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As summer winds down and cooler weather and fall leaves blow in, we’re all about cozying up with a nice selection of good reads and friends. With all of the exciting books coming out in 2022, these picks are perfect for your Fall 2022 book club selection; regardless of the genre, they’re thought-provoking and easy to discuss.
Don’t miss all the best book club picks for 2022>>
Diary of a Void by Emi Yagi (August 9, 2022)
Ms. Shibata is the only woman at her new workplace and all of the menial tasks are left for her. To avoid this, she announces that she’s pregnant. Suddenly she doesn’t have to clear away dirty cups or work overtime. Work is great. Except Ms. Shibata is not actually pregnant and this is a nine-month ruse she needs to sell. As time goes on, the line between reality and her deception begins to blur and Ms. Shibata has to decide how far she will take this.
Mother in the Dark by Kayla Maiuri (August 9, 2022)
Anna’s childhood was unconventional. She and her sister spent their time watching their loving mother bounce from tenderness to bitterness and back again, always waiting for her unpredictable nature to show. Years later, Anna gets an urgent call from her sister about their mother that risks destroying the life she has precariously built for herself in New York. Told in an alternating timeline from Anna’s childhood and her twenties, this novel examines the effects of an unstable childhood, and the way these traumas form the future generations.
A Map for the Missing by Belinda Huijuan Tang (August 9, 2022)
Yitian has been estranged from his family in China and living in America for years. But when his father disappears, he heads back home to figure out what happened. His childhood best friend Hanwen is the only one who might be able to help him, but their history stands between the two of them as they once tried to plan a future together before tragedy struck. The two head off to search for Yitian’s father as they struggle with their past and their present in this novel about family, forgiveness, and the meaning of home.
Perish by LaToya Watkins (August 23, 2022)
This intergenerational story about a Black Texan family explores the effects of inherited trauma and violence. Everyone gathers to say their goodbyes to Helen Jean, the family’s matriarch, as she’s on her deathbed. Her choices have had effects across generations, from her children to her grandchildren and beyond, and this novel examines those ripples through alternating chapters from four members of the family.
Tomorrow in Shanghai by May-Lee Chai (August 30, 2022)
This short-story collection takes a closer look at multicultural intricacies in China, the Chinese diaspora in America, and the world overall. Told from various class, wealth, age, gender and sexuality perspectives, these stories offer insight to interpersonal and institutional power. They explore family dynamics and morality, and transport readers to rural China, France, and even to a future Chinese colony on Mars.
Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen (August 30, 2022)
Mallow Island is right off the coast of South Carolina and full of quirks and secrets. The Dellawisp is a beautiful condominium in the shape of a horseshoe, named after the birds that live nearby. Zoey heads there to claim her deceased mother’s apartment and ends up getting to know some of her mysterious neighbors, as well as three ghosts. Each character in this novel has a story and is yearning for something in their lives. This whimsical tale is full of love, grief, and the strength of found family.
Call Me When You’re Dead by A.R. Taylor (September 6, 2022)
Eleanor Birch’s friend Sasha told her something odd during dinner one time: “If anything bad happens to me, I want you to get him.” When something bad does happen, Eleanor is determined to figure out what happened. Her target ends up becoming her ally…and then her lover. Eleanor’s journey hits highs and lows in this darkly comic novel that sheds light on women, friendship and payback.
What We Fed to the Manticore by Talia Lakshmi Kolluri (September 6, 2022)
Each of the nine stories in this collection are narrated from animal perspectives and dive into themes of environmentalism, conservation, identity, belonging, loss and family. With vivid emotion and scenery, the tender and heartfelt voices show the world from different points of view that speak to the interconnectedness of people, animals and nature.
The Fortunes of Jaded Women by Carolyn Huynh (September 6, 2022)
The Duong sisters have been cursed to never find love and never give birth to sons, ever since their ancestor Oanh left her marriage for true love. Mau, Oanh’s current descendant, is a divorced mother of three daughters with an estranged relationship with her two younger sisters. Auntie Hua, Mai’s trusted psychic in Hawaii, predicts that the family will witness a marriage, a funeral, and the birth of a son this year. Hearing this, all the women of the family reunite in this novel of healing, mourning and love.
All That’s Left Unsaid by Tracey Lien (September 13, 2022)
Ky Tran returns home to Cabramatta when her younger brother, Denny, is murdered inside a busy restaurant called Lucky 8. While many people were present, they all claim to know nothing. The police are stumped by the case, and Ky is determined to figure out what happened. She tracks down each witness herself and starts peeling back layers of her hometown and her brother. Told between Ky’s voice and the point of view of the witnesses, this novel combines powerful family drama and a suspenseful mystery and explores friendship, family and community.
A Cigarette Lit Backwards by Tea Hacic-Vlahovic (September 20, 2022)
It’s the early 2000s and Kat is dying to be accepted by the punk-rock scene; she’s desperate to seem cool. At a punk show, she ends up backstage with a rock star and gets noticed by a photojournalist, making her dream come true—her reputation as a groupie icon skyrockets. But to maintain this notoriety, Kat makes a series of devastating choices, and soon she becomes unrecognizable to herself and others. Tea Hacic-Vlahovic’s A Cigarette Lit Backwards is a a needle-sharp portrait of a young woman and how far she’ll go to find acceptance.
Take it From Me by Jamie Beck (September 20, 2022)
Wendy is a recent empty-nester slash kleptomaniac. She normally keeps her problem under control, but now she’s lonely and anxious and in desperate need of a new project. Harper is an author plagued by writer’s block who needs inspiration. She befriends Wendy to get material for her new main character and the story practically writes itself. A genuine friendship starts to grow, but as both their secrets are revealed, they’ll have to come to terms with who they are and who they want to be.
A Brighter Flame by Christine Nolfi (September 27, 2022)
This moving novel about family secrets, healing and second chances centers around a mother and her two daughters, both at a crossroads in their lives. When Vale’s business literally goes up in flame, she has no choice but to move back to her hometown. She’s forced to confront everyone she left behind: her mother and stepfather who pushed her to the background the day they married, and her favored half-sister Blythe, who just left a perfect marriage. Everyone has their own memories of the truth and secrets they’ve been keeping, and everything must come to light in order for closure, forgiveness and love.
The Furrows by Namwali Serpell (September 27, 2022)
When Cassandra was twelve years old, her little brother, Wayne, was lost in an accident and his body was never recovered. Their father leaves to start another family elsewhere and their mother starts an organization dedicated to missing children. As the years pass, C thinks she sees her brother everywhere—but it can’t actually be him, right? One day, she’s involved in another accident and C meets a man who feels both familiar and strange, whose name happens to be Wayne. This novel dives into the depths of grief and how the past continuously bleeds into the present.
We Spread by Iain Reid (September 27, 2022)
Penny is a widower who has lived in the same apartment for decades. She’s accepted the monotonous life that comes with old age, until she’s moved into a long-term care residence arranged for her by her late partner. At first, Penny enjoys her new routine there, but eventually the days start to blur together and she feels uneasy. Is it just a part of growing older, or is something more unsettling going on?
The Other Side of Night by Adam Hamdy (September 27, 2022)
This story starts with David Asha, writing about his separation from his son, Elliot. It then follows Harriet, a disgraced police officer who finds a mysterious inscription in a used book she purchases: Help me, he’s trying to kill me. This launches Harriet into an investigation to find the truth behind this note, which leads to David, who died when he jumped off a cliff. But did he actually commit suicide? Harriet then looks to Ben Elmys, the former love of her life, the current guardian to Elliot, and a close friend of the Ashas. And he might also be a murderer.
The Mountain in the Sea by Ray Nayler (October 4, 2022)
When a highly intelligent octopus species is discovered, marine biologist Dr. Ha Nguyen gets a job with the transnational tech corporation DIANIMA to study them. Its rumored that this species has created its own language and culture, and there is a fortune to be made for whoever can take advantage of it. As Dr. Nguyen tries to communicate with them, outside forces close in to seize the opportunity for themselves. But the central question that everyone seems to ignore is: what to do the octopuses think, and what will they do about it?
Bad Vibes Only by Nora McInerny (October 11, 2022)
In this collection of vulnerable and humorous essays, Nora McInerny responds to the aggressively optimistic culture obsessed with self-improvement. She takes us from her childhood to present day sharing personal life experiences and relationships that make her reflect on her life. Nora also discusses the complications of living online and being more connected and observed than ever before.
The Picture Bride by Lee Geum-yi (October 11, 2022)
Willow left her home in 1918 as a picture bride, but her dreams for this new life are quickly broken. Her husband had no desire to marry her in the first place, and the escalation of the Korean independence movements risks dividing the Hawaiian Korean community and Willow’s family and friends. But Willow perseveres, determined to create new dreams for herself through these tumultuous years.
Such a Pretty Girl by T. Greenwood (October 25, 2022)
Living peacefully in Vermont, Ryan Flannigan is shocked when a text from her oldest friend alerts her to a devastating news item. A controversial photo of her as a pre-teen has been found in the possession of a wealthy investor recently revealed as a pedophile and a sex trafficker—with an inscription to him from Ryan’s mother on the back. Forced to reexamine her childhood, Ryan begins to untangle her young fears and her mother’s ambitions, and the role each played in the fraught blackout summer of 1977 in New York City.
Gilded Mountain by Kate Manning (November 1, 2022)
In 1907 in Colorado, Sylvie works for the Padgetts, a wealthy and influential family. She’s struck by the luxury and glamour around her, and even begins to form a close relationship with Jasper, the heir to the family fortune. Soon though, she realizes the truth behind the unfair labor practices that have built up the Padgetts’ wealth. Sylvie joins the local newspaper as an apprentice while discontent builds in the community. She finds herself stuck between different worlds and conflicting loyalties, especially when the harsh winter brings tragedy.
We Are the Light by Matthew Quick (November 1, 2022)
Lucas Goodgame is a widower who lives in a quaint suburb that has been shaken by a recent tragedy. The townspeople view Lucas as a hero, but he doesn’t feel that way. He believes his deceased wife, Darcy, appears to him each night as an angel, and he passes his time corresponding with his former Jungian analyst. Then there’s Eli, an eighteen year old boy who the town has turned their back on, now camping out in Lucas’s backyard. The two form an unexpected alliance and work to heal the town and themselves from the tragedy.
The Age of Goodbyes by Li Zi Shu (November 8, 2022)
This unique story is told in three different narratives. First, a woman named Du Li An secures her place in 1969 society in Malaysia by marrying a gangster. In a parallel story, The Fourth person is a critic who looks into the work of a writer also named Du Li An. The third storyline is told in the second person as “you” read a novel titled The Age of Goodbyes. This story references the deadly riots that took place in Malaysia in 1969 and explores family history and political upheaval.
What A Trip by Susen Edwards (November 15, 2022)
This coming-of-age novel follows Fiona as she navigates the social and political upheavals of the sixties. Struggling to find herself, she heads to Florida for a week with her best friend, Melissa. They’re introduced to tarot cards and the anti-war movement and Melissa is fascinated by the supernatural. Fiona is hesitant; she still has her mother’s conservation Christian words in her mind. When she returns home, Fiona meets a guy who’s moving to Canada and wants her to go with him. But she must decide if that’s really what she wants, and what this would mean for her own aspirations.
Thank you for everything. ♥️