Favorite Books of 2022
Want to know what new books the Happy Valley Library staff has read and loved? This is the place! It is a joy to look back at the books we have read over the year and give our recommendations. We have books that are great for all ages and span a wide selection of topics and genres. Whether it’s heartwarming picture books or puzzling non-fiction, musical chapter books or gorgeous graphic novels, we’ve compiled our favorite books that came out in 2022.
Want to check any of these out? Place a hold on a title at lincc.org or give us a call (503-783-3455). For even more ideas, just ask your librarian!
Bubblecat vs. Dragonbear by Sean Charmatz
BubbleCat is made out of a bubble, and knows that one wrong move could make him go pop at any moment, but when he crosses paths with spiky DragonBear, BubbleCat discovers he is stronger than he thought.
Where Is Bina Bear? by Mike Curato
Tiny is having a party, but Bina Bear is nowhere to be found, a humorous yet sincere picture book about friendship, understanding, and embracing our loved ones just as they are.
Beginning readers, short chapters and lots of fun
The Flower Garden by Renee Kurilla
After planting a seed packet in the backyard, things don’t go as expected for best friends Anna and Tess. They fall asleep in the sun and wake up to blooms as tall as buildings!
Surviving the Wild: Star the Elephant by Remy Lai
While Star the Elephant and his herd are searching for a new home, Star is separated from the other elephants. Can Star find his way back to his family?
Just right for grade schoolers
Scientists know surprisingly little about sloths, but Becky Cliffe is working to change that. Visit the steamy jungles of Central and South America to see these adorable animals up close–and find out ways to protect them.
A nonfiction novel-in-verse about Zhanna Arshanskaya, a young Ukrainian Jewish girl using the alias Anna, whose phenomenal piano-playing skills saved her life and the life of her sister, Frina.
First Cat in Space Ate Pizza by Mac Barnett
Something terrible is happening in the skies — rats are eating the moon! There’s only one hero for the job, a bold and fearsome beast bioengineered in a secret lab to be the moon’s savior and earth’s last hope! And that hero is . . . a cat.
Maizy Chen’s Last Chance by Lisa Yee
Maizy visits her estranged grandparents, who own and run a Chinese restaurant in Last Chance, Minnesota, where she makes unexpected discoveries about her family’s history and herself.
Ogress and the Orphans by Kelly Regan Barnhill
The once-lovely town of Stone-in-the-Glen has fallen on hard times, and only the wise and clever children of the Orphan House and the kindly Ogress at the edge of town see clearly how dire things are.
Witchlings by Claribel Ortega
Rather than being placed in one of the five covens with her friends, twelve year old witchling Seven Salazar is made a Spare instead, which means she’ll have to complete “an impossible task”.
Just right for 6th-8th graders, everything from comics to historical fiction to fantasy
Different kinds of Fruit by Kyle Lukoff
When Annabelle learns that her father shares something big–and surprising–in common with her new nonbinary friend, she begins to see herself, and her family, in a whole new light in this heartfelt, funny novel.
Jennifer Chan is not Alone by Tae Keller
Mallory Moss knows the rules of middle school. The most important one? You have to fit in to survive, but then Jennifer Chan moves in across the street, and that rule doesn’t seem to apply.
The Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat
A high-seas adventure set in a Thai-inspired fantasy world. This is the story of a young woman’s struggle to unburden herself of the past and chart her own destiny in a world of secrets.
Miss Quinces by Kat Fajardo
Sue just wants to spend the summer reading and making comics at sleepaway camp with her friends, but instead she has to go to Honduras to visit relatives with her family, and surprise, celebrate her quinceañera, which is the last thing she wants.
A Rover’s Story by Jasmine Warga
Built to explore Mars, Resilience begins to develop human-like feelings as he learns from the NASA scientists who assembled him, and as he blasts off and explores Mars, Resilience must overcome many obstacles as he explores the red planet.
Drama, heartbreak, and finding your voice
Coven written by Jennifer Dugan; artwork by Kit Seaton
In this queer, paranormal graphic novel, a young witch races to solve the grisly supernatural murders of her coven members before the killer strikes again.
I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston
When her academic rival, prom queen Shara Wheeler, kisses her and disappears, leaving behind cryptic notes, Chloe Green hunts for answers and discovers there is more to this small town than she thought—and maybe more to Shara, as well.
Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen by Isaac Blum
Hoodie Rosen’s life isn’t that bad. Sure, his entire Orthodox Jewish community has just picked up and moved to the quiet, mostly non-Jewish town of Tregaron, but Hoodie’s world hasn’t changed, but it is about to . . .
this funny graphic memoir follows a queer Chinese American’s immigration to Texas where she just wants to make the basketball team, escape Chinese school, and figure out why she is attracted to girls.
Gallant by V. E. Schwab
Olivia Prior has grown up in Merilance School for girls, and all she has of her past is her mother’s journal–which seems to unravel into madness. Then, a letter invites Olivia to come home.
The Red Palace by June Hur
In 1758 Joseon (Korea), 18-year-old palace nurse Hyeon works closely with a young police inspector to uncover the truth surrounding the murder of eight palace nurses when all the evidence points to the Crown Prince himself.
Thousand Steps into Night by Traci Chee
When a girl who’s never longed for adventure is hit with a curse that begins to transform her into a demon, she embarks on a quest to reverse the curse and return to her normal life.
Acting Class by Nick Drnaso
Ten strangers attend an acting class taught by John Smith, a mysterious and morally questionable leader, and as the class demands increasing devotion, the line between real life and imagination begins to blur, and the group’s deepest fears and desires are laid bare.
The Candy House by Jennifer Egan
Told through lives of multiple characters, this electrifying, deeply moving novel, spanning 10 years, follows “Own Your Unconscious,” a new technology that allows access to every memory you’ve ever had, and to share every memory in exchange for success to the memories of others.
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
In the early 1960s, chemist and single mother Elizabeth Zott, the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show due to her revolutionary skills in the kitchen, uses this opportunity to dare women to change the status quo.
Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez
In the wake of Hurricane Maria, Olga, the tony wedding planner for Manhattan’s power brokers, must confront the effects of long-held family secrets when she falls in love with Matteo, while other family members must weather their own storms.
Anthem by Noah Hawley
Trying to recover from the tragic loss of his sister, Simon Oliver joins a woman, Louise, and a man called The Prophet on an urgent, but enigmatic quest to find a man called The Wizard.
Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez
ER doctor Alexis Montgomery’s world is turned upside down by a ridiculously hot carpenter who’s 10 years younger, and as their short-term flings turns into a relationship, she must choose between her ultra-wealthy parents and true love.
The Night Eaters by Marjorie M. Liu
When their mother Ipo forces them to help her clean up the house next door–a hellish and run-down ruin that was the scene of a grisly murder–twins Milly and Billy are in for a nasty surprise. A night of terror, gore, and supernatural mayhem reveals that there is much more to Ipo and her children than meets the eye.
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna
Breaking all the rules, Mika Moon travels to the mysterious Nowhere House to teach three young witches how to control their magic and, as she gets close to the House’s residents, must decide whether to risk everything to protect a found family she didn’t know she was looking for.
Chef’s Kiss by Jarrett Melendez
Now that college is over, English graduate Ben Cook is on the job hunt looking for something…anything…related to his passion for reading and writing. But interview after interview, hiring committee after hiring committee, Ben soon learns getting the dream job won’t be as easy as he thought. But when Ben stumbles upon a “Now Hiring—No Experience Necessary” sign outside a restaurant, he jumps at the chance to land his first job.
The Bangalore Detectives Club by Harini Nagendra
The first in a charming, joyful crime series set in 1920s Bangalore, featuring sari-wearing detective Kaveri and her husband Ramu. Perfect for fans of Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.
The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell
In Florence during the 1550s, captivating young duchess Lucrezia de’ Medici, having barely left girlhood behind, marries the ruler of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio, and now, in an unfamiliar court where she has one duty—to provide an heir—fights for her very survival.
The Maid by Nina Prose
When she discovers the dead body of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black in his suite, hotel maid Molly Gray finds her orderly life upended as she becomes the prime suspect in the case and is caught in a web of deception that she has no idea how to unravel.
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel
Hired to investigate the black-skied Night City, Detective Gaspery-Jacques Roberts discovers an anomaly in the North American Wilderness, where he encounters a strange group of individuals who have all glimpsed a chance to do something extraordinary that could disrupt the timeline of the universe.
Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan
Forced to flee her home on the moon after her magic flares up, Xingyin embarks on a perilous quest to save her mother, in a new fantasy novel inspired by the legend of the Chinese moon goddess.
Thank You for Listening by Julia Whelan
An audiobook narrator, former actress Sewanee Chester, after having a one-night stand with a handsome stranger in Las Vegas, returns home to narrate a romance novel and forms a connection with the anonymous author, but when his identity is finally revealed, she must risk everything for desire.
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
A modern love story about two childhood friends, Sam, raised by an actress mother in LA’s Koreatown, and Sadie, from the wealthy Jewish enclave of Beverly Hills, who reunite as adults to create video games, finding an intimacy in digital worlds that eludes them in their real lives.
Raising fundamental questions about how we understand ourselves in periods of crisis and distress, the author draws on deep, original reporting as well as unpublished journals and memoirs to write about people who have come up against the limits of psychiatric explanations for who they are.
Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton
Telling the story of her time out west to take advantage of Alberta’s oil rush, Beaton’s natural cartooning prowess is on full display as she draws colossal machinery and mammoth vehicles set against a sublime Albertan backdrop of wildlife, northern lights, and boreal forest. This is an untold story of Canada: a country that prides itself on its egalitarian ethos and natural beauty while simultaneously exploiting both the riches of its land and the humanity of its people.
It Won’t Always Be Like This by Malaka Gharib
An intimate graphic memoir about an American girl growing up with her Egyptian father’s new family, forging unexpected bonds and navigating adolescence in an unfamiliar country.
Stay True by Hua Hsu
A New Yorker staff writer, in this gripping memoir on friendship, grief, the search for self and the solace that can be found through art, recounts his close friendship with Ken, with whom he endured the successes and humiliations of everyday college life until Ken was violently, senselessly taken away from him.
The Puzzler: One Man’s Quest to Solve the Most Baffling Puzzles Ever, from Crosswords to Jigsaws to the Meaning of Life by A. J. Jacobs
A master of immersion journalism unpacks the history of the most popular puzzles, and aims to solve the most impossible head-scratchers, from a mutant Rubik’s Cube, to the hardest corn maze in America, to the most sadistic jigsaw.
Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks by Patrick Radden Keefe
The prize-winning, best-selling author presents twelve of his most celebrated articles from The New Yorker that form a deeply human portrait of criminals and rascals, as well as those who stand up against them.
I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy
A heartbreaking and hilarious memoir by iCarly and Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy about her struggles as a former child actor–including eating disorders, addiction, and a complicated relationship with her overbearing mother–and how she retook control of her life.
Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry
The beloved Friends star shares candid behind the scenes stories from the legendary sitcom, as well as detailing his own struggles with addiction that threatened to derail his career.
Seven Games: A Human History by Oliver Roeder
A group biography of seven enduring and beloved games, and the story of why-and how-we play them. Checkers, Backgammon, Chess, and Go. Poker, Scrabble, and Bridge. These seven games, ancient and modern, fascinate millions of people worldwide. In Seven Games, Oliver Roeder charts their origins and historical importance, the delightful arcana of their rules, and the behavioral design that make them pleasurable.
Happy-Go-Lucky by David Sedaris
The best-selling author offers a new collection of satirical and humorous essays that chronicle his own life and ordinary moments that turn beautifully absurd, including how he coped with the pandemic, his thoughts on becoming an orphan in his seventh decade, and the battle-scarred America he discovered when he resumed touring.
The High Desert by James Spooner
A formative coming-of-age graphic memoir by the creator of Afro-punk: a young man’s immersive reckoning with identity, racism, clumsy teen love and belonging in an isolated California desert, and a search for salvation and community through punk.