My 2022 in Books + Movies
i'm just a girl, sitting in front of a tv, asking her attention span to come back
I’m on a mission to get back to the reading and movie-watching habits of my younger years. Growing up, I always had a book in progress, was always locked in my room with whatever random Netflix DVDs I had chosen to put on my family’s queue. Then college made me busy and adulthood made me busier. In 2020 I had more time than ever, but then had to deal with a brutally murdered attention span and a lack of desire to do anything but doomscroll.
Thankfully, things have changed. This year I read 25 books and watched 83 movies that I had not read or seen before. These still feel like rookie numbers compared to where I used to be, but oh well! Below are lists, arranged in the order I read/watched them, complete with notes where necessary. If you trust my taste at all, free to browse for recommendations and/or warnings of what awaits you.
Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy
— After loving this book and her other novel, Once There Were Wolves, I will be first in line to buy whatever she writes next.
Tacky: Love Letters to the Worst Culture We Have to Offer by Rax King
This Will All Be Over Soon by Cecily Strong
Severance by Ling Ma
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
— To be completely honest, I hated this book until about 80% of the way in, and then it won me over, so I suppose I call it a net gain.
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
— I… do not get the Colleen Hoover hype. I thought this dealt with some heavy subjects in a (mostly) interesting way but did not think it was overall very well written.
God Spare the Girls by Kelsey McKinney
— Really loved this novel about two sisters dealing with the expectations placed on them by their family & faith.
Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory by Raphael Bob-Waksberg
— This is a series of short stories. I liked some more than others but found a few of them very moving.
The Unsinkable Greta James by Jennifer E. Smith
Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren
Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
The War for Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy by Bill Carter
— A really outstanding piece of journalism about this era in TV.
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
Flying Solo by Linda Holmes
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
— My favorite book of the year, by a long shot. Begged my husband to read it as soon as I was done so we could discuss. It centers on a group of friends who develop a video game together, which is extremely my shit, but even if you don’t care about video games at all it’s an outstanding story.
Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson
— Was totally swept up in this mystery about family secrets. Loved loved loved.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
— I watched (and loved) the HBO miniseries before I read this book, so I wondered if I would enjoy it as much as I would have otherwise. But I really had a great time — the show and the book are actually quite different and lovely to enjoy independently of each other.
I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy
Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood
Another one from same author as the one listed above that I was less than fond of. I liked this one less! Felt somehow more juvenile and like a carbon copy of the last one she wrote. It was a weird one.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
— Really moving stuff.
A Heart That Works by Rob Delaney
— This book is a feat. All about Delaney’s experience having a young son who passed away from a brain tumor.
The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan
— Loved this book and was extremely uncomfortable the whole time I read it! A really wild premise that captured me from start to finish.
The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
These Silent Woods by Kimi Cunningham Grant
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Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts (2022)
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
— I don’t know why it took me so long to watch this, but my husband watched it without me and forced me to watch it the very next opportunity he had because he knew I would love it. He’s right! It’s one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen.
The Greatest Showman (2017)
The Lost Daughter (2021)
— Olivia Colman is a national treasure.
— I’ve never seen a Bong Joon-Ho movie that wasn’t fantastic.
The Gospel According to Andre (2017)
The Exorcist (1973)
— I saw bits and pieces of this growing up but never sat down to watch the whole thing start to finish, and whew.
The Power of the Dog (2021)
— For what it’s worth, this was my Best Picture pick for last year’s Oscars. I loved this movie.
Nightmare Alley (2021)
Jackass Forever (2022)
— The first movie we saw back in theaters since COVID, and it was a great choice. What an amazing film to see with an audience.
The Tinder Swindler (2022)
West Side Story (2021)
The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021)
Licorice Pizza (2021)
— Cute! Cried a lot. Was happy enough when it won Best Picture.
The Night House (2020)
— This movie was so spooky and I loved it a lot. Rebecca Hall is extremely fun to watch.
Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)
— Can’t say anything everyone else hasn’t already said. Excellent, moving, my number one movie of 2022.
Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar (2021)
Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
— It’s really cool that it’s a whole plot point how fat this thin woman is!
White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch (2022)
Hold Your Breath: The Ice Dive (2022)
The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (2017)
— This flew under my radar for a long time but was a real delight. Makes a good argument that Melanie Lynsky and Elijah Wood should be in every movie.
Fire Island (2022)
— Everyone in this movie should be the most famous person on the planet.
Crimes of the Future (2022)
Mulholland Drive (2001)
Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007)
— Truly edge-of-your-seat stuff from some of the best actors (and director) to ever do it.
Dead Ringers (1988)
Good Luck to You, Leo Grande (2022)
— One of my favorites of the year. Perfect performances, I cried, really heartwarming without ever venturing near cloying.
Dial M for Murder (1954)
The Black Phone (2021)
Barry Lyndon (1975)
Mamma Mia! (2008)
The Bob’s Burgers Movie (2022)
The Thing (1982)
— I have heard for my entire life that this is one of the greatest horror movies of all time, and I really worried it wouldn’t live up to the hype especially watching it a full 40 years after it came out. But guess what? It did! Perfect movie. Insane tension, not a weak performance out of a big ensemble, absolutely bananas effects that still hold up. It’s a legend for a reason!
— I don’t know why, but I went into this movie expecting to hate it. Ended up with extreme whiplash thinking it was one of the best movies I’ve seen all year. Definitely see why it’s polarizing, though.
A Quiet Place Part II (2020)
In the Heat of the Night (1967)
— Sidney Poitier is not fucking around in this movie.
But I’m a Cheerleader (1999)
Noroi: The Curse (2005)
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (2022)
— One of the loveliest movies I’ve ever seen.
Inside Man (2006)
Private Life (2018)
— Incredible, yet still my least favorite of Jordan Peele’s films so far. That’s how good he is!
The Fly (1986)
True Lies (1994)
Shiva Baby (2020)
Ready or Not (2019)
— This was so much fun and I can’t wait to see what Zach Cregger does next.
I Saw the Devil (2010)
— I know this is considered a classic but it just did not land for me. Felt extremely gratuitous in its violence, which I know some say is the point, but the story it was in service of wasn’t strong enough for me to justify it.
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (2022)
— Casino is better than Goodfellas. That is my truth!
After Hours (1985)
The Banshees of Inisherin (2022)
— Astonishing movie, five stars, was truly blown away by how much I loved it.
In Bruges (2008)
— I saw bits and pieces of this movie growing up because my dad would (and still continues to) stop on it every time it’s on TV, no matter where the movie is in its runtime, and watch it til the end. Great movie, A+, will start doing the same thing.
12 Angry Men (1957)
— Another one that I can’t believe took me this long. Gripping!
Fire of Love (2022)
— If there was any justice in this world Mia Goth would be in the Best Actress conversation.
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (2022)
— Do Tony and I now sing a version of the Ciao Papa song to our dog? Mind your own business.
Speak No Evil (2022)
— This was an extremely well-executed movie on all fronts IMO but I did want to throw up the entire time and will never watch it again, so take from that what you will.
Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
— I surprisingly hated this movie. That woman was stalking Tom Hanks!
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022)
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