Lynn’s Picks 2022
Hi there! I’m Lynn, one of the Library Assistants at the Dillsburg Area Public Library. I am a lifelong lover of libraries and reading. I’d like to tell you about my favorite books of 2022 but first, a disclaimer: I am not a mystery or thriller fan. I don’t particularly like romances. And I shy away from most nonfiction, unless it’s about birds or gardening or food.
So, what do I like to read?
Literary Fiction is best described as realistic stories that are character-driven and focus on relationships.
My #1 pick for 2022 in this category is Arcadia by Lauren Groff. This is a beautifully written novel set in western New York State in the 1970s where a few dozen idealists set out to live off the land, founding a commune on the grounds of a decaying mansion called Arcadia House. Arcadia follows this utopian dream from the perspective of one of the youngest Arcadia inhabitants, Bit. While Arcadia rises and falls, Bit, too, ages and changes. Eventually he must learn to face the world beyond Arcadia.
Memoir is a narrative in which the author shares memories from a specific time period or reflects upon a string of themed occurrences throughout their life. A memoir differs from autobiography in that autobiography is a factual and historical account of one’s life from beginning to end.
My favorite memoir of 2022 was Left on Tenth by Delia Ephron. Ephron describes her struggle through the deaths of her beloved sister Nora and then her husband, Jerry, both to cancer. Several months after Jerry’s death, she reconnects with Peter, a psychiatrist with whom she had a few dates fifty-four years before. After several weeks of exchanging emails and sixties folk songs, they fall in love.
But this is not a happily-ever-after story: four months later she is diagnosed with leukemia. In Left on Tenth, Ephron made me laugh and cry as she described enduring cancer treatment and facing death at the same time she’s taking a second chance on love.
Historical Fiction is set in a real time and place from the past, and sometimes some of the characters are actual people who lived during that time.
I enjoyed Jacqueline in Paris by Ann Mah. This book describes Jacqueline Bouvier’s year abroad in 1949. She was twenty years old and a junior at Vassar. She was determined to enjoy this time away from the rigid social circles of New York and her mother’s expectations for her future. Jacqueline has a year to explore and absorb the City of Light and an intoxicating new world of champagne, theater, cafés, and jazz clubs. Mah brilliantly imagines this pivotal year in the life of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. Mah illuminates how France would prove to be one of the greatest influences on Jackie’s life. Lynn’s Picks 2022
Dystopian Fiction describes near-futuristic societies. In them, aspects of life for the characters are difficult due to oppression, deprivation, disease, or terror.
I know, I know, who reads this stuff when the real world is already so bad? In some perverse way I enjoy it because I’m fascinated by imagining a world where things are even worse than they are now, and I am comforted by the fact that we’re not there yet.
The dystopian novel I enjoyed most in 2022 was Red Clocks by Leni Zumas. In this novel, abortion is once again illegal in America. In-vitro fertilization is banned, and the Personhood Amendment grants rights of life, liberty, and property to every embryo. In a small Oregon fishing town, five very different women navigate these new barriers alongside age-old questions surrounding motherhood, identity, and reproductive freedom.
Short Stories require great talent by the writer. They convincingly describe the characters, plot and setting of the story in fewer words than a novel.
These and many other great reads are available to you at the Dillsburg Area Public Library. Stop by soon and pick up a few; maybe they’ll become your favorites in 2023!
—Lynn Michels, Dillsburg Area Public Library
Lynn’s Picks 2022