As usual, I feel a need to give a shout out to my favourite books I read in 2022 that were not published this year. Apparently this is how I found the particularly good fiction this year (particular note for The Haunting of Hill House and Lost Souls for both living up to expectations) and a poetry anthology that I know I will be returning to over and over again.
See my favourite fiction and poetry books of 2022 for the more up-to-date offerings.
- The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson – My review of this at the time was simply “Oh right yeah it is THE haunted house novel, fair.” and I stand by that. The writing, the atmosphere, the house. Watch Control, Anatomy, and the Legacy of the Haunted House on YouTube for more great haunted house stuff.
- Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead – Someone living in the big city has to return to their roots is a classic formula, and in this book, young Two-Spirit Jonny Appleseed has to attend the funeral of his stepfather and bring together the elements of his life.
- A Safe Girl To Love by Casey Plett – Any short stories that can make it onto one of my lists must be impressive as it’s a form I often have issues really enjoying, but Plett’s range of trans girl experiences is a fantastic collection.
- We Are Made of Diamond Stuff by Isabel Waidner – I read this whilst trying to kill time sitting outside and in a cafe and it really transported me into a surreal world of British culture to explore national, queer, and migrant identity in a very weird way.
- Lost Souls and Exquisite Corpse by Poppy Z. Brite – It was finally the year, after wanting to since my teenage horror/vampire loving years, to read both Lost Souls and Exquisite Corpse and they were so far up my street. The former is The Lost Boys run through a Dennis Cooper novel (who I also read a lot of this year) and the latter the serial killers in love novel you didn’t know you needed. I’m actually glad it took this long to read them so I could fully appreciate them rather than just like the vibes as a teenager.
- Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo – As I wrote when I finished it: “Loved this southern gothic street-racing in-love-with-your-best-friend suspicious-academia haunting horror novel.”
- Ports by Calum Rodger – This pamphlet from SPAM Press reimagines poems through the lens of video games and I just really enjoyed the playfulness and form, plus what you could get about poetry, narratives, and games from doing that.
- Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Díaz – There is a lot of poetry about bodies, but this collection really stands out. I’d been meaning to read it for a long time and was very happy that I did.
- We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics ed. by Andrea Abi-Karam and Kay Gabriel – A beautiful anthology that’s perfect if you’re a poet as it’s packed full of inspiration and great if not just because there’s a lot of great innovative and experimental trans poetry in there.