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Novel Pairings

Dec 13, 2022

Today we enter the towering stack of “Best Book” lists, but we like to think our annual episode stands out from the crowd. Instead of narrowing down a list of favorites every year, we share superlatives to include a wider variety of genres, themes, and reading experiences in our year end wrap up episode. Check our stories at @novelpairingspod on Instagram for templates to share your 2022 superlatives, and please do not forget to tag us! We would love to see which books you select in each category.

For more superlatives, go to We will share a bonus episode on Friday FULL of more titles we loved this year. 


Podcast episodes mentioned:

Maryanne Wolf and Ezra Klein discuss “deep reading”

All about hyped books

Buzzy summer 2022 books we both read


Books mentioned:

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
Babel by R.F. Kuang

Bomb Shelter by Mary Laura Philpott 

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

Trust by Hernan Diaz

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan

The Many Daughters of Afong Moy by Jamie Ford

Even Though I Knew the End by C.L. Polk

Search by Michelle Hunevan

Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Invisible Storm by Jason Kander

A Ghost in the Throat by Doireann Ní Ghríofa 

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

A Dangerous Business by Jane Smiley

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo

When We Lost Our Heads by Heather O’Neill

Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi

The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green

Dinosaurs by Lydia Millet

Signal Fires by Dani Shapiro

A Certain Appeal by Vanessa King

The Long Answer by Anna Hogeland

The Trees by Percival Everett

Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout

Recitatif by Toni Morrison

Have I Told You This Already? By Lauren Graham

Now is Not the Time to Panic by Kevin Wilson

Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk

These Precious Days by Ann Pachett

Slippery Creatures by KJ Charles


Share your own superlatives! Here’s the list:

  • Lived up to “the hype”
  • Didn’t live up to “the hype”
  • Most likely to become a modern classic
  • Best surprise
  • Biggest disappointment 
  • Most comforting/helped through a hard time
  • Best characters 
  • Best UNlikeable characters
  • Kept you thinking the long after reading
  • Most discussable
  • Best under the radar
  • Best audiobook experience
  • Book you would recommend to a friend