My Best Reads of 2022

Time for my annual post of great reads for the previous year. Without further ado, here are My Best Reads of 2022 based on the results of my 2022 Goodreads Reading Challenge.

My 2022 in Books

  1. Number of books read: 78 
  2. Ratings: 5 stars = 16; 4 stars = 49; 3 stars = 9; 2 stars= 2, 1 star or unrated = 2
  3. Fiction: 60; Non-Fiction:18
  4. Books with a Minnesota connection: 38 
  5. Pages read = 22,797

The Best Book I Read in 2022—Finalists (click on the titles to read my reviews)

  1. Lightning Strike by William Kent Krueger
  2. How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need by Bill Gates
  3. The Monkey’s Raincoat by Robert Crais
  4. Land of Shadows by Rachel Howzell Hall
  5. The Deep, Deep Snow by Brian Freeman

My Best Read of 2022–WINNER

Robert Crais—The Monkey’s Raincoat

WHY? Choosing was really tough this year, as always. Each book was outstanding. I highly recommend them all. I chose Crais’s debut novel primarily because it was his first novel. Amazing quality for a beginning writer! Elvis Cole is now an iconic detective character, and Joe Pike is the perfect complement to Cole. Crais’s dialogue is sharp and snaps with wit, dry humor, and realism. His pacing is superb, and the plot twists and turns right up to the end. You won’t find many detective novelists better than Robert Crais.

My Rating System

I follow the guidelines. A three-star rating means I liked a book and thought it was better than average, although not a book I would enthusiastically recommend. The curve is skewed because truly awful books rarely get published, despite the revolution in independent publishing that literally allows anyone to publish any piece of writing for a relatively low cost. I also factor in my reading experience and ability to filter out books I don’t think I’ll enjoy and populate that list with books I expect will be better than average.

I put a lot of stock in the consensus of reviews, especially when a book has received enough reviews that the rating will be representative of many readers and not skewed by “friends-and-family” reviews. F-and-Fs are reviews that seem to be written by people who know the author and either want to give or are coerced into giving a glowing review because of personal pressure or a sense of obligation. Those reviews are pretty obvious when a book has less than ten or twenty reviews, especially when there exists a one- or two-star review that takes the author to task for poor editing, proofreading, or in some cases, inferior craft. A few books received no stars—not because they were worse than one-star books, but because I chose not to rate them for personal reasons.

My Questions for You: How many books did you read in 2022? What was your “best book I read in 2022?” What do you think of my finalists?


Online reviews are crucial for the survival of most authors. I’m pleased to have collected 152 ratings and 71 reviews on for my three books. THANK YOU! Good or bad, a review indicates that someone took time and/or spent money to read a book and share their opinion. The more reviews posted, the more likely it is that others will buy the book and read it. So if you read a book, especially a book written by a less well-known author, please consider posting a brief, honest review of that book on,,, or any other online review website.

If you’d like to post a review or rating of Straight River, Castle Danger, or Dangerous Straits, click on the images below, which will take you to their respective pages. It’s never too late, even if you read the books months ago. 😛 

Straight River Cover  Castle Danger PB cover  Dangerous Straits PB cover

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