Hello bookish pals and a very warm welcome to damppebbles. It’s Sunday, my favourite day of the week. My Sunday plans include chilling with a good book. How about you? Not only is it Sunday but it’s also day 13 of #R3COMM3ND3D2022 where we’ve had the pleasure of revealing some of the best books published this year.
Joining me today to share three of their favourite books of 2022 is the brilliant Carol of Reading Ladies. Carol describes herself as an avid and ardent bibliophile and her love of literature clearly shines through on her blog and bookstagram. If you don’t already follow Carol then you know what to do, people!
So, what is #R3COMM3ND3D2022? It’s about sharing the book love. It’s a chance for authors, book bloggers, reviewers and bookstagrammers to shout about three (yes, *only* three) books they love. They can be written by any author, in any genre and published in any way (traditionally, indie press or self-published). But there is a catch. All three books must have been published in 2022. To make things interesting there are a couple of teeny, tiny rules; 1) the book must have FIRST been published in 2022 and 2) special editions and reissues do not count. I like to keep you lovely people on your toes 😉
Here are the three books Carol recommends…
The Girl from Guernica by Karen Robards
If you appreciate a side of thriller with your historical fiction, you will love The Girl From Guernica. From surviving the bombing to living in Germany and working with the Resistance Movement to the heart-stopping conclusion, the writing of Karen Robards had me turning pages with bated breath from the first page. My perfect read is a balance between plot-driven and character-driven and this is an excellent example. In addition to suspense, The Girl From Guernica features well drawn characters: Sibi is brave, independent, and responsible; Grif is protective, courageous, smart, respectful, and loyal. Together they make an incredible team in their espionage attempts.
Carol’s Review of The Girl from Guernica
I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys
I know a book is in that elusive 5 star range when I read it in ONE day! Engaging and fast-paced from the first page, I Must Betray You will be on my most memorable reads of the year list. A straightforward timeline, a first person point of view, and a likable (YA) main character draw you into the story…..it’s personal and dangerous. I am right there feeling the tension, the helplessness, and desperation. Clipped sentences, sparse prose, vivid details, and short chapters describe the danger and adds to the dire sense of urgency and bleak reality. I love Cristian and admire his resilience, resourcefulness, and bravery. He keeps a hidden journal in which he writes poetry and documents his fears and dreams. As Cristian faces huge moral dilemmas and faces danger, he gives us a perspective on what it might be like to live under an oppressive government. He inspires young writers and gives us hope that freedom will prevail.
Carol’s Review of I Must Betray You
Last Summer on State Street by Toya Wolfe
Thought-provoking and compelling, Last Summer on State Street is a story of family, friendship, and community that reads like a memoir. The story places me right in the community playing jump rope (I can hear the song lyrics and shoes hitting the pavement), running for cover from bullets with my heart pounding, avoiding gang members and crack addicts, fearing for the safety of my older brother and praying for his well being, feeling mostly safe in the classroom, experiencing peace at church, and navigating the angst of pre-teen friendships. I sincerely appreciate the thoughtful themes that include mother/daughter relationships, friendship, faith, honest questions asked, and harsh realities brought to light. This story gives me insight into a life I’ll never live.
Carol’s Review of Last Summer on State Street
[As a side note, Last Summer on State Street was published in hardcover in June this year in the US. It’s going to be published in the UK next year but I’ve allowed it due to regional variations. A similar situation happened with an Australian book last year, which again was allowed.]
Thanks so much for taking part in #R3COMMM3ND3D2022, Carol, and for selecting three fabulous books.
If you have an excellent memory then you may have noticed that this is the second time we’ve seen The Girl from Guernica by Karen Robards featured, which makes it our current leader. Will it be our overall winner? We’ll just have to wait and see.
About Carol @ Reading Ladies:
I’m Carol, a retired teacher, an ardent and avid bibliophile, and passionate literacy advocate who shares a love of great literature across a variety of genres with an intentional focus on new releases, thoughtful themes, diverse cultures, and “own voices” authors. I desire to be a trusted reviewer for your next great read!
Sadly submissions for #R3COMM3D3D2022 are now closed. Shortly after the last post I will be inviting you to attend the virtual after-show party, which should be fun. We’ll get to gaze upon the marvellous and majestic beauty of 2022’s books and also crown 2022’s winner, if we have one (they’re all winners, right?). Until then stay tuned as we have lots more bookish gorgeousness heading your way throughout November.