While prior years were almost entirely consumed by podcast listening, 2022 marked a return to audiobooks for entertainment. I still listen to quite a lot of podcasts, but fewer than in prior years.
For the purposes of this post “New Books” means “new to me” (as opposed to newly published in 2022).
New Books, Completed
While the first book I listened to was a re-listen I will start with the books I read for the first time. These are listed in the order that I listened to them.
The majority of these books were added to my list after listening to book review episodes of the Incomparable Mothership podcast. By and large, they are also Hugo Award winners or nominees.
The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green
Conveniently, my absolute favorite book also happens to be the first new book I listened to. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to everyone, and strongly recommend the audiobook version. John Green’s essays are poignant in either form, but the audiobook as read by the author brings a particular emotion to the work.
A deeply moving and insightful collection of personal essays from number-one best-selling author John Green.
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
A great read. While set in a sci-fi setting, the stakes are relatively low, and the drama driven by characters working together towards a common end. Will absolutely continue the series.
Follow a motley crew on an exciting journey through space - and one adventurous young explorer who discovers the meaning of family in the far reaches of the universe - in this lighthearted debut space opera from a rising sci-fi star.
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
An odd story, reminiscent of Project Hail Mary to some degree, and deliberately in the spirit of World War Z. Will probably continue the series at some point.
An inventive debut in the tradition of World War Z and The Martian, told in interviews, journal entries, transcripts, and news articles, Sleeping Giants is a literary thriller fueled by a quest for truth - and a fight for control of earthshaking power.
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
I enjoyed this book, and the mystery at its core.
Piranesi lives in the House. Perhaps he always has.
In his notebooks, day after day, he makes a clear and careful record of its wonders: the labyrinth of halls, the thousands upon thousands of statues, the tides that thunder up staircases, the clouds that move in slow procession through the upper halls. On Tuesdays and Fridays Piranesi sees his friend, the Other. At other times he brings tributes of food to the Dead. But mostly, he is alone.
Messages begin to appear, scratched out in chalk on the pavements. There is someone new in the House. But who are they and what do they want? Are they a friend or do they bring destruction and madness as the Other claims?
Lost texts must be found, secrets must be uncovered. The world that Piranesi thought he knew is becoming strange and dangerous.
The beauty of the House is immeasurable; its kindness infinite.
Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
Practically a classic of the genre at this point, and I finally got around to reading it. Worth the read.
John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First, he visited his wife’s grave. Then he joined the army.
The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi
Jumping forward a few years in Scalzi’s works, and still good. Need to return to the rest of the series.
The Flow is eternal - but it is not static. Just as a river changes course, The Flow changes as well, cutting off worlds from the rest of humanity. When it’s discovered that The Flow is moving, possibly cutting off all human worlds from faster-than-light travel forever, three individuals - a scientist, a starship captain, and the empress of the Interdependency - are in a race against time to discover what, if anything, can be salvaged from an interstellar empire on the brink of collapse.
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
Did you like The Martian? You will like this book as well.
Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission - and if he fails, humanity and the Earth itself will perish.
Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.
What If? 2 by Randall Munroe
Pitch perfect, and worth getting a paper copy. Audiobook listeners will miss out on the comics alongside the questions.
The millions of people around the world who read and loved What If? still have questions, and those questions are getting stranger.
New Books, Still in Progress
- A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers
- The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey
- Everybody Has a Podcast (Except You) by Justin McElroy, Travis McElroy, Griffin McElroy
- Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey
Older Books, Opened Again
- The Martian by Andy Weir
- The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
- Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy
- The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
- Felt oddly dated. Not sure this work stood the test of time, or at least my greater knowledge of disease (thanks COVID). Didn’t finish it.
- What If? by Randall Munroe