Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Top 10 Tuesday My Most Anticipated Books for the First Half of 2022

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at The Artsy Reader Girl.

I've never joined this weekly feature but, I've always been intrigued by the interesting questions. This week's feature question really appealed to me so I decided to share my Top 10 Most Anticipated Books Releasing in the First Half of 2022.

The Maid; Nita  Prose - Ballantine - January 4, 2022

GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK • NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS’ CHOICE • “A twist-and-turn whodunit, set in a five-star hotel, from the perspective of the maid who finds the body. Think Clue. Think page-turner.”—Glamour

MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS—The New York Times, Glamour, W magazine, PopSugar, The Rumpus

Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by.

Since Gran died a few months ago, twenty-five-year-old Molly has been navigating life’s complexities all by herself. No matter—she throws herself with gusto into her work as a hotel maid. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, make her an ideal fit for the job. She delights in donning her crisp uniform each morning, stocking her cart with miniature soaps and bottles, and returning guest rooms at the Regency Grand Hotel to a state of perfection.

But Molly’s orderly life is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s unusual demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect. She quickly finds herself caught in a web of deception, one she has no idea how to untangle. Fortunately for Molly, friends she never knew she had unite with her in a search for clues to what really happened to Mr. Black—but will they be able to find the real killer before it’s too late?

Clue-like, locked-room mystery and a heartwarming journey of the spirit, The Maid explores what it means to be the same as everyone else and yet entirely different—and reveals that all mysteries can be solved through connection to the human heart.

To Paradise
; Hanya Yanagihara - Doubleday - January 11,  2022

From the author of the classic A Little Life—a bold, brilliant novel spanning three centuries and three different versions of the American experiment, about lovers, family, loss and the elusive promise of utopia.

In an alternate version of 1893 America, New York is part of the Free States, where people may live and love whomever they please (or so it seems). The fragile young scion of a distinguished family resists betrothal to a worthy suitor, drawn to a charming music teacher of no means. In a 1993 Manhattan besieged by the AIDS epidemic, a young Hawaiian man lives with his much older, wealthier partner, hiding his troubled childhood and the fate of his father. And in 2093, in a world riven by plagues and governed by totalitarian rule, a powerful scientist’s damaged granddaughter tries to navigate life without him—and solve the mystery of her husband’s disappearances.
These three sections are joined in an enthralling and ingenious symphony, as recurring notes and themes deepen and enrich one another: A townhouse in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village; illness, and treatments that come at a terrible cost; wealth and squalor; the weak and the strong; race; the definition of family, and of nationhood; the dangerous righteousness of the powerful, and of revolutionaries; the longing to find a place in an earthly paradise, and the gradual realization that it can’t exist. What unites not just the characters, but these Americas, are their reckonings with the qualities that make us human: Fear. Love. Shame. Need. Loneliness.
To Paradise is a fin de siecle novel of marvelous literary effect, but above all it is a work of emotional genius.  The great power of this remarkable novel is driven by Yanagihara’s understanding of the aching desire to protect those we love—partners, lovers, children, friends, family and even our fellow citizens—and the pain that ensues when we cannot.

Very Cold People; Sarah Manguso - Hogarth - February 8, 2022

The eagerly anticipated debut novel from “one of the most original and exciting writers working in English today” (Jhumpa Lahiri): a masterwork on growing up in—and out of—the suffocating constraints of small-town America.
“My parents didn’t belong in Waitsfield, but they moved there anyway.”

For Ruthie, the frozen town of Waitsfield, Massachusetts, is all she has ever known.

Once home to the country’s oldest and most illustrious families—the Cabots, the Lowells: the “first, best people”—by the tail end of the twentieth century, it is an unforgiving place awash with secrets.
Forged in this frigid landscape Ruthie has been dogged by feelings of inadequacy her whole life. Hers is no picturesque New England childhood but one of swap meets and factory seconds and powdered milk. Shame blankets her like the thick snow that regularly buries nearly everything in Waitsfield.
As she grows older, Ruthie slowly learns how the town’s prim facade conceals a deeper, darker history, and how silence often masks a legacy of harm—from the violence that runs down the family line to the horrors endured by her high school friends, each suffering a fate worse than the last. For Ruthie, Waitsfield is a place to be survived, and a girl like her would be lucky to get out alive.

In her eagerly anticipated debut novel, Sarah Manguso has written, with characteristic precision, a masterwork on growing up in—and out of—the suffocating constraints of a very old, and very cold, small town. At once an ungilded portrait of girlhood at the crossroads of history and social class as well as a vital confrontation with an all-American whiteness where the ice of emotional restraint meets the embers of smoldering rage, Very Cold People is a haunted jewel of a novel from one of our most virtuosic literary writers.

Funny Farm: My Unexpected Life With 600 Rescue Animals; Laurie Zaleski - St. Martin's Press -February 22, 2022

An inspiring and moving memoir of the author's turbulent life with 600 rescue animals.

Laurie Zaleski never aspired to run an animal rescue; that was her mother Annie’s dream. But from girlhood, Laurie was determined to make the dream come true. Thirty years later as a successful businesswoman, she did it, buying a 15-acre farm deep in the Pinelands of South Jersey. She was planning to relocate Annie and her caravan of ragtag rescues―horses and goats, dogs and cats, chickens and pigs―when Annie died, just two weeks before moving day. In her heartbreak, Laurie resolved to make her mother's dream her own. In 2001, she established the Funny Farm Animal Rescue outside Mays Landing, New Jersey. Today, she carries on Annie’s mission to save abused and neglected animals.

Funny Farm is Laurie’s story: of promises kept, dreams fulfilled, and animals lost and found. It’s the story of Annie McNulty, who fled a nightmarish marriage with few skills, no money and no resources, dragging three kids behind her, and accumulating hundreds of cast-off animals on the way. And lastly, it's the story of the brave, incredible, and adorable animals that were rescued.

The Paris Apartment; Lucy Foley - William Morrow, February 22, 2022

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Guest List comes a new locked room mystery, set in a Paris apartment building in which every resident has something to hide… 

Jess needs a fresh start. She’s broke and alone, and she’s just left her job under less than ideal circumstances. Her half-brother Ben didn’t sound thrilled when she asked if she could crash with him for a bit, but he didn’t say no, and surely everything will look better from Paris. Only when she shows up – to find a very nice apartment, could Ben really have afforded this? – he’s not there.

The longer Ben stays missing, the more Jess starts to dig into her brother’s situation, and the more questions she has. Ben’s neighbors are an eclectic bunch, and not particularly friendly. Jess may have come to Paris to escape her past, but it’s starting to look like it’s Ben’s future that’s in question.

The socialite – The nice guy – The alcoholic – The girl on the verge – The concierge

Everyone's a neighbor. Everyone's a suspect. And everyone knows something they’re not telling.

The Swimmers; Julie Otsuka, Knopf - February 22, 2022

From the best-selling, award-winning author of The Buddha in the Attic and When the Emperor Was Divine comes a novel about what happens to a group of obsessed recreational swimmers when a crack appears at the bottom of their local pool—a tour de force of economy, precision, and emotional power.

The swimmers are unknown to one another except through their private routines (slow lane, medium lane, fast lane) and the solace each takes in their morning or afternoon laps. But when a crack appears at the bottom of the pool, they are cast out into an unforgiving world without comfort or relief.
One of these swimmers is Alice, who is slowly losing her memory. For Alice, the pool was a final stand against the darkness of her encroaching dementia. Without the fellowship of other swimmers and the routine of her daily laps she is plunged into dislocation and chaos, swept into memories of her childhood and the Japanese American incarceration camp in which she spent the war. Alice's estranged daughter, reentering her mother's life too late, witnesses her stark and devastating decline. Written in spellbinding, incantatory prose, The Swimmers is a searing, intimate story of mothers and daughters, and the sorrows of implacable loss: the most commanding and unforgettable work yet from a modern master.

The French Braid; Anne Tyler - Knopf - March 22, 2022

From the beloved best-selling, Pulitzer Prize–winning author—a funny, joyful, brilliantly perceptive journey deep into one Baltimore family’s foibles, from a boyfriend with a red Chevy in the 1950s up to a longed-for reunion with a grandchild in our pandemic present.

The Garretts take their first and last family vacation in the summer of 1959. They hardly ever leave home, but in some ways they have never been farther apart. Mercy has trouble resisting the siren call of her aspirations to be a painter, which means less time keeping house for her husband, Robin. Their teenage daughters, steady Alice and boy-crazy Lily, could not have less in common. Their youngest, David, is already intent on escaping his family's orbit, for reasons none of them understand. Yet, as these lives advance across decades, the Garretts' influences on one another ripple ineffably but unmistakably through each generation.
Full of heartbreak and hilarity, French Braid is classic Anne Tyler: a stirring, uncannily insightful novel of tremendous warmth and humor that illuminates the kindnesses and cruelties of our daily lives, the impossibility of breaking free from those who love us, and how close—yet how unknowable—every family is to itself.

Nine Lives; Peter Swanson - William Morrow - March 15, 2022

If you’re on the list, someone wants you dead.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Eight Perfect Murders comes the heart-pounding story of nine strangers who receive a cryptic list with their names on it—and then begin to die in highly unusual circumstances.

Nine strangers receive a list with their names on it in the mail. Nothing else, just a list of names on a single sheet of paper. None of the nine people know or have ever met the others on the list. They dismiss it as junk mail, a fluke—until very, very bad things begin happening to people on the list.

First, a well-liked old man is drowned on a beach in the small town of Kennewick, Maine. Then, a father is shot in the back while running through his quiet neighborhood in suburban Massachusetts. A frightening pattern is emerging, but what do these nine people have in common? Their professions range from oncology nurse to aspiring actor, and they’re located all over the country. So why are they all on the list, and who sent it?

FBI agent Jessica Winslow, who is on the list herself, is determined to find out. Could there be some dark secret that binds them all together? Or is this the work of a murderous madman? As the mysterious sender stalks these nine strangers, they find themselves constantly looking over their shoulders, wondering who will be crossed off next…

Ocean State; Stewart O'Nan - Grove Press - March 8, 2022

Set in a working-class town on the Rhode Island coast, O’Nan’s latest is a crushing, beautifully written, and profoundly compelling novel about sisters, mothers, and daughters, and the terrible things love makes us do. 

In the first line of Ocean State, we learn that a high school student was murdered, and we find out who did it. The story that unfolds from there with incredible momentum is thus one of the build-up to and fall-out from the murder, told through the alternating perspectives of the four women at its heart. Angel, the murderer, Carol, her mother, and Birdy, the victim, all come alive on the page as they converge in a climax both tragic and inevitable. Watching over it all is the retrospective testimony of Angel’s younger sister Marie, who reflects on that doomed autumn of 2009 with all the wisdom of hindsight.

Angel and Birdy love the same teenage boy, frantically and single mindedly, and are compelled by the intensity of their feelings to extremes neither could have anticipated. O’Nan’s expert hand paints a fully realized portrait of these women, but also weaves a compelling and heartbreaking story of working-class life in Ashaway, Rhode Island. Propulsive, moving, and deeply rendered, Ocean State is a masterful novel by one of our greatest storytellers.

The Golden Couple; Hendricks and Pekkanen - St, Martin's Press - March 8, 2022

The Golden Couple is the next electrifying novel from Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, the number one New York Times best-selling author duo behind You Are Not Alone, An Anonymous Girl, and The Wife Between Us.

If Avery Chambers can’t fix you in 10 sessions, she won’t take you on as a client. Her successes are phenomenal; she helps people overcome everything from domineering parents to assault - and almost absorb the emptiness she sometimes feels since her husband’s death.

Marissa and Mathew Bishop seem like the golden couple - until Marissa cheats. She wants to repair things, both because she loves her husband and for the sake of their eight-year-old son. After a friend forwards an article about Avery, Marissa takes a chance on this maverick therapist, who lost her license due to controversial methods.

When the Bishops glide through Avery’s door and Marissa reveals her infidelity, all three are set on a collision course. Because the biggest secrets in the room are still hidden, and it’s no longer simply a marriage that’s in danger.

What 2022 upcoming releases are on your must-read list?


  1. The Maid and The Swimmers are both high on my list of books to read. The Maid already has several months of wait at my library so it's probably going to be a while. Other books here are new to me so I'm going to check those out.

    1. I'll be starting The Maid over the weekend I think. I do like the sound of it and The Swimmers. Hope you will enjoy them as well.

  2. Cool Blog Hop, there's quite a few interesting books on your list!

  3. I'm curious about The Maid. The Paris Apartment is on my wish list too!

    Lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.net

  4. A new Anne Tyler - now that is something to look forward to!

    1. Dorothy, I just realized I've never read The Ladder of the Years so I hope to read that in January or February as well.

  5. I'm interested in The Maid and I might check out Funny Farm if I can get it on audio.

    1. Funny Farm was a surprise I found. I love animals and a good memoir - win win I hope.

  6. I just finished Ocean State and it's everything you hope for in a Stewart O'Nan book. I'm also eagerly looking forward to Paris Apartment, the new Anne Tyler, Swimmers, and, thanks to you, Funny Farm.

    1. I love Stewart O'Nan's books and the RI setting pulls me in as well. Glad you enjoyed it. Funny Farm sounds really good - hope the others are good as well.

  7. I love Stewart O'Nan's novels, so I'm eager to read Ocean State. The Maid also sounds promising. I'm not sure about reading To Paradise, though. This sentence is too real and disturbing: "And in 2093, in a world riven by plagues and governed by totalitarian rule..."

    1. Les - honestly the overview of To Paradise and the size 700 pp scares me a bit but, because the author's previous book, A Little Life is my favorite book ever. I'm compelled to read this one as well.

  8. I hope you enjoy these when you get the opportunity to read them.

    Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!

  9. What a great list of books...and very diverse, too! I'm looking forward to Swanson's Nine Lives, too. And Funny Farm sounds like it could be a very fun read. :)

  10. Oooh, VERY COLD PEOPLE looks good! I hadn't heard of it before, so thanks for the heads-up. I hope you enjoy it and all your other picks.

    Happy TTT!

  11. Yes, I liked that it was a debut and also that it was set in New England.

  12. I am starting to see some repeats on people's lists and therefore my TBR list is growing. I loved A Little Life so will be interested to hear what people think of To Paradise.

    1. To Paradise is another tome - approx 700 pages but, I really want to try it. It will probable be a combo read/listen as I have both which is usually easier for me with longer books.

  13. I am interested in The Maid too and The Paris Apartment. The Golden Couple sounds good too. So many great sounding books!

  14. That's a good looking list, and several of the books interest me. But I'm most anticipating getting my hands on a new one from Anne Tyler than any other new book right now. She's never let me down, and I doubt she will this time either. Real comfort reading for me.

    1. I do love her writing and realized I never read Ladder of the Years which I now have from library so, hopefully I can check that off by month's end. Noah's Compass was a favorite of mine by her.

  15. I'm having trouble finishing The Paris Apartment, a book meant to be a mystery, but it's a very slow one lacking action.

  16. I see a few of my favorite authors on your list! Happy reading :)

  17. I've seen The Maid everywhere. That really looks like it could be a fun read. I'm also looking forward to the Anne Tyler book. So many books to look forward to!

  18. These look good .... The Swimmers seems a bit of an odd story but maybe that will be its allure. Happy Reading.


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