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Staff Picks: Great Books from 2022 You Might Have Missed

by emjane

Countless amazing and meaningful books come out EVERY YEAR and it is IMPOSSIBLE to read them all. Maybe you missed hearing about a title. Maybe you peeped at the hold-list and thought “another time.” That time is now: here are four great books that came out in 2022 that are worth circling back for!

Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson | Request Now

Shrines of GaietyThe 1920s roared in London as well, as highlighted in Kate Atkinson’s latest Shrines of Gaiety! Centered around the family and nightclubs of proprietor Nellie Coker, Shrines of Gaiety jumps between multiple perspectives, giving the reader insight into both sides of the nightclub life: the rich family that runs them and the police force that attempts to keep them in check. Throw in a mystery of a once-librarian trying to find a missing girl, and you’ve got a real page-turner! Compared to some of Atkinson’s other (beautiful) books, Shrines has a somewhat lighter tone, and I didn’t mind not having to cope with literary heartbreak! 




Attack of the Black Rectangles by A.S. King | Request Now

Attack of the Black RectanglesSixth-grader Mac is confused when he discovers his classroom copy of The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen has had sections of the text redacted in black marker, and confusion morphs into concern and anger when he finds out this vandalism was intentional censorship by his teacher. Mac and his friends (and supportive adults in his life) push back against the redaction in a standoff that eventually reaches the school board and certainly has parallels to some of the discussions around children's literature taking place in our country today. This novel may be intended for middle-grade readers, but it’s written in such a way that it engages adults as well. Or, even better, read it at the same time as a younger person in your life and have discussions about it! 



I’ll Show Myself Out by Jessi Klein | Request Now

I'll Show Myself OutI am a huge fan of Jessi Klein’s first collection of essays You’ll Grow Out of It and have been eager for more personal essays from her. I may have had to wait six years, but I’ll Show Myself Out was worth the patience. Centered mainly around motherhood, and how that impacts her sense of self, I’ll Show Myself Out shows how Klein’s writing has aged beautifully over the last handful of years. She still has the same humor (unsurprising, as her resume includes writing for Saturday Night Live, The Amy Schumer Show, and Dead to Me), but also has a depth of understanding. While this book is certainly one to be enjoyed by non-mothers, those who can relate to Klein’s experiences are likely to get even more out of it!



The Complicities by Stacey D’Erasmo | Request Now

The ComplicitiesSuzanne’s life of luxury abruptly changes when her husband’s financial fraud is discovered and he is imprisoned. Starting over in a beach town, Suzanne attempts to live anonymously and determine who she is as she starts this next act in life. When a whale is beached not far from Suzanne’s new home, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to the whale and the efforts to properly handle its situation. Suzanne’s endeavor for restitution for her husband’s actions ends up interwoven with her new life, begging the question “can you truly start over.” D’Erasmo’s writing has a dreamy quality to it, and rather than trying to guess where the story was heading, I found myself enjoying letting The Complicities wash over me. Before I knew it, over the course of a weekend, I had finished the book!


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