Litty Committee: We’ve Raided Our Bookshelves To Bring You Our Top Reads Of 2022 So Far

best books 2022
At PEDESTRIAN.TV, we independently choose and write about stuff we love and think you’ll froth too. We have affiliate partnerships so we might get a bit of money from any purchase you make based on our recs, cool? Cool. FYI – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.

Here at Litty Committee, we bloody love a book. So for this edition, we thought we’d bring some gorgeous gorgeous recommendations and mini book reviews right to your front doorstep (or you know, your laptop screen).

But we knew we couldn’t do it alone, so we’ve asked some of our most trusted PEDESTRIAN colleagues to hit us up with the best books they’ve read this year and by golly did they deliver.

Oh, and in case you missed it last month, there’s still time to get involved in the Richell Prize for Emerging Writers. The prize opened on April 21 and will close on July 8.

The winner will score a cool $10,000 donated by Hachette Australia and a 12-month mentorship. If you’re an Aussie citizen or resident who’s over 18 and loves to write, this one’s for you. It’s open to anyone who has never had their work published by a commercial publishing house.

You can suss out all the details at the website.

Here’s a breakdown of the best books we’ve read in 2022: from true crime to fiction to biographies. There’s something for everyone. And trust us, we have great taste.

The best books we’ve read in 2022 so far

The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni

The Prison Healer
Penguin

Who: Bella

Category: YA Fantasy

What I liked about this book:

It’s a YA fantasy about a girl called Kiva, who was sentenced to life imprisonment as a child. Zalindov is a brutal place where most people don’t even survive a month living out their sentence, but Kiva has managed to survive about 10 years in this “death prison”. When she receives a coded message that orders her to keep an incoming prisoner alive, she must “volunteer as tribute” in a series of deadly trials that require magic to survive (something she does not have).

I’m a sucker for a YA fantasy novel, but I was sold on this book when I found out it’s based on WA’s Fremantle Prison. It explores complex mental health issues such as depression. It has the most insane twist at the end of the first book that left me thinking about it for months afterwards. It’s also a complete series now since the final book, The Blood Traitor, was released at the end of May. Happy binging!

Where to buy:

Amazon ($16) | Booktopia ($21.25) | eBay ($16) | QBD ($19.99)

Sellout by Dan Ozzi

Sellout
Harpercollins US

Who: Chris

Category: Biography

What I liked about this book:

If you ask a certain generation of punks, there’s no greater sin than selling out. But in the mid-’90s, when underground music broke into the mainstream, suddenly these alternate acts became the hottest acts around, with major record labels lining up around the block to give them major deals. While signing to a major label helped some bands blossom and become household names, other acts weren’t so lucky.

Sellout covers the origins of some of the biggest punk and alternative bands of the era, including acts like Green Day, Blink 182 and My Chemical Romance, and the effect that signing to a major label had on their careers and the genre of a whole. Through a series of profiles detailing both the success and failures, Dan Ozzi explores whether selling out is essential for a band to make it big, a necessary evil, a blight that runs against the genre’s sense of authenticity and anti-corporate beliefs, or maybe a grey combination of all of the above?

Where to buy:

Amazon ($49.15) | Booktopia ($42.25) | eBay ($46.25)

Love Stories by Trent Dalton

Harpercollins

Who: Ellie

Category: Biography and memoir

What I liked about this book:

I’m definitely not ahead of the curve with this recommendation but Love Stories> was so beautiful. So many happy and sad tears were shed as I read it. It’s perfect for ending a reading slump because you can knock through only a few pages and finish one story.

Also, this may be a downer, but I am terrified of anything bad happening to people I love and reading about how so many regular Aussies handled loss made me feel a little less scared.

Where to buy:

Amazon ($19) | Booktopia ($19.95 with signed copy) | eBay ($19) | QBD ($25.99)

Unmasked: Crime Scenes, Cold Cases & My Hunt For The Golden State Killer by Paul Holes

best books 2022
Headline

Who: Josie

Category: True Crime

What I liked about this book:

I am a true crime girlie but haven’t read or listened to a new book in ages. I finally stopped re-listening to Harry Potter long enough to devour Paul Holes‘ memoir on Audible.

I was hyped for it because as a forensic expert/investigator he’s worked on some massive cases (Golden State Killer, Jaycee Dugard, Laci Peterson) but I actually found the tea about his personal life the most fascinating. How he got married young and struggled to balance his career, his marriage and being a father. It’s nice to meet the person behind the heroic crime solving and discover he’s only human after all! (Also he has a nice soothing voice, a bonus.)

Where to buy:

Amazon ($26.25) | Booktopia ($26.25) | eBay ($30.25) | QBD ($26.39)

Sunbathing by Isobel Beech

best books 2022
Allen & Unwin

Who: Maggie and Jasmine 

Category: Fiction 

What I liked about this book (Maggie): 

This debut novel from Melbourne writer Isobel Beech is truly something special. I won’t compare her to a certain Rally Sooney author, but her observational and inwards-peering perspective makes for such personal and heartfelt writing. Set predominately in Southern Italy, it’s viscerally emotive and a pleasure to devour; I kept reaching for this book as a way to escape Melbourne’s winter. It’s a beautiful book that touches on family, friends and grief.

What I liked about this book (Jasmine): 

Set between Melbourne and Italy, this book is a beautiful tale of grief and love while feeling like you’re on a sun-drenched holiday yourself.

Where to buy: 

Amazon ($16) | Booktopia ($24.25) | eBay ($16) | QBD ($29.99)

Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu

best books 2022
Penguin

Who: Ruby

Category: Manga

What I liked about this book:

I love the vast majority of Junji Ito‘s horror manga, from Tomie to Smashed. He’s truly the king of the craft. However, one book of his, that happens to be one of his shortest, was a huge hit for me. It’s called Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu.

It’s a comedic manga that plays on the horror themes of his past work while overall being a very goofy and silly story about how him and his wife came to own their two cats. It’s the first time I’ve laughed out loud reading something since The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.

Where to buy:

Amazon ($37.99) | Booktopia ($39.35)

Tin Man by Sarah Winman

best books 2022
Hachette

Who: Ky

Category: Queer Fiction

What I liked about this book:

This book literally broke me. But like in a good way (I guess?). The writing in it is so sweet and tender and tells a queer love story in a way that I haven’t seen done before. It’s incredibly raw so it will definitely pull on your heartstrings (or rip them clean off) but it’s such a worthy read and so beautifully written.

Where to buy:

Amazon ($15.99) | Booktopia ($17.50) | eBay ($17.57)

Anna: The Biography by Amy Odell

Simon & Schuster

Who: Kathleen

Category: Biography

What I liked about this book:

I definitely don’t consider myself a high-fashion girly, but when my colleague Matty lent me this bio of Anna Wintour I was intrigued.

What I found most compelling was the way this biography — which features more than 250 interviewees — charted the peaks and troughs of the magazine industry. Honestly, the stuff you could get high-fashion mags to pay for in the ’90s! And if you’re a from-the-couch Met Gala fashion critic like me, learning about the event’s beginnings is super interesting.

Where to buy:

Amazon ($26.60) | Booktopia ($27.75) | eBay ($35.26) | QBD ($34.99)
Happy reading!

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