The world continues to be often-alarmingly bad and too-rarely reassuring, but the one constant remains the great books that come out every year and the stories that remind us of our shared humanity. This year, the 2022 Powell’s Staff Top Fives are filled with ragtag criminals and zombies, Baby Yagas and beekeepers, demigods and King Kong and cryptids. They’re stories that are blissfully queer, beautiful and absurd, astonishing and tender; books that knocked us out of our reading ruts, made us cry and scream, kept us up at night, and left us comforted in their wake. There’s truly something for everyone on this list — a list filled with reminders of the hope and joy that exist amongst us, despite everything.
We wish you happy reading, and truly a happy end to this very long year.