Best Reads to Kickstart 2022

What better way to start 2022 than with new books to dive into? I came up with a list of fiction and non-fiction books in which I hope you’ll find some inspiration for your winter readings.

If We Were Villains, by M.L Rio: in the dark academia/thriller genre, I’ve started reading If We Were Villains, and I’m pretty excited. The story that made the dark academia genre so popular is The Secret History, by Donna Tartt: a university setting, an ambitious group of young people and a mysterious murder. January and February are the coldest and probably the most boring months of the year, and there’s nothing like a good dark academia novel to make you feel like there’s something romantic about winter, boredom and school assignments. It’s also thrilling to see that If We Were Villains has three main female characters – when The Secret History had only one girl in a group of boys. I’m only a few chapters in and already feeling completely involved in the characters’ narratives.

“How tremendous the agony of unmade decisions.”

I would leave me if I could, by Halsey: I’ve always loved Halsey’s work, not only is she a world-famous singer, but also a writer. Her songs always hit home for some reason. She writes with anger and passion and a certain appreciation towards the small things, always using her capacity to self-introspect. If would leave me if I could is a collection of poems, tackling love, disillusions, sex, abuse, writing, childhood, all of these elements being smartly linked to each other. 

“My brain buzzing like the rattle of a neon light at odd hours of the night when I’m pacing and wringing my hands, counting the days till I see your face again. And the irony is how fine life seemed before. How quickly you made it seem like nothing would ever suffice without you, a part of it. Why the fuck was I at the party?”

The things we don’t see, by Savanah Brown: Summertime on a small island and teenagers playing detectives on a dangerous mission? Sign me up. The things we don’t see is Savannah Brown’s second novel and her prose never fails. It’s a coming-of-age and a thriller cocktail, and once you start reading you can’t put the book down: a gay romance, a stubborn and slightly strange main character, and adults holding secrets. Now that I’ve read The things we don’t see, the idea of a simple walk in the woods makes me feel like anything could happen. The perfect book to escape winter.

“More urgently, I knew I wouldn’t get a chance like this again, a corrosive mixture of a lack of responsibility, obligation, achievement and peace. Maybe I’m overdue something good.”

“Everyone I pass looks at me. Either everyone knows now, or I look like a girl with a death wish.”

King Kong Theory, by Virginie Despentes: written by a French writer, I’ve read this one in French, but it’s been translated, so this should absolutely be on your list. It’s a compelling, intelligent and unapologetic approach to sexism. It’s furiously feminist, raw, and provocative and I think everyone should read it – men included, but I doubt all would dare. A must-read for 2022.

“Because this ideal of the attractive but not whorish white woman, in a good marriage but not self-effacing, with a nice job but not so successful she outshines her man, slim but not neurotic over food, forever young without being disfigured by the surgeon’s knife (…) this woman we are all supposed to work hard to resemble – never mind that she seems to be running herself ragged for not much reward – I for one have never met her, not anywhere. My hunch is that she doesn’t exist.”

The Automatic Millionaire, by David Bach: It’s usually not the kind of book I’m drawn to, but this one surprised me. Learning about money in a world that aims to make the rich richer is important. School won’t teach you anything and your family members might not either. Most of us start our adult life with debts, habits to overspend and not knowing a thing about what money is, really. Before diving into crypto, real estate and all those investment tools that are mostly useful to people with savings and a reasonable wage, it’s important to create a safety net for yourself. The Automatic Millionaire is a very simple and practical book to help you understand the most fundamental of things: how to save money. Wherever you’re at in your life, this book will be helpful to start 2022.

All the best for this year!

Image courtesy of Toa Heftiba

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