We love taking some time at the start of January to pick out a few books we’d like to read in the coming year and pre-order them as a treat for our future selves. When, months later, a mystery parcel slips through your letterbox and you unwrap a book you’d forgotten you’d even ordered, it can feel like a missive from your former self: a perfect gift from the person who knows you best of all. Looking for inspiration? Here are just some of our 2022 must-reads -- with plenty more to explore in our Bookshop.org shop.
Toni Morrison£9.99 £9.49
Twyla and Roberta have known each other since they were eight years old, when they were thrown together as roommates in a girls' shelter. Inseparable then, they lose touch as they grow older, only to meet again later at a diner, a grocery store and then at a protest. The two women are seemingly at opposite ends of every problem but, despite their conflict, the deep bond their shared experience has forged between them is undeniable.
Warsan Shire£12.99 £12.34
'Warsan Shire is an extraordinarily gifted poet whose profoundly moving poems so powerfully give voice to the unspoken' - Bernardine Evaristo. Poems of migration, womanhood, trauma and resilience from the award-winning Somali British poet Warsan Shire, celebrated collaborator on Beyoncé's Lemonade and Black Is King. Drawing from her own life and the lives of loved ones, as well as pop culture and news headlines, Shire finds vivid, unique details in the experiences of refugees and immigrants, mothers and daughters, Black women and teenage girls.
Oded Galor£20.00 £19.00
What are the keys to human progress? In the last two hundred years, stunning advances in health, wealth and lifespan have fundamentally transformed the experience of being human, at least for some. But this was no accident of history. Drawing on a lifetime's investigation, Oded Galor identifies the universal forces behind this change, and so unlocks the mystery of human development.
Burning Questions: The Sunday Times bestselling collection of essays from Booker prize winner Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood£20.00 £19.00
In over fifty pieces Atwood aims her prodigious intellect and impish humour at our world, and reports back to us on what she finds. The roller-coaster period covered in the collection brought an end to the end of history, a financial crash, the rise of Trump and a pandemic. From debt to tech, the climate crisis to freedom; from when to dispense advice to the young (answer: only when asked) to how to define granola, we have no better questioner of the many and varied mysteries of our human universe.
Susan Stokes-Chapman£14.99 £14.24
London, 1799. Dora Blake is an aspiring jewellery artist who lives with her uncle in what used to be her parents' famed shop of antiquities. When a mysterious Greek vase is delivered, Dora is intrigued by her uncle's suspicious behaviour and enlists the help of Edward Lawrence, a young antiquarian scholar. Edward sees the ancient vase as key to unlocking his academic future. Dora sees it as a chance to restore the shop to its former glory, and to escape her nefarious uncle.
Ocean Vuong£14.99 £14.24
In this deeply intimate second poetry collection, Ocean Vuong searches for life among the aftershocks of his mother's death, embodying the paradox of sitting within grief while being determined to survive beyond it. Shifting through memory, Vuong contends with personal loss, the meaning of family, and the value of joy in a perennially fractured American spirit.
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow: The '2022 book that everyone should read' PANDORA SYKES, STYLIST LIVE
Gabrielle Zevin£16.99 £16.14
Two kids meet in a hospital gaming room in 1987. One is visiting her sister, the other is recovering from a car crash. The days and months are long there. Their love of video games becomes a shared world -- of joy, escape and fierce competition. But all too soon that time is over, fades from view. When the pair spot each other eight years later in a crowded train station, they are catapulted back to that moment. The spark is immediate, and together they get to work on what they love -- making games to delight, challenge and immerse players, finding an intimacy in digital worlds that eludes them in their real lives.
Tessa Hadley£16.99 £16.14
1967. While London comes alive with the new youth revolution, the suburban Fischer family seems to belong to an older world of conventional stability: pretty, dutiful homemaker Phyllis is married to Roger, a devoted father with a career in the Foreign Office. Their children are Colette, a bookish teenager, and Hugh, the golden boy. But when the twenty-something son of an old friend pays the Fischers a visit one hot summer evening, and kisses Phyllis in the dark garden after dinner, something in her catches fire.
NOVIOLET BULAWAYO£18.99 £18.04
The story of an uprising, told by a bold, vivid chorus of animal voices that helps us see our human world more clearly. A long time ago, in a bountiful land not so far away, the animal denizens lived quite happily. Then the colonisers arrived. After nearly a hundred years, a bloody War of Liberation brought new hope for the animals -- along with a new leader.
Julian Barnes£16.99 £16.14
Elizabeth Finch was a teacher, a thinker, an inspiration - always rigorous, always thoughtful. With careful empathy, she guided her students to develop meaningful ideas and to discover their centres of seriousness. As a former student unpacks her notebooks and remembers her uniquely inquisitive mind, her passion for reason resonates through the years.
Kotaro Isaka£14.99 £14.24
Suzuki is just an ordinary man until his wife is murdered. When he discovers the criminal gang responsible he leaves behind his life as a maths teacher and joins them, looking for a chance to take his revenge. What he doesn't realise is that he's about to get drawn into a web of unusual professional assassins, each with their own agenda.
Jarvis Cocker£20.00 £19.00
We all have a random collection of the things that made us - photos, tickets, clothes, souvenirs, stuffed in a box, packed in a suitcase, crammed into a drawer. When Jarvis Cocker starts clearing out his loft, he finds a jumble of objects that catalogue his story.
French Braid: The Sunday Times bestseller from the Booker Prize shortlisted author of A Spool of Blue Thread
Anne Tyler£16.99 £16.14
When the kids are grown and Mercy Garrett gradually moves herself out of the family home, everyone determines not to notice. Over at her studio, she wants space and silence. She won't allow any family clutter. Not even their cat, Desmond. Yet it is a clutter of untidy moments that forms the Garretts' family life over the decades, whether that's giving a child a ride or a painstaking Easter lunch, a fateful train journey or an unexpected homecoming.
Ajay Chowdhury£12.99 £12.34
Kamil Rahman is a cook in a Brick Lane restaurant. But he used to be a detective back in Kolkata. And somehow trouble still knows how to find him. When a young woman Kamil knows is murdered the police are convinced her boyfriend is the culprit. Kamil isn't so sure and feels he has no choice but to start his own investigation. Meanwhile, his friend and restaurant manager, Anjoli, is troubled by a rise in the number of homeless deaths in their local area.