To all the books I’ve loved in 2022

Everything from historical to MG, here’s what I loved reading most this year

Hoang Samuelson
10 min readDec 30, 2022
Photo by Florencia Viadana on Unsplash

There are many words to describe books.

Books are transformational. It’s entertaining. It’s uplifting. It’s sadness, grief, loss, and everything in between. For best-selling author Matt Haig (whose books Reasons to Stay Alive and The Midnight Library are some of my favorite books of all time), books are therapy. It literally saved him from the brinks of death.

“Think about what therapy often is — an exchange of words,” he says. “And reading and writing stories is the best kind of word exchanges there are.”

In 2022, I read a total of 70 books. And there were a few surprises.

First, I read quite a number of middle grade novels, and was surprised to discover how much I enjoyed them. It brought to mind my adolescent days when I first came to America and still learning English. As a middle schooler, I relied on books for middle schoolers to help me learn English and because reading was always a preferred hobby of mine, it was even a more rewarding experience.

Second, a handful of my top favorite novels were not read, per se, but listened to on audiobook. Perhaps it’s because of the narrator or perhaps the story itself (or it’s both!)…

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Hoang Samuelson

Features Editor @ Chowhound. Former lead editor @BooknBrunch.com. Writer of food, family and fiction. Based in Portland, OR. More at hoangsamuelson.com