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Books We Loved in 2022


Our Collective Staff Favourite Book of 2022 - Runt by Craig Silvey. Listen to Beth and Makenzi's thoughts about this brilliant book perfect for ages 8-80.

Staff Favourites

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Runt by Craig Silvey

Runt follows Annie Shearer and her dog and best friend, Runt, who was rescued as a stray. Annie and Runt have an unbreakable bond, and Runt follows Annie’s magic finger to run and perform tricks at lightning speed. Many people might think this is a children’s story, and while there is a wonderful Roald Dahl type of magic in the pages of Runt that appeals to younger audiences, this is a book that is perfect for kids and adults alike. Runt is a gorgeous story about friendship, family, and how being yourself can save the day.

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Still Life | Sarah Winman

Moving from the Tuscan Hills, to the smog of the East End and the piazzas of Florence, Still Life is a sweeping, mischievous, richly-peopled novel about beauty, love, family and fate. Winman's writing is exquisite. Full of the beautiful city of Florence, extraordinary friendships and loves as well as art, music and food, Still Life is quite simply one of those beautiful and joyful novels that will make you smile, laugh out loud, and shed a few tears along the way. Also such a worthy winner of the 2022 Dymocks Book of the Year.

Lessons in Chemistry | Bonnie Garmus

Witty and wonderful, this is a must-read laugh-out-loud debut about an unconventional, totally unique woman, Elizabeth Zott, trailblazing the way for women's rights in 1960s America. While Elizabeth is the heroine of the story, there is also an eclectic array of supporting characters and a dog, Six Thirty, who almost steals the show. While the story warmed my heart, it also made me sit up and take notice as Garmus is making some searing comments on how women, historically, have been treated. One of my top reads for 2022.

Beth's Favourites

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The Seven Skins of Esther Wilding | Holly Ringland

Love, love, loved this book! A sweeping, deeply beautiful and profoundly moving novel about the far-reaches of sisterly love, the power of wearing your heart on your skin, and the ways life can transform when you find the courage to feel the fullness of both grief and joy. Ringland is an incredible writer. There is such a magical quality to her language, her atmospheric settings, her depictions of the natural world. I savoured every word and the closer I got to the end, the slower I read because I didn't want it to be over.

The Diamond Eye | Kate Quinn

Horse | Geraldine Brooks

Everyone in my Family Has Killed Someone | Benjamin Stevenson

Makenzi's Favourites

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If We Were Villains | M.L. Rio

If Were Villains is a beautiful, dark and profound novel. Set in a Shakesperean school, the story explores love, friendship, morality, obsession, and the exclusive, secret world of conservative education. The characters play the same roles on-stage and off: hero, villain, tyrant, temptress, ingenue, extra. This is a book I won't be able to stop talking about for a long time. I can't believe it is also a debut!

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Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory | Raphael Bob-Waksberg

This short story collection walks the line between mundane and weird, heartbreaking and happy. It is a perfect mix of emotions, a complex swirl of things that almost anyone in today's society can relate to. I loved how different the stories were but they were all ultimately about the same thing: love. I adored this collection. These are short stories at their finest.

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Everything I Know About Love | Dolly Alderton

I think we all believe that we know a lot about love. And the truth is, love looks different to each and every one of us. In this memoir, Dolly examines what love is through stories about her charismatic friends, bad dates, dodgy apartment buildings, wild parties, and childhood crushes. It is a great big hug of a book, and Dolly seems to me like a wise older sister, telling me through the pages that I am doing fine, and everything will be ok.

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Wildflowers | Peggy Frew

In this novel Peggy Frew does something magical with language. Her ability to stretch it out and twirl it around in beautiful swirling sentences sparks pure joy. Wildflowers explores the weaknesses of being human and how qualities that are admired in children - Nina's dreaminess, Meg's goodness, and Amber's wildness - can turn into flaws. It also delicately and compassionately talks about the struggles of addiction. The narrative weaves the past with the present to show that each character has her own struggles but they each learn how to keep growing through the harshness, like wildflowers.

Cleopatra and Frankenstein | Coco Mellors

Cleopatra and Frankenstein is a strong, striking novel about what it’s like to be alive and how to cope with how messy life can get. It explores how spontaneous decisions can shape our lives and those of the people around us. Through the chapters, we follow the shock waves that come from Cleo and Frank’s spontaneous wedding. Mellors’ writing is dripping in sarcasm and wit and is often humorous and surprising. The novel tells an important story about dealing with life and addresses many issues in an expressive, emotional, and truthful way.
 

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Lapvona | Ottessa Moshfegh

This novel is strange and grotesque, there is not other way to put it. Reading Lapvona feels like when you witness something horrible but you can't seem to look away. It's a bleak medieval story that shows how far people will go for God's love, . Throughout the course of the book, many secrets are revealed involving biological parents and the control of power. The writing is bold and shocking, and although what happens in the story is horrible, the novel explores ideas about religion, women, parenthood, secrets, and fate.

Tam's Favourites

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Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match | Sally Thorne

This book is an amazingly hilarious interpretation of the classic Frankenstein, with loveable characters that are all a little weird in their own ways. Angelika has looked for love everywhere and has finally gone to the morgue to make someone who might just be her perfect match. Meanwhile, the resurrected and stitched-together Will is trying to figure out who he used to be. Through the mystery of figuring out Will's past life, a raging monster on the loose, the inevitable pining between these two adorable characters, and Angelika's journey to finding herself, this book will keep you on your toes the whole way through.

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Cobalt Blue | Matthew Reilly

Matthew Reilly has done it again with another action-packed adventure! Cobalt Blue is a quick but thrilling read that really makes you think about the morals behind power. The superhumans of the USA and Russia have clashed for years, but with the sudden death of America's superhero, the Fury of Russia turns to destroy all she stood for. All that stands against him are the semi-superpowered children of the great Cobalt, and Cassie, the youngest daughter, must finally accept who she is if she hopes to survive this epic tale that will keep you on your toes the whole way through!

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A Dowry of Blood | S.T Gibson

Morally corrupt, this romantic horror is beautifully written. A dark retelling of the classic Dracula that will make your heart flutter and your blood boil. Whatever twilight romances come to mind when you think about vampires - this is not it. This is the story of Dracula's spouses; of the monsters he turns them in to with a hand held tight around their short leashes. It is manipulative and cruel, and not for the light hearted, but a read you won't be able to put down. This book is an emotional rollercoaster with a poly relationship and characters you will fall in love with, all written as one love letter to Count Dracula himself.

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