I’m always looking for a good book to read for my personal enjoyment as well as read-alouds for grandkids. Here are some of the best books I read or listened to during 2022. I hope you find a few to add to your personal “to read” list.
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I love to read historical fiction books, but I find I’m reading more non-fiction than I used to. I usually find my best books by talking to other people and asking them what their favorite books are. I have enjoyed being part of a book group for more than 20 years. We read and discuss one book a month. Some of the books shared here are ones we read and discussed in our book group in 2022.
Jennifer Ryan books
Jennifer Ryan writes the best books! I read Kitchen Front when it came out in 2021. We chose to read it in book group this year so I read it again and loved it the second time. Jennifer Ryan’s books take place during WWII and focus on how women contributed to the war and helped their families and others adapt to what was happening around them. They include some actual events and situations with fictional characters. She often draws inspiration from her own family history.
Kitchen Front is about an actual BBC radio program that helps wives cook nutritional meals for their families. The story follows the lives of 4 women who enter a Kitchen Front cooking contest and the challenges they face. I grew fond of each of the women and wanted them to all win the contest.
This Wedding Dress Sewing Circle came out this year and I couldn’t wait to read it. This book is about a group of women during WWII that get together and sew and mend clothing and other household items. Those with more experience would teach the others.
When a young woman in the village gets engaged one of the ladies offers to let the bride-to-be wear her wedding dress. With fabric being rationed most brides did not get a new wedding dress. The dress needs to be altered so the sewing circle steps in to help. Word spreads and others donate their wedding dresses to be altered for new brides.
This heartwarming story is based on the actual experiences of women sharing their wedding dresses with young brides. Dresses were passed around and altered to fit each young woman that wore one. The fictional characters in this book are delightful with a variety of personalities, talents and challenges.
More of the best books I read in 2022
This inspiring book is based on a true story about Bob Inama. Bob was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1959. Eventually he is given the special assignment of being a spy in East Germany. He is caught and sent to a brutal East German prison for 6 months. This is a story of courage, resilience and kindness. It is incredible how Bob could stay positive and show kindness to his captors day after day. This is a touching story you won’t want to put down.
This story takes place in a small town in Alabama and is filled with southern charm. It is about the importance of family and healing relationships. There are interesting characters you grow to love. It even has a side story about a group of birders. I enjoy birding so I welcomed this addition to the story. I hope to read more by this author in the coming year.
This is the last book Stephan R. Covey wrote. His daughter is the co-author and finished it after his death. He discusses what he calls the crescendo mentality. Use whatever you have-your time, talents, resources, influence, money etc to enrich the lives of people around you including your family, community and more. He encourages readers to live their best lives no matter your age and circumstances. This book gave me a lot to think about as I plan the rest of my life!
I enjoyed reading Meghan Cox Gurdon’s book, The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud In An Age Of Distraction. Mrs. Cox is a weekly columnist for the Wall Street Journal where she has been writing about children’s books for many years. She and her husband have five children.
In this book she shares the rich experiences she has had reading-aloud to her own children. She tells about some of their family’s favorite read-alouds. This book is full of great information about the benefits of reading aloud to children and is an enjoyable book to read. I share some quotes from her book in this post.
Do you need more great books or fun read aloud ideas?
I have lots of books and great ideas to share with you here!
To help you get started I have a list of 15 great read-aloud picture books you can download for free.