Last week you got an insight into my bookish year in numbers, today I present you with my 10 favourite reads. All my five-star books are of course included and then there was the difficult choice to pick six books from all those four-star-books. I decided to list the books that I still remember very well at the end of the year, which is always a good sign.
That bonesetter woman by Frances Quinn
I fell in love with Durie Proudfoot who aims at a career of bonesetter in 18th century London. This story has it all: three strong woman with lots of subplots such as the menagerie in The Tower of Londen and the Foundling hospital.
The price of blood by Patricia Bracewell
The second book in the Emma Of Normandy trilogy. It took me a while to start this one but it’s an equally good book as Shadow on the crown. There is this constant struggle between England and the Danes and also a strong power battle within king Aethelred’s court. I hope to finish this trilogy in 2023.
When Christ and his Saints Slept by Sharon Kay Penman
This first book of Penman’s Plantagenet series that centers on Eleanor Of Aquitaine and Henry II focuses on the Anarchy and the big power struggle between Stephen and Maude. I fell in love with the fictional Ranulf and with Stephen’s queen Matilda. Penman’s works are long, a bit dry at times but so good.
Stone blind by Nathalie Haynes
Medusa’s doomed story is told from her own perspective. Haynes has quickly become one of my favourite authors. I love how she always chooses so many different perspectives to build a complex and human story about women in Greek myths. I didn’t know so much about Medusa and Perseus as about the Trojan War, so I enjoyed this immensely.
The wolf den by Elodie Harper
A book series about the Romans always peaks my interest. But this trilogy is for everyone who wants to read about friendship and hope. Amara is a prostitute in the wolf den brothel in Pompeii against her will. She tries to survive together with the other four women there. I also enjoyed the second part ‘The house with the golden door‘ this year and am curious to see how Amara’s story will end in 2023.
Essex dogs by Dan Jones
I enjoy a good war story once in a while especially when it comes from an historian as Dan Jones. It’s his first historical fiction novel. Essex dogs tells the story of a bunch of English and Welsh soldiers in the Hundred Years War in France. An original setting with a lot of subplot lines which makes me look out for the sequel.
Nefertiti by Michelle Moran
My first introduction to the story of Nefertiti, wife of Achnaton, and one of the famous figures of the 18th dynasty. Her life is told from her sister Mutnodjmet’s perspective. Moran writes accessible story and fills up the many gaps about Nefertiti’s life convincingly, although I’m no expert in this period.
Heartstone by C.J. Sansom
One of my favourite Matthew Shardlake novels is ‘Heartstone’ in which Matthew travels to Portsmouth to solve two crimes against people who don’t want to be helped. In Portsmouth Henry VIII’s army and his war ships ‘The great Harry’ and ‘The Mary Rose’ are preparing for an invasion of the French.
Cloud cuckoo land by Anthony Doerr
We had to wait a while for a new book of Doerr. Cloud cuckoo land has a total different premise than ‘All the light we cannot see’. It tells the story of five outcast kids in three different eras (13th century Turkey, 20th century America and the distant future). This is a very detailed story so you have to take your time for it, but it’s worth it.
Anne Boleyn, a king’s obsession by Alison Weir
It was difficult to make a choice for this tenth spot, but I decided to grant it to Weir because her Anne Boleyn book is good enough. It isn’t a positive portrayal of Anne but it’s an interesting one with a human Anne who’s not without flaws. I also read Jane Seymour’s story this year and enjoyed it a lot less.
Almost made it to the top ten: Ariadne, Wildevrouw (Dutch novel about 16th century Antwerp) and The honey and the sting.
Did you read any of these books? What was your favourite read in 2022?
3 thoughts on “My ten favourite books of 2022”
I haven’t read any of these yet but I like the sound of That Bonesetter Woman so I’ll add it to my wishlist. Thanks for the list!
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I hope you’ll enjoy it when you get to it.
Some of those were on my list of favourite reads too – That Bonesetter Woman, Stone Blind and The Wolf Den. I’m hoping to read The Price of Blood this year and I have some Sharon Penman books on my TBR too.
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