My favorite fiction books from 2022

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, January 17, 2023

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I read 120 books in 2022 and these were some of my favorite fiction titles! If you’re looking to read more or diversify your reading list in 2023, why not Read Through the Ages with Polk County Public Libraries? Pick up a 2023 reading challenge form at Columbus Library or Saluda Library (or access it at and read books set or written in 20 different time periods.


Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan

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Picoult has always been one of my favorite authors, but her last two books (Wish You Were Here and The Book of Two Ways) were really disappointing to me. So I was happy to find that I loved her newest, released in 2022. Mad Honey is a riveting novel of suspense, an unforgettable love story, and a moving and powerful exploration of the secrets we keep and the risks we take in order to become ourselves.


The Quarry Girls by Jess Lourey

Minnesota, 1977. For the teens of one close-knit community, summer means late-night swimming parties at the quarry, the county fair, and venturing into the tunnels beneath the city. But for two best friends, it’s not all fun and games. Heather and Brenda have a secret. Something they saw in the dark. Something they can’t forget. They’ve decided to never tell a soul. But their vow is tested when their friend disappears—the second girl to vanish in a week. And yet the authorities are reluctant to investigate. Heather is terrified that the missing girls are connected to what she and Brenda stumbled upon that night. Desperately searching for answers on her own, she learns that no one in her community is who they seem to be. 


Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

This novel won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Young Adult Fiction in 2021. As a biracial, unenrolled tribal member and the product of a scandal, Daunis has never quite fit in—both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. When her family is struck by tragedy, Daunis puts her dreams on hold to care for her fragile mother. The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother’s hockey team. After Daunis witnesses a shocking murder that thrusts her into a criminal investigation, she agrees to go undercover. But the deceptions—and deaths—keep piling up and soon the threat strikes too close to home. 


Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins

When Lux and her boyfriend Nico are hired to sail two women to a remote island in the South Pacific, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. She’s quick to bond with their passengers, college best friends Brittany and Amma. The two women say they want to travel off the beaten path. But like Lux, they may have other reasons to be seeking an escape. 


Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King

If you’re not into horror and/or super-long novels, give this one a try! King can weave a beautiful story in less than 200 pages. Andy Dufresne, a banker, was convicted of killing his wife and her lover and sent to Shawshank Prison. He maintains his innocence over the decades he spends at Shawshank during which time he forms a friendship with Red, a fellow inmate.


Jen Pace Dickenson is the Youth Services Librarian for Polk County Public Libraries. For information about the library’s resources, programs, and other services, visit or call (828) 894-8721.