I’m never sure what hype means when it comes to books, but I’m going to relate this to books that seem to be popular on social media (and by that I mean mostly Instagram) and maybe “best of” lists. These aren’t all published in 2022 but books I’ve read in 2022 (and may have been published this year).
Kaiju Preservation Society – John Scalzi
This was definitely a hyped book as it had a long library ebook queue. I happened to be lucky and spotted it on the shelves at the library one day. It was just a really fun read that starts with a guy at a new job that’s been described as an “animal rights organisation”. These animals just happen to be kaiju (a Japanese term for giant monsters) and they happen to live in an alternate world.
When Women Were Dragons – Kelly Barnhill
Another book about unusual creatures. Except that these dragons start out as women. This book touches on some important themes like feminism, LGBTQ+ relationships, and the bonds between mother and daughter.
The Thursday Murder Club – Richard Osman
The first book in this crime/mystery series starring a group of spunky senior citizens. Really fun read.
Afterparties – Anthony Veasna So
Sadly, the author died in 2020 aged 28. But this collection of stories featuring Cambodian communities is truly unforgettable.
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow – Gabrielle Zevin
Ah, a book I initially wasn’t sure if I would like, but ended up absolutely LOVING it. Zevin’s Storied Life was a bit too sweet for me. But this one that revolved around video game designers was fascinating and so immersive.
Books Not Quite Worth The Hype
Love Marriage – Monica Ali
There was quite a bit of hype about this since this was her first book in ten years. But I struggled through it, eventually finishing it, but not having enjoyed the reading journey much.
I Want to Die but I want to Eat Tteokbokki – Baek Sehee
I’m not sure if it’s really hyped in the US since it was recently released here. But this Korean book was everywhere in Singapore. Also it was recommended by RM of BTS. It’s a kind of therapy memoir and has a very eye-catching title. I hesitate to say that I wasn’t fond of it, since it’s the author’s journey with depression and I admire her for putting her story out there. It just wasn’t for me.
Weather – Jenny Offill
Offill’s books are often critically praised but I just didn’t jive with the very fragmented style.
The Echo Wife – Sarah Gailey
While thinking about this list, I saw this title on my reading spreadsheet and couldn’t remember what it’s about. So that doesn’t bode well for it.
Klara and the Sun – Kazuo Ishiguro
This was a major disappointment for me as Ishiguro has written some lovely books. It was also longlisted for the Booker 2021. He had some good ideas but didn’t manage to explore them all successfully.