Barnes & Noble is proud to present its Best Books of 2022 list, comprised of ten titles hand-selected by the bookseller showcasing the most stunning, provoking and impactful new releases of the year.
“Readers of every genre will have a book to dive into on our Best Books of 2022 list,” said Jackie De Leo, Chief Merchandising Officer, Barnes & Noble. “There is an extraordinary amount of talent here, ranging from standout debut authors to Pulitzer Prize winners, all of whom have made a lasting impression on our booksellers. We can’t wait to read where they will take us next.”
These ten literary gems span striking and profound debuts, heart-shattering stories of survival, dark academia, bitingly funny and brutally honest biographies, unforeseen epic adventures and practical wisdom for staying hopeful from former First Lady Michelle Obama.
Championed by bookseller enthusiasm, Barnes & Noble’s Best Books of 2022 are sure to claim a spot in readers’ hearts – and on bestseller lists. 2022 has been a banner year for bookselling and these exceptional books are all in the running to compete for the Barnes & Noble Book of the Year.
“There has been no shortage of absolutely extraordinary books published this year, with so many amazing new voices putting pen to paper and bookseller favorites returning to the page,” said Shannon DeVito, Director of Books, Barnes & Noble. “Narrowing down this list was no easy feat, but after many lively conversations, we selected the ten books that exemplify the sparkling assortment and excitement this publishing year. These are stories that have truly captivated the attention and love of our booksellers and I’m confident they will make for great gifts this holiday season, resonating with readers nationwide.”
Here are the Barnes & Noble Best Books of 2022:
- Babel by R.F. Kuang – A dark academia standalone that dives into the power of language and the evils of imperialism, student revolutions and a legacy of violence. Babel swirls with magic, lore and Kuang’s signature attention to detail. It’s smart, witty and terrifying; the kind of book you can’t stop reading or recommending.
- I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy – In this unflinchingly raw memoir, McCurdy’s signature sense of humor is deftly woven throughout her harrowing recounting of growing up a child star with an overbearing mother who imperiled and controlled most aspects of her life. Honest, hilarious, and heartbreaking, this is the impactful story of one woman’s resilience and journey to recovery.
- Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus – All is fair in love and chemistry, and this razor-sharp debut has a cast full of witty characters. It’s 1960s California and there are certain things that women just don’t do. When scientist Elizabeth Zott finds herself the host of a television cooking show, she kicks off a revolution that does more than challenge the status quo.
- Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng – From the bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere comes the highly anticipated new release, Our Missing Hearts. In the aftermath of the collapse of American society brutal censorship is the norm, and authorities forcibly remove the children of those who dare disagree. Libraries have stripped their shelves of works deemed unpatriotic, including the poems of Bird’s mother Margaret who disappeared when he was just a boy. Her works are forbidden, and her son abandoned, until a cryptic letter left in her wake pulls him into a quest to find her.
- Prisoners of the Castle by Ben Macintyre – Ben Macintyre takes readers into the halls of one of history’s most notorious prisons– Colditz Castle, the Nazi-operated WWII prisoner-of-war camp. Stakes rise within the stone walls as Hitler’s upper hand begins to falter and the escape-prone Allied officers undergo audacious exploits in an effort to evade a grisly fate.
- Skandar and the Unicorn Thief by A.F. Steadman – In a world where Unicorns are real,13-year-old Skandar dreams of competing in the Chaos Cup. Unicorns are deadly, bloodthirsty, creatures who are dangerous unless bonded to a rider. As Skandar learns it’s possible that even greater danger is afoot, an adventure of epic proportions ensues.
- Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human by Siddhartha Mukherjee – Pulitzer Prize-winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee tackles one of science’s most extraordinary advancements to date, the ability to manipulate cells. In his third book exploring the topic of humanity, Mukherjee tells the stories of scientists, doctors and patients whose lives have been forever altered by this astonishing development.
- The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times by Michelle Obama – A fresh and insightful follow-up to her bestselling memoir Becoming, Michelle Obama shares her experiences as a mother, daughter, spouse, friend and First Lady in her newest release, The Light We Carry. Opening an honest dialogue with readers to help shed light on some of life’s darkest questions, this is a powerful and moving narrative about turning to hope despite uncertainty.
- The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty – Tess Gunty’s poetic voice dances and sings on the pages of this stunning debut novel. Four teenagers have recently aged out of foster care and have been thrown together in a dingy apartment in a failing and forgotten rust-belt town, as they embark on a journey that will irrevocably alter the trajectory of their lives. A provocative new voice in American fiction, Gunty gifts readers with a hauntingly beautiful story of four souls whose fates have intertwined on their quests for transcendence.
- World of Curiosities by Louise Penny – Louise Penny has delivered another fan favorite in the beloved Chief Inspector Gamache Series. It’s spring in Three Pines, and secrets long buried are emerging from beneath the melting snow – revealing more than meets the eye. In unsealing a hidden room, an old enemy is released threatening mayhem and revenge.