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The Book Report: Ron Charles’ favorite novels of 2022

The Book Report: Ron Charles' favorite novels of 2022
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By Washington Post book critic Ron Charles

Before we say good-bye to 2022, I want to look back and tell you about five of my favorite novels of this year.


HarperCollins


Barbara Kingsolver has taken Charles Dickens’ classic novel, “David Copperfield,” and transformed it into her own modern-day masterpiece. 

“Demon Copperhead” is about a boy in Appalachia trying to find his way in the world while struggling with foster care and opioid addiction. 

It’s as funny as it is heartbreaking, and it’s got a voice that leaps right off the page.

READ AN EXCERPT: “Demon Copperhead” by Barbara Kingsolver

“Demon Copperhead” by Barbara Kingsolver (HarperCollins), in Hardcover, Large Print, eBook and Audio formats, available via Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Indiebound

barbarakingsolver.net


young-mungo-cover-grove.jpg

Grove


“Young Mungo,” by Scottish writer Douglas Stuart, is a gripping story about a sweet young man falling in love for the first time in a violently homophobic community.

To toughen him up, his alcoholic mother sends him on a camping trip with a couple of guys from her AA meeting. Unfortunately, they’re not at all what they seem, and you’ll wish you could protect Young Mungo from what’s ahead.

READ AN EXCERPT: “Young Mungo” by Douglas Stuart

“Young Mungo” by Douglas Stuart (Grove), in Hardcover, eBook and Audio formats, available via Amazon and Indiebound

douglasdstuart.com


the-latecomer-celadon-cover.jpg

Celadon


For some sharp cultural satire, turn to “The Latecomer,” by Jean Hanff Korelitz. This is the story about wealthy triplets who hate each other, and then discover a secret about their father that reorders their lives.

Korelitz uses this witty family epic to explore modern art, liberal education, political correctness, and American spirituality, while delivering one surprise after another. 

READ AN EXCERPT: “The Latecomer” by Jean Hanff Korelitz

“The Latecomer” by Jean Hanff Korelitz (Celadon Books), in Hardcover, Large Print, eBook and Audio formats, available via Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Indiebound

jeanhanffkorelitz.com


afterlives-riverhead-cover.jpg

Riverhead


In 2021, Abdulrazak Gurnah won the Nobel Prize, and this year he released a new novel in the United States called “Afterlives.” 

Set in the early 20th century, it turns the old story of colonization on its head by pushing the Europeans into the background, and letting us follow the intersecting lives of villagers in East Africa as they struggle to survive and thrive.

READ AN EXCERPT: “Afterlives” by Abdulrazak Gurnah

“Afterlives” by Abdulrazak Gurnah (Riverhead), in Hardcover, Large Print Trade Paperback, eBook and Audio formats, available via Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Indiebound
          


olga-dies-dreaming-flatiron-books-cover.jpg

Flatiron Books


“Olga Dies Dreaming,” by Xochitl Gonzalez, is a romantic comedy about a very successful wedding planner who can’t find a partner herself. 

Meanwhile, her brother is a popular Congressman, a champion for Puerto Rico, who may be slipping into a compromising position. 

This is a novel about family secrets, national schemes, racial politics, and – of course – love!

READ AN EXCERPT: “Olga Dies Dreaming” by Xochitl Gonzalez

“Olga Dies Dreaming” by Xochitl Gonzalez (Flatiron Books), in Hardcover, eBook and Audio formats, available via Amazon and Indiebound

xochitlgonzalez.com


There are a bunch of great new books coming up in 2023. Here are just a few I’m looking forward to:

February

“Victory City” by Salman Rushdie”

March

“Black Ball” by Theresa Runstedtler
“The White Lady” by Jacqueline Winspear

April

“Romantic Comedy” by Curtis Sittenfeld
“The Wager” by David Grann

May

“The Covenant of Water” by Abraham Verghese

June

“Be Mine” by Richard Ford

       
For more info: 

      
For more reading recommendations, check out these previous Book Report features from Ron Charles: 

     
Produced by Aria Shavelson. Editor: Ed Givnish. 



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