Award-Winning Reads 2022

As the year-end-lists season comes to a close, we are happy to share Ultimate Library’s list of some of the most critically acclaimed books of 2022 as voted by esteemed panels of literary heavyweights – from travel books to women authors to the Booker and Pulitzer Prize winners, at least two of these should be essentials on your 2023 reading list!

1. The Amur River: Between Russia and China by Colin Thubron (Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards Winner – Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year)

In his eightieth year, Colin Thubron takes a dramatic 3,000-mile-long journey from the Amur’s secret source to its giant mouth. Harassed by injury and by arrest from the local police, he makes his way along both the Russian and Chinese shores on horseback, on
foot, by boat and via the Trans-Siberian Railway, talking to everyone he meets. The Amur River is a shining masterpiece by the acknowledged laureate of travel writing, an urgent lesson in history and the culmination of an astonishing career.

The Amur River: Between Russia and China

2. The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki (Women’s Prize for Fiction Winner)

After the tragic death of his beloved musician father, fourteen-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house – a sneaker, a broken Christmas ornament, a piece of wilted lettuce. When his mother develops a hoarding
problem, the voices grow more clamorous. The judging panel said “A celebration of the power of books and reading, it tackles big issues of life and death, and is a complete joy to read. Ruth Ozeki is a truly original and masterful storyteller.”

The Book of Form and Emptiness

3. The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka (Booker Prize Winner)

Maali Almeida, war photographer, gambler, and closet gay, has woken up dead in what seems like a celestial visa office. His dismembered body is sinking in the serene Beira Lake and he has no idea who killed him. At a time where scores are settled by death
squads and hired goons, the list of suspects is depressingly long, as the ghosts who cluster round can attest. He has seven moons to try and contact the man and woman he loves most and lead them to a hidden cache of photos that will rock Sri Lanka.

The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida

4. The Netanyahus by Joshua Cohen (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Winner)

Corbin College, not-quite-upstate New York, winter 1959-1960: Ruben Blum, a Jewish historian – but not an historian of the Jews-is co-opted onto a hiring committee to review the application of an exiled Israeli scholar specializing in the Spanish Inquisition. When Benzion Netanyahu shows up for an interview, family unexpectedly in tow, Blum plays the reluctant host, to guests who proceed to lay waste to his American complacencies.

The Netanyahus by Joshua Cohen

5. Goshawk Summer: The Diary of an Extraordinary Season in the Forest by James Aldred (The James Cropper Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing Winner)

In early 2020, wildlife cameraman James Aldred was commissioned to film the lives of a family of Goshawks in the New Forest, his childhood home. Then lockdown. And as the world retreated, something remarkable happened. No more cars, no more airplanes
roaring in the skies, no one in the Goshawk woods – except James. At this unique moment, James was granted a once in a lifetime opportunity to keep filming. Judge Ray Mears said “Nature is abundant all around us, if only we could take the time to REALLY
look for it. This wonderful book shows us how.”

Goshawk Summer: The Diary of an Extraordinary Season in the Forest

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