small town's secrets can stay buried for long. Moncrieff digs into the treachery of memory and the power of female friendships...
"Moncrieff's new book is rich in narrative and empathy [...] This is an exceptional story that really trends a fine line balance between two worlds of small town life and action paced thriller that is really a hard thing to balance but she does this as a pro." - Literary License Podcast Dragonfly Summer is a gripping thriller that asks: What happens when the past comes back to haunt you? Jo Carter never thought she'd return to Clear Springs, Minnesota. But when the former journalist receives a cryptic note about the disappearance of her friend Sam twenty years before, she's compelled to find out what really happened. During her investigation, she learns another high school friend has died in a mysterious accident. Nothing is as it seems, and Jo must probe Clear Springs' darkest corners and her own painful and unreliable memories to discover the truth - and save herself from the killer who could still be on the hunt. Deliciously twisty and suspenseful from the first minute to the last, Dragonfly Summer proves that no small town's secrets can stay buried for good.
FLAME TREE PRESS is the imprint of long-standing Independent Flame Tree Publishing, dedicated to full-length original fiction in the horror and suspense, science fiction & fantasy, and crime / mystery / thriller categories. The list brings together fantastic new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices. Learn more about Flame Tree Press at www.flametreepress.com and connect on social media @FlameTreePress.
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A beautiful and moving collection of poems and stories from the author of the #1 bestselling memoir From the Ashes.
Fans of Jesse Thistle's extraordinary debut From the Ashes have already had the pleasure of reading his poetry, which is sprinkled throughout this bestselling memoir. In Scars and Stars, he digs deeper into the poetic form, which is especially close to his heart.
Charting his own history, the stories of people from his past, the burning intensity of new and unexpected love, the complex legacies of family and community, and the beauty of parenthood, this collection is a profound mediation that expands his engagement with the ideas and experiences that have shaped his body of work thus far.
Throughout the collection, prose pieces complement the poems, and to bring readers into Jesse's life with greater intimacy than ever before. The result is an unforgettable furthering of his singular story, one that is sure to delight his many readers, but also serve as a perfect entry point for those new to the work of one of our most thrilling and honest writers.
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From Ross Gay, the New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Delights, comes an intimate and electrifying collection of essays about the joy that comes from connection. "BRILLIANT." --Ada Limón, U.S. poet laureate
Pre-order Gay's next literary gem, The Book of (More) Delights, coming this September, too!
In these gorgeously written and timely pieces, prizewinning poet and author Gay considers the joy we incite when we care for each other, especially during life's inevitable hardships. Throughout Inciting Joy, he explores how we can practice recognizing that connection, and also, crucially, how we can expand it.
In "We Kin," Gay thinks about the garden (especially around August, when the zucchini and tomatoes come in) as a laboratory of mutual aid; in "Share Your Bucket," he explores skateboarding's reclamation of public spaces; he considers the costs of masculinity in "Grief Suite"; and in "Through My Tears I Saw," he recognizes what was healed in caring for his father as he was dying.
In an era when divisive voices take up so much airspace, Inciting Joy offers a vital alternative: What might be possible if we turn our attention to what brings us together, to what we love?
Taking a clear-eyed look at injustice, political polarization, and the destruction of the natural world, Gay shows us how we might resist, how the study of joy might lead us to a wild, unpredictable, transgressive, and unboundaried solidarity. In fact, it just might help us survive.
"A gift that's meant to be shared . . . [This book] inspires us to look beyond the miseries of our era to envision a more welcoming future."-The Washington Post
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER o America's favorite home cook presents delicious, crowd-pleasing, go-to recipes that you'll want to make over and over again!
Even Ina Garten, America's most-trusted and beloved home cook, sometimes finds cooking stressful. To make life easy she relies on a repertoire of recipes that she knows will turn out perfectly every time. Cooking night after night during the pandemic inspired her to re-think the way she approached dinner, and the result is this collection of comforting and delicious recipes that you'll love preparing and serving. You'll find lots of freeze-ahead, make-ahead, prep-ahead, and simply assembled recipes so you, too, can make dinner a breeze.
In Go-To Dinners, Ina shares her strategies for making her most satisfying and uncomplicated dinners. Many, like Overnight Mac & Cheese, you can make ahead and throw in the oven right before dinner. Light dinners like Tuscan White Bean Soup can be prepped ahead and assembled at the last minute. Go-to family meals like Chicken in a Pot with Orzo and Hasselback Kielbasa will feed a crowd with very little effort. And who doesn't want to eat Breakfast For Dinner? You'll find recipes for Scrambled Eggs Cacio e Pepe and Roasted Vegetables with Jammy Eggs that are a snap to make and so satisfying. Ina's "Two-Fers" guide you on how to turn leftovers from one dinner into something different and delicious the second night.
And sometimes the best dinner is one you don't even have to cook! You'll find Ina's favorite boards to serve with store-bought ingredients, like an Antipasto Board and Breakfast-for-Dinner Board that are fun to assemble and so impressive to serve. Finally, because no meal can be considered dinner without dessert, there are plenty of prep-ahead and easy sweets like a Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie and Beatty's Chocolate Cupcakes that everyone will rave about.
For Ina, "I love you, come for dinner" is more than just an invitation to share a meal, it's a way to create a community of friends and family who love and take care of each other, and we all need that now more than ever. These go-to recipes will give you the confidence to create dinners that will bring everyone to your table.
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER o "One of our most inventive purveyors of the form returns with pitch-perfect, genre-bending stories that stare into the abyss of our national character. . . . An exquisite work from a writer whose reach is galactic."--Oprah Daily
Booker Prize winner George Saunders returns with his first collection of short stories since the New York Times bestseller Tenth of December.
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, Oprah Daily, NPR, Time, USA Today, The Guardian, Esquire, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, Library Journal
The "best short-story writer in English" (Time) is back with a masterful collection that explores ideas of power, ethics, and justice and cuts to the very heart of what it means to live in community with our fellow humans. With his trademark prose--wickedly funny, unsentimental, and exquisitely tuned--Saunders continues to challenge and surprise: Here is a collection of prismatic, resonant stories that encompass joy and despair, oppression and revolution, bizarre fantasy and brutal reality.
"Love Letter" is a tender missive from grandfather to grandson, in the midst of a dystopian political situation in the (not too distant, all too believable) future, that reminds us of our obligations to our ideals, ourselves, and one another. "Ghoul" is set in a Hell-themed section of an underground amusement park in Colorado and follows the exploits of a lonely, morally complex character named Brian, who comes to question everything he takes for granted about his reality. In "Mother's Day," two women who loved the same man come to an existential reckoning in the middle of a hailstorm. In "Elliott Spencer," our eighty-nine-year-old protagonist finds himself brainwashed, his memory "scraped"--a victim of a scheme in which poor, vulnerable people are reprogrammed and deployed as political protesters. And "My House"--in a mere seven pages--comes to terms with the haunting nature of unfulfilled dreams and the inevitability of decay.
Together, these nine subversive, profound, and essential stories coalesce into a case for viewing the world with the same generosity and clear-eyed attention Saunders does, even in the most absurd of circumstances.
This is a selection of our current Our Top Picks of 2022 titles. To find other titles or authors, or just to browse, please use the search box.