Best of 2022

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!

New Zealand

Reading locally in 2022

Moata runs through her 2022 reads by Kiwi authors - a mix of fiction and memoir - and what she's looking forward to reading in 2023.

Best Aotearoa Book Cover 2022: Meat Lovers by Rebecca Hawkes

Meat Lovers by Rebecca Hawkes has the best book cover of 2022. Find out more about the creative process of making it from Rebecca.

Best book covers of 2022 - My pick of New Zealand’s finest

BEAUT BOOK COVERS OF AOTEAROA! Here are Donna's favourite New Zealand book covers of 2022.

For adults

Library staff picks for the best of the year

Top Aranui Staff Watches of 2022

Top picks from the Aranui Library crew.

Fionaccl's Top Picks of 2022

2022 has been a great year for reading - here are some of my absolute faves to help with your holiday reading choices.

Ma1co1m's Best Comics of 2022

Here's 10 of the best comics Ma1co1m found on a library shelf in 2022.

Best reads / listens / watches in 2022

ChristchurchCat's selection of the best of 2022.

Good stuff I watched in 2022

Movies and TV shows that entertained in 2022. A mix of comedy, fantasy and sci-fi.

Hong's Best Reads 2022

Books on this list entertained, informed, and inspired me in 2022.

Fiona's faves of 2022

Mostly fiction, with a couple of non-fiction titles.

Eamonn's favourite short story collections 2022

In no particular order, the best short story collections I read in 2022.

Rachael's Best books of 2022

These are Rachael's favourite reads of the year! Mostly fiction and YA.

Jessie's favourite non-fiction of 2022

In no particular order, 10 of Jessie's favourite non-fiction books read in the year of 2022.

Jessie's favourite fiction of 2022

In no particular order, 10 of Jessie's favourite fiction books read in the year of 2022.

Hayley's top reads of 2022

In no particular order, the best books Hayley read this year.

Donna's best of the best 2022

The favourites of 2022 - books, audiobooks, movies, documentaries. 10, 10, 10s across the board, 5 stars etc.

Donna's best non-fiction reads of 2022

Donna's favourite non-fiction. Book of the year: Say Nothing: A true story of murder and memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe.

Donna's best fiction reads of 2022

Donna's fave fiction, poetry, & graphic novels of the year. Book of the year - George Saunders' short story collection Liberation Day.

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.

Catalogue record for Better the blood

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.

Catalogue record for Splity decision: Life stories

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

Catalogue record for Small things like these


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.

Catalogue record for When God was a rabbit


Most popular items borrowed in different categories

For teens

Library staff picks for the best of the year

Best eBooks for Young Adults 2022

A selection of award winners, bestsellers and well reviewed books from 2022.

Rachael's Best books of 2022

These are Rachael's favourite reads of the year! Mostly fiction and YA.

Amy's Best YA of 2022

In no particular order, here are some of Amy's favourite Young Adult novels from this year.

Claire's Best Manga of 2022

It's awards season! Someone who reads far too much manga hands out arbitrary genre awards to the series that they enjoyed reading the most.

For kids

Library staff picks for the best of the year

Best eBooks for Children 2022

A selection of award winners, bestsellers and well-reviewed eBooks from 2022 for toddlers to 12 year olds.

Ka Mau Te Wehi Ngā Pukapuka o Ngā Pakiwaitara 21/22

To mark the end of the Matariki period we have created Ka Mau Te Wehi Ngā Pukapuka O Ngā Pakiwaitara 21/22 - The Best Story Books of 21/22.

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:

Read all the submissions and favourites from 2022 below.

Marie's favourites

Book: Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

because the book is soooo different from the movie

Catalogue record for Howl's moving castle

Movie: Promising Young Woman

because weird and feminist

Catalogue record for Promising young woman

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.

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I love reading and enjoy books about bookshops. I enjoy reading sagas and going back in time.

Trevor C's favourite watch

Man with a movie camera (Kanopy)

Saw it for the first time this year

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

Catalogue record for Marry me

Dot's favourite reads

All Danielle Steel books also Nora Roberts books. Anna Jacobs and Lesley Pearse and Susan Lewis books.

The Type of books that I enjoy.

Coco's favourite reads

The Hunger Games, The summer I turned pretty, Heartstopper and The inheritance games.

These stories all have relatable story lines, captivating plots, characters you lose your hearts over. They're page turners, bring tears to your eyes when the last page is turned.

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Lynette's favourites

The Coast to Coast Murders by James Patterson, the Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth series by the late M. C. Beaton, Good Girl, Bad Girl by Michael Robotham and The Woods by Harlan Coben.

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.

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I have also enjoyed the movies and miniseries based on books such as The Secrets She Keeps (TVNZ) and Safe, as well as shows dealing with true life events such as Cold Case and Sixty Minutes.

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.

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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.

Catalogue record for The gift

Evelyn's favourites

Book: Picture You Dead by Peter James

Have read all of the Roy Grace series, always a good read.

Catalogue record for Picture you dead

Movies: Penguin Bloom and Freedom Writers

Penguin Bloom reminded me of when we reared a fledgling magpie and Freedom Writers was just a great movie.

Catalogue record for Penguin bloom

Marion B's favourites

Book: The Bookseller at the End of the World by Ruth Shaw

Catalogue record for The bookseller at the end of the world

Movie: West Side Story

TV show: The Chase (with Bradley Walsh)

Stories that move the heart, balanced by the wit of Bradley Walsh

Marion B's favourites

Book: The Bookseller at the End of the World by Ruth Shaw

Catalogue record for The bookseller at the end of the world

Movie: West Side Story

TV show: The Chase (with Bradley Walsh)

Stories that move the heart, balanced by the wit of Bradley Walsh

Kely's favourites

My name is Lucy Barton, and Oh William! both by Elizabeth Strout

The way the author describes things from our daily lives is amazing.

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Ally's favourites

Books: The great alone by Kristin Hannah, and Running wild by K. A. Tucker.

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TV Show: 1899 (Netflix)

Music: Lyttelton locals The Settlers.

Because they have all stuck with me in various reasons

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.

Catalogue record for War god

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!

Catalogue record for Project Hail Mary

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.

Catalogue record for The man on Hackpen Hill

Serena's favourite reads

The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid and Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult

They were both really well written. Have always loved Jodi’s books and am now reading the rest of Taylor’s books

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Evon's favourite shows

Sense8, The Umbrella Academy, The Witcher (all on Netflix)

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'm glad my mom died by Jennette McCurdy and The bookseller at the end of the world by Ruth Shaw

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.

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Renee's favourites

Books: After the Tampa by Abbas Nazari, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, and The Honey Bus by May Meredith.

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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!

TV shows: Sex Education (Netflix), Ted Lasso (Apple TV), and Creamerie (TVNZ)

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.

Movies: Mister Organ, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Elvis (directed by Baz Luhrmann)

Catalogue record for Elvis

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.

Songs: Running Up that Hill by Kate Bush, Happier Than Ever by Billie Eilish, I AM WOMAN by Emmy Meli.

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.

Liv's favourites

Books: The Night Circus by Erin Morgensteen and Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Zuis Rafon. This One Wild and Precious Life by Sarah Wilson.

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!

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Magazines: Flow magazine hailing from the Netherlands - not to mention Frankie!

Magazines its just nice to enjoy something lighter, especially with lots of artsy content!

Catalogue record for Flow magazine

Catalogue record for Frankie magazine

TV shows: Arcane was brilliant!

Daniel's favourites

I enjoyed The diary of a wimpy kid series and the Series of unfortunate events by lemony snicket recently.

Catalogue record for A series of unfortunate events

Janet's favourites

Book: William and Catherine - the Life and Legacy of the Booths, Founders of the Salvation Army by Trevor Yaxley with Carolyn Vanderwal.

TV series: Doc Martin (TVNZ)

2022 best books lists

New Zealand

See also

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