Best of 2022
What reads, watches and listens have you loved this year?
Bringing together the best of 2022 – from the picks of our staff and customers, to Best of the year lists published by magazines, newspapers and booksellers. Have your say!
Cornelia's best read of 2022
Better the blood by Michael Bennett
Michael Bennett is a successful NZ screenwriter and director. Better the Blood is his first book of crime fiction, but the rights to the book have already been snapped up in several countries.
Set in Auckland, Māori detective Hana Westerman tries to stop a serial killer. This action packed thriller links crimes and wrongs from colonial times and the land protest movement to today’s society and values.
Can the killer justify their actions under Māori philosophy of utu?
A book hard to put down or forget.
Alice H's best listen of 2022
Split Decision: Life stories by Ice-T and Spike (and Douglas Century)
My recommendation for best audiobook of the year... essential to listen to this in audiobook format because it is voiced by Ice-T himself! The story is also a really intriguing looking at two lives that started the same in a life of crime but ended up worlds apart.
Some coarse language but very easy listening.
Eamonn's best read of 2022
Small things like these by Claire Keegan
The number 1 novel I read this year! I would go as far as describing this as a perfect novel. Set in a small Irish village in 1985 during the lead up to Christmas, a devout Catholic man meets a troubled young woman at the local monastery and finds himself being asked to cover up the unspoken atrocities taking place or risk putting himself and his family on the wrong side of the powerful Catholic Church. At 116 pages you will fly through it, but there are so many layers it has lingered in my mind since I first read it back in February. 10/10
Teresa's best read of 2022
When God was a rabbit by Sarah Winman
Written almost like a memoir, we learn about Elly and her life, growing up in the 1970s with her brother and slightly eccentric parents. It spans across four decades and is split into two parts; the first focuses on her childhood and the second on her experiences as an adult later on in life. Essentially a novel about family relationships, odd friendships, and growing up. I adored this novel.
Most popular items borrowed in different categories
Your 2022 favourites!
You told us your favourite books, movies, TV shows or albums from this year. Entries were open from Thursday 8 December to Monday 19 December 2022. From the submissions we made a draw for one of two prize packs.
The winners were:
- Jessika S -A BorrowBox tote bag and note book, a $10 Riverside Market voucher, a bookmark and a copy of Year’s Best Aotearoa New Zealand Science Fiction & Fantasy Volume IV
- Marie - A BorrowBox tote bag and note book, a $10 Riverside Market voucher, and a bookmark
Read all the submissions and favourites from 2022 below.
Book: Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
because the book is soooo different from the movie
Movie: Promising Young Woman
because weird and feminist
Music: Bin Day
feminist punk trio from Chc. Who wouldn't love that!
TV Show: Heartbreak High (Netflix)
absolutely great cast, amazing screenplay, perfect soundtrack and splendid acting
Liz's favourite reads
The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan, The Book Club by Roisin Meaney, A Valley Wedding and A Valley Secret by Anna Jacobs, and Miss Nightingales Nurses, The Liverpool Nightingales, and Daughters of Liverpool by Kate Easthem.
I love reading and enjoy books about bookshops. I enjoy reading sagas and going back in time.
Rebbeca D's favourite movie
Marry Me (starring Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson)
Love this movie has great music and has a good storyline and fun to watch
I have always enjoyed crime stories, having started out in my teens reading the numerous novels that my grandmother owned, such as those by Agatha Christie, Erle Stanley Gardner and Leslie Charteris to name a few. I have read many other authors and different genre over the years but gravitate back to the murder mysteries which keep my mind active, trying to solve the case before the big reveal.
Jessika S's favourites
The Expanse book series starting with Leviathan Wakes is amazing. Anything by Adrian Tchaikovsky but esp. Cage of Souls and Bear Head. Blake Crouch is a big thumbs up too. Spin Dictators by Sergei Guriev and Daniel Treisman, Tim Snyder On Tyranny
Fantastic world building, well written and engaging. And for the Expanse series you can tell that they’ve put effort into researching science etc when writing the books.
Catherine's favourite read
The Gift by Edith Eger
Through her traumatic life story shares hope and very practical tools (from her career as a clinical psych) to triumph trauma and turn it into your greatest gift. We get raw insight into her life, even in her early years as a psychologist, telling the all-important 'how' she overcame her trauma and resentment. Beautifully written, cheesy at times however, only cheesy with good reason to be.
Rachael's favourite reads
War God: Nights of the Witch by Graham Hancock
This book is about the Spanish conquest of Mexico and has many perspectives from both sides (and some sides who have not yet decided where they wish to lay their allegiance). I was drawn into this book really quickly and have since done a lot of reading around the history that this book covers - the people and the events, what we know and what is creative license. My fantasy loving self was kept happy by the magic section which had some focus although not a lot allowing you to rest into the historical and realistic aspects.
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
I LOVE Andy Weir's previous books - combining the scientific aspects with good humour and realistic human characters. I absolutely fell in love with the characters in this group (Rocky in particular!). The science is presented in realistic ways and easy for a non-expert to follow, the characters are fully formed with strengths and understandable weaknesses, and like every other book I've read by Andy Weir it made me laugh out loud. I put off reading this book because I was worried it wouldn't live up to his previous ones - no concern there at all!
The Man on Hackpen Hill by J. S. Munroe
I have previously read books by J. S. Munroe and been knocked off my feet by the twists. I went into this with a high expectation and that was not let down. I believe I read it in one sitting as it drew me in so expertly. This book lived up to my expectations and I thoroughly enjoyed the journey.
Evon's favourite shows
Each of these shows entertains in a way that takes you to a slightly different world —- showing us aspects of humanity ,the good and the bad, but always with a twist …humor, drama stunning acting and some amazing choreography kept me fully engaged throughout for each of these series.
Awhina R's favourite reads
I do not usually read much non-fiction but these two books absolutely blew me away this year! Both really well written accounts of two very different lives filled with tragedy and humour.
After the Tampa was absolutely riveting. I was shocked to learn about the diabolical actions of the Australian government and inspired by the author and his family. The fact the family resettled in Christchurch gave it a close-to-home feel which made it even more special.
Eleanor Oliphant made me laugh, while somehow delicately handling topics of trauma and mental illness and The Honey Bus was a beautiful, easy-to-read memoir full of delightful bee allegory that never felt out of place. I understand better now how much difference one person can make in a child's life — and how crucial bees are!
Sex Education is funny, inclusive, topical, clever and important. It does a great job handling the nuances of relationships while always being entertaining with its bright cast of quirky, flawed, but loveable characters. Ted Lasso is probably going to be an all-time favourite show for me. It's a show about how kindness is cool and I love it. Creamerie is unique, dark, funny, a little bit sexy and NZ-made — I'm hanging out for the next instalment.
Mister Organ is NZ journalist David Farrier's latest doco. It starts with a weird story about car clamping outside an Auckland antique store and quickly spirals into something way more disturbing. Also somehow manages to be funny in places (thank goodness). A real mind-trip.
Black Panther hit me right in the feels. The real-life death of lead actor Chadwick Bosman left an indelible mark on this film and was handled incredibly well I felt, particularly in that his character also died of an illness — proving even superheroes are vulnerable. Kick-arse female characters are also the focus of the film: Queen Ramonda, General Okoye, Nakia and of course Princess Shuri each encapsulate a different facet of Girl Power and the result is a breath of fresh air for the super hero genre.
As well-known as the story of Elvis is, the movie still built up tension and had me hoping Elvis would find a different fate. What stood out most were the performances of Austin Butler as Elvis and Tom Hanks as Colonel Tom Parker.
Running Up that Hill is just an objectively good song, but as a Stranger Things fan (and all the 80s nostalgia that comes with that) it took the song to a whole new emotional level for me. Happier Then Ever was a delightful surprise from Billie Eilish (whose music I've followed since before she really hit it big) combining her dulcet tones with a bit of rock 'n' roll. Annoys me that they only play one half of it on the radio though, as it's the combination that makes the song so great! I AM WOMAN has a lovely stripped back sound to it and lyrics that are both unapologetic and catchy — and invite the listener to join the singer in loving oneself.
Sarah Wilson writes brilliantly on very real things, much like Jenny Lawson - and for shows and novels, I love to get lost in fantasy worlds with descriptive language!
Magazines its just nice to enjoy something lighter, especially with lots of artsy content!
TV shows: Arcane was brilliant!
2022 best books lists
- 22 best books of 2022, as chosen by the experts Stuff
- Best fiction of 2022 Steve Braunias, Newstoom
- Best non-fiction of 2022 Steve Braunias, Newsroom
- Best illustrated books of 2022 Steve Braunias, Newsroom
- Best poetry books of 2022 Steve Braunias, Newsroom
- Top 100 booklists Auckland Libraries
- Whitcoull's Top 100
- My year of reading 2022 Rachael King
- Books of the Year Philip Matthews
BOOKS OF THE YEAR. This is my list of 10, fiction and non-fiction, NZ and international. In no particular order.
— Philip Matthews (@secondzeit) December 11, 2022
- 100 Notable Books of 2022 New York Times
- Best books of 2022 Goodreads
- Books of the Year Times Literary Supplement
- Our favorite books of 2022 Book Riot
- Our 45 Favorite books of 2022 Oprah Daily
- Best books of the year The Guardian
- Barnes & Noble's Top 10 Books of 2022
- Largehearted Boy's List of online "Best Books of 2022" lists