The new year is upon us and it is full of all sorts of opportunities. One of my favorite parts of starting a new year is reflecting back on the books I loved over the previous 12 months and creating a reading wish list for the year ahead. I had one of the worst teachers ever when I was a little person learning to read, and I often avoided sitting down with a book at all costs. Luckily that sour apple of a teacher was followed by a long history of exemplary educators who gifted me with a curiosity for learning and a deep adoration for books. So I wanted to start this first newsletter of 2022 off with a BIG GIGANTIC thank you to all the outstanding teachers out there. You are the true heroes of the 2020’s!
January is also for many, a month to reset and cleanse, a time to hide the wine bottles and stock up on all your favorite herbal teas (my current fav is Flamingo Estate’s Japanese Earl Grey but I also want to try these guys because they just look so magical). What better way to kickstart this wintery scene than with a new book to help you drift off into an escape world of no covid or rapid tests! The Temple team put our little book loving minds together, and we are thrilled to share with you our Boozeless Books list for 2022. So if you are planning on ditching the booze and hanging at home in some cozy PJ’s then we do hope this list brings you some joy. And if you feel the hankering to grab a martini to go with that book then that is A-OK too. One things for certain, it’s the 2020’s and you gotta do you!
FIGHT NIGHT by Miriam Toews
Was recently told in the bookstore by a fellow shopper that this book made her chuckle out loud. We are definitely up for some out loud chuckles!
THE BOOK OF HOPE by Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams
I listened to the On Being episode, What It Means to Be Human, with Jane Goodall a few months back and immediately added this one to our list. Jane is at the top of my “please can I sit with you and feel your warmth wash over me” list!
LITTLE WEIRDS by Jenny Slate
We are suckers for any book that is prominently displayed on a bookstore’s “Feel Good” shelf, which is where we found this gem.
TRANSCENDENT WAVES: HOW LISTENING SHAPES OUR CREATIVE LIVES by Lavender Suarez
Been told this little treasure of a book will help you reassess and appreciate the things that are so easily taken for granted. When has slowing down and listening ever been a bad idea!
TO PARADISE by Hanya Yanagihara
Spanning three centuries, this new Hanya Yanagihara novel is sure to be on many a 2022 must-read list. It might be like touching a hot stove even though you know you will get burned, but some books are worth the heartbreak that comes with them.
AND THEN THERE WERE NONE by Agatha Christie
How I have not yet read this classic, I do not know! I typically read a mystery novel and then that’s the only genre I want to read for months. Dame Agatha is the best selling novelist of all time (outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare), need I say any more?!
MURDER MOST PUZZLING: 20 MYSTERIOUS CASES TO SOLVE by Stephanie von Reiswitz
And here’s the perfect follow up for when you are lost in that “who done it” frame of mind. My whole family is loving this series of murder-mystery-themed puzzles, a super fun start to a Saturday morning with coffee.
A CARNIVAL OF SNACKERY by David Sedaris
A collection of David Sedaris journal entries from 2003 to 2020 that we are very eager to dive into because when is David Sedaris not 100% hilarious and enjoyable!
GODS BEHAVING BADLY by Marie Phillips
The Greek Gods all alive in the 21st century and living together in one crammed London townhouse… sounds like a light escape full of witty fun to me!
A MOST REMARKABLE CREATURE: THE HIDDEN LIFE AND EPIC JOURNEY OF THE WORLD'S SMARTEST BIRDS OF PREY by Jonathan Meiburg
The pandemic has delivered a bunch of yuck for sure, but one thing I am thankful for is having the time to walk around Prospect Park more and spotting hawks with my kids. Meiburg’s book is said to be an immensely entertaining mix of history and scientific knowledge, all focused around one remarkable bird that I have never heard of before but can’t wait to familiarize myself with: the striated caracara.
THE MINISTRY FOR THE FUTURE by Kim Stanley Robinson
I don’t normally think of myself as an avid sci-fi reader, but then books like Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter come along and I find myself completely entranced. The Ministry for the Future is a novel told through fictional eye-witness accounts, and a story of how climate change will affect us all over the decades to come.
JENNIFER PACKER: THE EYE IS NOT SATISFIED WITH SEEING
My 10 year-old son gifted me this for Christmas after he went to see the exhibit at the Whitney with his dad. He described the exhibit to me as “A mix between abstract and real life, but it’s all the colors that really make you stop and look.” And he is right, the color in these paintings is sensational!
TODAY A WOMAN WENT MAD IN THE SUPERMARKET: STORIES by Hilma Wolitzer
Might be my favorite book cover from last year. Couldn’t resist adding it to my bag when I was book shopping last fall (I think I was feeling a little empathetic to the woman in the title at the time). I’ve only read a few of the stories so far, but the details and descriptions are incredible.
ARCTIC DREAMS by Barry Lopez
On the top of our nonfiction list is this beauty of a book. One reviewer said “reading his work is a little like being mesmerised by a compelling narrator in a nature documentary.” Count me in!
THE CANDY HOUSE by Jennifer Egan
All of us Jennifer Egan fans have to wait until April for this one, but I feel certain the wait will be well worth the read. It’s going to be sitting on the top of my spring break 2022 bag for sure!
MAYA AND THE ROBOT by Eve L. Ewing
Closing up this list with one final recommendation for the little readers out there. This is on the top of my stack to read with my sons. Dr. Ewing is a sociologist of education, a novelist, a professor, and she has also written several projects for Marvel Comics (big win in my sons’ minds). Maya and the Robot is a story that reminds little people (and us big ones too) of the mighty power of one’s own creative mind and curiosity for life.