YAYYYYYY MONA!!! She’s been with us for awhile (since 2018!!) but this is her FIRST “Best of” list with us, and I’m thrilled. Mona is regularly active in our comments (and lets us know she’s found an awesome book – thank you Mona!!), so it’s my pleasure to present her very favorite books of the year!
P.S. In case you’re wondering, Mona is not “Mony” (two different fellow readers, and I love them both!!)
P.P.S Have a “best of 2022” list for us? Send it to me here.
Let’s get to know Mona through her past comment history (and by that, I mean regular life stuff) 🙂
Mona: To Maryse and followers: Thank you, all of you! About a month ago I stumbled across Maryse’s blog while trying to find a good read after the “What He Doesn’t Know” duet and “Transcend”. What I found was a group that loved a lot of the same books that I love.
I also found some great reads I was not familiar with, “God-Shaped Hole”, “Rainfall”, “Every Wrong Reason”, “Road Tripped”, “Lessons in Corruption” and some that I had originally passed on, “Birthday Girl” and “The Boy and his Ribbon”. These have all been added to my permanent favorites!
I have never had a TBR list, and used to spend hours looking for the next good read, but looking (so far) through recommendations and reviews I have a list of 18 books!
So thank you Maryse for the great blog and reviews and to all of your followers for the awesome recommendations! I have found my tribe!
Maryse: My goodness!!! I’m thrilled we have a new angsty-book addict amongst us and just want to SQUEEEEEEEZE Mona so hard!! Welcome Mona. We’ll set up a blankie fort just for you during our next angst-ridden buddy read. 🙂
and when we get on a. cooking-chat spree:
Mona: I use cabbage to make Lettuce Wraps:
1 lb 93% lean ground beef
3 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 jar House of Tsang Szechuan Spicy Sauce
Lettuce For Wraps
Brown ground beef, breaking into small pieces. Pour in 1/2 jar sauce and stir. Mix in cabbage. Cabbage will start to wilt slightly and it’s done. Serve in lettuce or just eat as is (like my family).
I’ve heard there is a Szechuan mix but have never been able to find it. My family loves the House of Tsang brand. I find it in the International section at Walmart but have seen it on Amazon. I’ve tried making it with diced chicken but the sauce was too spicy…maybe more chicken and less sauce 🤷🏻♀️
and when we get on a product spree:
Mony: Maryse, do you have a Halo Bolt charger? I see there is one on Prime Early Access. My sister lives in Houston where they get after affects of hurricanes and she recommended to me. It can charge laptop, phones, and will even charge a car. It wouldn’t last as long as a generator but great in an emergency power outage.
And now… Mona’s Favorites of 2022 (all of these, she has 5-STARRED!!):
I love the Best of Lists every year and always find new books and authors.
Here is my first attempt at a Best of List for 2022:
Mona: Kenna served five years in prison for a tragic mistake. While in prison, she gave birth to a daughter that she only saw for a few minutes. When she gets out of prison, she returns to try to see her four year old daughter but is not welcomed in the town. Ledger, the local bar owner, is the only person that doesn’t completely shut her out. Kenna is hoping to earn enough money to leave town but hopes she can see her daughter before she leaves.
As always with Colleen Hoover, tissues are needed. 5 ⭐️
Mona: Just finished Reminders of Him. Could not put it down all day! Another great read by Colleen Hoover! Definitely needs a tissue alert!
Mona: Naomi has an identical twin sister that is always in trouble. When she reaches out to Naomi for help, Naomi runs away from her own wedding to help her. Unfortunately, the twin is not in good standing with the townsfolk and they all think Naomi is the twin. First off, upon arriving in town, the twin steals her car and money, and leaves her with a niece she didn’t know about. Then there is Knox. He just wants to be left alone in peace, but can’t help getting involved with Naomi’s troubles.
Their interactions are hilarious. This book was awesome and is a lighthearted, fun read. 5⭐️
Mona: Just read a second 5 star for me book this week! The first was Reminders of Him (previously mentioned) and I just finished Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score. It has a bit of a Tatum Jackson/Laurie/Sweet Dreams feel to it. How do I follow up from those two?!?
I wasn’t sure about this book since it’s not my usual genre, but got it because (1) it was on sale; and (2) Maryse’s review and recommendation. I’m so glad I did! I loved this book and didn’t want to put it down or for it to end.
Earth has been invaded and humans are being given a soul to take over their body and mind. Melanie has been given a soul named Wanderer but Melanie strongly resists. She inundates Wanderer with her memories, emotions and love for her boyfriend that has gone into hiding. The story revolves around Melanie/Wanderer going out to try to find the man she/they love, and the people and struggles they encounter.
Honestly, Maryse can say it so much better than me, so I recommend you read her review and then read this 5 ⭐️ book! PS: I need a sequel!
Mona: I just finished The Host, thank you Maryse for letting us know about the sale price and your excellent review of it! I have a major book hangover and can’t find my next read!
Maryse: Did you cry like I did?? And YAY!! I’m so glad you loved it, too!!!
Mona: Mirielle is a wealthy California socialite and wife of a 1920’s silent film star that is diagnosed with leprosy and is forced into quarantine in Carville, Louisiana. (While the story is fiction, Carville was an actual place in the US where lepers were sent, until it closed in 1999).
It wasn’t really a story about the 1920’s, but was about the day-to-day life of living in the colony, the stigma, how it affected their families, the friendships that are made, and the search for a cure.
Mirielle is not very likable in the first part of the book, but don’t give up on her! Every time I sat this book down, I was quickly picking it back up. 5⭐️ KU
Linda: Mona I also just read The Second Life of Mirielle West. I was so intrigued with the synopsis! I love when I find a read that makes me step away from the same genres and not having a clue what or where the story is going to take me!! Oh my heart!! Couldn’t put it down!! Totally 5 stars!
Mona: One of my most favorite authors! I can never put her books down!
Shep works at a pet store, is loved by all and shares custody of his dogs with his ex-wife. Sophie always goes for the wrong guys and is trying to evict her useless ex-boyfriend from her home. When Sophie meets Shep, she puts him in the friend zone that quickly becomes best friends. From the awkward but hilarious first meeting, to the quick-wit conversations, I was laughing and smiling through most of the book.
I kept re-reading the interactions because they were so funny! Of course, Ms. Ann will never let you go without a tear or two. 5⭐️ KU
Mona: I finished What Lovers Do by Jewel E. Ann last night. I can never put her books down! I totally agree with Lisa A, from the awkward but hilarious first meeting, to the quick-wit conversations, I was laughing and smiling through most of the book. I kept re-reading the interactions because they were so funny! Of course, Ms. Ann will never let you go without a tear or two. This will definitely be on a lot of Best Book lists for 2022 and was a 5 star for me!
Mona: The book comes with a trigger warning for domestic abuse and sexual harassment, but the story actually takes place several years after the divorce and follows Madison, a 25 year old mother of an 8 year old son and her grumpy next door neighbor, Garrett. For having such a heavy warning, the story itself is witty and lighthearted.
It says it’s the first book in the series but there is no cliffhanger and the second book appears to be about the bartender you meet in this book. 5⭐️ KU
Mona: Holy moly, I could not put this book down! Maeve wakes up in a cold cement room, looks around and sees a man, but he is not her husband. They have been kidnapped by a man bent on torturing them. Maeve and Ledger try to figure out why they were kidnapped, what is their connection since they’ve never met, and where are their spouses? This is suspense with a little romance thrown in.
There are twists you see coming and some that are surprises. 5⭐️
Linda: If We Disappear Here by M. Hayes! Why yes I devoured it!! 5*****
Kathy: I just finished If We Disappear Here by M. Hayes. I am making my husband read it! Thanks for the recommendation. Definitely 5 stars for me. Some plot twists and I agree a few I expected but definitely a page turner.
➔➔➔ Looking for more of our “Best of 2022” lists? And maybe our “Best of” yearly lists:
and… my own “Best of” lists:
➔ My Best Books of 2021
➔ My Best Books of 2020
➔ My Best Books of 2019
➔ My Best Books of 2018
➔ My Best Books of 2017
➔ My Best Books of 2016
➔ My Best Books of 2015
➔ My Best Books of 2014
➔ My Best Books of 2013
➔ My Best Books of 2012
➔ My Best Books of 2011
➔➔➔ Looking for more of our favorite recommendations? Browse our “Ultimate Favorites Lists” here. Are you in the mood for a certain kind of story? Browse our favorite “genre/trope categories” here and our reader favorites lists too.