The best books of 2022

From Hanya Yanagihara’s epic novel to a brilliant memoir by Bono … Guardian critics pick the year’s best fiction, politics, science, children’s books and more. Tell us about your favourite books in the comments


Three book jackets - Bournville by Jonathan Coe, I’m Sorry You Feel That Way by Rebecca Wait and The Trees by Percival Everett - and an illustration of a bird shaped bauble

Hanya Yanagihara’s follow-up to A Little Life, Percival Everett’s biting satire and Ali Smith’s playful take on lockdown – Justine Jordan reflects on a year in fiction.
Read all fiction

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Children’s books

Three book jackets - Dogs of the Deadlandsby Anthony McGowan, Creature by Shaun Tan and Britannia’s Baby Encyclopedia - and an illustration of a woman listening to music.

Imogen Russell Williams picks the best titles for children and teenagers, from a spooky tale by Philip Pullman to the long-awaited new novel from SF Said – plus books for young readers by Oliver Jeffers and Maggie O’Farrell.
Read all children’s books

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Crime and thrillers

Three book jackets - More Than You’ll Ever Know by Kate Gutierrez, The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett and Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister - and an illustration of two baubles.

Cosy crime from Ajay Chowdhury, a new Rebus novel and a handful of excellent debuts – Laura Wilson rounds up the best page-turners.
Read all crime and thrillers

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Science fiction and fantasy

Three book jackets - Goliath by Tochi Onyebuchi, Sea of Tranquility by Emily St John Mandel and Deep Wheel Orcadia by Harry Josephine Giles - and an illustration of a bauble.

A verse novel written in Orcadian Scots, a unique UFO story and a distinctive time-travel tale from the author of Station Eleven – Adam Roberts selects five of the best science fiction and fantasy books.
Read all science fiction and fantasy

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Biography and memoir

Three book jackets - Sins of my Father by Lily Dunn, The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama and Managing Expectations by Minnie Driver - and an illustration of a bearded man with headphones on carrying a book.
Biography and memoir Illustration: Guardian Design

Fiona Sturges chooses the best memoirs, from Alan Rickman’s posthumous diaries to Michelle Obama’s follow-up to Becoming, as well as compelling biographies of Agatha Christie and John Donne.
Read all biography and memoir

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History and politics

Three book jackets - Uncommon Wealth by Kojo Koram, How to Stand up to a Dictator by Maria Ressa and The Curtain and the Wall by Timothy Phillips - and an illustration of a bespectacled man reading a book.

Reflections on the British empire, urgent stories of deadly migrant routes and a Nobel peace prize-winner’s thoughts on the future of democracy – Alex von Tunzelmann’s choice of books about our past and present.
Read all history and politics

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Three book jackets - A New Formation by Calum Jacobs, Being Geoffrey Boycott by Geoffrey Boycott and Jon Hotten and God Is Dead by Andy McGrath - and an illustration of a bauble.

Jonathan Liew picks five of the year’s best books about sport, including a thought-provoking history of Black footballers and a fascinating biography of Geoffrey Boycott.
Read all sport

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Three book jackets - The Metaverse by Matthew Ball, The Facemaker by Lindsey Fitzharris and Elusive by Frank Close - and an illustration of a man in a festive jumper carrying books.

With subjects ranging from the lessons of the Covid-19 pandemic to the potential of digital virtual worlds, Alok Jha selects the year’s top science books.
Read all science

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Three book jackets - The Trees Witness Everything by Victoria Chang, Unexhausted Time by Emily Berry and Home is not a Place by Roger Robinson and Johny Pitts-  and an illustration of a woman holding one book under her arm and another one held out with her other arm.

Black and queer communities are centred in much of this year’s poetry, including Joelle Taylor’s account of butch lesbian counterculture and Warsan Shire’s captivating take on home and identity – Rishi Dastidar chooses the best collections.
Read all poetry

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Graphic novels

Three book jackets - The Joy of Quitting by Keiler Roberts, Oxygen Mask by Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin and Days of Sand by Aimée de Jongh - and an illustration of a man holding a gift box and a book.

James Smart picks out the finest comics and graphic books, from thoughtful memoirs to vividly illustrated fiction.
Read all graphic novels

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Three book jackets - Denim and Leather by Michael Han, In Perfect Harmony by Will Hodgkinson and The Come Up by Jonathan Abrams - and an illustration of a woman holding a gift box.

Bono’s autobiography, oral histories of hip-hop and heavy metal and a smart reflection on Black women in pop – Alexis Petridis’s pick of books about music and musicians.
Read all music

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Three book jackets - Modern Pressure Cooking by Catherine Phipps, West Winds by Riaz Phillips and India Express by Rukmini Iyer - and an illustration of a bauble.

Rachel Roddy on the best food books of the year, from stories of growing up in a Chinese takeaway to pressure cooker recipes and a guide to snacking.
Read all food

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To browse all of the Guardian’s best books of 2022 visit Delivery charges may apply.

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