7 Books That Helped Shape My 2022

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I could write an epic poem based on my 2022. But I shall refrain and avoid boring you all. I’ll just say this, it was one helluva year.

But I read more books than I expected, and that’s a win I’ll gladly take!

Despite everything that happened last year, I believe it was all worth it. Because I learned that I love learning, exploring, and uncovering new perspectives.

Here are 7 books I’m glad I read in 2022:

In Arcadia, Ben Okri

One read I wasn’t expecting or hadn’t planned.

No, this book found me. I was sorting things in the back corner of a forgotten closet, and there it was calling my name. And what a treasure it is. A portrait sends a group of diverse characters on a deeply magical journey filled with stunning scenery and fascinating mythology. Not to mention Okri’s eloquent prose.

Ben Okri’s In Arcadia will transport you to a world of intrigue and history.

Memed, My Hawk, Yashar Kemal

Another book I hadn’t heard about, but grabbed from my roommate’s shelf before a 7-hour train ride. I headed out the door and hoped for the best.

The story is a fast-paced adventure that takes you through the Turkish countryside with a clear narrative style that perfectly suits this tale of rebellion. But at its core, Kemal’s Memed, My Hawk wants you to walk away from it with a different perspective on good and evil and their impact on society and the individual.

Tender Is The Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald

A lover of The Great Gatsby, I was intrigued to read more from Fitzgerald. Even more so when I discovered that this novel was his fourth and final novel. Although I wasn't prepared for the depths of sadness this book reaches I couldn’t put this down.

Tender Is The Nighthauntingly mirrors the tragic but real experiences so many of us have had at one point in our lives.

Parable of the Sower, Octavia Butler

A smack-back into reality.

A well-deserved smack might I add. Butler’s Parable Of The Sowerkeeps you on your toes with its all-too-familiar themes of religion, climate change, survival, and community. Its main character, Lauren, will be your new best friend, your confidant. And with each turn of the page, you join her in her crumbling world. And that strikes quite close to home.

If you’re looking to get into sci-fi, Butler is the best author to start with. This is a must-read.

The Color Purple, Alice Walker

A touching and immensely powerful cultural touchstone of not merely African-American literature but World literature. Walker weaves a realistic story of a young woman’s journey from the drudgery of domestic abuse to independence.

The novel is unapologetically female and black and opens up readers to a richly cultured world that has been ignored for hundreds of years. Listen up, time to pay attention. Give this magnificent story a try.

The Hobbit, J.R.R Tolkien

The adventure that started it all, and one I read as a child. But I must admit I fell in love with Amazon’s Rings of Power series, so I immediately ordered The Hobbit and devoured it in one go.

It’s simply a great modern classic!

J.R.R.’s worldbuilding is LEGENDARY. His magical creatures, their mystical cultures, and the constant perils they face are imaginative and so inspiring. Who knows, maybe I have a fantasy story in the works!

Sula, Toni Morrison

A book I’ve read more times than I’ll admit on the internet but one I’ll continue return to. With each delicious read, there’s always something new to uncover. Toni Morrison is a master of prose and effortlessly portrays the friendship between two black women - the love, the betrayal, and the loss of innocence.

Sula makes me think about my own friendships - current and lost - and how profound platonic love is.

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