Books That Impacted Us the Most in 2022

Did you read any books during 2022 that changed you? We here at Bookstr got real and shared some of our most impactful reads of the year.

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Books that changed us in 2022

2022 has been one of those years. At some points, the year was flying past us, and at other times, we felt stuck in the mud. Luckily, we’ve had books to keep us company throughout this hectic time. I, for one, wouldn’t have known what to do without diving into a story every once and a while. The rest of the Bookstr team has felt the same. We all sat down and talked about the reads that impacted the most this year.

The power that books have is magnificent. They can transport us to other worlds, teach us new things, and make us feel like a new person after we flip the final page. If you’re interested in which reads made us feel all the emotions, keep reading! Some of our choices may inspire you too. 

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

Books that have impacted us the most in 2022. 'Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow' by Gabrielle Zevin book cover with ocean on it.
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“While this may seem like a book about the art of video games, it is also a story about friendship, love, loss, and pursuing dreams by whatever means necessary. The depiction of found family, platonic love, as well as romantic love, portrayed in this book, is absolutely astounding, and I have never read a book like this, nor do I think I ever will again.”

— Lindsay Johnson, Social Department

Heroes in Crisis by Tom King and Clay Mann

Books that have impacted us the most in 2022. 'Heroes in Crisis' book cover with DC superheroes on it.
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“This was the first comic book that really changed my perception when it came to superheroes. It deals with mental health, depression, PTSD, and suicide. I take my mental health seriously, and I was thoroughly surprised that a comic book took it to that level. They portrayed superheroes not just as Gods, but as people with actual unsolved trauma. Wally West is also like my top 5 favorite superheroes and to see his journey was extraordinarily heart-wrenching to watch.”

— Sierra Jackson, Editorial Department

Now You Know It All by Joanna Pearson

Books that have impacted us the most in 2022. 'Now You Know It All' Book cover with a bird on it.
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“I’m a sucker for a good short story collection, and this absolutely blew my mind. Pearson has such a gift when it comes to writing short fiction. Each story holds something unique, yet the entire collection is overcast in this eerie haze. The best way that I can describe it is that each story is subtly haunted by something – whether that’s a memory, the unknown, or a deadly secret. As a collection, these tales captivated me and totally got under my skin. Plus, they inspired me to write more short fiction in my free time, given it’s such a distinctly impactful form of creative writing”

— Erin Shea, Editorial Department

Thunder Dog: The True Story of A Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and The Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero by Michael Hingson with Susy Flory

Books that have impacted us the most in 2022. 'Thunder Dog' book cover with a dog on it.
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“Much like one-arm pro surfer Bethany Hamilton, Michael Hingson has become a constant reminder for me to be grateful for what I have and not what I don’t have. To keep going and keep moving forward through all the little hurdles, challenges, and obstacles that I might face as I experience life while trying to achieve goals and dreams that might seem crazy, unattainable, too ambitious, financially impossible, impractical, unreasonable, or unrealistic. I have all my limbs and all my senses which enables me to do so many great and good things.”

— Christina Hardesty, Graphics Department

Crying in H Mart: A Memoir by Michelle Zauner

Books that have impacted us the most in 2022. 'Crying in H Mart: A Memoir' book cover with noodles on it.
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“Written by the lead singer of one of my favorite bands, Japanese Breakfast, this book’s depiction of Asian-American identity, womanhood, grief, and mother-daughter relationships represented many things that hit close to home for me. Zauner is an amazing writer, and it’s interesting to learn about her real-life experiences behind a lot of the songs on their first two albums while returning home when her mom got sick. I highly recommend reading this book, especially next to a box of tissues.”

— Griffyn Tijamo, Graphics Department

You Will Get Through This Night by Daniel Howell

Books that have impacted us the most in 2022. "You Will Get Through This Night' book cover with Daniel Howell on it.
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“I’ve been a fan of Dan since his Youtube days as Danisnotonfire, so it was a no-brainer to pick up his book. I’m normally not a fan of self-help books, but this one resonated with me so much. It’s truthful, helpful, and supportive of whatever situation you’re going through. I actually wrote a whole article about his novel because of how much it impacted me. If anybody is struggling with their mental health (especially with daylight saving time ending), I would highly recommend this book. It’ll give you a good laugh and cry if you need it.”

— Jenna Sassenrath, Editorial Department

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Books that have impacted us the most in 2022. 'The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue' book cover with stars on it.
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“This has to be my favorite read of the whole year. The writing was absolutely brilliant, and it broke my heart in so many ways. Not only is it narratively ingenious, but V.E. Schwab just has this effortless way of bringing loneliness to life within the novel where it feels like you, like Addie, are being forgotten as well. There are some really gorgeous and thoughtful themes in the novel too about what love is (sacrifice) and what it isn’t (possession). I highly recommend everyone read it, it’ll change their lives!”

— Danya Shembesh, Editorial Department

A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson

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“This book holds an immense power and revelation that only love is real. Williamson offers insight into the human ego’s ability to have us play small in our own existence. Her words illuminate the human mind to comprehend that we do not have to participate in fear. Our thoughts rooted in love will reflect the love given back to us in our own meaningful lives.”

— Cori Franco, Editorial Department

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

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“Recommended by a beloved professor, I had been eager to read this book as I previously read Station Eleven by the same author and was so impressed by the ruminations amid the apocalypse. Sea of Tranquility did not disappoint. I’m a very slow reader, but I read this book in two days! St. John Mandel pencils a variety of experiences and crafts such a beautiful and specific ending I couldn’t predict but understood as it unfolded. Love and art remain the core of this novel about a space colony. This book brought me to tears, and I recommend it to any speculative fiction lovers. It made me remember the small beauties of life.”

— Olive Garcia, Editorial Department

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

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“The last-page ache. The deep breath in after you’ve set the book aside.”

Emily Henry

“There is something beautiful about Emily Henry’s books. This is the first one I read by her, and it made me fall in love with not only contemporary romance, but my craft as a writer. I’m a sucker for a good NYC rom-com, and throw in the fact that both people work in the publishing industry? I’m sold. Not to mention they are both also hopelessly in love with the hustle and bustle of NYC, feeling trapped in small towns and so attached to their families, they don’t know where to turn or what dream is actually their own.”

“I was laughing and crying, unknowing of what the next page held. What an absolutely beautiful book. Emily Henry worked magic with this one, and I’ll be on this hill forever. I just kept sobbing every time it referenced the book ending… any book ending… because I can’t think of many worse feelings for someone so consumed by literature.”

— Emilee Calametii Quinn, Editorial Department

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

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“I don’t even know where to start with this one. I knew I was in for a heartfelt comedy with this book, but I didn’t expect it to stick with me as much as it did after I finished it. I’m not usually one to make notes in a book and highlight my favorite quotes, but Anxious People made me want to rethink that silly little rule of mine.”

“It’s a beautiful story about forgiveness, friendship, enduring love, and, most importantly, hope. Did I tear up a few times while reading this? Maybe. I don’t know. Sort of… okay, I did. Rather than go on and on about it, I’ll leave you with one of the quotes that made me want to bust out my highlighters:

That’s the power of literature, you know, it can act like little love letters between two people who can only explain their feelings by pointing at other people’s.

Fredrik Backman, Anxious People

— Savannah Swanson, Editorial Department

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

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“This book was recommended to me by someone when I expressed my love for books relating to the meaning of life. I didn’t expect this book to be as deep as I thought it was. The way the two main characters—a 54-year-old concierge and a rich 12-year-old girl—had so many common thoughts about life was interesting. The ending of the book made me appreciate life more than I should. We are all worthy of love, and as someone who, like many of you, deals with issues like self-love, this book was a reminder that life really is interesting and it goes on. A great read for fellow philosophers and deep thinkers as well!”

— Michelle Quinde, Social and Graphics Department

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

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“I think, given the nature of the title, anyone can guess that this book is not for the faint of heart – but that’s exactly why I was drawn to it. There’s something fascinating about the way death brings people closer together, and I think this book portrayed that very well in its own way. Death is so momentary, yet its suddenness has the power to change hearts that a lifetime could only hope to accomplish.”

“Though I must say, it is a very strange thing to read a book knowing the characters will encounter their deaths, but not knowing how or why. In a way, reading this sort of felt like accepting that something will eventually hurt you, but going along with it anyway because the smiles, laughs, and tears make it all worth it in the end.”

— Xiomara Demarchi, Editorial Department

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

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“I stumbled upon this memoir accidentally in the library while looking for something to read, and I’m so glad I did. This has to be one of the most emotionally-charged and moving books I’ve ever read. In it, Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon who was diagnosed with terminal stage IV lung cancer, writes about his life as well as how he wrestled with his diagnosis.”

“Once a doctor treating the dying, he suddenly finds himself in the same place as his former patients. Honestly, I cried multiple times when reading this, and it made me think a lot about life itself, the legacy we leave behind, and my own mortality. It’s truly an unforgettable read, and I still think about certain parts and quotes from it often.”

— Lauren Salvatore, Editorial Department

Are you thinking of picking up some of these books for yourself now? We hope so! Books mean everything to us here at Bookstr, and we’re glad you feel the same. 


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