At the end of last year, I compiled my “Best of” list and posted it. Around the same time, a friend posted a list of books he read; the list was upwards of 70 books. I was mesmerized and inspired. I wondered what it would be like to read extensively through the year, as well as what sort of rhythm I’d have to take on. I figured if I read about 20-30 minutes a day, I’d finish a book a week and that would get me to 50 books by year-end, give or take.

I soon realized that I couldn’t possibly read 50 books in two or three genres. As a result, I read widely and especially enjoyed some recent literary masterpieces, alongside some poetry. There were some duds I gave up on part way through (Richard Rohr’s “Divine Dance” was entirely unpalatable), but there were others that I suffered through regardless. I was moved enough by two books to read them twice. Eventually, reading became a kind of muscle memory and I felt off-kilter if I didn’t engage the practice regularly. That was a new, welcome experience for me.

I have catalogued the best books from the various genres in which I read. You can also find the list of all 50 books below.

Relative to television, there were some utterly satisfying masterpieces. The Bear (pictured above) was remarkable – so well acted, scripted, and paced unlike anything I have seen for a while. Delhi Crime, like its first season, was captivating and resonant (I was born in Delhi and have family there). There were some great comedies (Mo, Derry Girls, The King’s Jester etc.) and though it wasn’t always written well, Thai Cave Rescue was a decent dramatization of an unbelievable true story.

Anyway, enjoy the list and let me know what you enjoyed this year!

Previous Lists

2021 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2013 (Film) | 2012 | 2011


Books

Best Autobiography: Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption ~ Bryan Stevenson

Best in Contemplative: Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart ~ Jacques Philippe

Best in Emotional Dynamics: Permission to Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help Our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society Thrive ~ Marc Brackett

Best in Ignatian Spirituality: You Have Called Me by My Name ~ Joseph A. Tetlow, SJ

Best in Literature: Hell of a Book ~ Jason Mott

Best in Poetry: Tell Them It Was Mozart ~ Angeline Schellenberg

Best in Theology: Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Jesus Christ ~ Fleming Rutledge


The Complete List

A Autobiography
C Contemplative
E Emotional Dynamics
Ignatian Spirituality
L Literature
P Pastoral
P Poetry
T Theology

1 Classic
2 Liturgy
3 Spiritual Direction
4 Spiritual Formation

  1. No Cure for Being Human (And Other Truths I Need to Hear) ~ Kate Bowler (Jan. 3, 2022) A   
  2. Spiritual Direction: A Practical Introduction ~ Sue Pickering (Jan. 5, 2022) C 3  
  3. Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future ~ Pope Francis (Jan. 6, 2022) P 
  4. Ignatian Discernment of Spirits for Spiritual Direction and Pastoral Care: Going Deeper ~ Mark Thibodeaux, SJ (Jan. 9, 2022) I
  5. The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming ~ Henri J.M. Nouwen (Jan. 18, 2022) C 1 
  6. Ancient Christian Worship: Early Church Practices in Social, Historical and Theological Perspective ~ Andrew B. McGowan (Jan. 24, 2021) T 
  7. A Friendship Like No Other: Experiencing God’s Amazing Embrace ~William Barry, SJ (Feb. 3, 2022) I 3,4
  8. The Soul of Shame: Retelling the Stories We Believe About Ourselves ~ Curt Thompson (Feb. 8, 2022) E 
  9. Building a Bridge: How the Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity ~ James Martin, S.J. (Feb. 9, 2022) I P 
  10. Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart ~ Jacques Philippe (Feb. 12, 2022) C 
  11. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption ~ Bryan Stevenson (Feb. 18, 2022) A 
  12. On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss ~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, David Kessler (Feb. 24, 2022) E
  13. Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers ~ Dane C. Ortlund (Feb. 27, 2022) P  
  14. Permission to Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help Our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society Thrive ~ Marc Brackett (Mar. 7, 2022) E 4 
  15. Broken April ~ Ismail Kadare (Mar. 11, 2022) *2020 Neustadt International Prize* L 
  16. Hell of a Book ~ Jason Mott (Mar. 16, 2022) *2021 National Book Award* L
  17. The Night Watchman ~ Louise Erdrich (Mar. 26, 2022) *2021 Pulitzer Prize (Fiction)* L
  18. Time for God ~ Jacques Philippe (Mar. 27, 2022) C
  19. The Promise ~ Damon Galgut (Apr. 4, 2022) * 2021 Booker Prize* L
  20. In the School of the Holy Spirit ~ Jacques Philippe (Apr. 7, 2022) C 
  21. Afterlives ~ Abdulrazak Gurnah (Apr. 20, 2022) * 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature L
  22. Priestly Fatherhood: Treasure in Earthen Vessels ~ Jacques Philippe (April 22, 2022) C
  23. At Night All Blood is Black ~ David Diop (April 23, 2022) *2021 International Booker Prize* L
  24. Making Choices in Christ: The Foundations of Ignatian Spirituality ~ Joseph A. Tetlow, SJ (April 30, 2022) I 4  
  25. Always Discerning: An Ignatian Spirituality for the New Millennium ~ Joseph A. Tetlow, SJ (May 17, 2022) I 4 
  26. You Have Called Me by My Name ~ Joseph A. Tetlow, SJ (May 20, 2022) I P
  27. The Sacrament of the Present Moment ~ Jean-Pierre de Caussade (May 30, 2022) C 1,4 
  28. Discerning the Will of God: The Ignatian Guide to Christian Decision Making ~ Timothy M. Gallagher (June 8, 2022) I 4 
  29. Tell Them It Was Mozart ~ Angeline Schellenberg (June 17, 2022) P
  30. Fields of Light and Stone ~ Angeline Schellenberg (July 3, 2022) P
  31. Sounding the Seasons: Seventy Sonnets for the Christian Year ~ Malcolm Guite (July 9, 2022) P 2
  32. The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind ~ Daniel J. Siegel & Tina Payne Bryson (August 12, 2022) E
  33. Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope ~ Esau McCaulley (Sept. 4, 2022) T
  34. Heart of Darkness ~ Joseph Conrad (Sept. 11, 2022) L 1 
  35. Invitation To A Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation ~ M. Robert Mulholland Jr. (Sept. 16, 2022) C 4
  36. A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society ~ Eugene H. Peterson (Sept. 24, 2022) P C 4 
  37. This Here Flesh: Spirituality, Liberation, and the Stories That Make Us ~ Cole Arthur Riley (Oct. 7, 2022) A C 
  38. The Prophet ~ Kahil Gibran (Oct. 10, 2022)
  39. David’s Crown: Sounding the Psalms ~ Malcolm Guite (Oct. 24, 2022) P 2
  40. God on Mute: Engaging the Silence of Unanswered Prayer ~ Pete Greig (Oct. 30, 2022) P
  41. Faith After Doubt: Why Your Beliefs Stopped Working and What to Do About it ~ Brian D. McClaren (Nov. 4, 2022) P 
  42. Being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer ~ Rowan Williams (Nov. 6, 2022) P T 
  43. Centered: The Spirituality of Word on Fire ~ Robert Barron (Nov. 11, 2022) C T 4
  44. Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Jesus Christ ~ Fleming Rutledge (Nov. 24, 2022) T 4,2
  45. Eucharist ~ Robert Barron (Nov. 28, 2022)
  46. Kangaroo Care: The Best You Can Do to Help Your Preterm Infant ~ Susan M. Lundington-Hoe, with Susan K. Golant (Dec. 5, 2022) E 
  47. Motions of the Soul: iEnneagram: The Enneagram and Ignatian Spirituality ~ Clare Loughrige (Dec. 12, 2022) E I 4  
  48. Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart ~ Jacques Philippe (Dec. 16, 2022) C
  49. You Have Called Me by My Name ~ Joseph A. Tetlow, SJ (Dec. (Dec. 21, 2022) I 3,4
  50. Word Made Flesh: Reflections for Advent and Christmas ~ Ed. Matthew Becklo (Dec. 22, 2022) P T 2  

Television

  1. The Bear
  2. The Responder
  3. Sherwood
  4. Delhi Crime (s2)
  5. Mo (s1)
  6. Jeen Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy
  7. The English
  8. Atlanta (s3)
  9. Derry Girls (s2)
  10. Thai Cave Rescue
  11. Hasan Minhaj: The King’s Jester
  12. Man vs. Bee
  13. Heartstopper
  14. Starstruck (s1 and s2)
  15. As We See It (s1)
  16. Somebody Somewhere
  17. Neymar: The Perfect Chaos

2 thoughts on “Best of 2022 (Books and TV)

  1. Your mum’s book and film choices are always my favourite. I loved Just Mercy. I am pleased to see that Malcolm Guite made it onto your list, possibly mentioned him to Meena. I need to follow up some of your choices.We knew you in Seychelles before you could read. God bless you,Elly

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