Best Books of 2022

We are always pleased when our books appear on various best of the year lists. Check out some of this year’s picks from a wide variety of publications.

Kirkus Reviews named Memories of a Gay Catholic Boyhood by John D’Emilio one of 2022’s best memoirs. They said the book was “upbeat and generous spirited about its author’s early life and challenges.”

12 Contemporary Books That Will Have You Rethinking Music History(opens in a new tab)

Several of our music titles landed on best of the year lists. Pitchfork chose The Florida Room by Alexandra T. Vazquez for its list. Cat Zhang said it is “a loving and rich account of somewhere that exists both in real life and the imagination, too abundant to be contained.” Spin‘s Book Club featured Good night the pleasure was ours by David Grubbs in their year-end round up, calling it “an enthralling portrayal of the delicate balance between performer, audience, and sound.” Popmatters featured a list of titles that will make you rethink music history and included Emily J. Lordi’s The Meaning of Soul, calling it “the most important, game-changing book on soul—the music, the concept, and its history—ever published.” And Rough Trade bookstore put A Kiss across the Ocean by Richard T. Rodríguez on their best books of the year list. While supplies last, you can order a signed copy from them! Rolling Stone also included A Kiss across the Ocean on it’s Best Music Books of 2022 list, as did NBC Latino.

Publishers Weekly put Subversive Habits by Shannen Dee Williams on their list of Best Religion Books of 2022. In their starred review, they said, “this should be required reading for scholars of Catholic and African American religious history and will undoubtedly become the standard text on its subject.” Marcia Chatelain also included Subversive Habits on her list of the best scholarly books of 2022 in the Chronicle of Higher Education, saying “I have never read a more thoughtful account of the Black Catholic experience.”

Public Books featured There’s a Disco Ball Between Us by Jafari S. Allen on their 2022 Public Picks list. Frank Andrew Guridy said the book is “a tour de force that offers a completely new understanding of Black life and the Black Freedom Struggle.”

In her “Year of Reading” feature in The Millions, novelist Chantal V. Johnson highlighted Cistem Failure by Marquis Bey. She said, “I love when a book articulates things I haven’t been able to put into words. It is as if something that had been squirming inside me settles.” Marquis Bey’s Black Trans Feminism was selected as a best book of 2022 by Ms. Magazine‘s Karla Strand.

Bookriot mentioned LOTE by Shola Von Reinhold as one of the best LGBTQ novels of the year. And in a verse about her 2022 influences in Bomb, Cat Fitzpatrick wrote, “Shola von Reinhold, in her novel Lote / (A book which I advise you to procure) / Says ornament’s divine, one should devote / One’s soul to it, that that’s what life is for.”

CBC Books selected Dionne Brand’s Nomenclature as one of the year’s best Canadian poetry books, calling the titular poem “a thoughtful and wide-ranging reflection on location, consciousness, time and the current state of the world.” The Center for the Art of Translation featured Nomenclature on their holiday gift list, calling it “a gripping catalogue of witness and a call to imagine a better world.”

And finally, Madison’s weekly newspaper Isthmus rounded up the best Wisconsin books of the year and included University of Wisconsin Madison professor Thulani Davis’s The Emancipation Circuit

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